Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Free Books

More and more authors and publishers are offering free e-books as a means of advertising. [The two sci-fi/fantasy publishers I know of who are currently doing this are Baen and Tor (for a limited time only). If you know of others, feel free to mention them in the comments section.] The question is, do free e-books help sell print books? Here are two articles on the subject:

David Rothman wrote about Oprah e-freebie now Amazon's 3rd best p-seller on his blog.

Cory Doctorow wrote about Giving It Away on

Personally, I think its effective to make an author's debut novel and/or the first novel in each series available for free. I was hesitant to buy Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, so I was pleased that TOR was offering it for free as an e-book this last week. I wasn't impressed by the first three or so chapters, but the book really gets good after that. Guess what? I went out an immediately placed an order for all of his books, including Mistborn. (Heck, the thing is too long to read the whole thing on a computer screen.)

What do you think? Have you ever bought a print version of a book that you first got as a free e-book? Or bought other books by an author because you read a free e-book by that author?

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