E-Book Giveaways and Higher Print Sales

Via Wired.com

Giving away an e-book seems to lead to at least a spike in sales of the print version, Researchers at Brigham Young University have found, especially for fiction.

In research that monitored the sales of 41 print books in the eight weeks before and after a free version was released, study authors John Hilton III and David Wiley said they found “a moderate correlation between free digital books being made permanently available and short-term print sales increases.”

All 41 books in the study (via Boing Boing) were made available as complete PDF downloads (as well as other formats in some cases), including two by former Wired.com managing editor Leander Kahney that he distributed for free via bit torrent. Hilton and Wiley’s data showed that giving the books away resulted in higher print sales in the eight weeks following the giveaway than during the same time period preceding it for fiction (a 26 percent increase), non-fiction (5 percent) and Random House releases (9 percent).


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