The title of this article is an inside joke, for those of you who frequent discussion forums on "IM" – Internet Marketing. Every so often, a clever marketer who has come up with a new twist or angle on a specific area of IM declares, "The Death of _________" AdWords, AdSense, Gurus, even common sense! More than a few jaded types ardently wish for the death of silly headlines, but that's another matter.
In point of fact, eBooks appear to be reaching a crossroads. The trusty .PDF, beloved by those in the IM community, is becoming harder and harder to sell to people outside the IM community. At the same time, the other billion people in the world are becoming avid consumers of eBooks, and most of them prefer a type of eBook that only works on Windows. The .EXE eBook is coming and many Mac users can not see them!
Not to worry, though. More and more Apple computers are able to run Windows right along side of the Mac operating system. That means the small-but-loyal part of the market that is represented by Macintosh will be able to get their information from executable files made for Windows. There's also a question of safety with executable files. Some may contain malicious code that either infects the computer or steals information.
The shift towards this type of information format is being driven by more than technology or the dominant position of Windows and PC's. According to those who take the trouble to find out what people actually prefer, .EXE files are more popular. They like the ease and "clickability" of these products, along with the tie-in to the Internet that many .EXE have. The widespread use of effective anti-virus and anti-adware programs make it easy for the rest of the non-IM world to use these handy products safely and with confidence.
There's another benefit to executable eBooks that is swaying more than a few marketers in this direction: locking out serial refunders. Yes, there are folks out there who buy digitally downloadable products and IMMEDIATELY ask for a refund. They want something for (almost) nothing. An .EXE eBook can be disabled if part of its function is to go on the Internet and check for instructions about permission to use it. Once a person gets their refund of a .PDF, they get the use of it forever. Refund a .EXE that checks to see if it's been refunded, and all the refunder gets is a locked file that will not open.
The more people who create and protect their eBooks by making them .EXE files, the sooner we may come to "The Death of the Serial Refunder".