Some thoughts, some promo

After the usual suspects came up empty when I asked for blog topics last night, I found myself wondering just what to write about today. It would be easy enough to do a riff on the “outrage” over Neil Gaiman’s Clarion tweet. But that’s been done by better folks than me (waves at Brad). I could do a post on critique groups but, again, it’s been done before by several of us here. So what to do, what to do?

Then I came across the latest kerfluffle in the industry. Once again, there’s a debate going on about whether or not author’s should be paid royalties for used book sales. I touched on the topic earlier but it seems that this is the topic that won’t go away, at least not right away. So, here is the question: should authors be paid royalties for used book sales?

Kristen Lamb comes down on the side of paying royalties for used book sales.(Edited to add: while Ms. Lamb does not specifically say this, I felt it was inferred. As always, I leave it to our readers to go see what she had to say and make their own decision.)  It seems Ms. Lamb was up in arms over the fact that “like TEN writers” had linked to the Washington Post’s article about the resurgence of used bookstores. Worse, those writers were excited by them. Her biggest issue with used bookstores is that writers don’t get paid for books sold through them. She goes on to say that if she does buy a book through a used bookstore, she does her best to also buy the digital version so the author gets money. Her main point, if you haven’t already guessed, is that writers should be paid for their product.

Now, I like getting paid as much as the next writer. I’m not in this to suffer for my art. I have bills to pay and animals that really do start looking at me funny if they don’t get their kibble on time. But, as nice as it sounds to be paid for second sales, I’m a realist as well. It’s hard enough to get actual sales numbers from traditional publishing without worrying about how they will account for used book sales. Let’s face it, authors right now are only getting paid for books it is estimated are sold and it is going to stay that way as long as publishers use services like BookScan to tell them how many books are sold at certain stores and then — thanks to handwavium — this is how many books we think were sold system-wide.

So, say you do get through a clause in your publishing contract that says you will be paid for second sales of your books. How is that going to be handled? How many mom and pop used bookstores are there out there? Are you going to require them to put in the hardware and software necessary to scan every book that comes through their doors and then upload that data to some central server — ala BookScan — so publishers can then figure out what the royalty amount should be?

Next question: if you do that, are publishers then going to try to put limits on what the price for these used books might be? After all, publishers aren’t going to want to be left out of this equation. Neither are the agents. Do you see what I’m getting at? That royalty you, the author, were looking forward to is now a pittance of what it might have been because of all the other folks with their hands out.

Question the third: if you start tracking used book sales, will that impact the definition of “in print” for conversion purposes?

All of that is something to consider before we, as authors, start making demands where used bookstores are concerned. But there is more.

As I said, I’m not in this business just to give away my time and my work. This is my job just as much as it is my calling. If I wanted to just write, that’s what I’d do and I would return to the corporate world. After all, I spent years writing for my own entertainment and then shoved all that work under the bed, or in the closet or used it to build bonfires. Then someone — Sarah — applied pointy boots to my posterior and I haven’t looked back. I like the money I make from this gig and I like it when people tell me they have read something I wrote and enjoyed it. Getting those emails or PMs asking when the next book comes out gives me warm tingly feelings.

However, I recognize that used bookstores serve their purpose. Much like libraries, used bookstores allow people who either can’t or won’t pay new book prices to discover the work of authors they hadn’t tried before. We might not make a few pennies in royalties from that “sale” but we gain something else: word of mouth. That is our most important and powerful form of promotion. If someone likes something we write, they will tell their family and friends. Those folks, in turn, may very well buy one or more of our books, be it in print or digital. These same used book purchasers do still leave reviews on Amazon and other sites. That, too, is important. Sure, they don’t show up as “verified purchasers” but a good review is always something we should welcome.

Eric Flint has addressed this issue at length and, while he and I might not agree on a lot of things, this is one topic we are pretty much in agreement on. Go take a look at what he has to say.

Now for the promo, because I am in this for the money. For those who have been following my blog, you know that this last two months have been busy ones for me. I’ve managed to publish two novels and put a third up for pre-order.

Honor from Ashes (Honor and Duty Book 3) is now available for pre-order. Release is set for April 18th.

War isn’t civilized and never will be, not when there are those willing to do whatever is necessary to win. That is a lesson Col. Ashlyn Shaw learned the hard way. Now she and those under her command fight an enemy determined to destroy their home world. Worse, an enemy lurks in the shadows, manipulating friend and foe alike.

Can Ashlyn hold true to herself and the values of her beloved Corps in the face of betrayal and loss? Will honor rise from the ashes of false promises and broken faith? Ashlyn and the Devil Dogs are determined to see that it does, no matter what the cost.

Slay Bells Ring is a mixture of mystery and romance, with the emphasis more on mystery. This is the book that forced me to write it.

Fifteen years ago, Juliana Grissom left Mossy Creek in her rear view mirror. She swore then she would never return for more than a day or two at a time. But even the best laid plans can go awry, something she knew all too well, especially when her family was involved.

Now she’s back and her family expects her to find some way to clear her mother of murder charges. Complicating her life even further is Sam Caldwell, the man she never got over. Now it seems everyone in town is determined to find a way to keep her there, whether she wants to stay or not.

Bodies are dropping. Gossip is flying and Juliana knows time is running out. After all, holidays can be murder in Mossy Creek.

And finally, Nocturnal Challenge, the fourth book in the Nocturnal Lives series.

Nocturnal Challenge (Nocturnal Lives Book 4)

By Amanda Green

The one thing Lt. Mackenzie Santos had always been able to count on was the law. But that was before she started turning furry. Now she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy to keep the truth from the public-at-large. She knows they aren’t ready to learn that monsters are real and they might be living next door.

If that isn’t enough, trouble is brewing among the shapeshifters. The power struggle has already resulted in the kidnapping and near fatal injury of several of Mac’s closest friends. She is now in the middle of what could quickly turn into a civil war, one that would be disastrous for all of them.

What she wouldn’t give to have a simple murder case to investigate and a life that didn’t include people who wanted nothing more than to add her death to the many they were already responsible for.

The first three volumes (Nocturnal Origins, Nocturnal Serenade and Nocturnal Interlude
are available individually or as the Nocturnal Lives “boxed set”.) are also available.

208 Comments

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208 responses to “Some thoughts, some promo

  1. What other manufacturers get paid when an original purchaser resells a product? If I sell my car I don’t have to cut Ford in on it.

  2. With all due respect, you need to reread my post because your assertion is grossly misleading, inflammatory and inaccurate. I do not believe at all in royalties for used book and not once did I ever claim that.

    I believe writers need to educate readers that if they buy used, that they don’t get PAID that way and that IF the reader likes the product and wants to support the writer to be able to write more books, then they need to buy NEW because that is how we are paid.

    Ten writers linked to an article that yes was excited about the resurgence of used bookstores. But the article went on to BASH the best ways we are PAID.

    That is DUMB business.

    What good is all the exposure we get in that used bookstore if the Washington Post then (very inaccurately) goes on to claim that digital sales are slumping, readers don’t want digital and Amazon is a bad guy? The article also stated that it was so awesome that used bookstores were coming back because regular bookstores are so rare.

    So please answer me where the heck anyone is supposed to BUY a new book? Where is that exposure doing writers any good if that article just trashed all the best retailers that pay writers?

    The information here is inaccurate. I never said anything about royalties being paid on used sales.

    • Apologies — I inferred. But I also linked so readers here could go and make their own opinions based on what you said. However, when you advocate that writers should be paid and you are discussing used books, I have to ask myself how that is supposed to work and royalties is where my mind went. As I said, I inferred and, if that was wrong, again, apologies.

      As for your other comments, let’s see if I can answer them. Point the first: most readers do understand that used bookstores don’t mean the writer gets anything in his pocket from that sale. At least that has been my experience. However, most readers don’t have a clue about how royalties work and they are being mislead every day by shows like Castle and books that paint authors as all being rich and famous. Guilting them so that they feel like they shouldn’t buy used, when that is all they can afford (and not everyone likes e-books) doesn’t help anyone.

      Point the second: the WaPo article. They were reporting on numbers given by a group that is a main supporter of traditional publishing. Was that made absolutely clear? No. And the article is clueless in a lot of ways. However, e-book sales for the Big 5 are leveling out, if not declining and solely because of their own business practices.

      As for “what good is all that exposure” as you put it, I repeat. Not everyone likes e-books. They want the feel of a book in their hands. Some may have issues with reading on a screen. Beyond that, as I said in the post, those readers who buy used do still talk about our work and make recommendations. That has to be taken into consideration.

      Point the third: where “the heck” are people supposed to buy a new book? Well, within a 20 mile radius of my house, I have two B&Ns, and several indie bookstores. They sell new books. Then I can go online and buy from Amazon or BN.com or Uncle Hugos or any other number of bookstores/storefronts. Heck, I can go down the street to Walmart or Target and buy new books.

      Finally, yes, writers should be paid. That’s what first sales are for. I would rather have a senior citizen on a fixed budget or a mother with four kids spend their money on essentials than on a new book that I will only see pennies on the dollar on. Let them buy my book used and then recommend me to their friends and families. That is much better than them never reading my work and never telling others about it.

      • First of all, your blog beautifully illustrates my point. You write an entire article founded on a thesis that is UTTERLY FALSE (code for a LIE).

        Your entire argument is based off false and inflammatory information that calls my character into question.

        The fact that you linked to me does not absolve you of doing a very poor job blogging. You formed an opinion based off your inability to properly comprehend what you read.

        You blogged an opinion off a faulty conclusion and as is VERY clear from your commenters, most of them didn’t even bother looking to see if you’d done your homework. They trusted you to do it because it is your JOB to do it.

        I NEVER claimed writers needed to be paid royalties off used books.

        Oh, but now I will have to do damage control due to your post.

        And that is exactly what the Washington Post article was doing. It was bashing on-line retailers and digital and claiming FALSELY that digital sales were declining. How many people do you think researched that assertion? The article also acted like writers benefited financially from used bookstores. We don’t. Not directly. But that was never made clear.

        The article pissed me off because it was yellow journalism and it taints how people think. And if enough people keep writing articles that buying on-line is bad and digital books are bad? That hurts the earning ability of authors.

