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Here’s a riddle: How do you make your book a best seller on the Kindle?

Answer: Give copies away.

That’s right. More than half of the “best-selling” e-books on the Kindle, Amazon.com’s e-reader, are available at no charge.

Although some of the titles are digital versions of books in the public domain — like Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” — many are by authors still trying to make a living from their work.

via With Kindle, Publishers Give Away E-Books to Spur Sales – NYTimes.com.

Publishers resent it, authors fear it, and the public loves it. That third bit is why this is the future of books. No matter what the publishing industry believe, the Kindle and other e-readers are breaking the old model of the book business. The only question will be what the fall out will look like and how fast (if at all) the existing players adapt.

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