A little backstory here. About a year ago today, Shelfie (then better known as BitLit) and I tried an experiment with my first novel, HEART-SHAPED BOX. We offered the eBook free to anyone who had already plunked down their money on a hard copy. This is known as bundling, and I’m a fan. I love the idea that you don’t have to choose between a physical copy and the e-book… or between the big online megastore and your local, lovable indie. Shelfie allowed folks to walk into their neighborhood bookshop, snag a HEART-SHAPED BOX paperback, and then use the app to get a copy of the eBook without spending a dime.
People responded and Shelfie flipped a lot of copies of H-SB and it was so much fun, we’ve decided to expand the offer to all the other books in my catalogue (not counting comics, which for technical reasons is trickier). As of today, 20th CENTURY GHOSTS, HORNS, and NOS4A2 join HEART-SHAPED BOX in the Sheflie stable, all available to owners of the physical copies at no additional cost at all.
“But, wait!” you say. “Joe… aren’t you worried people will take advantage of this to swipe a free eBook?”
It is true someone could (ab)use Shelfie to help themselves to an eBook without too much trouble. But why would anyone go to the trouble? If anyone wants a copy of the eBook without paying for it, they could always just download from the pirates (you will be shocked - SHOCKED - to learn that the books are out there on the torrent sites, along with every other book published pretty much ever, and every other movie, and every other song, etc.).
Some people support artists, and some people don’t, and that’s the deal, and I can’t do anything about it. My deepest hope is that if you want a copy of one of my books, and you don’t want to pay, it would be awesome if you would use a library card to get it. If you go that route, you are at least supporting a vital community resource. Also pirates are nasty and librarians are fiercely intelligent, typically generous, and often smell like gingersnaps. (Note: I don’t actually know that last detail is true, but it feels true, and that’s good enough. Please don’t start sniffing librarians.)
And if you do want to pay, you rule, and I am grateful to you. Thanks for buying a physical copy. Now use Shelfie to get your free eBook.
Besides… Shelfie is, in and of itself, a very fun app, and the beginning of a community that could easily take its place alongside GoodReads and LibraryThing. I’m hooked and if you give it a shot, I think you will be too. Check it out.
And happy reading —
Have any of Joe’s books and want to take them on vacation, but you’re not sure you want to carry the extra weight with you? Download Shelfie to get the ebook versions of those titles. I think that’s a great deal.
Writing in a dark room
The website of dark fantasy and horror writer A.M. Rycroft