        Because these days, as you have demonstrated. It doesn’t even need to be TRUE for you to post and benefit from it. Enjoy your blog traffic. I hope you had fun throwing a fellow author under the bus who was standing up for your right to be paid.

        • My, my, my, aren’t we angry? I posted an edit to the blog that I inferred the royalty comment from what I read. That is the truth. I did infer it. Don’t like, sorry. Perhaps you ought to look at what you write more carefully before posting it. I will not retract what are my opinions of your post, based on what I read there. I did clarify that I drew the inference of royalties based on your own words.

          • Yes, I was angry. I was hurt because I never said that. And yes, later you added the “inferred” to it. But the original article was build on a claim I never made…not an inference. There is a difference. I handled it poorly, but we all have bad days. I never sent anyone here. Didn’t link to you. I knew you were likely going to adjust the article so I didn’t want to inadvertently send any trolls your way….then ended up acting like one myself because I felt injured 😛 .

            • But as an aside, bloggers need to be careful when posting an article. In the future, please add the “inferred” the first time. Because when you declare I said something, it becomes the gospel and then it’s a real mess for the person who is the target to untangle something they never claimed.

              And in the future I need togo for a walk before defending myself. So we both learned 😀 .

              • dougirvin

                Yes, indeed, everyone can have a bad day. And bloggers should use due diligence in researching their subject. BUT, if you, as a published author, can write sloppy and/or misleading sentences, do not, then, try to foist the blame on a blogger who is only trying to make sense of what you screwed up.
                If you don’t express yourself precisely, please do not instruct a blogger not to infer an error from what you wrote. That is a basic dishonesty.
                I have not read your works – I don’t know if it would be something of interest to me. At this point, however, I’m not sure I would. New authors I always approach slowly, never knowing if they write subject and style which appeals to me. (Incidentally, that’s a great reason there for used bookstores.) You have not given me, a potential reader, reason to want to read you.

              • Kristen, I read the articles (courtesy if Eric Flint), and I *also got the same feeling* as Eric and Amanda. I have “found” a great many of my _Favorite_ authors due to “used book stores.” As a teenager, I found Isaace Aimoz, Andre Norton (I met her at MagiCon ’92 =8-0), and many more that I later bought full price editions of their books. With the “couple of dollars” I had from allowance, picking up/returning bottles in 1964-67, I bought a *lot* of books. Today, I “check out’ a lot of potential “first buys” at Half Price books, because I have about $10-12/*month* that I can spend on books.
                As an author (my books can be found here http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00QXAWK9K), I spend a *lot of time* trying to “be seen,” so I can make that “first sale.” I just recommended several books to a housekeeper from the Nursing Home I’m in. I *know* as well as Sarah, Amanda, and any other author that I depend on recommendations, to sell books. It *matters not* if that “recommendation” is through a “used sale,” or Word of Mouth, or a Library book. What is important, is that a *new reader* happens.

        • First of all, your blog beautifully illustrates my point. You write an entire article founded on a thesis that is UTTERLY FALSE (code for a LIE).

          Drop the “code” crap. You’re calling Amanda a liar, and you’re out of line. At worst, she’s wrong. Being wrong isn’t a lie.

          Otherwise, I’d call you a liar simply because you called Amanda a liar. The difference is, I’d be a lot closer to correct.

          • Look, I already apologized to Amanda. We had a strange confluence of a post declaring I was demanding royalties paid on used books hit right at the same time a weird flood of trolls calling me a greedy jerk hit. And in journalism, what she originally posted is libelous. Yes, later she corrected it and later I apologized. Frankly, when I originally commented the comments were not approved. I had honestly expected her to pull the post, correct the false information and republish it. Again, my mistake. And if I have managed to not stay mad at Amanda for publishing something untrue (intentionally or not) and allowed her the grace to correct it (which she did. If I have moved on and made peace, then I hope y’all can too. Life is too short to stay mad 🙂 .

            • Libelous?

              One shouldn’t use words one doesn’t understand. While Amanda may have been incorrect, there was nothing libelous, and the fact that you claim it is just shows more of the ignorance you’ve displayed here.

              Libel requires the falsehood to be both intentional and malicious, meaning it’s designed to cause harm. You can’t back either of those up, and the fact that you’re claiming libel now makes you look even more ridiculous than most of what you’ve posted here.

              Which is impressive because I figured you had enough sense to know when to stop.

              • ShawnMc

                It does not have to be malicious, I suggest you stay away from legal discussions about this. In Kristens case, she is an expert who was falsely accused of saying something that is grossly innacurate, it is therefore incumbant upon her to defend that. Shes not a fiction writer or a columnist, her livelyhood is dependant on guiding other authors to being business people. To take a shot at that, to lose credibility means diminshed revenues. In todays world of algorithms, it is easy to show those diminshed returns after a particular point in time. If after this post she loses revenues, then it can be shown as damaging her, and that is all that it would take. Not that she might do that.

                • Oh really? Do enlighten us as you your qualifications.

                  After all, the half dozen attorneys I’ve spoken with would disagree with your analysis.

                • um, yes, for it to rise to the level of libel it has to be malicious “with actual malice aforethought” is the way most statutes are worded.

                  See, you have to have intent, and it has to be provably untrue. So you know, If I say Krissy-poo is an idiot, that’s malice aforethought, but since it’s provably true, it’s not libel.

                  • It’s seriously fascinating to see if he’s got the balls to come back here and answer my question about his credentials.

                    There’s really only one profession who would have more cause to understand libel laws than the two of us would, and based on what he’s displayed here, that ain’t his profession.

                • Sir, some of us have faced this from the other side. Your ignorance is painful. As for Kirsten, people have actually showed how Amanda read what she did into Kirsten’s words BY QUOTING KIRSTEN’S WORDS. The greatest impugning of Kirsten’s supposed expertise is her sad spectacle here in these very comments, which I understand is a repeat of her performance at Passive Voice. Unless she specializes in showing what NOT to do.

            • And, for the record, I AM a journalist. We know what is libel, what is a mistake, and our responsibilities in each case.

              Those of us who have been columnists as well don’t scream libel and lie because someone said something inaccurate about what we wrote.

        • I’m sorry, I’ve never heard of you and I’m not at all familiar with your work.

    • Rhiain

      “What good is all the exposure we get in that used bookstore if the Washington Post then (very inaccurately) goes on to claim that digital sales are slumping, readers don’t want digital and Amazon is a bad guy?”

      I’m sorry, what? What does word of mouth exposure have to do with one WaPo article? Is the article in question going to make or break your writing career?

      • If enough articles like these are posted and not challenged, yes. Sort of like people not challenging this article which published a lie about me. Lies, if said often enough, become truth. Writers keep getting told they don’t need to be paid because they get…exposure. Now? It has become a profession that is becoming almost impossible to earn a living wage. And when you stand up and ask to be paid like every other profession? You are called names, attacked, and have lovely blogs like this that assassinate your character.

        • Rhiain

          Methinks you protest too much, Ms. Lamb. The author of this post has already apologized for inferring a fact that you consider to be inaccurate. There’s no need for you to be acting like a sacrificial lamb, because you aren’t one.

          The WaPo article was frankly nothing special, and I liked the general gist of it because I too love to pay custom to my local used bookstore. Convincing potential readers and your current fans that your books are worth purchasing new is, last I checked, part and parcel of being a published author. Thus far, your responses here make me skeptical of checking out your work.

          See how that works?

          Convince me that your books are worth reading, and thus buying. You can’t do that by whining that people are spreading lies about you, personally, on this blog, when until Amanda mentioned you and your post I hadn’t heard of you.

        • Rhiain

          A certain percentage of gullible folk will believe anything a newspaper prints, but that doesn’t mean EVERYbody does. Again, I liked the WaPo article, but it doesn’t change my reading habits, my book-purchasing habits, and it certainly doesn’t affect how I find new authors or whether or not I still read books by authors I currently love. I control that. I have no idea whether other readers follow this same pattern, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. That’s why Amanda’s point about word of mouth is good. I mean, are you going to be disappointed if I go to my favorite used bookstore later today to find one of your books, skim through it to find out if I love it, and end up buying it? Or whether I end up purchasing one of your books on Amazon? You don’t know which route I’m going to take, but it’s safe to assume that I’m checking out your work, right?

        • Andrew

          “It has become a profession that is becoming almost impossible to earn a living wage.”

          If your a traditionally published “Mid List” author, yes, it is. Traditional publishing raised their prices, and sales fell, and authors are what? Shocked? Upset? Surprised?

          Readers are looking for a good read at a good value. I found Catherine Asaro’s Skolian books through my local used bookstore, I bought the first couple in the series used, then went out and bought the next few. The used store didn’t have them and I was willing to buy them new, because I liked her work, Had I seen her book at the used store, then gone to my not so local B&N or online to Amazon to buy it in paperback, that’s $14.99 I would not have spent. And that’s not taking into account the rest of the money I spent on subsequent purchases in the series, or the purchases my family members and friends made because of word of mouth.
          I also know a couple of my friends didn’t like her work, and didn’t buy any other books of hers.

          Would the 25% net Ms. Asaro would have gotten had I bought her book new been that much more helpful to her bottom line? Would I be a “Better Fan” of her work had I bought new? That same day I picked up Primary Inversion I also bought Empire State by Adam Christopher. It looked cool, blurb was nice, premise looked interesting, first chapter or so i read in the store held promise. In the end though, I couldn’t finish it, I certainly didn’t recommend it to my friends and family the way I did Asaro’s work, and I doubt would have been compelled to buy Seven Wonders when/if I saw it on the shelf. But, I read that one at the local library before I went out and bought it.

          I firmly believe writers deserve to be paid for what they write. I also believe readers deserve value for what they read. Now that’s a judgement call, but for many of us, the current high prices for print books and some ebooks do not represent a good value. My entertainment budget isn’t that flexible, and these days books are competing with Netflix, Movies, and video Games for that money. I’m less likely to go to my local B&N and buy from an author I haven’t read at full price because $14.99 for a paperback (or $13.99 for an ebook), is not worth it to me. I’d rather go to the local Half Price and spend $20 on three books, not one.

