Mon
Jun 4 2012 4:15pm
Tor/Forge Books Announces DRM-Free E-book Store

On April 24, 2012, Tom Doherty Associates, publishers of Tor Books and Forge Books, announced that beginning in July, all of its e-books would be sold free of DRM.

Now Tom Doherty Associates is pleased to announce the impending debut of the Tor/Forge DRM-Free E-book Store, which will sell all Tor, Forge, Starscape, Tor Teen, and Orb e-book titles directly to readers—along with, eventually, offerings from other publishers as well.

“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.”

Hosted at www.tor.com, the Tor/Forge DRM-Free E-book Store will open in the summer of 2012. Follow www.tor.com for further details as they’re announced.

About Tor and Forge Books

Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books, founded in 1980 and committed (although not limited) to arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher. Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is also the home of award-winning Forge Books, founded in 1993 and committed (although not limited) to thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction and general fiction. Together, the imprints garnered 30 New York Times bestsellers in 2011.

48 comments
Neil Sood
1. RanchoUnicorno
And does the opening of this store portend a future in which other entities are permitted to retail DRM-free copies of Tor publications, at a price that the retailer chooses? Or does Tor plan to stand by its efforts to enforce its cartel pricing on consumers, denying them the opportunity to shop and determine their location of purchase based on price point?

Also, will the license be transferrable?
trench
2. trench
you had me at DRM free
Lisa Spangenberg
4. Medievalist
I'm so very very excited about this—thank you so very much.

It's going to make reading a lot easier for me.
Cameron Tucker
5. Loialson
Thank you SO much! I love reading my ebooks on any platform, and this makes it so much easier, and still pays the people who work so hard to give us fantastic books. You have my sincere gratitude.
trench
7. carmen webster buxton
Great news! Take a page from O'Reilly's book (no pun intended) and sell ebooks in the Kindle format, with an option to send directly to the customer's Kindle. All you need to do is store the customer's Kindle email address & get them to whitelist your email address in their Manage My Kindle page.
trench
9. Aegon
I'd like some ebooks.

Thanks for making these available.
trench
11. Edward Bear
RanchoUnicorno's question is very pertinent, given that the Great Amazon-Publisher War ruined Fictionwise, which has done eBooks right for over a decade now.

Also, is there any opening date for this store? Like, say, some time before the next decade, given Tor's long-time refusal to touch eBooks?
Eric Greve
12. samalander
Will this upcoming store sell to american readers only or will us international folk be welcome as well? Or will this vary on a per country/per book basis?

Down with geo-blocking! ;)
Jonathan Chen
13. jonc
DRM free is old news. When Tor finally decides to fix its stupid non-US restrictions, that will be greater impact.
trench
14. Eugenie
Don't wait !

Open it right now, and with more sensible pricing than your competitors, sorry I mean distributors.
trench
15. m0g
Any plans to break with the opportunistic pricing for ebooks we're seeing on Amazon et al? With only a dollar or two savings on hardcovers (sometimes even the same or more expensive), it really comes off as cynical.
Under $10/ebook is goldilocks.
Chris Meadows
16. Robotech_Master
Given that Tor is owned by Macmillan, and Macmillan is one of the two publishers fighting the Department of Justice's antitrust charges rather than settling, I wouldn't hold my breath on that pricing issue.
Fredrik Coulter
17. fcoulter
#7 - Ditto

#13 - The regional restrictions are based upon the regional contract the authors (and their agents) sign. Are you asking Tor to ignore their contractual limitations?

#15 - Most of the "opportunistic pricing" of ebooks on Amazon is due to publisher demands, not Amazon's choice. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Tor required Amazon to sell books at a higher price than their own ebook store. (see #16)
trench
18. Karla Marija Baker
I'd like some books!
Neil Sood
19. RanchoUnicorno
@16 - I know. But, from what I can tell, Tor/Forge is the only MacMillan imprint that I read on a regular basis. So, while the impact of my displeasure is minimal on Tor, its even lesser on MacMillan as a whole.

