Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

September 9, 2009

Suvudu Free Book Library and thoughts about ebooks

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 7:42 PM

How do you know that giving books away for free increases sales? When most major publishers start giving for free samples on their site. Yesterday while going through an author’s site I found a link to Suvudu Free Book Library which is Del Rey’s free book library.

I have told you earlier about Baen Books that has the Baen Free Library for free downloads of books. Even Tor books has its own mailing list where they send out free books once in a while.

So it seems pretty clear to me that book publishers are realizing that making free copies of books available doesn’t necessarily mean lost sales. I think the music industry and the movie industry should take a good look at these sites and try to understand that people who download most are usually people who are huge fans and usually people who end up buying the most.

It takes me about 3 hours to finish a book and I read a lot. The way I discover books and new authors to try is by downloading a book by the author and seeing if I like it. If I do I usually end up buying most of the books by that author. e.g. Mercedes Lackey and David Weber are my favorite authors but the first books I read by them were ebooks I downloaded from the Baen free library. Now I have pretty much every book written by either of them in Hardcopy.

You have to realize that there is a small percentage of people out there who will not buy the book and would rather steal a copy to read, but then again these are mostly people who would not have bought a copy anyway. The advantages and the free publicity you get is phenomenal.

If an author is good people will go out of their way to help out. For example David Freer is moving to Australia from Africa and due to the exchange rate dropping he doesn’t have enough money to pay for the quarantine of his pets. So he put up a story jar where he will to put up a chapter a week of his latest book “Save the Dragons” assuming that he received enough donations to pay for that chapter. Each chapter costs $400 (US) and so far fans have put in $4855. That’s a lot of money put in in a few weeks.

If you like his books and want to help out make sure you visit: Save The Dragons

What I am trying to say is that we are not all thieves out here. So stop treating us like criminals. For a more detailed analysis/discussion of the problem you should read the Introducing the Baen Free Library by Eric Flint. He is an author with a huge list of published books and he does a great job of explaining why people downloading books doesn’t hurt the authors in the long term.

– Suramya

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