Another Author Has A Book Leak, And Offers Up The 'Oopsie' Version For Sale

from the another-good-response dept

We recently wrote about how the band, The Dears, responded to its album being leaked online, and compared that with author Stephenie Meyer who decided to punish her fans by stopping work on her series of novels, after a draft was leaked. However, an even better example comes to us from Geoffrey Kidd, who points us to the news that author David Weber accidentally leaked his own latest novel. He had been sending out "snippets" of the work to keep fans interested, but at the beginning of the month accidentally sent out quite a large snippet: the entire work-in-progress quarter-million-word novel. But, rather than complaining and punishing fans, Weber and Baen Books (his publisher, who has long supported offering up content for free as a part of a larger business model) are now selling the "Oopsie" version of the book, while making it clear that this is unedited and probably not the version you want:
For those who want it--and we stress this is an early, un-edited, incomplete version--we will sell the "oopsie" now for $10. We are not asking you to buy this version, we do not recommend you buy this version, but if you gotta have it, come and get it.
What better way to respond to such a leak. They've basically made a joke out of it, in a way that's endearing to fans, and which might actually net them some additional money from fans who actually want to contribute to the cause.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 12:06pm

    Embrace and succeed. Resist and die. Pretty simple really.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    Evolution at work.

    Adapt or Die.

    Evolution is one of God's greatest miracles, if your into the whole God thing. If not then its one of life's greatest miracles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Some other guy, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re:

    Physics' greatest miracles - you can have non-living things evolving - like computer programs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonomous Howard, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re:

    l
    o
    v
    evolve


    God told me he is dead.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Scott Bragg (profile), Sep 24th, 2008 @ 12:46pm

    Baen get's it.

    Unlike the **AA and other 'media' companies, Baen publishing has "gotten it" for 8+ years. They've been selling DRM free electronic books of their entire catalog for years. They also give away quite a number of titles for free or on CD's bundled with hardbacks.

    They encourage their readers and fans to spread the love and give copies of the cd's that come with the hardbacks out to friends and families.

    Contrary to the popular belief, every time they give a book away for free, sales of the dead tree edition, as well as that author's entire back catalog go up and stay there.

    Look around on the Baen website and the Webscription website to find a series of articles by Eric Flint on the economics of their electronic book system. It's great reading and includes hard numbers on sales trends when you know how to handle and market in a zero-scarcity market.

    Scott

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    I have long been a fan of Baen's free library, its a great intro to some really great authors. I love to see someone show the way things should be done, rather than they way some people insist it must be done.

     

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  7.  
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    Norm, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    Um....this is an orange not an apple

    He released it himself for crying out loud... does that equate to a "leak" ??

    Yes, embrace him as a hero and use him as an example of what other artists or authors should do when their work is actually "leaked" against their will.

    Just because you want to compare this to the Dears doesn't mean it's the same thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Scott Bragg (profile), Sep 24th, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Um....this is an orange not an apple

    This leak was accidental and yes, that does mean it's a leak.

    What the article above is comparing is the reaction of two different media companies and how they handled the undesired and unauthorized release of their intellectual property.

    In one case you have a reaction that most likely negatively impacted sales, in the other, you generate an additional revenue stream from something that's already in the wild.

    Neither company can put the genie back in the bottle but they can decide if they want to capitalize on the unauthorized release or take steps to inhibit the revenues they could have generated.

    Scott

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 24th, 2008 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Um....this is an orange not an apple

    He released it himself for crying out loud... does that equate to a "leak" ??

    Accidentally.


    Yes, embrace him as a hero and use him as an example of what other artists or authors should do when their work is actually "leaked" against their will.


    This was "against his will" as well, as it was not intended.

    The end result is exactly the same. He did not want the book released, but due to someone's mistake (in this case, his own), it was released.

    Just because you want to compare this to the Dears doesn't mean it's the same thing.

    Can you then explain why that matters? The situation (work released not in the intended way) is pretty much identical. The differences are inconsequential.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 1:13pm

    He didn't "mean" to leak the entire thing but even if it's his oops and not someone else's, the whole thing is out now. Instead of pitching a fit, he seems to have a good humor about it and came back punching (jokes about the goof that is) and intends to finish up the book anyway.

