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December 2009
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February 2010

January 2010

Now that Amazon has conceded, can they please fix the damage?

I really don't like the 404-Document Not Found message where the Amazon page for the Kindle edition of our Year's Best Fantasy 9 is supposed to be

(Amazon's poorly worded concession in the Amazon-Macmillan dispute is here.)

As I said, I personally don't buy e-books. Nor do I own an e-book reader. But this particular book was intended to be published as a book where the e-book edition is primary.

John Sargent's address to authors about the Amazon situation

This ran as a paid advertisement in a special Saturday edition of Publishers Lunch:

To: All Macmillan authors/illustrators and the literary agent community
From: John Sargent

This past Thursday I met with Amazon in Seattle. I gave them our proposal for new terms of sale for e books under the agency model which will become effective in early March. In addition, I told them they could stay with their old terms of sale, but that this would involve extensive and deep windowing of titles. By the time I arrived back in New York late yesterday afternoon they informed me that they were taking all our books off the Kindle site, and off Amazon. The books will continue to be available on through third parties.

I regret that we have reached this impasse. Amazon has been a valuable customer for a long time, and it is my great hope that they will continue to be in the very near future. They have been a great innovator in our industry, and I suspect they will continue to be for decades to come.

It is those decades that concern me now, as I am sure they concern you. In the ink-on-paper world we sell books to retailers far and wide on a business model that provides a level playing field, and allows all retailers the possibility of selling books profitably. Looking to the future and to a growing digital business, we need to establish the same sort of business model, one that encourages new devices and new stores. One that encourages healthy competition. One that is stable and rational. It also needs to insure that intellectual property can be widely available digitally at a price that is both fair to the consumer and allows those who create it and publish it to be fairly compensated.

Continue reading "John Sargent's address to authors about the Amazon situation" »

Bye, Amazon. It's been fun.

Well, just a couple of days after I revised my site to push harder to promote online booksellers -- a change made at the request of one of my publishers -- I find that I need to remove Amazon from the list. Bye, Amazon. It's been fun.

Looking for Something? Amazon's response tp a query for the Kindle edition of my Year's Best Fantasy

They are having a stupid trade war with the company that owns one of my other publishers (Macmillan USA owns Tor), and so have delisted a bunch of my books that are still in print. They still allow for third party sales, but for that you may as well search via AddALL. (Hint: most books available for sale via 3rd parties on Amazon are also listed cheaper for the very same physical book via another book search engine.) So I can no longer recommend Amazon as a source of my books.

I don't care much about the issue of e-book pricing. I don't own a e-reader and think the devices are not an adequately developed technology. I have no plans to buy one in the next several years.

For my own new books, I would suggest you buy them from The University Bookstore in Seattle. (Just one problem: The UB seems to list them with only one author, so you'll have to look for them under my husband's name. ) For older hardcover titles, I suggest L.W.Currey. Lloyd is amply supplied with Hartwell & Cramer hardcovers at reasonable prices. 

Also, most (but not all) of my Tor titles can be purchased from, as well as a number of our other books. 

In general, I think it is up to the publisher to set their own prices, and not Amazon and that whatever the specifics are, Macmillan should not back down.

Continue reading "Bye, Amazon. It's been fun." »

Think of something to do for Haiti today.

When a country has a large earthquake that destroys building, trapping thousands of people in the rubble, it is as if the country has had a stroke: time is brain. Fast help can make a major difference.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Haiti has had a huge earthquake. News reports paint a grim picture: the capital city of Port au Prince largely destroyed, possible death tolls in the 100,000s, UN Headquarters collapsed with UN personnel trapped inside. Port au Prince is a city that grew fast with little oversight of building codes and the quality of construction. In a major earthquake, poor construction means death.

Do something today to help. Don't wait.


Here are a couple of Flickr photosets showing the damage:

The Maproom is collecting links to online maps intended to help with disaster relief. Here is a Goole Earth KML of a map I made of the area in 2006 in connection with the Haitian elections. (Or you can view the map online at CommunityWalk. It has some relevant landmarks such as the Presidential Palace and the airport.

Do send money to one of the charities, such as the Red Cross, that is sending aid. But don't stop there. 

Your ideas can be more valuable than your cash. Think of innovative was to save these people.