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Free Resources Further Undermine CBA Stores

If you don’t regularly read Christian blogs, you might be oblivious to the proliferation of free music downloads and free eBook downloads available on a daily basis. The distribution of these resources cuts across all musical styles and a wide range of Christian publishers.

If you haven’t really had the ‘in you face’ experience, you need to visit eChristianResources.com which we did yesterday, browsing all five pages of available free products.   Another page encourages visitors to get books for free by putting reviews on their blogs.  I’m sure that site proprietor Dan Radke sincerely believes in what he’s doing and before you shoot the messenger, remember that these free downloads weren’t his idea, he’s just collecting all the various offers in one place. Still, sites like this are just another nail in the coffin of stores like yours and mine. There is now a complete disconnect between the price of a product and its eternal value.

Have the various publishers and record companies really thought this through? In any given category 78 to 85% of all sales are still in physical product. If those numbers aren’t impressing the execs, perhaps they should refocus their marketing and product development efforts. Yesterday, an author with a major Christian publisher shared with me that they’ve done virtually nothing to promote his book. That’s evidenced by a dearth of both advertising and reviews online.

Electronic publishing and music selling makes the whole thing far too easy. Nobody wants to do the work necessary to create buzz for a product. It’s easier just to drop 200 review copies into the blogosphere and let another 2-3,000 go out free for a few days. But how many e-Readers (both the devices and the people operating them) make it to the final chapter of a book they’re not invested in?

The founders of our major Christian publishing companies would roll over in their graves if they could see what’s currently going on.

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