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RE: Does "free" lead to "paid"?

And so far this is roughly the experience we've had with the 
open-access monograph series in Romance studies that we have 
conducted at Penn State since 2005. It is still an open question 
whether this is a sustainable model, with print sales not quite 
comparable to what they were without an open-access option 
available. My suspicion, based on the evidence I've seen, is that 
the "free leads to paid" hypothesis holds up mainly for 
high-profile authors and books on hot topics, not the monographs 
that are the bread and butter of scholarship.  We can't run a 
scholarly publishing program on a trade-book model.

Sandy Thatcher

>There is also evidence that making books freely available online 
>does not increase print sales. OECD's experience is a case in 
>point. Last year our books were visited free-of-charge on Google 
>Books some 2.5 million times. (We allow visitors access to the 
>complete book). This compares with 1.3 million visits in 2008. 
>In 2009, we sold c.200,000 printed copies. In 2008 we sold 
>c.225,000 printed copies. So, we almost doubled open access use 
>and lost 10% of our print sales.
>Toby Green
>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
>[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Klaus Graf
>Sent: 10 March, 2010 11:47 PM
>To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
>Subject: Re: Does "free" lead to "paid"?
>Excellent post? Very poor and "shameless" post! There is
>enough empirical evidence for the opinion thet Open Access
>support print sales:
>Klaus Graf
>2010/3/10 Joseph Esposito <espositoj@gmail.com>:
>>  For anyone who hasn't seen it, there is an excellent post at
>>  Scholarly Kitchen by Kent Anderson. Kent is on a roll. Here
>>  is the link:
>>  http://j.mp/aDcdCe
>>  Kent analyzes the notion that giving away free books leads to the
> > sale of books, whether p or e.
> >
> > Joe Esposito