Since Monday, we’ve been busy promoting our FREE beginner-level ebooks, for learners of Italian, French, Spanish and German.
In around 48 hours, we’ve had 633 downloads, mostly for Italian (we have a much bigger mailing list for Italian) but with reasonable interest in the other languages, too.
Below are the titles, which are also links if you haven’t got yours yet. The number in brackets is the total downloads from March 1st to an hour or so ago, when I started writing this.
Il ristorante (201)
Italian/English Parallel Text: La sorpresa (197)
El restaurante (40)
French/English Parallel Text: La surprise (40)
Das Restaurant (40)
German/English Parallel Text: Die Überraschung (40)
Spanish/English Parallel Text: La sorpresa (38)
Le restaurant (37)
(There are full details of the FREE ebooks in this article, over at our online shop.)
Some common questions/issues:
– yes, the free ebooks are free. No payment details will be asked for.
– no, you don’t need a discount code. When you have the ebooks in your cart, SCROLL DOWN and press the big orange button, which takes you to the ‘no payment’ stage.
– almost immediately after completing your order, you’ll be automatically sent an email with a download link for the .pdf version of the ebook or ebooks.
– yes, I will manually send you the .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and/or .epub (other ebook reader) versions, if you add a note on the order form or email separately after completing your order. Those can’t be downloaded, for technical reasons.
– no, that’s correct, I didn’t send the .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and/or .epub (other ebook reader) version for the ‘parallel text’ ebook you wanted. That’s because it doesn’t exist, as clearly stated on the website. Parallel text ebooks have special formatting requirements (numbered lines, etc. so you can compare the two languages), and that’s impossible to do on a Kindle or similar. Hence .pdf only.
So there we go, hundreds of people around the world have downloaded one or more FREE ebooks in their choice of language or languages.
I betcha 80% of the keen downloaders won’t actually read/listen to them, though!
How can I be so sure?
Beh, thirty-plus years of teaching adult learners has given me an inkling that, just maybe, people don’t always follow through and do what they might have initally thought was a good idea.
E poi, as those of you who have been around here for a while, and paying attention, will already know – I’m learning (not ‘studying’) French and Spanish myself.
And yet, while I have these FREE ebooks on my computer, plus all the ones that aren’t free, dozens for each of the languages I’m learning, have I actually recently read/listened to them, even knowing that it would do me the power of good?
I have not.
So there you go, human nature. We’re full of good ideas, perhaps too full of, and therefore take on too many things. And something has to give.
Some dreams are destined to remain so.
Which brings me back to why we’re doing the FREE ebook download promotion thing.
It’s for the remaining 20%.
I also bet that a good chunk of those people, while ‘studying’ Italian (or the other languages) won’t have thought that reading/listening to it (“…even at beginner level?” YES!) might be motivating and, for a variety of reasons to do with boosting skills development and consolidating what’s been ‘studied’, really helpful!
Lets hope that a few of them, having actually opened the .pdf file, or .mobi (Kindle_compatible), or .epub (other ebook readers) will realise – hey, this is acutually more fun that I’d imagined it would be! And there’s also the option to listen (‘easy readers’ only), or to compare with a translation (‘parallel texts’ only). How cool is that?
Very cool. And hopefully a small number of those people will actually go on to buy other ebooks from us, at higher levels, and so make faster and more enjoyable progress that they would otherwise have done with just their grammar book or app.
And while this is not nearly as profitable for our marketing team of two part-timers (me and our Italian teacher, Barbara) as the idea of having a cowboy on a horse puff on an addictive and lethal product in a scenic location, it’s a lot more ethical!
What we’re selling, or in this case, giving away FREE, will definitely not give you cancer.
Occasionally people will write to say that without our support they wouldn’t have got as far with Italian as they have done.
Also, we see the progress our online students make (read reviews), from trembling wrecks to confident communicators, which is satisfying!
And I notice (really, I do) that ebook buyers who have been with us for years – learning a language does often take years – people who began with the FREE products on this page, are now reading much longer, more complex texts, at levels up to C2. And enjoying them.
There was a lady last year (a fluent Spanish speaker, admittedly) who hadn’t studied Italian at all but, during the long weeks of the first lockdown, read along with our mini-Book Clubs, both our simplified texts and the original versions. After a few months, when the our mini-Book Clubs ended, she carried on reading Italian all on her own.
Brava to her!
We currently have around thirteen thousand club members. A handful of those, just a percent or two, will learn Italian, whatever we do or don’t do.
Our objective, then is to up that number from a pinch to a fraction worthy of mention, say a twentieth or even a tenth.
Ragazzi! You’ve got your free ebooks (or know how to get them, if not).
Now go read/listen to them!
A venerdì, allora.
Might Sir/Madam prefer reading/listening to ‘news’, rather than ‘stories’?
Sir/Madam is so discerning, and today we have just the thing!
Come right this way! Please have a seat.
Someone will be with you immediately: