That idea sounds a little like what freetosell.com does. They sell you an ebook that links to all the others--kind of an index. All you do is download the index ebook and read it. When you find one of the book links inside that you like the sound of, you click and download the book.
What's good about that is the index costs something on the order of $49 but new books are being added all the time at no cost. The index is therefore always updating itself (I think it calls web pages) or maybe it's a script kind of thing--anyway, the books may be sold on to your customers individually or all together (by reselling the index book)
I think the updating ebook idea is a good one for non-fiction. Auto updates, or notification of updates by email are a good selling point. I wouldn't consider the book unfinished if offered this unless the book was fiction--in the case of fiction, an updating ebook WOULD be unfinished in my opinion and not a good thing. I mean, I could read the story half way, download the update and find the plot has changed! An extreme example I'll admit, but you get the idea.
I agree that sending out upgrades to your ebook is good marketing. Rather than sending the entire ebook though, consider creating an email newsletter that purchases can enroll for at the time of their initial purchase. An email newsletter will be easier on you for creation and delivery and you will have the added capacity to promote new services or products that might not be appropriate for including in the ebook.
How would tyhis work from the users point of view? If they have an ebook on their PC, how would an ezine or email update work? Wouldn't this mean that they would have to read all my emails every time they wanted to use the ebook? (I'm thinking of "how-to" type books, where you are using them for reference.)
The Free To Sell package has a button within the ebook that when clicked upon takes the reader to the download page. The reader is not informed by the ebook that there is an update available, he simply clicks the button whenever the mood takes him.
Free to sell do send update notifications via email however. Whenever I receive one, I open the ebook and click the button to see what the new offerings are.
You could make an ebook that called pages from your server. The book would then be constantly updated without need to download a new book--might work.
One of my eBook's main "sell points' is the fact that it's updated on a monthly basis.
It works well for the way my eBook -- The Writer's Online Survival Guide -- works, because it is a directory of websites that list writing jobs. So many dot-coms keep dying off and new websites launch that the updates add great value!
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