Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic May 13, 2002

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:03 AM): Greetings, friends. Spending the morning here combating virus-driven e-mail!

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:03 AM): And there's a lot of it1

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:03 AM): Hey was your mother's day?

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:04 AM): It was busy, Skip...I trust yours was pleasant?

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:04 AM): yes, very relaxing, and got quite a bit of work done on web site content...

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:06 AM): Cool...Hey, peter, are you new here? We always let the new guys go first, if you have a question

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:06 AM): kinda quiet today...

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:07 AM): Entered the room.

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:07 AM): Hi All, yes new for this year, came once mid -last year

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:07 AM): [Morning all!]

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:07 AM): Jump in, if you like Peter. Otherwise, anyone else care to dive in?

Tamra ( (5/13/2002 9:07 AM): [morning Jonathan!]

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:08 AM): We have developed some technology that we think offers a new way of publishing quality electronic publications and having the content supported by advertising

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:08 AM): Peter, been looking at your web site but cannot find any pricing????????????????

weber (5/13/2002 9:08 AM): Entered the room.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:08 AM): I may have a distribution opportunity for you....

weber (5/13/2002 9:08 AM): Good Morning

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:09 AM): yes the pricing is not on the site as we are a B2B website

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:10 AM): so, what is it???

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:10 AM): Rob - About FrankelTips this morning - Do you think that 'bees will be willing to pay more for the whole e-book package now that you're splitting it up? Especially after it's been available for much less?

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:10 AM): it is quite frustrating to find something you might want and not be able to find ANY pricing anywhere...just how I feel....

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:11 AM): Rob, what do you feel about posting pricing?

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:11 AM): Yes, Yosef, I suspect that MAY be the case. This allows the early purchasers to have taken advantage of the bulk price, and should prove out with higher revenue for the same content

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:11 AM): Skip - if price is to be negotiated, then it doesn't belong on the site.

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:12 AM): The technology enables publishers to create documents with the look and feel of a hardcopy one, and has a page-turn interface - i.e. no more scrolling

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:12 AM): Rob - do you have a market for the e-books beyond FrankelBiz?

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:12 AM): Rob - also, I suspect you're going to start inadvertently encouraging folks to keep their old issues :)

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:13 AM): I also agree that pricing doesn't belong on the site if you're service-based. There are simply too many ways to paint yourself into a corner. (This was in a FrankelTips column last year). I prefer to list the types of services as in where they are ranked by rate, but the rate is not specified.

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:13 AM): Jonathan - I still HAVE every issue. I know a gem when I come across it :-)

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:13 AM): Yosef, you're one smart fella: Yes, I will be slowly expanding the e-book market into new territories.

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:14 AM): Jonathan, originally, I had an archive in mind for FrankelTips, until I realized that it was untapped value simply sitting there.

Tamra ( (5/13/2002 9:15 AM): I run into pricing questions all the time -- we do totally custom work, no pre-designed templates, no packages. But we've had lots of potential clients complain because we didn't have pricing info on the site.

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:15 AM): Rob - agreed, it makes sense. I think there's also the opportunity for value-add, depending on how the ebook(s) is/are organized.

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:15 AM): I still contribute to the Rob Frankel archives, which are pretty heavy. But the FrankelTips stuff is being turned into a series, with each e-book containing 10 columns.

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:15 AM): Skip, do you have a website

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:16 AM): I'm also adding in one more e-book as a test for content. So in about a week or so, the FrankelTips Year one book will sunset and the new series will debut.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:17 AM): Peter, I am in process of building the site. It will be a perfect compliment to your product or service...

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:17 AM): Peter, it's a shame that your e-book page turner downloads as a PC file. Does this mean I can't read it on a Mac?

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:17 AM): And besides, Rob, archiving it for free might have turned off subscribers who could wait a week or 2 for the archived edition (kind of like real-time stock quotes vs. 20-minute delay: if you don't have to make a trade RIGHT NOW, there's no point in buying Real-time.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:17 AM): In so far as pricing goes, I completely agree that if you are offering a professional service which is highly tailored to each engagement, pricing should not be posted....

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:18 AM): Ok, care to give some details Skip

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:18 AM): Hi Rob, yes unfortunately it is only for PCs at this time

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:18 AM): Yosef, do the math: it's still cheaper to subscribe than to buy the e-books: at $12.95 or $14.95 per book vs. $24 for the the subscription entitles subscribers to get their personal questions answered.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:19 AM): Peter, I'm not divulging details publicly yet...I will say it has to do entirely in the ebook space...not competitive with you tho...

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:19 AM): point taken.

