Random House Sees the Ebook Light

Charlie Huston.
Charlie Huston  –  Image via Wikipedia

A few years ago I had the privilege and pleasure of overseeing development on a screenplay adaptation of Charley Huston’s fantastic book “Caught Stealing.”

Well, now it appears that Random House is teaming up with Stanza (iPhone’s #1 Ebook reader) and releasing “Caught Stealing” and a bunch of other books from their catalog for free in Ebook form.

Why would a major publishing house give away free books? Turns out, if you are no longer paying for physically producing and distributing said books it doesn’t turn out to be much of an expense and as a marketing tool it is about as smart as it gets.

What better way to get someone interested in an author than giving them a free sample.

“The initial offerings will be drawn from each author’s backlist and will include excerpts for any new hardcovers coming in 2009. Random House is providing links to retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, Borders.com, Powells.com and IndieBound.org to encourage readers to purchase more books by these authors.” (via)

And how do the authors feel about this?

“A free eBook is a great way to sample a new writer, and help spread the word,” says Charlie Huston, whose novels ‘Caught Stealing’, ‘Six Bad Things‘, and ‘A Dangerous Man’ will all be available on Stanza. “Besides, it’s good to give things away. They’re books. We write them for people to read them.” (via)

Amen, Charlie.  Amen.

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