Publishers Realizing There's Revenue In Selling Ebooks Of Old Content… Even If It's Available For Free

from the you-can-compete-with-free dept

We’ve been explaining for years that you absolutely can compete with free, and in the last few months a bunch of news publications have figured out an interesting strategy that’s working surprisingly well: taking old content from their magazines/newspapers/blogs/etc. and repackaging them as cheap ebooks. And, even though much of that content is available already for free, the convenient package combined with the low price (and the rapid spread of tablets and ebook readers) seems to just hit the sweet spot that makes people willing to pay. We’d actually been planning to do something similar ourselves with some of our past content, just as an experiment, and still plan to do so soon, but it’s great to see how well it seems to be working for a variety of publications. It’s not a paywall since all the content is available for free, but it is about giving people a reason to buy.

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Comments on “Publishers Realizing There's Revenue In Selling Ebooks Of Old Content… Even If It's Available For Free”

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Robert Freetard says:

People will pay for...



Intelligent linking, IE: Connections they would have otherwise missed


Good, useful aggregating.

At least I will. Even if the source material is as free as crtl-c/ctrl-v those features, even if only fairly well implemented are enough to get me to pay money for what I could get for free.

mdavidthomson (profile) says:

Kevin Kelly Generatives

I love Kevin Kelly’s 8 generative column. And this is clearly Generative #8: Findability.

I keep going back to that article for business model ideas (along with Mike’s general theory on the economics of free post). It really sums it up very well, if you’ve read Mike and Kevin Kelly, none of these things look surprising at all, it just makes sense.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

Any newspaper can collect together all the articles related to a specific event and if I’m interested in that event I’d pay $5-$10 for the book. It’s an awesome way to do local history. Old news becomes valuable again when it gets old enough.

All I’ve ever seen from my local paper is expensive, hardcover vanity books with articles by a single writer that just strokes their ego.

Our paper’s much more interested in locking all it’s content away in archives hoping you’ll pay $2 just to read one article.

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