By Siobhan O’Leary
As we reported last month, German audiobook publisher Argon recently launched an experiment to see if it could raise 9,000 euros in three weeks to finance an unabridged audiobook of Cory Doctorow’s book Little Brother that would be available for free online under a Creative Commons license. Well, it didn’t go so well. The publisher was only able to raise about 1,600 euros in the end. Though it has been criticized in the trades for falling so short, Argon views it as a learning experience.
As the head of marketing, Killian Kissling, reported on a blog devoted to the effort, the project may have been a bit too ambitious to begin with, given the short time span. A good part of that time was spent explaining the details of the project, from what a Creative Commons license is to the difference between a semi-professional and a professional production. In addition, the only payment option available to donors was PayPal, which is the object of much skepticism in Germany regarding its handling of user data. Similar future projects are not out of the question, according to Kissling, but clearly some changes would have to be made, both from a marketing and logistical perspective.