The online eBook marketplace has usually been stocked with titles written by authors who then made resell rights available to those who hoped to profitably offer the book for sale (or, as is often the case with eBay, auction). Generally, the rights the eBook seller obtained were limited to reselling the text of the original eBook as is.
This strategy made a great deal of sense for the original offer. Authors have historically despised having their work edited or their messages changed. Additionally, many eBooks have contained links to products and services in which the author has a vested interest. Thus, in some ways the eBook seller is working as a marketing agent for the author, spreading affiliate links to customer after customer.
In recent years, however, an alternative eBook rights option has emerged and is increasing in popularity. One not only buys the resell rights to an eBook, they also obtain what are called private label rights. In essence, they can edit, change, add to, rearrange or otherwise adjust the content of the eBook as they see fit. They can also “re-brand” the product, claiming personal authorship and or adjusting the title. They can then outfit the eBook with their own marketing or affiliate links.
Instead of merely owning the rights to an eBook they can resell, they actually purchase the right to own the actual material and its uses when private label rights are obtained. This gives the eBook seller a great deal of flexibility and can allow him or her the opportunity to create a unique product that is carefully designed with the overall needs of their online business efforts in mind.
There are detractors to the private right phenomena. They worry that a series of differently-titled eBooks could flood a market, all of which contain essentially the same information. This, they argue, is detrimental to consumers and could cause some loss of confidence in the eBook industry as a whole. They also note that products sold in this way will never have the credibility of a known author associated with them. These complaints do have some legitimacy and undoubtedly warrant a great deal of consideration.
However, the idea of owing an eBook and its contents outright will be almost irresistible for many eBook sellers. They can immediately envision strategies making use of private label rights that make their prior arrangement of owning only resell rights seem as restrictive as a straightjacket.
Only time will tell how the sudden upswing in deals involving the sale of private label rights will effect the eBook industry as a whole. In the short term, however, it would appear that those eBook sellers who invest in private label rights products will have an upper hand on many sellers who are dealing only in eBooks with resell rights.
Anyone who is serious about maximizing his or her profit in the eBook industry should at least research and consider sales of eBooks made with private label rights intact.
Copyright 2006 John Thornhill
John Thornhill is an eBay powerseller and trades on eBay under the username planetsms. For more advice on how to succeed on eBay visit http://www.planetsms.co.uk .