    • I believe writers need to educate readers that if they buy used, that they don’t get PAID that way

      Can you name three people that:
      1) can read
      2) don’t know that writers don’t get paid additional royalties from a resale of used books
      3) having been told that, will…what? Stop buying used? Send the writer a check for the used book? Buy a second copy new so that the author gets a royalty?

      The writer has already been paid for that copy of the book, just like Ford is already paid for the first person to buy the car or Dell (or whoever) is already paid for the first sale of the particular computer.

    • Bibliotheca Servare

      So I’m going to preface this with the statement that I wrote most of this early this (Tuesday) morning, had an emergency, and finished editing it a few minutes ago. I refreshed the page, and it looks like you (Mz. Lamb) were having a bad day when you responded to Amanda’s post…so I apologize for the testy…somewhat acerbic and sarcastic nature of parts of this reply. I’d edit it again, but I have *zero* time, and just deleting huge swaths of it would make it disjointed and silly (or sillier) sounding. That in mind, I’d not post it in the first place, but I make a couple points here that I (perhaps presumptuously)felt/feel were/are worth making…I’m sincerely sorry if I’m stepping in “it” (lovely euphemism that) by posting this.

      You do realize Amanda *linked* your article, correct? And that what Amanda *actually said* was: “Kristen Lamb comes down on the side of paying royalties for used book sales. It seems Ms. Lamb was up in arms over the fact that “like TEN writers” had linked to the Washington Post’s article about the resurgence of used bookstores. Worse, those writers were excited by them. Her biggest issue with used bookstores is that writers don’t get paid for books sold through them. She goes on to say that if she does buy a book through a used bookstore, she does her best to also buy the digital version so the author gets money. Her main point, if you haven’t already guessed, is that writers should be paid for their product.”

      The important bit? Right here: “Her biggest issue with used bookstores is that writers don’t get paid for books sold through them. She goes on to say that if she does buy a book through a used bookstore, she does her best to also buy the digital version so the author gets money. Her main point, if you haven’t already guessed, is that writers should be paid for their product.”

      Explain to me how that statement is inaccurate, please. Sure, taken out of context, “Kristen Lamb comes down on the side of paying royalties for used book sales.” sounds inaccurate, even possibly “inflammatory” if you squint and tilt your head, but that’s not what you said. You said,I quoth: “… your assertion is grossly misleading, inflammatory and inaccurate. I do not believe at all in royalties for used book and not once did I ever claim that. …” So either you didn’t read past the point that ruffled your feathers, or you didn’t understand that Amanda clarified, and clearly stated, that that was *her interpretation* (“it seems” etc) of your position. Let me quote a couple passages that, in my opinion, lend to that impression: “It is amazing how much profit margins increase when you don’t actually have to pay the person who worked long and hard and sacrificed to create the product you are profiting from. The sky is the limit!” Or, immediately following, this:

      “Then there is THIS gem.

      Quote #3

      “It’s (the used bookstore) like having a museum or a theater. It’s a cultural center.” ~Gottwals

      Except that museums are supported by private donations, government funding, grants and patrons PAYING A FEE to walk around and look at the collections. And theaters? Same thing. Try going to Phantom for free, Mr. Gottwals. Good luck getting a seat NOT in the nosebleed section for under $250.”

      or (somewhat out of context, but the article is linked above, and this comment is going to be long enough withOUT including context with every quote): “But even if that were the case, if you really do love books? Be a sweetheart and try supporting those who write them. Thank you.” (Because folks who can’t afford to buy new are unworthy of the title “book lover” I guess? That certainly seems to be the implication of this quote, and much of the post it’s from, at least.)
      Or (earlier in the post): “And writers seem to have no problem getting very indignant that so many blogs and digital outlets expect them to work for free.

      Oh, but sell my paper books and make all the profit? Go ahead! That’s “culture.” ”
      (so a person who bought your work, and paid in full, but needs some cash and decides to sell the book -that they paid you for- to get that cash…is equivalent to a newspaper/profit-driven blog that expects writers to write for it for free? You seem to have missed a step there. Namely the “paid you for it” one.)
      Or (even earlier): “…Oh, but it is artsy and bohemian to rip writers off because old books are cool?

      No. And again, let’s keep the debate clear here because I can already hear the blogs now, “Kristen Lamb hates bookstores!” No. Pay attention.

      I love old books. Have stacks of them. Want to buy old copies of Jane Eyre? Be my guest. I doubt Charlotte Bronte is counting on that Amazon royalty check to pay to upgrade her Scrivner or unscrew Windows 10 or, I dunno, eat.”
      ( ahem…do I really have to point out the bs in…oh damn it, fine. “Rip writers off” Mz. Lamb? Seriously? It’s “[ripping] writers off” to buy their book brand spanking new, at full price, with all requisite royalties included in the purchase price…and a little while later decide to (as is this hypothetical person’s -exhaustively- historically and legally supported right, per the doctrine of “fair use”) sell that, duly bought, paid for, and read, book to someone else? You have a bizarre understanding of what it means to “rip” someone off. So no, you don’t *explicitly* state that you believe used bookstores should have to pay you royalties; you just flatly state your equivalent belief that anyone who buys a living author’s book at a used bookstore without also buying a license to read the digital version is little better than a thieving piece of human detritus, worthy only of your disgust and scorn. I totally can’t understand where Amanda got the impression that you believe used bookstores should have to pay royalties. /sarcasm. I’m not sure what you were seeking by calling Amanda’s interpretation of your words “…grossly misleading, inflammatory and inaccurate.” but her interpretation was none of those things, except through a very biased, unfair lense. I apologize if this was too acerbic, but I wasn’t feeling very charitable after reading your post, then your reply to Amanda. And I just got a chance to finish editing this after a very long, unpleasant day, so I’m really not equipped to do an exhaustive overhaul right now. Good day.

      Edit: see top. I wrote the conclusion above this edit (I added the “Edit:” here because it made me giggle, and because it clarifies what was written when) immediately prior to refreshing the page it was meant to go on. So the “too exhausted to overhaul” thing still applies. Again, sorry if I sound like a real jerk. No offense was intended. God bless!
      🙂

  3. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Idea for Under The Heading Of “How To Destroy Used Book Stores”.

    There should be a special tax on the purchase of used books.

    Moneys from said tax will be paid to the authors (or the authors’ heirs) of the used books.

    Obviously, if the Government can not locate the heirs of dead authors, the Government can place the moneys into the general tax fund.

    Of course, the Government will also take a portion of the revenues to pay for the program of locating the authors/heirs of the used books.

    You know this is such a stupid idea that some idiots will think it’s a good idea. [Frown]

    • Paul, before making a comment like this, try reading the source blog in question. I never said that. It’s a lie.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Sorry but it doesn’t matter *what you said* if there are people who believe that purchasing used books “steals” money from authors.

        • There might be people who believe that. I am not one of them.

            • I feel you are taking a line out of context and that is in the comments thread. If we look to my actual post, I said this:

              Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 12.46.33 PM

              Why I was aggravated at the bookstore mentioned is because of the continued fueling of anti-digital and anti-Amazon sentiment. The store in question was gaga over the profit margin of selling used books…but then bashing the venues where we get new sales (where we make money). That, in my mind is where writers were getting shorted.

              Feel free to make money off used. Go secondary market! But don’t then bash how writers get paid for new works. Don’t bash digital and Amazon in your article. This hurts indie writers the most, since indies are not carried in most used bookstores.

              One thing all of us have to be real careful about is that we don’t assume the average consumer is just like US (writers). If pop culture keeps claiming that digital and Amazon is bad for writers, it can eventually have an impact especially when writers are sharing that information.

              • And if a used bookstore profits off the work of writers (yes, second hand) then please don’t hamstring us writing MORE books.

              • I think that readers can – and will – draw their own conclusions. It’s fairly clear from the comment (and I stated it was a comment) what you really said, whether you would now retract it, or not. See, when you say something on the internet, it’s indelible. The first impressions you are granted are precious. Don’t waste them as you have today.

      • Richard Cartwright

        I love author drama. 🙂 I am a big fan of used book stores and mourn the fact that they are in decline. As Seanne Maguire has mentioned, the used book store /thrift store is as close as some can get to having books. I would submit that trad publishing could do worse than adopt the Baen Free Library concept for ebooks and to allow bookstores to “remainder” midlist authors for one or two copies to local libraries. The author is not losing anything and it let’s readers see writers not on the NYT bestseller list.

        • I am a big fan of them too, but I don’t think they need to be in decline. I actually think indie authors could really help out. Technology is getting cheap enough that bookstores could invest in an app. The bookstore then could offer new indie titles for free or 99 cents or $1.99. Good books as a customer loyalty. Say, “Buy five used books and get a digital for $2.99” Then the author makes money off a new sale, the publisher makes money, and there is actually enough margin in digital to offer a commission to the bookstore/clerk.

  4. You may want to correct this because you are linked to me and this is pretty much out and out false information.

  5. Lanette Kauten

    I’m not sure you and I read the same blog post. Can you quote the part where Kristen Lamb said she wants writers to be paid royalties for used book sales?

  6. ShawnMc

    “Kristen Lamb comes down on the side of paying royalties for used book sales.” your thesis IS WHOLLY INCORRECT. She did not say that anywhere in her original blog. In fact, she advocates for used book sales. Please check your facts..

    • As I said to an earlier commenter, welcome to the blog and please see my response to Ms. Lamb’s comment. In my opinion, reading her post several times, she does infer paying authors for used book sales in one form or another. That can include royalties (again, an inference on my part).

  7. And thank you very much for sending all the trolls my way. They aren’t even BOTHERING reading what I said. I’m now getting all kinds of LOVELY comments about why not tax songs on the radio and how we should also make all mom & pop stores pay royalties for every other used good. And how I am an awful greedy person. Wow, wonder where that came from.

    And to think I was your strongest ally 24 hours ago.

    • Lady, I’d never even *heard* of you until a couple of days ago. I have to say I’m not getting the best impression now.

      • I already apologized to Amanda. I have no idea how the trolls lighted on this post. But her original article did not have the caveat that she “inferred” that. She did apologize and add it, but that was after I spent my entire morning shutting down rants from people calling me all kinds of names because I was a jerk for demanding royalties on used sales.

        That has been a bugger to shut down.

