In his latest at Locus, Cory Doctorow notes the passing of co-founder Charles N. Brown, introduces his With A Little Help print-on-demand experiment and points out the holes in the “special pleading” arguments folks use against open online publishing.
… Now, I’m too successful, someone whose name is so widely known that I am uniquely situated to benefit from open publishing, since the micro net-fame I enjoy provides the vital push necessary to wrest sales from freebies. Hilariously, some of the people who say this go back in time and revise history, claiming that I was only able to sell as many copies of Down and Out as I have over the years (nine printings and still selling great!) because I was such a big shot famous writer in 2003, on the strength of a dozen short story sales.
Here’s the money quote, a fact that escapes folks stuck in traditional publishing modes.
I don’t give away downloads because I’m just a swell guy ” I do it because I’m a self-employed entrepreneur who needs to make as much as he can to support his family.
Giving away free online copies makes an author money. What a concept.