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Topic Summary

Posted by: nacho
« on: November 30, 2011, 12:32:38 PM »

It seems like publishers are trying to kill off the eBook trade. One could also argue about whining authors complaining about their cut from cheaper eBooks, but shouldn't the publisher be taking less for giving out less?

The authors are. The big name authors all got together and successfully sued to remove the $13.99 cap on ebooks. Previously, only bestsellers could charge more than ten bucks or so. Of course, authors noticed that their royalty checks were halved. So when you suddenly go from half a million a month to a quarter million a month, it must be hard to keep that champagne fountain going. So they banded together and forced the change. Amazon happily opened their doors to let the authors submit work and circumvent any publishers who refused to raise the price -- thus the creation of the Amazon publishing house, Kindle Singles, etc.

Held hostage by their authors, publishers had no choice but to comply.

The ebook breakdown (I could have sworn I've talked about this in, like, four threads) is pretty rough. Say an ebook costs $10.99. Amazon buys it for about 50% off. The distributor/publisher will take about 30% of that 50% profit. Maybe more. The author gets the rest. So even if the author is favored, it's still a massive cut.

There really is a big gap here, though. The authors who are hurt by ebook prices are the big name authors who make millions a year. The leaders to deregulate ebooks are James Burke, Stephen King, Rowling, Bradbury, and a few others. These are authors who will still sell ebooks no matter the price -- take Bradbury's announcement today. His library will now be available at not-really-ebook prices. But they'll sell like hotcakes.
Posted by: monkey!
« on: November 30, 2011, 12:18:21 PM »

I really understand why eBooks are being pirated to even greater levels than before, especially since publishers are now pricing eBook editions to be in line with even hard-back prints. An eBooks for 13-19 euros? Eat my shit.

I'd buy plenty of eBooks for 5.99 or even 7.99. The whole point of eBooks is to improve accessibility: cutting out all major publishing costs - cover art, layout designs, print runs, storage, transports, paying for shelf space, etc. - have been removed, saving a lot of money and effort for the publishers; buying eBooks is much easier, faster, and more accessible for the reader, and should also be less costly for the reader.

It seems like publishers are trying to kill off the eBook trade. One could also argue about whining authors complaining about their cut from cheaper eBooks, but shouldn't the publisher be taking less for giving out less?

Posted by: nacho
« on: November 28, 2011, 10:00:38 PM »

Umberto Eco's new book - The Prague Cemetary
Posted by: nacho
« on: November 07, 2011, 11:16:43 AM »

Ran across this today... A little put off by it. A global disaster? Really?

The only books getting pirated are the tip-top bestsellers. The whole problem with the industry is that no one is reading...even when it's free. And, in the face of the "Kindle Lending Library" program, and the price scheme for ebooks in the first place, it's not like the author matters. The author's worth pennies while the publishers and agents walk away with dollars, giggling the whole time.

But, oh, don't dare let the pirates in!

If authors want to get mad at someone, they should get mad at their publishers who are robbing them blind and making a mint off of the e-dollar.

Lately I’m getting more frequent emails from my authors, reporting that they found another piracy website  illegally offering their books. Everyone wants to know what to do about it, and understandably there’s a lot of hand-wringing over potential lost revenues. So I want to (briefly) address the topic of book piracy.

I spent significant time reading dozens of articles and opinions about media piracy — there’s enough out there to make your head spin. I’m going to boil it down to a few things I think you, as an author, should keep in mind.

•Piracy IS going on — and it’s much bigger than you.

Music. Movies. Television shows. Newspapers. Magazines. Games. And books. All are pirated, content being aggregated and sold or given away without the content creators and producers receiving a dime. One source says media piracy is costing the US economy $58 billion in losses every year. That’s billion with a B. Every year.

As much as you get frustrated and mad as hell when you stumble across a pirate site illegally offering your material, remember you’re not the only one suffering. This is a big, big deal. It’s a global disaster, facilitated by the Internet. Pirates are making billions of dollars on professionally-created content; but by stealing that content, they are hastening the day when good quality content is no longer available because media companies will no longer be able to afford to produce it. Sound dire? It is. This is why so many people are trying to figure out how to fix this problem.

•You’ll hear some people argue that piracy helps authors by giving them more exposure.

In isolated cases, the sales of a book, song, or movie can be helped by pirated copies circulating around the Internet, giving exposure to something that people hadn’t heard of. For example, this seemed to be the case with the recent publishing phenomenon, Go the F*** to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortes, which gained popularity after pages were leaked and went flying around cyberspace, causing thousands to purchase the book.

But these are isolated cases. Overall, piracy is clearly a threat, not a help. (See above statistic. 58. Billion. Dollars.)

