Re: e-publishing fiction

From: Emlyn, pentacle (
Date: Sat Apr 08 2000 - 19:28:14 MDT

Damien writes:
>>I'm thinking of trying to replicate the Stephen King stunt, using the new
>>unpublished sf novel by me and Rory Barnes.
>>There are two big holes in this plan:
>>everyone and her dog knows King, nobody's heard of us.
>>we don't have the gadgets to allow people to pay for a download.
>>The first we can try to work around, but the second is an impossible
>>difficulty unless we can get some cyber-savvy help. Anyone here grok this
>>kind of programming? Might be best to talk to me off-line, to avoid
>>cluttering the list.

Zero writes:
>I'm planning to release my first novel online some how or another (if I
>finish it), but I'm prepared for the inevitable fact that if it becomes
>popular, it will be bootlegged. I don't know if there is a practical way
>avoid that. King's novel is now floating around Usenet (and probably other
>places as well). If you come up with any workable solutions, please let me
>know. Thanks.

Damien, maybe the trick is to not try to protect your novel too much. You
can put in place some pay-by-credit-card stuff so that people have to pay to
download (very simple & cheap to do), but let them pirate it once it is
downloaded (very hard and expensive to stop).

Big Steve gained some notoriety by publishing his book this way. He probably
made some money, and lots of people read it, many because they could get it
for free. Don't you wish that was your book "floating around usenet",
getting you lots of new readership around the world?

I assert that those people who read ripped off versions of this book, and
like it, will be likely to buy subsequent versions. The piracy does you a
big favour. The trick is, next time, to make it more difficult to rip off.
If the current book gets pirated heavily and you get some decent fame out of
the process (must be handled correctly), then some 'normous publisher might
do the job for you next time.

You can even get on the whole "information must be free" bandwagon. Pretend
you've got a big publisher breathing down your neck (perhaps you have), who
is forcing you to *gasp* charge for your book, but that you actually support
it being ripped off. Then, lots of net geeks like me will jump up and down
about horrid publishing dinosaurs, and spread your book to the far corners
of the earth. Then Damien and Rory get big time fame, and everything
published subsequently is a gold mine.

eMlyn, the eDoofus

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