Monday, June 30, 2014

#theN00bz - The Freedom of Free

In April this year I started Dimension6 the free, and DRM free, Australian electronic magazine of speculative fiction. Issue 2 is out this week on 4 July and will be free for immediate download on the www.coeurdelion.com.au website as well as a host of affiliate sites.

I've been an independent publisher since 2006 and worked for Aurealis Magazine before that, following the traditional (and costly) publishing model.

But the standard way of publishing is full of barriers. The thing that really fired me up about creating and launching a free electronic magazine was just how many barriers the idea of 'free' removed:
  • Free means there isn't a paywall between the consumer and their impulse to consume.
  • It means other websites and publishers are happy to carry my magazine and tweet and blog about it because it doesn't 'compete' with their own product. They can use the magazine to drive traffic to their site and offer it as an added extra. 
  • Free means I don't charge for advertising but I do ask for contra advertising deals i.e. I'll advertise you if you advertise me. It fosters business to business cooperation.
  • Free means I don't have to worry about people copying and disseminating my magazine wherever they want. In fact, I actively encourage it!
  • I can also give authors who appear in the magazine a free, unfettered copy of the file to use on their own website or to give away to others.
  • Free means I can demonstrate how passionate coeur de lion is about promoting talented writing and encourage others to do the same.
  • Free means we garner a LOT of goodwill, from readers, authors, other publishers and websites. 
  • Free hopefully means consumers look kindly upon coeur de lion and the authors we promote through Dimension6.
Of course being electronic means there are a whole bunch of other free things I can take advantage of, like free and instantaneous delivery and the freedom to print big stories and give the authors room to spruik and talk about their work and promote their books, because I don't have to worry about page count or printing costs. 

Free. It really is liberating. You should try it some time.
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