Best-selling Twilight author Stephanie Meyer has announced on her website that she plans to reward her legion of adoring fans by making her follow up novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, available online for free. Due for release on June 5th the short story spins off from a newborn vampire featured in Meyers’ third Twilight novel, Eclipse, the movie adaptation of which starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart is also due for release around the same time.

Meyers’ smoldering yet sexless teen romance saga has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, making her one of the richest authors on the planet. In her statement Meyers confessed that she never intended to release this story, written before the Twilight saga was originally published, but decided to give this story “as a gift” to her fans, who “have been so supportive of all things Twilight.”

In something of a slightly mixed message it was further announced that, in addition to being available online for free, the book would also be available in stores a few days earlier where $1 from every purchase in the US will be donated to the American Red Cross which, amongst other things, helps render aid to disaster victims. Online readers sampling the story for free will be encouraged to donate at their own volition. While no one would doubt Meyers’ intentions she would do well to remember that when Radiohead opted to release their Rainbows album under a “pay what you want” scheme, most listeners decided that they wanted to pay nothing at all.

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