Pub Rants

Buddy Can You Spare A Buck?

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STATUS: I’ve actually been working on two contracts today—in between some necessary phone calls.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? GYPSIES, TRAMPS & THIEVES by Cher
(Now you know I can’t possibly be lying about what’s playing on the iPod if I’m willing to ‘fess up to this song being there!)

I read in my daily email from Publishers Weekly that Orbit (the SF&F imprint of Grand Central Publishing) is doing an ebooks promotion [click for the site and where you can buy] for a buck.

Excerpt from the Article:
“In a bid to promote its print and digital lists, Orbit is offering dollar e-books to readers on a rotating basis. Marketing and publicity director Alex Lencicki said the program is currently “open-ended” and will continue as long it is successful. When asked how the success of the program would be measured, Lencicki said if the dollar e-book drives either print or digital sales–or turns readers on to a particular series–it will be a hit.”

First up is debut author Brent Weeks THE WAY OF SHADOWS.

I just did me a one-click to my Kindle. A buck for a brand new book? Heck yes, I’m willing to try a debut author.

What say you?

24 Responses

  1. Sandy said:

    If I only had a Kindle… *sigh*

    I think it’s a smart move on Orbit’s part, especially when the book is the first of a series. The dollar pricetag will lure in people who wouldn’t otherwise buy the book, and if the author can hook ’em with the first one, the readers will be more willing to pay full-price for the second.

  2. Just_Me said:

    Hey, if it generates interest and word of mouth, more power to them. I don’t have a Kindle, but if a friend who does loves the book chances are good I’ll buy the print copy. Which is exactly what Orbit wants to hear.

  3. Mary Anne said:

    A book for a buck is a good deal if you can afford a Kindle. Maybe out of that first advance, right?

    There’s another deal for anyone with an internet connection. How about unlimited books of all genres for free? Add to that, the chance to help other writers edit and improve their work and the chance to get help with yours and you’ve got a great deal.

    But wait (infomercial music) there’s more – you’ve also got the chance to get past the slush pile at one of the arms of HarperCollins.

    AUTHONOMY is a great site and more romance (and other, but I’m a little prejudiced) writers from this side of the pond should try it.

    Here’s my page:;

    Here’s the website generally:

    Free to register, free to read and free to post your work.

    What say you about this site Kristin?

  4. Maureen McGowan said:

    Your playlist confessions ALWAYS make me smile. I’m pretty sure I’m older than you… but when I read your playlist I’m not so sure any more. We definitely have a similar taste in music (nostalgic and otherwise).

  5. Sarah Jensen said:

    I’m a member of AUTHONOMY and really love it. But I’m concerned about publishing my full MS. I’ve read that if you have the whole thing up, then it’s considered published and agents and publishers won’t touch it. Of course the site is run by Happer Collins UK, so now I wonder.

    What do you think Kristin? I discovered Authonomy through Nathan Bransford’s blog.

  6. Chris Bates said:

    Okay, Kristen, here’s my 2 cents…

    Good luck to Brent Weeks, this is a great way to get people interested in his other books. Hopefully he’ll generate some sales and earn some cash.

    My problem is: piracy.

    I just went over to and searched for ebooks. Results:

    Wow, just a few thousand titles!

    Hell I even found the complete works of one author – the torrent description must read like a horror story for him … 60+ novels and more for free download.

    And guess what… this author is still alive and writing. I’m talking BIG name author here. All his works for free.

    It’s all to easy … why pay a buck?

    I’m all for sharing a book – just not loaning it to a couple of million people at once. Which is exactly what will happen with ebooks over time.

  7. Sue said:

    Yeah Chris, but isn’t that what they said about iTunes?

    I think this is a brilliant move. Downloadable literature isn’t going away. People are getting used to reading online – blogs, news, and entertainment sites. We’re spoiled by iTunes and want to read books RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

    While I don’t think printed books are going anywhere, I think the eBook market is going to explode in the next couple of years.

