OK, so it’s Sunday night, but that won’t stop me writing a post about The Friday Project. TFP is a publisher that appears to specialise in web-to-print books (as well little books that sometimes appear on the tills of Waterstone’s branches). Notably, it also picked up a new Commercial Director by the name of Scott Pack. Scott used to be the Chief Buying Manager for Waterstone’s, and I interviewed him a few weeks back over on Pacifist Guerilla.
According to Publishing News, TFP will soon make the majority of its titles available for download free of charge under a creative commons licence. This means (depending on the flavour of licence chosen) that users will be given permission to download, copy and perhaps redistribute TFP books while keeping authorship and publisher information intact. Commercial suicide? Not really. To paraphrase sciffy author and digital rights evangelist Cory Doctorow, most authors lose sales not because their material is available for free, but because nobody has heard of them. TFP has already, apparently, released Blood, Sweat and Tea — based on a blogging ambulance driver — under a creative commons licence, and commercial (physical) copies of that book has sold very well. Good luck to ‘em, I say. I think the creative commons represents an excellent, commonsensical relaxation of ancient copyright laws that should benefit artists everywhere. The podcast of my novel Déjà Vu is available under a creative commons licence (check out the archive here.)