March 21, 2011

Why Write When You Can eBay?

Had I known I could auction off my book ideas on Ebay for millions of dollars, I would have saved myself years of hard work and the bother of waiting for those royalty checks to trickle in.

All over the blogosphere are posts about a guy who was trying to sell his story idea on eBay for an opening bid of three million dollars with a buy-it-now for ten million dollars. He claims this great idea of his “will bring in endless fame and money to anyone who takes it.”

After hearing about the auction, I had to see for myself if this “sell your story idea” is worth doing because I have a head full of ideas that I know will make someone rich (obviously not me, but someone). I headed over to eBay to research how viable this selling of ideas could be. Unfortunately, it seems to be a slow week on eBay and no one is actually selling any brilliant story ideas right now, which might turn out to be a good thing because if I do go this route, there will be little competition for my own brilliant ideas.

Even though there were no story ideas for sale, there were plenty of other interesting auctions listed. I found an author trying to sell all rights to his book including the book, movie,“et al” for a cool $1,500,000-- that’s one million, five hundred-thousand dollars, just to clarify.

Another author was selling the movie rights for his book for a bargain price of only $95,000. That price doesn’t include a copy of the actual book, which the seller says the winner can purchase on Amazon. You’d think he’d at least throw in a copy of his book to whoever buys the movie rights, but I guess that’s why it’s such a bargain price.

It’s not just book ideas or movie rights that people are trying to sell on eBay. I also found for sale a used copy of a book for $6,099,577.95. Again…so your brain can wrap around a figure that size, it’s six million, ninety-nine thousand, five hundred seventy-seven AND ninety-five cents. That’s over $6 million dollars for a used book, and not even a rare antique book. It’s a book published in 2008 that is available on Amazon for as low as $9.18. The only thing I could figure is that the book on eBay was printed on a solid gold brick lined with diamond studs. But even at that, you’d think it would be worth only about $3 million because it’s USED.

My own books often turn up on ebay and one time a seller actually tried to sell a copy for $900. That same book was readily available all over the internet for $24.95. Needless to say, the book didn’t sell--not even when the seller dropped the price down to $358. I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered the seller thought my book was worthy enough to command those prices or be insulted that it didn’t sell. If it had sold, I would have jumped on the eBay bandwagon and offered a signed copy for double the selling price. Seriously, who needs royalty checks from a publisher if you can get eBay prices like that? Come to think of it, why even write books if you can just sell the ideas for them for a few million dollars?

You have to say this about eBay—it is the sales-land of opportunity. Anyone with the guts not to care if people think the asking price is delusional has the chance to hit it big—either in dollars if the item actually sells or in fame based on the number of blog posts and tweets the auction generates.

If I ever have a brilliant story idea that rivals Harry Potter, I’m going to think about posting it on eBay instead of wasting time working on it myself. Even if I never sell another book, I could still earn my fame as a writer with a multi-million dollar eBay listing. And to help sweeten the deal...any of my ideas that I sell on ebay will include FREE shipping.


1 comment:

Lydia K said...

The free shipping will always cinch that sale.

I can't believe this stuff is on ebay. Wow.