Thursday, May 22, 2008

Free Books!

Publishers dabble in digital tales
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
May 22, 2008 at 3:54 AM EDT

A pair of Canadian book publishers dipped their toes ever deeper into the online world this week by offering free digital downloads of entire books.

House of Anansi Press and HarperCollins Canada have decided to make the full text of a single book available to readers for a limited time, hoping to attract new readers, raise the authors' profiles and boost sales of traditional copies.

Jon Evans's mass-market paperback Invisible Armies can be read for free until June 30 through the HarperCollins read-only interface called Browse Inside, which normally allows readers access to excerpts of books. HarperCollins chose Evans because of his enthusiasm for the experiment and for his status as an established writer with a solid following that they hope to expand.

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In related news, writer John Degan has decided to offer his in Canada Award shortlisted first novel, The Uninvited Guest, as a free download. Find it here. Degan's Globe essay on copyright and his free novel experiment can be found right here.