Kelly Link’s decision to give away free eBooks of her acclaimed story collection Magic for Beginners represents an innovative approach to digital publishing as a complement to book culture. Small Beer Press clarifies the intentions:
We love books. We want to keep on publishing good books. Weird books. Interesting books. We are curious about the future. If everyone downloads books straight to the Kindlenub in their head, we might be in trouble. But if there are still people who like to read books on paper, maybe some of them will read some of these downloads and then decide they would like the actual books.
Reading a story as powerful as Link’s “Stone Animals” for free should incline readers to buy the book. After 60,000 downloads (nearly 12,000 of the PDF version, which imports nicely from email directly into the iBooks PDF Bookshelf), Magic for Beginners has entered its sixth printing.[read more]