GalleyCat offers some great reporting on the debate raging with the Science Fiction Writers of America. Click here to read the story of how the outgoing VP is admonishing SF members who give free e-books away. And click here to read more and take the free ebook poll.
Haven't we had this debate before? Over and Over? Haven't enough writers proved it not only helps introduce new readers to the writers but that it does the opposite of cannibalizing sales? It spurs them on.
Haven't we seen movies, laundry detergents, expensive cosmetic lines, perfumes and just about every other frigging product in the world use free samples to get the consumer thinking about your product?
Do we have to have this debate again?
As I've written before, Douglas Clegg started doing this back in the 1998. So did I. I gave away over 1000 copies of self published book called Lip Service, which went on to sell 2500 copies in a few months and then got picked up by the NY publishing community. Clegg, who was already mightily published, used the free e-book concept and free serial book concept to bump his fan base up in the stratosphere and he kept on doing it and it kept on working.
And what about a guy named Godin who gave away free downloads of Unleashing the Idea Virus in 2000 - which led to his hard cover self pubbed edition earning over a million dollars and the paperback selling becoming a best sellter.
So enough. Let's debate something that really matters, like how to get more people reading.