I do offer a digital product on CD (combination pdf files and real audio files for interviews) - customers have paid an extra $20 to get product on CD, just so they have a physical copy. It's also allowed me to market on eBay, something I have not had allot of time] to do yet, but others have been very successful at this.
Isn't it more to do with the hassle of shipping? If people around the world want my ebooks, they can download them, with only minimum worries for me. Very few queries, problems, etc.
But if I have to dispatch CD's, will they get there OK, what if they're damaged in transit, how much will packing and mailing cost? And will I have to do all that work myself, or pay (how much?) a firm to do it?
That's what would put me off if I was in a position to consider CD's seriously.
I agree the hassle factor is an issue with shipping anything.
My worry is getting an order from some country and not knowing how to safely and securely ship it.
A while ago my girlfriend sent a gift to family overseas, using a courier service. The item was held by customs to collect some kind of import duty, but when they tried to pay the duty, it had disappeared.
One idea that I have toyed with that might make it more practical is to limit the number of countries I would ship physical items too. Limiting to a few countries could still cover 90%+ of likely orders and I would feel reasonably confident of the item arriving at its intended destination.
Sometimes CD is the only way to distribute large e-books.
I just created a software training CD which has 8 chapters and 9 videos and it's over 85 megs. Most people using 56k modems won't want to sit through a download that long.
Regarding shipping, I've sold lots of unrelated items to places all over the USA and to France, Belgium, and Scotland with no problems at all. Make sure to insure whatever you're shipping, and be able to verify the value should the need arise. Make sure the package gets signed for and you have proof it was received.
Regarding storage, why would it ever be a problem? CDs are small and thin and can be created on a "just in time" basis where you only produce them as you sell them.
The shipping - I agree EU, USA, Canada, Oz, NZ should be safe for delivery. I am not sure about _some_ other countries. Nothing against people in any country, but in some countries, people help at airports, government, etc. themselves to even courier delivered items. I know for a fact from personal experience of seeing it happen,
I agree, make the CDs on demand if you having a few made.
If you have a CD mastered, with printed jewel cases and inserts, etc.this is when the storage gets to be an issue.
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