A couple months ago Tor Books announced plans to sell all their ebooks DRM-free everywhere they’re sold.
Today I learned that later this year that is going to include Tor.com, the SF blog/community. While the DRM-free ebooks are scheduled to hit the shelf in July, but the new ebookstore is set to open sometime this summer, a much less definite date.
“This isn’t in lieu of the existing online retailers, but in addition to them,” said publisher Tom Doherty. “We think there’s room for all kinds of retail models in the growing e-book field—and we aim in particular to provide a rich, informative browsing experience to fans and devotees of the kinds of books Tor and Forge have made their reputations publishing.”
The ebookstore is going to include titles from all of Tor/Forge imprints including Tor, Forge, Starscape, Tor Teen, and Orb. They’re also planning to offer ebooks from other publishers in the future.
Do you know the really sad part of this story? This is something that a significant number of ebook fans asked for when the site launched back 2008. The staff at the time put a lot of effort into insisting that it was just a social site, and that even though it was owned by an SF publisher there would be no ebooks involved. That situation didn’t end well, but let’s not dwell on it.
Way to finally give your customers what they want, Tor. Now I’m convinced that legacy publishing can survive, even though this feedback loop spanned nearly 4 years.