Ebooks: Is free the new paid?

When it cames to the brave new world of epublishing, the conversation is bound to come around to money. Here’s what Nicholas C. Rossis has to say.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Saluting Major Upheaval Saluting Major Upheaval (image by wisegeeks.com)

As we all know, the publishing world is in major upheaval. With ebook prices dropping even for big authors, and so many ebooks available for free, are we witnessing the end of the paid model? And what might replace it?

I can see four distinct models emerging from all the chaos.

Business as usual

I call this the ostrich model. Pretend nothing has changed, and keep selling the books for $20 each. Sadly, I doubt many will buy them, unless they’re pretty unique – eg in academia – or by a hugely popular author.

Go big

I don’t mean to print your books on A3 paper, but to have a hundred ebooks, each sold at $0.99. This is a great strategy, and one we’ll see more in the future, but it may come at a high price. As authors strive to churn out ebook after ebook, how can a…

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