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This is a recent exchange with Cedric at the Forum for authors regarding questions about ADAP with my repsonses to him in italics!We’ve had a back and forth about it (in the Q,A below), and I believe him when he says ebook advertising is coming. I do a lot of ebook formatting for self-pubbers (just freelance stuff), and a lot of the more successful ones do link swaps to their books, which is a more controlled form of advertising. Since the ebook, as well as e-readers, are becoming more interactive, I think we can safely assume that there will be a time when we see banners in ebooks, which, admittedly, does sound a little obnoxious.I’ll post my exchange with Bert which contains some interesting information, and may be useful to some of the self-pubbers we have on our site looking at getting into affiliate marketing (or this approximation) via their ebooks. I’d like to spark up discussion on this topic, as it is the first time I’ve really encountered me, and I find it incredibly interesting. Ads in books — what comes next, and where do we draw the line?

Q and A below from my private correspondence with Erik, posted with his permission. My questions / statements are in bold, his answers in quote blocks.

If you wouldn’t mind, perhaps I could quote some of our back and forth in a reply to your new thread?
Absolutely, I welcome the exchange!

I’m not yet sure on the idea of ebook advertisements, or targeted ads in ebooks. I’m not exactly sure how it would all work yet, though.

I hear you and I got some push back from authors as well but once I tell them they have control over the ads they become more receptive. Ebook advertising is coming and this program gives the authors a big say in the advertising. Plus authors are getting killed out there in terms of cost. Yet Amazon will make $14 billion from ebooks in a few years!

If I’m not being dense, from what I gather, your initiative is to have self-pubbers insert “ad code” into their ebooks?

You hit the nail on the head with both the authors and readers controlling the ads! With ADAP we actually assemble a custom ebook for the reader.

Of course, my main concern would be that this ad-implementation system only adds another layer of ads (whew!). As you said, Kindle has ads implemented, and I’m sure Nook and Kobo will follow suit, if they haven’t already.

You are right but there are trends against this. For example, many technologists believe dedicated ebook reader will be going extinct as Android based tablets continue to decline in cost. Sub-$100 tablets are becoming the new norm and Amazon can’t afford to subsidize their reader forever. Also, that’s why I am going after many of the independent publishers that lie outside the Amazon-Kindle ecosystem. Additionally, an ad that is internal is much more powerful than ads outside the ebook.

So, I guess a question I have is why would an author stick an ad into their book (adding more ads, rather than substituting one for another), for a chance at a royalty rate.

Because I can get them a bigger chunk of the ad monies that could range from .50 to a dollar an ebook copy based on CPMs and perhaps more with a CPC program! This is a new program so market rates will vary. Authors are not getting much in terms of royalties nowadays!

You say you’ll custom make an ebook (I assume validated epub 3 file), but does that rob the author of custom layouts they want to program into their ebook? I do a lot of ebook formatting and know that a great deal of self-pubbers want their ebook to look a certain way, as well as retaining all of the features of the most recent e-readers (such as the Paperwhite, which is a picky thing).

Good point and the author gets to place markers in the ebook where they want ads to go. They get to choose the type of ad, location and how many of the ads they want. They could go for one ad at the end of the book for example but that would reduce their potential income. Formatting can be a bear but my technology partner has a lot of experience in automating these type of document productions. The ultimate goal will be to create an entirely new ebook format that is more interactive in the near future that is not fixed to a given technology platform. Don’t forget the readers have a say also in the type of ads that are acceptable to them as well. That will never happen with Amazon!


This part 1 of a 2 part series!