[at-l] On-line Companion

Sly slyatpct at aol.com
Sat Jan 29 17:06:57 CST 2011

I admittedly haven't been to every vote but I can't recall a vote where 
the free online Companion be taken down for the public but still remain 
available to the membership.

I'm not talking about completely taking it off line completely.  I've 
left an option open for an $8 download of a $15 book with part of the 
proceeds going to the ATC.  If people are going to hike and use a guide 
compiled by ALDHA and published by the ATC, don't you think they'd be 
willing to spend $8 for what they need online, rather than search out 
another guide for twice the price?   Free or not, if they like the PDF 
they're also likely to buy the hard cover rather than spent hours 
printing and money on paper and ink for a longer section or thruhike.

I've seen what happens at general meetings when a single person ends 
discussion and ideas get tabled never to be heard from again.  Yeah, 
it's a lot easier to "keep it the way it is"


On 1/29/2011 5:10 PM, Jim and_or Ginny Owen wrote:
> 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.
> Jim
> http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/
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