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Old 08-26-2008, 10:23 AM   #1
Dr. Drib
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What would happen if Sony gave away one free book every week?

Their free books this month - one free for each week - got me wondering about this and how this would impact sales and perception of the Reader specifically and of ebooks in general.

The current freebie (see below) is so interesting to me, that I started a search on their site, but apparently I now have the "spinning arrows of death" on a simple search of "Weird Tales." Now I'll have to exit.

Getting back to my original question: What repercussions would a free ebook a week have on the growing ebook market?

I'm aware of Fictionwise's efforts in this area, especially during the Nebula Awards ballot time. For me, this kick-started me into becoming a member and paying more attention -- and money! hahahahah -- to them every single week.

(Please check out Sony's free ebook right now: Weird Tales #350.)

Thanks,
Don
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:27 PM   #2
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Hmmmm.....not a single comment after 5 hours of posting.

Perhaps Sony should never have given away anything.

Don
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
Hmmmm.....not a single comment after 5 hours of posting.

Perhaps Sony should never have given away anything.

Don
now, let's not be hasty !!

i don't have a sony, so i couldn't benefit from their promotions. but, based on (for instance) the demand that the recent Tor giveaways generated, as well as your own experience with fictionwise and the generally enthusiastic response even to just a reduced price (see the recent frenzy over the Dictionary which was sold for a fraction of its original price after a micropay rebate at Fictionwise) i would extrapolate that if sony began to give away ebooks regularly they would 1. definitely generate a lot more sales of content and 2. possibly also create enough enthusiasm (if they managed the content side well) that they would raise consciousness of ebooks in general if only through word of mouth, and sell more devices as well. the second one may be a stretch.

but i do think that giving people ebooks for free is a lot like giving away the first hit of crack. and we all know where that leads.

i think it's definitely a sound business plan for any publisher, and there's plenty of evidence to back that up.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
Hmmmm.....not a single comment after 5 hours of posting.
Well, Don, this is the first I've seen your post (I only log in a couple of times a day). I would like to see Sony give away more ebooks, but I'd like them to be interesting to me . Of the ones they have offered this month, only one was worth my downloading.

Truthfully, what I would rather see Sony do is offer more 20% off coupons that I could apply to books I want to buy and more Kindle-like pricing in lieu of the free books.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:53 PM   #5
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Same here. Get real with the prices, get more content.
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:12 PM   #6
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If you don't mind reading on a computer and don't mind downloading the sony software, you can try the free books on your computer. I've been enjoying the free give aways by Harper Collins.

http://www.harpercollinsebooks.com/e...CIP_EOS_051508

However, their giveaways are often fantasy/sci-fi but I think it's a great idea.

I really wonder if the give aways have had any positive impact on the sales of the rest of the series or even other titles by that author. I'm guessing that's the goal and I wish I knew if it's working.
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:48 PM   #7
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I have all the HarperCollins' giveaways and have enjoyed those I've read, especially when I discover a new book/series/author I have not experienced.

Don
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
Hmmmm.....not a single comment after 5 hours of posting.

Perhaps Sony should never have given away anything.

Don
Perhaps the should have given away something more interesting.

It also doesn't help that if you follow the links that keep getting posted that you can't "buy" the book there - only download the software (which you already have installed). Instead, you must open the reader, wait, open the store, wait, scroll down to find the free book (or worse, enter the ISBN and wait), then "add" to the cart, then open the cart, then click on buy, then enter your password, then confirm and FINALLY download the free book.

Meanwhile, I've downloaded something else on the Kindle and read it already.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:08 PM   #9
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Here are my steps, very simple actually:

Open Ebook Library (the program on the computer)
Click “ebook store”
Click “download this week’s title”
Click “add”
Click “cart”
Log-in and then get it free.

Very simple. I have a free book.


Don
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:57 PM   #10
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Webscriptions also does this free idea. I like it. It does what they want, gives me a chance to sample an author before spending money. With pbooks, they used to sell some for $1.00. Stumbled onto David Weber this way. As has been said many times on this thread, you need to know your market and give away the right books, but I think this has been shown to be a money making stratagy.
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:07 PM   #11
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If Sony gave away a free ebook every week, I'd rarely need to buy an ebook. Wait....I don't even buy ebooks now. There are too many good free ebooks in public domain that I want to read.

Dreamer
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:13 PM   #12
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People would discover they can't format the books correctly and mobi instead.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:37 AM   #13
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People would discover they can't format the books correctly and mobi instead.
I don't understand your sentence due to vague pronoun references and an inability on my part to understand why someone would want to format a book that is already formatted and protetected within that format. Perhaps an elaboration on your part would help me to better understand your comment? However, I thank you for your thoughtful words.

Let's turn the question around and pretend that Amazon gave away one free book a week. What would be your reaction on that?


Thanks,
Don

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 08-27-2008 at 07:44 AM. Reason: edited for sentence clarification
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:52 AM   #14
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Just a quick reminder that people on this site give away MANY nicely formatted Sony eBooks every week.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:41 AM   #15
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A while ago sony gave away Volume 1 of Legacy of the Force (a nine book series of Star Wars books).

I already had volume 1 in paperback, each paperback costs around £7 here in the UK.

I jumped at the chance to get them all electronically, downloaded the first one for free and then bought the rest (at about $6 each except for the last at $12 which I wouldn't normally pay, but it had only been released in hardback too and was still cheaper than buying it here in the UK).

So, I took the freebie and then bought the other 8 to have the complete set, cost me less than it would to buy the complete set in paperback in the UK too
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