Giving Away Your Book

So, Leo at Zen Habits is giving away the contents of his book and his website. He’s released the lot of it into the public domain and you can do as you see fit.

Open Source Blogging: Feel Free to Steal My Content:

I get a lot of emails asking me for permission to reprint Zen Habits articles on other blogs, in newsletters, in conferences and in classrooms. I get requests to translate certain posts, or my entire blog, into dozens of languages. I get requests to translate Zen To Done or republish it in another format.

Until now, I granted limited permission, mostly for non-commercial use.

Now, I’m granting full permission to use any of my content on Zen Habits or in my ebook, Zen To Done, in any way you like.

I release my copyright on this content.

From now on, there is no need to email me for permission. Use it however you want! Email it, share it, reprint it with or without credit. Change it around, put in a bunch of swear words and attribute them to me. It’s OK. 🙂

[Via: Zen Habits]

I wonder though how this plays out in the long term. People like me spread the word, and people like you drop by and check it out. Perhaps a few buy the book, a few who would never have known about Zen Habits or Leo’s incredible insights (i.e. I like his stuff).

What would that be like for other authors? Say, people like me with several million words on ice. What if I put the whole thing up for anyone to take? To cut and remix as they like? To put their own name on it and sell it?

Or maybe just to enjoy.

[Update] Here’s another author giving up his book, though admittedly not into the public domain.

New Years action: Giving away my book:

No more sample chapters, partial books that end in the middle, none of that. You can download and read the complete book. Share it with your friends, email it, do anything you want with it except sell it. Hope you enjoy the book and tell others.

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