Ming the Mechanic:
Free books sell better

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Free books sell better2004-01-18 09:49
23 comments
by Flemming Funch

Doc Searls:
Eric Raymond: How webbing books doesn't hurt sales. Interesting stuff about "identity goods" among other relevant arcana.

Data: Cluetrain continues to sell at Amazon (listed at that link as #928) while the whole thing is online as well.
I hope the principles behind this become very public and widespread common sense. It not only doesn't hurt sales to give a book away on the net, it probably helps them. And the same applies to other media. Anyway, here's some of what Eric Raymond says:
"My four books do not a controlled experiment make, but the thirteen years of experience with simultaneous print and Web publication that I've had suggests that Web availability has boosted the sales of the print versions tremendously. And my publishers agree. Even in 1991 I didn't get resistance from MIT press, and Addison-Wesley was positively supportive of putting my most most recent one on the Web.

I'm one of a handful of technical-book writers who publishers treat like rock stars, because I have a large fan base and my name on a cover will sell a book in volumes that are exceptional for its category (for comparison my editor at AW mentions Bruce Eckel as another). I'm not certain my experience generalizes to authors who aren't rock stars. On the other hand, it's more than possible that I'm a rock star largely because I have been throwing my stuff on the Web since 1991. It's even likely — after all, I was next to an unknown when I edited The New Hacker's Dictionary."
Making your stuff easily and widely available is a great way of becoming known, and a great way of becoming somebody who's work sells well. It shouldn't even be any kind of surprise.


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23 comments

19 Jan 2004 @ 15:22 by bkodish : Webbing Books
As an author I appreciate seeing this and will consider doing more. I already have put one of my books {Link:http://www.backpainsolutions.net|Back Pain Solutions} up as a free e-book. .  


19 Jan 2004 @ 15:40 by ming : Book Webbing
Your "Drive yourself sane" would be a great thing to be able to link to specific chapters of. Which is of course one of the things that a web book opens the door for. There are more ways of getting to it, as its index gets embedded in the web search engines.  


29 Jun 2004 @ 22:57 by mehran @62.193.29.140 : request
send me a book about design .  


30 Jun 2004 @ 09:56 by ming : Free Books
Eh, I was just writing _about_ books freely accessible on the net. If there's a book about design freely available, you'll have to search for it yourself, and go to somebody's site and look at it.  


29 Dec 2004 @ 14:51 by mehran @81.28.38.95 : new activist
Hello dear,I need the mechanic books. please send me. Tanks  


14 Feb 2006 @ 01:17 by jefferson @24.206.193.121 : please
i neeed books on engines and on a/c's  


31 Oct 2006 @ 16:56 by Doan Xuan Truong @203.162.234.39 : Help me!
Can you send me some books about Machine design.  


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