        • I did notice when I went to your post that you seem to heavily moderate and only allow comments through that mostly agree with you. I’m glad to see you confirming that you are moderating comments you don’t want to listen to – it means you weren’t lying about having people visit your site.

          I’m still not impressed, however, after reading the blog post and comments. For one thing, your poor grasp of English grammar, capitalization, and punctuation make me thing that you learned to write from the worst kinds of sales copy – and I do know what I’m talking about there, having studied sales and marketing for a decade. May I suggest to you Seth Godin’s books and the concept of Content Marketing? I think you may find it more helpful than vitriolic comments on a blog where your target audience (authors who want to market themselves) reads.

          • First of all, I don’t heavily moderate. I remove people who are only there for the sole purpose of being vicious. I already apologized to Amanda who, by the way, based this entire post off a claim of something I never said. Yes, later she kind of corrected it and YES, I had a bad day and handled it poorly and apologized. If you want to continue to be mad at me, I can’t stop you. I’ve already apologized.

            But this this the stuff I was shutting down all morning. Not people who genuinely disagree with me. I have no problems with people disagreeing. But I DO ask that it at least be something I actually said.

            This is what I moderate out because it is just not healthy for the comments section. There is no debate her just…I dunno. ICK.

            Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 12.59.53 PM

            • If I were you I would look at where the commentors are coming from. And I would consider that perhaps in your very lengthy post, you implied things you didn’t mean to. I sympathize – it is more difficult to write a tight, succinct post than it is to just ramble on and on. However, your overreactions leave a bad taste with first time readers. I’m not angry at you. You are a very useful exemplar in the ongoing lessons we teach here at the MGC about marketing, self-promotion, and what not to do.

            • Bibliotheca Servare

              Please consider reading my comment to your original (first, that is) comment here. (Discount the sarcasm, please. I was feeling irritable) I quote several examples of places where you said things that, in my opinion, make Amanda’s interpretation of your post entirely understandable. Heck, it pissed *me* off, and I was still irritated after reading your first comment here where you stated that Amanda’s interpretation was incorrect. I try to read both the commentary from the linker (in this case, Amanda) *and* the linked article on which they are commentating (tortured sentence structure for 1,000 Alex!) before forming my opinion. I felt (prior to reading your response here disputing that interpretation, but *after* reading the interpreted post) that Amanda’s interpretation was entirely understandable, if not far too generous! *My* interpretation of your post was that you believe anyone who goes to a used bookstore and buys anything by a living author is no better than a internet pirate, unless they buy the book (or a license to read the digital version) new as well! Heck, that’s actually almost (please note the “almost” …damn it, there’s that sarcasm again…*sigh*) a quote! Now, my *revised* understanding is that you *don’t* actually believe that. In which case, I feel I must ask…have you read your post? I mean sure, you explicitly state that you don’t “hate” used bookstores, but…oh shoot…just read my response to your first comment here. This comment is already entirely too long, and I shouldn’t even be writing *it* let alone essentially rewriting that first embarrassingly long comment! Night all! God bless!

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      The official list of allies in order of strength reads 1. Jim Baen 2. Toni Weisskopf 3. Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette 4. Vox Day 5. James May…

    • Ms. Lamb, I have not sent anyone to your post except through the link. Perhaps, instead of calling them trolls and saying they haven’t read what you wrote, you look back and see if what they say could be inferred from your words.

      In fact, if you want to talk about sending folks over to comment, it looks like you have done what you are accusing me of. Now, I will repeat, once more and for the last time, I edited the original post to show that I inferred something from your blog. Which is what I did. I have no problem admitting I may not have been clear when I originally wrote something. That is called accountability. But I will not retract what I said.

      1. I inferred something based on your post, the entirety of your post.
      2. I in no way meant to harm you in any way — something I’m not sure you can say based on the vitriolic nature of your comments here.
      3. I have repeatedly answered you and your fans and pointed out the edit to the post and yet you continue to come back and attack.
      4. Instead of getting on your high horse and attacking, why don’t you actually create a dialog here? If you do, you will find you will get a much better reception.

    • So your responses here provoked my curiosity. I went over to Amazon and looked for you. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be an Amazon Author page set up for someone of your name, strange for a person claiming to be a social media maven. So I’m not sure which, if any, of the books are yours. I’m assuming this is one? http://www.amazon.com/Kristen-Lamb/e/B00QTER540/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

    • Freddie_mac

      Hmm, I now have no incentive to even look up your books. Well done.

    • If I may interrupt what’s turned into a slap fest, both of you have a point. Kristen, you didn’t demand used book sellers pay a percentage to the author; Amanda, you didn’t direct trolls to Ms. Lamb’s spot. Kristen, Amanda apologized to you. Amanda, Kristens linked article really doesn’t read like a call for used book sellers to pay royalties. That authors lose royalties on used book sales, yes; That used book sellers should pay royalties to authors, no.

      This does get into an interesting point. Yet it seems to me that the initial buyer has payed the royalties up-front. It’s like a customer paying for a line extension to run power umpteen miles to their house, only to have another customer connect to that same line later. And unlike e-books, duplication of hardbacks isn’t exactly trivial, so while it is possible for pirated bound books, it’s not an exact situation as with a pirated e-book.

      For instance, exactly how many sales per copy will an author lose through used books? I’m the proud owner of two CRC “Rubber Books,” both used. I’m the second owner. The same for my set of Popular Mechanics books. For some works there would be higher churn, in particular I’m thinking of romance and, yes, science fiction paperbacks. But there should still be a limit to actual turn-over. If you want to say that it cuts an author’s royalties by half, or by a third, that’s probably close to the mark. But it’s not infinite.

      I also add out what Dave Freer has observed right here on this blog: Those who pirate books tend not to be the ones to buy them in the first place, which means he essentially has not lost more sales by going DRM-free. We might make the same observation about used book sales. There’s a reason I bought those two CRC books used, just as there’s a reason I haven’t bought an e-copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or Reaper Man. Some of us aren’t that well healed. Thus the question is how many who buy used books would otherwise buy new ones in the first place? I suspect it’s closer to Dave Freer’s observation on piracy.

      • I think that used bookstores DO help authors…if they are not bashing the places we are paid for NEW. That was the point of why I was upset.

        Exposure for the author does no good if out of the other side of your mouth you are saying digital and Amazon are bad.

        What I was trying to get writers to do is to be careful HOW they promoted used bookstores. If they do promote them, make sure they educate readers because readers don’t always know how best to support us. They don’t understand our industry. If they DO promote a used bookstore, make sure to tell readers, “Hey, if you like it, I don’t get paid that way. If you want me to be able to buy more, please buy something new because that is how I make royalties.”

        NOT that used books should have royalties. That is a ridiculous idea. Someone paid for that. The seller has a right to sell it and a good secondary market is good for all.

        Khaled Hosseini (author of “The Kite Runner”) tells a story about his mother buying all the books she could find in his home country of Iran. But she didn’t understand those were pirated books and that her son would make no money of her beautiful gesture of support.

        • You probably shouldn’t have equated used bookstores with pirates then. It makes you look bad.

          “Know who else claims they are doing writers a favor by letting readers “discover” new authors on the cheap?

          Pirates.”
          “Some site offering their books and they don’t get a royalty. Burn them! Take down the site! They are stealing! Oh, but when a used bookstore does the exact same thing?

          It’s okay. Because, well, it’s paper. It’s “culture.”

          *head explodes*

          Why? That pirate used bookstore gave you “exposure.” Shouldn’t you be happy that a reader could…”discover” you. That pirate used bookstore is doing you a favor really.”

      • JLawson

        The Baen Free Library turned out to be a great means of getting more people to buy Baen titles… and roundly derided when it was initially started.

        So you could ‘pirate’ a book, and if you found the author’s work to your liking, buy either an epub version or paper. And I’ve thrown maybe $100 or more to various E-ARC versions of stuff I’ve been waiting for, not to mention buying hardback copies of E-ARCs.

        But the CRC Rubber book? Yeah. I needed one for a story I was writing, simply to understand what it was like. Didn’t see the sense in buying new, found one a few editions old on EBay. The shipping cost three times what I paid for the book.

    • JLawson

      They already tax songs on the radio. It’s called ASCAP. Every time you hear a song, a royalty’s getting paid… supposedly.

      • Yes, there is that. But the guy/gal whatever wen on and on in a bash-Kristen session and I just didn’t feel it was a healthy debate.
        Like this guy. Been shutting this stuff down all morning. Sigh.

        Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 12.56.10 PM

        • If you’ve been “Shutting this stuff down all morning”, then I strongly suggest you go back and look at your original post to see why so many commenters are drawing similar conclusions that don’t agree with your original intention.

          What we mean to say is not always what the audience ends up hearing, and when you get a strong audience reaction like this, it’s a good time to write a clarification postscript, instead of trying to correct or silence everyone who did not divine the original intent out of the article. I recommend you get a good mocha, take a nice long walk, or otherwise burn through the stress, frustration, and adrenaline. Then realize that these readers are clearly cuing off something in your post, but they’re attacking what they read into it, not attacking you personally – no matter how it feels, and how it’s worded.

          When you know what happened, you’ll not only know how not to have such misunderstandings happen again, but you’ll also understand better how to communicate with your audience. This can, if handled right, lead to people walking away going “Well, that was a goat rope, but the author’s not so bad”, and you’ll have increased name recognition with a neutral outlook from readers. The angriest customers, when handled correctly, can often turn into the most loyal.

          On the other hand, if you respond as though they are attacking you personally, with attacks and censorship, you’re going to leave a lot of people who will remember your name in a bad light. This can and will impact future sales. I don’t recommend it.

          • I actually wrote a post the next day explicating this further and being clearer.

            I don’t believe in going back after the fact and changing around my post to make me look better, though sometimes it would be easier.

            In the next posts I explained how writers are paid and how if we don’t at some point buy new how specifically it can hurt authors. For instance, not selling out a print run and therefore not getting another contract. There are authors who land three-book deals, but if book one doesn’t sell enough? The publisher owns the other two books and can still say, “Nope, not publishing any more books. You didn’t sell enough.”

            • And original commenters were fine with the post. Today I got a bunch of commenters who simply wanted to bash. They didn’t bother reading the initial post. Why would they read a follow up?

