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Old 07-10-2008, 05:07 PM   #1
Donnageddon
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Do free eBooks affect sales?

Do free eBooks affect sales? For most of publisher Tor's authors the answer seems to be "Yes", and in a positive way.

From Bloggasm.com

Quote:
A few months ago Tobias Buckell noticed a trend in his book sales that most midlist novelists don’t typically see. His book Crystal Rain, which had been released in mass market paperback a year before, experienced a sudden spike in sales, more than doubling from the previous week. Perhaps even more noticeable was the jump in sales of the sequel to that novel, Ragamuffin, which saw an even more dramatic increase.

But what caused this sudden increase? Because of all the myriad factors that drive product buys it’s incredibly hard to pinpoint specific triggers, but it just so happened that the jump occurred right after Crystal Rain’s publisher, Tor Books, had released a free ebook version of the novel online.
Read more about it here
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:00 PM   #2
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Yes. I call it "Flint's Law". I named it for Eric Flint (He was the first to notice). Look here for more evidence.

Flint's Law: Giving away the ebook edition of a novel will cause an increase in the sales of paper editions of that novel, as wellas increasing the sales of related novels in a series.

P.S. I'm going to add it to Wikipedia when i have a chance.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:10 PM   #3
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Of course the sequel will sell better as long as people enjoyed the first book.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:15 PM   #4
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It would increase sales even more if Tor would actually sell the e-books. I've downloaded the free books but I'm not going to bother reading them until Tor will sell me the follow on books as an e-book (I keep hoping). It's too bad because I really like many of the Tor authors but I'm not going to go out of my way to purchase p-books to satisfy Tor's paranoia. Luckily I have enough to read already.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:58 PM   #5
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From the comments section we find that Robert J. Sawyer, science fiction author, and MR member, has commented on this (apparent) phenomenon on his blog

Last edited by Donnageddon; 07-10-2008 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:56 PM   #6
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Vindication. The question is whether this correlation will hold true in the future when e-ink devices are more common. The more people find digital books acceptable, the more people will start to expect free books. This is what happened to music. There are other ways of making money off books and promoting authors, but I suspect publishers will start to feel a pinch in the future the way record companies do now.
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
From the comments section we find that Robert J. Sawyer, science fiction author, and MR member, has commented on this (apparent) phenomenon on his blog
And I agree with Robert's point that, as encouraging as it sounds, the hard numbers are still too few and far between to say with any assurance what's going on yet. We need solid data!
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:59 PM   #8
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Interesting, I didn't know "Old Man's War" had a sequel. I actually got that from the library and read it right before I got my Kindle. The free ebook was released a couple of weeks later. I'll definitely have to give the next one in the series a look.

I'm wondering how well this will work when free ebook promotions become more common?
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carld View Post
Interesting, I didn't know "Old Man's War" had a sequel. I actually got that from the library and read it right before I got my Kindle. The free ebook was released a couple of weeks later. I'll definitely have to give the next one in the series a look.

I'm wondering how well this will work when free ebook promotions become more common?
As far as Tor's free eBooks for the Kindle, you are best to get them from Tor instead of Amazon. Amazon's have DRM. Tor's do not.

What I am hoping in the future is that when a free eBook from a series is given away that we can still purchase the rest of the series as eBooks at a reasonable price.
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
As far as Tor's free eBooks for the Kindle, you are best to get them from Tor instead of Amazon. Amazon's have DRM. Tor's do not.
Or you can get the free books from both sources as I do.
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:45 AM   #11
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As far as Tor's free eBooks for the Kindle, you are best to get them from Tor instead of Amazon. Amazon's have DRM. Tor's do not.

I actually do both if I can. "Buying" the free Kindle edition puts it in my media library on Amazon so I can download it at any time if I want.

BOb
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:28 AM   #12
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It is interesting to watch the continued action on Robert J Sawyer's blog. John Scalzi has added more of his input, but no reference yet to "Pixel-Stained Technopeasant".

Last edited by Donnageddon; 07-11-2008 at 04:31 AM. Reason: Donnageddon is an idiot
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
From the comments section we find that Robert J. Sawyer, science fiction author, and MR member, has commented on this (apparent) phenomenon on his blog
Rob's a member? Cool! Anyone know his screen name?

Last edited by pshrynk; 07-11-2008 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 07-11-2008, 01:54 PM   #14
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Yes. It's:

RobertjSawyer

Did you really not know this?!?
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:17 PM   #15
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Yes. It's:

RobertjSawyer

Did you really not know this?!?
Really did not.
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