Morning Cuppa – 04/02/13 – Used ebooks! Do you need an agent?! Porn!

As you may have discerned, everything in my post from yesterday was a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun. I sincerely hope that there will come a day when I can honestly report that I have a book deal in the works, but until then…

  • The music and book industry has long argued that what you’re purchasing when you buy electronic copies of their products are not actual goods but electronic licenses that are not transferable. Bruce Willis ran into this when he was told that he couldn’t leave his iTunes collection in his will.
    So it left many of us scratching our heads when Amazon decided that there was such a thing as a ‘used’ ebook and that they would begin selling them. It smacked of wanting things both ways. Either we are buying actual products that we own or we’re not. Just because you’re courting a monopoly doesn’t mean you get to call the shots. And US District Court judge Richard J. Sullivan seems to agree, at least tangentially. He ruled that a company called ReDigi who operated as a used marketplace were infringing on Capitol Records reproduction and distribution rights. This ruling would naturally seem to negate Amazon’s used ebook marketplace but we’ll see how it plays out.
  • I’m really digging this new release and event calendar that io9 contributor Charlie Jane Anders put together. It has book releases, conventions, author appearances, new episodes, movie releases and more in a clear layout for the month of April.
  • Dean Wesley Smith is a prolific and successful author who has managed his way in the publishing industry all the while bucking the assumptions of how things are supposed to be done. Passive Voice points to a post he has written about the usefulness of agents and under what circumstances they’re useful.
    Among his quotables, “99% of all agents are buggy whip manufactures who are trying to convince everyone who buys a car you need a whip to keep the engine going.”
    Seems like a pretty incendiary statement but is it true? I’d love to hear from published, successful authors what their take is on this post. There’s a lot more than just the incendiary stuff though and it’s well worth the read. Smith is like taking a master class in publishing, his knowledge is so voluminous.
  • The most laughable news today is that the group Morality in Media (they’re a conservative group… yes I see you feigning surprise) has named the American Library Association and Barnes & Noble part of their “Dirty Dozen” for being among “the top 12 facilitators of porn”.