inverarity: (Alexandra Quick)
Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above

Click on the Download my stories! link and you will find that AQATSA ebooks have now been added to my fan fiction folder. The PDF includes all the chapter illustrations I posted here on my LJ. The epub does not include the illustrations, so is a smaller file and formats better for ereaders.

Please do let me know if you find any formatting/display problems or other technical glitches.
inverarity: (Alexandra Quick)
Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above

Click on the Download my stories! link and you will find that AQATSA ebooks have now been added to my fan fiction folder. The PDF includes all the chapter illustrations I posted here on my LJ. The epub does not include the illustrations, so is a smaller file and formats better for ereaders.

Please do let me know if you find any formatting/display problems or other technical glitches.
inverarity: (Default)
Also, bonus peek at the AQATSA cover at the bottom!

Why DRM sucks and what you can do about it. )

AQATSA Non-Update



Due to completely unrelated issues, I am feeling low-spirited and non-productive and so have not increased my word count in two whole days, which is not good. Sigh.

But! The artist doing the cover for Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above has finished the initial work on the full-color version.

AQATSA cover and notes )
inverarity: (Default)
Also, bonus peek at the AQATSA cover at the bottom!

Why DRM sucks and what you can do about it. )

AQATSA Non-Update



Due to completely unrelated issues, I am feeling low-spirited and non-productive and so have not increased my word count in two whole days, which is not good. Sigh.

But! The artist doing the cover for Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above has finished the initial work on the full-color version.

AQATSA cover and notes )
inverarity: (Default)
Most of you are probably aware that there are ever-more 99-cent self-published ebooks being put up on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and other ebook retailers, since the barriers to entry are practically non-existent. Every wannabe author in the world who can't get past the underpaid interns at publishing houses who are forced to wade through the horrific badness that is the Slush Pile can just "skip the middleman" and publish to the Internet directly. Encouraged by a few outliers like Amanda Hocking, these mostly harmless but deluded souls think they, too, can call themselves "published authors" because their book is for sale on Amazon. (Never mind that the ratio of crap-to-gold is about the same as on fanfiction.net and most of these authors will never sell more than a few dozen copies.)

Who needs editing, or spellcheckers, or even a firm grasp of English and a plot? )
inverarity: (Default)
Most of you are probably aware that there are ever-more 99-cent self-published ebooks being put up on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and other ebook retailers, since the barriers to entry are practically non-existent. Every wannabe author in the world who can't get past the underpaid interns at publishing houses who are forced to wade through the horrific badness that is the Slush Pile can just "skip the middleman" and publish to the Internet directly. Encouraged by a few outliers like Amanda Hocking, these mostly harmless but deluded souls think they, too, can call themselves "published authors" because their book is for sale on Amazon. (Never mind that the ratio of crap-to-gold is about the same as on fanfiction.net and most of these authors will never sell more than a few dozen copies.)

Who needs editing, or spellcheckers, or even a firm grasp of English and a plot? )
inverarity: (Default)
I read more books in 2010 than I have in years. Two things are responsible for the dramatic increase in my reading:

1. An ereader. This thing seriously increased the number of books I bought and read. The technology is just starting to edge out of the "early adopter" stage, but formats are still in flux and most of the big publishers are still wedded to stupid DRM schemes (I am told this is often demanded by their legal departments, not so much because the publishers themselves like DRM), so reading ebooks isn't quite as hassle-free as it could be (and will be), especially if, like me, you refuse to go Kindle. But I've bought tons of ebooks this year, downloaded many more free ones from Project Gutenberg or Google Books, and being able to carry several hundred books in my pocket means I will never be stuck without something to read.

2. Audiobooks. Ever since I subscribed to Audible.com, I've been going through audiobooks at an average of about one a week, on top of my regular reading. An iPod full of audiobooks means any spare moment where my hands are busy but my brain isn't (walking, cooking, doing chores, exercising, driving) can be turned into extra reading time.

I also made a concerted effort to change my reading habits, trying to get back to the days when I was younger and read voraciously, multiple books per week.

