As if I don’t have enough to read, I downloaded two new audiobooks for my iPhone. I downloaded Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Wired Magazine's Chris Anderson. This book fascinates me. First of all, I downloaded it for free on my iPhone as an audiobook and as an e-book for my iPhone Kindle app, my first! How will the publisher make money on a free book? (Hardcover sales?)
As a marketer, the concept of free fascinates me. I mean, much of the content on the Internet is free. Social networking sites are free. YouTube is free. And look at their popularity. Yet most poetry is free and no one buys it (I'm speaking very generally here.).
As someone who puts her writing on the Web, I think I’ve benefited by freely sharing my work, but how will that affect book sales in terms of reaching an audience? If one can get something for free, at what level will a reader pay for it? Does getting something for free affect its value? Of course it does, but is it valued less? For me, it’s all tied into worth and value in our culture.
And, I downloaded Seth Godin’s audiobook Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Overlaping concepts, I think. I’ve been a fan of this marketing guru for a few years, ever since his “purple cow” days. Tribes talk about developing a devoted following to champion a cause, whatever that may be. In my case, the blog has become a way to reach out to the community of poets and writers.
Both books share an unconventional way of looking at how to get a message across. Personally, I don’t think the community talks about poetry and business enough. But for me, it’s a fascinating exchange between art and commerce.