The value in giving it away

Given the recent discussion here on the value of encouraging folks to “steal” your goods – I thought it was pretty interesting to see Seth’s post today on how his friend, Dave Balter, is giving away his new and otherwise $45 book for free as an ebook (click that link to head to Seth’s post to get it).

Balter put a twist on the give-away by only letting a few select people like Seth offer it.

Of Balter’s tactic, Seth says:

He realized that the ideas in a book are different than the book itself. The ideas are free. Dave made the ideas even easier to share by putting them into a PDF. If you want the souvenir edition, the one you can hand to a friend or read on the beach or store on your shelf, that costs a lot of money, but you don’t mind, because you’ve already decided you wanted one (no risk, cause you’ve read it!).

What I especially found interesting was that Seth referenced his original free ebook that he released more than seven years ago:

That book was a total homerun for me and for my readers–it has been downloaded, emailed and purchased millions and millions of times. I’m surprised the tactic isn’t more popular.

Is this really so different from cartoons and photography? Or even jewelry?

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