Free music distribution site NoiseTrade has taken a sideways move into books, duplicating its free download model for ebooks and audiobooks. NoiseTrade operates on the basis of swapping free content for marketing data. “Artists upload an album, EP, single, or live recording,” the site explains. ” Artists get email addresses and zip codes for everyone who downloads their music. Artist meet fan. Fan meet artists.” And as of now, self-published authors, and presumably publishers as well, are in a position to do the same as musicians.
As of now, the site only offers a small selection of titles, many of them already available elsewhere as free ebooks, such as the works of Cory Doctorow (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Little Brother, etc.), but all offered for DRM-free immediate access, in Kindle Mobi, ePub or PDF formats, in return for an email address. Fiction and non-fiction titles are both available, and almost all the authors are modern. For those who don’t want to give away an entire book, chapters or individual short stories can also be posted.
NoiseTrade may not be the best-stocked online ebook platform, even among free sites. But as of late 2013, it already had a user community of around 1.2 million, which should contribute some valuable data for any writer or publisher who wants to take advantage of that aspect of the site. Check it out and see.
The reason a musician would find this information useful is because they’d have contact info for fans when they perform at local venue. Since writers don’t perform, the info would be overpriced at the cost of a free book. A free book on an open site like this means that Amazon and friends would reduce the price of the book to nothing. End of revenues.
A better solution is for writers to have their own newsletter.
That email address will come in handy when the author is ready to sell their next book, and all it cost to get was a digital copy of an ebook handed out as a freebie.
I think that we have to realize that while a piece of music is something that you can derive value from over and over. Movies and books not so much – especially if there is a surprise in it. How many times can you watch a movie or read a book knowing how it turns out. There are a very few but, generally, once we know the story, that’s the end of our relationship with that work.
Another way to approach this phenomenon is to ask, “If people listen to a song on the radio, why do they oftentimes purchase a recording of it and listen to it many times over a period of years or even decades.
Music is different.