Tuesday, January 27, 2009


To help celebrate my eighth year of giving away free e-books, I'm reissuing Sink or Swim, the very first e-book I published on the internet way back in 2001.

I still remember the various reactions other published authors had eight years ago when I proposed the then-radical idea of distributing original stories over the internet as a form of promotion:

(Scathing and Dismissive) Don't be stupid, no one does that.

(Patronizing and Pitying) You're only supposed to give them teasers so they have to buy the book to read the rest of it.

(Frantic and Fearful) Have you lost your mind? You'll destroy your career before it gets off the ground!

(Snotty and Superior) Don't you know that real professionals sell everything they write?

It's funny now, looking back and remembering how crazy everyone thought I was. But while a few authors tried to convince me to stop giving away my work and rejoin the herd, most of my peers ignored me. Because really, who cared what some rookie SF writer did? It wasn't like serious authors and major publishers were ever going to give away free e-books.

Yeah, well. I won't gloat, but now you understand why I smile every time I see a free e-book on the internet. Especially the ones by the serious authors being promoted by the major publishers.

The new edition of SoS will feature all the stories contained in the first edition, along with new content on what happened with the stories after I self-published them. I'll also pass along how well I think e-books with original/unpublished content and shared universes can work as promotional tools for authors and low- to no-cost gifts for readers across the globe.

I also have some new and beautiful cover art for the book, thanks to the very talented Deena Fisher, featuring her eerily accurate depiction of my character Holly Noriko:

Sink or Swim will be posted on Scribd shortly (I'll post a heads-up here when it goes live) and, like all my free e-books, will be available to read online, download and print.* Note 9/3/10: Since Scribd.com instituted an access fee scam to charge people for downloading e-books, including those I have provided for free for the last ten years, I have removed my free library from their site, and no longer use or recommend using their service. My free reads may be read online or downloaded for free from Google Docs; go to my freebies and free reads page for the links. See my post about this scam here.


  1. No one should ever question where you fall in the early adopter to wait and see standard :). I'm glad you're out there breaking grounds because it's gotta be someone and you do it with such flare.

  2. Duh :p. And thanks for the e-book re-release. I can't wait to see it. Forgot that part among the rest.

  3. Anonymous6:49 AM

    The cover art is stunning but somewhat lacking the pinkish quality we've grown accustomed to ;)

  4. God Bless you for this stuff. If I hadn't bumbled across you on the internet, and like what you had to say, I probably wouldn't have picked up one of your books.

    But I did. And I'm a huge fan-of your novels, and, esp., of everything you do to help aspiring writers.



  5. Anonymous10:11 AM

    Oh cool. I've still got the first version.

  6. Anonymous10:16 AM

    I have the original Sink or Swim in both my computer and my PDA. I just recently reread it while waiting for maintenance on my car and enjoyed it for the umpteenth time. I look forward to downloading the new version not to replace,but in addition. The new cover is beautiful. Edie

  7. I'm glad you didn't let them dissuade you from the free ebooks. I hope they're enjoying seeing just how wrong they were.

  8. Mackan- you're evil. lol.

    Looking forward to downloading this one.


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