I’ve probably downloaded thousands of free PDF ebooks over the years, but one ebook by Seth Godin was the first I’ve ever seen to do this.

The book is Unleashing the Ideavirus. Click the link there to download the PDF version of the ebook for free from Seth Godin’s website. And then after you’ve downloaded it, look at the file’s name. Here it is on my desktop:



Note that the file’s name is “IdeaVirusReadandShare.pdf.” I love the read and share part. I think that a lot of people just download a free ebook and then it sits on their hard drive for ages. Then maybe they come across it and read it months or years later. Will they be thinking then about sharing it? No. But that little extra bit in the file’s name might be just enough of a push or reminder to get them to do it.

Unleashing the Idea Virus is heralded as “The Most Read Full-Length eBook of all Time!” and I’m sure the little read and share admonition in the file name was not an accidental move by Godin. If you want people to read and share your ebook, why not add something similar? It couldn’t hurt.

Will adding a “PleaseShareOnTwitter” or “ShareThisOnFacebook” or “SendToYourFriends” to your ebook’s file name make it go viral? No. But it could help a few more people to read it and for literally zero extra work on your part. It sounds to me like something worth trying.

Oh, and one more thing. On the second page of the book, Seth Godin explains how people can share the book. This is a screenshot of the second page:

Steal this idea

Screenshot of the second page.

The book was published way back in the year 2000, so today the “How You Can Share This” page might include the following:

  • A link to tweet the book
  • A link to like the book on Facebook
  • A link to +1 the book
  • A download link
  • An invitation to email the actual book itself to people
  • An invitation to print the book

How else could you encourage people to share your free ebook?

[Seth Godin image source]