I really like the attitude and methods that Snarkmarket & Revelator Press used to distribute their New Liberal Arts content. While it’s not an entirely unique concept of getting enough people to buy something before a larger release, it’s notable that once they sold out of their print run they opened up the digital versions for free. Even better was that there was a no thrills web version and a pdf that I’m assuming is just like the book. While I was reading some of the chapters last night via the pdf it I started to wonder why the pdf didn’t take account that I was reading on screen (maybe a bigger font, more linear etc…) and then I was like oh ya, they do have a web version http://snarkmarket.com/nla/new-liberal-arts.html stupid me… It was a strange moment to see something in default that was easier to read on a screen than a nicer version meant to be read on paper but was on screen.
Getting back to the buy and vote idea, Threadless was the first that I remember that used the idea of testing what a lot of people (ie. a crowd) was wanting to buy. Again there’s a limited run that forces people’s hands a bit. The shirts aren’t going to be there forever. However they have a simple way of selling even more shirts if they sell out quick. You can vote by sending in your name. They collect enough names and the thing is reprinted.