Author William H. Majoros has written a fantasy trilogy, of the Tolkein type, called The Sarnaethian Trilogy. The interesting thing about this is that he has released the books in PDF format and they are free to download. Also, if you look, he has a link to the Cafe Press print on demand site to allow you to buy the book form of the stories. How cool is this? Now, these stories may suck, I can’t find anything Majoros has written before, but hey, they’re free and it can’t hurt to try them out.
The bigger story here is the print on demand/PDF aspect. The author sets the price for the books and gets the money when someone uses the POD service. Take that, archaic, cumbersome printing industry! Now, much like the music industry, authors can have more control over their books and how they are sold. I would like to see some major author do this, and I’m not talking Doctorow, with his/her next novel. I would also like to see authors release their out-of-print stories so we can print them out and read them. Of course, this would put the used books stores out of business, and thus deprive John of what little joy he has left in his life. Seems a small price to pay to me!