free books

Free Ebooks boost Sales, but How?

Random House, Inc.
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Victoria found this interesting Fact about giving away a free eBook of your novel.

... a doctoral student, John Hilton, is collecting data on the sales impact of ebook giveaways...

...While four of the five Random House books Hilton identified showed an uptick in sales post-e-version, 20 of 24 Tor titles showed a decrease. Why the difference? "One possible explanation is that by making the free books available for only one week a different dynamic was present [for Tor] than when the books were made permanently available [by Random House]," Hilton says. "The opportunity for word-of-mouth to spread about the free book may have been significantly diminished in the model used by Tor (Writer Beware Blogs!)."

Permanently Free= Word of Mouth

The study is finished but the difference between permanently giving away a free eBook increases sales while a limited time free eBook didn't.  The trick to building any audience or community is word of mouth.  My question is, how much do you giveaway?  I am not talking about whether or not to give away the whole book or just a sample, I am more interested in when is a good time to start giving away the book.

Writing in public

I have been toying around with the idea of writing a book in public.  I am in the process of developing a new novel, and I have been thinking about making the development and the writing public.  The question for me is how.  I can see a couple options:

  1. Set up a free blog and allow anyone to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.
  2. Set up a paid blog and allow anyone who preorders the book to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.

I like the second model best because it would weed out people who do not like my work at all, and it would allow my fans to be a part of the the writing process.  I do not usually release hardcovers, so maybe I could make a signed hard cover the preorder book.  Maybe I could even set up a gold membership that would offer an exclusive copy of the prewriting in print too.

What do you think?

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Free Ebooks boost Sales, but How?

Random House, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Victoria found this interesting Fact about giving away a free eBook of your novel.

... a doctoral student, John Hilton, is collecting data on the sales impact of ebook giveaways...

...While four of the five Random House books Hilton identified showed an uptick in sales post-e-version, 20 of 24 Tor titles showed a decrease. Why the difference? "One possible explanation is that by making the free books available for only one week a different dynamic was present [for Tor] than when the books were made permanently available [by Random House]," Hilton says. "The opportunity for word-of-mouth to spread about the free book may have been significantly diminished in the model used by Tor (Writer Beware Blogs!)."

Permanently Free= Word of Mouth

The study is finished but the difference between permanently giving away a free eBook increases sales while a limited time free eBook didn't.  The trick to building any audience or community is word of mouth.  My question is, how much do you giveaway?  I am not talking about whether or not to give away the whole book or just a sample, I am more interested in when is a good time to start giving away the book.

Writing in public

I have been toying around with the idea of writing a book in public.  I am in the process of developing a new novel, and I have been thinking about making the development and the writing public.  The question for me is how.  I can see a couple options:

  1. Set up a free blog and allow anyone to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.
  2. Set up a paid blog and allow anyone who preorders the book to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.

I like the second model best because it would weed out people who do not like my work at all, and it would allow my fans to be a part of the the writing process.  I do not usually release hardcovers, so maybe I could make a signed hard cover the preorder book.  Maybe I could even set up a gold membership that would offer an exclusive copy of the prewriting in print too.

What do you think?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Book Bits and the Missing Dollars

I have been following the trend toward free books for a while, and I have gotten used to seeing the regular suspects talking about the loss of book sales and the rise of new ways to earn a living on your words. Imagine my surprise when I saw Paul Krugman add his voice to the chorus:

According to a report in The Times, the buzz at this year’s BookExpo America was all about electronic books. ... we may finally have reached the point at which e-books are about to become a widely used alternative to paper and ink.

That’s certainly my impression after a couple of months’ experience with the device feeding the buzz, the Amazon Kindle. ...

It’s a good enough package that my guess is that digital readers will soon become common, perhaps even the usual way we read books (NYTimes)

Wow, that's going mainstream. Krugman points out that as content goes digital, the easier it is to pirate and the harder it is to monetize. Unfortunately, his op-ed ends with a bleak outlook for the future of the written word.

I don't think it has to be that way. If creative souls (like myself) are going to try to make a living with out art (literary, audio, visual, or video), we are going to have to find a way be proactive, reaching out to find new fans, and doing our best to retain the ones we already have.

While we may be on the cusp of the end of the publishing house, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. As the old industry dies, it is up to artist to create their own co-ops for sharing their wisdom with new artists, and helping their fans find those artists as well.

It is easy to get myopic and think only about our own careers, but we have to remember: A high tide raises all ships. Artists need to link to each other, and carry each others merchandise around with them on consignment. This will help each artist expose their works to more people, and help cultivate a vibrant community of fans that will support the artists.

This might be utopian of me, but if it is, that would be the first time I have ever been accused of that. So here's to a future where the artist controls their own fate!

Tor's Future Plans

tor Tor is hinting at something coming, something new, something related to their free e-books. If you are interested in getting announcements about their free book giveaways then sign up, but I am more interested in the "Something new" that's coming. Maybe the long rumored SF Site from Tor/Forge is actually on the way. Until then, the free books are nice. While I am not really looking for another social network to join, if it helps me find new books to read, then I am all for it.

(via Tor)