David Pogue to Experiment with the Digital Age

I took this picture an an event at which Mr. Pogue spoke.

After being widely lambasted for his column a few weeks ago explaining why he was opposed to releasing digital versions of his books, NYT tech writer David Pogue has had a bit of a rethink.

Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly was instrumental in this change of heart, claiming that Pogue had no personal data to back up his claims:

“Take one of your books you have historical sales data for, release a viral PDF version and then measure what happens. Then either celebrate or curse the results — but at least it will be based on evidence.”

Well, Pogue is going quite that far:

“Early next month, the company [Pogue’s publisher O’Reilly] will also start selling electronic versions of certain books with no copy protection. For a single price (cheaper than the printed-book price), the package will include the book in three formats: PDF, Mobipub (compatible with the Amazon Kindle), and Epub (soon to be compatible with the Sony Reader).

Anyway, I’ve agreed to try an experiment involving one of my books (”Windows Vista: The Missing Manual”): to offer it as part of that buy-the-electronic-versions program.”

Glad to see Pogue staying open to these shifts in the winds and can’t wait to see what the data shows.  The biggest challenge facing those looking to try out new business models is that there is very little previous date from which to draw.

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