Of course, that didn't stop me from posing the same questions when MacMillan posted their PR on their intent to fight the DoJ. And frankly, I'm hoping the feds destroy MacMillan. I mean break up the family into tiny chunks, destroy. Maybe then, Tor will get adopted by a good family with parents who aren't abusive.
trench
20. Lianne B
I am so glad to hear this. DRM always makes me uneasy, since I 'lost' a number of books when my Rocket eBook died several years ago, since the ones I had bought early on had DRM that didn't just limit the books to you, they limited them to the specific device. When it died, I couldn't even read those books on my computer.

Some day I'll track down a way to crack that DRM so that I can have my books back. And since then, while I'm a little less leary of DRM epubs, since they can be moved between brand of devices (Sony to Kobo, etc), I prefer to shop at places (like Baen and Smashwords) where I don't have to worry about DRM.
Joanna Slupek
21. Spriggana
@fcoulter
#13 – Contractual limitations do not explain why Amazon sells some (quie a lot, actially) ebooks internationally (with the surcharge for free wireless delivery – but that's another story) but often I can n0t find an epub edition of the very same ebooks available to me?
So, the question is – if a given ebook is available for purchase in my country in Amazon would I be able to buy it in Tor’s store as well?
Brian Eberling
22. AnemicOak
Anyone heard if the books will be sold as multiformat downloads (meaning buy once download various formats) like Baen and others offer or will customers be locked into the format they initially chose?

Yes, there are ways to convert but not everyone want to have to do that.

DRM Free is great. Hopefully we'll eventually also get past ebooks often costing more than the street price of their paper counterparts too.
Larry Sica
23. lomifeh
This is great news. Looking forward to this. I hope others follow suit soon (Looking at you Amazon and Apple)
trench
24. Kara M Harkins
Hopefully it will not just be in ebook format but in others (*cough* kindle and pdf *cough*) as well. Yes we can convert the files but it would be nice to have native versions, especially if we go with a different device in the future.
trench
25. Cat
It's worth noting that Tor/Forge or any US publisher may not have rights to sell a given work in another market as the author via his or her agent is free in most cases to negotiate with as many publishers as deemed necessary.

Using the example of Simon R. Green (not a Tor/Forge author), I know that his Secret Histories and Nightside series are published by Ace here in the States but only Nightside is published currently in the UK. Does this mean Ace is free to sell ebooks in the UK? Nope as their contract for him only covers the US.

So it's not always a publisher at fault when you cannot get a work you want.
John Hardin
26. JHardin
Please offer the Ebooks in the EPub format too!

@24 Kara: "kindle" is an ebook format...
Tracy Walters
27. Tracy
Thank you Tor! Really looking forward to the opening of the DRM free store!
trench
28. Lomala
Hopefully they will bring alot of the older paper back only books out to be enjoyed!
trench
29. Mary B. Thorman
Great news! I am one of those old geeks and/or beatniks that consider reality a crutch for those who cannot handle science fiction and fantasy. And because I'm old and my retirement income is low, I prefer to get my reading material in the form of ebooks. I'm in a rural area far from libraries and book stores. With Tor I've been discovering new great sci-fi and fantasy writers and anxiously awaiting more. When I do get enough money together to buy a book online, I look for authors I've discovered through Tor! And I've been irked by the ebook monopolies setting prices that are out of reach for me. Now maybe I can be a (elderly) crusader to others like me! Can't wait until July!
trench
30. Lavanya
yes, great news.. but are you going to sell these lovely DRM-free books internationally? It SUCKS to wait 6 MONTHS post-release and that too for dead-tree copies!
and i'm sure this had nothing to do with the recent anti-trust hullabaloo?
John Novak
31. jmnovak
Sounds promising; let's hope the execution is as good! While it would have been better if you could have gone with Webscriptions/BaenEBooks, who we *know* do ebooks right, if you can acheive as much or better (DRM free, in all useful formats including HTML & ePub, at a reasonable price-point), then you can count on my spending a fair bit of cash at the store...
trench
32. Patrik Dahl
Sounds Great!!!

