Cory Doctorow rallies against Audible by kickstarting his latest audiobook

Cory Doctorow rallies against Audible by kickstarting his latest audiobook


New York Times bestselling author, Cory Doctorow, takes to Kickstarter with the audiobook of his latest novel ‘Attack Surface’. Aims a shot across the bows of Audible’s DRM policy.

Cory Doctorow is an author notable for his young-adult novels that highlight the dangers and vulnerabilities of living in the digital age. His stories explain, in intricate detail, how networks and systems can be infiltrated and manipulated. How they can be used against us, and how they can be turned into invaluable tools for activists.

In real life Doctorow has been involved as an activist through Electronic Frontier Foundation  and Open Rights Group, here in the UK, for many years. Organisations set up to protect people’s digital rights.

It’s no surprise then, that the author is taking a stance against Audible’s DRM policy. Part of Amazon’s portfolio, Audible is by far the largest provider of audiobooks in the world with a 90% monopoly. Any title purchased on the platform is subject to their DRM (Digital Rights Management). In simple terms, if you buy a book, you can only listen to it through the Amazon platform. Any attempt to remove the DRM restrictions is a felony offence.

Doctorow argues that once owned by the consumer, that consumer should have the right to enjoy their property however they see fit. Or, as he so eloquently puts it, “fuck Audible“.

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As a result, the bestselling author has chosen to ensure that none of his books are available via the Audible platform. Instead Doctorow produces his own audiobooks, footing the substantial production costs and selling them via his own website. Over time they generate a small profit.

Taking a slightly different tact with the e-book and audiobook release of his latest novel, ‘Attack Surface’, Doctorow has taken to crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter.

In an update video he explains, in detail, his motives and his aim to encourage other best-selling authors to walk away from Amazon and Audible.



Fans will receive a discount if they pre-order ‘Attack Surface’. The discount becomes greater if they purchase a bundle, including two more titles in his ‘Little Brother’ trilogy.

The risks are minimal as the audiobook is already recorded and mastered. The kickstarter is expected to be fulfilled on October 13th.

For more details visit kickstarter.com.


If you’re more of a print fan, you may be interested to learn that The Unheard Nerd are participating in a blog tour for ‘Attack Surface’.

Alongside like-minded peers aboard the good ship interwebs, we will be taking our turn to publish our review of Cory Doctorow’s latest instalment of the ‘Little Brother’ series, that includes New York Times bestsellers, ‘Little Brother’ and ‘Homeland’.

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‘Attack Surface’ will be published on the 1st of October. Our review will be live on the 9th of October and we have a copy of the hardback to give away in the run-up to that. Stay tuned.

About Attack Surface | Most days, Masha Maximow was sure she’d chosen the winning side.
In her day job as a counterterrorism wizard for an transnational cybersecurity firm, she made the hacks that allowed repressive regimes to spy on dissidents, and manipulate their every move. The perks were fantastic, and the pay was obscene.
Just for fun, and to piss off her masters, Masha sometimes used her mad skills to help those same troublemakers evade detection, if their cause was just. It was a dangerous game and a hell of a rush. But seriously self-destructive. And unsustainable.
When her targets were strangers in faraway police states, it was easy to compartmentalize, to ignore the collateral damage of murder, rape, and torture. But when it hits close to home, and the hacks and exploits she’s devised are directed at her friends and family–including boy wonder Marcus Yallow, her old crush and archrival, and his entourage of naïve idealists–Masha realizes she has to choose.
And whatever choice she makes, someone is going to get hurt.



Will Harrison

About the author | Will Harrison

Founder of The Unheard Nerd. A husband and father of two girls, Will is a fan of Nerdcore Hip-Hop, a comics fiend, a podcast host and champion of independent nerd culture. | Follow will on twitter: @TheUnheardNerd