Free electricity.

When you think about it, you can imagine a much different world. Would we be fighting over oil? Could we invent a machine that pulls pollution out of the enviroment and changes the climate to wherever it should be?

Atomic energy proponents (before it was ‘nuclear’) assured us that energy would be much cheaper.. and who knows, that may still happen.

But today, I hope you’ll think beyond the energy example and apply what we’ve learned from other commodities. Internet access, long distance phone service, hard drive storage and computing power would are all nearly free if you compare prices to just a few year back.

Best selling author Chris Anderson has a new book on FREE coming out soon. He’s the guy that made the phrase “long tail” popular. You can hear him talk about what’s coming next at this site

In our book marketing and promotion programs, we often give away books.. and even when we sell them for retail prices, a book is an incredable bargain, with most of the profits taken out before the author sees a royaties.

Yet every year, more and more successful people decide to write a book

We do it becuase we have found a model that works. We know that the relationship with the reader will be far more profitable than the few dollars we could make on a book.

Some authors do make royalties from their book, but the most successfull authors who sell a lot of books,make the best seller lists and create an information empire tell me that the royalties are just a drop in the bucket compared to the income they receive because of your status as a best selling author.

How does this apply to your business? Are you prepared to turn you biggest selling product into a giveaway? Can you adapt your marketing to take advantage of the nearly free products coming taking over the world?

I recently talked to an author who gave away 11,312 copies of his book in one year. Many times the readership of the average author. These readers usually paid for shipping and handling, so we aren’t talking about just handing the book out on the street. His result was millions of dollars in increase revenue for his company.

I’d say that was worth it.

We don’t advocate that you start giving away your book. We do advcate looking at the business you are in, the lifetime value of a new procpect. Once you understand the numbers, you will find that each new reader (on average) is worth much more than the retil price of the book to you.

THe arithmatic to determine that value is simple.

Life Time Value = revenue divided by # of readers

And when you know that number,  you’ll know how to budget for marketing and promotion.