In response to a UK publisher's strategy of making a DRM-free version of a novel availabe online for a limited-time before the book went on sale in paper form drew an agitated but smart response from Cory Doctorow, who has himself written a number of books and released them for free in their entirety online. His rant includes great data point about search and affiliate marktgin, and shopping intent:
I know from watching my affiliate link payments here on Boing Boing that ten times as many of you buy books that are on sale when I blog them than buy books that have to be pre-ordered. The Internet exists in an eternal NOW, and expecting someone who downloads a book to hold onto the impulse to buy it for four days is so unrealistic, it makes me suspect that this strategy was conceived of by someone who doesn't actually use the Internet.
The growing trend of NOW has data somewhere- I want more....NOW!