    Sure, Kindles are expensive, but so are iPods, and they’re everywhere. Besides, eventually they’ll have $15 readers, just like they have $15 MP3 players.

    Now if I could just download Ally Carter’s latest. ;>

  8. Hayley E. Lavik said:

    Fantastic, I had just been thinking about picking up Weeks’ book. I’m still somewhat oldschool when it comes to reading longer works on the computer, so for me this will probably be a test drive, and if I like it, I’ll get the ol’ ink and paper version for my shelf… since when bookshelves crash, you just need to pick everything up again 🙂

    And for those who are lamenting the cost of a Kindle, check out the Sony link. You can just download it to your PC to read.. which I have now completed doing! Thanks Kristin!

  9. Anonymous said:

    You don’t have to have a Kindle to take advantage of this deal! there are several formats available. You can download it to your computer or phone.

    I hope this works out- my mom got a Kindle for Xmas, and a lot of the prices are kind of prohibitive; do you really want to pay $15 or more for a book with very low production costs? Ebooks won’t really take off unitl the cost of the reader AND the cost of the book drops.

  10. ilyakogan said:

    I think this is a great idea. The next logical step is books for free. Well, 10 cents actually – this is what Amazon charges for delivery.

  11. Carradee said:

    I think it’s a great idea, for those with e-readers. If I had one, I’d be all over it.

    It’s like online excerpts–which can make me interested in reading the book, but not necessarily in buying it (since I’ve read far too many that took nosedives halfway through).

    I like e-books. I’d love to collect them–but not at their current prices. I’d rather have the paper versions that I can loan out to friends, for that price.

    When/if prices drop, I know I’ll be using that space on my hard drive.

  12. anotheranon said:

    I pray to God it will drive actual (real) book sales for the authors, because at this rate we can’t devalue authors any less can we?

    Shouldn’t people that make a living in publishing (or aspire to) WANT to pay for a book? We can fork over 4 dollars for Starbucks and 30 dollars at the movies (ticket+popcorn+drink), but an AUTHOR deserves a dollar?


    I got a drink yesterday at a McDonalds drive-thru. I’m sorry, but as an aspiring author I refuse to pay less for a book than I did for the 1.98 it cost me for a large Diet Coke.

  13. Kaytie M. Lee said:

    Limited ebook promotions make sense for now–I wouldn’t have heard of Brent Weeks if his novel and the promotion hadn’t been everywhere.

    Soon the ebook promotions won’t mean as much because they won’t be news. They won’t be passed from blog to blog and publishers will have to come up with something else to get attention. Not that this is a problem as much as it’s a challenge. 😉

  14. rhienelleth said:

    Saw this yesterday as well, and immediately clicked and d/led to the Kindle. 😀 I’ve done the same for TORs free ebooks as they’ve done them, and I think this is an awesome way to generate interest in newer authors.

    I’d seen Brent Week’s books, been intrigued, but not yet purchased as I’m making my way through my virtual to-read pile. But that deal was the perfect excuse to add book one to the stack. 😀

  15. Catherine said:

    Well, I say nothing at all because the offer is only available in the US. When are Weeks’s (etc.) publishers in the UK going to join in?

  16. karen wester newton said:

    I bought this month’s book for my Kindle, too, and I made a Google calendar entry to remind me to go back for Iain M Banks’ USE OF WEAPONS in February. I actually liked this of promotion better than when publishers post free PDFs because the version I got is much better formatted. I think cheaper ebooks have the potential to drive up book sales. I think it’s interesting that Orbit is doing this with fairly new (as in recently published) books.

  17. Susan Kelley said:

    I’ve been meaning to try ‘Weeks’ by using my gift card at Borders. I’m for anything promoting ebooks. And about the Cher song, if you ever saw her live show, you would be a fan of almost all her songs. She puts on a great show.