About e-books and media, books are not dead

On: October 13, 2010
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About Hannah Biemold
Artist and blogger who wrote a novel last year in the NaNoWriMo program (National November Writing Month). The book, called 'In het hooi', has been published by Uitgeverij Vuurpapier in june 2010. Hannah finished the master New Media program in 2009 at the University of Amsterdam. She wrote a master thesis on Twitter implications (twesis). Besides this, Hannah is trying to visualize ideas about the world through conceptual art, she is looking for confrontation with these borders and wants to know of they're stretchable.


Just a week ago Dutch publisher Augustus anounced they would give away a novel for free, not just any novel, they claimed it to be the first free fictional Dutch e-book. The Dutch media picked it up and it went viral soon after. The thing is, if I would want a free novel and search for it in Google, I would find numerous free e-books written in Dutch. There are about hundreds of e-books available on any topic, most non-fiction but also fiction and novels. In this particular case the media believed the claim of this novel being the first and copied each other. The thought behind giving away a book was to try and see what would happen with the sales of the printed book. Paulo Coelho did the same thing over two years ago and his sales went up again. And he was not the only one. The past three weeks I was working to change my own novel into a working e-book and didn’t know what to do. I could try and sell it, although not many people I know read e-books, yet. I could also give it away and see what happens. It was, and still is, an interesting experiment! The first day I had hundreds of views on my website and the day after this number doubled. Some websites with free e-books link to my website or host the e-book themselves. The thing is I do not know if people are just curious or really read the book. If this experiment also works for the sales of the printed book I also do not know yet. The thing all writers want is that people read their books, giving away free e-books helps to spread their work considerably.

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