Author Gives Away Book, Admits Obscurity A Much Bigger Problem Than Piracy

from the get-it-out-there dept

Doc was the first of a few of you to send in the news that author Charles Sheehan-Miles is the latest of a bunch of new authors who are happily giving away their new books for free. Sheehan-Miles is also making sure to give it away in as many formats as he can think of to make it as easy to read as possible, based on whatever your preference might be. He's definitely helping to highlight the maxim that obscurity is a much bigger threat to authors than piracy. He appears to recognize that there are plenty of business models if his work is well known -- but there are very few if no one knows who you are.

Speaking of free book experiments, a few others have also submitted the fact that Kevin Kelly's latest book on documentary films is available as a free pdf download -- but with contextual ads from Yahoo included. It's an interesting experiment as a model for free books, but it seems like one unlikely to go very far. It's difficult to see those ads being very effective in most books (there are a few exceptions). Either way, it's nice to see authors experimenting with new models, rather than simply whining about "piracy."

Filed Under: books, charles sheehan-miles, free


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  1. identicon
    Developerzero, 8 Jan 2008 @ 12:26am

    Baen isn't the only one...

    Don't forget about Wowio. They offer a pretty good sized collection of free books, including a number of high-quality comics/manga/graphic novels.

    What they do is they limit you to three downloads a day, they add a note indicating who the advertiser is (something like "Paid for by Verizon Wireless"), and they add a one page ad at the beginning of the book.

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