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Cory Doctorow on Free Electronic Books Do Sell Printed Books

Blogger, science fiction writer and copyright activist Cory Doctorow writes about his experiences making a free download of his printed books available and why he believes it has increased his sales. Doctorow doesn't do comics but to the extent his experiences can be generalized it's hard to image why they wouldn't apply equally to comics.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Check out our roundtable on comics and copyright which featured Doctorow, among others.

Re: Cory Doctorow on Free Electronic Books Do Sell Printed Books

Girl Genius seems a good comics-example of the principle. Phil and Kaja Foglio found that the quarterly printed floppies functioned mainly as advertising for their other books and merchandise, and that it was much more profitable to let the web take over that job. (Newsarama interview.)

Re: Cory Doctorow on Free Electronic Books Do Sell Printed Books

CyberLord's picture

I've downloaded many books from wowio, especially the Penny and Aggie stuff. Guess how I tend to read them?

For the most part I print them out and read them. I even used the printers here at work to print out 11 X 17 inch copies of Penny and Aggie. :) The Yenny stuff is really nice when printed by the color printer here.

I've even downloaded traditional novels from wowio and I even print those out to read. It really pissed me off that the print capability was turned off on "Slan" and "Who Goes There". So I don't download novels from wowio anymore.

When all is said and done, dead-tree editions are superior to comtemporary electronics. I don't need batteries or electric cords. All I need is sunlight and a comfortable seat to enjoy reading the dead-tree edition. Plus I get the whole visual splendor. There's a reason I still go to movies despite the fact that I have a 65 inch HiDef TV at home with surround sound. My TV won't give me the panaramic view of a LARGE movie screen. (I REFUSE to go to any theatre with small screens.)

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and discovery. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.---------CyberLord

Re: Cory Doctorow on Free Electronic Books Do Sell Printed Books

Max Vaehling's picture

Two possible reasons: the long form and the prose. Comics are easier on the eye on-screen, and they're (usually) shorter. So the step from free web comics to printed comics might not come as natural as in Cory's case. Still, it's not just about comfortable reading. His main argument is: you can't beat the expostiion you get from having your material out there. Can't argue with that.