Free Reads and Patrons of the Arts

The industry has been taking a hit from all sides and us writers (and the editors I'm sure) are feeling it as we speak. I haven't been posting a lot about it because frankly it's been depressing! So I've been catching up on my reading as you noticed from the flurry of book reviews. I'm also hunting around for good free reads (as you note from my latest review) and I'm always happy to share them with my fellow bloggers and readers.

I came across a special case of free read that ties into what author Michael Stackpole has been posting over at Dragonpage. In this day and age of trying to find a good (not to mention stable) publisher and magazine market that pays well, Stackpole has been advocating for indie. Authors getting rid of the middleman and just offering reads straight to readers. In this day and age of mile a minute info and quick purchases, more people are staying home and checking out online offerings. It hasn't quite replaced the brick & morter shopping but it's another option people are making use of. I'm finding a lot of authors I hadn't heard of before based on online recs. Authors are also making use of online venues.

In Dragonpage's latest blog post, Tim Pratt (aka T.A. Pratt) has entered a reader supported novella project for his urban fantasy prequel 'Bone Shop'. This is a special case because it's not only just for marketing but it's out of necessity. Here's a snippet of Tim's message from his livejournal:

Bone Shop: A Reader-Supported Novella

As I mentioned yesterday, my wife was laid off this week, and while we both hope she finds a new job soon (and that I sell some more novels, as far as that goes), we’re in sudden need of money now. I could have just straight-out asked for financial help — and for those who’ve offered that, thanks, it’s appreciated — but I’m a writer, and if there’s one thing I have in ample quantity, it’s stories to tell.

Specifically a story I’ve been wanting to write for a while, but couldn’t find the right market for: a longish piece about the early adventures of my series character Marla Mason.

Bone Shop is a serialized, donation-funded urban fantasy novella, available for anyone to read for free. New chapters will go up every Monday. The Bone Shop website is here, though there’s not a lot there at the moment. I’ll post the first chapter on June 29.

Read the full post here

Bone Shop seems to be a prequel to Tim's Blood Engines (now a free PDF in Random House's Suvudu Free Library) and his sorceress heroine Martha Mason. The donations will help his family and it's a great exchange for readers to, as Stackpole says, be a patron of the arts like the bards of the olden days.

Spread the word and enjoy!