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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crippling libraries

I'm outraged about a particular publisher deciding to punish libraries who have e-books.

Full disclosure: I don't read e-books. I may someday, but I haven't tried 'em yet.

Imagine how you'd feel if you were the 27th person who lived somewhere rural, far away from a good bookstore, whatever -- and wanted to read something that you couldn't buy this month. And the library's only allowed to "rent"/lend the e-book 26 times.

Myself, I'm awaiting a status change on Charlie Stross's new Laundry book and Patricia McKillip's latest; they're both still new and can't be requested from other libraries.

With Lois Bujold's Cryoburn, I waited until the print book was off the new book shelf and could be requested. I have checked out hundreds of library books all my life, and that's a conservative guess. Last year alone I went through most of the Ellery Queen series [about 50 books] in 2-3 months.

More from a librarian about this madness. She provides lots of details, including contact info for HarperCollins and Overdrive.

The Analog Divide also has links for Trashy Bitches and Library Journal on this, along with Neilhimself's thoughts.

And another thing; what about the re-readers? I read my favorite books over and over. I honestly couldn't tell you how many times I've read the Miles Vorkosigan books. If I owned an e-book and it had a limit on how many times I could read it, and would expire out of my library...! What if I snagged a library e-book because it rocked and wasn't available in print format -- and that meant that someone else never got to read it?

Retiring or replacing a worn-out print book is NOT like limiting how many times an e-book is accessed!

Thanks to Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing and Lee Harris for tweeting the news. Also, there are a lot of great links and thoughts by commenters at BoingBoing.

I think that people who want the libraries to have more money ought to think about donating to them instead... because we moved away from the subscription-lending libraries quite some time ago.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Profit, Amazon, and publishing

Education. This is your business, if you're a writer -- or you aspire to be paid as a writer.

Sorry to sound pompous (I expect that I do!) but still.

So you should educate yourself. Find reputable people who talk about the business and listen to them. Check facts. Don't assume that everything that's on the 'Net is True. C'mon, you know better.

Cat Valente explains why publishing is important -- and if you ever thought that you could do everything single-handedly in some business, then her words will open your eyes.
"Because there's more to writing a book than typing."

After you read it, you'll understand why I want to keep repeating the bit about the cheese. Brilliant. Cat, you are a goddess.

I dipped into her comments too, and as a copy editor, I am not a gatekeeper. My job is to help the manuscript become book and get to the reader.

You don't know how happy I am that we have slush readers and acquisition editors in the world... because I sure don't want to be wading through every scrap of deathless prose hunting for good stories. I wouldn't make a good slush reader.

Thanks to Tobias Buckell; somehow I missed Cat's link last year. Toby also explains Amazon's subsidizing bestsellers on the Kindle.

And because I got this from thinking about the 2010 Amazon Fail ep, here's the highlights from Making Light. Especially as Scalzi, bless his heart, made me laugh again over the Zoloft. :D

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More links: Borders etc.

Borders is closing 200 stores -- here's the list. Three in MI alone, Dearborn, Grosse Pointe, and Ann Arbor. :< Another article mentions that the publishers want collateral; wouldn't you? Locus has more details in Borders Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.

Author Cat Rambo shares 3 Strategies for Snaring the Senses. (Make that cherry work!)

David Morrell's Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing points out that a good writer engages more than one sense. That's an excellent writing book... my copy's full of bookmarks. :>

Excerpts from a recent interview with the great Sharyn November, who created Firebird Books.

Neil Gaiman talks about why e-books are useful [excerpt here].

Cory Doctorow on copyright as leverage and Net Neutrality.

Links are thanks to people's Tweets carried on LinkedIn, and Locus.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Royalties, Borders & EV

Guess who paid lost royalties today? It's a good day to be an e-book author... at Macmillan and Amazon, where they're reaping the bounty from the Amazon Kindle Outage Adjustment.

And if you haven't been following the Borders news -- that they may file bankruptcy -- here's the synopsis from Locus. Kris has been covering details about it at The Business Rusch also, along with an explanation of the nitty-gritty.

We have A Rather Large Announcement over at EV today.

Check it out.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Links: February 2011

A hodgepodge of various links. :>

Gavin Grant and How to Start a Small Press (and get e-books from Weightless Books).

From Moses, Piers Anthony: "Get into electronic publishing. It’s the future."

Interestingly enough, Moses' previous post begins "I found out that Red Adept–who is THE Kindle indie book reviewer" -- it makes total sense for there to be such a person. But not being a reader of ebooks myself, I wouldn't have ever guessed that said reviewer would be a Piers Anthony fan.

Well, okay, maybe I would have. Since I was addicted to the Apprentice Adept books in my youth. :D

Amberdine asks Are you your own boss? because cathshaffer was considering Hard decisions... [and had made a list about being a tough enough boss].

From SF Signal: My Big, Fat, Name-Dropping WFC 2010 Report

Rose Fox of Genreville fame and the Secrets to Success as a Writer...