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CasperAZ
Posts: 1,164
Registered: ‎01-01-2011
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Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?

Yesterday I submitted a Thread promoting an idea of mine of having Barnes and Noble set up a program for E-book rentals.  I received some feedback that it's a nice idea but the publishers would never settle for it.  O.K.  I can understand that scenario, however, offering a free sample of a book to download, in my opinion, is detrimental to purchasing a book because I tried some samples yesterday of Bestsellers (and I vouch that these samples are way more generous than what I anticipated) and when I read what was offered, I said to myself that it's not worth the money to purchase this book and if I didn't get this free sample, I would have most likely purchased that book.

 

In my opinion, I think these free samples are nice to the consumer, however, detrimental to purchasing a book, thus, I don't understand why the publishers allow it.

"The NOOKcolor Aficionado"
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jamartMF
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎11-24-2010
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Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?

I liked your idea about rentals but like most do not believe it will happen.

 

 I have only had my nook since the beginning of Dec and only downloaded a couple of samples...I have lots of free books and library books at the moment.  But when I do go to buy books I will use the samples for the simple fact I forget the titles of books I have read and rarely reread a book I have already read.

 

This is why I am always reading the first few pages of a book in the store before I buy it.  As soon as I read a page or two I usually know if I have read it.  Weird I know can't remember a title but remember the text of the book.  If they did not have the sample I would hesitate to buy the book if I was unsure if I had read it.  If they take the samples away they would lose sales from me.

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Ya_Ya
Posts: 3,334
Registered: ‎09-29-2010

Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?

[ Edited ]

 


CasperAZ wrote:

 

In my opinion, I think these free samples are nice to the consumer, however, detrimental to purchasing a book, thus, I don't understand why the publishers allow it.


 

They are required to provide samples of the books.  You're lucky you got samples with text. Many publishers are getting around the requirement to provide samples by making the sample length so short that it is the TOC, the Dedication, and the first page  or two of the Prologue.  Or, they are, in effect, not providing them.

 

They're beginning to refuse to sell ebooks to the public libraries, and one of the CEOs said that libraries hurt his sales.

 

Go on and suggest the equivalent of Netflix for ebooks.  It won't happen, but you can hold out your hope.  The fear of such a program is exactly why "Lend Me" was a one off in the first place, and now that Kindle has "Lend Me", the publishers are refusing to participate.  If that doesn't say NO EBOOK SUBSCRIPTIONS to you, I'm not sure what would - short of those very words.

 

Sure, in ten years they might learn their lesson.  But they ain't gonna learn it soon.

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KingAl
Posts: 549
Registered: ‎11-16-2010
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Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?


Ya_Ya wrote:

 

Sure, in ten years they might learn their lesson.  But they ain't gonna learn it soon.


If they learn their lesson in ten years, then they're doing better than the music industry...

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Ya_Ya
Posts: 3,334
Registered: ‎09-29-2010
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Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?

 


KingAl wrote:

If they learn their lesson in ten years, then they're doing better than the music industry...


Touche.  :smileytongue:

 

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Tboner
Posts: 144
Registered: ‎01-19-2010
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Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?

Offering a sample is no different than being able to look at a book in the store to evaluate it. If a publisher believes it negatively affects his sales they should also remove all books from bookstores.

 

Naomi Novik was quoted as saying the free release of His Majesty's Dragon increased the sales of her other novels hugely. That's just sampling on steroids.

 

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ellsbells930
Posts: 169
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
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Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?


Ya_Ya wrote:

 

 

one of the CEOs said that libraries hurt his sales.

 


That is one of the most absurd things I ever heard.  What proof does he have that people who borrow from libraries would ever actually purchase the books if they couldn't borrow them?

Inspired Contributor
CrankyBeach
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎12-20-2010

Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?

[ Edited ]

Ten years ago Baen Books started offering some of its titles for free, usually the first book in a series, and entirely at the discretion of the individual authors. Apparently the experiment has worked, because they are still doing it. Not terribly often, and not in vast quantities, but the freebies do trickle in now and again. For more details, see here.

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mbratch
Posts: 675
Registered: ‎11-23-2010
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Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?

I think publishers are paranoid if they think electronic books in general, or sample books in particular, hurt their sales. In fact, I think these advances enhances their sales, at least based upon my personal experience. A couple of reasons specifically:

 

 

  • Since I got a NookColor, the ease of browsing lists of books and reading samples has increased my reading habit and number of book purchases I make over time
  • Although Nooks and, soon, Kindles, have electronic book lending, I really think that electronic book readers lead to more personal book purchases versus borrowing, mostly because the process is so easy, and the chances I'll be talking in person to someone about a book they've read and they happen to have it in an electronic format I can "borrow" is lower than if it were a paper format.
These guys need to get with the program. Any company that hasn't understood, embraced, and worked with a digital revolution in their respective industry has failed or at least become much less prominent.

 

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wavydaby
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎08-31-2010
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Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?

Actually, I have gotten to the point with my book buying habits that if I cannot sample your books, I will not buy it at all. With some books, I have found that I love the plot premise, but the writting style of the author does not appeal to me. Even if I love the subject matter, if i cant make myself pour thru the author's delivery style, I just will not read it. On the other hand, some subjects have been made more appealing to me by the author's style. I will not judge a book by the front cover, nor the back cover synopsis any more.
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CasperAZ
Posts: 1,164
Registered: ‎01-01-2011
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Re: Free Samples Detrimental to the Publishers?

I was thinking today of this possible scenario:

 

Someone can download 10 free samples of books from the NY Times Best Seller List.  He can go to a party that night with quotes from those books and name the authors and everyone will think he is one smart dude.  In other words, you can download free samples, just read those samples, and get a bird's eye view of that book and impress everybody without spending a single dime. 

 

 

"The NOOKcolor Aficionado"