This edition of Free Readin’ has got a bit more meat behind it than usual. Recently, a handful of authors published by Nightshade Books have become rather vocal about some of the inappropriate business practices of the small publisher, including copyright infringement and
Appropriate to this novel, is a statement made several weeks ago by Brendan Halpin (the real name of Seamus Cooper) about his novel, Mall of Cthulhu:
Night Shade has stolen the ebook rights to The Mall of Cthulhu. They do not own them and are offering an electronic edition for sale through webscription.net, which is affiliated with Baen Books, a real publisher who should know better. Nine months ago, Night Shade made a verbal offer to pay me a small sum for the rights. I agreed. They’ve never paid me. They claimed their unauthorized edition was an oversight, and that was somewhat credible at the time. Nine months later, it’s clear that this is not an oversight. It’s a theft of my intellectual property.
I’ve given away the ebook of Mall of Cthulhu in hopes of cutting the legs out from Night Shade and webscription’s piracy of my work. (Guess what, Cory Doctorow? My problem is piracy and obscurity!) If you’d like a free electronic copy, scroll down here, or go to scribd. If you like it, please consider buying the Kindle edition, published by me and sold by Amazon, who pay me regularly for the copies I sell through them. (It’s only 3 bucks! Less than a latte!)
Further issues have been reported by Liz Williams, another Nightshade Books author. We don’t know the full story, but it’s a shame to see a small, well regarded publisher treat their authors in such a manner.
Of course, the upside to us fans is that Mall of Cthulhu has been released by Cooper/Halpin for free! If you’re interested in the novel, or just curious about the situation, you can read many more details of the situation (and how you can help, by buying a Kindle copy) on Halpin’s blog, or some interesting commentary at Adventures in Reading and Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review.
EDIT: Nightshade Books has issued a press release regarding the mishandling of the authors in question.