A few days ago, I mentioned that Jeffrey A. Carver had posted the first novel in his Chaos Chronicles series, Neptune Crossing, on his web site as a free e-book. I also mentioned that his plans included making all three of the novels currently in that series similarly available, to build publicity for the publication of the fourth. The second novel in the series, Strange Attractors, has now been posted to Carver’s download page—but that is not all.
When Carver posted the first novel, someone started a thread in the Mobileread freebies forum about it, and shortly afterward Carver himself joined in. Before long, a number of Mobileread forum regulars had volunteered to convert the book into other formats for him. As a result, both books are currently available in html, MobiPocket, eReader, RTF, PDF, LRF, LIT, and ePub formats. (There is now another Mobileread thread about Strange Attractors as well.)
And as it happens, I was one of those volunteers: I polished the markup of the eReader version. I took the raw output of a Word-to-eReader script, then went in and reformatted it for better readability—adding chapter headers (and thus a table of contents), “smart” quotation marks, the cover illustration, and so on. I did this for both Neptune Crossing and Strange Attractors, and will be doing it for The Infinite Sea as well.
Carver has lately revealed that he has come to an agreement with Tor to publish the fourth book in the series, The Sunborn, as a Tor e-book through their arrangement with Baen (though he retains the option to give it away for free, as well).
Even speaking as one of them, it is great to see so many Mobileread regulars willing to volunteer their time and effort to help authors convert their works to as many formats as possible. Some posters in the threads have suggested that Mobileread could be promoted as a resource for other authors looking to do the same thing.