Nice piece in today’s National Post about Makers and my approach to publishing:
Presently, Doctorow is in the midst of a short North American book tour promoting Makers, which, like all his work, is free to download from his website, craphound.com,under a Creative Commons licence, which allows readers to share and remix the work as long as it’s not for commercial purposes. Interestingly, Doctorow doesn’t accept payment from readers who’ve downloaded his book. Instead, he posts the addresses of libraries and schools who have requested the book and asks donors to buy them a copy instead. It’s his commitment and encouragement of sharing that makes Doctorow a thorn in the side of some in the publishing industry (though it should be noted his own publisher, Tor, is part of Macmillan, which in turn is a subsidiary of the massive German conglomerate Holtzbrinck). He wants his books to be read, he wants his books to be passed around and he wants his books to be copied.
“I copy, you copy, everybody copies. Pretending we don’t copy is just hypocrisy,” says Doctorow, whose own early attempts at sci-fiwere pastiches of Conan the Barbarian stories and Star Wars fan fiction. “It’s the 21st century: Art will be copied. If you’re making art not to be copied, you’re not making contemporary art. It’s lovely that someone wants to be the blacksmith at Pioneer Village, but that’s not my job. I’ma science-fiction writer.”