Lenin’s Statue is Tumbling Down

I don’t normally do this, but I think you should read my PJM column this week.  (With Charlie, I do the friday book plug, and if you’re not submitting to it, you should be.)  But I’m the one who does the “blather” that goes before the promo.  Ie the text before the links (with exceptions, such as when I’m too sick.)

This week’s is about the amazing event that most of you probably realized you weren’t seeing.

(Incidentally, in looking for a picture to illustrate this, I found it’s very difficult to get images of statues of Lenin pulled down or dragged, and there are none available for licensing through the usual services.  I don’t believe in conspiracies, but I do believe in a lot of people burying what makes them uncomfortable.  Just saying.)

Anyway, here’s a quote:

This worked about as well as you expect of top-down systems. By the time Amazon came along, we were more than ready for them.  Don’t let the Amazon-whiners deceive you.  If everything had been fine in publishing – say if Amazon had come around in the seventies – it would have had an impact, but not nearly as large.

But Amazon moved in on a vacuum. Even now, the main publishers don’t get it (as Joe Konrath proves, taking Hachette to task.) Suddenly readers could find the authors that never got stocked, and found out that hey, books were still being published they wanted to read.  (From the other side, the authors’ statements didn’t change much, even though they suddenly found themselves hailed as celebrities by neighbors and repairmen who came to the house.  Strange.  It’s almost like those numbers are the ones the publishing house decided on, and not what really sold.  Some day, when my husband has time, he’s going to do a dissection of my mystery royalty reports, where – I swear – the print run changes in a quantum manner, to avoid paying me royalties. It’s obvious even to me that they’re lying, but my husband is a mathematician and will have lots of fun with it.)

Then Amazon opened the market to self-publishing, and people could find things that they wanted to read that insulted neither their intelligence nor their political beliefs.

Thereby precipitating whining, denial and outright illegal price-fixing from the publishers.

But you know, I didn’t quite believe in the revolution.  Oh, I believed I could make a living from it, at least at the level I was making.  Witchfinder proved that, if nothing else.  (Though I need to bring out the two sequels soon or sales will crash.  Indie has low attention span, because it’s spoiled for choice.)

However for real push, for real penetration of market, traditional publishing still held control. They could still make something a bestseller if they wanted to and pushed enough. Or at least so I thought.

I saw some signs it might not be so, because if I’m right, they tried to push Night Circus to the same level of publicity as Twilight.  It didn’t get there.  Nowhere near.

But then maybe I was wrong, because this was like a middle school chick watching the boys to see who liked her, or the free world watching the May day parade to see who was in and who was out at the Kremlin.  One thing was sure, we’d get things wrong.

And then this week, I saw the walls tumble down.  I saw the statue of Lenin dragged through the streets.

Now, go read the thing.  Yes, I know the PJM site is a pain, but go read it anyway.

 

310 responses to “Lenin’s Statue is Tumbling Down

  1. Speaking of plugs, Chris Muir is running his annual donation drive. I don’t read the articles, I just look at the pictures of nekkid wymmen.

    He is still running a link on the left to Darkship Renegades by the way…

  2. I’ve been watching the Great Unravelling via PG’s blog, and Hugh Howey’s place. Since I don’t have any skin in that aspect of the game, I’m enjoying the popcorn and show. I do feel for the authors caught up in the splat-ification, though, at least for those who didn’t sign crappy contracts knowing they were crappy contracts.

    • I would only feel sorry for the ones who had been with trad publishing since before the advent of Amazon and self-publishing. The ones who were sure that indie publishing was crazy town, and thought they had to go with the trad pub houses to be “real” authors? Not so much.

      • Yes. All the people I try to help who tell me they want to be “real” writers, by which they mean bestsellers. Because, having written their first book, they’re JUST that good. :/

      • Agreed. If you have access to Howey, Konrath, PG’s place, Writer Beware, the Business Rusch, DWS’s Sacred Cow posts and other resources, and you still sign a contract with [Big Five and Author Solutions], hey, you deserve what you get. And I say this having signed a contract for the non-fic book that’s so bad my IP lawyer said he’d never seen a publishing contract that poor (both in author rights and in general legal language usage). Before you ask, or load the carp cannon, part of my agreement with the organization that sponsored the book was to have it published by an academic or Big Five press, so I didn’t have much choice. As it was the organization paid me very, very well to write the thing, so I came out ahead in the long run.

        • Edited to add, “and you still sign a suckey contract with [Big Five . . .” I’m being attacked by dueling autocowrecked systems today.

  3. Well, the fall of the publishing industry’s leftist/corporatist gatekeepers certainly explains this lament, from a failed author/publisher over at the UK Guardian: To him, indie publishing is the “tyranny of the market.”

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/06/a-defense-of-dictatorship.html

    Aw, poor failed gatekeeper.

    It does make you wonder why lefties think indie is bad in publishing but OK in music. Unless they dominate the indie side of music too…oh, wait, Coldplay is “indie,” isn’t it? Never mind…

    • By definition, self-publishing is an individualistic pursuit in which each writer is both publisher and market adventurer, with every other writer a potential competitor and the reader reduced to the status of consumer. Publishing then becomes timid, fearing to be adventurous and revolutionary lest it betray the expectations of its market. This is a natural tendency in traditional publishing but it is one restrained by the voices of its authors who are free to put their work first and entrepreneurship a distant second. With authorship and entrepreneurship now equal partners, the new authorpreneurs have thrown off the dictatorship of the editor to replace it with the tyranny of the market.

      Emphasis mine

      Um…what?

      I know I said I felt trepidation down there in the other comment, but — those ain’t the reasons.

      And as to authors being free to focus on their work, that ain’t the story I’m hearing from published authors.

      • I’m pretty sure there is a logic fail in there, somewhere.

      • “Publishing then becomes timid, fearing to be adventurous and revolutionary lest it betray the expectations of its market.”

        What if the expectations of its market are that it be adventurous and revolutionary?

        On the other hand, maybe he’s defining “adventurous and revolutionary” precisely as being against “the expectations of its market”. Which is consistent but conveniently tautological. Norman Spinrad’s popular quote “The opprobrium of assholes is a badge of honor” has always made me think, “That’s true, but you have to be very careful you’re not defining ‘asshole’ as ‘anyone who gives me opprobrium’ to begin with.”

    • The problem is that indie writers keep producing books that are not properly curated masterpieces of lit’ra’choor that one can be seen reading and get the Nod from the Right Sorts. We’re those unwashed creatures who rarely cater to the tastes of the Anointed, and then it’s by accident. Instead indie writers control their own work and write what they want to read, which it seems a large percentage of paying readers also want to read. Oops. How gauche. ;)

    • Yep, just another day in Kindle Gulch for us reactionary Ayn Randian indie authors who “reject community and mutual responsibility.”

  4. On topic: I watch these shifts and rumblings and quiet wars with joy and trepidation.

    Joy as a reader. Nobody’ll be surprised that I abandoned SF/F for a stretch (with the exception of haunting used bookstores for old stuff), and then I got the Kindle. Yay, ya know?

    Trepidation because — I’m as close to a dream I had all the way back to short-and-beardless school days of professional writing. Turmoil, doubt and murkiness.

    Hmph.

    Off topic: When I bought the Kindle, I found I loved it so much, I bought my dad one for his birthday. And I just linked his Kindle to my account so he could read all the books I already had on there. So, he loads up a bunch of whatever and reads through ‘em as they catch his fancy.

    Which is how he came to read a book about a diner and some shifters. And then go on to devour everything I had by one Sarah A. Hoyt.

    Sarah, my dad’s a rabid fan. Just so you know.
    :D

    • I got a Kindle for my birthday a couple of months ago, and it’s opened up a whole new world of good indie authors I’d never heard of, whose books are available at reasonable prices. (Some of whom I’ve found through this very website, as a matter of fact.)

      Partly as a result, I find myself wondering if some of the established bestselling authors would be accepted by the major (non-Baen) publishing houses of today were they just starting out. Would David Weber, for example, have to go the indie route, especially if Baen weren’t available?

      • I know when I first got mine I found myself reading lots from the great unwashed, and was willing to put up with bad copy-editing and occasionally sloppy craft for the thrill of reading a good story. I was so starved, before…

    • Um… are you trying to tell us something when you say your dad’s rabid after talking about shifters? Just askin’ :-)

  5. Like much of the left publishing seems unwilling or unable to learn from history. There’s an example of this phenomenon out there already in the music world and iTunes. At first the music industry fought mp3 players and iTunes (and related services) tooth and nail. Over time iTunes became a juggernaut and the music publishers just had to suck it up and take it. And oddly over time things got really good. By having single songs available at a price where most folks don’t think twice ($1.29, for crying out load a stinking candy bar costs that much these days) sales of their back catalogs took off. Part of it is the nature of music, I’m not up for dropping $10-13 for say
    Jethro Tulls Stormwatch (a mediocre album at best) but there are a couple good songs and letting my buy just those lets me impulse buy.

    The dynamics of the situation are a bit different in books but you’d think that model has got to be better than the paperback one where the publisher prints them and sends them to the bookstore after payment and either the book is sold or its cover torn off, and returned to the publisher for like 40-50% refund.

    Anything that’s been published recently (since say 1990 or so) has
    been electronically typeset unless the publisher is reusing OLD plates.
    So it should be possible to take that and have a very junior editor (say some fresh out of college english major desperate to eat) turn the text into source for Ebook forms.

    But the vendors don’t do this, old catalog stuff that would sell (e.g Zelanzys Amber, Miller’s A Canticle for Liebowitz) they don’t even bother with. Even Dune was tough to get until recently it had a rather poor rendition (typo’s everywhere) and a ridiculous price ($14). The writing is on the wall (mene mene tekel upharsin) but they’ve chosen the traditional Liberal choice of screaming “la la la” with their eyes covered and their ears plugged… This won’t end well for them.

    • Traditional publishers are still in the denial phase. There certainly is absolutely no innovative response by any of them to the realities of the new book market. They are trying to pretend that not only is B&N not in financial trouble but I think some of them are even pretending that Borders did not liquidate…

      • Was just having a conversation about this over lunch, tied in with something I heard on the radio:

        The average salary for American CEO’s is 22 million/yr. (not vetted,nor researched, or in any way confirmed; likely to be as true as anything else you’ve heard from a DJ)

        My immediate thought: Why is anybody paying people this much money to make such demonstrably bad decisions?

        {I know the argument about maximizing shareholder value, etc. I actually have a fair notion of how American business practices landed in this silly spot. But let’s ignore that so I can make a point, yeah?}

        Maybe, maybe the recording industry gets a pass on not seeing the digital revolution barreling down on them, and so maybe their idiotic and ongoing response is marginally excusable. (How they treat their content providers is not, in any way, excusable) The moving picture people have far fewer excuses, because they could have seen the writing all the way back to VCR’s and the music industry beat them to the pitfall.

        Publishers? Have to be run by idiots to not see this shaping up and start making moves to position the business. This far into the market shift (which has been fluid and impossible to fully predict, but…) to still be fighting to preserve the old model and abusing the content providers to such an extent? That’s several steps beyond idiocy. That’s not just head in the sand, that’s head surgically removed to prevent new input.

        I’m really beginning to suspect that the only people more in denial and making more idiotic choices than publishers — are the authors signing new contracts under the asinine terms I’ve seen quoted. That’s finding yourself in the water with the lifeboat on one side and the Titanic on the other and tying yourself to the railing of the Titanic!*

        I dunno. Trepidations.

        *For clarity, and to forestall offense: Specifically new contracts, specifically new contracts with egregious terms, specifically with trad publishers who’ve shown themselves to be operating in bad faith and with ill intent. This excludes old contracts or new contracts negotiated with reasonable provisions. Reasonable provisions exist, right?

