Mar 8 2013
Friday News: Apple files for used digital good sales patent; B&N announces video licenses; Publisher rails against protection racket of bookstores; Readers beware
At Writer’s Unboxed yesterday (post has since been removed), the blog post was from an author (not a romance author) who was unhappy with the way in which readers interacted with her. She enumerated several questions she didn’t like including the impertinent ones about money (how much do you make) and manuscript review (will you read my own book) but she also took to task readers who asked where she gets her ideas (very dumb question she says even though it is the very first question she answers on her FAQ at her blog).
Worse of all, she posted a reader email in which the reader expressed how much the reader loved the author’s work and how she had gone on to buy all of the author’s titles but that she was impatient that there were no new books in a particular series. She urged the author to “get on with it.” The author took great affront to this, calling the reader entitled.
There were two things that struck me about this blog post. First that she reposted a fan’s email to her. I hope that the fan did not follow the author online and see the way in which the author dressed her down in such a public fashion. But second that the tone of the email’s charge to “get on with it” resulted in such a negative reaction when the entire email was how much the reader loved the author.
I know that writers feel a lot of pressure these days to produce more product, faster, but I promise that a reader who says “get writing” is only saying this because she has a tremendous desire to read more by that author. It’s really the ultimate compliment.
The blog post was ultimately taken down but I have to wonder what the purpose of the post was in the first place. Chastising readers for not crafting their author emails just write in a public forum seems to be in poor taste and if it is designed to give advice to other authors, then it’s really bad advice.
This incident followed on the heels of another disturbing event where author Lloyd Lofthouse took it upon himself to hunt down reviewers/commenters on his blog and call what he presumed to be their place of employment.
If you leave a comment on a WordPress Blog, you also leave behind your IP address and may discover where the person lives and/or works. In this case, I was handed both locations. It seems that Anna Karennina left her first comment from home and the second one from work at the San Mateo County Office of Education where only staff members and teachers have access to the wireless code. I called the office and ended up speaking to the person in charge of internet security for the county and explained the situation.
Overall this is all so ironic because Mary Janice Davidson emailed me out of the blue about a blog post she wrote about author meltdowns. I emailed back that I was trying to avoid those. No such luck. But I had to pass on these warnings.
Readers, be careful where you comment. Do you trust that person’s blog where you are leaving the comment? Be careful whom you email or your email may be posted for critique by an author.
Recent patent filings reveal Apple is asking for a patent to sell used digital content. Apple’s patent contemplates an on sale limitation and a minimum price tag set by the original publisher. In some circumstances, the resale of a used good may result in the renumeration to the original publisher or the online store (like a seller’s fee). The patent application references, specifically, the resale of a book. The patent was just filed and it might be too similar to Amazon’s patent which has already been granted. TechCrunch
Offering instant access to a wealth of digital entertainment, NOOK Video lets customers shop a vast collection of new releases, blockbuster titles, popular television shows, favorite classics and more, available for streaming or download. NOOK’s newly announced content agreements will bring thousands of additional movies and TV shows for all ages and interests to the NOOK Video catalog, including the blockbuster films The Hunger Games, the Twilight movies, Tyler Perry’s Madea Gets a Job, Skyfall, Rocky, Fargo, Flight, Paranormal Activity 4, Act of Valor, Safe Haven, House at the End of the Street; independent films from Film Buff’s catalog including Charles Swan and Exit from the Gift Shop; and TV shows like Mad Men, Border Wars, Great Migrations, Amazing Planet; as well as educational content via Little Pim, the leading foreign language learning program for young children, plus many more. Press Release
Simon & Schuster was having a tiff with Barnes & Noble over what B&N referred to as the perceived lack of support from S&S. B&N in response was “significantly reduc[ing] its orders from S&S.” Amazon takes its pound of flesh differently by requiring publishers to sell their books to Amazon at a 60% discount. Dale suggested that Amazon’s tax avoidance policies are helping to return buyers to their local independent booksellers.