iPod Owners Enjoy Free MP3 Audio Book Downloads

Many people are surprised to learn that there have been audio books available since the 1930s when the first music book recording was made and released. Some eighty years later, people are enjoying the ability to listen to “books on tape,” although they are rarely on tape anymore. In fact, in this digital age, a free MP3 one that can be downloaded to an iPod is probably the most sought after type of music book these days.

Even though such books had been available for a number of years, they really gained in popularity in the late 1970s when the Sony Walkman became so popular. This small cassette tape player made it possible for people to easily take recorded material with them in a convenient way that had never before been popular.

Then, about a decade later, the compact disc was introduced and suddenly the newest and best music and audio books on CD became more popular. While you can still buy an audio book on CD today, most people prefer to get their music books in MP3 format.

There is no doubt that a little searching will produce a wide array of free MP3 audio book downloads from a number of websites. However, it is pretty unlikely that if you are looking for a brand new book release of a recent bestselling book that you’ll find it as a free download. Those new and popular titles will be available for sale though, and many via a download after purchase.

In some instances, an author, or their publisher, will offer a free MP3 audio book version of the work to customers who purchase the printed hardcover book. This can be a valuable incentive to the customer and also an effective advertising and marketing strategy that is particularly helpful when a brand new author is trying to gain a name and reputation.

Many times, an independent author who does not have their own publisher will build a website to promote a new book that they have written and will offer the free MP3 audio book as a bonus when the customer buys their printed book or their e-book. This can also be a good way to drive up sales or to launch a new website because people are always attracted to the potential to get something for free and most people consider an music book download to have a lot of value, especially if it is on a topic about which they are interested.

There are a number of websites these days that have vast libraries of MP3 music book downloads that cover just about any topic that have ever been written about. Some of these sites are membership websites and when you register as a free member or purchase a paid membership to their site, many will provide their new members with free MP3 audio book selections as a part of their membership.

You can also find many free MP3 audio book downloads by searching the websites of the various large public libraries. Also, there are some specialized websites that have undertaken projects of collecting a vast number of works that are now in the public domain and they have made e-books and audio books available for people to download either for free or by making a small donation to help with the costs of running the website.

How to Make $500 a Month From Your Independent Music

Here is a scenario to think about.

Madonna releases her latest album and 2 million people go online to their favourite bit torrent or P2P program to look for a free copy. The Record label is up in arms at the lost revenue, piracy is killing the music industry etc etc etc.

What the record label is forgetting is that in fact these 2 million people will effectively review the album and tell 2 to 3 people each about it (probably more), post comments about it online, play it to their friends and advertise the product for free.

If even half of the people they tell buy a legitimate copy, based on each person telling 2 people about it they would recoup every single free copy that was downloaded.

Would you say no to so many people wanting and talking about your music? Established stars have a pull because everyone knows about them and there is an existing market demand for their music and people are out there actively looking for it.

That’s why the independent artist has to utilise their muscle power with a push mentality. Their single goal should be to push their music out to as many places as they are able to within their control and budgets. That’s also why independent artists need to focus on promotion above all else.

You would guarantee to get more people accessing your music if you gave it away for free, but hey that defies logic, hurts sales, and you’re not making that many sales right now so you can’t bear to give your music away for free right?

Independent dance music act ‘Kandystand’ released their first single ‘Everybody’ from their debut album, and couldn’t understand why sales were slow.

After a few months they decided that maybe their fans just didn’t take to the song, so started work on a new track that might do better. Because of this they took the decision not to look for revenue from ‘Everybody’ and promptly made all the mixes of the song available as free downloads on Reverbnation.

Within weeks the track had been downloaded thousands of times, appeared on P2P networks, bit torrent sites , all the usual russian MP3 services…What happened then was amazing.

Their fan list grew every day, their CDBaby sales grew at an amazing rate, their online sales shot through the roof, and they started getting money every single month from online sales of ‘Everybody’ and their debut album. The people that bought ‘Everybody’ also checked out their album whilst they were online and around 50% of them bought a copy of the album too…

So it’s time to take a tip from the major labels uproar on piracy and think again…Revisit the scenario with the Madonna album again, turn it on its head and apply it to your music.

Scenario 2.

Your band releases a track, puts it on iTunes, CDBaby, Feiyr, Tunecore etc etc etc. and publishes links to buy the track on their website. Your band immediately gives the track away for free on every available source including bit torrent and P2P EXCEPT your website where it is for sale.

Your band runs a competition on your website that gives away a bundle of your tracks for free every month to 1 lucky fan drawn from all the website fan sign ups that month. Your band gives the track to every available online blog and asks them to make it available for download in its entirety at full quality.

What happens here is that you are advertising your track where music buyers are congregating. Now lets do the math:

Assume 1000 people a month download your track for free. They come to your website to find out more about you, sign up as one of your fans and tell 1 other person about your music.

That person also visits your site and signs up as a fan. That’s 2000 people that know about you now and are on your mailing list ready to receive info about every future track you release and gig you play.

Lets be conservative and say only 25% of the people the original downloader tells buy one of your tracks legitimately from an online store.

That’s 250 sales a month, at a rate of 50 cents from your online distributor that’s 500 bucks a month.

Are you making $500 a month from your music? If not you’d better use the major label’s secret ‘piracy is bad’ marketing trick, and get it on the net for free as soon as possible.

Free – And Legal – Music Download Sites

While the Internet is not the free music Wild West it was a decade ago, there are still plenty of music download sites where you can download music for free, and do so with a good conscience. Especially when it comes to independent musicians, we should make every effort to find only free music authorized by the artists themselves. Here are some excellent music download sites that will allow you to do it:

bandcamp.com

Bandcamp is an especially good place to discover independent music, as opposed to Top 40, major label fare. This is one of the largest online music platforms, and one highly valued by musicians themselves. Not only does Bandcamp allow musicians to make more money per download (starting at 85% vs. iTunes’ 70%), but it gives them the ability to offer free album and single downloads, and even sell physical merchandise. If you’re ever feeling adventurous or curious, just go to Bandcamp’s home page and click “discover” to see new arrivals, best-sellers, and artists’ recommendations. And Bandcamp has recently made it possible for music fans to create their own pages, to show off their “collection” of music found on the site. Fans can then follow each other, say people with similar or intriguing tastes, to help them discover even more free music.

While not everything you see will on Bandcamp be free, a large percentage of artists offer some kind of free download as a way of introduction. Your only cost will be your email address, so expect some emails down the road. But you can always unsubscribe; a small price to pay to discover some great music.

noisetrade.com

While heavy on pop and indie rock, Noisetrade is another excellent place to discover and download new music. Everything here is free – this time an email address and postal code is your only cost – and artists often offer entire albums, multi-album samplers, and live records on the site. And, as with Bandcamp, you can stream the music before deciding to download.

freegalmusic.com

While Bandcamp & Noisetrade are music download sites with large catalogs of very good independent artists, Freegal Music provides millions of songs from 10,000 record labels, including Sony Music. You can download free mp3s, but there are a couple of catches. The first big one is that you must have a library card number from a public library that subscribes to the service. If you’ve got that (check with your library), you’re in, and you can start downloading Adele, The Shins, Kelly Clarkson, Mumford & Sons, Train, the list goes on and on. The other catch is you have a maximum number of free downloads each week – this depends on the library, my own account having a maximum of 5 free downloads per week.

Straight to the horse’s mouth

That is, go straight to an artist’s website that you’re interested in downloading free music from. Whether it’s an indie warrior or a major label stalwart, odds are they’ve got at least one song to download as a thank-you for stopping by, and it’s usually easy to find on the very first page.