An idea

I've been thinking about the whole electronic vs paper book thing recently. There are the various DRM problems that just don't seem to be getting anywhere near sorted (see this article on Boing Boing about one publisher trying to bully authors).

Suffice it to say that as long as I have a say in things, my electronic books will be free of any sort of digital rights management and will also be licensed under a Creative Commons license.

To that end, one of the things I think would be a good thing to do is to offer different versions of the electronic version so that people who do not have a Kindle can still read it. Also, if you have bought a paper version of one of my books and would like an electronic version, I don't think that you should have to buy it again. Obviously, I'm not going to stop you doing so, but I don't think you should have to (I'm afraid I can't afford to give you a paper copy of the book if you've got an electronic version but you can always get a pdf copy and print it out...). Once you've bought it in one format you should be free to port it from one version to the next.

Therefore, if you have bought a copy of any of my books and would like a copy of the book in whatever electronic version takes your fancy, please email me a copy of your receipt, using the 'Contact Samarcand Books' link on the Samarcand Books webpage specifying what version you want (pdf, ebook, txt, rtf, whatever) and I'll send you another copy in return.

Obviously, this offer will also apply to anything else that I write. (As far as I am able. If I get published by a 'real' publisher, it will depend on their contract, but I'll certainly push for it to happen like that - up to and including the no DRM bit. Hell, if Cory Doctorow can do it, I don't see why I can't.

The other option, if you have the electronic version, is to get a copy of Calibre which converts ebooks from one format to another. There is also an add-on for Calibre that allows you to remove DRM from all your electronic books. Frankly, if you've got any sort of e-reader, you should be using Calibre to back up your books, even if you don't worry about DRM...

(This piece was originally published on my Livejournal page a few years ago.)