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AG & e-books
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Tito



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1203
Location: is everything
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buh-bye.

Last edited by Tito on Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

Post Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:54 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
Posts: 626
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chris wrote:
Simba
Just a note on encryption. Anything that can be put on a screen can be converted from analog and back to digital from the screen, so it doesn't matter if you use 256 bit encryption. If you can show the book on the screen, it can be copied and distributed digitally in the time it takes to turn the pages. Faster if you know how to automate the page turns . . .

In short, we're fucked.


Gotcha.

I figured there had to be a catch if it wasn't already being done.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:03 am   View user's profile Send private message
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
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This is not a question of technology; it is a case of unenforceable copyright - a brand new animal.

Fool would look fine as an illuminated manuscript. Would have been a fine idea for Lamb, in fact. It would have worked coming off Gutenberg's press. The same with lead print and now linotype. Even e-text, if you like that format, which I don't.

What has changed is copyright, and it's a bitch.

Sshakespeare had copyright problems. He got around them, most of the time, by giving his actors only their own lines (with cues). For someone to pirate the play, they had to bribe all the major actors, which was not likely.

Beethoven had copyright problems. His publisher's answer was to rush his works into print everywhere in large quantities so that the bootleggers had no time to print up their own Apparently, some asshole in England was living him until they got a publisher in London.

Now we have international copyright laws, but they won't help with e-books, and that's the rub. If we can't find a way to enforce copyright, the artist loses. If artists can't find compensation, they have to go paint houses.

If it goes that way, there will still be art. Chaucer was a tax collector on London Bridge. Blake self-published. But we will, unquestionably, suffer an artistic loss if artists can't make money.

And how can they adapt in a digital world? The same problem will exist everywhere. There's a Chinese mall twenty miles from here that openly sells studio quality DVD, digital copies that they got God-knows-where for $5.00 each. Theaters have some protection because of the movie experience - and that's the really driving force behind the new 3D. Once it gets to DVD, it can be ripped, and sales of black market DVDs are increasing steadily. That means that only the biggest players will be able to throw their hats in the ring.

(How's that for elitist, Tito?)

The only hope I see, ironically enough, comes from the teenagers. They steal music without a qualm, but they still buy books, paperbacks, anyway.

Twilight, anyone?

Short of a revolutionary way to enforce copyright, our only hope is that there is something so inherently satisfying that the book format will survive.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:21 am   View user's profile Send private message
Lauren



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
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Taco Bob wrote:
Lauren wrote:


Publishers are still trying to figure out the ebook thing, and how to get the balance right -- sure, people don't want to pay hardcover prices for an ebook, but I'm not convinced letting Amazon set the price is the way to go, either.



Actually, with ebooks Amazon allows the publisher to set the price, and change it easily. Amazon may or may not discount it further.


The "eBooks shouldn't be more than $9.99" came from Amazon, originally. Publishers were pricing them the same as the hardcovers, and Amazon discounted them to $9.99, because it seemed like a good price at which to sell them. They used to have it up on the book's page: publisher price: $25.99, your discount: $16.00, Amazon price: $9.99

Which, hey, if they wanted to sell eBooks at a loss, that's their decision. But when publishers finally woke up and decided to take control of the list price again (the agency model that started going into effect in April), Amazon stamped their feet and cried foul, and began trying to pit the readers against the publishers. They misrepresented what the publishers were actually trying to do, and cried wolf, saying that the big, mean publishers wanted to charge scads of money for eBooks forever and ever.

(Brief digression: if publishers simply said "Okay, Amazon says eBooks should be $9.99, so let's just comply with that," and didn't change anything but that price, authors would see a big drop in royalties. Pre-agency model, even if you bought the ebook for $9.99, the authors' royalties were based off of the publisher price of $25.99. So, simply dropping the publishers' price down to $9.99 hurts the authors' pockets, and that sucks.

I'm pretty sure that when the agency model came about, royalty structures changed as well, to offset that. However, it doesn't change the fact that eBook list prices still took an almost 50% hit, which still means less money in the authors' pockets.)

What publishers actually wanted was the ability to say, "Okay, this is a new hardcover. Let's set the eBook at $14.99. Then, in a few months, we'll drop it down to $9.99. And when the dead tree form of the book comes out in paperback in a year, we can drop the eBook price down to $4.99." (Which I believe is the model you're referring to.)