        • The average salary for American CEO’s is 22 million/yr.

          Doubtful. There are too many small/medium business CEOs making far, far less for this figure to be credible. Perhaps if you limit it to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, but even then it doesn’t pass the smell test. Three are probably a few CEOs of investment banks whose total compensation is several hundred million a year drastically skewing the stat for a carefully selected population of CEOs.

          • My assumptions run along these lines as well, this is representative of a selected population of CEOs for companies on some rarefied level of the Fortune listings.

            But I’m cool with the general tenor. If the average CEO salary matched the average plumber salary I’d ask the same question: Why so much for so little?

            • The question remains valid — I suspect the problem is that CEOs represent the collective wisdom of the system. When that wisdom is off, the ability of a CEO to alter corporate culture is very limited. A CEO can refine, can streamline corporate processes but cannot fundamentally alter them.

              It should probably be noted that where we see the “22 million” CEO compensation packages a significant percentage of that compensation is intended not for the CEO but to all the CEO to provide politicians with tips er bribes uhhh campaign contributions in order to encourage regulation that is protective.favorable limiting competitor access for the public benefit.

            • Permit to make the observation that closely-held corporations, where you have a small handful of investors with a LOT of clout and deep involvement, pay their CEOs even more than most companies. (A observation lifted from Thomas Sowell.)

              Perhaps it’s because their impact is even greater than their salaries.

              After all, many of those CEOs could take zero dollars in salary with minimal impact to the bottom line.

        • Average of the ‘top 350 firms’ is $14.1 million/yr, including stock options.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/congrats-ceos-youre-making-273-times-the-pay-of-the-average-worker/

          So they are majorly fudging the numbers, even with that one, by skipping 150 firms (presumably from the S&P 500) and using the average salary for… *everyone*.

    • DrTanstaafl

      I still have an old copy of the Amber stories, falling apart, but still loved. If I could get them on Kindle, I would.

      • ??? Putting “amazon chronicles of amber” in my search engine turned up multiple hits, primarily for The Great Book of Amber, all ten books in one great paperback omnibus sure to fall apart before you are two-thirds through AND a link that sure looks like a Kindle edition.

        They are also available from Audible and, at least a few years agao, as abridged readings by the author on CD (until I heard Zelazny’s reading I confess I had never thought of the first book as a hard-boiled detective story.)

        • BTW – looking a little further produced the discovery that NESFA Press has compiled a complete short fiction of Roger Zelazny in six editions. For those not familiar with NESFA Press, they (“NESFA Press is the publishing pseudopod of the New England Science Fiction Association, Inc.”) are a superb source for classic SF/F in excellent editions. I recommend browsing their online store at http://www.nesfa.org/press/index.html

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          There were some Kindle versions of Great Book of Amber and Nine Princes In Amber *but* apparently they were not authorized by the Zelazny estate.

    • They’re now being brought out by Kevin J. Anderson’s publishing house Wordfire.

    • Larry Patterson

      I would love to go back and reread Roger’s Amber books. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Maybe this is off topic, what do you do if still like the art but no longer like the artist i.e Arthur C. Clarke?

    • Buy used from a charity bookstore would be my suggestion. The money goes to a good cause, and the author (or his/her/its) estate doesn’t get anything.

    • It’s tough when you find out a writer’s behavior is so far beyond civilized practice that it taints your enjoyment of former favorites. You have to choose between buying from that person, or forgoing your own enjoyment.

      My only advice is spread out and find new authors. There are lots of them out there, now.

    • Buy used if they are really good, if they are just decent I tend to be to soured to appreciate the art as much and don’t bother. But there are a couple authors (at least one who specifically states that part of the proceeds go to support causes I despise) who are good enough I like to read, but I refuse to support, so I buy used.

      And yeah that doesn’t work so well if you prefer ebooks, although I guess you could surf the pirate sites. Me, I’ll just buy used deadtree.

    • Trimegistus

      Of course, Clarke is dead, so you can’t really punish him by not paying retail for his books. You’re punishing whoever his heirs are. That’s kind of like limiting the number of Asians in your college because 150 years ago some Caucasians owned slaves.

      • Of course, Clarke is dead, so you can’t really punish him by not paying retail for his books. You’re punishing whoever his heirs are. That’s kind of like limiting the number of Asians in your college because 150 years ago some Caucasians owned slaves.

        No, it is not.

        His heirs have a connection to him, and are profiting from him, and were presumably chosen by him, and they do NOT have a presumed right to anyone elses’ money; in your example there is a presumed right to an equal chance at being in the college, it’s being selected by “race” rather than any ACTUAL relationship to the one who did wrong, and they were definitely not selected by the person who did wrong to be beneficiaries.

        In some cases, the beneficiary enabled and/or covered up the wrong doing.

  7. Kinda-sorta-maybe off-topic…

    Anyone have any insight into the Oyster Books deal? I just signed on for the “one month free access”, and this deal looks like it could well be the equivalent of running hot and cold running crack into a drug addict’s house. There’s a lot of stuff on there for 9.95 a month that I am interested in, but haven’t been able to afford to actually, y’know, buy.

    How are they able to do this, and are the authors getting compensated enough to justify it?

    https://www.oysterbooks.com/

    I have to say, this is going to massively influence a lot of my book purchasing, in the future. Assuming, of course, that the authors are getting suitable compensation for this, that is. But, I haven’t been able to find anything discussing how all this works, in regards to that.

    • I’d just like to note for clarification that I am not (sadly) involved in any way in that venture. *stares longingly at piles of money to be made there* Nope, not my doing…

    • I know what you mean, Scribd now has all the “For Dummies” books.

    • I wonder if they are betting on people who pay but don’t read that much. And I suspect publishers (and eventually authors) get a smaller royalty until the number of reads hits a certain level. But those are WAGs.

    • Seeing as how indie and self-published genre ebooks are (IIRC) a the largest segment of the market in number of titles, daily unit sales, revenue to authors — almost everything EXCEPT gross dollars sales, and Oyster “does not as yet” work directly with authors…. Guess what?

      M

  8. Okay, I’m plastering my name all over this comment thread on a Saturday, so I’m gonna throw this one out and go do something else for a while:

    I followed the link Wes S. posted above, through Vox’s place and back to the source on that Brit tabloid. And it’s so much more wrong-headed than I thought.

    Some pulled quotes, absent any commentary from me:

    [Self-publishing] is actually reactionary, a contracted version of the traditional publishing model in which companies, who produce for a wide range of tastes and preferences, are replaced by individual producers each catering to very narrow range.

    When writers fear readers, who remains bold enough to push the boundaries?

    [Traditional publishers] are far more liberal, far more radical than self-publishing in its current form. Cross-subsidies from commercial titles support poets, academics and writers of new and daring literary fiction who will never appear on bestseller lists. Such concerted action is impossible in a fragmented world where each writer pursues individual success.

    Can a literary culture where writers are producers and readers are consumers be truly open? Only if your definition of an open society is one ruled by the market.

    If self-publishing is to be a radical and revolutionary force it will be forged by creative collectives… Collectives…offer the best hope that self-published authors can produce innovative, challenging writing and ensure that all literary forms and genres are represented, for all readers.

    RTWT. But put a pillow on your desk first.

    • Eamon, it was for safety’s sake that I did not link the Guardian directly, but used Vox Day as a filter.

      (And savor the irony of the feared and hated Vox being the SAFE alternative, while you’re at it. ;) )

      • Safety from…?

        No criticism from me on linking to Vox and his take on the article, by the by. I just found there to be so much more “Huh?” in the full article.

      • When they talk about “new and daring literary fiction” and “innovative, challenging writing” being unable to get through in a world “ruled by the market”, what they mean is that nobody would want to buy it. Therefore, it must be forced down the throats of the unwilling purchasers, because WE know best what’s good for you.

    • Typical example of Marxist inversion. I haven’t read such concentrated economic ignorance since a recent NY Post article on the cost of baby-sitters for the well-to-do in NY city.

      Apparently Fox Butterworth is teaching Journalism in Britain.

      Can a literary culture where writers are producers and readers are consumers be truly open? Only if your definition of an open society is one ruled by the market.

      I am interested in the writer’s definition of an open society in the same way I am interested in the close examination of a car wreck on the highway.

    • Whoops: hit the wrong “Reply” link earlier; I meant to post this in reply to Eamon’s comment. Reposting so it’ll be in the right place.

      When they talk about “new and daring literary fiction” and “innovative, challenging writing” being unable to get through in a world “ruled by the market”, what they mean is that nobody would want to buy it. Therefore, it must be forced down the throats of the unwilling purchasers, because WE know best what’s good for you.

  9. From the Grauniad (Aka Gaurdian)

    Can a literary culture where writers are producers and readers are consumers be truly open? Only if your definition of an open society is one ruled by the market.

    OK Precisely whats wrong with that other than it offends their Marxist Hackles? This was the model of literature from the beginning of the printed press until some time in the last century. Authors such as Dickens, Melville, Twain, etc published to get the readears to buy it. Heck my understanding is Dickens padded his stuff out as he originally published as serials in newspapers and magazines and was paid by the word. Shakespeare threw blue jokes into his plays to keep the groundlings interested.

    So being paid to publish incoherent stories with characters with which no one can empathize, and with polemics so annoying and tangible as to be indistinguishable from indoctrination pamphlets is what publishing is for? If it is then then good riddance to bad rubbish and may it die a quick and painless death. I’ll go reread “The Moon is A Harsh Mistress” or perhaps E.E “Doc” Smith’s Galactic patrol and enjoy Baen and the self published stuff until these publishing dinosaurs have shuffled off their mortal coil.

    • From an anecdote told by my old “First Amendment Professor” — When we take over everybody will have Freedom of Speech, but only responsible speech will be allowed.

      The State needs its priesthood in place to filter literature and ensure that irresponsible works are not permitted. It is for the children.

      • Quies custodiet ipsos custodes?

        What is responsible speech, and who gets to decide? Who amoungst the Imams, apparatchiks, Human Rights Commissions, a self-appointed and self-anointed right-thinking class (admission to which requires that one is willing to park one’s brain and embrace the cognitive dissonance) will get to reign supreme, since they can’t all be equally right? Two plus two may or may not equal four, it’s how you got there that’s important not the answer? Facts are oppressive! Math is hard! The market place is unfair because people who produce what people want are rewarded, and that’s usually never lines up with the tastes our self nominated intellectual betters.

        The fact that anyone could publicly enunciate things like, “everyone will have Freedom of Speech, but only responsible speech will be allowed” and not be challenged shows how badly the intellectual rot has set in. In Canada we had one such incredible creature (who worked for a Human Rights Tribunal, go figure) publicly dismiss Free Speech as “An American concept”. Fortunately, we also have folks up here who are fighting back and have been making some progress in denormalizing such sentiments.

  10. I’ve been studying the publishing business for a few years now. It’s pretty clear that the major publishers are operating inside an epistemic closure bubble where not even enlightened self-interest justifies treating authors as anything but disposable commodities.

    One example: even until a couple of years ago, the smart move would’ve been to adopt a 50/50 split on ebook royalties. Doing that was the publishers’ best bet to keep mega-star authors from farming out all their ebook needs at fixed rates and selling the print versions as ancillary rights. Now it’s probably too late.

    The big publishers are reaping what they’ve sown. On the downside, gatekeepers are important in some respects, though no one likes to admit it. Most exclusively self-published authors still don’t earn enough to make a living. If you want to write for media other than books, most major video game studios require at least one novel publication credit before they’ll consider you, and being a published author is one of the very few ways to get a shot at writing for DC or Marvel. For better or worse (probably the latter) other industries still perceive getting published as a reason to take a writer seriously, probably because other concrete indicators of professional status are harder to pin down.

