Category Archives: book

Free E-Books Sell Books

If the electronics industry has anything to do with it 2010 will be the year that the e-book finally gets off the ground.  They’ve been kicking around for years – I remember reading stuff from Peanut Press on my Palm III back in the ’90s.  Anyway, this isn’t going to be about e-books and their rise, but rather about a study into free e-books carried out by Jeff Hilton and David Wiley at Brigham Young University in the USA.  In summary, they found that giving away free e-books resulted in higher sales of the printed copy.

The study involved 41 books in four different categories and the sales figures were assessed over an eight week period. In three out of the four categories, sales increased where a free e-book version was made available.

Category 1 – non-fiction +4%
Category 2 – fiction (sci-fi) +26%

Category 3 – Random House fiction (sci-fi) +9%
Category 4 – Tor fiction (sci-fi) -24%

It’s not clear whether the titles chosen because they would generally appeal to digerati, who would presumably be the most likely to read e-books, or whether the titles were self-selected by being free.  Most of the books were PDFs but a few came in other formats.

Overall, sales of print books in three categories rose but in the fourth category, Tor sci-fi, there was a significant fall.  This fall in sales is likely to do with the method of distribution.  Each free e-book was only available for one week before the next one became available and the results were also skewed by one particular title which contributed to 65% of the fall on its own.

The authors suggest a number of reasons why free e-books may lead to increases in print book sales but admit that it’s difficult to giving a convincing explanation. One might simply be the publicity around the free giveaway.  It’s much easier to say why publishers give away free e-books.  Tor wanted publicity for a new web site and Random House gave away free the first book of a series, presumably to entice readers into buying the subsequent novels.

However, perhaps the comment that gives the most food for thought is simply that e-books are searchable.  Not in the context of a single e-book on your e-book reader, but rather when on the web and indexed by a search engine, it makes low volume books more easily discoverable.  This will translate into sales of the book that would simply not occur because the purchaser is unaware of the title in the first place.  This should be sufficient in itself to encourage publishers to get digital copies on-line.

The full paper is The Short Term Influence of Free Digital Versions of Books on Print Sales.

My first Librivox audiobook chapter recording

Electronic readers have been a hotbed as of late. Audio books are other ways to get the content on the go. Last week Google posted a bunch of open domain books, but did you know that there is also a service that lets you download open domain audio books?

Audiobooks iPhone Application

A couple weeks ago I found out about – a place to go to get audio books in the open domain. For the last few years, volunteers have been reading chapters to these books. I was so impressed with the service, I decided to contribute to the service.

I went to the site, signed up for a chapter, read and submitted it. I chose a book on musical notation by Karl Gehrkins. The chapter was short, but challenging enough – I had to remember how to pronounce those latin words you see all the time in music. After all, Molto Dolce is not just a coffee.

If you have an iPhone, check out the application “Audiobooks”. You will find that there is a book for whatever you want to read. I just got done listening to “How to write and speak correctly”. Hopefully it shows in this article, but I think I will be going back over that book for items I may have missed.

The Wheel of TIme continues to turn

Report in from the DragonMount blog that a new author has been chosen to complete the Wheel of Time series.  When Robert Jordan died earlier this year he was midway through the 12th and last book of the Wheel of Time series which has been one of the better and more popular fantasy book series in recent times.

Thankfully Robert had left copious notes and recordings on the plot of the book and had discussed what he intended with his wife and editor.  The fact that this great series will reach its intended conclusion is great news for those of us that have loved the characters and story.  Given his families support and involvement in the process I am sure this is what Robert (real name James Rigney) would have wanted to happen.

Podsafe Music Network is the Music really Safe?

I am not a lawyer, but as much smack as I talk about the RIAA, their is no way in this world that I would play music that any of the major license holders could come back on me and say hey guess what buddy you have violated my copyright and you owe me some money.

If you haven’t read my book, and if you are playing around with fire in playing music that you have not personally been given explicit written permission to play, and you are positive that the music is not licensed by ASCAP, BMI, RIAA and a handful of other acronyms you better be careful!

In the referenced article I am not familar with the song but Brag Gibson points out a concern over music he found on the Podsafe Music Network, and looking at what he has to say makes me wonder if some people are putting a lot at risk.

