Free Books

As an author, I’m firmly in the pro-Google camp (or as Slate’s Tim Wu puts it, more in favour of authorial exposure rather than authorial control). In a country where our books are too expensive, I’d always prefer to get ideas out in the public domain than fret about royalties.

So if you don’t want to buy them, feel free to browse the Google Print full-text versions of Imagining Australia: Ideas for Our Future and The Prince’s New Clothes: Why Do Australians Dislike Their Politicians?.

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5 Responses to Free Books

  1. Alistair says:

    Is it just me or is only the table of contents etc available?

  2. Alistair says:

    Not to worry its my incompetence.

    I have still bought your books though, I couldn’t stand sitting in front of a computer for hours reading a book, but it will be insanely useful for reading snippets of books, where you are not required to read it all.

  3. We at SSR, have for the most part, published under creative commons licenses. We have also published in PDF at the same time, so it is indexed through search engines.

    Doesnt have the same exposure as a printed book, but also doesnt have the same restrictions as dead-tree media.

  4. Guy says:

    Reminds me of the neverending music piracy debate. For every band that is happy just to get their music out there and be heard, there is a Metallica, who abhor file-sharing and are happy to engage in litigation against people who have shared their music.

    Perhaps what we need is a system whereby writers/artists who freely publish their work online are compensated to some extent (e.g. royalties) by the publisher (or government) for it. With appropriate authentication it could be done on a per-download basis.

  5. Guy, We dont need a central authority to do it, as it gets abused. RIAA in the US collect royalties for bands that have their worked played on the radio, internet etc and then distribute it. The kicker is they only distribute to RIAA companies/bands. So independents are left out of that cartel. The Creative Commons gives a choice, bands who want to share, can choose a license to do so, those that dont, choose the more restrictive copyright of Sony/BMG etc. It is the same with books. Release under Creative Commons, public domain, or your own license, or sell your work to a company who then takes over distribution.

    Copyright is mainly for distributors anyway.

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