Some posts ago we took up the ‘who’ll be literature’s radiohead’ argument up, suggesting that there are already a number of established authors who have been giving away their work a la In Rainbows – for example the Wu Ming foundation or Mega-bestseller Neil Gaiman.
Word comes through (via Lizzy’s Literary Life) of a new publishing venture in a similar vein, but with a twist. Concord Free Press will be publishing Give and Take by Stona Fitch and distributing it free through a network of participating bookstores – all they ask, when you take a copy of the novel, is that you donate some money to a charity of your choice, and that you pass the novel on to someone else with the same request after you’ve finished.
The press, with which Russell Banks is involved (it seems), plans on releasing two novels in this manner annually. How they expect to make any money in the venture remains unclear – Radiohead relied on people valuing their music sufficiently to pay for it of their own accord. These guys rely on people valuing their literature enough to pay someone else for it of their own accord.
It sounds like madness – so it gets my thumbs up. Check it out.