Very Limited Availability of "Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7" by Aaron Reed

So, I went looking for this book and then immediately died. Of heart failure. Or shock. Maybe both.

:eyes: :eyes::interrobang: :bangbang: :interrobang:

If you have the rights of the text back, may I just pay you directly for a copy of the pdf or txt file, @aaronius ? This is an especially egregious price when you reflect that not a penny of it is going to the author. At what point is this considered scalping? I know it’s out of date, but honestly, it’s worth rolling back Inform7 to an earlier version just to work my way through it.

Shock aside, is there any other way to get access to this text other than purchasing the book second hand?



This came up in another thread recently, here’s the latest from Aaron: Is it common for IF authors to use a standard library they have accumulated from their own and other's source code? - #34 by aaronius

Zed Lopez has a couple of possible leads on getting a reasonably-priced copy of the current edition later in that thread: Is it common for IF authors to use a standard library they have accumulated from their own and other's source code? - #37 by Zed


Thank you for that! I had seen in a completely different thread that it was out-of-print, and I expected an inflated price, but I wasn’t ready for that. I definitely don’t know what the going rate is right now, but I suspect I could nearly commission a small inform game for that price. I’ll look into the other options, but now I’m tempted to wait for Mr. Reed anyway. Especially if it is confirmed that that the bulk of the money spent on the new version of the book would be going to him.

1 Like shows one copy for $40. (This is still Amazon but it doesn’t have the same problem with artificially inflated listing spam.)

At what point is this considered scalping?

It probably isn’t even an actual copy of the book. Just some algorithm that figures that if you are willing to pay $750, the operator can find a copy to sell you.


I honestly don’t purchase too much online and I’m only tangentially aware of Amazon’s business practices. Thank you though, that makes much more sense.

It’s not even Amazon’s business practices, beyond it being Amazon’s business practice to allow third party sellers to sell books on Amazon’s website.

It’s Amazon’s business practice to let third-party sellers operate unsupervised, unless someone reports it, and then the number of humans checking the reports are a tiny fraction of the size of the problem. Scams and bad-faith sellers are a permanent feature of the system and always will be.


I assisted an author with creating a “print on demand” book via Ingram Spark. On Amazon it shows up regularly and when someone orders it is fulfilled and shipped from Ingram as a third party. I never realized this was a “problem” because I frequently get offered identical items shipped from Amazon, or from different sellers with different shipping amounts and delivery date possibilities.

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It is definitely possible to download a free PDF copy of the book, but I probably shouldn’t put any links here, and, if Aaron thought it a good idea, it would be easy to create a paperback book from the PDF on a service like Lulu – e.g. Printed copy of Inform 7 Handbook available - #13 by Jonathan.

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Something Aaron has said is that while he has recovered the rights to the text, he doesn’t have the rights to the graphic design and layout of the existing edition’s expression of the text and thus can’t redistribute it as is: there would have to be new design and layout.


Sorry – I had misread Aaron’s post… this means it wouldn’t be “easy” to put the PDF of the inside pages on Lulu after all…

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