    • Hate to break it to you, but the sad truth is very few traditionally published authors have ever made enough from their work to support themselves. Barring a scant few best selling writers, and not all that many prolific genre authors, it has always been a field where you wrote in your spare time after you finished the day job that put a roof over your head and food on the table. Here is a quote from a speech Heinlein gave at Annapolis back in 1973. Been a while, but not really all that long ago.
      “A few years ago my guild, the Authors League of America, made a survey to locate all professional writers. We found only four hundred who stated that they supported themselves and their families solely by free-lance writing. All the others had some other basic income.”

      • I don’t doubt that your premise is correct. I should’ve qualified my statement about exclusively self-published authors as compared to traditionally published and hybrid authors.

        As recently as 2012, self-published authors earned $10,000 annually. But super best-sellers like Howie and Hocking really distort the curve. 10% of self-published authors account for 75% of the royalties, with about half earning only $500 a year.

        http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/may/24/self-published-author-earnings

        The best bet is to be a hybrid author like Sarah. Last year, the median income for self-published authors was about $1-$5000. Traditionally published authors ranked second with $5,000-$10,000, and for hybrid authors took the top spot at $15,000 to $20,000.

        http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2013/12/how-much-money-do-self-published.html

        Long story short, money is probably the worst reason to pursue a career in writing. Those seeking high incomes are advised to try chemical engineering or dentistry.

        • The qualification on all those cases is “by writing a book a year or every two years.” In the last eleven years I’ve written 4 to 6 books a year, except for last year (we won’t talk about last year, although it was a GOOD year monetarily thanks to indie, just not good enough for two kids in college and house repairs) and I’ve made between 20k and 40k a year. I.e. what I could make as the other two professions I”m qualified for: assistant college professor and multilingual secretary/translator. The problem is I pay a lot more in taxes, being stuck with the self-employment tax. But other than the act of larceny of our government, I’m blowing way past expectations. The thing is indie keeps earning, though, and I’m hoping as I pull out of last year’s tail spin (yes, it’s taking much too long. It was stupid of me to get involved in non-fic writing to the point I was getting ill out of sheer tiredness. Live and learn) to put up the two sequels to Witchfinder, an orphan kittens mystery and then start pulling up the half-finished books (not trunk stories, but the ones I wrote halfway through and which some agent or editor nixed. The DaVinci mysteries, say, or urban fantasy, or the truly weird SF) and start slam-finishing them. Of course, I still also work for Baen.
          What I need is two clones.

          • I really appreciate you and Lar sharing your advice, especially your income disclosure, which is exceedingly rare among authors.

            Regarding the figures I cited above, I have a strong suspicion that the authors among all three types with the lowest earnings are producing one book or fewer a year.

            If it’s any comfort, I’m intimately familiar with struggling to write amid familial and financial hardship. The only compensation I can offer for your superb advice and guidance is to keep you in my prayers.

            • Prayers are always appreciated. And things are getting better by leaps and bounds, but that involves a certain amount of change and movement which reduces my writing hours.

        • Basically two ways to succeed, ie pay the bills, as a writer. First through chance write something that hits the reading public just right and at the perfect time, for ex J.K. Rowling. Second, find the genres you write well in with readerships that you appeal to and saturate the market with your efforts. Remember the main reason so many golden age SF writers used pen names was that they were cranking out multiple stories every month and they or editors or agents feared over exposure. Mostly with short stories back when that was the major paying market, but a similar dynamic today. Prolific pays well as Sarah is finding as she reclaims control of her out of prints and reissues them through indie.
          Traditional publishing along with other factors killed off most of the short story market, and would be well on the way to do the same with novels were it not for indie.
          Addressing fiction here of course. I consider the nonfiction how to instructional stuff as not simply a separate genre, but an entirely different field. Good money there, but very different talent required. I know of a few authors who can do both, but it’s not all that common.

      • I could support us, and hope to,if it were just Dan and I, the boys were out of the house and the house were paid off…

  11. CombatMissionary

    Sarah, reading your material always puts a smile on my face!

  12. I saw some signs it might not be so, because if I’m right, they tried to push Night Circus to the same level of publicity as Twilight. It didn’t get there. Nowhere near.

    *click* Oh, that makes sense.

    I saw they were in all the places I remembered seeing Twilight, but I just assumed they’d actually been picked up by readers. Well, buyers.

    Explains why they vanished so fast…..

  13. Christopher M. Chupik

    I read some parts of Frank Rich’s hilarious Christian Nation recently. For those who don’t know, this is a dystopia with President Palin and the Air Force bombing San Fran to kill gays. Towards the end, the narrator is telling the reader about bands the evil fundies wear to show they aren’t masturbating. They’re called masturbands, and they have to remove them if they, well, you know, and nobody will shake hands with them.

    Masturbands. People were paid for this. Trees died for this.

    But remember: traditional publishing weeds out the crap!

    • As long as I have been paying attention to politics, the left has treated the nutcase right as. If it were the core of the right. And the older I get, the more it strikes me that this is because the absolute nuts ARE the core of the left.

      • Oddly, that’s more reassuring than believing they’re lying.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        No kidding. A Canadian SF writer who will remain nameless had a book a few years back where America of the future is ruled by “President Buchanan”. Leaving aside the fact that he’s rather old *already*, he’s never been anywhere close to being a candidate, and he’s got as many opponents on the Right as the Left.

        • Well he did run for the Presidency once, but that was quite a while ago, and once you start doing ED commercials I think one can officially assume you have kissed any Presidential hopes goodbye.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Sorry, Frederic Rich. Got my lefties mixed up.

      • (Sigh) Man can’t tell his Left from his Left, poor thing. Have you been drinking??!?

        Running away, now.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Yes I am drinking. Orange juice.

          • sure … but what’s in that orange juice? Has it been “juiced” in any way?

            • When I was young we had an hyper-religious friend. When we went to night clubs, she sanctimoniously ordered the orange juice. She was Catholic, so it’s not like it was a religious prohibition, and this was Portugal, so say, ordering a white wine and sipping it was “being good.” But she ordered the orange juice in the sort of tone that was supposed to inform us we were all going to hell.
              Well, one night we went to a fast-and-fashionable nightclub and she did this…
              Clearly orange juice was a crazy thing to order in this club, so it was a “code.” We have NO idea what was in it, but her OJ was more expensive than my single malt, and after it, she was walking into walls, seeing things and making the most hilarious statements. Being us, we couldn’t help but make fun of her. And after that, interestingly enough the “I want an orange juice” said in the tone of “I’m the virtuous one here” stopped and she started ordering a white wine. (I should point out that she drank wine with meals, so acting this way in clubs was the same thing as glaring at us when we danced with a stranger who didn’t know our parents. We were all “good girls”, went out in a group and DANCING was that ever happened. I think she just went out to feel virtuous or something.)

              • When I lived in N.O. there was a really thin, sickly guy, who had been one of a gay couple, but his partner had died not long before I moved there, that was friends with my Aunt there. Why the one died, and why his living partner was so unhealthy was their “love” for orange juice.

                With Taaka Vodka … in increasing ratios of Vodka to juice.

                They had had high paid jobs and lost them when they got a Van for some fun during lunch, but it turned into a drink for lunch. Then drinks.
                Then the Orange juice started to look more like gatorade, then the new zero calorie stuff you can see through, and when I last dealt with him he had given up on adding any juice to his glass of Taaka.

              • Birthday girl

                I wonder whether that “Orange Juice” was something like “Long Island Iced Tea” ??

                • I got the impression it had some sort of drug in it.

                  • I think that Long Island Iced Tea has 6 different kinds of alcoholic drinks in it.

                    • I should tell the story of how I found out that three Long Island Iced Tea’s won’t get you all the way through a The Sound of Music sing along …

                    • No, but half a bottle of single malt gets you to sing “Don’t cry for me Argentina” at three in the morning, across an English enclave at the height of the Falkland’s war. :-P Uh… a friend told me.

                    • Birthday girl

                      Yeah, I don’t remember details (!) but I had one of those “iced teas” once and it was horrible. But then, I’m the boring juice & vodka & asleep after 2 drinks kind of drinker … so what do I know …

                    • yes, but its only the equivalent of about two drinks, not six.

                    • Obviously, now I have to show you my print of Argie A4 Skyhawks above British frigates in San Carlos Bay.

                  • They used to drop acid in orange juice, because… I’m not really sure why, but used to hear guys talking of dropping a hit of acid in orange juice and drinking it.

  14. Whee! Top rated comment over there!

      • Yeah. (Here we don’t even have “like”)

        At least the last time I looked, It was about how Political Memoirs like Hillary’s are used to launder campaign money into personal income, and the resulting inventory given away as a business expense.

        • If I knew how to get that, I’d use it.
          Well, DUH, I’m not an idiot. I know that. But I also remember they could give the APPEARANCE of success before and now they can’t. It’s an improvement.
          Oh, and younger son said “Should the wife of the world’s most notorious philanderer entitle a book ‘Hard Choices?'”

  15. Larry Patterson

    You remind me of Phillip Jose Farmer, who had several digs against publishers in his Riverworld books. I was young and stupid when I read them, now can see his point.

    Imagine a company that employs commissioned sales reps, the screws them on the commissions. Word gets around, and soon no one will work for them. It’s a shame that authors are subjected to this.

    • The writer who is not J.K.Rowling *wink, nudge* has a new mystery out centered on the publishing industry. Apparently, if you are familiar with the British side of the business, you can sort of figure out which houses and personalities are coming to bad ends. A bit like Amanda Cross did with “Death in a Tenured Position.”

      • Josh Lanyon — warning, this is a gay male romance — with Somebody Killed His Editor perfectly characterizes the industry 6 years ago, and it was my introduction to his writing. (Most of us chicks don’t mind the m/m romance, even if we — well, I do — flip past the sex as we do in straight romances. BUT aside from that he’s still an excellent writer. Liberal but not in your face. OTOH his fantasy is painful. It’s like watching someone re-invent the wheel. But all fantasy romances are like that.)

  16. Good post, and the comments are illuminating too! I shopped my book and got told it wasn’t publishable, and nobody would read it. After reading your blog for the last year, I went the Amazon/Createspace/Kindle route and low and behold, there ARE readers out there. No, I’m not getting rich off it, but when I think of how many times I’ve walked out of the big box stores with nothing, I’m thankful we now have other options, both as readers and authors (And most of my Heinleins are now held together with tape).

  17. Trimegistus

    I’ve got a confession: I never quite 100% believed Sarah’s analysis that indy publishing would undermine the gatekeepers and their liberal monopoly.

    Until the Guardian article. If that’s not a (wannabe) gatekeeper screaming that the walls are collapsing, I don’t know what is.

    So congratulations to Mrs. Hoyt for figuring it out before the rest of us.

  18. You see it as freedom from the publishing houses dominance, I see a different picture. Step one, eliminate the publishing houses dominance, step two, Amazon gains total market dominance, step three, the forces of PC gain control of Amazon. Now the PC can eliminate any book they don’t like with the touch of a button. If you can do it to Hachette, you can do it to individual authors or even rafts of them. Oh, and work with the gov’mint to find a way to shut down ‘bullying’ or hatey hatemonger hateist websits, like this one (then lose the emails).

    If you know strategy, and think ruthlessly, this whole thing looks very different…

    Suggestion, you need to figure out a way around Amazon.