So, how did I do in 2010? Not counting technical and academic books, I read 72 books and over 16,000 pages. (Audiobooks aren't counted in the page counts.) Also excluded from this: short stories, novellas, way too many blogs, crappy self-published ebooks, and fan fiction.

Inverarity's 2010 book list )

My goal for 2011 is to hit the 100 books mark. Which is looking doubtful already, because several of the books in my TBR queue are real doorstoppers.

But of course I cannot end this list without yet another plug for my [livejournal.com profile] books1001 challenge. We, the community, are going to collectively attempt to read and review 1001 books in 2011. Part of the challenge is that you will be assigned a book randomly, and it will very likely be something you would not have chosen on your own. I don't even know yet myself which book I will be assigned -- I will be running my random book script tomorrow (January 1). Please come and sign up! The only requirement is that you read one book in 2011, though of course more is encouraged! At this moment, we have 61 signups -- I think we'll need some more help to get through 1001 books... (And of course you can sign up at any time: January 1 is not a deadline, just the day we'll start.)
inverarity: (Default)
I read more books in 2010 than I have in years. Two things are responsible for the dramatic increase in my reading:

1. An ereader. This thing seriously increased the number of books I bought and read. The technology is just starting to edge out of the "early adopter" stage, but formats are still in flux and most of the big publishers are still wedded to stupid DRM schemes (I am told this is often demanded by their legal departments, not so much because the publishers themselves like DRM), so reading ebooks isn't quite as hassle-free as it could be (and will be), especially if, like me, you refuse to go Kindle. But I've bought tons of ebooks this year, downloaded many more free ones from Project Gutenberg or Google Books, and being able to carry several hundred books in my pocket means I will never be stuck without something to read.

2. Audiobooks. Ever since I subscribed to Audible.com, I've been going through audiobooks at an average of about one a week, on top of my regular reading. An iPod full of audiobooks means any spare moment where my hands are busy but my brain isn't (walking, cooking, doing chores, exercising, driving) can be turned into extra reading time.

I also made a concerted effort to change my reading habits, trying to get back to the days when I was younger and read voraciously, multiple books per week.

So, how did I do in 2010? Not counting technical and academic books, I read 72 books and over 16,000 pages. (Audiobooks aren't counted in the page counts.) Also excluded from this: short stories, novellas, way too many blogs, crappy self-published ebooks, and fan fiction.

Inverarity's 2010 book list )

My goal for 2011 is to hit the 100 books mark. Which is looking doubtful already, because several of the books in my TBR queue are real doorstoppers.

But of course I cannot end this list without yet another plug for my [livejournal.com profile] books1001 challenge. We, the community, are going to collectively attempt to read and review 1001 books in 2011. Part of the challenge is that you will be assigned a book randomly, and it will very likely be something you would not have chosen on your own. I don't even know yet myself which book I will be assigned -- I will be running my random book script tomorrow (January 1). Please come and sign up! The only requirement is that you read one book in 2011, though of course more is encouraged! At this moment, we have 61 signups -- I think we'll need some more help to get through 1001 books... (And of course you can sign up at any time: January 1 is not a deadline, just the day we'll start.)
inverarity: (Default)
It's kind of funny that Strategic Publishing has to send people to defend them on my l'il LiveJournal with less than a hundred readers. I'm not likely to start a meme that takes off across the internet.

Cory Doctorow says all complex ecosystems have parasites. The growing ease of epublishing, combined with the ongoing difficulties of the traditional publishing industry, are certainly creating an increase in the number of parasites in that ecosystem.

One of those parasites is James Frey (yes, the same James Frey who wrote a fabricated "memoir" and got spanked by Oprah). Now he's started a publishing company called Full Fathom Five which is basically a YA novel assembly line. Despite the fact that professional authors are weighing in to point out that Frey's contract is rapacious and predatory, evidently he's had no trouble reeling in desperate suckers with freshly-minted MFAs in creative writing and dreams of Hollywood lucre.

