I’m Not 100% Sure I Agree With This

May 9th, 2008 • Kate

But Cory Doctorow (yes, him again) posits an interesting idea on publishing, and the value of giving stuff away for free.

Dandelions and artists have a lot in common in the age of the Internet. This is, of course, the age of unlimited, zero-marginal-cost copying. If you blow your works into the net like a dandelion clock on the breeze, the net itself will take care of the copying costs.

Now, I know I do agree with artists having a place on the web where their readers can find them, and that those sites should be frequently updated with new information, which should be shared widely. Do I believe in giving away copies of their books for free? All of them?
Ummm, no. But making them available to read in large chunks, and links to sites where you CAN get the book immediately? Yeah, I like that.
I’m looking forward to Doctorow’s next article.

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2 Responses to “I’m Not 100% Sure I Agree With This”

  1. Dwight Says:

    If you hear his explanation in it's totality, it makes perfect sense.
    "My problem is not piracy. It's obscurity." … "The reason 99.999% of people walk out of Barnes and Noble without buying my book is not because the price was too steep. It's because they have no idea who the hell I am."
    I have paid real $ for corey doctorow content I could have downloaded for free. I did this AFTER downloading his content for free and falling in love with his writing skill.
    An even more brilliant example of this is Seth Harwood giving away Jack Wakes Up in PDF and podcast versions right before the release of the novel. Did he get any money out of me? Nope.
    Will he get any money out of me for the future sequels? Hell yeah! I can't wait for the next one, and I'm not a huge fan of the noir novel.

  2. marvad Says:

    I'm in complete agreement with Cory. He's done a bang up job giving away stuff and making money from it. I wasn't aware of him until somebody gave me a copy of "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom." Now, I see him everywhere.
    I'm becoming inclined to follow his model. I already give the PDF of any of my published work to anybody who'd like to read it. Because of this, I've noticed some upsurge in sales of my one book out on Amazon. Enough to live on? Hardly. However, I've decided to get published in small presses and give away ebooks just like Cory. I have two books out this year and I'll be putting up large portions of them on my website. I'm interested in how it works out.