the road ahead

Free Books?
August 14, 2008, 3:44 am
Filed under: business, ministry

If you have not read The Long Tail you need to do yourself a service and pick it up. It is a great piece of work to challenge your thinking on the new “freemium” economy. I have found it extremely helpful in our work at NavPress, and our leadership team has used the principles in discussions about our new business model.

I wanted you to take a look at the attached post. The author, Chris Anderson, challenges us to consider again the idea of using community to design and produce books and other consumables.

Here are some of the key components for building a business model using this approach:

  1. Build a community around free information and advice on a particular topic.
  2. With that community’s help, design products that people want, then return the favor by making the products free in raw form.
  3. Let those with more money than time/skill/risk-tolerance buy the more polished version of those products. (That may turn out to be almost everyone.)
  4. Do it again and again, building a 40% margin into the products to pay the bills.

Well, whether you agree or not, it’s something new to think about for publishing in the 21st century. Watch this Chris Anderson interview. See what you think.


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