Little Brother audiobook: DRM-free and remixable!

Link to purchase and download this audiobook without Flash interaction

My next novel, Little Brother, officially goes on sale today! In addition to the US print edition, there's a DRM-free audio edition (there're also forthcoming editions in the UK, Greece, Russia, France and Norway, with others pending) from Random House Audio. My deal with Random House is that they're absolutely not allowed to sell the book with DRM on it, which, sadly, means that Audible (the largest audiobook store in the world) won't carry it -- they insist on selling books with DRM, even when authors and publishers don't want it.

Instead, you can buy the audiobook from Zipidee, a retailer that Random House uses -- they have the spiffy embeddable Flash sales-object you see above (feel free to paste it into your own blog or whatnot), and there's also this static URL for those of you who can't use Flash.

The audiobook comes with my own sampling license: once you own it, you're free to take up to 30 minutes' worth of material from it and remix and then redistribute it as much as you like, provided that you do so on a noncommercial basis, make sure that it's clear that this is a remix and not the original, and make sure that you tell people where to find the original. This is in addition to all the fair use remixing that you're allowed to do without my permission (of course!).

I'll also be releasing (as always!) a free, Creative Commons-licensed version of the text of Little Brother, just as soon as I get back to London (I'm presently in Toronto, visiting my family with my newborn daughter). It'll likely be Monday or so -- there's a bunch of little clean-uppy things I need to do with the Little Brother distribution site that I need to be in my office with uninterrupted time to accomplish. Link to audiobook, Link to buy Little Brother


  1. “Heyborne.” That’s a neat name. I wonder if it means “high-born” or “hay-born”? That’s a good name for a Jesus!

  2. d/l’ing the audiobook now.

    All went well with the widget, Cory, A+.

    BUT… one mp3? Why not chapters? Your choice or Random House’s?

  3. Downloading the book now. Here’s my tip for making long MP3s more manageable using iTunes/iPod:

    1. Select “File: Get Info”
    2. Navigate to “Options” tab
    3. Tick “Remember playback position”

    I’m more used to chapter files (coming from a podcast and books-on-tape experience) but I suppose I’ll survive :)

  4. Thanks a lot for the CC release of the text, I was wondering all along whether I’d have to kill yet another little tree to read Little Brother. (Not to mention shipping the resulting blocks over here.)

    I wished there was a way to send some money to you (to help you make your living) and probably your publisher also (to sooth them enough to keep publishing your books), but it seems like publishers are too attached to selling dead trees to arrange for that – and I sure won’t pay for an unsearchable text on dead tree (or unsearchable audio), if I can get it in a much more appropriate format for a price too cheap to meter. (Plus, there are better ways to sequester CO2.)

  5. To go with the CC text and audio, here’s* a CC review by a high school (underground) newspaper from the book giveaway. Any idea if the other high school paper reviews are available?


  6. I’ll also be releasing (as always!) a free, Creative Commons-licensed version of the text of Little Brother

    Cory, thank you so much for this! As a starving student, I prefer to read everything as TXT on my PDA and then buy the books I enjoyed the most as gifts for friends or relatives. Being able to do that without infringing copyright or having to circumvent DRM is a joy.

  7. Cory,

    I have loved everything of your’s that I’ve read.

    That said, there is one thing in which I ask you to indulge me. The following parenthetical phrase, from the first paragraph of the blog section contains a common grammatical error. Right at the beginning.

    Here’s the sentence:

    (there’s also forthcoming editions in the UK, Greece, Russia, France and Norway, with others pending)

    Help this old geezer geek to rest easy in a grammatical way. Please fix it?

    Rick York

  8. Cory Doctorow, this “give it away” philososphy of yours is interesting. In theory it shows you aren’t just in it for the money and that you want to get your stuff into the hands of those who can’t afford it (maybe they’ll buy the next book), but I’m not sure I understand why a publisher would give away new material. How does this help a publisher? How do you argue against other writers that say they can’t do this because it takes a too big a bite out of the sales that they depend on to make a living? I’m not sure why (I’m trying to learn), but I feel that what you’re doing must be a good thing. Do you see a point where every novel/book will be given away and sold at the same time?

  9. My copy arrived on Friday and I finished it that night. Awesome book. Hopefully I can get my teenaged nephew to read it.

  10. Cory, thanks for pointing in the right direction. It’s starting to sink in now. So now I would assume that every publisher of genre fiction (at least) would want to market their writers the same way? That would make sense given what you said in the Forbes piece. But giving it away on audio too? It may be good marketing, but I think it has more to with your nature.

  11. Hi Corey,

    I’d really like to get a hard copy of your novel, but your distributor does not post outside of the US. Will Little Brother be made available internationally, or in Australia specifically?


  12. Hey, Destructor! Yes, there’s a UK edition coming on Nov 17 that will also be sold throughout the commonwealth, including .au, .nz and .za

  13. Cory:
    I’m with TP1024@6, in that I would like to have the OPTION to pay for the free txt/pdf, with some going to you and some going to your publisher. I’m sure it wouldn’t be that big a difference in money for you or TOR, but it would make some of us feel a bit better (I don’t mind “stealing” things that I don’t plan on buying, but I feel bad getting something for free when I would otherwise pay).

    Heck, you could offer it the same way Radiohead did with In Rainbows (just enter $0 if you want it for free), and ride the little publicity wave.

    Till then I guess I’ll have to add another dead tree to my stack, and I’m running out of room :(

  14. the flash applet causes a “Out of Memory” error on the Wii browser. Yes, in times of technical difficulties, some of us are reduced to using the Wii browser to get their daily fix of BoingBoing. Needless to say, this problem makes the main page of BB, the day’s page, and this article unreadable on the Wii. Just thought I’d let you know…

  15. Agent 86, I think the “offer what you want” is a great idea. Let’s face it, if enough people just gave a dollar (pound, whatever), that money could go to a lot of other things rather than personal income, such as charity. So a lot of people would still just take for free what is offered for free. Still, the potential is there to make a lot of money just by giving the people the -choice-. All that money could go to the EFF or any organizations that Cory wants to give to.

  16. November 17th? I can’t wait that long. Thank you for electronic releases.

    I just finished Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom – fantastic!
    Your whuffie is up in my book :)

  17. Yo Cory…

    Got the hardback (promptly stolen by my 14 YO son). Thought I’d snag the audiobook, but it looks like that Zipidee flash widgit transmits the credit card info via straight http, instead of encrypted https. That’s kind of a deal-breaker for me I’m afraid. Is there another source for the audio version?

  18. OK, looks like if you go to the Zipidee website, they offer Paypal as a payment option, and at least that is secure. Cool. Purchase made, happily listening away. (But geez Zipidee, no https? That’s so 1996).

  19. After reading Wil Wheaton’s review of LB (or rather, his description of his son’s reaction to it) I couldn’t wait for the Aus edition, Cory! I just ordered three copies shipped internationally from Amazon. I’m very excited.

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