Books 2.0: Neil Gaiman goes free

Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing has the news that author Neil Gaiman has gotten approval from his publisher to offer one of his books online for free — perhaps inspired by the story of Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, who started pirating his own books and noticed that sales of actual physical copies of his books began to take off as a result. Other authors who have experimented with a similar approach include Charles Sheehan-Miles and economist David Levine. Of course, Cory — who is also a science-fiction author — has also offered some of his own works online for free.

Rafat Ali at PaidContent has news of a couple of other publisher experiments as well, including a move by Random House to sell individual chapters online, and a move by Harper Collins to release digital versions of some books online (including a book by Paulo Coelho), although as Rafat points out the digital copies are crippleware.

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