First, Harper Collins came out with an announcement that it would offer free electronic editions of some titles online. Then author Suze Orman’s announced on Oprah that she would be offering a limited number of free copies of her latest title on the Oprah website. Now Yale University Press is the next publisher to get on board with free electronic titles.
Why the sudden push toward giving away content? One reason may be tied to the decline that’s happening with traditional advertising models. Businesses are shifting advertising away from radio, newspaper, magazine, and even TV ads and are moving funds into new models of promotion, including using ad dollars to cover the cost of giving away some products to drive up interest in others.
Author Chris Anderson, famous for his book "The Long Tail", expands upon this new trend in his upcoming book, which he plans to make available for free (or as free as his publisher will allow). Check out the free 6,000 word preview of his book "Free: Why $0.00 is the Future of Business" in this month's Wired Magazine.