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Posts Tagged ‘John Scalzi’

John Scalzi Defends Ethicist Randy Cohen’s Piracy Stance

underthedome.jpgIn one of the most controversial links ever placed on this site, author Randy Cohen drew the ire of publishers with his weekly NY Times column on ethics. Cohen told a reader it was permissible to illegally download a copy of Under the Dome by Stephen King once they had purchased the hardcover edition of the book.

Earlier this week, novelist John Scalzi defended the column in a long post that has already generated more than one hundred comments. Here’s an excerpt: “Personally I think Cohen is pretty much correct. Speaking for myself (and only for myself), when I put out a book and you buy it for yourself in whatever format you choose to buy it in, the transactional aspect of our relationship is, to my mind, fulfilled. You bought the book once and I got paid once; after that if you get the book in some other format for your own personal use, and I don’t get paid a second time, eh, that’s life.”

The entire essay is worth reading. Add your thoughts in the comments section.

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Large Hadron Collider in Book Reviews

lhc.jpgThis morning the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) broke world records for smashing together elementary particles at high levels of energy–a physics project that has inspired a generation of authors with doomsday scenarios.

That photo (via CERN) shows scientists reacting to the experiment. To celebrate, GalleyCat Reviews rounded up reviews of books that use the Large Hadron Collider as plot device. Most famously, novelist Dan Brown wrote an apocalyptic scenario in Angels and Demons.

Here’s Janet Maslin‘s breathless review: “With ‘Angels and Demons,’ Mr. Brown introduced Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of art history and religious symbology who is loaded with ‘what his female colleagues referred to as an ‘erudite’ appeal.’ No wonder: the new book finds the enormously likable Langdon pondering antimatter, the big-bang theory, the cult of the Illuminati and a threat to the Vatican, among other things.”

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Beyond Amazon and Macmillan: Is It Too Late to Change the $9.99 eBook Price Point?

11gEvSNO43L._SL150_.jpgAs the sixth full day of the standoff between Amazon and Macmillan begins, the online bookseller still has not reactivated many of the buttons that allow customers to buy Macmillan books directly from Amazon (as of this 10:53 a.m. EST writing).

The Wrap covered the whole debate in an article, quoting this GalleyCat editor–who worried (but did not endorse) that it may be too late to convince readers to adapt to a price point higher than $9.99.

What do you think? Will readers pay more than $9.99?

Daily Finance writer (and former GalleyCat editor) Sarah Weinman thought publishers should work hard to combat that price point: “Amazon has done a great job of marketing the illusion that an e-book should be $9.99 … So how can publishers tell consumers, in clear terms, why $9.99 is bad and convince them that discount culture shouldn’t screw over the authors they profess to love?”

Here’s more coverage of this long, strange week: Macmillan received a supportive standing ovation at an industry program yesterday. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has dipped his toe into the eBook pricing debate. Macmillan author John Scalzi has rejected boycott and urged readers to buy books instead. Meanwhile, some Amazon customers continue to boycott Kindle books priced higher than $9.99. As of this writing, 1,724 different comments have been posted in response to Amazon’s note to customers about the price war.

Macmillan Author John Scalzi Rallies Readers

macmillan.jpgAs the Amazon and standoff enters its fourth full day, hundreds of writers will lose more sales since Amazon has stopped directly selling books by the publisher.

To help ease the financial strain, Macmillan author John Scalzi issued A Call for Author Support this morning. After ruling out a boycott, Scalzi listed a number of book buying alternatives online–urging readers to buy books by Macmillan writers who are affected most directly by the stand off.

Here’s an excerpt: “I have friends who are deeply worried right now about what this thing is doing to them, and they should be worried, because it’s going to hurt them if it drags out. Amazon is not the entire sales universe, to be sure, but it’s a significant chunk, especially for genre writers who build their communities online and sell a large percentage of their work online (and thus through Amazon) because of it…So rather than focus on what should happen to Amazon or Macmillan, here’s an idea, and here’s my point: let’s us focus on the writers, who are getting kinda screwed here. ”

To get you started, Scalzi posted these ideas: “Barnes and Noble. There’s Powell’s. IndieBound will hook you up. Specialty bookstores have their own web sites. You can often buy books online from the publishers themselves. Hell, even Walmart.com sells books.”

Add your favorite online or offline bookseller in the comments section. Let’s give readers more options during this difficult time for the industry…

Macmillan Books Unavailable for Direct Sale on Amazon

a.com_logo_RGB1.jpgLast night the NY Times published a dramatic story where an unnamed source claimed that Macmillan and Amazon (AMZN) are currently in dispute about eBook prices.

Here is an excerpt: “Macmillan, like other publishers, has asked Amazon to raise the price of electronic books from $9.99 to around $15. Amazon is expressing its strong disagreement by temporarily removing Macmillan books, said this person, who did not want to be quoted by name because of the sensitivity of the matter.”

It appears that Macmillan books are still not available directly from Amazon, as you can see by following this link to John Scalzi‘s Old Man’s War or this link to William Poundstone‘s Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value.

We’ve contacted Amazon with a request for comment, and we will keep you updated as the story evolves. In the meantime, here’s more from BoingBoing and VentureBeat and John Scalzi and Munsey’s.

The Interwebs Resolve Our Questions Quickly

9/3/08, 1115 EDT: GalleyCat considers Leon Neyfakh‘s call for selling short stories piecemeal, probably with some sort of online component involved.

9/3/08, 1731 EDT: John Scalzi explains how his latest short story, “Denise Jones, Super Booker,” went from completion to sale to online publication in just 13 minutes. OK, technically, it’s not being sold online, but it could’ve been!

(Also, thanks to the readers who pointed out that publishers like Harlequin and retail outlets like Amazon.com are already selling short stories as individual units.)

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