Podiobooks and Free E-Books Harmful?

Flametoad seems to thinks so (found via TeleRead). He suggests that authors like Cory Doctorow, JC Hutchins and Scott Sigler are devaluing the audiobook and e-book formats, and buying the p-book is “paying for the paper because the content has no value”

I don’t see it. Perhaps these authors value readers. After all, what value does you work have if no one has read it? Cory Doctorow’s books keep showing up in the bookstore. In fact IDW recently bought the rights to do a series of comics based on his works even though the license for those works allows anyone to create such comics non-commercially. Scott Sigler recently managed to sell quite a few copies of his new print book recently. Heck, I bought two (one as a gift).

I have both an audible.com and a podiobooks.com account. Do I value one over the other? Not really. I don’t think most people equate free with no value. Not anymore, if they ever did.

6 Comments

  1. Scott Sigler says:

    You bought TWO copies? Thanks! And I guess that means I didn’t “devalue” the book by giving it away. We’ll get a lot more of this as the old guard is rousted from the castle of publishing. Don’t forget – the Gatekeepers want to continue deciding for you what is good and what is bad. I mean come on, you’re not SMART enough to decide for yourself, right?

  2. Jay says:

    Hey Scott, thanks for stopping by. I bought a copy of Earthcore while I was at it, since I really enjoyed the podcast. Keep up the good work!

  3. [...] All the Billion Other Moments Jason Penney’s thoughts on writing, life, and other stuff Home / Scott Sigler Scores a Three Book Deal « Podiobooks and Free e-books Harmful? [...]

  4. Rob says:

    “After all, what value does you work have if no one has read it?”

    Assuming there is no value in the creation itself? Is art for the consumer (as in one who views/reads/listens and NOT one who buys) or the creator?

    If a tee falls in the woods… yada yada yada.

  5. Jay says:

    Hey Rob,

    Sounds dangerously close the the literary vs. commercial fiction debate.

    Anyway, I was referring to a work that has been released to the public (not that I made that explicit). The post I was responding to seemed to say giving something away in one form, then charging in another means that the consumer is paying for delivery because the creative work has been devalued by being available for free.

    And I know it’s a typo, but since we’re talking about podiobooks I can’t stop thinking about Tee Morris falling over in the woods now.

  6. [...] You may remember that back on April 9 I wrote a short essay called Is Cory Doctorow Bad for E-books, which was about the growing trend of giving away e-books to fuel print-book sales. This essay garnered a few comments at Teleread, which was in turn picked up elsewhere. That was interesting, as I had the honor of author Scott Sigler likening me to “the old guard” gatekeepers who want to decide what other people can and can’t read. It was like someone had forgotten to tell me I’d gotten a promotion. I’ve become “The Man”! [...]

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