Monday, June 19, 2017

UPDATE: Discreet Purchase of Books

Hi everybody!

We have a solution!! Woot woot!!

As you know, I've been doing extensive research since my last post on buying my books discreetly.  My goal is to find a way to let you buy my books in a form that doesn't look like you are buying erotica.  The problem is that Amazon (and the others) don't let me sell different versions of the same book.  Moreover, putting a book under a false title is frowned upon very severely.  But I finally have a solution!

I'm going to sell them directly.

To start with, I'll offer them in pdf.  You can take a pdf and read it on your computer or tablet, or a kindle or even most of the readers.  That gives you a lot of flexibility.  And if you use the computer/tablet/device and avoid the reader, you can hide it on your hard drive where no one will see it because it will look like any other pdf in a herd of files rather than a book.  Or you can keep it on a flash drive or memory stick where no one will find it.

Moreover, if you like, I can even sell you a password protected version if you're going to read it on your computer -- these apparently can't be read on the kindle, but can be read on your computer.  Then no one who doesn't know the password can open it.  So not only can you hide the file, but it becomes hard to open.

And if someone does open it, they will see about 20 pages of junk before the story itself begins.  So they'll have to wade through that.

To get a book, you will need to email me first to tell me what you'd like.  Tell me the name of the story(ies) you want and if you want a password protected version.  Then I'll give you the email address to use at paypal to pay for the story(ies).  When that money arrives, I'll send you the files by email and you can start reading.  The paypal account will be a different name, so no one can trace it back to "Ann Michelle" and it will have no indications of erotica either in case someone gets into your paypal account.  But since you can set up paypal with any email address, you can hide the fact you have an account.  What's more, <i>you can fund your paypal account with gift cards!</i>  So you can do the entire transaction without it ever appearing on any financial documents you keep, i.e. nothing need ever show up on your credit card statements.

That's about as anonymous as you're going to get.

A couple points though.  First, it could take a few hours to get the stories after you pay because I need to go online to send them.  This is not an automatic process.  Secondly, it will be up to you to upload the files and keep them hidden.  Third, as a pdf, these documents aren't as snazzy as the epub or kindle docs (I'm still working on producing those and hope to offer them soon).  But it should still be an excellent experience.

What do you think?  Any concerns?  Any questions?  Any thoughts?



Sally Bend said...

Interesting idea, hon. I'll be curious to see how it works out for you.

I remember the days of hiding text files in seemingly-random folders with bland filenames and secret passwords. I've long since stopped caring, and almost perversely anticipate the conversation if somebody scrolls through my e-reader (LOL), but I get the need. I think you're tapping into a whole new market that could be very exciting.

Not sure if you use it now, but you might want to look into Calibre. It's a free e-book management software that I use to manage my collection since I move my Kindle titles to my Kobo. I don't think you can password protect files, but you could use it to produce alternate e-book versions with nondescript covers/titles.

AnnMichelle said...

Hi Sally!

It reminds me of those days too! I hid many a file out in my operating system knowing that no one would ever figure out what it was! LOL! It also reminds me of the plain brown wrappers some of these books used to come in. I used to pray my mailman didn't know who Sandy Thomas was! LOL!

Anyways, I'll be curious too. I always knew that fear was an issue, the same way it was an issue for me when I was younger, but I was surprised to see such a high percentage. So I set about trying to find a way to let people buy my books without anyone knowing. That proved surprisingly difficult as places like Amazon have policies which flat out prevent that. But I think this will work.

Not only does this method allow them to buy anonymously (paypal account using a gift card attached to a web email), but it lets them hide the books rather easily. They can even hide them off their computer on a data stick or as attachments to the web email. Add the password and I really can't think of a more secure way to do this. And like I said, even if someone found it and got through the password, it doesn't look like a book, and the inside looks like gibberish or a lousy spy novel for the first 20+ pages. That's a lot of protection.

Hopefully, people will become comfortable with it. We'll see.

I've heard good things about Calibre, but I haven't used it. I'll have to look into that. Thanks!

Love, Ann

AnnMichelle said...

I'm still looking for comments, by the way. Please let me know any concerns that you have with this so I can fix them before we start! This is your chance to make this system as comfortable for you as possible!


Sue Do Nimm said...

I've bought a couple of your books off Amazon and believe one on BN. I'm just curious, are you going to charge more now due to the extra work or are we going to pay the same price. By the way, love your stories very much!

AnnMichelle said...

Hi Sue! Thank you so much! :)

No, I'm not going to charge more because of the extra work.

What I'm thinking is charging $5 rather than $4.99 to make the math easier on everyone, and I'll pay the transaction charges that paypal imposes. So you would just pay a flat $5 per book and I'll deal with the rest.

That said, the books with illustrations that are coming up will be $5.99 to help cover some of the cost of the illustrations.

Thanks for the question! :)