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    • CommentAuthorharchangel
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008 edited
     (1210.1)
    Couldn't decide on which to put this in - Printheads or Electric Telegraph so i plopped it the Main Junction, so i aplogize if this is misplaced.

    Neil Gaiman and Harper just released his book American Gods online for free for the next month.

    Thought this might be of interst with Warren pushing the online lit envelope with Freakangels. Not quite the same i know but at least in the same vein.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.2)
    Er, ....

    American Gods is a novel. They're offering it for free on-line to encourage people to purchase it, I think.

    Freakangels is a web-comic with visuals that's meant to be viewed on-line. It's free, and isn't asking anyone to purchase.. well, any thing.

    I'm not sure how that puts them in the same vein. (This isn't meant to sound antagonistic by the way, I just don't see how they're related.)

    I've read both, even plot-wise or character-wise I can't draw any comparisons or similarities.

    - Z
    • CommentAuthorharchangel
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.3)
    I was more just going for the online literary push. Nothing too similar, just didnt quite know where to stick the post.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjaredrourke
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008 edited
     (1210.4)
    @harchangel, I had a hard time thinking about where to put a similar thread about Tor's new initiative that includes releasing e-books for free once a week. Never put up a thread, though.

    @Z, You're right that Warren and Avatar aren't asking you to purchase anything to read Freakangels, but you're mistaken if you think they're not doing Freakangels to encourage people to buy the print editions when it comes out, other books by Warren Ellis, or to expand people's awareness of the entire Avatar line. This is about money; Warren and Duffield are being paid for the project, and I can't imagine that Avatar is doing that out of the kindness of their collective hearts. Freakangel's primary release is as a webcomic, and having visuals will probably make it a more successful sell to people, but the wonderful images you're seeing do happen to share an aspect ratio with print books, not computer screens.

    Knowing that, Harper-Collins' release of American Gods as a free download is exactly the same thing. They're not asking you or requiring you to purchase anything. At the end of the day, they hope you will.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008 edited
     (1210.5)
    Personally, I think the future of on-line literary promotion will be blogging. That is, the on-line hand-sell. I don't think any new marketing will be as successful as word of mouth and the authour saying, "this is what I write". There's a connection in handing someone a book or a print and asking, "what do you think of this?"

    Regardless of whether the opinion the artist gets is a positive one, or one they're even going to take under consideration, getting an audience to connect and stay engaged is more valuable than a free copy of a book on-line. From a consumer perspective, I'm more likely to read a book if someone I know has read it and recommends that I purchase it than if it's offered for free on-line by a publishing company.

    Warren has shared Freakangels and is willing to discuss it with us. That's a connection.

    I purchased my copy of American Gods at a signing, at the signing table, and had an opportunity to hear about the book beforehand from the authour.

    There. I drew a comparison.

    - Z

    <em>Edited to add: </em>
    <strong>@Jared </strong>

    As I implied above, I think that the Freakangels on-line comic and the subsequent discussions act as a hand-sell/reading event. Obviously there's the intent that it will translate to sales on other books. The difference is, I'm not opening a text document put up by a publishing house. I'm engaging in a community where artists are presenting their work and offering an opportunity to discuss it. That's the difference I was trying to emphasise, not that there isn't value in either one of the works or the marketing tactics. I'm only providing my personal opinion that one is more effective to me- as a consumer- than the other. Harper has offered other Gaiman works for free, I didn't find time to read those either and eventually purchased them in a book store or from Gaiman at the signing table.
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.6)
    i prefer trades to electronic viewing myself.... but then i have a comic book and toy shop... i lose money when comics are published online. :P
    i have no problem with online comics that are later published in paper. That's awesome....I know there's always going to be people who prefer to have a hard copy of something than to have to sit at a computer to read it. There's the tactile appeal, and a satisfaction of our collecting instinct to posess a book.
    • CommentAuthorharchangel
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.7)
    Thanks Z, for that pleasantly packaged wrap-up/comparison. All is right in the Freakangels vs American Gods world again.

    And ironically enough. The American Gods offer was in conjunction and support of the 8th(i think) anniversary of Gaiman's blog. so really this is a self-promotion by blog.

    And now we've come full circle.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjaredrourke
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008 edited
     (1210.8)
    edited: harchangel made my point about Gaiman's blogging.

    What I didn't realize about Harper-Collins' push of American Gods on-line is that it has to be read in-browser, apparently. That's not the smartest move, and probably won't do so well for them. However, people who have pushed on-line, donwloadable copies of their books, like Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, have been really successful, considering. Even Tor's new initiative offers non-DRM .pdfs as well as .html versions of their books.

