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Archived Message:

Better to go alone, or under subservient?

antseezee I've been writing video game guides for a little close to 2 years now, with a few netting profits here and there, even two being published in an anthology book. I've recently been proposed an offer from a website company that sells online e-book video game guides. They want me to write guides for them, when in exchange, I'll receive a lump sum + commission based on how well it sells. The company seems well-established, but is limited on game selection, hence why they recruited me.

Would it be better to work under a subservient of a company? Or would it be better to create my own .com, perhaps sell some of my own guides as e-books, and thus forth? I'm leaning towards the subservient idea, due to the willingness to even pay for certain games I'll write for, have copyright protection behind a formal company with shares, and the entire organized setup.

I have extensive experience in HTML from designing websites, extensive knowledge in video game guide writing, and most of all, have done business transactions to the past on eBay and such. I'd just like to hear what you people would rather do.

Posted on: 3:41 pm on February 17, 2005
AC Peter Now, this is only my 2 cents worth, so take it for what it cost you.
I would strongly (very strongly) suggest that you maintain control. Everything is fine at the start (just like when you fall in love) but get through a couple of bumps and grinds... and who knows where it will end up. Not knowing you nor the company (web site) you're talking about, I am not looking at this from a credibility standpoint or anything like that. I am looking at it strictly as a control matter.

A related site of ours sells eBooks (well, they have them for sale... so that constitutes selling I guess) and uses 1AutomationWiz as a shopping cart (with digital download) and their complete system for auto responders, e-mail broadcasting and affiliate program.

If you set up YOUR own site, make this other site an affiliate. They can promote and have pictures and all, but the purchase should happen from YOUR site. That provides you the ultimate control.

Look at the down side. What if that other site goes belly up.. or just pulls the plug? Your books are out there and you have NO control. At least if that happens and you maintain control, then all you have to worry about is a way to generate another sales stream.

On the other hand, if you're satisfied with the up front payment and don't want to worry about all the other stuff, then run with the sale. I would (if I were you) consider the upfront payment all that you will get. Once sales start, there will (or can be) thousdands of reasons why they don't come through and pay anything else.

So there you go. Sorry to ramble on. Just remember, when you're selling information, the best position to be in is in control. Otherwise, you can't stop where it goes.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: 9:26 pm on February 24, 2005
antseezee Thanks for the prompt response. I've yet to submit the finished project to them, although I'm somewhat hesistant as my guide would be sort of a "test" project, to see whether or not the company would want to enter the console games market.

Anyhow, I also upgraded my former website (of 2 years, 25,000+ hits) to a .com that is extremely easy to remember. I understand what you mean about the entire control issue. My name has been established on the internet in various projects from the past, and I doubt getting affliates would be a problem.

I guess I have a predicament to choose from. Quite frankly, it would be at no loss to me now to exclusively sell the guides on my own site if everything is set at my fingertips, correct? Why let another company profit off of my work (although their lump sum maybe more than what I could yield in the long run). Anyhow, your advice is greatly appreciated, and an e-commerce package is already incorporated with my website domain. I'll keep ya posted on my decisions in the following days. Thanks again.

Posted on: 7:18 pm on February 28, 2005
Storyman antseezee,

Is it really an either/or thing? Most everything has a life cycle and that goes for ebooks too. Think of the initial marketing like hard copy books that sell for a few more dollars. Once the primary market sales drop, then the secondary market kicks in and the trade back is released.

Why not initially release your ebook on your own, then when sales decline let the other sales system have the book. Your ebook may very well have a secondary life cycle.

If the ebook had been a strong seller at one time you might want to consider creating a revised version for your web site when the first edition of the ebook moves to the secondary site.

Posted on: 8:26 pm on March 1, 2005
Ebook Architect That sounds like a good idea storyman.

I must say I'm a fan of keeping 100% control and profit from ebook sales. It may not pay off as quick from the start but the long term gains are generally much better.

Posted on: 9:59 pm on March 11, 2005
jbsmith You my not have thought of this, but your topic seems
to lend itself to a membership model.

With such a model you get the benefit of recurring revenue (monthly fee of $17, $27 or more...), continue
to post your guides - free to members - point sale to
outside customers.  

Seems like the sort of market that will continue to provide
opportunities - membership models can be very lucrative.



Posted on: 7:42 pm on March 28, 2005

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