You come up with a pitch Frey likes, you write the book, you get paid... wait for it.... $250. Yes, that's three measly digits before the decimal point. And a 30%-40% share in any revenues generated by it, which means in theory you get 40% of the take if your $250 idea becomes the next Harry Potter or Percy Jackson or Hunger Games. Which is, you know, kind of unlikely, because if you can do that, what the fuck do you need James Frey for? Oh, right, his name and industry connections will give you an edge in putting your work in front of editors and producers. Unfortunately, what it won't do is put your name in front of them, since one of the terms of the contract is that you don't control the use of your name and can't even admit your involvement in the project.

Not only is this exploiting authors, it's an insulting and cynical exploitation of the YA market. Frey is as much as saying "These dumb kids will read assembly line product if it's packaged nicely enough."

(Okay, actually, he's right. But every genre is full of extruded product -- YA just happens to be the most profitable right now so the crap ratio is even higher.)

With this in mind, I was not happy to go to Borders.com and find this.

Basically, it's Borders putting their name on a Smashwords-type venture, except BookBrewer charges more than Smashwords, takes a larger cut, and is less up-front about how publishing works. You pay $80 for them to turn whatever you fling online into an auto-formatted ebook which they then put on Borders, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc. But those big names might lead you to believe that you're actually being published by Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc., and that your books will appear alongside those of real authors.

It's kind of interesting watching these ecosystems develop. Just like when the web started to really take off (circa late 90s), the parasites are swarming and finding their niches. I'll really be kind of interested to see what publishing looks like in ten or twenty years.
inverarity: (Default)
It's kind of funny that Strategic Publishing has to send people to defend them on my l'il LiveJournal with less than a hundred readers. I'm not likely to start a meme that takes off across the internet.

Cory Doctorow says all complex ecosystems have parasites. The growing ease of epublishing, combined with the ongoing difficulties of the traditional publishing industry, are certainly creating an increase in the number of parasites in that ecosystem.

One of those parasites is James Frey (yes, the same James Frey who wrote a fabricated "memoir" and got spanked by Oprah). Now he's started a publishing company called Full Fathom Five which is basically a YA novel assembly line. Despite the fact that professional authors are weighing in to point out that Frey's contract is rapacious and predatory, evidently he's had no trouble reeling in desperate suckers with freshly-minted MFAs in creative writing and dreams of Hollywood lucre.

You come up with a pitch Frey likes, you write the book, you get paid... wait for it.... $250. Yes, that's three measly digits before the decimal point. And a 30%-40% share in any revenues generated by it, which means in theory you get 40% of the take if your $250 idea becomes the next Harry Potter or Percy Jackson or Hunger Games. Which is, you know, kind of unlikely, because if you can do that, what the fuck do you need James Frey for? Oh, right, his name and industry connections will give you an edge in putting your work in front of editors and producers. Unfortunately, what it won't do is put your name in front of them, since one of the terms of the contract is that you don't control the use of your name and can't even admit your involvement in the project.

Not only is this exploiting authors, it's an insulting and cynical exploitation of the YA market. Frey is as much as saying "These dumb kids will read assembly line product if it's packaged nicely enough."

(Okay, actually, he's right. But every genre is full of extruded product -- YA just happens to be the most profitable right now so the crap ratio is even higher.)

With this in mind, I was not happy to go to Borders.com and find this.

Basically, it's Borders putting their name on a Smashwords-type venture, except BookBrewer charges more than Smashwords, takes a larger cut, and is less up-front about how publishing works. You pay $80 for them to turn whatever you fling online into an auto-formatted ebook which they then put on Borders, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc. But those big names might lead you to believe that you're actually being published by Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc., and that your books will appear alongside those of real authors.

It's kind of interesting watching these ecosystems develop. Just like when the web started to really take off (circa late 90s), the parasites are swarming and finding their niches. I'll really be kind of interested to see what publishing looks like in ten or twenty years.
inverarity: (Default)
In today's WSJ article Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books, the booming ebook business is cast as dire news for authors. They break the numbers down as follows:


The new economics of the e-book make the author's quandary painfully clear: A new $28 hardcover book returns half, or $14, to the publisher, and 15%, or $4.20, to the author. Under many e-book deals currently, a digital book sells for $12.99, returning 70%, or $9.09, to the publisher and typically 25% of that, or $2.27, to the author.

