Barnes & Noble opened their Audiobook store this weekend. As a promo they are offering nine titles as free MP3 downloads. I noticed that each title is listed at a penny a piece, but when I clicked through, the total was zero dollars at the checkout stage. You do still have to enter a valid credit card to get your free audiobook, though.
These nine title will be available until 3 a.m. on May 16th.
Chris Anderson says his new book Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business will be unleashed – free- upon the world on July 6th. As popular as his first book The Long Tail was, I’m sure I’m not the only anxious to read his latest thoughts.
In the interview he had with Guy Kawaski, Anderson does say that he expects the free version of his book to spur print sales. Something many in the industry are watching, I know. How does a publisher make money at giving their products away for free? While I’m sure the book will contain nothing as useful or solid as the formula filled The Art and Science of Book Publishing, Anderson says
“If you can convert 5 percent of users to paid, you can cover your costs. Anything above that, and it becomes extremely popular.”
I haven’t started crunching the numbers yet, but that seems to assume a very slim overhead. But it gives us a starting point. Something for the industry to aim for or pass. We’ll see. Five percent it is.
One of these days I am going to have to make it to SXSW…. but until then, thank the internet gods for blogs and twitter.
Religious publisher Thomas Nelson has amassed a list of select titles and will send review copies to bloggerswho agree to post a 200-word review on their blog and and 200-word review on Amazon. The company’s CEO has been an active blogger and tweeter for some time. So he seems to really get the power of the medium and the tools that his marketing department can use.I know a lot of publishers are active in social media, but do you know of any other houses that have an official program like this in place? Obviously, they can’t fill every request, but it’s a neat idea. Kind of like LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program, but they just don’t have to go through LT.
Cult of Mac and Cult of iPod are now available for free download off of BitTorrent. The publisher No Starch Press calls it an “experiment”, to see what kind of reaction they get and if they can measure it.
“I’ve been in publishing for just over 20 years and my training has not been to give books away,” writes Pollock on the No Starch blog. “But I think there’s something to this and logic tells me that if we increase the visibility of our titles, we’ll sell more books.”
I have checked out the Cult of Mac book, from the library and really enjoyed it. I haven’t flipped though the iPod book yet. Both books are at least a couple of years old.
So go download them if you want them! I do hope someone will share the results of their little experiment here. You can click through to wired.com’s site to get the torrent links.