It’s the same idea, authors can put partial or full books (just like partial or full albums for musicians) on NoiseTrade. People like me then come and search and download the things we’re interested in. If we’re feeling flush, we might leave a tip.
I’ve found some great tunes through NoiseTrade, so I decided to kick the tires of the books site.
I was thrilled to see the first book in Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga… except when I sent myself the download code, I saw it was really an excerpt. Next (and unsurprisingly) were Cory Doctorow titles I’ve had my eye on. I heard him speak twice (three times?) at ALA 2013, about YA books and maker spaces and net neutrality. That he’d made his work available here gave me a good feeling at first about the idea. I downloaded both “Little Brother” and “Homeland.” “Little Brother” worked just fine, but “Homeland” wouldn’t open. (Strike two for a technical glitch.)
I perused the catalog and recognized only one other title — a self-published work that a friend gave me because he’s college friends with the author.
The whole concept leaves me a bit on the fence. I don’t know how NoiseTrade curates the music, or now books, that it’s putting up. I get that self-published authors have work that they want to promote. I really hope there’s a set of guidelines that NoiseTrade is using for its selection, that the things they are giving away are quality to make the whole enterprise work better.
Mostly, I’m wondering for me about the over-saturation of this idea. I have a NetGalley account and general steer clear, because I get sucked down the rabbit hole of “oh, look at this book” and then never read it. I’m not sure that’s helpful for anyone… the writer or me.
Do service like NetGalley or NoiseTrade help you find books you want to read, or do you download for the sake of “someday I’ll read it?”