The upshot: From an e-book sale, an author makes a little more than half what he or she makes from a hardcover sale.


Okay, what's wrong with this? Answer: the assumption that hardcover sales and ebook sales are zero-sum.

Authors (and publishers) always prefer hardcover sales, because they get a bigger cut from each. But the reason popular books usually wind up being reprinted as paperbacks is because most people will only buy their favorite authors or a really hyped book in hardcover. The number of paperbacks sold usually far exceeds the number of hardcovers. And notice that the author's royalty for ebooks is higher than for hardcovers (whereas the paperback royalty rate is usually lower).

So, ebooks are only bad for authors if they cannibalize hardcover sales, and do not increase overall sales. Since ebooks are still relatively new, there aren't a lot of long-term numbers to argue this one way or the other, but I think that the ease of buying an ebook is only likely to increase total sales.


E-books sales are exploding. Currently, e-books account for an estimated 8% of total book revenue, up from 3% to 5% a year ago. Mike Shatzkin, a publishing consultant, estimates e-books could be 20% to 25% of total unit sales by the end of 2012. "Eventually, digital books will overtake physical books," Mr. Greco predicts.


Another thing to note (which the article doesn't): with ebooks, there need never again be any such thing as "out of print." Even now, authors with long out-of-print titles whose rights have reverted to them are beginning to realize that there exist epublishers such as ereader.com and Fictionwise who can take those old books and reissue them digitally. Nobody is going to be making big money off of electronic sales of their older titles, but for an author with a substantial backlist, that's another revenue stream from books that are currently earning them nothing.

More doomsaying from the article:


The lower revenue from e-books comes amidst a decline in book sales that was already under way. The seemingly endless entertainment choices created by the Web have eaten into the time people spend reading books. The weak economy also is contributing to the slide.


It is certainly true that people are reading (and buying) books less. I can only offer an anecdotal counterargument, however: since acquiring an ereader, I have read (and purchased) far more books than I did before. Including, ironically enough, paper versions, since by reading and reviewing more frequently, I've been hanging out at more book and writing forums and blogs and getting more recommendations for books to read, including some that aren't yet available as ebooks (boo! hiss!). And my impression is that this is true for most people with ereaders. There's something about click-and-download that makes an ebook purchase easier to get over the should-I-buy-this-or-not? obstacle than actually taking a physical book off the shelf and walking to the counter with it to hand over your credit card. Yes, digitally speaking, you're doing exactly the same thing, but Amazon knows what they're doing. (And I don't even have a Kindle; if I were book browsing with 3G wireless and one-click purchasing, my to-be-read shelf would be even bigger!)

So far, ebooks are seen as a secondary market that doesn't require the same attention or marketing as hardcovers. This is changing and will change more, and when ebooks are pushed more aggressively on the web, ebooks will come to be seen more as a driving force in a book's success.

Another example of Not Getting It:


John Pipkin's 2009's debut novel, "Woodsburner," won several literary prizes, including the 2009 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Despite the acclaim and print sales of more than 10,000, "Woodsburner" has only sold 359 digital copies.

Mr. Pipkin says the business model of e-books worries him. "I embrace anything that makes it possible for people to read what I've written, especially if it's somebody who might not have read the physical book," Mr. Pipkin says. "But the sales price of e-books is lower than the price of physical books, so writers stand to earn less. It's a concern moving forward, especially as e-books make up a larger percentage of sales."


Mr. Pipkin then goes on to whine about how hard it is for him to support his family on a writer's income:


"Unless you're a best-selling author, I don't see how it's possible for an author to get together enough income to pay for health insurance, retirement and other things," he says.


