Today’s Free Book

Is The Heritage by Will Ashon, who reports that:

So, the good burghers of Faber & Faber have decided against publishing a mass-market paperback edition of “The Heritage”. I would’ve been pissed off, anyway, I guess, but I think would have understood this hard-headed business decision. After all, if you wanna kiss the ring of the Leather Pope then corporate capitalism’s where it’s at and fuck any of the considerations (art, literature, quality) you may pay lip service to. But I think my sense of fair play was piqued by being told less than two weeks before said paperback edition was supposed to be out. I mean, really, how shit is that? Sorry? Pardon? What was that I heard about putting authors first? Anyway, as the only way left to me to build any sort of a readership for what I think is a pretty good book (not a great book by any means, but not as bad as a lot of the shit out there), I’m posting it here for you to download. The file is only 853.5 KB and it downloads as a pdf direct from this link.

There are reviews here by Colin Greenland and here by Martin Lewis. I haven’t read it yet — indeed, I now feel slightly guilty for not having got to my dead-tree copy yet — but I liked Ashon’s first novel, Clear Water, and this sounds like it has similar virtues. So, as the man says, give it a go.

7 thoughts on “Today’s Free Book

  1. I must say, I do object to this trend of not bringing out paperback editions of books. For purely practical reasons, I don’t read hardbacks any more.

    Soon the entire industry will be like PS Publishing :

    “We have quite an interesting novella for sale but it costs £1000 as we’re only putting out one edition of it and it’s bound in sperm whale foreskin and the ink is made from the ground up bones of some of the more famous popes”

  2. This is a massive shame. You can’t help but feel the book would have done a lot better if Faber & Faber published it as a paperback original in the first place. The argument is always that publishing is always a gamble and two shots are better than one but I think this shows that often you would be better putting all your eggs in one basket. Hopefully Ashon will grow his readership and the publicity will help him find a new publisher because he is a very interesting writer.

  3. This is very good of Ashon, and I have downloaded his book. He’s clearly cross, and I can see why. Now either Faber are being very understanding in letting him do this, or else he’s cross enough to do so without their permission, and that may well make them cross, in a ‘let’s call the lawyers’ way. I wonder what his contract says about it.

  4. Adam,

    Ashon closes his post with “What are you waiting for? DOWNLOAD DOWNLOAD DOWNLOAD before they make me take it down…”

    Which does tend to suggest that the or applies, not the either.

  5. Yes. I dithered slightly about linking, for just that reason, but in the end decided that, like Martin, I would like to see Ashon find an audience.

  6. And just for that, Jonathan, I’m using the PS address as the link for this comment… ;)

    More seriously, PS operates in a very different niche to even hardback editions from regular publishers. Yeah, we make collector’s items, and we’re proud of it, too – not everyone’s bored of book-as-artefact, y’know, and Pete takes chances on authors who otherwise might never see print at all because their stuff isn’t financially viable for a big house. I guess we just have to live with you falling beyond our target market. :)

    Regarding the matter of Ashton’s contract, it will be interesting to see how this pans out – I hope it goes well for him. Faber have the chance to make themselves look good off the back of a wrong if they let him leave it up, but I’ll be surprised if an old-school house like them would go for it – it’s possibly too far beyond the mindset. But given the torrent of soundbites currently oozing out of the TOC conference on Twitter, this sort of issue is going to be a high priority for all publishers this year.

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