Monday: MFB CC no more

Fri 27 Sep 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Just a note to say that due to an upcoming change in the rights status, as of Monday, September 30th, we will be taking down the creative commons versions of Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners.

First I’d like to thank all the publishers who went along with this: Harcourt, HarperCollins UK, and also the ten other international publishers, thank you for your bigheartedopenmindedness! Because two stories from MFB also appeared in Pretty Monsters, the CC-version of MFB has always been 2 (er, somewhat circumventable) stories short of the published edition. (The ebook, which is available on Weightless and all the other usual spots, of course includes all the stories.)

Second, in the 5 years MFB has been available under the CC license there have been at least 125,000 downloads which is amazing! and we’d like to once again thank everyone for their CC-conversions . . . and also for CC-inspired work!

Kelly’s first collection, Stranger Things Happen, is still available under the CC-license (145,000 downloads and counting!) and we are still committed to the ideas behind it. All our ebooks are available DRM-free on Weightless and we are always open to the idea of releasing further titles under the CC-license in the future.

In the meantime if you’d like to download Magic for Beginners before we take it down on Monday: all the DRM-free versions are of course here.



Podcast of “The Hortlak”

Thu 25 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

magic for beginnersBy Frank Marcopolis courtesy of Creative Commons. He’s split the story into two: part one is here, part 2 TK.

“Can Erik and Batu revolutionize convenience retail? And what about all those zombies? ”
– Is the All-Night Convenience a metaphor for life itself? If so, how?
– What other symbols are used in the story (if any)?
– Is a new style of retail, one that will usher in a revolutionary era, on the horizon?
– Do you believe in ghosts? Zombies? Dog ghosts? Why or why not?
– Do you sleep in pajamas?
– What themes/issues/whatevers from the story do YOU want to talk about?

I’d love to know your thoughts. Listen to the story, and let’s discuss in the comments section.



a big day here: Sale. Free Download.

Thu 2 Oct 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Here’s another reason we were up late last night:

1) We’re having a Sale—and 20% of the proceeds will go to Barack Obama’s campaign.

  • Celebrate, come on! We are celebrating many things by having a sale.
  • 20% of the proceeds of this sale will be donated to Barack Obama‘s campaign for President of the United States of America.
  • Obama in 2008Next month in the USA we get to show the world that the mistakes of the last eight long years will not be repeated. If you really want to buy these books but don’t want to donate to Obama, we won’t insist. But: we hope you will donate! And vote.
  • Everything on this page is at least 25% off. Some of it is 60% off. Reason enough to celebrate!
  • You can get every book we’ve published for $249—including those still to be published in 2008.
  • We are publishing our first book for readers of all ages: Joan Aiken’s The Serial Garden and we want to make sure that the kid in your life (or you) gets it for the holidays.
  • Kelly Link’s new collection, Pretty Monsters, is published today by Viking.
  • Magic for Beginners - UKWith the gracious and kind permission of her US and UK publishers, most of Kelly’s previous collection, Magic for Beginners, is being released free online for the period of a year as a Creative Commons download. (More free books.)
  • We just got our tax bill and apparently we have to bail the government out all by ourselves.
  • Hallowe’en is coming and we need to move some books out of the haunted warehouse.
  • Suggestions welcome!
  • Get some books!

Magic for Beginners - US hardcover2) To celebrate the publication of Kelly’s new collection, Pretty Monsters, most of Kelly’s previous collection Magic for Beginners is now available as a free download in various completely open formats with no Digital Rights Management (DRM) strings attached. It is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0) license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them in any noncommercial manner. The book is provided below in these formats: Text file, HTML, rtf, and lo-res PDF.

Kelly Link and Small Beer Press would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA) and HarperPerennial (UK) for their willingness to particpate in making these stories available online. Due to contractual obligations, “The Faery Handbag” and “Magic for Beginners” are not included in this download.

Small Beer Press CC-licensed downloads.

Order the book
US hardcover: Signed | Powells | local bookshop
US paperback: Signed | Powells | Amazon | local bookshop
UK edition: Amazon | John Smith | Waterstones
More editions: Japan | Germany | Romania | Poland | . . .