Boy, did Amazon ever bury that info. They latched on and shouted how all eBooks would be $14.99, period, the end. (And, funny thing is, $14.99 was the high end of the pricing; most new eBooks would still be $9.99 or less under the agency model.)

Taco Bob wrote:

Lauren wrote:


I'm also going to refute one point, TB:


Quote:
Ebooks can be sold for less because there are no printing costs.



We both forgot to mention shipping charges - which can add another fifty cents to a dollar per book for the publisher to get product to the distributors. No shipping or handling costs with ebooks.


I can double check, but I'm pretty sure the shipping charges are included in the $1-$3 bound book price, as most of the big publishers pay the freight costs now.

Back when bookstores paid for shipping, publishers used to do this thing called Freight Pass Through -- the cover price of the book was $25.99, say, but booksellers' discounts were based off of a $25.49 price. The extra fifty cents was for the booksellers to keep, to help offset shipping charges.

But a few years back, publishers started picking up the freight costs and FPT prices went away. So I'm 99% certain that those charges are figured into the bound book price, but I'll try to confirm it.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:39 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
Kar98



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 3170
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Right, there is NOOOOOO way data files could ever be sold through some kind of secured online shop, and such a store would never sell a damn thing, and there is no convenient way to display such files anyway.

Yes, the landscape is changing, and always has, and always will, and it's not just creative people who have to adapt and overcome. How do you think that entire class of people who used to be able to make a very comfortable living just turning wrenches and pushing buttons feels about the changes in their industry?
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:41 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
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[quote="Kar98"]Right, there is NOOOOOO way data files could ever be sold through some kind of secured online shop, and such a store would never sell a damn thing, and there is no convenient way to display such files anyway.[quote]

That's right.

Chris just explained that, rather well, too, I think.

It's the analog conversion. The guy's a frickin' genius.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:58 am   View user's profile Send private message
Taco Bob



Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 1201
Location: Palm Falls, Florida
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Before long there will likely be software allowing almost anyone to write a generic Patterson-type novel. Just plug in a few names and situations and out pops a formula story. What will this do to Patterson and other movie-made-for-TV writers when everyone can knock out a 300p novel on their home computer? The Pattersons (and their “co-writers”) of the literary world are the ones who are truly fucked.
But people whose work not only is entertaining and amusing, but offers a different perspective? Books that stimulate the reader to question accepted knowledge and give him/her a peek behind the curtain will survive. They’ll never get a big share of the readers, but enough for cult status with those who “get it.”
In the future not only will writers have to do booksignings and help market their product, they will likely have to do youtube and live stand-up as well. The AG is already better than most stand-ups I’ve seen on the tele, so he has a good chance to go from novelist to live performer. Ten years from now someone will discover that wacky Chris Moore guy he just saw on the Comedy Channel (filling in for Jon Stewart) also wrote some of those book things once upon a time. Of course, he’ll probably just download pirated versions of the books, but he might get entangled enough in the cult web to pay actual money to see CM live on his 2020 Ambien Vision Tour. I just hope he comes to Florida…
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:02 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tito



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1203
Location: is everything
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buh-bye.

Last edited by Tito on Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:14 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tito



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1203
Location: is everything
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buh-bye.

Last edited by Tito on Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:31 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Kar98



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 3170
Location: Dallas, Texas
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simba major wrote:
Kar98 wrote:
Right, there is NOOOOOO way data files could ever be sold through some kind of secured online shop, and such a store would never sell a damn thing, and there is no convenient way to display such files anyway.


That's right.

Chris just explained that, rather well, too, I think.

It's the analog conversion. The guy's a frickin' genius.


OK, let me explain, to steal a book, the process is this:

1, go to a dark place on the internet, a section most people, like 99% of them, don't even know exists.
2, realize you need to actually gain access to said place
3, search of the book you would like to have
4, if you're lucky, it might be there
4b, most of the time, it's not and you're just browsing and downloading random shit.
4c, sometimes you even discover new authors and buy their books in the future
5, download it
6, unpack the archive (need to find and install and learn how to use that bit of software first)
7, if you're lucky, it's a format your computer, PDA, etc knows
8, if not, convert it to a suitable format
9, read it

Or, if you're like most people (and you are into reading e-books for whatever reason) you would greatly prefer a convenient, central e-book store that allows you to browse their catalog, pay for your purchase and download it to the e-reader of your choice. Just like the iTunes store. There's a shit ton of sites out there where you can download music for free. But sometime earlier this year, the iTunes store reached their "10 billion songs sold" milestone. While there were digital music players before, the whole seamless experience and ease of use and access that even a 8 year old can manage has actually created a whole new source of revenue for artists.
E-book publishing will see a similar revolution and surge, now that all the square wheels have gone away and it's down to iPad, Kindle and Nook. Hope and change, people, hope and change Wink
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:40 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
Posts: 626
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Tito wrote:
simba major wrote:
This is not a question of technology; it is a case of unenforceable copyright - a brand new animal.

