For the past two months, I’ve been working on a secret project to produce an independent audiobook adaptation of my bestselling novel Homeland, read by Wil Wheaton, one of my favorite audiobook voice-actors (and a hell of a great guy, besides!). The audiobook is out as of today, and I’m proud to say that for the next two weeks, it is exclusively available through the new Humble Ebook Bundle, which kicks off today, featuring an amazing collection of name-your-price DRM-free ebooks by authors like Holly Black and Scott Westerfeld, as well as Wil Wheaton. As always, there are some surprise bonus titles that will be added in week two, and so long as you pay more than the average at the time of purchase, you’ll get these automatically.
Those of you paying close attention to the ebook world will note that Simon and Schuster are the publishers behind three of these books, and that S&S are one of the Big Five publishers who had previously stayed away from the Humble Bundle due to its no-DRM policy. I’m so pleased to see another publisher — along with Macmillan, parent company to Tor, my publisher — getting on the DRM-free train, realizing that DRM just reduces the efficacy of their products. This is in large part due to the amazing success of last year’s Humble Ebook Bundles, which raised about $2M for their authors and the charities involved.
I hope you’ll support the new Humble Ebook Bundle! I’m especially delighted to have a DRM-free audiobook in the mix, because Audible, which controls 90% of the audiobook market, has a mandatory DRM policy they impose regardless of their authors’ and publishers’ desires. I did a series of audiobooks with Random House Audio, who were awesome about my unwillingness to sell through Audible or any other DRM channel, and let me sell the books direct through my site as MP3s.
They do well there, but not nearly so well as they would if I was willing to let Audible bait the DRM trap with my copyrights. In the end, Random House Audio just couldn’t justify doing an audio of Homeland, which is fair enough — but it’s meant that for the past year, since the book launched, I’ve had a steady train of queries from people who bought the Little Brother audiobook and wanted to keep listening.
Now I have an answer for them, thanks to Wil, the Humble Bundle, and John Taylor Williams and the good folks at Skyboat Studio in LA.
The week one list for the Humble Bundle is:
* Homeland (audio) by Cory Doctorow, narrated by Wil Wheaton (an exclusive)
* Uglies by Scott Westerfeld/Simon & Schuster
* Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black/Simon & Schuster
* Jumper by Steven Gould/digitalNoir
* The Happiest Days of our Lives by Wil Wheaton/Monolith Press
* Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw/Dark Horse
* Zombies Versus Unicorns by various/Simon & Schuster
Several of these are personal favorites: here’s my review of Uglies and my review of Jumper. And Holly Black is the author of The Coldest Girl in Cold Town, a stunner of a book. Black also co-edited Zombies Vs Unicorns, along with Justin “Liar” Larbalestier, and the anthology includes writing from Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan.
That’s just week one! There’s more to come in week two, and the cheapest way to get it all is to buy early. Tell your friends, share the love, support worthy charities, and strike a blow for DRM-free publishing all at once!