Umm, newsflash, Mr. Pipin: this has always been true. Advice for would-be writers from time immemorial has always been: "Don't quit your day job." The WSJ article seems to back up Pipin's concerns by referencing several authors "only a few years back" who received six- and seven-figure advances for their debut novels, as if this is remotely typical. The number of writers who can make a full-time living off their writing has always been small, the percentage of fiction writers who can make a living off of writing novels even smaller. Only the big names are full-time novelists; only the biggest of big names actually make more than a decent middle-class income. (Also, the majority of big name authors did not get big advances for their first few books. Stephen King, who received a $400,000 advance for Carrie -- that was for the paperback rights, btw -- is very much atypical.)

And none of this has anything to do with ebooks. Does Mr. Pipin imagine that all 359 of those ebook sales of his book would have been hardcover sales if the ebook had not been available? He contradicts himself by worrying what ebooks will do to book sales. Anything that makes it possible for people to read what he's written, especially if they wouldn't otherwise, represents an additional sale that otherwise wouldn't have happened.

SF author Cory Doctorow (who is also quoted in the WSJ article) has an even more radical take on this, since he advocates the abolishment of copyright and argues that every author should make their works available for free online, as he has done. He makes this case in a series of essays in his book Content. Now, I am not actually convinced that his model will work for every author, but reading his arguments will certainly get you thinking about our current assumptions about intellectual property and the viability of charging for content in a new way.


As e-book sales accelerate, their impact on physical book sales will grow. Publishers worry that $12.99 digital books that typically go on sale the same date as physical books will cut into their hardcover sales and their $14.99 paperback sales down the line, a key revenue producer for literary titles.


No doubt this is true. I increasingly prefer to buy books electronically and will certainly choose the digital version over the hardcover *. But looking at the model above, the author makes $4.20 off of a hardcover sale, vs. $2.27 off of a digital sale. So how much better does the electronic version have to sell than the hardcover for the author to make more money? I'll do the eighth grade algebra for you: at just over 1.85 × hardcover sales, electronic sales net more money for the author. If electronic royalties rise to closer to 50% (as some are suggesting), ebooks becomes even more lucrative for the author. (Keep in mind also that paperback print runs are usually much greater than the hardcover printing, and increasingly, genre books don't get hardcover editions at all.)

This discounts the economic impact on publishers, and how the entire industry will shudder and rearrange itself with the continued closing of brick-and-mortar stores, but my point is that the WSJ's conclusion that the increasing popularity of ebooks spells doom for authors is, at the very least, premature.

* Though I did buy Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings in hardcover, because maps and pictures don't display well in my tiny ereader. But I'm gonna give that big-ass doorstopper away as soon as I finish reading it. Incidentally, what I actually paid off the $28 cover price after getting my Borders Club discount was $16.87. So if $14 went back to the publisher, and $4.20 of that back to Brandon Sanderson himself, then the bookstore only cleared $2.87. No wonder Borders is struggling? But without the club discount, I would have bought the digital version and just squinted at the tiny maps, rather than paying 28 bucks.
inverarity: (Default)
In today's WSJ article Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books, the booming ebook business is cast as dire news for authors. They break the numbers down as follows:


The new economics of the e-book make the author's quandary painfully clear: A new $28 hardcover book returns half, or $14, to the publisher, and 15%, or $4.20, to the author. Under many e-book deals currently, a digital book sells for $12.99, returning 70%, or $9.09, to the publisher and typically 25% of that, or $2.27, to the author.

The upshot: From an e-book sale, an author makes a little more than half what he or she makes from a hardcover sale.


Okay, what's wrong with this? Answer: the assumption that hardcover sales and ebook sales are zero-sum.

Authors (and publishers) always prefer hardcover sales, because they get a bigger cut from each. But the reason popular books usually wind up being reprinted as paperbacks is because most people will only buy their favorite authors or a really hyped book in hardcover. The number of paperbacks sold usually far exceeds the number of hardcovers. And notice that the author's royalty for ebooks is higher than for hardcovers (whereas the paperback royalty rate is usually lower).

So, ebooks are only bad for authors if they cannibalize hardcover sales, and do not increase overall sales. Since ebooks are still relatively new, there aren't a lot of long-term numbers to argue this one way or the other, but I think that the ease of buying an ebook is only likely to increase total sales.


