Over the past few months I have been thinking about ebooks and considering a number of questions. Some of these include: What is available? What is easy to obtain and read? How will they be read? What format? What is offered to the Australian market? (At the moment the Australian options are quite limited. So much that is available in the US is not available to us in Australia. Many current stories are not an ebook option.) What does it mean to the operation of the school library? What services will we be able to provide? What does it mean to the budget?
So many questions and there are many different ways to approach ebooks. I am really just starting to try out the different options for novels.
Reading a post on the Creative Commons blog, published on May 11th, YA novelist Cory Doctorow has recently released his latest work of fiction, For The Win, as an ebook under a CC BY-NC-SA license, available for download here.
From the May post on his site, he announces
Today is the launch for For the Win, my latest YA novel. For the Win is an adventure story about kids around the world who work as “gold farmers” (people who do repetitive tasks in games like World of Warcraft to amass virtual fortunes that are sold on to lazier players) who use the video games and other networked systems to organize a global trade union, called the Industrial Workers of the World Wide Web (or “Webblies”).
Cory Doctorow’s book, Little Brother, was also available for download under the same license. This was not detrimental to the book’s sales as it spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
The new publication is a very generous offer. There are three options that you can choose from: downloading the book for free, making a donation or buying the book at his site. I like that there is provision for anybody who would like to make a donation to needy schools in return for obtaining the book.
Cory Doctorow has been a longtime supporter of Creative Commons. and there is more on why Cory uses CC for his works, see his posts for Locus Magazine on Creative Commons (Nov 2007) and Why I Copyfight (Nov 2008). He is certainly willing to back up his ideas with action.