    I have to think the "here's a book, it's free, read it, maybe buy it" probably appeals more to the younger and tech-savvy (and probably fantastic-fiction oriented) audience than it does to the (what I would consider to be) traditional, non-"genre" book-buying market.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008 edited
     (1210.9)
    <strong>
    @harchangel</strong>
    Heh, a good point.

    Still, it doesn't provide the immediate discussion of posting a new episode of Freakangels and then talking about it.

    I bought the American Gods sequel at a reading. Gaiman read a passage, a few other items, then allowed the audience to ask questions. That to me is a more similar experience to the Freakangels on-line promo than celebrating a webpage's anniversary (blog or not) with a free text document. There's a disconnect.

    - Z
    • CommentAuthorharchangel
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.10)
    i would agree. Though with being tucked away in the upper reaches of the winterlands that are America's Mitten, we just don't get that kind of author action here. i would most liklely have to drive 7-10 hours to The Windy City just to catch an event like that.

    So a free offering of one of my favorite Gaiman pieces is allright with me.

    Gaiman actually had a poll for which of his books would be put up. So the whole thing was at teh author's invitation, letting the fans pick which book to put out there. Still not like Freakangels, i know, but it was a more personal thing from the author than it looks like at first glance.

    Hitting up a public reading by Gaiman or any of my other favorite authors that are still in teh land of the living would be a blast though...so Z, know im jealous of that fact.
  1.  (1210.11)
    @Z, I agree that nothing beats a "personal" sell, but I'm relieved that companies are finding new ways to introduce readers to books, and that occasionally they're doing it without treating their consumers like criminals.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008 edited
     (1210.12)
    <strong>
    @harchangel</strong>
    <blockquote>know im jealous of that fact</blockquote>
    Eh, don't be. If you've left the house in the last couple of months to do anything more than go to work you have more of a life than I do.

    - Z


    <em>Edited to add:</em>
    <strong>@Jared</strong>
    <blockquote>occasionally they're doing it without treating their consumers like criminals</blockquote>
    That may be what has me so interested in this thread. While I'm toeing the thin line of shameless self-promotion, I'll have my own ... product.. to be flailing at people in the very near future. I'd rather do that with as few cheap marketing gags and as much hand-selling as possible. It may be more work, but at least I can stand behind my own behaviour and not have to say, "someone else came up with that, I never thought it was a good idea".

    For instance:
    <blockquote>The good news is the link to the free online American Gods is up on the front page of the neilgaiman.com website. The bad news is that the link is wrong.</blockquote>
    Yikes. While I'm sure that isn't his fault, and it probably wasn't his idea, having to make excuses for it is kind of a pain in the ass. Issues of moderating and technical assistance aside, seems as if it would have been more engaging and effective to post a chapter, open the Comments section or a thread in the forum, then encourage the audience to discuss. More interaction, and folks are more likely to read it (despite it being in a browser).

    My own personal opinions, of course.

    - Z
    • CommentAuthorharchangel
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.13)
    Ahhh the wonders of cubicle life. Not much for me other than that. Maybe that's why i got excited about American Gods online. It's free, entertaining and will most definitly break up the monotony of the cubically challenged life.
    •  
      CommentAuthormadmatt213
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.14)
    @harchangel

    Once in a great while, a notable writer will make an appearence to a Borders Store in Ann Arbor or Birmingham, but as far as I know Gaiman hasn't been around. I got my fingers crossed, though, since I've recently moved and am a mile away from the Borders in Birmingham (from the west side of the mitten). Of course, coming down to Detroit from Petoskey would be just about as much of a drive for you as going to Chicago.
    • CommentAuthorharchangel
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.15)
    That's right, the home town of Borders should get at least a few good authors. I can't imagine it's a destination spot for author's like Gaiman though...and really who goes to Detroit intentionally these days?
    •  
      CommentAuthormadmatt213
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008 edited
     (1210.16)
    @harchangel

    ...and really who goes to Detroit intentionally these days?

    Not to go too off-topic, but since moving down to the burbs of Detroit (Royal Oak specifically) in August '07, I have yet to actually cross 8-Mile into Detroit. I had been downtown many times before moving here (to go to concerts), but have yet to make the trip, though I will soon because I've been meaning to visit the Detroit Institute of Art.
    • CommentAuthorharchangel
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.17)
    The DIA is a worthy reason to cross over into D-Town. Still not enough to draw significant author's i don't think (just to get us back on topic).
  2.  (1210.18)
    harchangel- I keep on forgetting there's other mittenites here.

    Its fun to see the book online; different from the hardcopy I have ...somewhere.
    • CommentAuthorharchangel
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2008
     (1210.19)
    Mittenites: We Are Legion