Tor announced back in April that they would be going DRM-free by July. John Scalzi’s Redshirts, released today, is one of (if not) the first “new” title hitting the streets without DRM attached. As part of his release junket/tour, Scalzi has been at the Book Expo in New York. While there, he sat in on a panel/conversation that discussed Tor’s decision.
I can’t say that I am surprised.. I had a niggling thought that this may be a possible route that they could go, similar to what Baen Books has been doing for years. Actually, it’s been conjecture on the internet in general that more publishers should try going that route – becoming their own e-tailer when it comes to ebooks – instead of (solely) farming them out to the usual places (Amazon, etc.)
Here is my chunk of questions, though: once the store is opened, will the ebooks still be available through the usual suspects (and other venues) or will they be solely available through the Tor Store? (If you go look at Baen, for example, a couple of titles I looked up on both B&N and Amazon, dead-tree versions are available, but no ebooks.) The other question, how will the prices swing – stick with Agency or set their own? (Again, using Baen as the model for comparison here: most of their ebooks are $6 or less, and that’s including new releases.)
In short, I’m looking forward to seeing how those questions pan out as the summer progresses…