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:20 AM): BTW, does anyone have any pro's or con's about businesses like or their competitors? I'm shopping pun intended.

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:20 AM): Oops. That should have been

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:21 AM): Rob - WilsonWeb has a comparative study on the subject at (it's an ebook <G>;) - haven't read it, but it could be useful.

weber (5/13/2002 9:22 AM): Rob, we use Americart service. Have used them for 4+ years and are really happy. They do digital and hard goods, but we are using Clickbank for digital goods .

weber (5/13/2002 9:23 AM): More fraud on digital products, so we did not want to affect our Merchant Account

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:23 AM): Thanks Jonathan

Tamra ( (5/13/2002 9:23 AM): All I know is I'm really getting tired of seeing that same stock photo of the girl and her paper on EVERY business web site. I think I'm going to boycott all sites that use her.

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:24 AM): I agree Tamra!

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:24 AM): I use coolcart ( It's HTML-based. No extra software necessary. The one downside is that it can't process payments spread out over several months. But it DOES offer PayPal as a payment option if you have a PayPal account.

Peggy ( (5/13/2002 9:25 AM): Entered the room.

Peggy ( (5/13/2002 9:26 AM): Hello, everyone. This is my first visit. Just seeing what's happening this morning.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:27 AM): Peter, you still here?

Tamra ( (5/13/2002 9:28 AM): Entered the room.

Yes still here (5/13/2002 9:28 AM): Entered the room.

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:29 AM): Hi Peggy

Peggy ( (5/13/2002 9:29 AM): HI Jonathan. What kind of damn fine writing do you do? I'm an editor/writer/ebookstore owner.

weber (5/13/2002 9:30 AM): More fraud on digital products, so we did not want to affect our Merchant Account

RobFrankel ( (5/13/2002 9:30 AM): Ouch! Dropped off the server!

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:30 AM): Peggy - copywriting and editing.

Yes still here (5/13/2002 9:30 AM): Pete r( - just had a computer prob

Tamra ( (5/13/2002 9:30 AM): I think a bunch of us just had computer/connection problems! Must be a Monday...

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:31 AM): Entered the room.

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:31 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:31 AM): oops. Got bumped.

Peggy ( (5/13/2002 9:32 AM): Freelance? Have any suggestions for drumming up more work? (The age-old question!)

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:32 AM): Server burp, methinks.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:33 AM): Peter, can you give me a price range for your product and service? Also, wondering if a person needs you or can they just use your compiler themselves?

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:33 AM): Peggy - network, network, network! (online and offline) That's what's worked for me...just got two clients from my free editing offer on FrankelBiz too

Del (5/13/2002 9:33 AM): Entered the room.

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:34 AM): Jonathan: Good to hear it worked out!

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:34 AM): hi Del

weber (5/13/2002 9:34 AM): Hey Del

Del (5/13/2002 9:34 AM): Damn internet...dsl was down!

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:34 AM): Peter - yes, nobody sent me 500 files :)

Peggy ( (5/13/2002 9:34 AM): cool! Yes, I definitely need to network more.

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:35 AM): Entered the room.

Elizabeth (5/13/2002 9:35 AM): Entered the room.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:37 AM): Peter, can you give me a price range for your product and service? Also, wondering if a person needs you or can they just use your compiler themselves?

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:37 AM): Skip, compiling fees start at $200 per double page and go down from there based on frequency . The compiling must be done by us

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:37 AM): (On emergency call from Germany...back in a sec)

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:38 AM): Once a electronic document is compiled, the client can distribute as many times as needed

Del (5/13/2002 9:38 AM): Jonathan..did you ever get that imagebuilder catalog?

Del (5/13/2002 9:38 AM): I haven't.

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:39 AM): Del: Not yet...still waiting :-/

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:39 AM): Then again, Canada = Antarctica when it comes to snail mail :)

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:39 AM): While Rob's on the phone.. anyone wanna say what their biggest business problem is? Mine's customers who take forever to give you the info you need to do your job!

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:39 AM): thanks Peter....great technology it seems, but at $10k for a 100 page doc, it's definitely going to be out of my audiences range...

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:40 AM): I'm guessing your seeking the larger publishing houses as your target market?

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:41 AM): Peter - differentiation in the marketplace and getting noticed, I'd say

Tamra ( (5/13/2002 9:41 AM): Peter, mine is *still* clients who don't understand the web is not print ("our corporate font is Avenir and all web pages must use this font")

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:41 AM): Peter C. - THOSE are the customers who complain loudest when you miss the deadline :-)

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:41 AM): Yeah, there's a whole lotta everyone doing the same stuff as all of us now.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:41 AM): I'm back!

