My second novel, Eastern Standard Tribe
starts shipping today -- it should be showing up in bookstores
any day now.
As with Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, my first novel, I've made the whole text of the novel available as a free download in a variety of open, standards-defined formats, under the terms of a Creative Commons license -- and I've written a short essay explaining why I've done it: in a nutshell, this worked really well for my first book, and I'd be crazy not to repeat the experiment with my second novel.
I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Because you -- the readers, the slicers, dicers and copiers -- hold in your collective action the secret of the future of publishing. Writers are a dime a dozen. Everybody's got a novel in her or him. Readers are a precious commodity. You've got all the money and all the attention and you run the word-of-mouth network that marks the difference between a little book, soon forgotten, and a book that becomes a lasting piece of posterity for its author, changing the world in some meaningful way.
I'm unashamedly exploiting your imagination. Imagine me a new practice of book, readers. Take this novel and pass it from inbox to inbox, through your IM clients, over P2P networks. Put it on webservers. Convert it to weird, obscure ebook formats. Show me -- and my colleagues, and my publisher -- what the future of book looks like.
I'll keep on writing them if you keep on reading them. But as cool and wonderful as writing is, it's not half so cool as inventing the future. Thanks for helping me do it.
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