E-books sales are exploding. Currently, e-books account for an estimated 8% of total book revenue, up from 3% to 5% a year ago. Mike Shatzkin, a publishing consultant, estimates e-books could be 20% to 25% of total unit sales by the end of 2012. "Eventually, digital books will overtake physical books," Mr. Greco predicts.


Another thing to note (which the article doesn't): with ebooks, there need never again be any such thing as "out of print." Even now, authors with long out-of-print titles whose rights have reverted to them are beginning to realize that there exist epublishers such as ereader.com and Fictionwise who can take those old books and reissue them digitally. Nobody is going to be making big money off of electronic sales of their older titles, but for an author with a substantial backlist, that's another revenue stream from books that are currently earning them nothing.

More doomsaying from the article:


The lower revenue from e-books comes amidst a decline in book sales that was already under way. The seemingly endless entertainment choices created by the Web have eaten into the time people spend reading books. The weak economy also is contributing to the slide.


It is certainly true that people are reading (and buying) books less. I can only offer an anecdotal counterargument, however: since acquiring an ereader, I have read (and purchased) far more books than I did before. Including, ironically enough, paper versions, since by reading and reviewing more frequently, I've been hanging out at more book and writing forums and blogs and getting more recommendations for books to read, including some that aren't yet available as ebooks (boo! hiss!). And my impression is that this is true for most people with ereaders. There's something about click-and-download that makes an ebook purchase easier to get over the should-I-buy-this-or-not? obstacle than actually taking a physical book off the shelf and walking to the counter with it to hand over your credit card. Yes, digitally speaking, you're doing exactly the same thing, but Amazon knows what they're doing. (And I don't even have a Kindle; if I were book browsing with 3G wireless and one-click purchasing, my to-be-read shelf would be even bigger!)

So far, ebooks are seen as a secondary market that doesn't require the same attention or marketing as hardcovers. This is changing and will change more, and when ebooks are pushed more aggressively on the web, ebooks will come to be seen more as a driving force in a book's success.

Another example of Not Getting It:


John Pipkin's 2009's debut novel, "Woodsburner," won several literary prizes, including the 2009 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Despite the acclaim and print sales of more than 10,000, "Woodsburner" has only sold 359 digital copies.

Mr. Pipkin says the business model of e-books worries him. "I embrace anything that makes it possible for people to read what I've written, especially if it's somebody who might not have read the physical book," Mr. Pipkin says. "But the sales price of e-books is lower than the price of physical books, so writers stand to earn less. It's a concern moving forward, especially as e-books make up a larger percentage of sales."


Mr. Pipkin then goes on to whine about how hard it is for him to support his family on a writer's income:


"Unless you're a best-selling author, I don't see how it's possible for an author to get together enough income to pay for health insurance, retirement and other things," he says.


Umm, newsflash, Mr. Pipin: this has always been true. Advice for would-be writers from time immemorial has always been: "Don't quit your day job." The WSJ article seems to back up Pipin's concerns by referencing several authors "only a few years back" who received six- and seven-figure advances for their debut novels, as if this is remotely typical. The number of writers who can make a full-time living off their writing has always been small, the percentage of fiction writers who can make a living off of writing novels even smaller. Only the big names are full-time novelists; only the biggest of big names actually make more than a decent middle-class income. (Also, the majority of big name authors did not get big advances for their first few books. Stephen King, who received a $400,000 advance for Carrie -- that was for the paperback rights, btw -- is very much atypical.)

And none of this has anything to do with ebooks. Does Mr. Pipin imagine that all 359 of those ebook sales of his book would have been hardcover sales if the ebook had not been available? He contradicts himself by worrying what ebooks will do to book sales. Anything that makes it possible for people to read what he's written, especially if they wouldn't otherwise, represents an additional sale that otherwise wouldn't have happened.

