Tuesday, April 28, 2009

E-Books Lead to Greater Sales

Shelli at Market My Words had an interview yesterday that really struck a chord with me. Author Ingrid Law, of Savvy fame discussed her book and marketing. In the interview, she said this:
And one of the biggest technological marketing successes for Savvy so far has been the week-long free e-book download offered last summer, which was a factor in propelling the book onto the New York Times Bestsellers list for the first time.
Now, I have been a long time fan of the give-it-away-for-free-and-they'll-buy-it camp: ever since my Napster days in college, actually, but more recently with things such as free e-books or free downloads of audio books.

I've quoted it here before, but I feel it's worth saying again:
For me — for pretty much every writer — the big problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity (thanks to Tim O’Reilly for this great aphorism). Of all the people who failed to buy this book today, the majority did so because they never heard of it, not because someone gave them a free copy. --Cory Doctorow


Robyn Campbell said...

Agreed! What a great idea. And something to think about. A way to get your book OUT to the masses.

Because the first person tells person #2 and #2 tells #3, AND SO ON IT GOES! Then even when the week is over people are clamoring for your book. And there you sit at the top of the BESTSELLER list! OH YEAH!!

Oh sorry, Seventy Two Hours and I were on a ride, just now. It was a wild ride, too. :)

PJ Hoover said...

hmmm...maybe I should do a free e-book download for The Emerald Tablet when The Navel of the World comes out.

Erin said...

Awesome suggestion!!

Davin Malasarn said...

This is very interesting. I've mostly been keeping track of this sort of thing in music, where many singers offer their music for free and then earn a living through tours. That definitely works for some people. And I really love the idea of paying as much as you think a piece of art is worth. Radiohead made that more popular with their album In Rainbows, but a lot of other people do it too.

Trisha Pearson said...

That is a very interesting idea. Thank you for sharing it!

lotusgirl said...

Great point! It's so true that obscurity is the big problem for writers.

Unknown said...

Robyn: Sounds like a great ride to me! :)

PJ: Yes, I think that's a great idea! I really believe in the power of free! :)

Shorty: This is an issue I really believe in, and hope it takes hold.

Davin: Radiohead is a hero to me for risking their (sure to be awesome) sales with this idea. I wish more artists would follow in their footsteps. Although I do think a recommended price is acceptable, too...after all, some people might struggle over the concept of what is right to pay.

Trisha: Thanks!

Lois: Yup! That's the key, IMO: Obscurity is the bigger problem than piracy.

Traci said...

Hmmmm...I keep hearing about this type of thing. Some people really against it and some for it. I'm not so sure what to think. Maybe it's because I am recovering from a wedding. LOL

Danyelle L. said...

Interesting. It does make a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing. :D