Since I published Green Comet, I’ve been involved with a few websites whose aim is to help people distribute their creative work. I got involved with them during their alpha and beta phases, and helped them work out the kinks in their processes. All of them espoused an open philosophy and I was glad to be involved. I still am.
The first was BitTorrent Bundle, which I signed up for in the middle of 2013. You can see Green Comet here and Parasite Puppeteers here. I was selected for alpha testing and published in December 2013, along with lots of other people’s books, videos and audios. Their idea is to provide a platform for hosting torrents of these works, and I got up to around 3,000 downloads. I can’t be sure because they had a glitch and the count had to start over. Of course I wasn’t keeping close track.-) Activity there has virtually stalled, and the addition of Parasite Puppeteers last year hasn’t done much.
The second was Unglue.it, which I joined in December 2013. You’ll find Green Comet here and Parasite Puppeteers here. The aim of this site is to free books. They allow the author to set an amount at which they will loosen their copyright on a book, and it is freed if donations reach the target. Alternatively, if the book is already free, as my books are with their Creative Commons licenses, then people are allowed to reward the author to thank them. Green Comet has just reached 1,000 downloads on Unglue.it. (Actually 999 as of this minute, but who’s counting?) Not as much as BitTorrent Bundle, but still chugging along. The fact that it still feels alive is why I say it’s the best so far.
The third site is OpenBooks, which contacted me in the middle of 2014. I told them I would go ahead and they said we’d be going live three months later. There were some delays — birthing pains, to be expected — and we finally got going in December 2014. Green Comet is here, Parasite Puppeteers here. I had high hopes for OpenBooks. Their plan is to get the books onto torrent sites and let exposure do its magic. I had visions of pirates uploading my book all over the Internet, but I can’t find it on many torrent sites. Unfortunately, Green Comet has yet to reach 500 downloads, and it feels moribund.
The experiment isn’t over. There are still more options to try, one of which I’ve just begun. But those are for another day and another report. For now I’ll just conclude, by my highly subjective criteria, Unglue.it is the best so far.