My independently produced audio edition of Homeland, read by Wil Wheaton, is now available direct from me as a $15 MP3 download. The audiobook not only features Wil's reading, but also Noah Swartz reading his brother Aaron Swartz's afterword and Jacob Appelbaum reading his own afterword, recorded at the Berlin studio of Atari Teenage Riot's Alec Empire.
"When Don Katz first called and explained ACX to me I started to get excited. I've loved narrating audiobooks—winning the Audiobook of the Year Audie Award for The Graveyard Book was one of my proudest moments—and I am lucky in that almost all my books are now available in audiobook form. But I'm constantly astonished at how many great books, beloved books and books that have a special place in my heart, are not, and mostly never have been, available as audiobooks. ACX seems a brilliant way to change that. In an ideal world you should be able to listen to every book you love being read by someone who's perfect for it. Getting involved in ACX, and curating my own label within it, is my way of trying to help us get to that ideal world."Neil Gaiman uses ACX tools to liberate audio rights and to produce quality audiobooks! (Thanks, Juke!)
Malaysia's Y&R agency created these fantastic "ear worm" ads for a line of Penguin kids' classic audiobooks. I love the combination of kids' book illustration with anatomical detail and a Penguin-Classic-esque layout and colour scheme. That said, I'd avoid the digital download versions of these audiobooks like infectious material, as they appear to be poisoned with some species of DRM requiring you to use "Ingram Audio Manager," a bit of proprietary crashware. I'll stick with buying and ripping the CDs.
(via Street Anatomy)
The stories are read by Bronson Pinchot, whom you'll remember from his role as "Balki" on the sitcom "Perfect Strangers." This wasn't the greatest TV ever produced, and Pinchot's scenery-chewing comedy accent work was often over the top, but what little laughs Strangers evoked inevitably belonged to him.Read the rest
With a Little Help is my first serious experiment in self-publishing. I've published many novels, short story collections, books of essays and so on with publishers, and it's all been very good and satisfying and educational and so on, but it seems like it's time to try something new.
You see, I've always released my work under open licenses from the Creative Commons project, so that my readers could share and remix my works. A good number of these readers wanted to know why I didn't distribute the physical book as well, and see what a writer working on his own could do.
So here you have it. With a Little Help, consists of 12 stories, all reprints except for "Epoch," which was commissioned by the Ubuntu project's Mark Shuttleworth for $10,000 (this being the most expensive option for buying the book -- don't worry, there are cheaper editions). The book is available in many forms:
* Paperback, on demand from Lulu.com: $18. Read the rest
Available in four covers, with art by Frank Wu, Rick Lieder, Rudy Rucker, and Pablo Defendini (who also did the book's design, working from John Berry's wonderful typography). Every month, I add a new appendix to this edition, detailing my balance sheet for the project, as a service to others contemplating a similar venture.
Read the rest
Fans of the abridged reading and everyone else who is interested in the audiobook are being asked to pay in towards a full, free, unabridged release, also read by Rohrbeck. Once the total of €9000 is raised, the unabridged recording will also be released, free of charge, without DRM, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, free for all comers (if the total sum isn't raised by a set time, all the money is refunded).
What's even cooler is that the audiobook (and the German print book, from Rowohlt), co-exist happily with a free fan-translation of the novel by Christian Wöhrl and a free fan audiobook reading by Fabian Neidhardt. Fans are free to promote the work to other fans, for free, while commercial operators produce commercial editions.
I'm going on a multi-city tour of Germany in September and I'm hoping to meet Christian and Fabian so that I can thank them in person. I'm also hoping that fans of the free editions support my cool, sharing-friendly German publishers and reward them for their open attitude towards free and paid media.
The Makers audiobook runs 18.5 hours and is formatted for burning onto 15 CDs. It's read by Bernadette Dunne. I really like Dunne's reading (here's a sample) and RHA's production job is tops. The MP3s are 128K/44KHz.
I get an additional 20 percent on top of my customary royalty if you buy it from me, and you get a book that has no DRM and no crappy "license agreement" requiring you to turn over your firstborn in exchange for the privilege of handing me your hard-earned money.
Right now, sales are only available through PayPal, though I hope that'll change soon. And if this is successful, I hope to add the audio for Little Brother and my forthcoming YA novel, For the Win.
This installment of the Brads webcomic shows the 22 steps a reader has to take in order to borrow a DRM-crippled audiobook from the public library. A compelling argument for libraries to boycott this stuff.
- XKCD strip explains how DRM creates piracy
- My DRM and ebooks talk from O'Reilly Tools of Change for ...
- DRM-free Kindle books: are they any free-er?
- Stupid DRM, abusive EULAs, hopeless ecommerce: why I'm not even ...
- O'Reilly drops ebook DRM, sees 104% increase in sales
- Obama's diplomatic gift to UK leader fubared by DRM
Stupid DRM, abusive EULAs, hopeless ecommerce: why I'm not even going to try to sell my short story collection audiobook downloads
For my next book, Makers, we tried again. This time Audible agreed to carry the title without DRM. Hooray! Except now there was a new problem: Apple refused to allow DRM-free audiobooks in the Apple Store--yes, the same Apple that claims to hate DRM. Okay, we thought, we'll just sell direct through Audible, at least it's a relatively painless download process, right? Not quite. It turns out that buying an audiobook from Audible requires a long end-user license agreement (EULA) that bars users from moving their Audible books to any unauthorized device or converting them to other formats. Instead of DRM, they accomplish the lock-in with a contract.With a Little Help: Can You Hear Me Now?
I came up with what I thought was an elegant solution: a benediction to the audio file: "Random House Audio and Cory Doctorow, the copyright holders to this recording, grant you permission to use this book in any way consistent with your nation's copyright laws." This is a good EULA, I thought, as it stands up for every word of copyright law. Random House was game, too. Audible wasn't. So we decided not to sell through Audible, which I was intensely bummed about, because I really like Audible. They have great selection, good prices, and they're kicking ass with audiobooks.
The audiobook of my latest novel, Makers has been published by Random House Audio, strictly in DRM-free formats over the net (this means that Apple won't carry it in the iTunes store, even though Audible was willing to carry it without DRM).
The reading is by Bernadette Dunne, a very talented actor. I just listened to this for the first time yesterday and I was blown away by Dunne's reading. I'm a huge audiobook nut, and I'm incredibly glad to have professional audiobook adaptations of my books from Random House -- and doubly grateful to them for supporting my commitment to DRM-free distribution. When you buy this book, you own it. The "terms of service" are "Don't violate copyright law," not "By buying this audiobook, you agree that we get to come over and kick you in the ass."