Thursday, February 28, 2008

Free as part of the business model

Everyone and his cat is blogging about the free ebooks being given out at the moment so I'll just point them out to you: Tor (promo) HarperCollins (promo) RandomHouse (promo) Baen (Bus. model) Cory Doctorow (all round awesome dude)

I found related article on Techdirt timely:
How 'Free' Has Even More Value Than People Think It Should
Ariely ran more similar experiments (economist Tyler Cowen wrote
about one
recently) and found that again and again people overpay for

The experiment mentioned in the article is about kids, chocolate and Halloween (which made me want a Mars bar but that is a WHOLE other issue!)

I think there are three issues with ebook take up right now: devices (in the process of being solved by smart phones/convergence devices); DRM (yeah - I know I'm banging my head against the wall on THIS one) and consumer education.

The more freebies given away the more people will try an ebook - and hopefully enjoy the experience - and the more robust the industry will become. Consumer education via freebies makes sense. INCREASING the value of the traditional market by giving away something scalable like a digital copy makes sense.

What if we gave away a digital download of book one for free with each sale of books two and three. Or if we gave away a free download of the ebook edition with a premium edition version of the p-book (leather bound or with a ribbon or something a bit EXTRA that we can charge through the nose for)... I'm not the first (or the last) to play with this idea, I know, but this makes lots and lots of sense to me!

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