If ever there was any doubt that Neil Gaiman is a stand-up guy, let this be the story which banishes the thought.
Oh is blog, Gaiman announced he had recorded an audiobook for Audible.com. While that is nothing new (Gaiman has several audiobooks available), it is what Gaiman did with the story that is truly inspiring.
I asked if they could make a “Pay what you want” button that would go to charity. They looked into it, said no, they weren’t set up to do that…
…but for every time a new person downloaded the story they would make a donation to charity. So if we reached a hundred thousand downloads by Hallowe’en, Audible would donate a hundred thousand dollars to the charity of my choice…
And Audible.co.uk got in on the act as well. They’ll make their own donations to a UK charity.
I got on the plane. I flew to London. As soon as the recording studios were open on Monday, I went into a studio in Wardour Street and recorded my story (and another extra bonus story that we’ll put out as a mad gift if enough people download the first one). The Audible people have worked through the nights to get everything together for the roll-out.
That’s right. The book is free to download. And, if there are 100,000 downloads by Halloween, Audible will donate $100,000 to Donors Choose – http://www.donorschoose.org/ * –for the US; and Booktrust - http://www.booktrust.org.uk/ ** — for the UK.
It’s free. Really.
But what’s the story?
Perhaps, they suggested, I could read a story, and they would put it up for free. Would I like to do a classic horror story?
No, I said. I’d like to read a story I’d written recently, that I’d read at the George Mason Award evening, a story that had scared people.
So, what are you waiting for? Download it now!!!