Thursday, February 5, 2009

Free downloads and DRM

The other day I downloaded Free-Range Chickens by Simon Rich and The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss to my Kindle. For free. FOR FREE. I probably never would have read either of these books if I'd had to buy them. Sorry, Random House, but it's true. The good news is that they can only make money off of me, not lose any. What if these two authors turn out to be my new favorite authors and I rush out to buy more books by them (or more likely download them to my Kindle from the comfort of my shoe-box apartment)? Random House has just increased the chances of that happening.

Through February 28th, Random House has made a selection of their backlist books available for free on the Kindle and through Stanza, an e-book iPhone app. These books are also available for download from Lexcycle. According to a Lexcycle press release from December 8th, this promotion is to build a readership for these authors and encourage sales of more books by these authors. Excellent idea.

6 comments:

Tulip Press said...

This is a genius marketing move.

I recently bought a discounted book at chapters (I think it came to about $2) and it turned out - like you described - that Siri Hustvedt was my new favorite author. I went and bought the other books they had in stock. With free e-books, there is even more incentive.

Great post!

Hannah Johnson said...

Today's keynote event at SXSW was a conversation between Guy Kawasaki and Chris Anderson. They talked a little bit about books, both print and digital formats. They agreed that ebooks should be free. They also said that their publishers were not so willing to embrace this idea. All the same, it was refreshing to hear this perspective. As soon as the video of this event goes online, it is a must-watch for all publishers.

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