Monday, October 22, 2007

Free music, free books, free everything... annoyed publishers

Another free CD! I'm starting to like this new system. Prince gave me his new album for free when I went to his gig the other day, and Ray Davies has given me his because my parents bought the Sunday Times.

I've always been a fan of Ray Davies (especially since he taught me how to write songs on his outstanding songwriting course, thus setting me on the path of my early career) but I probably wouldn't have snapped up his new album straight away if I'd had to part with money. I might have read a couple of reviews, listened to clips on itunes, and ultimately decided to download some old Kinks tunes instead.

But now I've got this new album, and it was free, I'm really enjoying it. The man certainly knows how to write a song.

So I reckon I might recommend 'Working Man's Cafe' to some other people, or even mention it on my blog, and maybe later download some more old Kinks tunes that I don't already have.

You see - everybody wins. Free music is the future.

But what about books? I've put my songwriting on hold while I write a few novels, so should I be learning from this whole 'free music' thing? Should I be giving away my new book free with a newspaper? Or putting on a website for you to download for any price you feel like paying?

I feel like I should certainly think very hard about it. My publisher might think I've lost my mind and try to get me locked up or chop off a toe or spread butter on me an shove me in a toaster, or something like that (publishers can do strange things when you start talking about giving books away for free) but maybe I should take that risk.

Surely if giving stuff away free is the future for music, it can't be long before it's the future for books as well. I can't quite work out how, but there's something at the back of my mind that's telling me I could sell a lot more books if I did the whole thing myself, without a publisher, and gave away some of the Jimmy Coates series for free...

Any expert out there who cares to offer advice - now's the time to chip in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where I live(home of Prince), the newspaper will serialize a book.
Is that close to a free book?