Agent Back Online

Agent to the Stars, the first novel I wrote, and which had been online here at Scalzi.com until I changed hosting providers earlier in the year, is now back online. Folks who are familiar with it will note a few changes, among them that I poured the novel into a Movable Type blog, and that the downloadable version of the novel is now a pdf file rather than an rtf file. The former of these was done because Movable Type does all the hard work of putting in the links for me; the latter because I think the novel looks better as a pdf. It’s not to keep people from stealing the work or anything, especially since someone could just cut and paste text from the Web site if they wanted.

The other major change is that I’m no longer promoting Agent as a “shareware novel” — as I note in the new introduction, the novel collected about $4,000 over the space of five years online, which more than proved the point that people will actually pay for stuff they think is good, even if they don’t have to. Be that as it may, corralling the money that comes in is a bit of a hassle — I have some checks I never even deposited — and more importantly, I just don’t feel like asking people for money for Agent anymore. If they like it, I figure they’ll track down Old Man’s War or another one of my books and buy that. That works for me.

So Agent is now officially freeware. Tell your friends.

15 thoughts on “Agent Back Online

  1. A present for your readers and just in time for Christmas. Now I feel bad, I haven’t gotten you anything.

  2. Done deal. While I’m at it, I guess I can quit procrastinating and order my copy of OMW.

    Speaking of which I remember you had a post about the possibility that the book will be turned into a movie. I know you can’t get your hopes up too soon, but have you already went over in your mind who you would like to see portraying your characters in it?

  3. Not really. It’s so far removed from the realm of probability that I haven’t given it much thought at all.

  4. John, have you given any thought to making this available through Cafepress? I really wanna read it, but I’m not keen on reading a novel-length work while sitting in front of my computer. Whaddya say?

  5. Joe –

    Actually, I did run off a couple of copies of the book for myself through Cafepress at one time. It’s fairly expensive and I wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable charging people $18 (more or less) for it. However, I have no objection to people creating their own print-on-demand versions. If you want to do it, I’ll be happy to give you the PDF version that’s already formatted for the 8×5 book.

  6. John,

    You’ve given me so much enjoyment over the years that I’m going to buy OMW from my local bookstore down in amazing Historic Fairhaven – a wonderful place called Village Books.

    I usually go discount or cheap – but for you, I’m going to fork over full price *and* support my local bookseller all at the same time.

    This act will also let me feel better about getting ‘America: The Book’ at Costco for something ridiculous like $12.

    Happy Holidays!

  7. Just a chime in from the sort of fan that puts a scare into overzealous security – Agent ROCKS! If OMW is what I think it is (all the raw skill I read in Agent honed by years of professional experience) I’m gonna die a happy woman.

  8. Agent was fun fun fun.
    Really liked it, I am scrounging up change from the couch and the catbox to fork over for OMW.
    You do good work!
    JD

  9. Speaking of the PDF version… Haven’t been able to track it down. Any pointers? I’d love to print it out and read it formatted as you intended, rather than burning out my retinas staring at the screen.

    Also, have you considered adding this to Project Gutenberg? I’m sure they’d love to have access to a modern day SF writer’s work (there’s only so much Lewis Carroll one can take, after all).

  10. Doug: I actually took down the pdf file — ironically, I was unhappy with the formatting. I mean to put it back up at some time.

    Gutenberg: Yes, I’ve given it some thought, however, the book isn’t in the public domain (I retain full copyright, to avoid unpleasant situations where someone other than me makes money off it), and I think that’s a dealbreaker for them.

  11. Finisehd the book. My coworkes must hate me for using so much paper from the office printer… *grin*

    I loved it. Now I just need to convince my wife to let me free up the cash reserves for a print version.

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