Books that became films available for free download

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In an age when everybody’s trying to figure out how to price e-books, one publisher is giving away 5 titles that have sold poorly in print despite being turned into popular movies.

The Wall Street Journal  reports digital publisher RosettaBooks is offering free downloads of The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, A Passage to India, Shoeless Joe (the basis for the movie Field of Dreams) and Red Alert, which was adapted for the classic flick Dr. Strangelove. All 5 titles collectively sold a pitiful 250 copies in April 2011.

This particular promotion will run through June 3. The books are available at TheCopia.com and elsewhere.

Of course, free e-books is nothing new for those who have e-readers. All the classics where the copyright has run out are routinely available for free download.

The book business has been through hard times. So many indie bookstores have closed, and now the chain stores like Borders are closing. Then you have the warehouse clubs, particularly Costco Wholesale, that have become such dominant booksellers. And now we have the whole e-book phenomenon.

Do people value e-books the same as a paper version of a book? My executive producer Christa does to the point that she actually prefers the e-version of a book to a physical copy. She loves the portability; how she can digitally store the page where she last left off; and how neat, organized and easy to read everything is.

If you are a self-published author, I believe e-books are your friend. There are no printing costs and no money that you have to tie up in inventory. Your inventory is all real time and that’s really cool.



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