Official Downloads:

There’s a dangerous group of anti-copyright activists out there who pose a clear and present danger to the future of authors and publishing. They have no respect for property or laws. What’s more, they’re powerful and organized, and have the ears of lawmakers and the press.

I’m speaking, of course, of the legal departments at ebook publishers.

These people don’t believe in copyright law. Copyright law says that when you buy a book, you own it. You can give it away, you can lend it, you can pass it on to your descendants or donate it to the local homeless shelter. Owning books has been around for longer than publishing books has. Copyright law has always recognized your right to own your books. When copyright laws are made — by elected officials, acting for the public good — they always safeguard this right.

But ebook publishers don’t respect copyright law, and they don’t believe in your right to own property. Instead, they say that when you “buy” an ebook, you’re really only licensing that book, and that copyright law is superseded by the thousands of farcical, abusive words in the license agreement you click through on the way to sealing the deal. (Of course, the button on their website says, “Buy this book” and they talk about “Ebook sales” at conferences — no one says, “License this book for your Kindle” or “Total licenses of ebooks are up from 0.00001% of all publishing to 0.0001% of all publishing, a 100-fold increase!”)

I say to hell with them. You bought it, you own it. I believe in copyright law’s guarantee of ownership in your books.

So you own this ebook. The license agreement (see below), is from Creative Commons and it gives you even more rights than you get to a regular book. Every word of it is a gift, not a confiscation. Enjoy.

What do I want from you in return? Read the book. Tell your friends. Review it on Amazon or at your local bookseller. Bring it to your bookclub. Assign it to your students (older students, please — that sex scene is a scorcher) (now I’ve got your attention, don’t I?). As Woody Guthrie wrote:

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin’ it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

Oh yeah. Also: if you like it, buy it or donate a copy to a worthy, cash-strapped institution.

Why am I doing this? Because my problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity (thanks, @timoreilly for this awesome aphorism). Because free ebooks sell print books. Because I copied my ass off when I was 17 and grew up to spend practically every discretionary cent I have on books when I became an adult. Because I can’t stop you from sharing it (zeroes and ones aren’t ever going to get harder to copy); and because readers have shared the books they loved forever; so I might as well enlist you to the cause.

I have always dreamt of writing sf novels, since I was six years old. Now I do it. It is a goddamned dream come true, like growing up to be a cowboy or an astronaut, except that you don’t get oppressed by ranchers or stuck on the launchpad in an adult diaper for 28 hours at a stretch. The idea that I’d get dyspeptic over people — readers — celebrating what I write is goddamned bizarre

So, download this book.

Some rules of the road:

It’s kind of a tradition around here that my readers convert my ebooks to their favorite formats and send them to me here, and it’s one that I love! If you’ve converted these files to another format, send them to me and I’ll host them, but before you do, make sure you read the following:

  • Only one conversion per format, first come, first serve. That means that if someone’s already converted the file to a Femellhebber 3000 document, that’s the one you’re going to find here. I just don’t know enough about esoteric readers to adjudicate disputes about what the ideal format is for your favorite device.
  • Make sure include a link to the reader as well. When you send me an ebook file, make sure that you include a link to the website for the reader technology as well so that I can include it below.
  • No cover art. The text of this book is freely copyable, the cover, not so much. The rights to it are controlled by my publisher, so don’t include it with your file.
  • No DRM. The Creative Commons license prohibits sharing the file with “DRM” (sometimes called “copy-protection”) on it, and that’s fine by me. Don’t send me the book with DRM on it. If you’re converting to a format that has a DRM option, make sure it’s switched off.

Fan conversions:

82 Responses to “Download Makers For Free”

  1. Ray Slakinski

    Any chance you can add mime-types to your server config for epub and lrf? would make downloading easier for newbies

  2. Brian Dear

    Cory, I so very much agree with your essay above about e-Books. It’s why I will never buy a Kindle. I don’t want to rent or lease books. I want to own them. I’m old-fashioned like attorney Samuel T. Cogley in one of the original Star Trek episodes.

  3. Jeremy Brooks

    Stefan: You can read them using Stanza. Just download all of Cory’s books (because they all rock), and use the Stanza desktop app to share them with the Stanza app on your Touch. Here’s more info about Stanza: http://www.lexcycle.com/

  4. Rose M. Welch

    You’re so full of awesomesauce. I love you and I’m taking part of your note to add to the copyright page of my websites. (I have something similiar now, but yours is better.) Once again, much love.

    -Rose M. Welch

  5. Ken Snider


    I’ve added a MIMEType for .epub. It looks like LRF doesn’t have an associated type, however.

  6. Aric Huang

    Stefan, this is the way I got it onto my iPod Touch: In the Stanza app, go to the “Online Catalog”, and hit the + button on the bottom right. Then hit “Add Web Page”, and enter this page’s URL and whatever name you want. Hit save, and scroll to the bottom of the catalog and click your new entry – it will bring up this page, and you can click on the link for the ePub file to download it into Stanza.

  7. Steph J

    Thank you Aric Huang. Your instructions worked like a charm.

  8. nycdesigner


    Thx. Your instructions were a no-brainer to get it into my iPhone via Stanza.

