Yes folks, you heard me right. Author, Neil Gaiman, has released American Gods for free. Hooray for new media!! Now, it's only going to be up for a month, so if your already abused eyes are up for the punishment of reading a novel online, you can find the book over at HarperCollins Publishers website. The choice of which book to release was actually decided by a poll that Neil put up on his sitea few weeks ago.
Already read American Gods? Well, Neil had the following to say:
"If it works, and people read it, then a) we may be able to put up another book and b) sooner or later they'll simply let us give away the book in electronic form...." - Neil Gaiman, Kids! Free! Book!
So, even if you have read it, it wouldn't hurt to throw some page hits at the site.
What I find especially interesting about this statement is the last part. I do wonder how long it will be before it's common practice for publishers let the electronic versions out for free. Granted this isn't a new concept as authors such as Mur Lafferty, J.C. Hutchins, Scott Sigler, and many others (go check out podiobooks.com) have been releasing their work for free for several years via podcast format, and in Mur's case, in PDF format as well. Still, I wonder when, and if, the big publishers go that route as a standard marketing practice.Interesting stuff is brewing in the literary world and I, for one, am very curious to see how this story plays out.
On a side note, is it just me, or does anyone else remember when American Gods first came out, the first few chapters were made available for free?
* That's free, as in speech.