            • You REALLY have no clue where you are, do you?

            • I don’t believe in going back after the fact and changing around my post to make me look better, though sometimes it would be easier.

              When I’m discussing something on a forum that allows editing posts, if I discover I need to clarify a point, I do something like the following:

              “Blah blah, original point that wasn’t entirely clear. UPDATE: Clarification of original point.”

              If the post is really long, I might also do:

              NOTE: See update at the bottom, since my original point wasn’t very clear. Original post follows: Blah blah, original point that wasn’t entirely clear. UPDATE: Clarification of original point.”

              By doing it that way, you can leave your original post entirely as-is, preserving a record of what you originally wrote. (Which is commendable, BTW — when newspapers take down their original online story and replace it with a new version, with no acknowledgement in the new version that the original was anything other than what it was, it always makes me feel suspicious. “What was in the original that they’re trying to hide?”) BUT by mentioning up top that there’s an update at the bottom of the post, and then posting the update clearly marked, you also allow anyone who links to that article to understand what you meant.

              Posting a new article to clarify, while a good idea, isn’t enough. Because if many people are misunderstanding your original article, they’re going to say, “Well, this author is completely wrong, and it’s not worth reading anything else she’s written.” And so they won’t click on to the next article where you clarify.

              It’s important to preserve your original text for the record. But it’s also important to ensure that the original, much-misunderstood article has a clarification somewhere in the article itself so that people who only read that one article will have a chance to see the clarification. Using clearly-marked updates at the end (and, if necessary, a brief mention at the beginning) is the best way to achieve both goals.

    • I just read your original post (twice, in fact) with my slightly dusty tech editor’s hat on. The post is about twice as long as it needs to be, it rambles a great deal, and it leaves the reader with conflicting impressions of what you’re actually trying to say. “Pay the writer!” Ok, I get that. You say it often enough so that I doubt anyone reading it *won’t* get that.

      Now, however, what is a typical reader to make of this?

      “If we writers go around cheering how AWESOME used bookstores are? How the heck are readers going to know they are benevolently gutting our careers?”

      Unrolling the logic here, it certainly sounds like you’re against the selling of used books, because selling used books guts our careers. Or this:

      “Some site offering their books and they don’t get a royalty. Burn them! Take down the site! They are stealing! Oh, but when a used bookstore does the exact same thing?”

      Again, unrolling the logic here, what I see is a contention that selling used books constitutes stealing. So used bookstores are thieves.

      “No. And again, let’s keep the debate clear here because I can already hear the blogs now, “Kristen Lamb hates bookstores!” No. Pay attention.”

      I am paying attention. I retired after being a technical editor for many years. Paying attention is what technical editors do. What I’m seeing in your post is the following: You love used bookstores and you patronize them, but they are gutting our careers, and they’re thieves. This makes no sense whatsoever, and I’m not the least bit surprised that people are misunderstanding you, and getting annoyed at you.

      I will also agree with Cedar that you’re not leaving the best impression with people here. The Internet is forever. Be careful.

      • Yes the post was long. Also had pneumonia while writing it. Plenty of people understood what I was saying, though yes sadly there was confusion (blogged about that fact, too and how to minimize confusion using myself as a cautionary tale/example).

        Maybe it was a good thing I was unclear. It has generated a lot of blogs and discussions about writers being paid. Other bloggers could step in and untangle, expound, or express their POV. As a blogger, often your job is to start the conversation.

        And again, you are taking lines out of context of the whole. I have no real idea what you want me to do here. Not being belligerent just really no clue what you want me to say.

        • The context of the whole essay is “Writers should get paid.” The passages I quoted severely muddy those waters. What I’d like you to say is that you’ll go back, edit the contradictions out of your essay, and write important essays with a little more logic and a little less emotion. That’s all.

          • I would but if I post something I own it and going back and “fixing” it is cheating to me. I have to own good bad and ugly. If I write a future post on it I will be clearer.

            • I would but if I post something I own it and going back and “fixing” it is cheating to me.

              Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. Some view of “not cheating” which is purely a creation of your own mind somehow trumps clearly and effectively saying what you actually mean rather than something that many people misinterpret (but which gives you the opportunity to go out and say “you lie” in high dudgeon)?

              Is that really the direction your writing moral compass points?

              • If changing a post is an issue, there’s a thing known as “Addendum,” and things known as strike-through, and things known as italics and noting the changes.

                Just saying.

                • I’m coming to this waaaay late, after seeing the comment count blow up. And when I read of the.. clarification in the next day’s post it seemed clear that an addendum saying there was such would be a Good Idea.

                  But now I do a quick web search and find the ‘Social Media Jedi’ term… but folks around here tend to use blasters and keep problems at range, it seems. Laser-swords are so 1977. }:o)

  8. Pingback: Sticker Shock – Cedar Writes

  9. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Watching video of members of the Screen Actors Guild promotes rape culture.

  10. Gina Marie

    On a more pragmatic note, a lot of the mail order bookstores charge a penny per book — and exist on the profit of charging $3 for shipping that costs $2. And no matter how you slice that penny up between all of the parties that might lay claim to it, it comes to very small potatoes.

  11. Uncle Lar

    Of course if we’re going to bash used book sales we next must take on the real elephant in the room, public libraries.
    Oh the horror, the humanity, for an author to watch their intellectual property be lent out to the people absolutely free. How dare they! Tear them down, burn them all to the ground!
    Given that inevitably someone fails to detect my subtle sarcastic wit, please afix a \sarc to the above.
    As to Ms. Lamb, overreact much? Amanda made an observation based on her impressions of your article. When you quite shrilly and vehemently protested she apologized and modified her statements. You doubled down with further belligerent comments and got some of your buds to pile on as well. Perhaps it never occurred to you that when you publish an opinion for public consumption you open yourself up to challenge from opposing viewpoints. As for MGC being the source of your troll infestation, not hardly. Don’t flatter yourself. We’re veterans of the flame wars here and had we focused attention on you there would not be one scorched stone resting upon another left.

    • Ms Lamb has indeed expressed her opinion of libraries over on her blog already, so we know how she feels already. https://www.flickr.com/photos/60868359@N03/24377045942/in/dateposted-public/

      • I do feel it is a sacred cow in need of tipping. We don’t question it or how it is run and it’s an institution that is not favorable to indie authors. Would you like it to remain that way? Biased in favor of traditional publishing?

        • As I was a librarian not that long ago, I can assure you that the libraries are not, in fact, biased in favor of traditional publishing. I was the person in charge of setting up our digital lending program, and finding that we could stock it with much more affordable indie books was a very good thing. We bought any books requested, and promoted local authors with signings and had plans for writing workshops. Now that I have moved, I find that my local library is just as supportive. I would suggest that you look into becoming involved with your library rather than attempting to overthrow it sight unseen.

          • Cedar, please stop assuming the entire world is like yours. Libraries are governed by the areas they are in. Fantastic that your library was supportive. The libraries in my area are not supportive at ALL. They are HORRIBLE to writers and I would like that changed. And please stop assuming I am not involved with my library because now you are really starting to look like a belligerent troll intent on bullying. Amanda write the article. She claimed I said something I didn’t. I got pissed. I apologized and she apologized and now we are trying to have a conversation that doesn’t involve me being insulted every comment. Rather the topics instead of the ad hominem attacks. Because if we a really are just going to continue with the attacks, then no one really cares about his dialogue anyway.

            I ran a local writer’s group for seven years out of my library. We donated a thousand dollars a year and countless books to them. We also held all kinds of book drives and money drives. So maybe I DO know what I am talking about. You’re out of line assuming I am making an opinion sight unseen.

            • My response was to your statement that you don’t know how it is run. As I was an insider in one that was located in New England, and have experience with libraries literally from coast-to-coast and in Alaska, I responded with that insight. I don’t know where yours is, nor does it matter. It is very sad that your area isn’t supportive of you. I am not being belligerent, and I am certainly not making ad hominem attacks, merely responding to the words you write. If I were to deduce below the surface of those words, I would wonder if the library wasn’t supportive of you because of your own belligerence, after my experience with you today. As for other comments? I’d rather be writing, and will.

              • I never said the library didn’t support ME. I said it didn’t support writers. I ended up having to move the location over various issues of how OTHER authors were treated.

                But you just inferred all that. Right?

                And ever since I apologized have not been belligerent. I’ve been fending off attack after attack after attack from you. Frankly, the only thing you seem to have missed is that I dress badly.

                You rightfully called me out in the beginning and I owned it. I apologized heartily to Amanda and took responsibility. But then you went after my writing, my grammar, my punctuation, you insinuated I only approve people that agree with me. You posted all kinds of phrases out of context. Then I am attacking libraries and I am trying to topple them without even knowing how they are run and NOW…my library doesn’t support me because of my attitude. Really? Wow. I also have really funky hair when it gets humid and my thighs are chubby 😛

                • Rhiain

                  Seriously, Kristen, your whinging isn’t exactly endearing you to anyone here. You came here to contest Amanda’s point and it’s been downhill since, even with the apologies from your side and hers. These aren’t attacks so much as a) questioning your claims about certain avenues in which authors can sell books, and b) responding to your points, your assumptions, etc etc. We all have different experiences regarding how selling a book can generate a sale for an author; there’s no need for the self-entitled “You disagree with my experience, therefore you are attacking me!” crap.

                  • I am trying to debate the used bookstore thing, though it’s been a struggle for a number of reasons 1) the thesis was incorrect (I never claimed writers should be paid royalties on used books and 2) I started off very wrong by getting angry. Amanda then opened up the floor and asked me to continue a dialogue, which I have been working very hard to do.

                    If y’all want to debate that then fine. Want to pick on my grammar, and capitalization and my relationship with libraries? That’s a non sequitur. And “I would suggest that you look into becoming involved with your library rather than attempting to overthrow it sight unseen” is not helpful. It isn’t debate. It didn’t even have to do with the blog. It was a photo comment from a thread and out of context and I answered it.

                • CarlS

                  “I never said the library didn’t support ME. I said it didn’t support writers.”

                  Are you a writer? Or not?

            • Rhiain

              An ad hominem attack would involve insults and insults. Please look up logical fallacies before implying one was used.

