causing an odd guilty sensation...

I hear great things about Tor Books from a few Science Fiction authors who use them as their publisher. When they launched with their newsletter that included a link to a free eBook, I sighed up right away.

As much as I would like to be reading more fiction, I haven't been able to keep up. In fact, I've only read part-way through the first book, and I've already downloaded 5 books as part of their newsletters. I now feel guilty downloading when I might never have the chance to read.

This odd feeling of guilt made me think about some of the assumptions about online copyright infringement. There is a belief that any unauthorized download represents a lost sale. Here I am downloading eBooks which I would otherwise never know about, and which I haven't even had the time to read. I hear the same thing all the time about music and movie downloads where people sometimes download things which they never have the chance to listen to or watch, which clearly can't be thought of as a lost sale.

Am I likely to buy more books because of Very likely. My downloading books that I may never read doesn't cost them much (bandwidth that is hardly worth measuring), and yet it is a major public relations benefit. If I am enticed to buy just a single additional book, there is a net benefit.

My copy of Little Brother arrived at my door yesterday (I had pre-ordered it from Chapters online, and it was just launched). While this is "A Tor Teen Book", it doesn't qualify as that additional book as I was planning on purchasing it anyway because I have heard Cory talk about it quite a bit already.

Note: Cory will be at the Toronto Public Library, Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Thursday, May 01, 2008 to discuss and sign the book. I will unfortunately be on a bus on my way back to Ottawa from Toronto, having attended CopyCamp.