We've talked at length about the difference between infinite goods and scarce goods
in various areas, and how you should spread the infinite ideas to make the scarce goods more valuable, but here's a great quote that puts that in perspective when it comes to books. Mathew Ingram
points us to an interview with entrepreneur and author Seth Godin
, where he notes:
"Books are souvenirs that hold ideas. Ideas are free. If no one knows about your idea, you fail. If your idea doesn't spread, you fail. If your idea spreads but no one wants to own the souvenir edition, you fail."
That's a beautifully succinct way of explaining the entire concept, though I think that the last bit (about getting people to own the souvenir edition) may be changing as well -- and other business models will start to show up.