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Random House Starts Free Content Library

Just thought I would quote the press release:

NEW YORK, NY – March 4, 2009 – Random House, Inc. today unveiled the first five titles in its new Suvudu Free First Book Library. Designed to introduce new readers to popular and acclaimed science fiction and fantasy series, the Suvudu Free First Book Library allows readers to access free digital copies of the first book in each series.

The program launches with access to the following novels:

  • His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik   (we love this book here at Dear Author)
  • Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (I’ve heard great things about this book)
  • Settling Accounts: Return Engagement by Harry Turtledove
  • Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt

The books will be made available through Random House’s science fiction/fantasy portal, (, as well as on other content services, including and the Stanza ebook reader application for the iPhone.

Says Christine Cabello, Random House Publishing Group Deputy Director of Marketing: "The Suvudu Free First Book promotion provides us with a new digital vehicle to build an author’s fan base and is an ideal way to bring new readers to these series."

New titles are scheduled to be added to the Suvudu Free First Book Library on a regular basis. Coming soon are Terry Brooks’s Magic Kingdom for Sale-‘Sold!, Elizabeth Moon’s Trading in Danger, and many more.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. rebyj
    Mar 04, 2009 @ 21:44:55

    I may be blind or just ignorant but I find it hard to navigate. has 5 new releases on the page and links to see others in those particular series but I can’t find a data base of all books anywhere. Are those five the extent of what’s released so far?

    The author links on the side go to the author’s individual websites, the tags take you to blog posts and all the Suvudu banners on the page just take you back to the front page. What am I missing?

  2. Evangeline
    Mar 05, 2009 @ 04:18:02

    Kind of interesting that they’re releasing sf/f titles. Is there something about that particular genre that publishers find it more lucrative to set up free libraries? HC has allowed a few romances to be read in full, but I’ve never seen anything like this for the romance genre.

  3. Jia
    Mar 05, 2009 @ 04:21:48

    @rebyj: Yes, those 5 are all that’s available so far.

  4. rebyj
    Mar 05, 2009 @ 06:40:17

    Thank you Jia.

  5. Sherry Thomas
    Mar 05, 2009 @ 09:09:58

    Evangeline, I’m guessing that it may not so much be the sf/f factor as the continuity/series factor, as in, RH prolly thinks that there is a good chance if readers read the first book in an excellent series for free, they’d rush out to get the rest.

    Romances tend to be stand-alone stories even within a series, i.e. main characters/conflicts in one story do not remain main characters/conflicts in the next story.

  6. Sherry Thomas
    Mar 05, 2009 @ 09:11:38

    And I really think it’s awesome that RH is doing this.

  7. Sunita
    Mar 05, 2009 @ 09:17:09

    What Sherry said. This is all kinds of awesome.

    One possible reason for starting with SFF is that the Baen Free Library has made it very clear that offering free books not only doesn’t cannibalize sales, but more likely increases them. And also what Sherry said about the series hook aspect.

  8. Kaye
    Mar 05, 2009 @ 10:14:54

    Assasin’s Apprentice is THE best fantasy novel I have ever read, hands down. It’s amazing, and the series is spectacular.

  9. DeeCee
    Mar 07, 2009 @ 13:15:06

    forgive this question, but can they be put through Adobe digital editions and transfered onto the Sony reader? I’ve been wanting to read the Pratt book for ages, but can’t find it in pb locally.

  10. John Hilton III
    May 06, 2009 @ 14:07:19

    Sales data on these books for the 8 weeks before and after are available at:

  11. Jane
    May 06, 2009 @ 14:11:10

    @John Hilton III Thanks for leaving the link. Fascinating numbers. Even taking into consideration non reported sales (i.e Wal-mart, etc.) the logical conclusion is that if Bookscan numbers are increasing, it’s doubtful that big box retailers numbers are decreasing.

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