Originally Posted by Brian
(It's notable that the Baen Free Library, one of the more successful e-book outfits, gives away books that are DRM-free -- and, for that matter, free as in beer. I guess it's easy to be successful when you don't expect anyone to pay you!)
A couple years ago at Penguicon, there was a talk about just this.
The free (as in beer) eBooks were basically the first of a series or some of a certain author. The idea was that many people didn't want to pay for a paperback only to find out that they didn't like the author/story. If you give the first one away, you give the readers a taste and, if they like it, they would be willing to pay for the rest.
Well, they were right. The talk told about one author who hadn't written anything new had called Baen wondering why she was getting royalty checks again. Well, they scanned a few of her books, put them up and a whole generation of people who hadn't read them when they were first published started reading them and they liked them. Enough to generate interest in a reprint of her paper books and, hence, more royalties for her.