I, like a bunch of others, was interviewed for a new book called Blogging Heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World's Top Bloggers by Mike Banks. Now that the book is coming out, Wiley, the publisher, has offered each of the subjects the opportunity to give away the chapter they're in as a free pdf on their site. Here's mine. (In it I mostly talk about why this blog made my book better and ultimately more successful, even if it didn't help me finish it faster)
This is very clever. First, Banks created a book by appealing to the vanity of bloggers, which is always a safe bet. Second, the book is mostly just those interviews with a few paragraphs of introductory text and talking points at the end. User-generated content!
Finally, Wiley is giving away the book in small chunks, harnessing the combined distribution (and ego) of the prominent bloggers that are featured in the book. Each of us promotes the book to promote ourselves, and the book gets the collective blog buzz. Others who have done what I'm doing in promoting their own chapter include Mark Frauenfelder at BoingBoing, David Rothman at TeleBlog and Steve Garfield.
It will be interesting to see how well this works. Will these samples encourage people to buy the book to get all the chapters, neatly wrapped in a convenient package? Or is something as fragmented and bitty as 30 short interviews so easy to consume in small chunks that the free samples satisfy most of the demand, rather than stimulate it? Because the chapters are all on different blogs it's hard to read them all together, so this isn't the same as simply giving the whole book away in one download. But as an experiment in leveraging the power of free samples to sell books, it will be worth watching all the same.