I have not taken the time to look at the agreement that the podsafe music network makes their artist sign, but I am sure some music that should not be their has likely slipped through the crack. []

This is one of the reasons why podcasters still need a clear cut licensing model! I sure would like to play some ACDC on my show from time to time.

Geek News Central Editor Todd Cochrane awarded a Hawaii High Tech Leader Award

Last night I and others here in Hawaii were honored in an awards ceremony. I was very humbled to have been picked to receive a Hawaii High Tech Leader Award for 2005. I received a certificate from the Governor of Hawaii and one from the Mayor of Honolulu. My wife wasted no time trying to find a place in the office for them. Personally I kinda hate I love me walls. She deserves credit more than I do for putting up with me working 24/7.

She had the digital camera out and was snapping up pictures. I’ll get those posted on Flickr tonight, I am not sure when the official photos will be available but getting a picture next to the gorgeous Miss Hawaii was nice.

The food and music were great and although many large companies were honored it was nice to see a small company like ours compete in the big leagues. The award was a result of several items primarily my book on podcasting, what is going on with Podcast Connect and the information we provide via Geek News Central get recognized.

Quite seperately I logged into the Author site at Wiley this morning and was very pleased with the book sales. I want to thank each and every one of you as sales are still going gang busters, and it continues to move real good on all the online sites. I am truly surprised by the numbers!

If you attended last nights event and we did not get to chat please drop me a line

Book of the Month Podcasting The Do It Yourself Guide!

It’s nice to see my book being a featured Book of the Month at NetLibrary additionally it was also a Featured book at Barnes and Noble. Pretty awesome if you ask this first time author. I had heard that it was going to be a featured book at Barnes and Noble but did not know when.

I am hearing sales are still very strong, nice to see the work get some more recognition.

NetLibrary eBook of the Month


The Future of Podcasting and Public Radio

I stole some of that byline from Doug Kaye and interjected my own. Some perspective I had been contacted by the local Barnes and Noble to do a book signing for my book Podcasting “The Do It Yourself Guide” one yesterday, and one that will happen later today. The locals stores like to highlight local authors so I obviously agreed to participate. Being Hawaii is not the middle of the tech mecca I wondered how many would express an interest in podcasting or even knew what podcasting was. So I arriving at the prescribed time.

I spent the next 90 minutes talking to a lot of people, some where obviously to shy or did not want to admit they did not know what podcasting was all about. My lead in question was have you listened to audio on the Internet if the answer was yes, I said would you like to take that Audio with you wherever you go, many said yes, finally I said is their some subject you are passionate about that people seek information from you. Many said yes! My follow up was, you are the perfect podcasting candidate as podcasting gives you the individual a way to share with the entire world information on that subject.

I saw a lot of flash bulbs going off in people and the questions really started coming then, this was typically the 40 and under crowd. Many that are 40+ have computers but they are struggling with the technology. We also have a lot of people in the world that an MP3 player or even a computer is a extreme luxury.

Almost everyone has a Radio, and Radio’s are cheap to buy thus until we get everyone wired, and make technology easy to use regardless the age and make it easy for everyone to enjoy this exploding market of cool content will largely be adopted by those that are really connected.

The question is are we about to establish a new social class of people in that their will be those that are connected and dialed in to those that are not?

Until everyone is connected Public Radio is going to be hear for a very very long time. But they are also in a position to radically change their format and embrace the new content and help bridge the divide that exist out their.

When one looks at the model has adapted I can see some smart people have realized that communications is changing and although they may mess with their lineup to figure out what works but we are on to something here that is going to profoundly change the way we consume content in the out years.

Podcasting Do-It-Yourself-Guide Review

One of the first full reviews of my book is out and I do want to point out several points that he was concerned about. I went to great lengths to define acronyms as the entered the conversation and sometimes diverging from the train of thought to make sure people understood what specific acronyms meant before resuming the conversation.

And certain topics he thought I covered to deeply but I felt it was important for people to see examples of the structure of RSS as enclosures are the glue that has allowed Podcasting to be unique in the content delivery.

Overall though good review. []