mindfire-cover-150Last week I decided to give away my new book, Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds, for free from my website, for 48 hours. Some have asked me why I would do this, as I’ve been a popular author and my previous books have sold well.

Here’s a list of reasons why:

  1. Platform. I could have sold some books, but by giving it away for a period of time I got extra PR and reach I would have had to pay for otherwise.  I tripled the size of my mailing list in just two days.
  2. Interest. It’s a way to generate interest in the book, and the wave of interest will outlast the 48 hour free period (at least I hope so :) Sales are slow today, but I’m betting the free readers will like what they read, and create a second wave of interest.
  3. The book is a collection of essays already online. I wanted to ensure my loyal readers didn’t pay for the book in digital form, since they’d read much of the book already. I wanted to avoid any fan saying “I didn’t realize and I paid for it – I feel like a sucker”.  Instead I want them to feel enlisted to spread my work, and making a new book free empowers them to do that.
  4. I’m a long-term author. I’m not worried about the sales of any particular book. I need to experiment and try different things to learn about how all this works so I’m smarter about how to create and market the work I do.
  5. I’d like to broaden my reputation. Mindfire covers a wide range of challenging topics not in my other books, and it will expand people’s perceptions of my abilities.  I’d gladly trade a pile of royalties (short-term) for an improved perception and wider fan base (long-term).
  6. Giving it away generates interest from people who want to know why an established author would do this :). It’s another way to gain attention for positive reasons.

You can download a free preview of Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds  (nearly 1/3rd of the content) right here.

The book is for sale on amazon.com (print / kindle), Barnes and Noble, Sony Nook and iBookstore.

Also see, Why I decided to self publish the book.

  • This site is powered with the magic of space age email to send my best posts to you each month. No hassle, no spam, no fuss. (privacy policy enforced by my Rotweiller)

You Will Like These:

6 Responses to “Why give a book away for free?”

  1. miya |

    hi, I am reading your new book, and planing to translate it into Chinese. Hope for contacting with you ASAP. my email is miyacui@yahoo.cn

  2. Manish Chhabra |

    Thanks for the book. I have started reading it on train to work. So far I have read the first 3 topics “The cult of busy”, “Wants vs Beliefs” and “How to be a free thinker”. I really appreciate the way you write and engage your readers.

    Your decision to give away a book has probably worked for me. I will be buying your other books too. I can see so many appreciating reviews for your other book “Confessions of a public speaker” as well and now I can understand the reason.

    • Scott Berkun |

      Hi Manish: thanks for the comment and the vote of support for publishing this way. Hope you enjoy the rest.

  3. Phil Simon |

    I have mixed thoughts about giving everything away. I make an MP3 and a big PDF available–as well as media copies, but can’t really give away the farm yet. I understand the benefits and might get there one day.

    Was it a no-brainer for you to do this?

  4. Antonio Santiago |

    I follow your blog from some months ago and when see your free offer about the book no doubt 1 sec to go to download it
    I like the way you write. Some are essays and some other are synthesis of the reality, like the “There are two kinds of people: complexifiers and simplifiers”.

    Thanks !!!

  1. [...] Why he gave the book away for free for 48 hours (via his website) [...]

Leave a Reply