If you give it away for free, ultimately you will sell more.
That’s the paradoxical business model preached by Cory Doctorow, an award winning Science Fiction author and one of the web’s most read bloggers at boingboing.net.
Doctorow’s latest collection of short stories, Over Clocked: Stories of the Future Present, is available online as a free download in at least 10 different file formats as well as an audio podcast.
“The problem for most artists isn’t piracy, its obscurity,” says Doctorow, “and for most of us, the biggest challenge we face is having people who might be interested in us, know about us, and not worrying about whether someone somewhere is enjoying our work without paying for it.”
The collection sold out its initial printing and was into its second run after just two weeks.
Printcrime, one of the stories in the Over Clocked collection, offers a peek into the near future where we can create anything we want with “goop” and a printer. It takes the current idea of burning digital files to a disc and expands it where you can now “bake” copies of 3 dimensional objects, that is until the iPolice catch whiff of you.
Doctorow is on a crusade to not let that near future become our present.
“The best thing an author can have is fans who love his work and who try to promote it to their friends. And the best thing I can do for the fans who love my work is give them easy ways to promote it to their friends by letting them trivially copy it and share it.”