SF author Cory Doctorow (who is also quoted in the WSJ article) has an even more radical take on this, since he advocates the abolishment of copyright and argues that every author should make their works available for free online, as he has done. He makes this case in a series of essays in his book Content. Now, I am not actually convinced that his model will work for every author, but reading his arguments will certainly get you thinking about our current assumptions about intellectual property and the viability of charging for content in a new way.


As e-book sales accelerate, their impact on physical book sales will grow. Publishers worry that $12.99 digital books that typically go on sale the same date as physical books will cut into their hardcover sales and their $14.99 paperback sales down the line, a key revenue producer for literary titles.


No doubt this is true. I increasingly prefer to buy books electronically and will certainly choose the digital version over the hardcover *. But looking at the model above, the author makes $4.20 off of a hardcover sale, vs. $2.27 off of a digital sale. So how much better does the electronic version have to sell than the hardcover for the author to make more money? I'll do the eighth grade algebra for you: at just over 1.85 × hardcover sales, electronic sales net more money for the author. If electronic royalties rise to closer to 50% (as some are suggesting), ebooks becomes even more lucrative for the author. (Keep in mind also that paperback print runs are usually much greater than the hardcover printing, and increasingly, genre books don't get hardcover editions at all.)

This discounts the economic impact on publishers, and how the entire industry will shudder and rearrange itself with the continued closing of brick-and-mortar stores, but my point is that the WSJ's conclusion that the increasing popularity of ebooks spells doom for authors is, at the very least, premature.

* Though I did buy Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings in hardcover, because maps and pictures don't display well in my tiny ereader. But I'm gonna give that big-ass doorstopper away as soon as I finish reading it. Incidentally, what I actually paid off the $28 cover price after getting my Borders Club discount was $16.87. So if $14 went back to the publisher, and $4.20 of that back to Brandon Sanderson himself, then the bookstore only cleared $2.87. No wonder Borders is struggling? But without the club discount, I would have bought the digital version and just squinted at the tiny maps, rather than paying 28 bucks.
inverarity: (Alexandra@13)
I have just uploaded Alexandra Quick and the Deathly Regiment as complete ebooks to my box.net fan fiction folder. (The link to my downloadable ebooks can always be found under the "My Stories" menu of this LJ.)

As with previous Alexandra Quick books (and Hogwarts Houses Divided) there is both a PDF version, which includes all the chapter illustrations I posted here previously, and an unillustrated epub version more suitable for small screens.

Enjoy, and please let me know if you find any errors/bugs/typos. Also, rather than sending copies of my ebooks to others or uploading them elsewhere, I would prefer that you distribute the above link instead, since I do occasionally update those files when I find a new typo or formatting error.
inverarity: (Alexandra@13)
I have just uploaded Alexandra Quick and the Deathly Regiment as complete ebooks to my box.net fan fiction folder. (The link to my downloadable ebooks can always be found under the "My Stories" menu of this LJ.)

As with previous Alexandra Quick books (and Hogwarts Houses Divided) there is both a PDF version, which includes all the chapter illustrations I posted here previously, and an unillustrated epub version more suitable for small screens.

Enjoy, and please let me know if you find any errors/bugs/typos. Also, rather than sending copies of my ebooks to others or uploading them elsewhere, I would prefer that you distribute the above link instead, since I do occasionally update those files when I find a new typo or formatting error.
inverarity: (Default)
So, I'm reading Mockingjay now because I got hooked on the trilogy. I even succumbed to Amazon's pre-order offer, and I hate Amazon.

This is technically not a spoiler, because I haven't actually finished the book yet, so I'm only making a prediction, but...


I'm gonna go ahead and call it -- Katniss winds up with Gale, and I think it was blatantly obvious that this is how the "love triangle" would be resolved since book one. And if I'm totally wrong here, then wait until I've finished the book before you "Ha!Ha!Ha!" me in the comments. :P


Anyway, I'm not posting this to talk about Mockingjay, but to talk about how totally fucking appalled I was to read this thread.

I am completely opposed to Digital Rights Management schemes. They don't work, they annoy customers, they encourage piracy. That's why the music industry is slowly coming around and iTunes has finally gone DRM-free.

