Yet Again, Giving Away Free eBook Increased Sales Of Author's Books

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

Someone pointed this out on Friday, but I thought we've seen so many stories of it that it didn't necessarily merit mentioning. However, all weekend long more people submitted it, so perhaps it is worth pointing out. Neil Gaiman, who was part of Harper Collins experiment with giving away free ebooks, discovered (like so many others) that giving away the free ebooks helped increase sales. And, of course, it wasn't just for the one book that was offered for free, but across all of Gaiman's works. The other bit of information is that, as we expected, HarperCollins found that many people were not at all happy with all of the restrictions it put on the ebooks (including that you had to read it on their website rather than download it):
Response to our Browse Inside Online Reader was mixed -- with 44% saying they enjoyed the experience at 56% saying they did not. The chief complaints were that you had to have an internet connection to read the book, you had to scroll to see the whole page and that the load time was sometimes slow. 69% of respondents said that they would like to be able to download. Some people complained that since they couldn’t bookmark where they left off, they got lost between reading sessions.
Of course, plenty of people pointed this out when Harper Collins first announced the plan. But, better late than never. Gaiman notes: "the 56% of people who didn't enjoy the online reading experience may be a lot happier with how we do it next time out."

Filed Under: business models, ebooks, free, neil gaiman
Companies: harper collins

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  1. icon
    chris (profile), 15 Jul 2008 @ 10:00am

    Re: ebook revolution...or not

    most of the so-called evidence for this claim involves simply pointing a finger at the music and movie industry.

    the ebook as a salable commodity is much like the legal music download as a salable commodity: technically feasible but too encumbered to be viable in the market. i have read a few books on a screen, namely just about everything cory doctorow has written. the convenience is nice, reading them in the browser on my phone, but i am not sure i would want to do all of my reading that way.

    the ebook reader is not and will probably never be comparable to the ipod. the ipod and other mp3 players took off because people already had vast collections of music in the mp3 format, and getting your remaining cd collection into mp3 was not incredibly labor intensive.

    getting your book collection into an ebook format is labor intensive (unless you have a machine to flip pages for you and scan for you), and not many of us have large collections of existing ebooks that we are waiting for a portable device to use.

    so, unlike CD's and movies where the purely digital form is a superior good, it is my opinion that the ebook is an inferior good when compared to the analog book.

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