Booker Books for Everyone!

In a very interesting—and sure to be controversial—move, plans are underway to make all Booker shortlisted novels available online for free:

Negotiations are under way with the British Council and publishers over digitising the novels and reaching parts – particularly in Africa and Asia – that the actual books would not otherwise reach.

Jonathan Taylor, chairman of The Booker Prize Foundation, said that the initiative was well advanced, although details were still being thrashed out.

The downloads will not impact on sales, it is thought. If readers like a novel tasted on the internet, they may just be inspired to buy the actual book.

Robin Robertson from Jonathan Cape likened this idea to the latest Radiohead project allowing listeners to decide how much to pay for the available download of the new album. Great idea, but this scares me:

An internet survey of 3,000 people who downloaded the album found that most paid an average of £4, although others claiming to have paid more than £40.

That’s $80 for a Radiohead album! C’mon kids, don’t go crazy . . .

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