I learned about Weightless Books through Brian White, who publishes the new fiction magazine Fireside. (You may recall that I wrote about Fireside when Brian was seeking Kickstarter backing for Issue #1. He’s now raising money for Issue #2 and beyond.) If you didn’t get in on the original Kickstarter frenzy and still want to read Fireside #1, you can order it from Weightless, which sells DRM-free, non-encrypted publications in PDF, epub, mobi, and .lit formats. That means you can read them on any device. Lots of small, independent publishers are in the Weightless e-stacks, and you’re in particular luck if you favor the romance, fantasy, and science-fiction genres, which are well represented. Weightless also carries Fairy Tale Review, a very worthy little journal to which I once subscribed the old-fashioned way.
Weightless Books appears to be based in Massachusetts. (No mailing address is given; for “location,” their Twitter profile gives “The Aether.”) It was launched in 2010 by two self-described enthusiasts, Gavin J. Grant and Michael J. DeLuca. Both men are published fiction writers as well.
I love Weightless’s business model and its support for small presses, and I really like the Weightless name, which of course suggests the bits-and-bytes nature of the product. I also like that it’s a homophone of waitless—a more interesting way of saying “instant download.” I smiled to see the administrivia (About, FAQ, Contact) under a wry heading, “Slightly Weighty.”
My only quibble concerns Weightless’s tagline, (e)Books That Don’t Weigh You Down. That parenthesis at the beginning looks clumsy, and I’d prefer that the tag didn’t repeat “weigh” and “books” from the name. The negative phrasing isn’t ideal, either. I’d have encouraged Gavin and Michael to explore other words—say, “light,” “reader” (referring to both the person and the device),” and “speed.” Good Reads at Light Speed—something like that.
Yes, that’s how much I admire Weightless Books: I’m giving away an idea. It may never happen again!