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An idea came to me earlier today. Many film companies are now bundling downloads of digital copies of their movies along with the DVD and BluRay releases. They’ve been doing this for several years (since 2007), and it seems to be decently effective. If you can get a portable copy of your movie free with the physical copy, why not do so? I have digital copies of several movies, including perennial favorite, The Nightmare Before Christmas. 

What about this, publishing industry? What happens if you include an eBook copy of a text (or a download code for said copy) with every purchase of a physical book? Personally, it would make me more inclined to get the digital copy of a book, because I’d have a physical copy for my library and a digital version of it for portability. I could read on either format, and I wouldn’t have to buy my favorite books twice. Food for thought.

6 Comments

  1. I think that’s a brilliant idea. Question is how to go about it without having people just steal the digital copy and leave the physical copy. I mean, if you put an insert or download code inside a book, you’d have to plastic wrap it to keep people from stealing it, and you’d lose the joy of browsing a bookstore, thumbing through a book that looks interesting, and deciding whether or not you want to buy it. If you could tie it to a receipt number or something, that might work, but it would take coordination with the bookstores, though it might work well online, being sent a code by email along with say, your Amazon or B&N.com purchase. Logistics is the question, but I think the idea is a good one.

    • Agreed. The logistics might take some time to work out, but I love the idea. I think a receipt code would be ideal, or it’s emailed to you. I’d hate to see them have to seal everything in plastic. It was hard enough with the manga at Borders. Everyone tore into that to get the freaking stickers. Ugh.

  2. It’d be cool if they included a free ebook, it would raise prices for the physical book a great deal though.

    • I don’t think that they’d have to raise costs all that much, honestly. It will be interesting to see what decisions the publishing industry makes in the near future.

  3. Makes sense. I know that a lot of small pen & paper roleplaying games companies sell their paper books bundled with a PDF copy.

    • Yeah, I love PDFs when it comes to RPG texts. My friends and I play D&D on a weekly basis, and we almost all utilize PDF copies for the handbooks, which, for the edition we play (3.5) are $30+ apiece/out of print/super rare now. I’m pretty excited about this idea right now…


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