Last week, we wrote about how author Joe Konrath felt that authors were going a bit overboard worrying about file sharing
, noting that there was no way to stop it, and fighting it was just a waste of effort. Instead, he wanted to focus on providing more value for his fans. Joe has since followed up his original post with a bit of an experiment: purposely putting one of his ebooks online for free
to see what happens, even though it's also available for sale:
I'll keep track of my free downloads, Kindle numbers, Paypal donations, and my rankings on Amazon and B&N for the next 30 days, then post the results.
And he's hoping people will help by promoting the book on various file sharing systems:
Also, I encourage pirates to post this everywhere. Go ahead and proliferate the internet with JACK DANIELS STORIES. You can explain that I'm encouraging it, or you can just take it and not say a word. I'd appreciate it if you post in the comments section where you're uploaded it, which you can do anonymously. Or you don't have to.
If anyone sees this ebook on file sharing sites, I also ask that you please post a link to it in the comments. The more places I can see this being shared, the better I can compare ebooks sold to ebooks shared.
Of course, some will complain that this is hardly a scientific experiment, but it should still be interesting to follow. My only worry with these types of experiments -- of which we've seen many -- is that it's in the give it away and pray
variety. That can and does work for some, but is something less than a complete business model that purposely ties a business model to the shared files. If I had to guess, I'd bet that Konrath will see a boost in sales for this particular book and
other books. And that's because he's using this as a pure promotional strategy. Others will complain, of course, that such a strategy doesn't work if every author does this. That's true -- and one of the reasons why I prefer more complete business models beyond "give it away and pray." However, one of the key things of a good business model is recognizing good promotional strategies that remain "low hanging fruit." And, in a time when you still have many authors freaking out about file sharing, embracing it is probably a good bit of low hanging fruit in building up an audience.