31.03.09 Catherine Neilan reporting in The Bookseller
HowTo Books has launched a website allowing visitors to access "the entire text of almost 200" guides completely free. Giles Lewis, managing director of the company, made the announcement at an IPG-organised seminar for publishing MA students on how to ride out the recession.
A test site was launched "some time ago", with a small amount of free content. Lewis said the success of the trial – which saw visitor numbers rise from 6,000 a month to more than 250,000 – had been "overwhelming".
In particular, How To Feed Your Whole Family, which was published with "modest success" in October 2007, saw "significant sales" after being made available for free online.
Nikki Read, editorial director of the How To books, said: "The book increasingly became one that people were recommending mouth to mouth, blog to blog – all the time referring back to the free-to-view website where they could read the recipes for themselves. People were literally trying before buying."