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[數位出版] Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Cory Doctorow 將他長達131頁的小說創作 「Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (ISBN: 0765304368)」放在網站上供人無料下載,這並不尋常,在他的序言裡提到:

Why am I doing this thing? Well, it's a long story, but to shorten it up: first-time novelists have a tough row to hoe. Our publishers don't have a lot of promotional budget to throw at unknown factors like us. Mostly, we rise and fall based on word-of-mouth. I'm not bad at word-of-mouth. I have a blog, Boing Boing (http://boingboing.net), where I do a lot of word-of-mouthing. I compulsively tell friends and strangers about things that I like.

And telling people about stuff I like is way, way easier if I can just send it to 'em. Way easier.

What's more, P2P nets kick all kinds of ass. Most of the books, music and movies ever released are not available for sale, anywhere in the world. In the brief time that P2P nets have flourished, the ad-hoc masses of the Internet have managed to put just about everything online. What's more, they've done it for cheaper than any other archiving/revival effort ever. I'm a stone infovore and this kinda Internet mishegas gives me a serious frisson of futurosity.

他的意思是,出版社並沒提供他們這類型小說創作者,充分的預算來推銷宣傳,讓大家自由下載的確是一個好主意,但令多數作者困惑的是,「如果全部的讀者到網路下載,而不願意買書呢?」,另外一本書「Thinking in Java 」採取相似的策略,在寫書的過程中提供草稿下載,同時讀者也與他互動、詢問、批評,創作最終的完成變成不只有作者一人完成。

「下場如何呢?」也許有人這麼問道。現在 Thinking in Java 已經出到第三版了。

數位出版的相關新聞:When a Free Download Isn't Free - Wired News ps: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom 的散佈與使用,依循著創作的公眾使用授權(CC,Creative Commons Licenses)。