    Being a huge fan, I'll go buy the hardback immediately on release even after I read the "Oopsie" version while I wait. I imagine he'll be a top seller for a couple months even with this oops and general availability, he just writes very good SciFi compared to some of the other stuff out there.

     

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  11.  
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    eleete, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's funny I had the same thought. Versioning books like software would be interesting. Each newer version could offer more, outline the 'more' and charge again for the book, or upgrade from a previous version of the book to the latest. Neat. Yes I am aware that software and technical books do this already. Perhaps even community input could increase the value of new versions.

     

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  12.  
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    Richard Hartman, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Baen get's it.

    To provide the links to go with Scott's comment:

    Baen Free Library
    http://www.baen.com/library
    Here you can get a ton of free ebooks, and this is where you can find some of those essays by Flint that Scott mentioned. Click on the "Prime Palaver" link.

    Baen's Universe
    http://www.baens-universe.com/
    This is an electronic SF anthology magazine. Mentioned here because Eric Flint continued his series of articles on the EEvils of DRM and the miraculous results of not treating your customers as if they are criminals through the first couple of years.

    http://www.webscription.net/
    This is the actual "storefront" site for buying Baen eBooks.

    http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/
    This site hosts ISO images of the CDs that Scott mentioned as being bundled with some of the hardbacks. You can download the ISO image and burn your own copy of the CD. This site is not associated with, but is completely condoned by Baen publishing.

    Their philosophy is pretty simple. Treat people with respect and most of them will return the favor. Those who won't wouldn't be stopped by fancy (and annoying) "copy protection" schemes anyhow.

     

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  13.  
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    Fred Kiesche, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 6:18pm

    This is why...

    ...I pretty much only buy Baen's eBooks at this point. No DRM. Multi-formats. Reasonable prices. And they treat their customers as customers, not pirates.

    Seems pretty simple, but the other publishers, or pure eBook distributors can't seem to grasp those simple ideas that keep me emptying my wallet to buy Baen's offerings.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    buckykat, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 7:35pm

    i actually found out about david weber from the books on baen's webscription thing, the free ebooks. since then, i've bought several of his books(paper form). if only other publishers would try this sort of thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Ray Trygstad, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 7:40pm

    I buy Baen books when I buy books...

    ...because I actually READ ebooks on my ancient Dell Axim PDA. I am so grateful to Baen for their free sharing of ebooks that I always look for the Baen circle on books in the bookstore. I also trust their editors to consistently select books that I will like, so I know my dollars are will spent--and are furthering and promoting a business model of the future and not of the past.

     

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  16.  
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    JustMe, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 7:15am

    Kudos to all involved

    This seems like a most excellent compromise.

     

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  17.  
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    hegemon13, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    Ooh, ooh, I know, ask me!

    I know who to blame! How about the jerk that walked into the school with a gun and shot people? Is any other blame even remotely necessary? This insistence on trying to place fault on someone other than the shooter just makes them look like a victim and encourages copycats.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    LostSailor, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 1:47pm

    No Punishment Involved

    ...author Stephenie Meyer who decided to punish her fans by stopping work on her series of novels, after a draft was leaked.

    For some facts, rather than spin, Meyer did not "punish" her fans. She decided for her own personal reasons as an author that she could not continue to work on or complete the draft of the novel that leaked. She did not stop work on her series (she'd previously said that the book published this year was likely the last in the series; the leaked novel was an experimental rewrite of the first book from a different character's perspective).

    She did not decide to discontinue that novel to "get" her fans for anyone else. Her fans are undoubtedly disappointed. But it was not punishment, no matter how much you'd like to see it that way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 26th, 2008 @ 12:55am

    Re: No Punishment Involved


    She did not decide to discontinue that novel to "get" her fans for anyone else. Her fans are undoubtedly disappointed. But it was not punishment, no matter how much you'd like to see it that way.


    Her fans feel differently. It was punishment. They were looking forward to a book, and now they won't get it. The point (which you seem to have totally missed) is that there are better, much more fan friendly ways to deal with it.

    Ones that don't piss off her fans, who (yes, indeed) feel punished.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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