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Archived Message:

What is a resonable size for ebook?

Storyman Is there a point where the the ebook size is too large and sales drop radically? I'm trying to find the resistance point where dial up feel that the size is too large.

I realize that this is not exact science and everyone is not going to agree. What I am looking for is a general consensus.

Posted on: 5:09 am on May 16, 2004
Neenah13 I don't know if sales will drop off just because the eBook happens to be large. Some may choose not to, but if your information or your story is of particular interest, a potential buyer may decide to go for it anyway.  For myself, it's price that'll put me off quicker than the download size.

That said, there will be some who wimp about the long download time.    Can't please everyone--but you can zip the files to make it easier for people to download.

I have a novel that's 509 pages including bio, dedications, copyright info and such. As an .exe file compiled with Activ Ebook, it's not quite 2MB. That's with any graphics I chose to use--and I choose to use a few!

The PDF file I compiled of the same story turned out to be nearly 20 MB with graphics. I used WINrar to zip the thing.

Which, as I say, you can do with your .exe files too. Either zip them with WinZip or whatever you like, or WINrar. I'm liking WINrar for the PDFs because it packs that 20MB into just over 1MB. WinZip put it into 10MB. Still a bit too large. I use PayLoadz for delivery, and my account only allows 40MB storage,  I have five books I'm selling, so I needed something that would give me back my space and not take a year to upload. WINrar did that for me.

How large are your files now?  How many graphics are you using? Are you also using flash or sound?  Or is your piece mostly text? Just wondering.  Some recommend using fewer graphics and such, but I'm all for keeping the fun stuff and zipping it!


Posted on: 8:23 am on May 20, 2004
Storyman Neenah,

That's a great tip about WINrar. I was planning to use a zip program, but didn't consider that some programs compress better than others.

Of course price point is the first consideration. File size is primarily a concern for dialup users. Personally, I use broadband and think nothing of downloading an audio book that is 70-110 megs, which is unthinkable for dialup users. Also, consider that the majority of people still use dialup.

The book that I am currently putting together has graphics on nearly every page. Optimizing the images help tremendously. Fireworks and Photoshop have decent optimization, but prefer to use Web Image Guru because it has better compression.

I'm also using some Flash, but the files are small because I use ActionScript extensively. (I try to keep the Flash files under 10k.)

Another reason for breaking the book into sections is that I am trying to keep the price for each section in the $10-$15 range. I figure that there are more takers at that price range than at $50.

Also, I plan to offer the complete book as a CD-Rom. When sales drop-off, I will then offer it as a trade back using POD. I have ISBN numbers already purchased so the CD-Rom and trade back can be sold through Amazon.

Posted on: 2:41 pm on May 20, 2004
Neenah13 Storyman,

I have cable, too, and as much as it's more than the dialup services I used to use, I'll probably continue to bite the bullet and keep it.  I've been so happy with the speed of it all!

Until I started uploading my files to Payloadz using their click, browse and upload method, I'd forgotten how long it took to upload stuff. Using my own FTP program was faster, but the size of my files ate up all my storage space--plus I started to realize how long it was going to take people to download if they chose PDF.

I've been buying a lot of eBooks at auctions and one of the sellers uses WINrar to zip multiple files. I was amazed at how much more it compresses.

Just be sure to tell your customers that you're using it and provide the link to the site so they don't panic. I didn't quite panic as I'd seen WINrar files before, but I couldn't recall the name of the program or where to get it, and he didn't mention it in his description.

In case you need it, here it is:http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm

Offering your book in sections is a nice idea. I have forked out for one or two eBooks in the higher price range, but only after doing a lot of thinking, researching and asking questions of others to be sure they were worth it. I've often wished they'd offer a more affordable way of buying them.

Now . . . I need to come up with my own high end info product that'll do more than pay my fees for me.

Glad to have had a useful tip for you!


Posted on: 10:00 pm on May 20, 2004


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