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Summary:

A new initiative from HarperCollins allows authors to give away digital advance copies of their ebooks. The ebooks are protected by DRM and can only be read on devices that support Adobe Digital Editions (which does not include Kindle).

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It’s pretty easy for authors to give away advance print copies (galleys) of their books, but, somewhat counterintuitively, there’s not a perfect system for giving away digital copies of a book before it is published. Services like NetGalley and Edelweiss allow publishers to distribute digital galleys to reviewers and bloggers, but authors don’t usually have the same capability. However, a new program from HarperCollins, announced at BookExpo America Wednesday, aims to let authors give away digital, DRM-protected copies of their books for promotional purposes.

Through the initiative, which is called the eInsider Program, authors get “a limited number of e-galleys and finished e-books to be used for marketing and publicity purposes via a HarperCollins-built proprietary  platform. Authors will be given unique, one-time use alphanumerical or QR codes, each of which will allow for the download of a complimentary copy of their books via e.HC.com.” The books are protected by DRM and can only be read through Adobe Digital Editions (which is supported by Nook and Kobo but not Kindle). HarperCollins’ marketing and publicity teams will also use the platform to distribute digital galleys.

“Until now, providing secure digital copies of ebooks directly to authors was difficult,” HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray said in a statement. “The eInsider program and platform allows us to distribute secure ebooks to authors, reviewers, bloggers or any other influential readers in the same way we have always distributed promotional print books at industry fairs and author events.”

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  1. Amazon does this openly and let’s authors opt in. We do so as a publisher. Simple and easy to do. http://www.simplymagazine.com.

  2. I think it should depend on the book. If the author is new and untested, he should have the option of ‘giving’ away, as many copies of his ebook as he wishes. (And, honestly, given the fact that most writers are rather poor at promoting their book, where’s the harm?) It costs the publisher nothing, the same way that it costing Amazon NOTHING to allow a KDP user to have five free ebook download days.

    And I wonder: is the issue of not allowing Amazon to participate, vis a vis Kindle, because Amazon won’t go for it?

    I betcha that’s the thing.

    This is wonderful. Best idea I’ve heard in a while. Rubs Amazon’s nose in it. For a change, someone ELSE gets to control new user ebook downloads.

    I wonder why someone can’t invent an app that allows a new writer to have an ‘ebook download’ farm where he can do the five day freebie dance and get all those Amazon users downloading his book.

    And HE gets the contact information. Know of anyone who is working on this?

    The more I look at Amazon, the more I feel someone is trying to trick me.

    Trick me to believe in a god of nothing: Amazon

    Heather
    wordwan

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