The Tattered Cover is one of the nation's great independent bookstores, ranking with New York's Strand, Portland's Powell's, and Salt Lake City's Weller Books; now in an open letter, the store has "broken up" with Amazon division Audible, the largest player in the audiobook market, citing the company's mandatory DRM, proprietary formats, algorithmic opacity, and diversion of local book sales into the pockets of distant investors in a massive, uncaring corporation.
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(Neither Boing Boing nor I have received any compensation for this post: Libro.fm asked me to post this and I did so because I want to see them succeed -Cory)
Libro.fm (previously) is an independent audiobook store that sells all the same audiobooks you can get on other platforms like Audible, Google Play, Apple, Downpour, etc, but unlike the industry leaders at Audible and Apple, they are DRM-free, and unlike all of their competition, they work with independent booksellers.
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A decade ago, when Amazon acquired Audible, the two companies promised that they'd phase out their DRM
, which locked listeners into using their proprietary software and devices to enjoy the books they purchased. Audible never made good on that promise, and stonewalled press queries and industry requests
about when, exactly, this fairtrade version of their industry-dominating audiobook store would finally emerge.
I had the last official stop of my book tour for my novel Walkaway
on Saturday, when I gave a talk and signing at Defcon in Las Vegas. It was the conclusion of four months of near-continuous touring, starting with three weeks of pre-release events; then six weeks of one-city-per-day travel through the US, Canada and the UK, then two months of weekly or twice-weekly events at book fairs, festivals and conferences around the USA.
The nice folks at Libro.fm supply audiobooks online and through a network of the country's best indie bookstores; all their books are DRM-free, and they have a new, snappy way of describing them: Cage-Free Audiobooks. Read the rest