March 11th, 2009 by Joshua Weinberger
David Meerman Scott (photo courtesy of the author)

David Meerman Scott (photo courtesy of the author)

It’s nice to be able to exhale, and to share information that had to be held back.

(It’s also nice to be able to use the word “Free” in a headline — and mean it.)

meermancover

David Meerman Scott's "World Wide Rave"

We had a brief chat in our offices Tuesday with author David Meerman Scott, whose latest release, World Wide Rave (which sports one of the longer subtitles in recent memory: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories) has just hit the bookstores. David’s brilliant, of course — you may have seen, read, or heard about his previous book (The New Rules of Marketing and PR, which also had a lengthy subtitle: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly) — but unlike many thought leaders, he actually puts his theories into practice.

Turns out David’s not satisfied with the notion of selling his book the old-fashioned way — or any of the old-fashioned ways, in fact. One of the new-fashioned ways he plans on distributing it is through Amazon.com’s Kindle format.

And now he’s decided to make it free. Completely free. For five days.

http://sn.im/rave0311

Click through to read what he told us about why he decided to go this route — the very counterintuitive model of an author opting to not sell his own book.

A World Wide Rave is when people are talking about your company, its products, or you. I already have some free ebooks — such as The New Rules of Viral Marketing: How word-of-mouse spreads your ideas for free, which has been downloaded more than 400,000 times since I released it in January 2008 and hundreds of bloggers have written about it. [Want the ebook for your very own? Here’s the free link (there’s that word again!): http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/documents/Viral_Marketing.pdf – PDF ebook link ]
I wanted to make my new book — World Wide Rave — free in some media. I had thought perhaps as a free digital download, or a free audiobook or something. My publisher, John Wiley & Sons was very supportive — provided we only made it for a short time. So we decided to make World Wide Rave free on the Amazon Kindle for five days. (The new Kindle 2 was released a few weeks ago, so I wanted to ride that wave a little.)
I’m hoping that people will blog and tweet about the free Kindle download which will get people talking about my book World Wide Rave. I have a high degree of confidence that the added buzz of people talking about my book as a free download will sell many more print copies of the book. It will be fun to measure the results.

In case you need a little more background: Scott’s grown increasingly famous over the last several years, in large part because of the ideas he spreads through his blog, WebInkNow (which for years I read as “Web In Know” — and I’m still kind of partial to my version).

David’s at a New York book event today ( http://www.brandtrainers.com/dms/dmscott_event_3.html ), with Boston is the offing (March 12th) and Austin’s SXSW following soon after (March 14th). By the time he’s done there, the Kindle experiment will be over, and we’ll know what he’s wrought. (Personally, I’d like to hear from the folks at Wiley, or the booksellers, how they feel about this arrangement.)

Here’s a screenshot of what a free Kindle download looks like on Amazon.com — check out the “You Save: 100%” notation!

Screenshot, Amazon.com, for the free Kindle download of David Meerman Scott's "World Wide Rave"

Screenshot, Amazon.com, for the free Kindle download of David Meerman Scott's "World Wide Rave"

And what it looks like after you’ve done the deed (photo courtesy of Scott):

The post-download version.

The post-download version.

Here’s hoping he shatters some of the orthodoxy about giving away the store. (Part of the new mindset, of course, is realizing what “the store” actually is.)

j., who, in the interests of full disclosure, must now reveal that he doesn’t own a Kindle.

Or an iPhone with Amazon.com’s “Kindle for iPhone” app.

Or even an iPhone.

Or an iPod.

Or any iGadget of any variety.

His circa-2005 Treo 650 finally needed replacing this week….and got replaced (thank you, Sprint, and years of paying “hardware insurance”) with a new(ish) Treo 650, the likes of which had been thought extinct. Bring on the Pre, I say.

David,

While I totally appreciate the ‘free offer’ (took advantage of that) – it bothers me to see you are digitally listing your price @ 22.95.

While I do appreciate the time that went into creating your book, I hope, since you are big on being honest with customers and treating them fairly – you’ll reconsider the digital list price.

There’s infinite shelf space, zero distribution costs and no returns with digital books – not to mention that the production cost is very little.

9.99 digital list price would be very reasonable, I believe. As no one is ‘sharing’ an actual print book. For instance, I could buy one print book, and pass it on to many other people -there by costing you $ in the long run.

If you’re still not convinced, please visit http://www.mad4kindle.com and see what Seth Godin and Maya Reynolds have to say about the pricing of eBooks.

I’m promoting you today, but if things don’t change, we maybe boycotting you in the future – lol.

Thank you & Good luck.

Madison McGraw “Girl Arsonist”

Comment by Madison "Girl Arsonist" McGraw — — March 11, 2009 @ 10:48 am

I guess I should have waited. I paid for the download.

Comment by Rick Telberg — — March 11, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

Hey Josh, Many thanks for writing about my book. It was great to meet you yesterday.

Comment by David Meerman Scott — — March 11, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

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