3 min read

A chance to say thanks to Cory Doctorow @doctorow

I started this series of thank you posts just after Thanksgiving and then got swept away by the next Alex the Fey book. Now that the book is at the editors, I can get a little more caught up! :)

Cory Doctorow by Jonathan Worth

[ Portrait by Jonathan Worth[/caption]

How I was introduced to Cory Doctorow

I can't tell you when I first heard about Cory Doctorow. The husband read his book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, downloaded for free from Cory's website Craphound.com, the moment it was available. The husband is a voracious reader and for a time, he carried around a copy he'd printed of the book everywhere we went.

The husband watched the entire thing from the sidelines. We were involved in a holistic health and well-being media project called the Open Grove, so in some ways he was tracking the information for our business. In other ways, we were sitting in the bandstand watching Cory, Lawrence Lessig and others change the world with the Creative Commons license.

The husband, who is quite the talker despite his moniker of the "silent partner", spoke non-stop about Cory, the book, and the power of the Creative Commons license.

As a business economics major for UC Davis, the husband also saw something else - the  power of free commerce.

Later, we followed Cory on Boing Boing and watched that site explode with traffic. But my first introduction to Cory Doctorow was through a book he gave away for free online. I've followed his life adventures since then.

Thank you Cory Doctorow for...

  • Your faith in the free economy. Your opinion is not the popular opinion. In fact, I personally have been called to the carpet for my belief and actions in the free economy from mentors and teachers over the years. I've been called everything from a "moron" or, what's more horrifying to me, "I'm destroying any chance at my career." I can't tell you how many times I've sat, head in my hands, wondering why I listened to you. But you know what? Giving away books for free, making them available via serialization and available for download at retailers, is the very best thing I could have ever done. (The whys of that are for another discussion.) Thank you. Sometimes your faith has been the only thing that's led me forward.
  • Writing what you want to write. You've written sci-fi; you've written young adult; frankly, you write where the spirit moves you. When I was starting my writing career, I was told in no uncertain terms - pick a genre and stick with it. You've done what moves you from fiction to non-fiction and every thing in between (Boing Boing). Your willingness to go where the spirit moves you encourages me to do the same.
  • Your presence and personality in a phony world. I can't imagine it's easy. But I truly appreciate your manner of genuine interaction and presence. I love that I can tweet you and sometimes you respond. I love your comments to your own blog posts and your genuine interest in readers. You encourage me to bring all of myself to the table because I know you're sitting there waiting.
  • Standing against the haters. There was a moment in my life when I felt like I could not and would not survive the onslaught of negative crap that came in my direction. The husband went to look to see what you'd done against the voices and found... that you stuck to your guns, believed in what you believed in, and never seemed to let the darkness invade your work. Just knowing you were able to withstand a larger, louder, and even meaner onslaught gave me hope.
  • The conversation about Digital Rights management. Prior to writing books, I sold books too. Moreover, I worked at a wilderness outfitters which encouraged people to recycle, reuse, and when they were done, swap their goods. It's absolutely absurd that this isn't possible for digital books and albums. I don't have any control over what people do with what they buy, and I don't want any control over it. I'd rather write another book then worry over someone sharing a book with someone else. I know that you get this. I appreciate your willingness to continue to bring attention to the ridiculous nature and threat of DRM.

Thank you Cory Doctorow for leading the way.

I wouldn't have a career without your willingness to shoulder the burden of cutting the path and showing the way.

And finally, thanks for this - Giving it Away.  I've read this article so many times I think I wore out the electronic type. You were right. We made enough money last year to donate to charities our readers chose. We wouldn't have been able to do it if I'd followed the sage advice of my mentors.

Thank you.