Norway’s Free Books Pay Authors

Norway has placed over 135,000 books online for free.

The books cannot be downloaded but they can be read in their entirety online. The website is only accessible by citizens of that country, and every book on the site offers payments to publishers and authors.

The project is intended to help boost print sales for books that were published before 2000. The country feels that titles need to be given more exposure over a longer timeframe than is usually allowed by publishers.

This experiment hits all the right notes: authors and publishers are paid for their work, readers get to sample an author’s work without worrying they won’t like the book, and readers are then driven to buy the print book (and more recent ones from the same author), which further supports publishers, authors, and of course bookstores.

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