Well yesterday, Neil Gaiman posted an interesting update at his blog concerning his own experiment with this strategy:
"It's worth drawing people's attention to the fact that the free online reading copy of American Gods is now in its last six days online (it ends 31 March 08). I learned this from an email from Harper Collins, which also told me the latest batch of statistics.
For American Gods:
68,000 unique visitors to the book pages of American Gods
3,000,000 book pages viewed in aggregate
And that the weekly book sales of American Gods have apparently gone up by 300%, rather than tumbling into the abyss. (Which is -- the rise, not the tumble -- what I thought would happen. Or at least, what I devoutly hoped would happen.)"
Interesting indeed. View Mr. Gaiman's full blog post: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/03/scary-eyes.html
American Gods is currently available for free online reading at: http://browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780060558123&WT.mc_id=author_AmerGods_FullAccess_022208