[at-l] On-line Companion

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 29 16:10:33 CST 2011

Sly - 
There are several points here - 
First that the membership has voted on this several times and Teej is right - it's always been 
voted down.  I don't believe it's the prerogative of the Board to change that without a 
membership vote. 
Second is that the "free book on-line" is a proven concept.  Baen Books started it about 
10 years ago - against the advice of their business agents.  And their sales soared.  People may 
read part of the book on-line, but if they like what they read there, they'll buy the hardcopy.  It's 
good for sales.  I suspect it's the reason the Companion sales outstripped the other guys.  I do 
remember when the Companion was struggling to gain market share.  IIRC that was before the 
free-online version.  Am I wrong?  
Another consideration is that a lot of the use for it is by those who just want some info for a 
day hike or a weekend.  Those people aren't likely to buy the whole book just for one use.  But if 
they use the Companion for free for a couple of trips, they just might buy the whole thing.  If its 
NOT on-line, then they'll go to their local outfitter and either just read the info there, or buy one 
of the available books - which puts the Companion into direct competition with every other book 
on the market.  And the Companion won't win all those coin-tosses, whereas if they've gone to the 
outfitters looking for the Companion cause they've been using the "free online" version, there's a 
whole lot less "competition" in the decision.    
Bottom line here is that if it's not online "for free", I'll bet you a beer that next years sales don't 
match last years.  AND - antoher beer that the next years sales don't match next years.  Not a 
big bet, but I think you get the idea.   

I love you like a brother, Sly.  But I just don't think this is a good idea.  


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