Thinking about digital media

So, here’s an interesting head to head comparison of how an idea works its way through the food chain.

About 7 years ago I wrote a book called, Link: The Bootstrapper’s Bible. For a bunch of reasons, it didn’t do very well. It probably sold about 10,000 copies at about $12.

I got the rights back from the publisher and turned it into a PDF which was sold on Amazon. (Link: Books: The Bootstrapper’s Bible : Volume 1.) For a surprisingly long time, it was either the #1 bestselling ebook on the entire Amazon website or in the top 100. It costs less than $3. Yet, after 18 months of strong sales on Amazon, it has sold fewer copies than the paperback did.

Yesterday, we announced that for just two weeks, a ChangeThis edition of the ebook (Link: ChangeThis :: The Bootstrapper’s Bible ) is available for free. And in twenty four hours, it has already “outsold” the Amazon eBook and will quite likely surpass the printed edition within a week or so.

Can you make any money giving away an ebook? I think you can. I think you do when the idea spreads and people want to interact with you in other ways. And those interactions are the currency of the future.