ebooks, free & local

I mentioned recently that one of my goals this year was to participate in Nanowrimo, both personally and at the library. While the “book” I wrote ended up being a 135-page thesis (yeah, ok, that includes a boatload of appendices) and my writer’s group is not yet ready for prime time, I’m really excited about the idea of library-written books. Here’s the thing–I can’t find any instances of library-published Nanowrimo ebooks. It seems like a no-brainer to me to host the ebook files (converted to .azw, .pdf, etc.) on the library website, and make them accessible through the catalog.

Rich Adin discusses the drawbacks and benefits of reading such free literature. Obviously, some free ebooks are not going to be of stellar quantity. But the thrill of discovery has got to be huge when you connect with a book, especially one that is free and probably under-appreciated. I was always that girl who didn’t want anyone else grooving to my obviously superior taste in music (I got over it) and I still feel possessive of “my” little-known writers. (so Patrick Rothfuss isn’t really unknown–he’s local though. Unfortunately I forgot to give my kindle to my daughter, who was to get his ebooks electronically “signed” via annotation this weekend at DaishoCon in Wisconsin Dells–hey Patrick, are you listening? Want to send me an electronic “signature?” Just write “to S-h-a-n-n-o-n, my favorite fan…”)

But consider this idea further. How would it feel to know you were not only discovering a new talent when you read an ebook from your library, but that it was written by a neighbor. In only 30 days. Talk about inspiration.

For those of you who think only garbage is written during Nanowrimo, I just want to say two things: First of all, how amazing is it that regular people are getting off their asses and writing, no matter the quality or even if they ever do it again, or share it?! And two, Sara Gruen’s Like Water for Elephants was written for Nanowrimo. Take that, haters.

Here are some other Nanowrimo babies that have been published traditionally.



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