    • You know what? UNTIL Amazon starts doing bad things, I’m not going to assume they are going to do them. Point two — if any of the other ebook publishing houses at least TRIED to compete it would be a good thing.
      As a reader and a writer, they’re not. That’s not amazon’s fault.
      Point three: IF amazon starts doing bad things, the free market WILL find a way around it. They’re not a government or a state-enforced monopoly like the post office, and now we know there’s demand, and there’s certainly supply.
      So, pfui.

      • Point three: IF amazon starts doing bad things, the free market WILL find a way around it.

        ….like copying Amazon almost exactly.

        Or going the Baen route and selling the books themselves, as well as on Amazon.

    • I would like you to consider that contra your fiendish plot theory, Amazon’s main business is NOT ebooks.
      Also, Hatchette? Really? That’s the hill you’re going to die on. Fricking Hatchette? Not just a traditional publisher, but one any author in the field knows has a dingy reputation? (But few talk about, who still hope to publish traditional, of course, because Omerta. We still talk. Among ourselves.) Oh, please.

      http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2014/06/konrath-vs-colbert.html

      Here’s some perspective: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-hachette-job.html

    • First of all, I find it highly ironic that you are espousing a grand conspiracy on Amazon’s part when you use a pseudonym that is often identified with certain “Catholic conspiracies”.

      Second, Amazon isn’t eliminating the publishing houses or their dominance. Those companies are doing it to themselves. They have refused to amend their business plans to take into account not only the changes in technology but the changes in what their customers want. They have continued to try to push the current “right think” topics, whether readers are actually buying books with those themes or not. They continue to give mega advances — ala Clinton — on books that bomb and screwing the authors that are actually the workhorses for the house, the mid-listers. Oh, and let’s not forget about colluding among themselves and with Apple to try to screw over Amazon (sorry, but talk about screwing yourself over there. That was a no-win situation for the publishers. Short term, they had to deal with the bad PR and the DoJ. Long term, if the DoJ hadn’t prevailed, they would have had to deal with Apple and it makes Amazon look like a kitten).

      As for the shutting down of this site, etc., gee, that sounds more like what the publishers would like to see happen. They, and all too many literary agents, are the ones who have long held authors captive. It’s been a well-known “secret” that your publisher would and could drop you if you were too vocal about not not agreeing with the approved political and social stance of that publisher. Authors either didn’t talk politics, etc., or they lied about their beliefs in order to stay in good graces with their publishers.

      And can we talk about fair treatment for authors? The creators of a book are the ones to get the smallest piece of the pie when it comes to traditional publishing. Maybe if they started doing actual sales reports and not some hand-wavium report via BookScan — and paying reasonable royalties — authors might be a bit more willing to remain with the old guard. Of course, the publishers would also have to have concise and precise language in the contracts about when rights revert, what happens to a title if the publisher, or line, goes out of business, etc. But none of that has or will happen as long as the publishers continue to hold onto the old ways.

      Besides, no one here has ever advocated putting full faith into Amazon. But, as Sarah has said, until Amazon starts acting in bad faith, I’ll trust them a lot further than most legacy publishers.

      By the way, do you get this bent out of shape and see conspiracies in every shadow when your local grocer stops carrying a certain brand of soup or soap? What is happening with Hatchette is nothing new — to publishing or in business in general. It’s called contract negotiation tactics. Besides, if you want to look for good faith — or conspiracy — ask yourself this: when Amazon proposed setting up a fund to help the authors impacted by the situation, why didn’t Hatchette agree? Hmmm…..makes one think about how really is the bad guy here, doesn’t it?

      • I do not ordinarily correct obvious typos, but in this case, because it is a brand name, I feel compelled to note that you mis-typed BookScam.

      • First of all, I find it highly ironic that you are espousing a grand conspiracy on Amazon’s part when you use a pseudonym that is often identified with certain “Catholic conspiracies”.

        *ears twitch* I write about that stuff, but have a bother of a time finding new topics…. could you give me some points on it? my handle at google’s freemail, when or if you have time, please and thank you!

        • brianniemeier

          Legatus is an association of Catholic businessmen started by Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan. I’ve read dubious allegations that they conspired to cause the 2008 economic crash.

          The only conspiracy I can find a chain of evidence for is the one that George Soros funded against them to pressure Bob Newhart into canceling his speaking engagement at a Legatus conference.

          http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/25/activist-group-targeting-bob-newhart-catholics-is-funded-by-george-soros/

          • Oh, booger. So it’s Opus Day (can’t spellcheck in the addon, sorry) redux.

            Oh well, it’ll be great padding when I finally get around to “Dan Brown Is A Cowardly Jerk” as a topic. (It’s one thing to write dumb conspiracy theories; it’s another to claim they’re factual up until you get push back, and then accuse those correcting you of not knowing the difference between fiction and reality….)

          • Amusing to consider that the Democrat Party is built on a legacy of anti-Catholic bigotry — the only Catholics of which they approve are those who ignore defy the Church’s teaching except where it can be contorted into support for Socialist Policy.

            As for the 2008 crash, of course they have to divert attention frtom the disastrous spending enacted by the Democrat-controlled Congress after the 2006 elections and the insane underwriting policies of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. (Speaking of which – have you read what IRS Commissioner John “I Don’t Need No Apologies To Taxpayers” Koskinen’s job was before moving to the IRS?)

    • Oh, puh-leeze. Whoever paid you for this got a seriously raw deal. Honestly, if this is the best the people trying to troll here can do, we’ve got nothing to worry about.

      As for your points

      Your step one has already happened, mostly thanks to Amazon’s ruthless drive to make more money by doing a better job of online retailing than anyone else. How do I know this? Look at the Amazon bestseller lists, particularly the kindle bestseller lists. Independents dominate there. Not only that, every SF convention in the last few years has had multiple indie publishing panels. There are usually more of these now than the old “how to get an agent” and “how to get a publisher” panels, and they cover all aspects of the business.

      Your step two is only going to happen if everyone else that offers ebooks and other merchandise online fucks up. Even with the crappy job most of the potential competitors are doing now, Amazon doesn’t have total market dominance.

      Your step three is just flat insane. The forces of PC are thrashing around as violently as they are because they are dying. Not to mention, I don’t see Jeff Bezos stepping down any time soon. As in, while he’s still breathing. He doesn’t do PC, he does his business better than any of his competitors in any of the multiple market spaces Amazon covers.

      Not to mention, there is nothing – not one single thing stopping any publisher doing Amazon’s thing and improving it. Baen did, until Amazon got to where they were doing it better. Baen’s method is still there, and still has many loyal fans.

      As for “do it to Hachette”, you have who is doing what to whom around the wrong way. Hachette is trying to strong-arm Amazon into a contract that will prevent Amazon choosing to take a reduced profit or even a loss in order to sell more product (which costs Hachette not one penny, incidentally) and boost customer loyalty. While the contract terms are undecided, Amazon does not have the right to sell any Hachette titles. So it is Hachette who is hurting their own authors as part of their attempts to force contract terms which will bring them less revenue, but allow them greater control over retail price.

      If I was judging on level of fail you’d rank very highly. As it is, your comment is just very rank.

      • Your step two is only going to happen if everyone else that offers ebooks and other merchandise online fucks up. Even with the crappy job most of the potential competitors are doing now, Amazon doesn’t have total market dominance.

        Yep. The thing that many people (not including you, Kate) get wrong is that they look at Amazon’s very real market dominance in ordering physical products — a market where you need vast amounts of money to break in, because warehouses and staffing for same aren’t cheap, not to mention the years of experience Amazon’s people have in getting goods where they need to go fast and efficiently — and think that the same kind of market dominance can be achieved in the electronic-goods delivery market, where there are practically no barriers to entry.

        Case in point. With a few weeks of work, and $20 a month for hosting fees, I could throw up a crappy website selling ebooks; add a few more months’ worth of work and I could probably make it halfway decent, where the customer’s shopping experience would be pleasant. That’s a miniscule up-front cost to set up an Amazon competitor. Right now I wouldn’t try it because Amazon’s really doing a decent job with their site, and there wouldn’t be any compelling reason for people to seek out mine — but if they started gouging authors the way everyone keeps claiming they might, at some point in the misty, murky depths of the undetermined future… well, at that point you’d see dozens of websites spring up offering authors a better deal than Amazon’s New Evil Contract. If such a thing ever came to pass.

        So even if a) every single online ebook merchant other than Amazon went belly-up, and b) Amazon then used their monopoly position to start giving lousy terms to authors and/or worse value to readers… That monopoly position wouldn’t last long. No monopoly can last long when starting a competing business is ridiculously cheap.

        • Contra Kate Paulk, I do not think this a paid troll. A paid-troll wanna-be, perhaps, or mayhap a Kool-Aid drinker. But keep in mind the observation of the British poet, Humbert Wolfe

          You cannot hope
          to bribe or twist,
          thank God! the
          British journalist.
          But, seeing what
          the man will do
          unbribed, there’s
          no occasion to.

    • Couple of things spring to mind:

      There are multiple ways around Amazon. As ebooks take larger chunks of the market, the ease of bypassing Amazon grows. Amazon’s success is as an aggregator. They put more eyeballs on more products than anybody else.

      When they stop putting more eyeballs on more products? You know, by “eliminating any book they don’t like.” They won’t be successful.

      Second point. “If you know strategy, and think ruthlessly, this whole thing looks very different.”

      First step, eliminate the publishing houses dominance. Do this through multiple avenues of attack such as ebook readers sold at (or below) cost, providing a platform for self-publishing in the ebook market (with favorable terms), providing a platform in the paper market, explore price variations to find the most movement and best return point (making the most money for content producers possible), encourage participants to adopt your pricing strategy (knowing the old, slow and dumb publishers will not), watch the publishers flail about and destroy their own relevance.

      Second step, open this new market you’ve cornered to every independent bookstore, wanna-be bookstore, book collector, estate sale, heirs who realize all those boxes in Aunt Molly’s house are full of old books. Open it to everybody that ever thought about sticking a couple of words together and slapping some sticky thoughts in there to hold ‘em together, and every established author who’s grabbed their reversions, and every niche writer that knows a few people who really want to read about garbage men who solve crime (Hm… gimme a sec, I need to write something down…). Then offer your largest national competitors a chance to carry some of the products you produce and promote in the brick and mortars (that they will eviscerate themselves to spite you may or may not be planned for).

      Third step, the forces of capitalism gain — no, wait, lemme try again. The forces of capitalism have always had control of Amazon, greedy capitalist bastards that they are they maintain control of Amazon and they continue to do everything they can to succeed in the market. Jeff Bezos is on record as noting that every company dies, nothing is eternal. His goal is to make Amazon as successful in the market as humanly possible while it’s still alive and vibrant.

      Fourth step, wailing and gnashing of teeth from the PC and the .gov.

      Fifth step, and this is where the conspiracy gets wicked, content producers figure out how little the middlemen are providing as the digital revolution continues to reduce the entry costs for all kinds of entertainment media. They realize the promises fed to them by the middlemen are hollow, the accounting creative, and the fans indifferent to the labels.

      Much ensues, more is offered, by more for more with more range and more interests served.

      Since it’s a conspiracy, we need a conspirator, so — Sixth step, Jeff Bezos sits in his wing-back chair and strokes his cat while watching his empire. Silmultaneously, content producers everywhere sit back in their chair of choice and stroke their furry companion of choice (I’m not gonna judge) while watching their little empires. An evil capitalist chuckle is heard rolling across the land, a disturbance in the force, as if millions of people cried out in joy and hit “buy.”

      Why’s it gotta be a left-wing conspiracy?

      • Let us know when you do the garbagemen mystery series… I honestly think it’s an amazing premise and want to read it.

        • Yeah, that was supposed to be a throwaway line for chuckles — then my backbrain started trying to map the story out…

          Hasn’t been successful, so far. But, I still need to carve out time to research mystery writing for my “Space Waitress” stories (up to 3 mysteries, now) and knowing my brain, I’d not be at all surprised to find garbageman mysteries popping back up when I have a handle on the genre.

