Please write me a book & two e-versions?!

June 12th, 2016 | Rebecca's Spotlight

So in my aim to please everyone I have confused people!

We offer two books for Royal Ascot. Book One covers the first two days and Book Two covers the final three days. To receive these it costs £20 (£4 per day’s analysis). They are posted out to clients.

We also offer a Royal Ascot Package which means you can download the books the day they go to print, receive them through the post and then the evening before racing download a Supplement (in the format of our Online Previews) and then receive a text message each morning of Royal Ascot from Marten.

Over the years some people have said that £20 for a book is expensive. I realise that there are other racing firms selling books for around £10 but we are a small company, we work slightly differently and don’t have a whole team of people working on the racing day in and day out. There is only Marten and Jodie assisting him part time. I myself concentrate on admin and basic research.

I had a similar experience myself when a hardback book came out from one of my favourite authors and it was £20. At first I thought “Gosh that’s a lot I can’t afford that” but then I went home and thought about it. I thought about the work that goes into a book – for a novel it can be months and months – I imagined if I approached the author and asked her to write a book especially for me. How much would I expect to pay? Thousands of pounds I thought.

If a client approached Marten direct at a racecourse and asked him to write close to 25,000 words just about Royal Ascot or Cheltenham in the space of a week and deliver it what would the client expect to pay? I reckon if Marten said to the client “Thank you for your enquiry that will cost £20” they would probably think WOW what a bargain!!!

Authors don’t write a book for hundreds or thousands of people they quite often imagine one person or even know the readers they have and think of them when they write it. I know when I sell a book to someone I imagine them taking delivery of it and sitting down to enjoy it. When I receive an email from someone saying their book or e-version hasn’t arrived I imagine their frustration or them sitting at their computer frustrated and I do everything within my power to rectify that situation. It’s a personal thing – there’s a bond.

Anyway….. I have gone off track…. Some people still think that £20 for our book is too much so I decided to offer it as an e-book at the heavily discount price of £10. However the reason it is heavily reduced is that there isn’t access till the evening before the racing starts. This is the only way I can justify it and make it fair.

However there are people who want an e-version for environmental reasons which I both relate to and appreciate. They are happy to pay £20 and want instant access and this is how we have ended up with two e-versions. Both books are the same – exactly the same.

Our clients who pay £10 will receive access to Book One on Monday 13 June from 6pm and Book two on Wednesday 15 June from 6pm.

Our clients who pay £20 will receive instant access to Book One and will also receive access to Book Two as soon as we send it to the printers on Monday.

Our £20 version is offered a lovely system called Pagesuite which means when ordered it can be downloaded instantly. The client doesn’t have to wait for me to receive the order and authorise it. This version opens beautifully on a computer, iphone, Ipad or any android phone or tablet. It is interactive and we are going to be using this format for our new service The Weekend Card and will be adding results, comments, feedback and interactive content.

I am going to have a think about what I can do ahead of Cheltenham 2017 as it seems that despite me trying to make it clear online it hasn’t always worked…. I have received emails from clients complaining they can’t yet access the e-book but I have said when it becomes available and why so not sure how I can deliver services to meet everyone’s needs and also make it clearer…… I hope this blog helps a little.

Maybe trying to please everyone isn’t the best option. Maybe we should just only offer one e-version with instant access at the higher price.

I love debating services and working on improving things so I have plenty to think about.