Saturday, August 08, 2009

Are Free eBooks Wise?

There is no such thing as Free and you can offer so much free content that the consumer starts to believe all content is free. Remember Napster and Kazza they created ‘free’ and music never really recovered, iTunes created the $0.99 track and prices only went one way.

Irrespective of the jacket price, we are now close to establishing the $9.99 price point in ebook retail, but even more alarming, some publishers now appear to be hell bent on using the ebook as a promotional release and giving them away free.

James Patterson's latest ‘best seller’, The Angel Experiment, was published some 4 years ago. Readers are getting it from the likes of Amazon’s Kindle site and at a price which is very good even for an old title - free. Patterson is taking the ‘mega author’ big picture perspective and is happily introducing readers to one book free, in order to promote the sales of another. Thousands have been given away. After all, he has probably made his money on the original, so what does he care?

This ‘priming the sales of one book by giving away another’ may be good for big publishers and young marketing wiz kids, but it is bad for smaller authors and publishers who don’t enjoy the ability to give books away!

The problem is that we haven’t established the ebook market and already some have decided they know best and are smart marketers. Promotional ebooks may work for some, but will effect all and some would say that its madness and would urge them, to be careful what you wish for.

1 comment:

David said...

Actually new-release prices on iTunes have gone UP a significant %to $1.29 per track.