          Should I laugh or cry?

        • Garbage men who solve crime…and help engineers deal with the Big Questions of life?:-)

    • Oh, now I see the problem, I said
      You see it as freedom from the publishing houses dominance, I see a different picture. Step one, eliminate the publishing houses dominance, step two, Amazon gains total market dominance, step three, the forces of PC gain control of Amazon. Now the PC can eliminate any book they don’t like with the touch of a button.

      The first line makes it look like I am on the side of the publishing houses, the friend of my enemy is my enemy, hence the reaction. And it looks like I am against freedom while I am at it. Man, I must be some kinda Evul dude. I should be shot! No, I should be slapped, and then shot!

      Then, I said eliminate the publishing houses dominance as if someone were actively working to eliminate them (someone is, the publishing houses themselves, but I didn’t say that).

      And that causes people to think that Amazon, who I mentioned in step two, was the eliminator, where I thought that by putting it in step two, it would indicate that Amazons action happened later (cart can’t go before horse). It looked like they were the villain because that was the first named possible villain.

      This idea then persisted even after I listed PC as the bad guys, and assumed that people would see that I listed PC as the villains of the piece, and realize that, if I am posting here, it assumes I have read the article above, noticed that PC had totally infiltrated the publishers, and hence, by casting PC as the villains, it can be seen that I must therefore not be on the side of the publishers, since I can see from the article above that they are now PC/villains.

      So…I seemed to have remembered my post as being more clearly written than it was. I was sort of…saying two things at once, because of the first two sentences. (It was just a quick, small post, so I failed to save it to my computer as I usually do, for easy rereading later to see what I actually said.)

      My bad.

      What I should have said:

      Hypothetical situation:
      1. The publishing houses lose dominance over their ability to control what you read, due to factors like not making books people want to read, ebooks, and Amazon allowing small publishers and even individual authors to bypass them altogether. (‘Carriage return’ to separate this from step two, to show this as a separate step that occurs before step two, three, etc, plus numbering each line.)
      2. Amazon is now the sole holder of the power to prevent sales of books they don’t want you to read, as demonstrated by the Hatchette affair (yes, I know it had nothing to do with the content of the books, merely their pricing, I am merely talking about their ability to shut down sales with a couple of mouse clicks).
      3. The forces of PC see this, and infiltrate people into the appropriate places in Amazon, and then…
      4. Click that mouse, or whatever, and find ways to once again restrict what you can read and sell, and quicker and more thoroughly than before.

      Supporting Data:
      1. PC gained control of all major publishers.
      2. Amazon has the ultimate, demonstrated power, seen in the Hatchette affair, to cut you off from books you might want, lots of books, suddenly.

      So, even if you disagree, is this at least…clearer?

      And note that this grim scenario is show as less likely by the new data, recently presented, of Zola going around Amazon in only two months. Before that all I had was the above two data points. Data is very definitive, argument…less so.

  19. Really– it feels like I am starting all over again after every crash (selling books). I was seeing an uptick just before April 15th. So even if the entire publishing establishment crashed and burned, I don’t think I’d notice because I am reading only Baen or indie authors only now.

  20. I should point out some things:

    I am merely pointing out that if it is all coming through a single provider, it is easier to gain control of readership. This is called “bottleneck”. Well duh!

    I am not saying Amazon is a big conspirator, I am saying that the forces of PC are, or are acting like one. Why would I say that?

    Gays and lesbians form 1.1% of the US population, according to actual census figures. Thus, we can safely call the rest of us The Ninety-Nine. Despite that, they have apparently assumed total control over the SFWA and pretty dominant control of publishing houses (almost complete or even total control over European publishing, according to one report). You yourself have reported this. You yourself were/are in the SFWA, can YOU tell me how a bunch literally outnumbered 100 to 1 were able to assume control over that association?

    So, the forces of PC, and especially the gay forces (“pink”), have assumed a large measure of control of publishing already, as you yourself have reported here, may we safely assume that they did so because they wanted to? So, they want to assume control of publishing, what will happen if most publishing is sold through a single content provider, will the forces of PC, who you yourself have reported have been quite successful so far, try to gain dominance over that provider, and thus assure their victory? Will they succeed, why or why not? Why were they so easily able to dominate the SFWA, do you know? If you don’t know how they took over the SFWA, when you yourself were present, how can you predict what they will do next?

    As for competing with Amazon, I know a way around that. It has been said that when two or more capitalists get together, they conspire to get the government to lean on their competitors, especially new startups. This is easily done, regulations now make it quite difficult for startups due to the expenses of the bureaucratic hurdles you must jump through, plus licenses, taxes, fees, etc. If you want to compete, you must deal with that, and if the forces of PC gain control of the single content provider out there (assuming it becomes/remains so), will they not try the usual tactic that capitalists try anyway, to get the government to lean on any new upstarts? Besides, the government likes PC, because PC likes socialism (which is basically old fashioned feudalism with some fancy language, IE nobles, government, who tell you, pheasants, how you should live), and the government likes socialism because it gives power to the government, plus job security. This makes them natural allies.

    So, no ‘conspiracies’ to see here move along.
    Pictures of toppled Lenin statues are not hard to find at all ( might just be lack of cameras in those countries).
    The forces of PC have not taken over the SFWA, despite what you yourself have reported here.
    They have also not taken over the publishing houses, despite what you have reported in this very thread.
    So, of course, they will never try and gain control if a single content provider comes along and makes it even easier for them to control what you read.
    Nope.

    As for shutting down this website, this is already being attempted. A number of attempts have already been made to make laws effectively shutting down or largely throttling non PC or ‘right wing’ sites or other voices. There was, for instance, proposed (by Nancy Polosei I believe) a law to require radio talk shows, who are mostly right wing, to be required to provide “equal time” to opposing views, while not requiring TV shows, which are mostly left wing, to do the same. This is called “selective enforcement of the law”, and is one of the ways it can be done. One can also selectively enforce laws about “hate speech”, campaign finance reform (proposed, if this web site even mentioned anything political, it would be subject to this law, one planted poster slips in and its gone), and there’s “net neutrality” (who knows what might be slipped in such a law), and “cyberbullying”. Right this minute, the supreme court is deciding what constitutes a crime in threatening online speech. Even if they decide wisely and constitutionally now, will they do so in the future? Have you seen some of the decisions coming out of courts lately? And they don’t even need to really censor anything, just heap bureaucracy on websites they don’t like. They have already attempted it, and will so again, will they eventually succeed?

    I have merely pointed out the obvious possibility, or even likely-hood, of what might happen based on what you yourself have reported did happen, and then applying my devious mind to it to imagine what must come next. I mean, don’t you guys read Dune, The Dosadi Experiment, or anything? Your never going to get anywhere unless you get busy plotting!

    Oh, and about that “Catholic Conspiracy” (Catholic? Why Catholic?), I admit it! I am, right now, forming the new Bene-Jesuit order of Mentat Assassin Shaolin Monks. Dressed in black and bald, of course, think Technomage http://technomage-selena.tripod.com/058fd800.jpg. It is being formed as a branch of the new Evil League of Evil. One of the leaders of this league is one Sara Hoyt. See, we are so sneaky we drafted you as one of our Conspiring Evil Great Leaders without your even knowing it!

    oh, did I say that out loud?

    • “because PC likes socialism (which is basically old fashioned feudalism with some fancy language, IE nobles, government, who tell you, pheasants, how you should live), ”

      While I admit that there may be a number of people who would like a shot at me, I am not a game bird.

      Why Catholic? Uh, latin? I guess you would have to ask the Catholic conspiracy theorists, but since Amanda is just reporting established fact (that Legatus is a part of multiple Catholic conspiracy theories) that is kind of like asking why you called a yellow Corvette, a car.

    • Oh, guys, look. I’m busy, but a) we haven’t had a chewtoy in a long time, so have fun. b) someone who can’t bother to write my name properly. That’s impressive!

    • I am merely pointing out that if it is all coming through a single provider, it is easier to gain control of readership. This is called “bottleneck”. Well duh!

      Of course, that assumes there will ever be a single provider, something that is not very likely to happen. Our government has a habit, especially during the current Administration, to bail out companies in trouble in order to “help the economy” and sustain a “competitive market”. Since those same publishers you seem to think will become the victims of evil Amazon are firmly on the side of the Administration, I doubt they will let them go under. It doesn’t matter that the parent companies are from overseas. Heck, that is probably something in their favor, considering how DC happens to operate these days.

      I am not saying Amazon is a big conspirator, I am saying that the forces of PC are, or are acting like one. Why would I say that?

      No, what you said is that you were creating a false scenario where Amazon manages to corner the market and then, in turn, is taken over by the PC crowd. The conspiracy is implied, first in Amazon managing to find a way to destroy the publishers – as big as it is, there is no way it can that on its own – and then that the PC crowd would then be able to take over a non-PC company.

      Gays and lesbians form 1.1% of the US population, according to actual census figures. Thus, we can safely call the rest of us The Ninety-Nine. Despite that, they have apparently assumed total control over the SFWA and pretty dominant control of publishing houses (almost complete or even total control over European publishing, according to one report). You yourself have reported this. You yourself were/are in the SFWA, can YOU tell me how a bunch literally outnumbered 100 to 1 were able to assume control over that association?

      And where in the hell did this come from? Who has said anything about gays and lesbians taking over SFWA? What has been said, repeatedly, is that the liberal social justice warriors (sometimes also referred to as the glittery hoo-hahs for their belief that feminism is the ideal and males should be forced into second class status. Heck, some even promote killing off much of the male population, but those aren’t necessarily part of the SFWA hierarchy.) are the loudest subset of the membership and they are the ones who have, of late, been voting. That means they are the ones being elected to office. Writers are like other folks. They tend to think their one vote won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Don’t believe me? Look at our president’s approval rating and ask yourself how he managed to get elected to a second term. Then look at the percentage of eligible voters who actually went to the polls. There’s your answer to a very simplistic question meant, I can only assume, to muddy the waters. Unless, of course, you think all liberals are gay or lesbian, your basic premise here is faulty.

      So, the forces of PC, and especially the gay forces (“pink”), have assumed a large measure of control of publishing already, as you yourself have reported here, may we safely assume that they did so because they wanted to? So, they want to assume control of publishing, what will happen if most publishing is sold through a single content provider, will the forces of PC, who you yourself have reported have been quite successful so far, try to gain dominance over that provider, and thus assure their victory? Will they succeed, why or why not? Why were they so easily able to dominate the SFWA, do you know? If you don’t know how they took over the SFWA, when you yourself were present, how can you predict what they will do next?

      Sigh. You really do like comparing apples to oranges, don’t you? Putting together a voting block to take over a relatively small organization, when looking at the grand scheme of things, is really relatively easy. That’s especially true in this age of social media. Look at what just a little bit of blogging and tweeting did for Larry Correia and a few others regarding this year’s Hugo ballot. All it takes to take control of an organization that quit being relevant years ago is find a few like-minded folks who don’t mind putting their careers on at least partial hold for a year while they hold office. Of course, that assumes they actually had actual writing careers.

      Taking over a corporation is a lot more difficult. First of all, you have to have all that pesky money needed to buy up stock. Then there are the federal regulations on how much you can buy and sell at any one time. You are also assuming, again erroneously in my opinion, that the government would let Amazon put all the major publishers out of business, an assumption that also doesn’t take into account whether or not Bezos and the others behind the company want to do so.

      Of course, I have a feeling you don’t really care what any of us say in response to your comments. All you do is post more questions instead of actually responding to what others have said.

