The Dragon in Exile


Eagles Over the Kennebec

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On the road again

Today it's your turn, Skowhegan!  We're off for the long-delayed eye exams, and to run various errands, probably including new glasses (sigh).

For those wondering What On Earth the Woman is Doing, I offer the following notes on progress:

1.  Reviewed and signed contracts for seven novels and one novella.  Steve put them all in the mail yesterday evening.

2.  Threw away 2300-ish words on the commissioned short story and started again, this time with an outline and a break-out of POV for each scene.  The new iteration stands at 839 words, and feels much better.

3.  Regarding yesterday's report of piracy, someone asked how books get pirated.  Short answer is that someone buys a legitimate copy and decides that it is their right, and their duty, to make it available to as many people as possible, for free.  Before ebooks were as common as they are now, some people spent what I can only imagine was days, scanning books and uploading them to pirate sites.  I'd say you have to admire that kind of dedication, but, honestly?  I don't.

As to why they do it...some justify their behavior by saying that they can't find the books through legal channels (obviously untrue in the case of Necessity's Child).  Others will say that they're working to throw off the tyranny of copyright/the big publishers/millionaire authors; that they are in fact, vanguards of The Revolution.

In the end, it really doesn't matter why they do it; they're still stealing.  Not only that, they know they're stealing and they know it's wrong, which is why they make with the justifications.

4.  As reported elsewhere, I am currently somewhat short of spoons (see Spoon Theory).   This means that I may be scarce on The Intertubes; I promise to check in when I can.

...I think that catches everything up.

Everybody play nice.

Too bad we're not allowed to hang pirates from the yard arm any more. Safe journey. Hope the old glasses are still good.

Sadly, the prescription's changed enough that I need new lenses, anyhow. Gah.

I can almost understand the temptation to make available a book which is long out of print and being held hostage by a publisher with other priorities. I have to squint my brain up in painful ways to do it, but I can get a glimmer going.

But I certainly cannot understand the attraction of pirating a book which is currently easily available for a quite nominal price, which, when paid, goes to not only keeping the publisher in business to oversee the publication of it and many other tasty books, but to keep the authors of said books happy so they will write more of the words I love to read. The only motivation I can conceive of is a desire to wreck the entire industry; a short-sighted hooliganism which glories in destruction for its own sake. Or perhaps mere childish greed for free stuff. Neither is very pretty.

I can sorta understand it in the case of a book that's not available anywhere. I myself would very much like to re-read The Secret Language and The Trouble with Jenny's Ear (among others) without having to pay $90 for a used copy, but apparently that's not going to happen.

For books that are readily available, or that will in a few months be readily available at current market price, I can't understand it at all.

Thank you for the Spoon Theory link. As someone suffering from arthritis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia and the results of a broken back, I am often stumped when trying to explain that I have good days, not-so-good days, and days from hell.

There are times when simply nuking a meal is a major accomplishment. I've gone from hiking in the hills and riding motorcycles to depending on a cane. At the age of 61, I wonder how much longer I will be able to live on my own. Yet for some reason Social Security does not consider me disabled enough to receive a pension and Medicaid.

Your books help keep me sane. Shame on the pirates; they are the scum of inner space.

It's a remarkably useful metaphor. I, being on a long up-and-down cycle, can say that when I'm on the downside, I have too few spoons, and when I'm on the upside, I have too many. Sometimes, I have so many spoons, I can't figure out what to do with them all and wish I could give them away to folks who have too few.

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If you solicit for an electronic copy on a pirate board, you are asking for a copy that has been produced without the permission of the authors, and for which the authors are not paid.

I realize that many people believe that the purchase of a book ought to include, in this day and age, an electronic copy, and even think that point of view has some merit...but that's not the reality of how books are being sold this week.

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Let me pose an example. Suppose I have bought a hardcover. Now, since I find it hard to lug around, I walk into a bookstore and slip a copy of the paperback into my pocket, then walk out of the store without paying.

Have I done anything wrong?

DRM-free shows we trust you to do the right thing. Buy a copy if you want one.

I was thinking the exact same thing when hesheit posed the first question. Thanks for putting it out there

Once upon a time, back in the gloomy 1980s, when there were no ebooks, nor were they dreamt of, three paperback originals by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee were published by Del Rey Books.

People bought the books. People loved the books. People lent the books widely amongst their friends, and talked about them, and re-read them, comfortable in the belief that there would be More of These to read, because they were So! Much! Fun! and everybody liked them, and...

They waited, and they waited, and they waited. For ten years they waited for that fourth book.

Why? you ask.

Because the books had more readers than they had numbers. Which is to say, they had been loved and loaned. In order for Del Rey to write a new contract with the authors -- a contract that would have seen Plan B appear in, oh, 1990 -- the books needed to be loved and purchased.

* * *

Now, that's a true story about what numbers mean to authors and to readers.

For the rest of it, you need to abide by your own personal ethical system; I don't have the energy to go into convoluted what-ifs that don't lead to more words on the stuff that's under contract.

Thank you. I had not encountered the Spoon Theory before. But there are so many times when I need that explanation. Appreciate the reference.

Thank you for posting about the spoons. Both my sister and best friend have chronic pain and have struggled with how to convey to people what that means. I sent them the link to the Spoon Theory and they both were ecstatic and had already shown it to other friends. By the end of the day my sister was already using spoons in her lingo!

I should mention that one day when we were both low on spoons we needed to explain to folks the volatility that sometimes comes with low-spoon mania ...

Thank you for the Spoon Theory link!

May you have sufficient spoons unto the day...