Today is International Please Don’t Pirate My Book Day. It's a thing that I did not just make up. Somebody else did and I like it so that makes it official.
Chuck Wendig put up a pretty poignant blog post about book piracy. In his post he links over to this guy who also makes some good points. Giving away a free ebook with a physical book purchase isn't a bad idea. Good marketing if you can put in the time to do it. I do find myself concerned about the idea of try before you buy, though. How many people actually download a movie, book or album and then go and buy that same move, book or album because they like it? Some, I'm sure. But many?
I don't know if the people who want to test drive something before they buy it are even a double digit percentage in the group of people who torrent things. If someone already has something for free, they'd have to be a real honest type to go drop money on it. Being that I don't believe most people are honest types, I struggle with the numbers.
It does get me thinking about samples, though. When I get a novel completed I would think putting up a couple chapters on a website would be a smart move. Drug companies give samples. You get food samples at grocery stores. I'd imagine the big issue there would be dealing with a publishing company. They'd probably have something to say about you giving away parts of the books they paid you for. Perhaps that idea is best for self publishing routes like Kindle Direct.