  9. Mike

    Cory, a quick recommendation. The columns she writes — I take it that the :: is supposed to denote the article. Well, in the HTML version it’s just a big massive unwrapped block — zero readability. Jumping in there and either surrounding her columns with <PRE>s or putting in <BR>s after each line would work.

  10. Paresh Mathur

    I thank you once again for giving us the privilege to read your writings, and that too in a very open way. When I will have enough money,someday,first thing I will do will be to donate your books to someone who wants them. I wont by them for me because I never read anything twice,takes the fun out of it.

  11. Fred Rotbart

    I have downloaded and enjoyed several of your books and wanted to buy them electronically afterwards. Unfortunately I discovered that the eBook vendors only make the books available to US and Canadian residents and DRM them to boot. If anything demonstrates the futility of DRM this does!
    Is there a way of paying for books downloaded from your site or buying them electronically from outside the US?

  12. Al

    I have a Kindle. Over 80% of my books are not from Amazon and don’t have DRM. The Kindle will read Mobi, PRC, TXT, AZW all in non DRM formats. ePub from Google is easily converted to Mobi using Calibre. Amazon’s stupidity in encasing many of their books in DRM has nothing to do with the Kindle, but with Amazon books. If you don’t like DRM then avoid the Amazon books that have DRM, the Sony books that have DRM, the Barnes and Noble books that have DRM but go ahead and buy the book reader of choice, they all can read non-DRM books and there are lots of places, including Amazon, that have books that are DRM free.

  13. Cory Doctorow

    I have spent over a year trying to get someone — anyone — from Amazon to explain what the terms are for their “DRM-free” Kindle books. No one will say. Specifically, no one will confirm:

    * That the license agreement on the Kindle downloads allows you to move DRM-free files to non-Amazon devices, so that you can switch to another vendor if you want to

    * That the Kindle DRM-free format can be read or converted by competitors who want to allow you to read your collection on a different device

    * That DRM-free Kindle files can’t be deleted or altered without your permission, unlike, say, the files that had their text-to-speech capability removed

    I think it should be illegal to sell goods without telling the customer what she’s getting, and that’s just what Amazon is doing. If I were in charge of the FTC, I’d put these questions to them, and if they still wouldn’t answer, I’d shut down the store. I’m sorry, Al, but I think you got ripped off.

  14. RickMeasham

    Even easier than using Stanza to read this on the iPhone or iPod touch: Install the free eReader app from B&N, then in Safari navigate to ereader://craphound.com/makers/Cory_Doctorow_-_Makers.pdb — no desktop sync or manipulation required.

    Thanks heaps Cory!

  15. Luke

    anyone know how to add an AZW file to the kindle for iPhone if you don’t have an actual stand-alone kindle device? I see that they mention “Each Kindle has a unique e-mail address that can be customized above, allowing you and your contacts to send attachments (such as Word and picture files) to your Kindle wirelessly for a small fee.” Is there a way to do this with the iPhone? A free way, maybe?

  16. Mike


    I would love to BUY this book for the Kindle instead of reading it for free. Will it be available for the Kindle soon?

    – Mike

  17. Cory Doctorow

    It will probably never be available for the Kindle because the terms they offer to their customers (you) are so unfair that I refuse to allow my books to be listed in their store. It’s a pity, because I’d like to, but I can’t in good conscience. In the meantime, you can download it for free and donate a copy to a library: http://craphound.com/makers/donate

  18. Mike

    Could you put a ereader link that begins “ereader://” so ipod touch users could download for there readers

  19. Joel Haasnoot

    Any chance on a single column “original” pdf? The two column thing doesn’t work for me at all… I could just PDF print the HTML version, but the two column PDF has nicer font/better reading.

  20. rufus

    Can anyone make an xhtml version? I know you can do this with an open office word processor export, but that feature is bugged right now in my version and won’t work, otherwise i’d do it myself. xhtml is the format used for the ebook reader dslibris for the Nintendo DS.

  21. Matt

    I also would like to buy this book for Kindle…terms offered on Amazon seem beside the point if I can also download for free here with no restrictions. Seems like popularity on Amazon puts you in a better position to create change, as opposed to just being a guy with $0 in Kindle sales…

  22. Cory Doctorow

    I’m afraid that I don’t feel it would be ethical to endorse Amazon’s Kindle sales terms, given how abusive they are to readers. As you say, there’s a free Kindle version here, and a means of donating copies to libraries, etc, that will compensate me an my publish (as well as doing a good deed).

  23. Stem

    My apologies for not being very tech savvy, but can anyone suggest a way of getting this onto my (Symbian S60) Nokia? It has adobe reader, but the document appears blank when I download it. Many thanks.

  24. Jon

    Thanks Cory,

    Just finished reading and I have a tear in my eye. I loved the way the main story kept refocusing on the different leads.
    Just ordered from Waterstones for £13 so I can leave it behind in a cafe for a stranger to enjoy as well.

  25. John Abbe

    Awesome! I read the first parts as serialized on Slate, and looking forward to getting the whole story now.

    Minor correction:

    “Total licenses of ebooks are up from 0.00001% of all publishing to 0.0001% of all publishing, a 100-fold increase!”

    That would be a 10-fold increase…

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