Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How much would you pay?

It is often said, usually by me, that I'm full of good ideas.

Sadly, most of those ideas never get off the ground due to my highly developed apathetic nature, but that's just the way things are.

See? That's nihilism in action right there!

Anyway, one of my (many) projects for 2012 is to complete a novel I started working on a while ago - and that made me think that perhaps I could also work on something smaller and of a non-fiction nature.

Perhaps an ebook...

The Anonymous Investigator's Guide to Stalking

Well, really more of a do-it-yourself guide for people who are too tight to hire a PI and want to do some (ill-advised) snooping of their own.

Nothing too complex or technical, just some basics in a short and easy to read format. Nothing groundbreaking either, everything will have been covered at greater depth elsewhere, just not necessarily under the one cover.

Remember, the target audience is Mrs Housewife who thinks that her husband is sleeping around, not Joe PI.

With that in mind, I'm thinking there might only be 5 or 6 chapters along the lines of:

  1. General introduction and caveats
  2. Signs of infidelity
  3. Deceit and non-verbal cues
  4. 1-person surveillance techniques and stakeouts
  5. Pretexting
  6. Getting data from computers or phones
Naturally, the reader will be warned (often) that they shouldn't necessarily do any of these activities without first checking that they are lawful in their area of residence - even though you know they probably would anyway.

What I really see is that perhaps this might actually open the eyes of some would-be DIYers so that they understand that investigations can be complex and time-consuming and perhaps best left to the professionals.

Now the question I have is what would such a repository of knowledge be worth? Given that it isn't going to be all that big an ebook (probably only 10,000 words tops), what is a fair price to expect?

Poll open on top right.


  1. Why not write a book on the weird and whacky cases you have worked on?

    1. Actually, that's project #2. This one is a bit of a toes-in-the-water test case for a larger book - ebook and (hopefully) print.

  2. Focus on the novel. Stalking is inherent in all animals consumed by jealousy and obsession. Show me an emotionally balanced individual and I'll guarantee he's taking something...
    ~ Ade

    1. The novel is going to be a long-term project whereas the guide can be banged out relatively quickly, probably in a few weeks. So why not get the easier one out of the way and out there first?

      And whether someone is emotionally balanced or not is immaterial to me.

  3. $1.99 is a good price. I read a study that showed lower priced eBooks sold more. People have a tendency to buy it even if their not that interested because it's "only $2". Same with apps on phones, the lower priced ones can out sell the better and higher priced apps.

    1. Yep, I hear you there but I also read advice that goes against that train of thought.

      Still, something to ponder once I have the actual finished product ready to sell.

  4. Well toilet paper goes for $4 for 12 rolls, so...

    1. ...so I should charge AT LEAST that?

      Sounds like a plan.

  5. Personaly, I think there are too many DIY books out there that encourage well intended amatures to get involved in investigation to our detriment and frustration.

    Just my 2p worth.

    1. Yep, I get your point and understand completely.

      Problem is that no-one would be interested in a "Don't do it yourself" missive but this message could be repeatedly reinforced in a seemingly innocuous DIY guide.

      I don't actually want to encourage DIYers (because that puts me out of a job) but under the guise of an instruction manual could point out the many pitfalls of not leaving it to a professional.

      Well, something like that.