Free Ebooks from Gaiman (Sorta) and Scalzi (Really!)

By Neal Comment

gaiman.jpgTo celebrate his seventh anniversary as a blogger, Neil Gaiman has made arrangements with HarperCollins to make one of his books available as a free download…but it’ll be up to his fans to vote on which one it’ll be. “What I want you to do is think—not about which of the books below is your favourite,” Gaiman proposes, “but if you were giving one away to a friend who had never read anything of mine, what would it be? Where would you want them to start?”

Ah, wait, I see this is connected to Harper’s freshly unveiled ebook giveaway program, which includes books by several other authors. As Motoko Rich indicates, the books aren’t actually downloadable, and they’ll only be available for a month—which certainly contextualizes Gaiman’s guidelines.

Meanwhile, the nearly-as-insanely-popular sci-fi author John Scalzi tells his fans that Tor‘s going to give away fully downloadable, DRM-free ebooks of Old Man’s War: “That’s right, we’re mortgaging my adorable daughter’s future college career to hand out free electronic copies of my most successful and critically acclaimed book!” Scalzi enthuses. “Because I love you guys just that much.” OK, it’s not entirely altruistic on the publisher’s part; Tor’s collecting email addresses for a newsletter connected to whatever they’ve got in the works for their official website—so far, what I know about it is that Tor’s art director, Irene Gallo, says “it involves, among other things, me being able to work with more artists and talking about art to a larger audience.” And Scalzi’s novel is just one of the books they’ll be giving away in electronic format until whatever it is they’ve got planned is ready to launch, which I suppose I should start looking into…