Tor gets religion on publishing’s new wave

Tor Books has joined the forward-thinking ranks of Baen Books and the two-steps-forward, one-step-backward stragglers like HarperCollins and started releasing its books on the internet.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a long-term strategy yet – it was a stopgap publicity stunt to people who registered at tor.com while the site was being overhauled. However, just for the hell of it, they’re releasing all of the previously members-only titles to the public, for free.

For a limited time, they are giving away pdf, Mobi, and html versions of select books, which you can find here. Hopefully the stunt will bering them more than they bargained for, and they’ll begin to adapt their business model to the new economic realities first articulated by Cory Doctorow, and then demonstrated by Doctorow, Scott Sigler, Tee Morris, J.C. Hutchins, Seth Harwood, Mur Lafferty, and all the other talented folks in the rising tide of podcast novelists (the ranks of whom I’m joining shortly with my Antithesis series).

If you buy science fiction, or are interested in the genre, hop over and download some ebooks, as well as some stunningly beautiful cover art, and then follow it up by purchasing one or two books you like. We’ve got to show these guys that this business model really works – in the long run, market activism is the only effective way to fight against the totalitarian lobbying of the entertainment industry.

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