Sunday, October 08, 2006

If it's not one thing...

Something always keeps popping up. I really do want to read "Flyboys" and report on it.

Yesterday I finally devoted some time to fulfill a promise I made to Robert the director. He'd asked me to write a logline and a brief synopsis for his latest short, "Killing Hostage". The challenge lay in his request that I not reveal any of the film's twists - which are at the heart of the film itself. On the other hand, avoiding weasel words that obfuscate points makes for stronger writing. I came up with four possibilities that I'm reasonably happy with (See, there's a weasel word: reasonably.)

When I turned in my latest Reader's Digest report Friday, I learned that the author had written a new ending. That's annoying. Now, I have to call back everybody mentioned in the new paragraphs, and verify new information. I hate working on items I'd already mentally filed under "done".

Today and tomorrow I'll be correcting papers and possibly updating Alex's Blog Fu.

So why post today at all?

Remember my obituary for Jim Baen? If not, go read it, or take my word that his project showed that releasing books for free online will increase sales of those same texts in hard copy.

Slashdot points to a similar conclusion (from Reuters) reached by publishers who have let Google Book Search archive their publications.

Some quotes from the Reuters article:

"Google Book Search has helped us turn searchers into consumers," said Colleen Scollans, the director of online sales for Oxford University Press (who) said that sales growth has been "significant."

"We suspect that Google really helps us sell more books," said Kim Zwollo, Springer's global director of special licensing....

"When we looked at the first six months of stats, we saw that 30 percent of Google Book Search clicks went directly to our site, while roughly 40 percent went to Amazon," said William Shepherd, Osprey's managing director. "Our sales through the Web are steadily increasing in proportion to our total sales, and we're confident that Google Book Search will accelerate this growth."

The article has more meat and anecdotes, but I'll stick to the rule of three.

Evidence continues to mount that free e-books do lead to an increase in paper book sales. Does the same hold true for music or video media? That remains an open question.


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