Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Chris Anderson's Free - Free here now

FREE (full book) by Chris Anderson

I turned up to Chris Anderson's Brand Republic/Spotify funded book launch event last week with a fairly cynical head on, as it seemed very likely that this going to be all about a book with a £20 odd price tag that explained why Free was a business model to compete with.... but if I was lucky I might get a free one to take away. Turns out that most of the marketing for the book is an ongoing experiment with some of the many and varied ways that Free can build a business for Paid. The first way was the abridged copy funded by Adobe and Brand Republic, which I'm half way through reading.
I probably won't buy the full version, but that's not really the point: I was only at an event that was handing it out because I work in a business that tends to pay Chris Anderson pretty well for setting up consultancy work with its clients.

The audio version though goes the other way - here you can have the full one free, but you pay for the abridged version, on the basis that with print, everyone reads at different speeds, but audiobooks can only be listened to at one speed. The value is therefore in getting the information quicker. Not sure I agree with that, but that isn't really the point: this is an ongoing experiment, which will be reported back on Chris's Long Tail blog, to show which of the theories in the book have actually worked in his own case.

And for anyone who wants a [free] preview, the full version is at the top of this page. I don't know if it will still be there in a week, as I think they are going to play around with the idea of time-sensitive scarcity as well (to paraphrase Withnail Free to those who know about it, very expensive to those that don't)


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