All the books at Modern Evil Press are available as free eBooks and free podcast audiobooks. (Note: As of 2017, none of them are available in any way but free; I have decided to stop accepting money for my work, primarily due to overhead related to bookkeeping and taxes.) Most of them are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license, which means you can copy them, share them, remix them, re-write them, and even create derivative works based on them, as long as you don’t try to do so in any commercial way. (ie: Don’t try to sell your copies, remixes, and derivative works.) My latest book, Virtual Danger, is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, which allows a lot more. You may be wondering why.
I’ve created the following chart to help explain my philosophy, and I’ve put it on almost every page of this site:
There are people who can afford to pay -whether for the paperback, the audiobook, or the much cheaper eBook- and people who can’t afford to pay. In my experience, and according to nearly every study ever done on the subject, the poor outnumber the wealthy significantly. Depending on who you ask, there are somewhere between 3 and 10,000 people living in poverty for every 1 living comfortably in the world. On a pure numbers basis every author and every publisher who quickly rules out the entire right side of the chart -simply because they can’t afford to buy the product- is ruling out the vast majority of their potential audience. I run Modern Evil Press not because I’m greedy, but because I’m a writer, an artist, a creator, and a storyteller. I want anyone who would enjoy my work to be able to enjoy it, so I can’t rule out the right half of the chart.
There are also people who are honest and -unfortunately- people who are dishonest. I don’t like dishonesty. I don’t like unlawful behavior. I don’t respect people who lie, cheat, steal, and/or violate posted speed limits. I also don’t believe there’s anything I can do to “Intellectual Property” that will prevent dishonest people from doing whatever they decide to do with it. If they want to make copies and share them with the world, that’s what’s going to happen, and no amount of DRM is going to stop them: they’re dishonest. If they want to bootleg, shoplift, or order online with stolen credit card numbers, that’s what they’ll do: they’re dishonest. Even if they could afford to pay, if they think they can get away with getting it for free, that’s what they’ll do: they’re dishonest. There’s literally nothing I can do to prevent it, so I can’t rule out the bottom half of the chart.
So I can’t deny the people who can’t afford to pay for my books -because I’m trying to be a good person- and I can’t prevent the dishonest people from taking them without paying -because they aren’t trying to be good people- and the people who are honest and can afford to pay are going to pay whether I have free copies available or not, because they’re trying to be good people so:
All my books are available for free.
Everyone, no matter where they fall on the chart, has equal access to my novels. I merely have to hope there are enough honest people who can afford to pay for them that I can make a living. If there aren’t, it wouldn’t have mattered whether I’d offered the books for free or not, as is clear from looking at the chart above.