Sharing Your Work

One of my belief’s has been that with digital information you can make more money from it by allowing it to be shared. I’ve been saying pretty much the same thing since 1986 when I first discovered shareware.

Mike Masnick at TechDirt says that as soon as you digitize something it becomes infinitely available (reproducible). I agree. Rather than fighting against the current and trying to hide it, why not go with the flow and allow your stuff to be shared.
Why on earth would you hide your work from your fans?

So, how do you find a way to make money using that (free) as a business model?

There is no better way to have your work viewed by a potentially huge audience. If you can promote this in other avenues, so much the better. Good word of mouth is the best sales tool that there is.

I always try to keep things where I can control them so I would start with my own website. Anyone can easily sell from their site these days. Digital downloads, cd’s, tee shirts, or pretty much anything. Many of the physical products can be dropped shipped.

I also believe many of your fans will still pay for something even though they can get it for free. There are many others who will pay because they got it for free and liked it. You just have give them an easy to do it and ask.

Here’s one way that you could do it. Put your files in a zip file along with a readme file. I would suggest html, but plain text is OK.
I would write…

We (name) expressly allow you to share this (song, movie, book) as long as you include this page.
If you liked it or even if you didn’t send please send it on to a couple of friends and see what they think.

Please visit our site (link to site)
If you’re inclined, send us a buck (PayPal donate button)

Thanks for helping us.


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