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Somewhere, Chris Anderson is Smiling

Cash register Kevin Maney wrote an article called Free for All which has plenty of relevance to the book publishing world and appears in the June issue of Portfolio magazine.  Maney talks about how the music industry needs to stop fooling itself and start giving songs away for free.  Sponsorships, concerts and sales of other related items will drive revenues, so drop the song price to zero and dramatically broaden your audience.

The thinking is consistent with what Chris Anderson spoke of in his Wired article earlier this year.  And while I think it's an extremely viable option, it's not the only one...and it may not even turn out to be the most popular one in the long run.  My gut tells me we should all be experimenting with free content models to see what we can learn and what our audience prefers, but it should only be one approach out of many that any good book publisher should explore.

Speaking of which, our group here at Wiley realizes we need to experiment with non-traditional content delivery models.  We've been hard at work on a number of e-content initiatives over the past couple of years and several of them are now out of beta and available for general use.  I've added this page to my blog where you can see the complete list.  I'll add to that page as we launch new products, so stay tuned for even more new ventures on this front.


Slow Blogger

I agree. Free should be an option, not a requirement. And with more reasonable tools (technical and legal), non-free digital contents will be a viable option as well.

I have written a lot about this issue. One is and I had a series of posts regarding free before (and after) that.

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