. . .

Short of a revolutionary way to enforce copyright, our only hope is that there is something so inherently satisfying that the book format will survive.


Thank you, you made my point for me.


My point was tht without enforceable copyright, an artist cannot profit fair from his own work

With the advent of ebooks and iPods, we're going to take a giant step backwards from hard won copyright protection for artists. It will be worse than Beethoven's day. Back then it would have taken weeks or months to rip off the artist. At the risk of being "unctious" as you inexplicably characterize it, did you notice how long Chris said it took with an ebook? Four minutes.

You call that progress?

Of a sort . . .

Music survived even though Beethhoven had copyright problems. Chaucer and Blake, apparently the "dregs" of the time to the publishing world, self published as members of the vomiting masses. Sounds like the more things change the more they stay the same.

With significant differences, namely that the artist had little protection and is headed towards getting less. Too bad Chaucer couldn't have made a living at it - we'd have a lot more literature from him to feast on. Same with Blake. Beethoven did okay with patronage, but he would have, and deserved to, do a lot better. He had to take students to make ends meet - I'll bet that cost us a symphony or three. And Mozart was buried in a pauper's grave.

I guess when we get back to that sorry state of affairs, you'll think we've really mad4e ourselves some progress.

As far as elitist, I said the "argument" was elitist, not you. But you changed my mind on that one too. "Artists" having to paint houses? Boo-fucking-hoo.

And a good number of them will only do that because their work is being stolen. Time spent painting houses or cleaning floors or waiting on tables is time that cannot be spent doing the work that they want to do, that they are most suited to do, that they have every right to do, and would do, if leeches weren't stealing their rightful compensation.

[quote]Not everyone can be a professional soccer player who would like to, but the fields are full every weekend with people who play the sport for love. If you love something, you will do it, and if you are doing it for "greed" only then the world can afford to lose your talent. It's a big world. Someone else will take your place who has a greater hunger for creating.[/i]

And they will have exactly the same problem being fairly compensated for their labor.

I trust that you would think it wrong if gangs of shoplifters regularly cleaned out your store. This is no different. Just easier to get away with.

Quote:
I think the "dark ages is coming mentality" ridiculous.


Yet, here they come.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:07 am   View user's profile Send private message
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
Posts: 626
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Tito wrote:
simba major wrote:

That's right.

Chris just explained that, rather well, too, I think.

It's the analog conversion. The guy's a frickin' genius.


Main Entry: unc·tu·ous
Pronunciation: \ˈəŋ(k)-chə-wəs, -chəs, -shwəs\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French unctueus, from Medieval Latin unctuosus, from Latin unctus act of anointing, from unguere to anoint
Date: 14th century
1 a : fatty, oily b : smooth and greasy in texture or appearance
2 : plastic <fine>
3 : full of unction; especially : revealing or marked by a smug, ingratiating, and false earnestness or spirituality
— unc·tu·ous·ly adverb
— unc·tu·ous·ness noun


Am I in awe of the guy? Yes. Am I the only one here who feels that way? I doubt it. Do I expect to ingratiate myself - I assume that's the operative part of the definition for you - with him with my compliment? I truly doubt that.

Credit where credit is due. He made a point and did so very clearly and very well. I was especially impressed because I'd given the matter a lot of thought and missed it entirely.

Did I lay it on a little thicker than I would for the others because this is his "house" and he is accomplished at something I aspire to? Probably, although I'm pretty free with my compliments when they are heart felt.

But "unctuous"?

All I will say to you about that is that I think it's a real cheap shot and, in truth, a reflection not on me, but on you.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:17 am   View user's profile Send private message
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
Posts: 626
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Kar98,

I hope you're right, but I'm hearing a lot of evidence to the contrary, including from industry people.

Fingers crossed.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:20 am   View user's profile Send private message
Tito



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1203
Location: is everything
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buh-bye.

Last edited by Tito on Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:55 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
Posts: 626
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I think you're being a jerk.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:10 am   View user's profile Send private message
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