Another Free Book Example; Oprah Book Give Away Keeps Actual Sales Strong

from the and-again-and-again-and-again dept

As publishers continue to fight Google over its efforts to scan books for searchability purposes, we’re still seeing more and more evidence that free books don’t hurt sales, but can actually help them. The latest is that Oprah apparently promoted a year-old Suze Orman book by giving it away for free on her website as a download for 33 hours. 1.1 million people decided to download it. Even though the book was a year old and available for free… it was still the #6 most popular sold book on Amazon.

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Comments on “Another Free Book Example; Oprah Book Give Away Keeps Actual Sales Strong”

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Mr Big Content says:

Lies, All Lies

One little incident like this doesn’t prove anything. I don’t care how many of these isolated cases you business-hating Communists keep dredging up, you’re NEVER going to change the basic REALITY that we in the content industry KNOW FOR A FACT.

Now go away and leave us to try to figure out how to actually make money from our lawsuits…

Anonymous Coward says:


Either you have no idea what you’re talking about (seems most probable) or you’re so far behind modern business practices that you’d lose your business in a month if you had the ability to even form one. Let’s look at Google, the company that has landed two very young men into the list of the world’s wealthiest people. Less than a percent of the populace that has used their services have ever paid them a cent.

The point is: old practices will evolve, and you’re a dip-shit.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Uh

There’s plenty of people who make a decent living writing books even though they give the book awat (e.g. Cory Doctorow).

However, this Oprah giveaway proves something that the big content providers don’t want people to know. That is, the more people who know about a decent product, the more people are likely to buy it. Big content doesn’t want people to realise this as it would be an admission that filesharing doesn’t harm them as much as their poor product does…

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Uh

I guess there is no difference between a book being available for free all the time vs a book being offered for free promotionally for a limited time by the most influential woman in the country.

Huh? I never said they were the same thing. I was simply pointing out one single fact: that even if a book is available for free and that fact is *widely known*, it still can sell quite well.

That doesn’t change anything else in having to do with authors who promote their books for free, nor does it disprove the idea that people will still buy books even if they’re available for free.

What point do you think you’re making here?

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Uh

Mike wrote:

What point do you think you’re making here?

I’d say it’s pretty obvious: it’s the same sort of thing you’ve come across before, where critics have tried to claim that such a giveaway strategy may work for someone famous, but not for someone not so famous. And then, when someone unknown does it, they then try to claim it won’t work for someone better known.

A total denial of the evidence, in other words.

Lawrence “Mr Big Content” D’Oliveiro

zcat says:

standard arguement..

as used by the content MAFIAA and anti-evolutionist religious fanatics, amongst others..

“Sure, it might work for case [x] but it will never work for case [x+1]”

As you expand the set of [x] where the model is shown to work, they will still always argue that there is a case [x+1] where it has not yet been shown to work and will certainly fail. And somehow the fact that time and time again, examples of previous [x+1] cases are discovered and shown to work simply does not convince them.

crystalattice (profile) says:

Re: Why Sales are Up

I can understand having a free, online book to check out first. It lets you decide whether the book is worth purchasing or not; sample chapters don’t cut it because you may miss out on related info that clarifies the chapter or you simple aren’t interested in that particular chapter.

However, reading a book on a computer isn’t the most comfortable. I have some old D&D books in ebook form and it’s literally a pain to read them on the computer. You have to keep in approximately the same position to read it; even with a laptop you’re still limited in how you can view the screen.

It makes sense to me to offer a free ebook. If the information is useful, I’ll buy the real book because it’s more portable than a computer (even an ebook reader) and I can read it where-ever and how-ever I want.

Anon2 says:

There are also loads of studies showing that people don’t like to read electronic versions of books, particularly fiction. About the only category for which this does not hold is for trade publications, the kind of specialized non-fiction for which there are at any given time a relatively small number of readers, mostly researchers. This is why the whole ebook thing has never taken off. So giving away a book whether for a limited period or longer is not likely to have much impact at all one way or the other. It’s just not at all comparable to music.

Rane says:

mr./mrs who read this

i study in senior high school now.i lived in small ville that very dificult to rich the high technologies and education, so i very need very much book, because i want my place full with smart and succes people.please give your book to me by post to:
pamoyanan no.165 rt 04/02 panenjoan cicalengka-bandung 40395 indonesia.thanks before…thanks to your attention^_~

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