Give it away and they will come

I personally think that we need to start thinking about new ways to sell things.  One of the newer methods that some people are trying have to do with giving away certain versions of the book for free, only later charging for a print version or whatever.

Marvel just announced that they were doing something weird with a new series that they are going to start off: they are giving the first issue away for free online prior to the first printing.

I know, I know, big deal, right?  Smaller publishers have been doing that for a while now.  But this is important for the fact that they are not a small publisher and comics and graphic novels are not hurting for sales, either.  So this means that even the big guys are starting to realize the marketing power and possibility within the “give a little, get a lot” theory.

An interesting side note: for fans of Monty Python, there was a good deal to be happy for when they decided to release their own channel on youtube.  It seems that they got tired of going after copyright infringers who repeatedly kept putting up ripped videos of theirs, and instead started their own channel where they gave away some of the highest watched videos in their library.  Directly afterward, their sales rose 23,000%.  Yep, that’s right, 23,000%.

“Give a little, get a lot”

Know what I mean, nudge, nudge?

-bk

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2 thoughts on “Give it away and they will come

  1. I tend to be with Tom on this one … while I’d like to think offering free things will pay off huge for everyone, I think the established artists (be they actors, writers, whatever) are more likely to see profits. That said, it doesn’t hurt to give away parts of things … just a taste, keep them wanting more. I figure the first issue that Marvel is giving goes along with that. For a LONG discussion on does free pay off, check out the following link: http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-tell-me-does-free-pay.html

  2. I thought percentages only went up to 100? Damn. I need a free education.

    Seriously, though, I don’t know how I feel about free. I mean, isn’t free cheaper than cheap? Which is another way of saying crap. As a consumer, I don’t mind paying for quality.

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