              If institutions like libraries and bookstores are sacred cows, how would you tip them, anyway?

              • I call them sacred cows because people get emotional when you do ANY criticizing. The problem is, if we don’t criticize, we can’t fix why it isn’t working as well as it could. There is a way (especially with technology being so inexpensive and user-friendly) that you could actually make life better and far more profitable for writers, publishers and bookstore owners (used and new).

                Bookstores can solve a HUGE problem for writers (discoverability). In turn, writers can solve a HUGE problem for bookstores (discoverability and lackluster profit margins). By working together, the readers get better books, cheaper books and publishers, authors and booksellers make more money. Booksellers can make digital stores more manageable and it would even be relatively easy to set up a way that book clerks could earn sales commission. This would reward the well-read employee.

                And yes, I have a way this could be done, but from the tone of the comments, I feel the opportunity to share that has passed.

    • Lanette Kauten

      Where did her buds pile on? I must have missed that.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Unless I am mistaken, and I’m hardly here enough to be certain, you and ShawnMc are new here. When two additional new people show up here echoing someone from elsewhere, it is reasonable to suspect that they are followers. Like how Glyer seems to send over white supremacist trolls.

        • Come on, Bob. They might not be followers. They might be sockpuppets!

          • Lanette Kauten

            Yay! I’m a sockpuppet!

            Oh, I Googled that, and it’s not as cute as it sounds. Eh. It’s, not accurate but still a cute name.

            • You had to google it? What? You discovered the internet yesterday? (Rolls eyes.) You also are not as cute as you think you sound.

              • Yes, I had to Google sockpuppet. Not every slang term is well known to everyone. But why are you acting mean to me, Sarah? I have not offended anyone on here. It seems to be a fun page with close camaraderie, but I’m not sure if I’m welcome here if I can’t have fun and make cute comments as a playful way of answering an accusation.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  We are a rowdy bunch. I don’t know that there is a single one of us that hasn’t gotten into long involved debates with others of us.

                  Spend enough time arguing like that and people start grading.

                  I’ve been jerked up short for doing worse than you have done here. I think that would have had to have been during the Bush administration.

        • I thought the same thing and was in the wrong 😦 . I got a slew of trolls this morning and assumed they came from here. I have since been educated 😀 . Apparently trolls abound and I don’t really need to create fake accounts to defend myself.

    • When I was originally upset the blog was not an “impression.” It was a statement of something I never said. The “inference” was later added. Feel free to disagree with me. It’s great grounds for debate. No one piled on. I sent no followers here. I reacted strongly because frankly it was untrue that I claimed that. I got emotional. I made a mistake. I apologized. Just like Amanda made a mistake and she apologized. We’ve both seemingly moved on from that.

      • Then called that mistake a lie.

        Sorry, but there is no excuse for such behavior. You burned a lot of bridges with that one, since a lot of pro-indie folks come here and are usually looking for new authors to read. Disagreeing with what Amanda thought you said about used book stores was never enough to piss any of us off.

        Calling Amanda a liar? Yeah, that’ll do it. Every. Single. Time.

      • Oooo look, it’s an AUTHOR. Wow I”m sooooo impressed. Oh wait, half the commenters in here are authors.

        Are you really so insecure Krissy, that you simply MUST tell everyone you’re an author.

        *snort*

        • If you’re lucky, Pat, she’ll tell you all about how Amanda’s comments were “libelous” too.

          I suspect you’ll laugh as hard at that as I did.

          • If I had a nickel for every time someone had thrown THAT term around without understanding what it entails …

            Oh, Krissy? Yeah when Journalists do it it’s libel, when civilians like Amanda do it, it’s Slander, and the standard for THAT is even higher than libel.

            • In all fairness, because it’s a blog, the courts would treat it like libel. Trust me on this one.

              However, it’s also not even remotely close to libelous in any way, shape, or form.

              She reminds me of the HuffPo columnist that tried to threaten me with libel because I called him an idiot. He REALLY got mad when I told him I wasn’t worried because truth was an absolute defense in libel cases.

        • I am not now, and have never been (as far as I consider myself, anyway) an author. Or AUTHOR. Or Author. Though there have been a couple recent calls to change that. Moo.

  12. Oh, so much ado about nothing. This reminds me of the woman a few years back who did ten posts answering me because I said that she was fortunate (and in a tiny class) for being given enough advance to travel to distant countries. This was apparently an insult (search me if I know how) and we fiction writers are morons who “just make up stuff.” And also indie was destroying the world and I was an indie author (at the time I wasn’t even hybrid.) She and about twenty friends/sock puppets caused much excitement on my blog, then she disappeared and as far as I can tell remains so.
    Only newbies and idiots defend themselves against this sort of thing. You didn’t call her racist or sexist or say anything that could end her career, Amanda. Her behavior, OTOH tells me she’s more interested in “defending” herself than in actually writing. Noted.
    Oh, how I wish for the blog battles of old. Is it me or have the trolls lost all flavor? Alas, sadly, we live in much diminished times.

    • The trolls of olden times never did pass their expertise on to the next generation. Such a shame.

    • Just because someone disagrees with you and calls you out when you publish something false does not make that person a troll. Did I handle it the best? No. Was I upset? Yes. The original post was out-and-out untrue and I was mad. But trolls add nothing to the conversation. They simply rant and spew anger. They don’t calm down or listen to reason and they certainly don’t apologize when it is pointed out they are in the wrong.

      • And everyone knows that trolls don’t have genitals so you can’t castrate them. They sporulate like fungus 😛 .

        • I had never heard of this person before today. All I know about her is from her posts here.

          How that might affect my buying choices in the future is left as an exercise for the reader.

          • Yahoo

            Ditto and I’m really grateful to see the guidance in her screen name “Author so-and-so.” But I’m still confused – is this the same Author who wrote two books on social media? If so, why is the Author with us today behaving like a nitwit? Wouldn’t an Author of said books on social media know better than that? Or is there another Author out there with the same name? Not clear at all.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      You didn’t call her racist or sexist or say anything that could end her career, Amanda.

      I don’t know what her business interests are. I don’t know her history. If her statement about having been an ally was rashly made, she may be ignorant of the implications it would have regarding certain controversies. *cough* De Bello Catullico *cough*

      • I think she’s pretty much ignorant of all implications. I’m torn between amused and exasperated and wondering if I have the energy for a gif post tomorrow. 😀

        • Uncle Lar

          I does love your gif posts, but what with you having at least two buns in the oven at the moment perhaps conserving your strength would be the better part of valor.

      • I felt attacked in the post. Then I was (before the correction) in the crosshairs. That was not an attack or threat. It was “Hey! A day ago I was your biggest cheerleader and now I am getting flamed and misquoted and you are sending me trolls? WHAT? I am on YOUR SIDE!” What I am not really understanding is why writers are so intent on tearing another writer apart. I balked at Amanda. I overreacted but I didn’t blog about her. Didn’t send a legion of people after her. We already have to fight the world. We have to fight friends and family and an industry that often doesn’t think it needs to pay us. Is trashing another author the best use of time? Because believe it or not, I am still on all of YOUR sides.

        • All right, I’ve been busy trying to write but my phone keeps blowing up with notifications from here, so let me see if I can address some of the points you’ve raised, Kristen. I will quote from your comments since I am taking from several of them to try to keep everything together.

          “sort of like this article which published a lie about me”. To begin with, as we have both noted before, I clarified and apologized. However, I have to take issue with the claim that I published a lie about you. I misspoke – or miswrote – and clarified. There was no intent to misrepresent what you said. Hence, no lie. I suggest you reconsider your statement post haste.

          “It has become a profession that is becoming almost impossible to earn a living wage”. Citation please? The only place I have seen this sort of statement has been from a source (Author’s Guild?) that is very pro traditional publishing. Indie writers can and are making a living from their work. There are several of us, at the very least, who follow this blog or who contribute to it doing so.

          I’ll leave aside the comment about assassinating your character. I think I’ve already dealt with that sort of thing above.

          Now for your comment that we “have to be real careful about is that we don’t assume the average consumer is just like US (writers). If pop culture keeps claiming that digital and Amazon is bad for writers, it can eventually have an impact especially when writers are sharing that information.” Here is another point where we disagree. Most readers simply don’t pay that much attention to the industry. They don’t know who is published by what publisher. They don’t know what the business aspects of the industry are and they aren’t going to be swayed by arguments against Amazon. As long as they get the best buy and service from Amazon, that is where they are going to shop. When there is a viable alternative, then Bezos and company will have to worry.

          “Exposure for the author does no good if out of the other side of your mouth you are saying digital and Amazon are bad.” Yes and no. It looks bad for the store doing so but most folks simply look at such statements made by one retailer as the way of doing business. Walmart doesn’t go about extolling the virtue of Target. They are competitors. The average Joe on the street knows that.

          “I do feel it [libraries] is a sacred cow in need of tipping. We don’t question it or how it is run and it’s an institution that is not favorable to indie authors. Would you like it to remain that way? Biased in favor of traditional publishing?” This is one of those absolute statements that drive me crazy. Not all libraries are like this. As for them being “biased”, not really. It is just that traditional publishing has a mechanism in place that makes it easy for them to get books from them. However, a number of libraries are very open to not only stocking indie books, both in print and digital formats, but also in supporting their local indie authors with events.

          “Bookstores can solve a HUGE problem for writers (discoverability). In turn, writers can solve a HUGE problem for bookstores (discoverability and lackluster profit margins).” What? How do writers make bookstores more discoverable, much less improve their “lackluster profit margins”? To increase a bookstore’s discoverability, the writers whose books the store is stocking have to be at such a level of demand that people will go looking for them. As for increasing profits, until indie authors have a larger section of the print market or we see the end of the current big box purchasing contracts, there is very little an author can do to increase a bookstore’s profits. The reality is that not only are bookstores paying for stock but they have other expenses that the product has little impact on – employees and those related costs, rent, utilities, promotion, upkeep and that oh so nasty little clause so many leases include where a commercial entity has to pay over to the landlord a percentage of their sales.

          “Booksellers can make digital stores more manageable and it would even be relatively easy to set up a way that book clerks could earn sales commission. This would reward the well-read employee.” And take away from the profit of the store.