That said, I can understand why people who make a living off of intellectual property are reluctant to relinquish the illusory protection that DRM offers. You can now take it for granted that anything that can be digitally reproduced (movies, music, books, software) is available on a torrent, and it's essentially your customers' good will (or ignorance) that keeps them from going there to get your work for free instead of paying for it.

Technologically, it is all but impossible to prevent this. Every form of encryption and copy-protection scheme will be cracked, so they are at most an inconvenience to pirates. You can go on a crusade against those who run the file servers or upload the files, but as the RIAA has found, there are just too many for it to have any real deterrent effect when you try to make an example out of a few individuals.

It's still worthwhile to send the C&D orders and take legal action against those you catch, because while keeping piracy underground doesn't stop it, at least it makes it a little less likely that Joe Consumer will become accustomed to routinely browsing for the latest book or album at Pirate Bay.

But here's the thing: a lot of people nowadays, especially younger people (shakes cane at those damn kids traipsing across his lawn) have grown up with filesharing and BitTorrent and just take it for granted that this is something you do and it's perfectly okay and normal.

Look, FOADIAF if you think that. The vast online slushpile created by allowing anyone to upload their unedited crap will not kill professional writing, but everybody feeling entitled to read someone's work without paying for it will. If a writer offers work for free (and an increasing number of them do), that's great. But if they're selling it, then you cannot simultaneously claim to be a fan of someone's work and want to see more of it while refusing to pay for it.

Libraries and used books are, of course, a slightly different kettle of fish. But I will say that, as I am privileged enough to be able to afford to buy a new book when I want one, I generally do.
inverarity: (Default)
So, I'm reading Mockingjay now because I got hooked on the trilogy. I even succumbed to Amazon's pre-order offer, and I hate Amazon.

This is technically not a spoiler, because I haven't actually finished the book yet, so I'm only making a prediction, but...


I'm gonna go ahead and call it -- Katniss winds up with Gale, and I think it was blatantly obvious that this is how the "love triangle" would be resolved since book one. And if I'm totally wrong here, then wait until I've finished the book before you "Ha!Ha!Ha!" me in the comments. :P


Anyway, I'm not posting this to talk about Mockingjay, but to talk about how totally fucking appalled I was to read this thread.

I am completely opposed to Digital Rights Management schemes. They don't work, they annoy customers, they encourage piracy. That's why the music industry is slowly coming around and iTunes has finally gone DRM-free.

That said, I can understand why people who make a living off of intellectual property are reluctant to relinquish the illusory protection that DRM offers. You can now take it for granted that anything that can be digitally reproduced (movies, music, books, software) is available on a torrent, and it's essentially your customers' good will (or ignorance) that keeps them from going there to get your work for free instead of paying for it.

Technologically, it is all but impossible to prevent this. Every form of encryption and copy-protection scheme will be cracked, so they are at most an inconvenience to pirates. You can go on a crusade against those who run the file servers or upload the files, but as the RIAA has found, there are just too many for it to have any real deterrent effect when you try to make an example out of a few individuals.

It's still worthwhile to send the C&D orders and take legal action against those you catch, because while keeping piracy underground doesn't stop it, at least it makes it a little less likely that Joe Consumer will become accustomed to routinely browsing for the latest book or album at Pirate Bay.

But here's the thing: a lot of people nowadays, especially younger people (shakes cane at those damn kids traipsing across his lawn) have grown up with filesharing and BitTorrent and just take it for granted that this is something you do and it's perfectly okay and normal.

Look, FOADIAF if you think that. The vast online slushpile created by allowing anyone to upload their unedited crap will not kill professional writing, but everybody feeling entitled to read someone's work without paying for it will. If a writer offers work for free (and an increasing number of them do), that's great. But if they're selling it, then you cannot simultaneously claim to be a fan of someone's work and want to see more of it while refusing to pay for it.

Libraries and used books are, of course, a slightly different kettle of fish. But I will say that, as I am privileged enough to be able to afford to buy a new book when I want one, I generally do.

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