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‘Judgement’ – The eBook That’s Both Free and Cheap

Here’s an interesting experiment in self-publishing…

Fergus Bannon (whose writings have appeared in Interzone, Territories, West Coast Magazine and Shipbuilding) has written a novel called Judgement, a book author Gary Gibson describes as reading “like an episode of CSI, if CSI had been written by Timothy Leary and filmed by James Cameron”. Judgement is a psychedelic science fiction thriller described thusly:

It started with a few isolated incidents. A mob shootout in Las Vegas, a firefight in the Central American jungles – one apparently unconnected event after the other, hinting at a worldwide conspiracy of unprecedented proportions. But before long CIA computer expert Bob Leith realises it’s something much more than mere globalised terrorism, something literally not of this world …

Rather than just sell the eBook outright, Bannon is trying something interesting.

You can either buy the novel in various eBook formats at Smashwords for the more-than-reasonable price of $2…or, you can read it online for free.

This flies in the face of conventional wisdom that says people will not pay for what they can get for free. Will it work? The thinking is that people will pay for what they like, especially if it’s cheap enough. I’d be interested in hearing a few months from now how well this works…

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

4 Comments on ‘Judgement’ – The eBook That’s Both Free and Cheap

  1. I don’t have his publishing credits, but this is what I’ve been doing for quite some time now, and I sell plenty of eBook copies even when it’s work they can read for free.  I can only imagine a writer with credits and lineage would have nothing but success.

  2. Didn’t Norman Spinrad pioneer this kind of thing with his shareware novel He Walked Among Us (2002)? In any case, I hope this goes well for Bannon.

  3. I’ve actually done this with two novels, starting in 2008, and will be releasing the third novel in the Bridge Chronicles series in February of 2010. I’ve gotten great response with the ebook version, selling both through Amazon’s Kindle store and Smashwords for only $.99 cents. The low price ebook seems to tip people over the cusp of buying from an unknown, self-published author.

  4. Janice in GA // December 21, 2009 at 7:49 pm //

    I personally won’t read a book online, especially when it’s on a web page with white letters on a black background. ::shudder::

    And $2 is too much for me to spend on someone I’ve never heard of.


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