          “And in journalism, what she originally posted is libelous.” Okay, now you are starting to get on my last nerve. Here is the definition of libel: “Defamatory statement published through any manner or media. If intended to simply bring contempt, disrespect, hatred, or ridicule to a person or entity it is likely a civil breach of law. However, if it causes mayhem or breach of peace, it can be a criminal breach of law. Yet, again, if the statement is newsworthy, even if defamatory, proof of benefit to the public is required to avoid criminal complaint.” First, it has to be inflammatory. Second, there has to be intent. Third, if the person is a public figure – ie, an author who puts themselves out on social media and elsewhere – the rules are less stringent. Now, this is your warning to back off and watch what you say. You are the one who keeps slinging mud in my direction. You are the one who keeps bringing up how I “lied” and now libeled you. I will repeat. Stop and stop now.

          “Is trashing another author the best use of time? Because believe it or not, I am still on all of YOUR sides.” Funny, I’m sure not feeling it, especially after seeing you accuse me of lying and committing libel. You asked why some folks here are “tearing another writer apart”? Maybe because of the way you keep trying to do that to me. I apologized and I added the edit to clarify. You don’t have to like it but you do need to step back and consider what you are saying here. There was no intent to do harm. I reported on what I inferred from your post. End of story.

          • Libel my ass. I’m a journalist. To rise to the level of libel the statement A. must be provably untrue and B. have been made with actual malice.

            IOW, you ignorant twit, First Amanda would have had to have deliberatly lied about you, and THEN have done it with the intent to defame or materially harm your enjoyment of life or livelihood.

            Good luck proving THAT.

          • Amanda, I have not meant to get on your last nerve. I was responding to what others had said regarding the initial interaction we had. Initially, your post popped up in tandem with a bunch of trollish rants hitting my blog at the same time. Since the premise was based off something I had not said and suddenly I was getting trolls, because apparently in our world when someone claims you are demanding that authors get paid royalties off used books? That is very inflammatory. At the time I got angry I mistakenly assumed they had come from you (intent). I didn’t realize they hadn’t. And, in fairness, you did initially publish something untrue. At the time, I didn’t realize it was a mistake. And I get that you corrected your mistake and apologized. But this entire article is still balanced on a thesis I never supported in the first place. I still don’t support royalties off secondary markets so I am not even sure how I am supposed to have a dialogue other than what had already begun in the comments when I clicked over here. Defending myself from people calling me a jerk for demanding royalties on used books.

            And I have not continued to tear you apart. I wholly apologized and have worked to do what you asked of me…create a dialogue. And in working to create that dialogue have gotten called a lot of names, but you know what? I earned it. It’s my penance.

            As far as my solutions, how would a bookstore adding in digital cut into profit? Digital has a much larger margin to work with. And digital sales could be done as a benefit of “with purchase.” People are always going to want paper so a bookstore helping writers and publishers and also making money isn’t a formula for bankruptcy. It gives value added to the used bookstore and actually gives a way that clerks could earn more than the minimum wage.

            • Then why, well after it was understood that it was a mistake, did you refer to it as “libelous” to me in a comment?

              Or do words not have meanings where you live?

              • Because we were referring to the original event before I knew she had made a mistake and before there was any effort to correct it.

                • At 3:19 you posted, “And in journalism, what she originally posted is libelous”. Again, it is not. You are continuing to try to emphasize something that has been explained and for which any misunderstanding has been apologized for. That is not entering into a discussion. It is making false representations.

                • Because we were referring to the original event

                  Which still does not reach the level of libel as has been pointed out to you repeatedly.

                • So, you’re just clueless in general?

                  Kristen, I’m going to give you some advice, one author to another. Shut. Up.

                  You called Amanda’s comments “libelous”. They weren’t. You’ve had three people call you on it, including two people who make their living in journalism. You were wrong on every level, and yet you double down by claiming her comments were libelous.

                  Let’s rehash this for you. Libel requires the individual to both knowingly publish a falsehood AND to do some with malicious intent. NEITHER condition existed, and you don’t comprehend that you are pretending to be knowledgeable about this industry while not comprehending such a basic thing. You present yourself as “Author Kristen Lamb”, but you know what we’re seeing? We’re seeing a straight out rookie who knows jack about anything.

                  Apologize for accusing Amanda of libel, which is different than accusing her of lying, and stop digging that hole any deeper. Frankly, between what you’ve said here and that rambling, half-illiterate “explanation” you posted today, I see no reason to believe you know anything about writing, social media, or publishing. It’s up to you how you correct that understanding, or whether you even care.

                  However, let’s just say my assessment isn’t unique among the folks here.

            • I’m sorry, Kristen, but when you state, long after the correction has been made that I libeled you, you stepped over the line. First, because I did issue the apology and did make the clarification and second because it does not meet the standard of libel. You may see it as only responding to what others said but you are also reinforcing your original comments.

              Yes, digital has a larger margin to work with but you are missing a lot of things here. Your comment may, in your mind, be addressing indie books but it is broad enough that it appears you mean indie and trad alike. Then there is the issue of how are these stores going to implement digital sales, much less buying digital and print together? Is that used bookstore going to purchase the digital book and then assign it the purchaser? Or are they going to use something like Amazon Associates accounts (which aren’t available nationwide due to tax considerations)? Or are they going to make agreements with individual authors and, if so, how is that to be implemented? Just food for thought.

              • What I might suggest is something like this. Apps are getting cheaper to create. A bookstore then could partner with individual authors or smaller presses that are a bit more willing to take on a radical idea.

                The bookstore’s app then offers a digital sale and the bookstore gets a percentage of the digital sale. For instance, I know Event Brite has it where people who promote your event can earn a royalty for promoting it. Why not take that idea to the next level since that is what the digital age is all about? Reinventing and making ideas better.

                So long as we are all spread out and separate we ALL are up against this monster of “discoverability” and what happens is authors struggle to make an income, publishers struggle to stay out of the red and bookstores struggle to stay open. Meanwhile the poor reader is just struggling to find good book in the din.

                We start working together and everyone can benefit. Piggyback off some existing technology and merge it with ideas like Event Brite.

                The app could be put on a smartphone and be used for promotion for the bookstore. Buy so many books and earn a discounted digital book or a free book (of course the free new book is something a publisher is wanting to give for free for promotion).

                • Honestly? The last thing I want when I’m in my bookhappy state in a bookstore is an app bugging me to buy stuff, especially since I’ve made a deliberate choice to shop for paper books instead of convenient ebooks. Apps must be useful to me to make it to my phone, not useful for marketers.

        • Yes, because all allies chalk mistakes up to lies and then continue to claim the comments were “libelous”.

          Frankly, none of us here give supposed allies a pass because they are allegedly allies. If I say something stupid on my blog, I suspect Amanda, Cedar, and Sarah will be among the first to tell me to remove my head from the my southernmost orifice.

          The fact that you expect a pass for your behavior because you’re supposedly an ally…

          For the record, you MIGHT want to do a bit of research before you claim to be our allies. There are people out there that will despise you the instant they think you’re allies with any of us, and for pretty much no other reason than you’re supposedly one of our “allies”.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Because believe it or not, I am still on all of YOUR sides.

          The old hands here mostly know me a lot better than you probably do. They would likely hesitate to give me so sweeping an endorsement as you seem to have done here.

        • Dear Madam,
          We’ve been called neo-nazis, reprehensible, white supremacists, racists and homophobic in a lot of national publications. (Not only unfounded but with not a glimmer of truth, considering some of us ain’t technically white and anyone calling me homophobic has never read me.) A) That didn’t rise to the level of libel, because we couldn’t PROVE harm from it. (Though EW did retract, because they were sailing mighty close to the wind.) B) THAT is the standard that we apply to “Thrashing another author.”
          Amanda wasn’t thrashing you, she retracted immediately, and you’ve been merrily thrashing yourself since. And the sockpuppet who claims not to know what one is (At this time. In this place. She might as well have a sign on her/his/its forehead saying “clueless”) isn’t helping.
          Also, I advise you to take Bob in earnest. Calling yourself our ally will attract our enemies, and they ain’t too bright. If you want to see what trolling is, or to really be thrashed in national publications, keep it up.
          A propos nothing, do you realize today is national popcorn day? Fact.

    • Trollish wit seems to have faded out. I suspect texting and Twitter have reduced a lot of people’s ability to long-form troll beyond the absolute (terse) basics. OTOH I recall the Blog Wars, so it could be that all the witty or senior trolls have died off.

      • Another issue with true trollish wit is that it’s work and requires thought. Most modern trolls seem to troll to AVOID work and thought with a predictable decrease in their effectiveness and entertainment value.

    • “just make up stuff.”

      And history is easy, it’s all old stuff.

  13. One of the reasons people come here is to discuss their work, right? If not, that’s an unintended consequence, since one of my continuously moving goals is to read and review everything that shows up here. And yet, I find that taking advantage of that opportunity to gain new fans seems to be not important to the person who proudly includes ‘Author’ in her name.
    A couple of months ago, two of the contributors were aggravated by a work which included something like ‘wibble-wobbled across the sky.’ I disagreed, not finding that particularly toxic, and here’s what happened: both of those authors wrote more books; I read the books and reviewed them; I read two books by the wibble-wobble author and reviewed them; I was not successful in getting a copy of the wibble-wobble book to review.
    And there was NO name-calling, NO angry rhetoric, and NO alienation. That’s almost always the way it works. At least, until someone who hasn’t spent much time in this playground comes in and wants a different set of rules.
    Alas.
    Based on the comments above, I have serious doubt that my lack of familiarity with the person known as Author Something Something or her works will ever change.

  14. One side of this that hasn’t come up is the side of the used book guy. Since I did that for a while on Ebay about ten years ago, I have some thoughts on that. First of all there’s not a lot of money in used books. One reason is that for every book that sells you have to buy four or five that don’t. And there’s no way to tell in advance which ones are going to sell. The used book dealer has to do business the way most places do rather than just being a shelf for the traditional publishers like B&N is. Also the dealer for books has to go out and find them himself one way or another. Or have a brick and mortar store that people come to and sell him books. Then the bookseller has to advertise someplace for the books he has. That may be Ebay Amazon or a mailing. nobody gets rich selling used books and most people do it because they love books and keeping them out of the trash can most books are heading for when the dealer buys them. And since when has ever been that the author has perpetual right to a book simply because they put the words in it? This is a bad idea that’s come over from software and it stinks there too.

