Culture

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
books, charles sheehan-miles, free



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."

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2008 @ 2:50pm

    He also got on digg.

    A very business savvy move indeed.


    To announce such a move to this business model in a time when only a few others doing is also a very well timed move. They get the HURRAH from fans and lot of media attention(Think Radiohead).

    It might as well be a first mover advantage.


    Of course, in the free software world, this is the norm. As a result, there are no advantages to announce that you're using this business model. Although you're not going to wow onlookers with free software business models but you're ready and equipped for the future.

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