I know when I release something for free it is because I don’t believe it has marketable value. It did take me time to create, but no one gives a damn or would pay me 1 penny for my time. So I can let it sit on my hard drive unread by anyone or I can give it away and hope one person will like it. And if I’m lucky they will find me worthy and buy another product of mine.
In writing and music there is so much great product both stuff you can buy and free things that it is overwhelming. And there is a lot of stuff you can buy that is crap.
With a physical object you have something after you’ve consumed the content. A book to lend, sell or giveaway. A torn pair of pants can be sewn into a quilt etc. We were paying for both the idea and the transferable item.
A digital copy is not tangible. And we haven’t yet shifted to assigning a price to that content. For years we were told printing costs were what drove book prices, so why does a digital copy cost the same as a printed?
We’ve moved to this realm of paying for ideas and not items. No one has any idea how to price it yet so they went with free and now if we want to charge for ideas then we have to fight consumer expectation. We have to prove that the idea is worthy. How? By offering something for free …
(Sorry for all the typos, I am holding a sleepy spoiled baby)
The original didn’t include a spell check because I’m unprofessinal like that …
Update: Man, I reread this and realized this was a train of thought comment. Talk about thinking while you write. A bit convoluted to get to the point where I come to the conclusion that digital doesn’t have the same value as physical object with the same ideas inside in the mind of the average consumer. With the e-reader and iphone apps and farmville tools, this is a changing landscape.
Also, to spell check becuase I spellcheck when I use livewriter but when it is published the spell check doesn’t translate.