Authors 2.0: Cory Doctorow


Cory Doctorow is an author. But not just any author. He has provided much of his works for free, via the internet. Here is an excerpt from his bio on his blog.

“I write science fiction novels — three published to date (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, 2003, Eastern Standard Tribe, 2004, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, 2005), and a short story collection (A Place So Foreign and Eight More, 2003). These novels sell well, win awards, and are published by Tor Books (novels) and Avalon Books (collection). They’re also given away for free on the Internet as Creative Commons-licensed downloads. They can be freely shared, and in some cases, remixed or translated and sold in developing countries.

I believe that we live in an era where anything that can be expressed as bits will be. I believe that bits exist to be copied. Therefore, I believe that any business-model that depends on your bits not being copied is just dumb, and that lawmakers who try to prop these up are like governments that sink fortunes into protecting people who insist on living on the sides of active volcanoes. Me, I’m looking to find ways to use copying to make more money and it’s working: enlisting my readers as evangelists for my work and giving them free ebooks to distribute sells more books. As Tim O’Reilly says, my problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity. Best of all, giving away ebooks gives me lots of key insights into how to make money without restricting the copying of bits. It’s a win-win situation.

I write other stuff: I’m on the mastheads at magazines like Wired, Popular Science and MAKE. I freelance for newspapers like the New York Times, and I contribute to lots of websites, like Salon. I also co-wrote a nonfiction book called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Science Fiction (2000), with Karl Schroeder.

I’m the co-editor of Boing Boing, a very popular weblog about technology, culture, and politics. My three co-editors and I publish to about 1.7 million unique readers a day (as of Jan 1, 2006), and we’re the most linked-to blog on the Internet, according to Technorati. It’s as fun as fun can be: I get to write what I want and I get to bounce around ideas that end up in articles and books.”

And this is just some of what he has done. Sounds mighty interesting, doesn’t he!

Here is his page that lists his stories and here is his page that lists all his novels and leads you to a page for each of them where you can find online and downloadable copies and podcasts and more.

And Salon.com has several stories and articles by and about Cory Doctorow.

Since I am getting ready to go to the Magic Kingdom 🙂 I am partial to starting with Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. This is where you can download it in just about any format known to man.

And here is the link to the Down and Out podcasts by Mark Forman and his blog is Mark Forman: 2.0 Getting a Leg Up. I have downloaded them to my laptop and plan to listen to them on my trip. No, I don’t have an mp3 player yet, I just use my laptop. 🙂

And here is the full online text of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

Pretty cool, huh?!

~Susan Mellott

Becky Carleton, a librarian at the Johnson County Library in Kansas challenged me to name ten pieces

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