      As for competing with Amazon, I know a way around that. It has been said that when two or more capitalists get together, they conspire to get the government to lean on their competitors, especially new startups. This is easily done, regulations now make it quite difficult for startups due to the expenses of the bureaucratic hurdles you must jump through, plus licenses, taxes, fees, etc. If you want to compete, you must deal with that, and if the forces of PC gain control of the single content provider out there (assuming it becomes/remains so), will they not try the usual tactic that capitalists try anyway, to get the government to lean on any new upstarts? Besides, the government likes PC, because PC likes socialism (which is basically old fashioned feudalism with some fancy language, IE nobles, government, who tell you, pheasants, how you should live), and the government likes socialism because it gives power to the government, plus job security. This makes them natural allies.

      Gah, will you make up your mind? Are the PC folks going to infiltrate and take over Amazon or are they going to get the government to put them out of business? As for working with the government to do so, the publishers have already shown they are either too foolish or not as tight with the politicians as you seem to think they are. How, you ask? Instead of using the courts and government regulation to take down Amazon, they entered into a collusive agreement with Apple to set prices. Oh, wait, is that a light bulb I see starting to light over your head as you remember that it was the Department of Justice, as well as a number of State Attorneys General who brought suit against Apple and the five of the Big Six (now the Big Five)?

      If they can’t get the full backing of the current administration, one that has no problem “losing” months of emails or letting our vets wait months for medical treatment, what makes you think the publishers will ever be so favored by the pols that they will get that sort of backing? And what makes you think Bezos and those like him, who have more money than we can dream of, would sit still for it and not fight back, using that money to get the pols out of office?

      So, no ‘conspiracies’ to see here move along.
      Pictures of toppled Lenin statues are not hard to find at all ( might just be lack of cameras in those countries).
      The forces of PC have not taken over the SFWA, despite what you yourself have reported here.
      They have also not taken over the publishing houses, despite what you have reported in this very thread.
      So, of course, they will never try and gain control if a single content provider comes along and makes it even easier for them to control what you read.
      Nope.

      Ah, mental whiplash. Or were you trying in your own lame way to be ironic? If you were, you failed and simply came across as arguing out of both sides of your mouth.

      As for shutting down this website, this is already being attempted. A number of attempts have already been made to make laws effectively shutting down or largely throttling non PC or ‘right wing’ sites or other voices. There was, for instance, proposed (by Nancy Polosei I believe) a law to require radio talk shows, who are mostly right wing, to be required to provide “equal time” to opposing views, while not requiring TV shows, which are mostly left wing, to do the same. This is called “selective enforcement of the law”, and is one of the ways it can be done. One can also selectively enforce laws about “hate speech”, campaign finance reform (proposed, if this web site even mentioned anything political, it would be subject to this law, one planted poster slips in and its gone), and there’s “net neutrality” (who knows what might be slipped in such a law), and “cyberbullying”. Right this minute, the supreme court is deciding what constitutes a crime in threatening online speech. Even if they decide wisely and constitutionally now, will they do so in the future? Have you seen some of the decisions coming out of courts lately? And they don’t even need to really censor anything, just heap bureaucracy on websites they don’t like. They have already attempted it, and will so again, will they eventually succeed?

      And will dogs fly in the future and men grow wing? This sort of mental gymnastics is without merit because all you are doing is throwing fuel on the flames without actually discussing the issue or coming up with safeguards. The only thing you’ve succeeded in doing here is showing that you don’t care about discussing the issue. You take situations that aren’t likely to happen, and certainly not in the immediate future, and proclaim them done deals. Then you backtrack and change the parameters of the “thought exercise” to suit your next statement.

      I have merely pointed out the obvious possibility, or even likely-hood, of what might happen based on what you yourself have reported did happen, and then applying my devious mind to it to imagine what must come next. I mean, don’t you guys read Dune, The Dosadi Experiment, or anything? Your never going to get anywhere unless you get busy plotting!

      Obvious? No, it isn’t the obvious possibility. It is a vague possibility that would require a number of things to fall into the exact right place at the exact right time to happen. It requires planning, preparation, money, government approval – or at least acquiescence – and a majority takeover of the stockholders of Amazon and Bezos doing a complete turnaround or being forced out. How likely is all of that to happen within a tight enough timeframe for your scenario to occur?

      Oh, and about that “Catholic Conspiracy” (Catholic? Why Catholic?), I admit it! I am, right now, forming the new Bene-Jesuit order of Mentat Assassin Shaolin Monks. Dressed in black and bald, of course, think Technomage http://technomage-selena.tripod.com/058fd800.jpg. It is being formed as a branch of the new Evil League of Evil. One of the leaders of this league is one Sara Hoyt. See, we are so sneaky we drafted you as one of our Conspiring Evil Great Leaders without your even knowing it!

      Catholic because a simple google search on your “name” brings up plenty of information about just that. Of course, that also leads me to wonder why you don’t have the guts to post under your own name. Why hide behind a pseudonym? Most of us here either post under our own names or are linked to our own sites/blogs where it is easy to find out who we are. Do you have something to hide perhaps?

      • Oh, and if I’ve been blogging about lesbians and gays taking over SFWA, I’ve suffered a catastrophic memory loss. I mean, clearly if I think gays are a danger, I shouldn’t have written A Few Good Men… ;)

        • Nah, you used the word “pink” and we all know that is code for gay. (yes, I’m being sarcastic).

          • In my book, it’s code for SOCIALIST.

            • Mine too, but we aren’t the cool kids. So we don’t get let in on all the new codes.

            • But isn’t Socialist a code for gay?

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Some idiots have claimed that calling Obama a socialist is evidence that the person is a racist.

                • Your new, go-to site for determining whether (it is) and how something is racist might be: http://everythingisracism.com/

                  Do you suspect something is racist (it is) but can’t quite put your finger on why? Check “Everything Is Racism” for your handy racist accusation needs.

                  HT: the bloggers at Powerline

                  • Heh, I found that on one of my morning blogs, but it wasn’t Powerline. I expect to see that link cropping up in quite a few places for the next several days:-)

                • Criticizing anything about Obama is racist. One wonders whether they really don’t notice that Obama is not reducible to his race and therefore can have flaws not related to his race — which is racist of them — or they really don’t want to defend his policies because if they got to grips with them, they would realize they are supporting him for the color of his skin and not the content of his character, or policies — which is racist of them.

    • The forces of PC have not taken over the SFWA …

      Tell that to Theodore Beale.

      • The forces of PC have not taken over the SFWA …

        Tell that to Theodore Beale.

        Which is my point exactly.

        • When I read your initial comment, I thought your line “The forces of PC have not taken over the SFWA, despite what you yourself have reported here” was denial that it had happened. Now, after having read some of the responses to you, I get that your argument was, “the PC forces want to take over everything, and they’ll try to take over Amazon too” –but at the time it was less than clear.

          However, your argument falls apart when you consider what happened next after the PC forces took over. The SFWA writers, for example, stopped writing interesting stories and started writing grey goo. Result: the huge numbers of people buying from indie authors, and SFWA digging the grave of its own relevance. (Their refusal to condemn the pederasts and pederast enablers among their own membership is hastening the process, but it started much further back.)

          If Amazon goes full-PC and starts refusing to sell books by conservative authors, the same thing will happen: they’ll start driving all the conservative readers to their competitors.

          Competitors? Which competitors? Why, the ones that will show up in droves if that ever happens. After all, while setting up competition to Amazon’s physical-goods delivery service would be very hard, setting up competition to their ebook delivery service would be trivial. I could do so in a few months, and so could any other reasonably skilled software developer. Right now there’s no reason to do so, because they’re not driving customers away… but if they ever start driving customers away by going full-PC, you’ll be amazed how fast effective competition starts springing up.

          No, you don’t need to worry that non-PC authors would be shut out if Amazon turned PC. It would be far too easy to build around them, just as authors are building around the SFWA now.

    • I’m not going to touch the bulk of your — ramble? — Amanda’s already done a fine job poking at the holes (*innocence*), but I’ve got to touch one thing:

      It has been said that when two or more capitalists get together, they conspire to get the government to lean on their competitors, especially new startups.

      It has been said that people frequently make things up on the internet. Folks who push for regulatory barriers to competition aren’t capitalists, whatever they call themselves. Using the term twice irritates.

      Thanks.

      • The thing is that while Communist means someone who likes Communism, capitalist doesn’t means someone who likes capitalism. It generally means someone who owns capital and would love, love, love to live in a more regulated world to burden his competitors.

        • While that is all to frequently an occurence, it’s not what the word means.

          Much as self-declared communists don’t understand the philosophy they cleave to, self-declared capitalists who maneuver for .gov protectionism need to do a little more thinking.

      • Quibble to your quibble: they may be Capitalists, of the Crony variety. What they are not is free marketeers.

        • Fair quibble. Though I tend to think the modifier negates the modified. ;)

          In any event, his failure to modify prompted my irritation.

          • That was a quote “”Adam Smith told us that whenever two capitalists get together, their conversation turns to scheming on how they can get the government to restrict entry into their business, and thus reduce competition.”
            Be annoyed at Adam Smith. Good luck with that.
            It has been said that people frequently make things up on the internet, do you want to rephrase that?

            • Stoo-pid Legatus, you’ve gotten the quote wrong, wrong, WRONG*.

              Not that this is any surprise, but it would terribly undermine your credibility if you had any.

              Besides, even in your corrupted iteration of Smith’s statement you undermine your central argument about the forces of PC being the threat.

              *I leave confirmation of this statement to the interested reader, especially those likely to benefit from reading (and, unlike Legatus) comprehending some of Smith’s advice. Here is a clew, however: Smith did not use the term “Capitalists.”

            • You got a cite for Adam Smith saying such? Or a cite for somebody else saying Adam Smith said such (since, you know, you’re not actually quoting Smith)?

              For future clarity, “it’s been said” is not a standard format for citing quotations.

              Why would I be mad at Smith? He made coherent arguments.

              Do I want to rephrase? Nope.

              • “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices”

                From Wealth of Nations.

                Indeed, Thomas Sowell had a trick to make sure his students read that book scrupulous. He promised any student who found a favorable reference to a businessman in that book would get an A for that alone — knowing he would never have to give it out.

                That’s the advantage of the free market. It can work without producing the New Capitalist Man.

                • Still leaving Legatus’ argument without attribute.

                  • Without attribution and a misquote.

                    Communists, socialists, trade unionists are not “capitalists” yet are in “the same trade” and “conspir[e] against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

                    • Yes. I was being too clever with “attribute” trying to stretch it over quality and citation.

                    • See above quote by Mary (finally, an adult rather than a poo flinging money!), my “quote” (which has been around a while, see http://www.google.com/search?q=%22whenever+two+capitalists+get+together%22&lr=&as_qdr=all&prmd=ivns&ei=4k6rU-PNK8PsoAS3voKQBQ&start=10&sa=N&filter=0 ) is essentially similar to what was written in Wealth of nations. Exact quotes and attributions are nitpicking, the essence and meaning are identical, the language has been mildly updated to be more modern.. You did not like my suggestion (about Amazon) earlier (or wish to join the attack to be considered one of the cool kids), so you nitpick (or do you just enjoy nitpicking?). Thucydides wrote, men will accept without argument conclusions they find agreeable; but will bring all the force of logic and reason against those they do not like. Is that enough attribution and quoting for you, or will you continue to get all emo?

                      “Same Trade” means working the same sort of job, two butchers, two bakers, two candlestick makers. Communists and socialists are not tradespeople, they work no trade.
                      Learn to read.

                    • Yes, yes, nitpickery to expect you to have any reference to the authority in your appeal to authority.

                      Communists and socialists work no trade? Where then do the goods of their society come from?

