I recently discovered that using the simple pdf form of my newest travel ebook was a good way to distribute it under license to a client for additional income.
The ebook in question is my SF Travel & Photo Guide: The Top 100 Travel Experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The book exists as an ebook on Amazon and as an app in Apple and Google. I knew I could generate a pdf of the ebook from the Word template used to create the ebook.
Then I was asked to give a paid luncheon talk in San Francisco to a financial group. About 50 people would attend. I would provide a slideshow and commentary on “The Top Travel Experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.” The meeting planner wanted to follow-up with the group after the talk and give away a couple of my printed books or ebooks to those who attended as an announced incentive to get more people to attend.
I had several printed books for $14.95 (see my Amazon Author Page) that could be bought in bulk at $7.50. I have ebooks for $3.99, but it was complicated to work with Amazon or Apple. Besides, which ebook format would the meeting attendee want? My new book was also out as an “app” in Apple and Google. The audience had different kinds of devices and varying levels of expertise.
The meeting planner’s conclusion was a good solution from my perspective: “Just give us a simple pdf of your new SF Travel & Photo Guide that can be read on all devices. We’ll email it as a Thank You follow-up to all who attend the meeting.”
I charged the group $150 to give a half-hour slideshow talk to 50 people, and another $1 per email of the pdf. My total charge was $200, and presumably there was also “publicity value.”
A pdf has both virtues and limitations. The pdf can be read on all devices. If I get a pdf via email on my iPhone, for example, I can send it to my iBooks folder and read it there. Most people can read pdfs on their devices or computers. Also, the links in pdfs are clickable.
However, a pdf is not fancy, and lacks the functionality of interactive maps, which make my app on this subject appealing. A pdf can also be shared without a proper license, so theft is a reality that an author must accept. My pdfs carry in them the viral information that a paid version is available in a more advanced ebook or app form.
“Forms” can be an interesting subject to authors who want to function successfully in the modern world. My books are available as printed books or as ebooks. One is now an app, another is an audiobook. Two of my books are translated into Chinese, and have had steady sales in China for two years.
BAIPA authors, some of you may conclude that a simple pdf of your book could be distributed under license for additional income, especially when you give a talk.