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Cory Doctorow's Book (For Free!)
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Now this is interesting:

Cory Doctorow has placed the complete text of his new novel "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" on-line for free. Now, it's being published in the "dead-tree" edition by Tor. Doctorow has a contract. He's presumably been paid an advance. And he's also apparently been given permission by Tor to distribute the book on-line for free.

Says Doctorow:

You don't have to buy the book, but I'm not interested in tipjar payments. I'm not doing this to compete with my publisher. If you read the ebook and want to pay me back, but don't have any use for the dead-tree edition, the best way you can do that is to buy a copy of the book and donate it to a school, library or community center. If you do this, you'll put a copy of the book on the shelf where it might be read, I'll get a royalty, and my sales-figures will go up (which means that I'll get a bigger advance on my next book and my publisher will be more likely to want to repeat the experiment).

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

From Wired:

Doctorow said he thinks the marketing buzz from those downloads will be worth more than any lost book sales. "I think that the Internet's marvelous ability to spread information to places where it finds a receptive home is the best thing that could happen to a new writer like me."

I hope he's right, and I wish him luck with this experiment. I may even download the book myself and have a look.

Meanwhile, Harlan Ellison's probably ripping his hair out. Actually, he'd probably say something along the lines of, "Hey, if that idiot wants to give away his blood, sweat, and tears to any damn fool with an internet connection, what do I care?"

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