I'll come up with something in a minute.

Free E-Books

My LJ Friend Interactiveleaf told me this week that Tor is giving away free ebooks. If you put in your info here, they send you a link, you get a free ebook.

Baen, another sci-fi/fantasy publisher, does the same thing too.

I guess you can use these files on an Amazon Kindle or a Sony Reader, and from what I’ve read they are DRM free.

Now on that point, there is an interesting article on Gizmodo about that issue. The question being should you be able to sell ebooks or not. There was also, if so how? As a writer myself I have an opinion on this matter.

When Baen started giving ebooks away, Syd and I looked and noticed a few things. Most the books they were giving away were the first and second books in long running series. The second and more interesting point was that for the most part the books we saw were out of print. Baen couldn’t have been hurting the sale of those books, because those books were no longer on sale. From Baen’s point of view, they were wetting your appetite for books you could buy. “Hey kids, read about Doc Sidhe’s earlier adventures, just before the new book comes out by coincidence.” Oh and by the way, you can still read all of Doc Sidhe and the first 7 chapters of Sidhe Devil in website form if you want to. It’s not really important, I just noticed it. I think this is where you actually get the free e-books from Baen after all.

Okay, so having said all that I still have views. I would rather see DRM free stuff that you can move from device to device. I mean, I did publish four novellas and two full novels on LJ (well, the novels were remotely posted PDF files and those links have long since expired, but you get the idea) so I’m not too concerned about the money. I would like to get some money, but that’s a separate issue and my own problem.

I really like the secondary market. It means that people read things that maybe they couldn’t afford if they had to buy it new. I’m lumping libraries in here too, even though they’re free, because they serve the same basic purpose. I like the idea that if you want to sell the book on the secondary market (used book stores and such) that you should sell the physical storage unit. You can sell a CD, or a used book, why not a Kindle or thumb drive loaded with 86 books? Okay, the reason being that we don’t know if that’s the only copy is a stopping point there and to keep thing honest it would require some kind of DRM, which I don’t like much.

That is where the idea of selling the physical storage falls to the ground you see. Maybe some lighter, less restrictive version of DRM can me made that allows transfer to new units and disables the files on old units. Maybe such a thing already exists and I just don’t know about it. I would be interested in hearing about such a system.

The point is that while I’ve been typing away about this, I could have been working on Return or that planned re-write of the Jack Collier stuff. I could have actually been getting real writing work done. Instead I decided to distract myself with this for a good hour or so what with checking all the web sites and stuff. I really need to get back to work.

March 22, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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