How to Respond?

Date: February 14, 2011 2:50:11 PM EST
Subject: Free Book

Hello, i live in brazil and i would like to receive the book Freakonomics at no cost. Its possible?


Kevin Sun

Dear Wagner,

I'm so glad that you're interested in our book! It may be possible, but probably improbable. However, this shouldn't discourage the possibility of your getting the free book. May I ask why you want the book for free?


Stephen Dubner


Go for it. Brings to mind two great sayings:

"You have not because you ask not" and "You reap what you sow"

Someone had the guts to ask for a free book and if you choose to oblige, someday it will be repaid to you in some form. You never know, they may be the next great Brazilian Economist and your book lead them to those life changing skills.


Oh number 2, Tom G, is the winner. Good answer.

Mike B

Link him a .pdf copy on a Bookz site. As a role model for efficiency you must sell your product at marginal cost, which is zero.


Abby Hoffman's Steal This Book?

Katie Cunningham

Ask him why it isn't available to him? I know some publishers delay certain markets, or don't even bother with them. My Aussie friends bemoan this regularly.

If it's due to unavailability or sky-high price (another publisher favorite!), send him a PDF of the book and request he donate the profit to a charity.

This won't hurt your bottom line, since this is someone who (assuming my guesses are spot on) cannot buy your book. If he were less honest, he'd just find a torrent for your book and use that.


"Not from me" seems appropriate


It never hurts to ask.

What do you want to do? Do you want to mail him one?


They could have downloaded it for free from somewhere... I guess it never hurts to ask.


If you do send it, maybe you will not ask for money and he won't pay, but that doesn't mean it won't have cost.


Propose a trade. Maybe his bookstore will be willing to use the book to buy some of his money.

Lisandro Gaertner

That's why sometimes I get ashamed of being brazilian...


You could let him know that Freakonomics is available via peer-to-peer file sharing networks as an ebook.


As someone that also runs a prominent blog (on software), I get the "Please send me the codez" e-mails like this every day. I am amazed how many times it is "plz, urgent to graduate with my masters dagree"

Ignore it.


@Brad 1:53pm, freakonomics laws south of the Equator are completely different. The book will be of no use to Wagner at all.


Also: It did cost him something to ask you. So even if you paid for shipping and gave him the book for free the answer would still be no. He can't argue with that.

Josh S

Sure, the book is free but the shipping and handling will cost $127.50.


Sure, send him one, as long as he is willing to go to work for a week or a day without pay.

Or, send him him a google-maps link to the nearest library.

Ben D



How many URVs is the book worth? That might help decide on whether to send it out for free or not.