Eric Flint writes about giving his books away on the Free Library and how it has increased sales.

Mother of Demons began its life as a typical first novel, with very modest sales and sell-through. Today, it has better than average sales and much better than average sell-through-a change that took place simultaneously with the book being available for free online. […] Those people arguing the “encryption/enforcement” side of the debate NEVER come up with hard figures. Harlan Ellison, for instance, screams that he has “Lost sales!” because of piracy-but, to the best of my knowledge, has never once even tried to demonstrate that this is true. […] [Many people wrote to me and] would mention their own experience with Napster. And, in every instance, stated that their purchases of CDs increased as a result of Napster.

Feel free to check out Mother of Demons from the library, along with many other titles. The Free Library has also spawned ReadAssist, an organization dedicated to promoting acessible electronic books. In a previous article he ran a great rant from Jim Baen about the horrors of PDF:

I want my text to be whatever size I find comfortable!!! But with PDF you cannot do that. What you see is what you… see. And for some reason the designers always use a font that might be called Ten Point Terminal Myopic because it will print nicely on paper. Of course if you want to just read it on a screen, too bad. Squint.

He also quoted Thomas Macauly:

Macaulay’s position, slightly modified, did become the basis of copyright law in the English speaking world. And remained so (at least in the US) for a century and a half until, on a day of infamy just a few years ago, the Walt Disney Corporation and their stooges in Congress got the law changed to the modern law, which extends copyright for a truly absurd period of time. Which those who forget history are doomed to repeat it is a return to the position advocated by Macaulay’s (now long forgotten) opponent in the debate.

posted April 21, 2002 12:07 AM () #

Nearby

Today’s Hack: display.cgi
Rescued Data
Visiting Boston, Cambridge
Other
Secure Coin Flipping
Putting Books Online Increases Sales
Differences
Boston Trip
NYTimes on Google’s DMCA Issues
Motion Blur
Boston Trip Story

Aaron Swartz (me@aaronsw.com)