I watched a great video from Seth Godin about marketing his books. (www.sethgodin.com and www.writerunboxed.com) He offers the first 100 pages free and inserts in several spots in the email copy to readers, an offer to buy the print book. He figures they will either get tired reading the email or like the book enough to buy it. My book is coming out in print in Sept, 2010. In the meantime, what about selling it as an ebook with a similar offer as Seth's? I'm thinking it may get some books pre-sold before the launch and build buzz. Any advice or ideas? thanks for the help, Colin

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I'm not sure I understand what you plan to do. Essentially, I'm all for making available free electronic versions, but in my case that would be impossible because those rights belong to the print publisher.
I J: I'll keep the copyright to my book. Seth Godin's idea is to give the consumer a chance to "try" the product out before they buy to see if they like it. He claims that once they've read a portion, they often end up buying the book. He's done this and suggested they buy the print copy. I don't have a print copy yet but could sell my book as an ebook until and during the time the print copy comes out. In the meantime, i think this idea could generate some sales and maybe some buzz also. What do you think? Should I wait and offer the free 100 pages only after the print copy is out? Thanks for your ideas, Colin
As a reader, I will admit that I am much more likely to buy a book I can read the beginning of for free. I like to make sure I can stand the writer's voice before I plunge in. However, please do not pepper those free pages with ads -- that would annoy me so much I might refuse to buy the book on principle. Just put an ad at the end -- where to buy the book, etc. It sounds like a good idea to me. In fact, I might steal it to market my own first novel.

Thanks for your comment. Colin
I also like to be able to read a portion of the book to see if I like the writer's voice, but like Minerva, I'd be annoyed if I were constantly interrupted by ads. I'd put a link at the beginning (for those who don't read all the way the way through the excerpt) and another at the end for those who do.
That's one of the things I like about Kindle. You can download a sample for free. Sometimes it's just the first chapter; sometimes it's 40-50 pages. I download samples all the time and then read them one-by-one. I usually end buying 50% of them.

There are no ads on Kindle. When you get to the end of the sample, you can click whether you want to buy the book.

I've given unknown authors a try countless times. Instead of gambling $7-$15 on a book, I download the sample and then make a better purchase decision.
Jon: thanks for your ideas. My son lives in Eugene so we've been out there often...beautiful. Yeah, I think the idea of "trying out" a book, particularly fiction makes sense. i suspect, like you, many people end up buying the whole book in the end. What do you think about offering ebooks on several sites? Let's say 4-5? thanks, Colin


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