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:42 AM): re Rob...

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:42 AM): 100 page document is a gonna be a large file size, if it has graphics. Suggest that it be broken down in to smaller units

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:42 AM): Yosef: Definitely!!

Del (5/13/2002 9:42 AM): Having to drop USPS because of the Priority Mail rate change. That sux.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:42 AM): Peter, I make it a point to show them the clause in the agreement that says it's THEIR duty to respond in a timely manner, and failing that, cannot hold us responsible for lack of progress.

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:43 AM): Del - what are they raising it to?

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:43 AM): True story: we have a client with a six month agreement for web design that is now in Year #2 with little progress...after getting the money up front.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:43 AM): They simply cannot get their act together.

Steve MacLellan (5/13/2002 9:43 AM): Entered the room.

Helena (5/13/2002 9:43 AM): Entered the room.

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:44 AM): We are targeting high frequency publishers who want to put out an electronic edition and don't want to use web pages to do so

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:44 AM): I made sure that we got 70% of the money up front and every month, the client sends an e-mail apologizing for the delay.

Del (5/13/2002 9:44 AM): Yosef...Going zone rates and much higher...For instance a 10lb package going coast to coast will run you $19.20 after June 30th. UPS ground, by contrast, is $8.83.

Peggy ( (5/13/2002 9:44 AM): See you another Monday. Gotta run.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:45 AM): Yes, Del, it's starting to look like the USPS is blowing it just when they had the Big Boys in their sites.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:45 AM): Peter, gotcha...thanks for the info...

Del (5/13/2002 9:46 AM): Yup....and I'm pissed at that. I had it nice.

Anita (5/13/2002 9:46 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:46 AM): Anyone else have an issue to toss in?

Del (5/13/2002 9:46 AM): But at least now I'm using UPS online and thermal printer...just charge the shipping, drop the parcels off. No waiting in line.

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:47 AM): I just looked at the USPS website and if you use a flat-rate envelope, the rate's actually going DOWN.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:48 AM): Yosef, we send out review copies and special orders of my book USPS. The Priority Letter is going up.

Anita (5/13/2002 9:48 AM): I'm having trouble marketing an ebook to a niche market.

Del (5/13/2002 9:48 AM): No. 1# is moving UP to $3.85.

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:48 AM): No matter how many consultants they bring in with great ideas, the USPS will ALWAYS find ways to shoot itself in the foot. It's part of the culture :-)

Del (5/13/2002 9:49 AM): 1# flat rate used to be (still is until June 30th) $3.50.

weber (5/13/2002 9:49 AM): Maybe they got tired of people complaining about the long lines and thought that a huge rate increase would shorten waiting times?

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:49 AM): Anita: Is it SEO related by any chance? ;-)

Del (5/13/2002 9:49 AM): Rob: Switching to ups too?

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 9:49 AM): Yeah, Del - A 10% increase IS rather large.

Elizabeth (5/13/2002 9:49 AM): I spent a good deal of time this weekend ordering from an online store only to be told on Monday "oh we don't ship out of state anymore but haven't gotten around to updating our web site." I guess they didn't lose any business since they weren't going to sell me anything anyway but still...

Anita (5/13/2002 9:49 AM): Yes, it is about specialized search engines.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:49 AM): Anita, what's the ebook about? (Did you read this morning's FrankelTips? It was all about selling ebooks!)

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:50 AM): Anita: My friend has just launched an SEO e-book and has been having a great success. His best marketing method... contributing free articles to high traffic e-zines and promotion Web sites.

Anita (5/13/2002 9:50 AM): I'm not on FrankelTips yet.

Del (5/13/2002 9:50 AM): Yosef. The USPS site states something like an average 13.5% increase. That's just not right.

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:50 AM): Gee, Rob, you think everyone's a FrankelTips reader it's so good ;-)

Del (5/13/2002 9:50 AM): Rob: Why the sudden love of ebooks. You once, very recently, scoffed at the idea of ebook sales.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:51 AM): At the risk of sounding too self-promoting, you may want to check out a Frankelink on FrankelBiz. It's $25 to reach all the FrankelBiz subscribers for a whole day.

Anita (5/13/2002 9:51 AM): I've even lowered the price.

Helena (5/13/2002 9:51 AM): I agree with cooper..use segments of your book to contribute to sites used by webmasters

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:51 AM): Anita, what's the price of the ebook now? What did you drop it from?

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:51 AM): Anita: What page are you selling it from? I can't find it.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:51 AM): If it's your ebooks.htm page.. then you need to do more work there. Cover shots, more sales copy, etc.

