Infographic: People Will Pay To Support Creators, Even When Free Is An Option

from the reason-to-buy dept

Back when we first launched the Insider Shop, we made two PDF ebooks available at any price you choose: Mike's Approaching Infinity (on new business models and the economics of abundance) and our Sky Is Rising report on the state of the entertainment industries. More recently, we launched three fiction titles by our own Tim Geigner—Digilife, Echelon and Midwasteland—also available on a pay-what-you-want basis. They were an instant hit, and we're in the process of preparing new ePub versions.

The thing we noticed right away was that a lot of people were choosing to pay, even though you can download all the books for free. Almost half of all book downloads were paid, with most people choosing the default $5 per book—even when buying four or five books at once—and several going above and beyond, with a few even paying $20 for a single title.

At this point, there's plenty of evidence that people will gladly, even eagerly, pay to support creators despite being given the option of getting something for free—and we're glad to add the success of our Insider Shop ebooks to the list. For those who want a closer look at the numbers, I put together a quick infographic:


Embed This:


Thanks to everyone who has downloaded our ebooks, whether you paid $0 or $20 or anything in between! If you haven't gotten your copies yet, head on over to the Insider Shop and check them out.


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    out_of_the_blue, 12 Dec 2012 @ 8:08pm

    Ankle-biters yapping at shadows.

    First, you fanboy-trolls show who has the influence here: you actually WISH for opposition to show up so you can be vile, and even do so in the absence.

    2nd, if there were "lots" it would not be easy to skew the results to 51%. -- Nor do I WISH the experiment to "fail"; I'm sympathetic to authors who only want some gruel, but not to grifting weenies getting millions off starving authors; and as said before, anyone is free to give away their own material. I even refrained from advising knee-pads for the required fervent praying, so as to not at all affect results (with my huge influence).

    3rd, @ "AJ, OOTB, and Bob pay nothing for the copyrighted articles on this blog and they pay nothing to support the professionals who maintain these threads." -- Huh? Is the material here under active copyright after all, MIke? Or has that boob totally missed your philosophy besides statement that you're (somehow) making a living by writing (somewhere)? Been telling ya, need a Features statement of bullet points of your beliefs: though I've tried for two years to glean them, your positions remain vague.

    4th, I too would like a more precise number than "a lot". That's just weaselly, and leaves me even more in doubt. Bet if were large, they'd state it. BTW, as usual the fanboy-trolls can only see ONE side: results were more likely skewed by true believers buying "lots", say five at a dollar each, plus running up the peak to all of $20. We don't know, and obviously Mike ain't gonna tell us any totals. We're left with Techdirt's standard baseless accusations and dimensionless "data".

    5th, why does the graphic only cover 2 days, to Dec 7? Will you at all tell us how 2nd week sales went? -- We could see if the postulated try-before-buy effect is real.

    6th, only "BillW" mentions buying, and (echoing an above comment in plain language) if 51% free is the response on TD (one might say, by the choir), then logout for the last time, Mike: you ain't having any useful effect.

    BTW: who'll put all those up on TPB to "promote" them? I actually checked there for two of Timmy's books, and they ain't on. Why won't someone share them? ... Or are we doubters right after all: that's a SURE way for Timmy to NOT get a cent from them?

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