May 27, 2005  ·  Lessig

One of the most interesting presentations at this fantastic conference was given by Eve Gray, of Eve Gray & Associates. Gray was asked to study the publishing strategy of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa. This research institution had a traditional strategy of publishing lots of research books, and selling them. Gray convinced them to change their strategy — to give away all their research books for free online, and offer a high quality print-on-demand service for anyone who wants the paper version. The result: “the sales turnover of the publishing department has risen by 300%.” As she concluded her presentation, “giving away books and lead to an increase in our book sales.” There’s much much more in her interesting analysis. She has generously offered it for downloading. Here’s the press release.

  • David Horwitz

    The exprerience of the HSRC makes an interesting contrast to other publishing bodies and their oposition to digitising efforts. Just look at the reaction of the AUP (Assosiation of University Presses) to Googles library digitisation project….