Author Puts Novel Online For Free… And Gets A Book Deal http://bit.ly/aS6DpH And sometimes self-publishing can lead to a deal with a major book publisher as has happened to Mac Video’s Rick Young who now publishes his Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro.
In this example, the author put her “young adult vampire novel” on document distribution site Scribd for free and the resulting publicity helped land a traditional book deal.
Now, just giving your content away for free and praying for a return isn’t going to work, but there are – according to my How to Grow and Monetize and Audience for your Independent Project seminar – 13 or 14 ways to use free distribution of content as a way of selling something else.
The rationale is that digital content is not scarce – it’s very easily reproducible for virtually nothing – then it’s hard to sell, because classic economics is based on scarcity. There are those who have tried to create artificial scarcity for digital goods, but those have generally failed badly. Where there has been success is where the infinite digital good is distributed free in order to promote something scarce: like concert tickets, merchandise and so on.
This is not that removed from traditional Record Label deals where the band makes nothing from their music but does from touring.