  15. I read enough of the original article to know that a) I couldn’t finish it if I didn’t want my BP to go through the roof

    I have worked in a library before and my father co-owned a bookstore for several years. As far as I am concerned, she is calling us thieves, something I take great offense to. The Authors were paid for those books. What I chose to do with my property is *my* business. If want to give it to the library or trade it in at my local used bookstore I have that right.

    What she is apparently advocating is single user books. Sorry, that is being bias against people who cannot afford “new” books. And if that is the only way for someone like me to find new authors/books, then I will not be able to find them or tell anyone about them.

    b) that’s one writer I won’t be looking for. Since she doesn’t want her books in the library and/or used bookstores, and there is where I do most of my browsing, I won’t see them. And with that attitude, I would not be inclined to spend what little spare money I had to support her.

    c) Libraries do a lot more than lend out books. Closing them down would do a lot of harm to low income families. Guess she never thought of that with her “sacred cow” comment.

    • What I keep coming back to is that even if we look at each used book purchase and each book checked out of a library as a loss of royalties, it remains a finite lost. I doubt even cheaply bound books, those most likely for repeat resale, have a very long life before they’re simply not salable. Combine this with the simple fact that not every book that’s sold will wind up for resale, and this theoretical loss of royalties is even smaller.

      Now consider that used book stores make a low-cost means of discovering an author you might like. That number will vary, but it does exist. This theoretical loss of royalties then can be regarded as advertising cost.

      When it comes to libraries, consider that those who borrow a book are not necessarily likely to buy a copy; therefore a writer has actually gained in that every library that purchases a book is a sale that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. And yet some will, if they like the author enough, so there is some advertising here, too. Were it not for libraries, I never would have bought a book by Asimov or Bradbury or Heinlein or Poe or many other authors because I simply would not know they existed. Yes, that includes the Baen Free Library, too.

      • “This theoretical loss of royalties then can be regarded as advertising cost.”

        Excellent point, Sir. Something that is actually covered in most business models. (along with this thing called a Loss Leader – sometimes you sell short on something to bring in the customers in hope of them buying something more.)

      • Uncle Lar

        A great many years ago as I recall getting on the library associations must buy list was considered a major accomplishment. It ensured, at least so long as demand continued, that you had a guarantee of a certain number of hardbacks as well as significant free advertising.
        These days I guess not so much.

  16. sanfordbegley

    I read part of this thread, got bored. Amanda you really need to get a better class of troll in here. Someone with a room temperature IQ or better would be a nice start.

    • I considered the role, but only a moment. Standards, you know. Mine might be low, but I still have them. Also, the living or at least lurking under a bridge thing seems lacking in amenities, and view. Really, if one is going to be mostly exposed to the elements anyway, why not go full gargoyle and at least have something of a view? I will allow that that role is rather rigid, however.

  17. Christopher M. Chupik

    (walks in)

    So, what’d I miss?

    (reads comments, backs out slowly)

  18. Alfred Genesson

    Sarah, could you tell me why you’re unsure Vox Day is an ally? Would you at least say he isn’t an enemy? TBH, I’ve read his blog longer than here, but am still fairly recent. Given some recent posts by Brad and Kate, I believe you may be more aligned than you think(Of course, this varies by individual). I’m not trolling, it just appears to me the SP and RP have similar goals with differing tactics, and the puppy kickers have pushed many Sads to hydrophobia.

    • Sigh. Vox’s GOAL was always “Burn it down.” My nickname for him is Count de Montecristo, the Count or Monsieur le Comte for short. He used to be fairly balanced, and they they PUSHED him. And now his only interest is in vengeance. Neither Brad nor Kate wanted/want vengeance. Neither Brad nor Kate want to monitor stories for Marxist view points and eject them either. The goal of Sad Puppies was always “stories that make the award popular again” since it’s supposed to be a fan award.
      Vox did make use of some of SP but he wasn’t going the same way, and in many ways his goals are diametrically opposed to ours.
      In personal philosophy and world views, he’s not completely opposed to me in the sense that we don’t occupy the same space anywhere. I have as many points of disagreement with him as the SJWs do, though not the same points.
      Interestingly, there is a comment in our spam, which I’m debating answering tomorrow which says we are all Vox. If you are indeed not trolling, it would behoove you not to reinforce the crazy trolls’ ideas.

      • Um… some of the same points. He has some strange ideas — BUT they’re not stranger than the SJWs. However, there’s very little CONTACT with mine. For either of them.

      • The Other Sean

        I’ve met a small number of the Sad Puppy leadership, and I’ve met people who’ve met most of the rest, though y’all may not remember me. (I’m not necessarily very talkative in person.) If the leaders are all actually Vox Day, then Vox Day is truly the world master at disguise, and the world is not safe!

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Actually, we are all Milo, from timelines where Milo is straight and Mormon.

        • Right? Man of a thousand faces, and a dozen accents.Just Kate and I…

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Not to mention the question of how he manages to write all that stuff in so many different voices at different levels of ability.

            • And then the idiot who commented added they’re not scared of him. If he really is all of us (and one must also add to this not just having several families, but birthing children! Accomplished) at once, he’s like the Blob. I’d be terrified, if I were them. Next thing you know, they’re crying out in the dark “Who goes there.”

              • Vox must be laughing his ass off. He has actually done very little, when you really think about it, yet these people are absolutely terrified of him! They see him around ever corner, behind ever door, in ever shadow. To them he lurks always near and ready to strike!

                I think it is safe to say, that at this time, no one in the field of SF&F, perhaps even all of literary fields, wields as much influence as Vox. It’s really pretty damn funny.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        The “we are all Vox” guy sounds familiar.

        • that’s because that’s what they’ve been saying all along…. and they keep repeating it until “everybody knows it.” The big lie. It’s not just for Hitler anymore.

      • Uncle Lar

        Vox is the enemy of our enemy, pure and simple. Reminds me of our relationship with the Russians during WWII. Of course we all know how well that turned out, net positive right up to the German surrender, then a steep slope downhill for decades after.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      On the ally side of the ledger: He fights, and is willing to take fire to close with and engage some of our enemies. By the standards of the Korval books, that is most important.

      On the not ally side: We aren’t necessarily trying to take the same ground.

      The social core of the Sad Puppies spokesmen is Jim Baen. Jim Baen had a publishing company and a forum which he used to foster a group of fans loyal to him and his brand of storytelling. He reportedly could be abrasive and made many enemies in the industry.

      Vox Day is the major spokesman for Rabid Puppies, and he can be understood as Shylock, Rorschach, and Batman. His business background isn’t publishing, and he seems to have gotten into publishing for revenge.

      I’m having trouble articulating the difference between their strategies to get revenge as a consequence of being better businessmen than the mediocre state of the industry. Unless it can be said that Toni cares more about doing her best as a publisher, and that Vox would be chasing better returns in other sectors if not for revenge.

      Baen fans can be extremely loyal. This is part of why many were somewhat interested in shifting from Sad to Rabid. They are also often loyal to Baen authors, and Vox Day has opinions on many different authors.

      I’ve been willing to, in jest, call both Sarah and Vox lefties. However, other than being opposed to communists, gun control and terrorism, their politics are very different, and may be wholly incompatible.

      My process for that list was first Jim Baen and Toni Weisskopf. Then Lafayette for the historical joke, which was weak. I could have ended the list there, but had a few other reasons to mention those two. I know Day and May did a substantial amount of work, and I’ve never heard of any involvement by AKL in the Matter of Puppies.

      I’ve personally got substantial differences with May that mostly do not pertain to the matter of puppies. I’m not sure I have an opinion on Vox.

      How do you define ally?

      The Sad Puppies have a fairly compatible shared vision of business practices they want to bring into the future of publishing. As businessmen, they are not certain they want to commit to Vox Day’s path. Vox Day is going to plan his own route, and isn’t inclined to kowtow to the silver statue of Jim Baen inside the golden Cthulhu inside the bronze Buddha. 🙂

      • On the ally side of the ledger: He fights, and is willing to take fire to close with and engage some of our enemies

        “The enemy of my enemy is not my friend. He is my enemy’s enemy. No more. And no less.”

      • Quibble: There is loyalty, but there’s also a sense of honor. Maybe it’s the type of fiction, but Baen’s tend to attract readers with a sense of both. To be honest, I’m not all that “loyal” to a publisher, even Baen. But what irked me and more than a few Baen readers is what happened in Spokane. Handing out wooden “asterisks” and engaging insulting behavior is not honorable, nor is voting “no award” out of spite. And when I first learned of that my opinion became if no award is what they want, no award all categories until either no award is not an option or until the Hugos are no more. That remains my opinion.

        It’s an honor thing. I don’t think those who put on the Spokane show would understand.

        • Yes. This is a big part of it. that award ceremony almost made me punch a hole in my desk. And they insulted boss lady who is my liege. This is unbearable.

          • Uncle Lar

            One classy lady, Toni that is, but you too of course young Portagee.
            Seeing which way the wind was going to blow, and a truly fetid wind it was, she simply removed herself from the event. She need do nothing, naturally. Given her friends, fans, and extended family, all of whom have very long memories and really know how to hold a grudge, that insult will return onto the givers many fold over.
            So mote it be.

  19. Pingback: Value, Quality and Responsibility – westfargomusings

  20. John Fox

    I note the presence here of “Author Kristen Lamb.” Is “Author” really her first name? It seems a terrible thing for one’s parents to do so soon after birth.

  21. Pingback: Nocturnal Lives » An update, a few thoughts and a little promo

  22. Alfred Genesson

    Sarah, thanks for your response. I personally think the Hugo has to be shown to be without value before it can be restored, and part of that comprises nominating worthy works that will be “No Award”ed . As it stands, it is currently a “do not read” stamp of quality. The Nebula is likewise, but is unlikely salvageable. If the Hugo cannot be redeemed, it will sink into further irrelevance as text SFF continues its journey downward, even as SFF everywhere else grows in cultural relevance. Fighting that decline is a focus for both groups of puppies, and I pray they stay at least friends.