Don't forget us at the other side of the pond!!!
trench
33. Robin Sullivan
Publishers selling direct, and DRM free, is the RIGHT thing to do. Why rely on Amazon and B&N when you can get directly in the stream and have direct access to readers, their emails, and their buying habits. I hope more publishers will adopt such a stance!
Nadine L.
36. travyl
Question: will this store be restricted to US customers only?
JOHN SWENSON
37. yuman
This is very good news some but for me of no use. I have a mobi reader and can convert, via Calibra, many formats but not that of a major Kindle format. I'll have to stick with Baen their format is no nonsense direct from them downloads in the format of my choosing. If you are selling DRM free why bother with the lock-up services of Amazon, B&N, or Apple? I do not use or plan to purchase their equipment and have been reading DRM free eBooks for over 10-years.
trench
38. harr2969
This is great news! So happy to see music, and now books going the way that's best for most consumers. Hope to see movies this way in future.
trench
39. Ton van Leeuwen
Excellent news! This is the only solution to reduce piracy. Most people really do not mind paying for books. However, DRM has produced a ridiculous situation in which a pirated, DRM stripped book is actually a much more customer-friendly and usable product than the legal product - not binding the consumer forever to his original choice of e-reader, allowing the use of better e-book management software, preventing the frustration of discovering that the book you're looking for is not yet available for your reader, etcetera.
Looking forward to becoming a regular buyer at the DRM-free store!
Meester Exx
40. meesterexx
I have finally purchased my first ebook and it is from TOR because it is DRM free. I purchased John Scalzi's Ghost Brigade for my Nook. I have refused to pay for DRM encumbered books in the past and will continue to do so in the future. TOR, you have my money in the future (as long as prices are not greater than mass market pb); any publisher with DRM, you NEVER will.

I have voted with my wallet and will continue to do so.

Thank you TOR for being consumer friendly!
Kevin Roger
41. Proserpine
Any word when the tor store will finally open for business? July has long gone . . . an update would be great! I have money allocated to tor spending. Thanks.
John Novak
42. jmnovak
So where is the store? Eagerly awaiting -- but the link seems to have disappeared from the banner links!
trench
43. Rudy TT
Looks like they decided to defer to the Dragonmount store instead. Summer 2012 has gone and the Store link has vanished. An announcement would be appreciated, though.

ps. The Captcha thing sucks. I'm about to attempt it for the SEVENTH time.
trench
45. GTM +0
Did they drop the store??
Steve Garcia
46. unkilbeeg
I've bookmarked the Dragonmount store, but if Dragonmount is the only independent ebook store carrying Tor titles, it would be nice if they had a link from Tor. If you go to the Tor-Forge page you can find all the Tor books, but the "Buy me" link sends you off site, and only to device specific stores. I don't have a Nook, Kindle, Sony or a Kobo, and I don't read on my Android. That exhausts what is offered through the Tor-Forge page.
trench
47. Katharina
I'd appreciate an update whether the store is still in the works or not. I've marked a couple of books I'm planning to buy from the Tor/Forge store to show my enthusiastic support. I'm willing to wait a little longer (my tbr is still more than a 100 deep...), but I'm not a Unix system (where no news is good news), I'm human enough to want a progress bar ;-).
John Novak
50. jmnovak
Ditto the last several comments...

I tried out the Dragonmount store, but I'm not comfortable with it, much as I want to support an independent, wholly-DRM-free vendor. The design is integrated with the forum software, which is worrisome from a security standpoint; I ran into compatability problems such that I couldn't place an order with one browser (Opera); and advertisements (non-secure) show up on supposedly secure pages, which is another security risk (there have been known exploits in the past via advertisements). Of course, a store that doesn't have these problems is still not garanteed to be completely secure, but it would be less worrisome... search & organization is a little lacking, too. On the positive side, it does seem to be set up to retain a list of your purchases, so you can go back and redownload if needed.

Really hoping Tor hasn't decided to skip their own store! Some info on that front would be nice...
trench
51. Proserpine
I may ask john scalzi to seek a comment from patrick nielsen hayden.

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