Read Chris Anderson's Book 'Free' For Free

Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired and author of The Long Tail, has published a new book that looks at something of interest to Consumerist: the trend of content and services to slide toward free, especially in the digital world. It’s pretty light reading and an interesting look at economics in the digital marketplace in particular—and for now, at least, it’s available in multiple formats for free.

As one would expect, Anderson is making sure anyone who wants to read the book for free has some way to do so, although most of them are limited time offers. (This is, in fact, one of the ways he suggests taking advantage of “free” to generate revenue later.)

Here are some of the current ways you can grab a copy for yourself. Sadly, every text format is in some way restricted, either through DRM or format choice. Still, it is free if you’d like to read it.

Text Versions

Google Books – web-based, will go away sometime in early August
Amazon Kindle Store – free offer ends tomorrow, July 22nd
Sony Reader eBookstore – free offer ends tomorrow, July 22nd
Shortcovers – web-based, will go away sometime in early August
Scribd – duration of offer unknown

Chris Anderson notes in the comments on his website, “For those of you outside the US, local free versions will be determined by the publisher in each region. Please stay tuned.” Also, “No plans for a PDF, at my publisher’s request.”

Audiobook Version

Apple iTunes – unabridged (note: you can create an iTunes account without a credit card, o foreign friends)
Wired – unabridged, both chapter-by-chapter streaming and full audiobook download, should work for readers not in U.S.
Audible