Bloomsbury Academic

Wed 10 Sep 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Bloomsbury’s recent announcement about their new Creative Commons-licensed line provides a fascinating point of entry into the possible future of niche-interest books:

Bloomsbury Academic will be using a radically new model. All titles will be made available free of charge online, with free downloads, for non-commercial purposes, immediately upon publication, using Creative Commons licences. The works will also be sold as books, using latest short-run technologies or Print on Demand (POD).

Until we all have Instabook printers on our desktops (just as photo printing became dispersed onto desktops instead of centralized), this seems like a great model: insure the work is available to as wide an audience (online, libraries, etc.) as possible and also provide the option of buying the physical text.

For the moment, people do a ton of reading online (hello NY Times, Blogistan, etc.) so our distribution model is still mostly the same as publishing last century: make a pretty book and send it out there to be read and enjoyed. Since 99% (ok 99 point something-or-other) of our sales are physical, paper books, this is what we’re sticking to. (And, it’s great fun working with authors and artists to make books.)

Looking ahead (or at least sideways) quite a few of our books are available as ebooks and some are out there as free CC-licensed texts that can be played with, shared, sent on, etc., and maybe provoke the reader to look up those authors in the future.



Reign of the Ant King

Sat 9 Aug 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: jedediah

The Ant KingThe Ant King takes the throne and promptly showers gifts upon the people. Namely, free copies of The Ant King and Other Stories by Benjamin Rosenbaum.

This debut collection was officially released this week and now we send forth a free download. Inside you’ll find airships, gumballs, and the orange that rules the world. What you won’t find: DRM. So copy, share, remix, reuse, repeat.

The Ant King and Other Stories is available in several formats (PDF, HTML, RTF, and plain text), and is being distributed under a Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0).

Mr. Rosenbaum is at Worldcon just now, and if you’re there, you can catch him today at a reading and a signing. For more about his collection, and for a link to the free download, proceed hither.

Creative Commons



Free Mothers, Other Monsters

Tue 22 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Mothers & Other Monsters CoverHot on the heels of last week’s Creative Commons release of John Kessel’s collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence (5,000 downloads and counting—and Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, yay!) Small Beer Press is proud to announce their third Creative Commons release, Maureen F. McHugh’s collection Mothers & other Monsters.

When we asked Maureen if she was interested in releasing her collection this way she took a moment out from working on Top Secret Gaming Things to say go for it. It is awesome to work with authors like Maureen and John who are so enthusiastic about this.

Come back next week for another CC-release!

The thirteen stories in McHugh’s “gorgeously crafted” (Nancy Pearl, NPR, Morning Edition) collection include her her Hugo Award winner “The Lincoln Train” as well as a reading group guide. Mothers & Other Monsters was a Story Prize finalist and a Book Sense Notable Book.

Although we think our paper editions are of course prettier than these downloads, please pass the word along. The further out these CC-licensed books go (especially from our site where we can count them) the higher chance there is of persuading other authors of doing the same with their books.

Mothers & Other Monsters is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them. The collection is provided in these formats: low-res PDF, HTML, RTF, and text file. We encourage any and all conversions into other formats.

The paper edition is much nicer, although not free:

Buy the paper edition| Reviews | Maureen F. McHugh’s site
paperback | hardcover | limited edition | ebook



Free Kessel Free

Tue 15 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Kessel, Baum PlanIt’s Tax Day here in the USA and in between the wailing, gnashing of teeth, and renting of garments and DVDs, we are celebrating the Publication Day of John Kessel‘s new collection, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories.

How are we celebrating?

With John’s blessing we’re setting his book free into the world:

Today, April 15, 2008, is tax day in the USA and we all need cheering up. We’re celebrating at Small Beer Press by publishing John Kessel‘s first collection of short stories in ten years, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories, as well as releasing it as a free download in a number of completely open formats—with, of course, no Digital Rights Management (DRM).

The Baum Plan includes Kessel’s Tiptree Award winning “Stories for Men” (gender inequality meet Fight Club . . . on the moon), “Pride and Prometheus,” a mashup of Frankenstein and Jane Austen, and “Powerless,” an amazing mix of pulp fictions, paranoia, and academia.

The Baum Plan is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them in any remixing/interpretation/Web 2.0 huddly-cuddly noncommercial manner.

The collection is provided in these formats: low-res PDF, HTML, RTF, and text file. We encourage any and all conversions into other formats. Read more, download, and or order the collection here.

Creative Commons: Some Rights Reserved

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