                      The reasons for your incoherence become increasingly clear, though your screeds do not.

                    • I may get trounced here, but I’m going to defend Legatus. As far as I can tell, his actual offenses seem to be:

                      1. He tends to write in giant walls of text.
                      2. He has misspelled our gracious hostess name.
                      3. He confuses the word “pheasant” with the word “peasants”.

                      As far as what he’s saying about Amazon, Sarah, as well as a bunch of other of you, frequently point out that conservatives tend to hire for competence, while liberals tend to hire for ideology. Thus, most organizations gradually moved to the left that they lose competence, unless they make a special effort not to do so. As near as I can make out from those giant walls of text, that is all he is saying about Amazon, that, sometime in the future, whether next year, or 50 years from now, Amazon is likely to be as liberal as the other places that we had time to complain about. This may or may not be true. But in either case, it doesn’t seem to be a thing to get so upset about.

                    • The first point is not critical — we all do that on occasion, the other two may be dismissed as typing issues. No, the problem is that Legatus’ arguments are incoherent and that Legatus responds to challenges by becoming more incoherent.

                      That tends to be obscured by the lengthy screeds, which is the primary reason anybody complains about that aspect.

                      Oh, and there is also the fact that Legatus essentially makes the same point about Amazon as I might by observing that “Rain is wet, fire burns.” Of course any single point poses the risk of point failure — but that problem exists and Amazon thus far is the best solution available. Legatus has complained about danger without positing any semi-viable alternative. When confronted by such intellectual flatulence the only entertainment to be derived is from commenting on the stench.

                    • Au contraire, Leggy old chap. There is a fundamental distinction between what you “cited” and what Smith actually said. I lack time to properly school you in such subtle distinction as the difference between a “capitalist” and “persons in the same trade” and suspect you are more interested in “flinging poo” in the name of denouncing “poo flinging” to take instruction anyway. The essence of meanings are very different; you might as well claim all rectangles are squares is essentially the same as all squares are rectangles.

                      Same principle applies to anybody too dim and small-minded to grasp what trade communists, socialists and trade unionists are in.

                      What you call “nit-picking” is the sort of observation of fundamental distinctions that is critical to reasoned discourse, although it might be you are opting to declaim “nit-picking” rather than acknowledge your own sloppy thought. Details matter in the written (as well as spoken) word; as Twain observed, it is the difference between the lightning bug and the lighting.

                    • More concise reply: your failure to appreciate the distinction does not mean it is non-existent nor unimportant.

                • Just looked up the quote, and there’s more that I’d never seen before (I never did finish “Wealth of Nations”:-/

                  People of the same trade…But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much less to render them necessary.

                  Politics is a trade…

    • Legatus, dude, whatever side effects your meds have, you still need to stay on them. Seriously, those side effects can’t be worse than this steaming pile of… I can’t call it future compost, because it would kill any self-respecting garden, and it’s not shit because there isn’t anything alive with a digestive system that could deal with this twaddle.

      Amazon is not a “bottleneck”. They aren’t STOPPING anyone or anything else from doing any segment they’re in as well or better than they do it. Amazon is a frigging wide-dispersion content hose. We put content in one end, they spray it out the other. They could lose their entire epublishing business and still manage quite nicely, thanks to their physical goods business, their web hosting and virtual systems business arm, and god knows how many other sectors they have – this means that they don’t MIND competition. They won’t be driven out of business by any single competitor – and they have a diverse enough base that they can afford to try experimental product launches and see what takes and what doesn’t (“Fire phone”).

      The forces of PC have not taken over the SFWA, despite what you yourself have reported here.

      Excuse me? Would you kindly return to whichever universe you sprang from, because it sure as hell isn’t this one. SFWA, the organization which threw one of its legendary hissy-fits over a pulp tribute cover with the pulp icon busty gal in the chain mail bikini who’d just slain the monster. SFWA the organization that clutched its pearls and had fits of the vapors over two old hands reminiscing about “lady authors” and “lady editors” because they remembered said authors and editors as attractive women who knew how to use their looks as well as being damn good authors/editors. SFWA the organization that expelled a member for what amounted to speaking his mind in terms they didn’t like?

      If that isn’t controlled by PC, the Pacific Ocean isn’t wet.

      Take your tripe off to somewhere that will appreciate it. Laughing at your nonsense makes my side hurt too much.

      • If that isn’t controlled by PC, the Pacific Ocean isn’t wet.
        Which was exactly my point.

        • Right. Sure. You managed to make it sound like your point was the exact opposite of that. It’s a remarkable talent, but not a particularly desirable one.

  21. The forces of PC have not taken over the SFWA, despite what you yourself have reported here.

    Excuse me? Would you kindly return to whichever universe you sprang from, because it sure as hell isn’t this one.

    You people were all up in arms and suggesting I am a conspiracy buff for suggesting any possible PC attempt to control Amazon could ever happen (apparently, you all think you know the future, somehow…). I merely pointed out that such “attempts” have not only happened, they were successful. My idea was simple, you say “this is a conspiracy theory, therefore it cannot happen”, so I simply point out that it has already happened (READ THE WHOLE POST!), in the SFWA, and in 6 separate publishing houses in the US and all publishing houses in Europe. Your logic is “if it sounds like a conspiracy theory, it is automatically not true”, applied to my idea of what might happen with Amazon (specifically with Hatchette), and therefore, the idea that PC could take over all six separate major publishing houses (and reported all publishing in Europe) sounds like a conspiracy theory, and therefore must not be true, right?

    Here is whats going on:

    Currently, Amazon allows you to make an end run around the major publishing houses, which are dominated by PC (I think this is good)). This mean Amazon is your friend. Your friend must be supported at all costs against any “attack”. My suggestion that in the future, what happened to all major publishing houses could happen to Amazon is seen as an attack on Amazon. You must therefore attack me, get all emotional and irrational and insult me (read what you wrote, direct insults) for daring to suggest that in the future, Amazon might change, daring to suggest that the future could be different than the present (DUH!). I support this with evidence from this site, the SFWA changed, the publishing houses changed, Amazon could change.

    Second, this post also shows how such things can happen. Someone says I sound like a conspiracy buff (for daring to suggest that what has already happened could continue to happen). So, meek little sheep that you are, and wanting to remain with the safety of the herd, and be thought of as one of the cool kids, you join in, without thinking, without actually reading what I wrote in many cases, just piling on with insulting, emotional, unreasoning attacks, apparently trying to outdo each other in this. Find anything in my post (or what you say is there, look up “straw man argument”) that you can take out of contest, or mock, or miscaracterize, even to the point of attacking misspelling (Sarah, look at the top of this website, how does it spell your first name, hint, IT DOESN’T) which is the clearest sign of attacking for attacking sake, rather than actually thinking. That is the way PC works as well, you join in, or you are kicked out of the herd, it’s scary out there alone, so you join in. Are you not grown men and women who can think for yourselves? I thought “here is a site with thinking, reasoning grown ups”, was I wrong in this? You disappoint me.

    Third, you don’t want Amazon to be taken over by PC, therefore it won’t happen. Clue, the universe doesn’t care what you want, wishing real hard will not make it so. Attacking anyone who dares to suggest that the future might change as the present already has won’t change that future. Did you want the SFWA and the major publishing houses to go all PC? Yet they did, does that give you a clue that what you want may not matter? It happened without your knowledge or consent there, it can happen again. Sticking your head in the sand won’t change anything.

    Finally, it is a military axiom that you don’t care what you think your enemy will do, because you don’t know, you only care what they CAN do. Amazon has shown, with Hatchette, that they can shut down any buying of books they don’t want, it was reported that it was/is virtually impossible to buy a book from Hatchette. So, Amazon has the capability to prevent buying of books they don’t want you to buy, do the PC crowd want to have that capability? No, than why did they take over the publishing houses and the SFWA and actually DO that? And now that Amazon allows an end run around those publishing houses, will the PC crowd like that, and if they don’t, what might they do about it? And you may say “Amazon does not want to do this, it will hurt sales”, well, the publishing houses don’t want to do it either, it will hurt sales, yet they have done it and it has hurt sales, yet they continue to do it. Also, can you prophecy the future, can you tell me what Amazon, or anyone else, will do in the future? People change.

    As for the name “Legatus”, well, I dunno, there is this thing, called the internet, In Ter Net, that you could, I dunno, use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legatus . I needed a name, do you understand I why might not want to use my real name on the internet? Can you say “identity theft”? Can you say “spam”? Can you say “advertisers”? Do you read the paper, and have you noticed that people now are getting fired, blackballed, have businesses boycotted, have the IRS after them, etc for having un PC ideas? Might I want to have a job next week? Or has your head been in the sand just in the last few months or even weeks and have not noticed the firings and boycotts? Or is that just more conspiracy theory? Odd how it makes it into the news, don’t you think? Calling something “just a conspiracy theory” doesn’t make it automatically not true. Your calling it anything, or assuming that if you personally don’t want to believe it it is not true, is saying “my belief makes it not true”, it is saying “I am God”. Are you God, and can you prove it? SHOW ME. “What is, is, what ain’t, ain’t, that’s logic”. “Reality, what a concept”. And if you feel all proud of yourself by using your real name, well, about that pseudonym, YOU HAD BETTER GET ONE. Or do I need to show you a list of all the people who have been fired and blackballed lately? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacklisting#California_Proposition_8_supporter_blacklist http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/12/the-new-hollywood-blacklist/ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/22/the-blacklist-of-climate-science/ http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/374734/mozilla-employees-call-ceo-be-fired-donating-prop-8-campaign-alec-torres took me only a minute

    • Yes, well, I see your method. You win arguments by being SO incoherent, no one knows what you’re talking about.
      Okay, on SFWA and your idee fix that Amazon will become a monopoly and then be taken over (though you claimed, of course, that this was a “plan” and now you’re saying it’s not. If you’re not a troll, I recommend you medicate or learn to express your thoughts, whichever is appropriate. Right now you sound barely organized enough to go out in society, much less to have “theories.”)
      I’m not going to engage your incoherence.
      But I have to level set some stuff
      1- I did not lament that SFWA was taken over by the left. Are you a ninnyhammer, sir? I made fun of the left for thinking they achieved a great victory by taking over the SFWA.
      At its best SFWA was a VOLUNTEER organization of writers helping writers. Like all such organizations it attracts officious busybodies and do gooders. Like all such organizations, it will trend left unless it is explicitly RIGHT (and even so.)
      2- this has no resemblance with Amazon which is a for-profit enterprise.
      3- You’re arguing a plot or a plan or a dire danger for which there is not one yota of evidence.
      4- All the agitating by the left about eevul Amazon is in the name of having government break Amazon up when it comes to books.
      5- if the government does that we WILL end up with three or four outlets, ALL leftist and controlled by the government. What’s more, there will be barriers to the formation of competitors.
      6- I would love to see a competitor to Amazon, and in fact I’m trying to start one, by giving away the ideas that would make it succeed.
      7- The main reason that the competitors flounder is because instead of trying to make a lot of money, they try to be the “anti-amazon.” So they’re fluffy and “Supportive” and annoy professionals and hector beginners, and have ass backward search engines and recommends.
      8-Your original theory that Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field and control what everyone writes means you are now sitting at your computer with a smirk on your face and your underwear on your head. You might as well say Walmart will become the only retailer and control what everyone buys. Wait, you probably believe that too. Not sane. Competitors will spring up. In the history of humanity, all of it, monopolies can only exist when created or abetted by the government and even that is not secure because when a business becomes intolerable enough, commerce will find a way. Look at the post office, now reduced to delivering junk mail. And Amazon ebooks has a much lower entry threshold than other businesses. You need a server, a plan, and some funemployed programmers. That’s it.
      9- You’re making the classical mistake of thinking because a field is important to you it is important to the world. Most people can’t care less about ebooks, or books in general, even if some of us can make a living from them.
      10- The real so and so is evul campaign from the left will start in the next five years when some company yet unknown starts innovative online teaching and takes all th middle school kids out of the state monopoly.
      And you’ll probably fall for THAT one too.

