Making Money in the Free Economy

Recently, I blogged about the article written by Wired Senior Editor, Chris Anderson, Why $0.00 is the Future of Business where he discusses the new business models for people who want to do business on the web…free has emerged as a full-fledged economy.

Today, I read an article that highlights two book authors that perfectly implemented Chris Anderson’s trend, by giving away books as podcasts as a way to promote sales.

Scott Sigler and Seth Harwood have spent the past few years writing novels, disseminating them over the Internet as serialized podcasts and amassing audiences so considerable that top-shelf agents and publishers are now eager to represent the authors.

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in 2005, Scott offered his first novel, “Earthcore,” as a free, downloadable 22-episode podcast on iTunes and his own Web site, www.scottsigler.com. A few hundred early listeners soon swelled to 5,000. By the time he posted “Ancestor” and “The Rookie,” his second and third books, which he also narrated, he had 30,000 digital disciples.

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This past Tuesday, Sigler’s latest book, “Infected,” a tale of biological possession, was released by Crown. A free digital manuscript of the book was downloaded 45,000 times in just 100 hours since the Crown book was released, according to the publisher. And while Sigler still offers his novels as free podcasts, he is confident that the junkies will shell out $24.95 for a fix they might already have tried.

Sigler estimates that fewer than 10 percent of the samplers will make a purchase, but offering his books as podcasts allowed him to raise his prominence as an author “without the financial backing of a mega-publisher. He has discovered how to assemble, retain and sell to a growing audience, all on a shoestring budget”.

Here are two questions for you to ponder…
1. Would this be an effective strategy for you and your business?

2. How can you or would you leverage the free economy strategy to promote yourself, your company, and your products and services?



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