Helena (5/13/2002 9:51 AM): there are tons of newsletters that need good content

Helena (5/13/2002 9:52 AM): you might want to check out "I Make News" as a contributor

Anita (5/13/2002 9:52 AM): I have no cover. The price was $27.95 and now $19.95.

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 9:53 AM): I agree with Peter - it's too hard to even find the link to the ebook - you have to make the 'banana' bigger (as per Seth Godin)

Anita (5/13/2002 9:53 AM): I'm not a sales person.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:54 AM): Helena, what is I Make News???

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:54 AM): look at: (my friend's book) That drags me in... although I don't like the URL much :)

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:54 AM): Anita, I now believe that ebooks are best at under $20. But I agree that without pushing the book and then making sure your sales page really works, your chances are slim.

Helena (5/13/2002 9:54 AM): i agree; post a dreaded pop-up with the link

Anita (5/13/2002 9:54 AM): No pop-ups! I hate them.

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:54 AM): Anita: Most people have no cover. Just spoof them. Those 'product boxes' you see on many sites are just fakes!

Steve MacLellan (5/13/2002 9:54 AM): Anita - hire someone to write the copy for you. Bob Serling does this kind of work and he offers consulting

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:54 AM): Anita: Most people have no cover. Just spoof them. Those 'product boxes' you see on many sites are just fakes!

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:55 AM): That's true. I'm about the only guy who uses a real title page on my ebooks.

Doh sorry, my browser died :) (5/13/2002 9:55 AM): Entered the room.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:55 AM): Peter Cooper: how many ebooks does your SEO friend sell a month?

Helena (5/13/2002 9:55 AM): is a newsletter asp with 40K+ articles to syndicate for your company's newsletter

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:55 AM): Entered the room.

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:55 AM): Second time lucky ;-)

Helena (5/13/2002 9:56 AM): popups work when they're useful check out my site

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:56 AM): If you guys want to see someone who sells a lot of ebooks and doesn't spend at all on design, look at

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:56 AM): Skip: No idea. It's just about within 3 digits (but he's only been going one month!) from what he says, but he's managed to get a lot of consultancy business from it.

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:57 AM): Rob, how many ebooks did you say he sells monthly?

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:57 AM): You say that, Rob.. but that design is pretty professional compared to many I've seen!

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:57 AM): Peter, I just ran a financial report on our numbers here and the digital business really creeps up on you. It may seem like only $20 a shot, but over the year, it shocks you to see how much $$ comes in.

Anita (5/13/2002 9:57 AM): Thanks for all the ideas, folks.

Anita (5/13/2002 9:58 AM): My other ebook sold well, but I knew the audience.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:58 AM): Skip, not verified, but I believe he sells at least in the hundreds per month

Skip Pratt ( (5/13/2002 9:58 AM): Thanks Peter Cooper...

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 9:58 AM): Rob: And do you find that the book can turn into leads for consultancy? That's what my friend has found.

Peter ( (5/13/2002 9:59 AM): As a question, how do you prevent readers from pirating your e-books

Anita (5/13/2002 9:59 AM): Word of mouth is working well for my work.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 9:59 AM): Yes, Peter. The ebooks tend to attract a lower-funded client (the Revenge of brand X brings in the big fish).

Steve MacLellan (5/13/2002 10:00 AM): Protecting your ebook can be done a number of ways. I've wrote some special scripts for customers but nothing is 100% fool-proof

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 10:00 AM): IMHO, e-book piracy is no big deal. Unless you're Que or New Riders, I don't think people would be able to find a pirated copy of your books.

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 10:01 AM): The time you spend coming up with protection methods could be spent on promotion, and for far more gain, IMO.

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 10:01 AM): Steve, for the FrankelTips year One, we inserted the receipt with their personal information as the second page of the document

Peter ( (5/13/2002 10:01 AM): Or Rob Frankel! Haha

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 10:01 AM): I agree Peter. Inasmuch as they're possibly more valuable for increasing awareness and consulting business, piracy for me is a #2 issue.

Peter Cooper ( (5/13/2002 10:01 AM): Rob: Good idea. Remember a couple months ago when we said about putting people's CC numbers into the e-books? ;-)

Jonathan ( (5/13/2002 10:02 AM): Peter - that was my idea :P

Yosef ( (5/13/2002 10:02 AM): Talk about fingerprints on the merchandise :-)

Steve MacLellan (5/13/2002 10:02 AM): Hypermaker allows readers to buy the protected portion of the book. A cgi script on the web creates a registration key for them once they buy the protected portion

RobFrankel (5/13/2002 10:02 AM): Very valuable session, today! Gotta run!

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