The Medici Effect: Free Download
Giving away something for free is a great way to compete with pirates, but it’s also a great way to compete with obscurity. Around 200,000 books come out every year in North America, and the average book sells 500 copies or less. A free e-version might cost you some sales, but all the evidence suggests it’s more likely to gain you an audience.
It’s also a great strategy for books that aren’t obscure. Bestselling author Paul Coelho had a lot of success with this approach, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. But it seems the idea of free books itself is now starting to go viral. This morning I got this email from Frans Johansson, bestselling author of innovation bible The Medici Effect:
“My publisher Harvard Business School Press has just done a first. They sent me the pdf for The Medici Effect for me to post on my site. Anyone can download it, post it, and share it with anyone for free. They have never done anything like this in the past and we are all very curious about what could happen … The inspiration for this came effectively from The Pirate’s Dilemma blog where my friend Matt Mason describes how best-selling author Paolo Coelho boosted sales in Russia by uploading a pirate copy of his book The Alchemist. Very good example of competing with pirates. I sent the post to HBS Press â€“ and they said letâ€™s do it with the English version.”
You can download the full version of The Medici Effect here (pdf), which is one of the best innovation books I’ve ever read, and a bargain at twice the price.
I realize there is one book mentioned in this post that doesn’t yet have a free e-version available. I’m working on it…