•Some people argue that those who illegally download your work were not your potential customers anyway.

Many who visit pirate sites looking for free songs, movies, and books are the kind of people who wouldn’t have paid for it anyway. Okay, maybe this is somewhat true. But if there were NO way to get these products without paying, and these people weren’t habituated to “free,” wouldn’t we have avoided creating a whole generation of people who feel entitled to intellectual property without paying for it? In any case, plenty of freeloaders could afford to purchase books/movies/songs. They just prefer not to.

•Fighting piracy costs a LOT of money — with no guarantee of effectiveness.

Many large publishers are devoting considerable time and effort to combat piracy. David Shelley, publisher at Little, Brown, stated at this year’s London Book Fair that one of the reasons publishers couldn’t increase digital royalty rates to authors was because of the increasing costs of fighting piracy. While many have questioned this and claimed it was just one more way publishers are trying to avoid paying authors, there’s certainly some legitimacy to it, even if piracy is only one of the financial pressures on publishers right now.

Fighting piracy can cost millions, and many say the only people who benefit ends up to be the lawyers fighting the battles. There’s no proof any of the anti-piracy efforts have had any appreciable effect. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) reportedly spent $64 million on lawsuits fighting music piracy — to earn back less than $2 million. Whatever’s being done isn’t working, as piracy has increased, not decreased.

•Recognizing the futility of spending millions fighting piracy, some are advocating instead spending the money to better connect with customers so they’ll be drawn to legal rather than illegal sources of content.

I don’t know how this is going to be done, but it seems to me it’s probably the most logical way to approach the piracy problem. Rather than spending millions simply trying to put pirates out of business, everyone in the media business can instead look at the pirates as competition and try to come up with ways to beat them at their game… ways to bring customers the content they want, easily available in many formats, at a reasonable price. This, I think, is the long term solution that everyone involved in the creation and production of our cultural content should focus on.

So what should YOU do?

In my humble opinion, as an author you should:


If you come across a site that appears to be illegally offering your book, report it to your publisher in whatever way they’ve established. (For example, here is Simon & Schuster’s statement on piracy and a link to report it.) You can also report to various writer’s groups in which you are a member, such as RWA (here is their piracy statement).


Seek out articles from a variety of viewpoints about piracy, and stay informed. Beware of reading only articles from one type of source. Every angle has its own bias. Try to form an educated opinion.


Your publisher is most likely doing what they can to fight piracy, according to the resources they have available. Don’t overly concern yourself with how hard your publisher is working on this front. They could be spending millions and it still might not do any good. It’s better to concern yourself with how both you and your publisher will continue to connect with your readers and make it easy and attractive for people to buy your books.


Build relationships with your readers as best you can. Building a loyal following of readers who are willing to pay for your books is your most effective way of personally combating piracy.


At the end of the day, you want to try and let go of your anger and frustration at these criminals who are stealing your stuff, and turn your mind toward more productive channels. When all else fails, go for a jog, take a yoga class, or practice deep breathing.
Posted by: nacho
« on: October 26, 2011, 08:18:15 AM »


Of course!
Posted by: Cassander
« on: August 27, 2011, 08:57:00 PM »

Actually I got that one from another site, but haven't read it yet.  It sounds interesting though.
Posted by: nacho
« on: August 26, 2011, 10:40:18 PM »

Astonish Yourself! 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life

Posted by: nacho
« on: August 10, 2011, 08:35:26 AM »

Don't sleep, there are snakes by Daniel Everett
Posted by: nacho
« on: July 31, 2011, 09:12:32 AM »

Value Investing: Margin of Safety, by Seth Klarman
Posted by: nacho
« on: July 26, 2011, 09:17:52 PM »

Ah, Jim Butcher's latest Dresden Files. How predictable.
Posted by: nacho
« on: July 12, 2011, 12:27:51 PM »

Yes. Now in multiple places across the forums!
Posted by: RottingCorpse
« on: July 12, 2011, 11:57:07 AM »

Is this book still "available?"
Posted by: Reginald McGraw
« on: July 11, 2011, 10:15:45 PM »

Be careful with the handstand pushups...they're really hard on the shoulder joints.
Posted by: monkey!
« on: July 11, 2011, 09:27:00 AM »

Aim for 3 months, Cass - hardcore yourself!
Posted by: Cassander
« on: July 10, 2011, 10:19:32 PM »

Yeah, gave it a quick read yesterday evening.  A lot of it makes sense.  I've been doing a circuit training at home as opposed to the gym for the past 6 months and already feel stronger and better than my whole 2 years doing weight machines in the gym.  I think I'm going to cycle in some of this stuff too, though.  Busting out a one-armed pushup or handstand pushup would be pretty badass.  I'll let you know in a year if I can do it or not.