Q: What do Industrial music icons Nine Inch Nails and first-time novelist Seth Harwood have in common?
A: The Long Tail.
Nine Inch Nails, following the lead of Radiohead, put out a double album of instrumental music this week under a Creative Common license under the theory that true fans will pay for something even if you give it away. So has Harwood. He's been putting himself out there for a long time with his podcast of three crime novels, the latest of which just started two weeks ago. Now, weeks before his first novel, Jack Wakes Up, is going on sale, he's released a pdf version of the book out there to generate interest. This sort of thing has been going with sci-fi authors for a while, and I am curious to see how Harwood's Palms Sunday promotion will turn out. The Internet is a huge new tool that allows people to connect with each other and seek out work they like. I like Seth, and I admire his willingness to promote his work so completely. He's got a grasp of this new media environment, and he's really reaching out to people who aren't the traditional audience for crime fiction, which is something I think the genre needs. I wish him luck.
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