Friday Videos Want to Know What You Think Of this One

From Theresa Meyers at Blue Moon Communications via JoAnn Ross:

Tweeter! Twits! BWAHAHAHA.

I was with him until he said, “Don’t give it away for free.” Free offerings aren’t unilaterally successful but in some cases is a fabulous promotional tool – and one free book doesn’t diminish the value of the rest. This is an ad for a $7500 Conference at NYU Stern. You can read more at


What do you think – of the video, and of the conference?


Friday Videos

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  1. 1

    I love the line, “YOUTube? Whatever happened to METube?” Cute, but a little long at 6 1/2 minutes.

    And when he says, “Never give it away for free”—well, they’ve just made a mini-movie and given it away for free on YouTube as a promotional tool for their conference! How is that different than a free offering of any other sort, including a free e-book?

  2. 2
    JoAnn Ross says:

    He totally had me too, until the Never Give it Away line.  But maybe they clarify it, with exceptions, at that way expensive conference.  (Talk about not giving it away. Wow, I hope that fee includes an open bar!)

    I have an handful of backlist books I’ve gotten the rights back to.  Unfortunately, a former agent has agency rights to them until the world ends.  So, one of these days I’m going to get around to giving them away as e-books, which makes more sense than sending her 15% whenever anyone might buy one.  Plus, I view it as a nice treat for readers who’ve kept me in this whacky business for 28 yrs.

  3. 3
    Shannan says:

    They lost me right at the end. The music industry didn’t evolve until APPLE changed the game with the ipod and itunes, and even now, Apple makes the majority of the new rules. IMO, industry folks would be better off reading Henry Jenkins’ Convergence Culture for $25 or so to get a handle on what drives fans engagement in participatory media, rather than spending $7500 trying to find the next purple cow. Blerg. The conference page bugged me. It did not live up to the coolness of the video. :-(

    ps I love the SBS’s Summer Book Club ad.

  4. 4
    Gwynnyd says:

    And what is the alternative to “never giving it away for free?” Pricing yourself out of the market and wIthering away?  It’s all well and good to toss the buzzwords, but it does not look as if anyone, including this conference, has the answer. 

    Do you think the “never give it away” tag line was a lure to the big-wigs to send people to this overpriced conference, even if a correct strategy may end up being “give it away sometimes”?

    I don’t think there there is the answer applicable to all media at all current and future times.

    Although I would so buy “Ashton Kutcher’s Book of Twits” – you know if it were priced right and DRM free…

  5. 5
    meoskop says:

    That’s actually incorrect – since many of the musicians that DID give it away fro free thrived while those that fought the tide did not. I think it’s a catch phrase to get people to register for the conference, but I’d be interested what the content of the conference is. Putting publishing in the ivory tower mode was hilarious. I totally know that guy. In many forms.

    The answer is the same thing Apple did with music that it is NOT doing with books – remove the technical stumbling blocks, offer pricing options that make sense and get out of the consumers way.

  6. 6
    ghn says:

    *sniffs disdainfully* Baen’s Free Library has been around for years, and it certainly hasn’t hurt Baen’s sales. On the contrary! The philosophy behind the Free Library is, the first fix is free…
    Many others who have made stuff available for free have seen similar effects.

    Currently, the greatest bar against my e-book shopping is the geographical restrictions crap. That is, I don’t get to buy books because I don’t live in the USA. That sort of stupidity sends potential customers straight to the torrents!

  7. 7
    Elise Logan says:

    But the music industry DOES give it away for free. Samples, videos, website content for artists.

    I don’t see free content as bad, I see it as advertising. I see freebies as those little old ladies in the supermarket who serve you yummy mini-phyllo cups in the freezer aisle so you buy them.

    I agree you don’t give EVERYthing away – that would defeat the purpose. But to say you don’t give ANYthing away, that’s just short sighted.

    It’s coupons and special deals and free giveaways and samples. That’s what I want my free content to be. I want to use it to tempt someone into plunking down their hard-earned cash and giving your work a try.

    It’s a win for me – I get new readers. It’s a win for readers – the freebies help them make choices appropriate for them.

    On our website, we have free reads from both Emily and myself and a free serial story that we add to periodically. I don’t expect people to pay for those. I want people to read those and think… hey. I enjoyed that. I’d like to read more by this person.

    Why does free have to be bad? Why does social media and content have to be the enemy? Instead of approaching it by girding for battle, maybe the better option is to approach it by extending a hand in friendship and learning what it has to offer.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now. lol

  8. 8
    Kilian Metcalf says:

    “Don’t give it away for free.”  Right, that’s why drug pushers charge for every hit from day one [not].  I love the free sample feature on the Kindle and music sites like CD Baby.  If i try it, I know whether I will like it and make an informed buying decision.  Giving away free samples is a time-tested marketing technique.

    was77 – but now it’s free

  9. 9
    ghn says:

    @Elise Logan “Extending a hand in friendship” is an excellent way of describing publishers such as Baen, where the e-shopping is such that I at times BEG to give them money.
    Other places, if they want to sell me their books at all, I get the feeling that I am regarded as a potential pirate.
    Guess which place I prefer to leave my money?

  10. 10
    Kwana says:

    Thanks so much there was so much to love here. Underlining the ebook, Twits, Zulu! Ha!!!! Loved it.

    I’m thinking the “never give it away for free” has to be talking about the end game. Most media people are savvy about free downloads and giveaways to pull your customer in. Kool Moe Dee for sure I would think would be aware of this and samples (free sample cd’s to entice) to get your customer in.

  11. 11
    Tammy Shale says:

    Some of the short versions they have on youtube are great to send to my friends outside of publishing.  If anyone ends up singing up for the conference post here so we can all make friends before hand.

  12. 12
    Elvis Royle says:

    It’s funny how people are breaking the rules and not answering the question that you provided and resorting to name calling. I have to tell them in my questions to stay on topic and actually answer the question like the people who answer the questions are kids. If they had watched that show they would have seen an 11 or so year old saying (from an Obama website) that she as a child needed to get her parents out to vote for Obama and that she needed to convince them to do so. And had they watched the show they would have also have seen the claim by Megan McCain that the Tea Party was “Innate Racism”, using that hateful broad generalization for an entire political party. Since Obama was elected phony claims of racism using broad statements towards entire groups, have gone up 300% at least.

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