Motoko Rich has a piece on the advisability of free giveaways on Kindle. Random House, Harlequin, and smaller publishers are giving away copies of books at Amazon. Other publishers like Penguin and Hachette believe that giving away books devalues the book itself.
Similarly, a spokesman for Penguin Group USA said: "Penguin has not and does not give away books for free. We feel that the value of the book is too important to do that."
Of course, Penguin doesn’t even believe this as it gave away the first books in the J.D. Robb series in physical form a few years ago.
Interestingly, Chris Brashears of Samhain gave statistics of how promotions had positively impacted her authors. Lauren Dane, for example, sold over 6,000 copies of her books in the months of the free giveaways.
Mike Shatzkin argues that offering free books only cannabalizes the market by encouraging readers to simply read free books.
HarperCollins has officially launched inkspot, a writing site for teens. HarperCollins will have an editorial board to review the top five member selections and will be reviewing the site’s offerings for potentially publishable manuscripts. HarperCollins will also have a platform to promote its own publications for sale.
Ian McEwan, the Booker prize winner, has signed a deal with Rosetta to publish his ebooks which will enable him to double his backlist royalties. The digital books will be available exclusively through Amazon for a period of time. Other authors are looking to strike similar deals.