Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why My New Book is Free

As you may have heard, my newest book is out. The print version is for sale on Amazon, and the e-book version is free to download and share. Don't Wear Your Gi to the Bar: And Other Jiu-Jitsu Life Lessons is a departure from the seriousness of jiu-jitsu training that explores the art, in a lighthearted way, that has captured our curiosity and passion.

But why is the e-book free?

I've gotten a lot of messages about this, and the answer has a lot of layers.

The top layer is that the jiu-jitsu community, from my perspective, is driven by conversation. We pass around YouTube videos, we share blog posts, we discuss techniques and events--it appears that the vast amount of jiu-jitsu information available is available for free. Jiu-jiteiros like to help other jiu-jiteiros, and this movement has been growing since jiu-jitsu first went online. Making Don't Wear Your Gi to the Bar free to download is my contribution to that community, giving back for what was given to me, and I'm honored to be a part of that tradition.

The layers below that are a bit more difficult to separate. On a philosophical level, I live my life by the idea that I take care of the people that take care of me. My fans take care of me, so I like to give back in anyway I can, even if it's something as small as a free book. But the inverse of that idea is also true. If you take care of someone, they are inclined to take care of you.

Therefore, giving this book away is an act of goodwill. If someone downloads it for free and likes it, they may be inclined to support my work in return. Whether that support is in the act of purchasing Don't Wear Your Gi to the Bar or sharing the free e-book with their own friends is irrelevant to me. As long as they supported the project in some way, I am content.

More and more independent authors are trying this approach, with admittedly mixed success. If you're a science fiction reader, you probably know that Cory Doctorow is one of the most vocal advocates of this tactic, and his position is backed by growing body of scholarly research that supports a singular hypothesis: giving away free e-books increases print sales.

It's nice when the science supports the sentiment. Doing good for others means that they are likely to do good for you.

Download your copy of Don't Wear Your Gi to the Bar today, and share it with your friends.

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