Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Free = Sales ~ Give It Away & Sell More…


Cory Doctorow makes a credible claim in a Forbes article that his giving books away has increased the sales of the very same books.

I’ve mentioned this strategy in three other blog posts: The Author’s Platform ~ Community of Interest, Writer, Agent, Publisher ~ Changing Hats…, and Self-Publishing Can Be Just As Creative As Writing.

Since I want to encourage you to read the whole Forbes article, I’m going to give your some of the more interesting statements:

“I’ve been giving away my books ever since my first novel came out, and boy has it ever made me a bunch of money.”

“As long as gained sales outnumber lost sales, I’m ahead of the game. After all, distributing nearly a million copies of my book has cost me nothing.”

“There’s no empirical way to prove that giving away books sells more books….[but] What is certain is that every writer who’s tried giving away e-books to sell books has come away satisfied and ready to do it some more.”

“I’d rather stake my future on a literature that people care about enough to steal than devote my life to a form that has no home in the dominant medium of the century.”

“By being in the middle of electronic publishing, by watching what hundreds of thousands of my readers do with my e-books, I get better market intelligence than I could through any other means.”

“This ‘market research’ of giving away e-books sells printed books. What’s more, having my books more widely read opens many other opportunities for me to earn a living from activities around my writing, such as the Fulbright Chair I got at USC this year, this high-paying article in Forbes, speaking engagements and other opportunities to teach, write and license my work for translation and adaptation. My fans’ tireless evangelism for my work doesn’t just sell books–it sells me.”

So, have I convinced you to go read the entire Forbes article, Giving It Away?

Even if you don’t want to read the entire thing, what do you think of the excerpts I’ve shared??

And, if you go read the whole article, I’d *love* to hear what you think of it :-)
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21 responses to “Free = Sales ~ Give It Away & Sell More…

  1. Sonia G Medeiros May 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    It’s an interesting idea. I’m definitely going to read the article.

    Like

  2. Simone Benedict May 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    After reading the article, looking at your posts from yesterday and today, I’m convinced. So, what are your lectures about?

    Like

  3. Lindsay May 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I’m a fan of free. I already have a free short story ebook out there (and I do believe it helped with sales of my un-free novels, especially in the first couple of months it was out), and I’ll give away my podiobook for free when that’s out.

    When I get to the point where I have a few books in my fantasy series, I may consider giving away the entire first ebook too. Brian S. Pratt does that and he’s making six figures (of course, he has something like 17 novel-length ebooks out there too).

    Like

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