Publishers Beginning To Recognize The Value Of Free… Even As They Fight $10 eBooks

from the different-worlds dept

We’ve seen how various book publishers have freaked out about the growing popularity of ebooks, often with a price capped at $10 — arguing that it’s cannibalizing the higher margins found on hardcover books. And yet, at the same time, some of those very same publishers are perfectly happy to offer up free ebooks as promotional items. While some publishers are complaining that this is “devaluing” ebooks, others are recognizing that free can be quite useful in helping an author get past the obscurity barrier. We’ve already seen how many “top selling” Kindle books are actually free, and it’s good to see publishers looking to take advantage of that, even if they haven’t quite figured out that similar economic logic can apply to cheap ebooks as well. However, given the success of free ebooks, it seems likely that those publishers who are fighting against the tide will eventually come around to recognize the benefits of such things.

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Comments on “Publishers Beginning To Recognize The Value Of Free… Even As They Fight $10 eBooks”

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16 Comments
Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Competition

Heh, didn’t realize who I was reading – now we’re even! 😉

But like I said, you are in a better position to innovate: unencumbered by legacy infrastructures and attitudes. One day when I stop writing about writing and get back to just writing, and assuming I actually finish anything I’m proud of, I’ll be coming to people like you before I go to the old publishers – and I don’t think I’m the only person with that mindset.

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, econ101 has set that low price.

right now for paper books you have:
– money for the publisher
– money for the author
– ink costs
– printing costs
– paper costs
– distribution costs
– storage costs

with ebooks:
– money for the publisher
– money for the author
– storage costs
– distribution costs

The costs have been slashed for the digital format.
And don’t give me the whole “conversion cost” malarkey. It’s already in a digital format.
And DRM should not be put on there, unless you want to lower the price even further. (As a DRMed product is worth less than an unDRMed product)

NAMELESS.ONE says:

me too id bet with a full chapter sample and a link to YOUR own site

you could do a lot better then locking it up and crying us all a river.
HECK do a series of 3 books and give the 1st away free.
DONT get greedy now the transfer for my bandwidth online is 2 cents at 5 megabit for a full 700 meg
a ebook is soooooooo cheap to give online that if you charge 1$ its almost ALL PROFIT

EEJ (profile) says:

Baen Publishing

Baen publishing mainly does science fiction novels, and have offered free e-books for quite some time now. Frequently, the books offered are the first (or first few) in an ongoing series, so if you want to continue the story, you can either pick up the latest copy at the bookstore, purchase it from them directly, or wait until the next copy comes out and (hopefully) the one you were waiting on becomes available for free.

Because of their free ebooks on their website, I have now purchased over 20 physical books written by authors who Baen publishes, and I never even knew most of these authors existed before finding out about their free e-books.

Also, the gutenberg project is awesome for free e-books, but only covers uncopyrighted works, or those books whose copyright holders have agreed to allow them to be provided for free. The gutenberg project helped me fall in love with Sherlock Holmes, and I’ve now purchased several copies of physical books written by Arthur Conan Doyle….

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