      • Sarah, don’t waste time on him. He refuses to respond directly to anyone, starting a new thread level with each post so that we won’t respond to him unless we actually look back to see if he’s returned with more eye crossing, incoherent ramblings. You have better things to do than deal with him,as do the rest of us. He’s a troll, nothing more.

        • But — troll skewering is a great warm-up for the day!

          • Only if they try to actually play. He doesn’t have the cajones for it. Otherwise, he’d actually respond in-thread instead of starting new threads each time.

            • Based on examples to date, I’m not sure if I’d know he was responding, in thread or out. Coherence, it’s a thing.

            • Actually, I simply hadn’t notice the small, dim “reply” button, nothing more.

              • I advise you against disparaging others as small and dim. It calls into doubt your own perspicacity … although your own writings do that readily enough.

                • Look up, read :the small, dim “reply” button.
                  Learn to read.

                  The second part is nothing but a direct, personal attack, is that all people do on this site? Is that your form of reasoned argument? Are you adults???

                  • Incoherent arguments and no sense of humour. Noted.

                    The button is neither small nor dim and is obviously employed by many others, rendering you the least observant person here.

                    • On the sites, other sites, I regularly visit, no such reply button is present. Simple as that. On those sites, you reply buy just posting on the bottom (wordpress.com sites). Habit.

                      More direct, personal insults, noted.

                    • When did you first suspect that this is not like other sites? Did you not notice that some posts were offset and did you not wonder how that happened?

                      As for insults, it is very difficult to say anything about your faulty logic nor unobservant responses without pointing out your personal failings. As your hand are not clean on this subject your hypocrisy is duly noted.

                  • Why yes, those who have spent their time on you are rational, mature adults.

                    That is why they are treating you and your contradictory, largely incoherent rants– and, because of the limits of the medium, their maker– as unworthy of serious consideration.

                    • I said Actually, I simply hadn’t notice the small, dim “reply” button, nothing more.

                      RES | June 25, 2014 at 2:22 am said:
                      I advise you against disparaging others as small and dim. It calls into doubt your own perspicacity

                      Foxfier | June 25, 2014 at 8:34 pm Said:

                      Why yes, those who have spent their time on you are rational, mature adults.

                      Yes, I’m sure that RESes’ post, where you can see, all one one computer screen, that I said “reply” button, and he then childishly turned it into I advise you against disparaging others as small and dim is soooo mature! Followed, as usual, by his usual direct, personal insult about what I did not say.
                      Learn to read.

                    • So you are rude, illogical and unoriginal.

                      Insults get their weight from the respect accorded their source. When it comes from someone who demands respect and consideration they cannot be bothered to offer, after they spent a great deal of time demonstrating they will not offer even token amounts in return, it’s just boring.

      • Good skewering – I had a hard time keeping track of what Legatus was saying, almost to the point where I needed to do a printout of his screed and try to group his arguments. Not that it would be worth the effort…

        As far as Evil Amazon goes…

        They can be as evil as they want, and I’ll GLADLY give them the money they want for hosting my books – because they don’t get paid unless what I put up sells. (And I got paid! Books sold! WOO-HOO!) (Cues up music and does happy dance.)

        Amazon hasn’t tried to control what I put up. (Except for formatting, which is understandable. If the user can’t read the book, that’s a problem.) Why would they?

        Amazon is looking to make money. PC-cant laden crap doesn’t sell much, and it’s not because there’s a lack of it – it’s because it’s BORING. Make it mandatory, and it will STILL be boring. BORING doesn’t sell books – it never has and never will, absent government dictate like with Mao’s little book. (Look at Hillary’s new book. That $14 mil advance was wasted…)

        Sarah, you’ve done a great service pointing folks like me in the direction of Kindle Direct. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and for fighting the good fight for us all.

        • You’re welcome. I’m anxiously waiting for the payment — witchfinder, oooh! — to hit the bank account. We badly need it. And I’m so grateful we have Amazon for this.

          • Amen. Selah. I have sold one (1) book on B&N since January. I have sold a goodly number more than that on the ‘Zon. Kobo? Nothing’s moved since mid-2013. I’m not doing Gumroad (direct sales) until I can get the tax stuff sorted out, which means I need to be earning a lot more in order to justify the investment in the legal hoops. So I’ll take working with the Merchants of Evil. Which they obviously are, since they sell things by the International Lord of Hate™, the Evil Overlord of Evil ™, The Banished One, and Sarah. (And Kate, who just has Evil Inside ™). :P

            • No, no, no, NO. Stop it! Now I want to make decals (or buttons, or perhaps even nametags) that look like the “Intel Inside” decals for computers, but which say, “Evil Inside”.

              • Okay.

                Where can I get one?

                  • Well, that just got ordered …

                    • *sadfaces* I actively got told ‘no’ on decals and stickers because they contribute to overheating (and, being in Australia, something I need to be hyperaware of for my hardware to survive…) Otherwise I’d have gone and ordered the CorreiaTech International Minion of Hate/ Powered by Hate stickers. This would have been a hilarious addition.

                      If I can figure something out I’ll probably get stuff I can use to decorate my workspace instead.

                • Amazon sells the vinyl decals. I tried to post a link earlier, but it’s stuck in moderation, and possibly disallowed (didn’t realize it would post an ad…mea culpa). Just search for “evil inside” on their site.

                  • Amazon sells …“???

                    Good Lord, man, haven’t you been following* Legatus’ screeds? Amazon is the coming locus of all that is evil, destined to be overtaken by the Forces of PC, like Scotty in ST:TOS “A Wolf In the Fold.” They already took over everything else, the Universities, the Publishing Houses, the SFWA, so how can Amazon** resist?

                    *I know, I know — if Legatus won’t bother to follow his arguments, why should anybody else?

                    **Yes, I realize that this would make the forces of PC as unstoppable as Temujin’s horde and would demand we constantly flee rather than choose a choke point at which to make our stand, like Gemmell’s Druss of the Axe at Dros Delnoch or Sparta’s 300, but don’t stop to think about that, fly, fly my winged monkeys!!

              • YES! I shall put one on each of my monitors, the computer, and my son.

                Well, maybe not him.

        • What is “Kindle Direct”, and how do I get in?

      • 3- You’re arguing a plot or a plan or a dire danger for which there is not one yota of evidence.
        Well, let see ” In the early two thousands I found that most of my friends were now reading popular history because, bizarrely, it was less politically correct than fiction. It didn’t last. The publishers caught on and started pushing PC there too. In fact, about five years ago, when things started falling apart for them, they were in the process of doing this to Romance, where I’d been driven to escape their insanity. I read my first romance in my thirties, and by five years ago was reading five or six a day. And then all the new releases featured historical heroines who were suffragettes or modern-day-style feminists, or evil business owners, or… you know the drill and so do I.

        Who wrote that? Oh, right, you did. So, you noticed a top down plan to control what you can read and get published. Sounds like a plot or plan to me, in fact, you wrote they turned book selling into a “command economy”, sounds like plotting and planning to me.

        I merely am pointing out that if such a thing can be plotted and planned and done in one area, publishing houses, as you have stated above, it can even more effectively be done at Amazon. I have not said it is being done now, only that the capability exists, and is therefore a threat that should be noticed. It is a threat because the total shutdown of selling by Hatchette is so much more total than anything one single publisher has done, that it shows that Amazon doesn’t need to put the publishing houses out of business (they may do that to themselves at this rate), they already own them, to some extent. Amazon can live without Hatchette, can Hatchette live without Amazon? Click on a book on this site, where do you go, Amazon.

        8-Your original theory that Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field and control what everyone writes

        I have not said this, I merely noticed that 6 completely separate publishing houses had been taken over by PC, as YOU have written here (see above), and that Amazon has shown the CAPABILITY, with the Hatchette thing, to shut down a whole bunch of book buying. I have not said that Amazon is now evil, or is actively trying to become evil. I am simply pointing out it’s demonstrated CAPABILITY means that IF the PC crowd can take it over (and they need only slip in a few people to the book selling division) and their takeover of six separate publishing houses shows such capability, that the prize to them, being able to shut down buying of any book they wish, is worth it. ” Lenin’s Statue is Tumbling Down”, what if they want to put it back up again, what is the next logical step? THINK.

        I have not said Amazon is evil, I have said they have demonstrated POWER (ask Hatchette). Power, in itself, is not evil, I merely point out that it can be used by evil, and point out who wishes to use it. You are the ones equating power with evil.

        Have you not noticed that the PC crowd wish certain kinds of books to not be available? Would they not wish to have the capability to make them unavailable more effectively? Does not Amazon’s almost total shutdown of book buying from Hatchette show that capability? So what will the PC crowd do? Note that, unless you can prove that you can accurately predict the future, you cannot know, but from their (the PC crowd) past and present actions, you certainly know what they wish to do, because they have said so, and done it. They are now temporarily partially stymied by Amazon, will they let that continue? So what might they do?

        What they may do is slip a few people into the book selling division. When there, simply say “won’t it make Amazon look bad if we sell racist/homophobic/sexist books?” You know how those corporate types care about their ‘corporate image’. “Besides”, they can say, “we don’t want our bad corporate image to harm our sales of other stuff, it’s just a few books, we have plenty of other stuff.” You don’t have to buy all their stock, as another poster stated, did the PC crowd take over 6 separate publishing houses by buying out their stock? And do the PC types care whether they make or lose money? They have taken over 6 publishing houses, gone all PC on you, lost readers and money, yet they continue.

        8-Your original theory that Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field and control what everyone writes means you are now sitting at your computer with a smirk on your face and your underwear on your head.
        See above, I did not say this, so YOU OWE ME AN APOLOGY. You have merely made up a straw man argument and then insulted me for the words you put in my mouth. That is dishonest. If you say I did say it, QUOTE ME. Find it, cut it, paste it, if you cannot find it, apologize. I will wait, perhaps I was not clear on an earlier post, we will see…

        • Just for clarification, to those who think I am saying Amazon is evil:
          1. Amazon is POWERFUL.
          2. The publishing houses are (or were) POWERFUL AND EVIL (because they have become PC, among other reasons). They are, or were, powerful because they colluded together as one monopoly (as seen by the evidence of the article linked above).
          3. The difference between them, power wise, may currently not be much (although Amazon will likely get more powerful simply because the publishing houses are PC, which hurts sales). Amazon, however, is nimble, the publishing houses are not, Amazon has proven they can shut down anyone at the touch of a button. This is because they don’t have to collude together to act as one company, they are one company.
          4. If, in the future, Amazon is invaded by the PC crowd (which may not be as easy as it sounds, one can hope), and becomes as evil as the major publishing houses now act (that is, PC), then you have gone from the frying pan to the fire.
          5. This may not happen, but it is a very real possibility, given past experience with the publishing houses. How will you react now, to prevent it, or to work around it i(f it happens, in the future?

          That is the question I am posing.
          It cannot be any clearer.

          (Boy scout song)
          If you want a great adventure
          of a new and different kind
          and you meet a nice young girl scout
          who is similarly inclined
          don’t be shy
          don’t be nervous
          don’t be scared
          be prepaaaaaared!

          • Asked and answered. A number of people have posited a number of scenarios that call into question your predictions. And ways around your predictions.

            You’re having a hard time grasping why people don’t credit your gloomy scenario, and I suspect it’s because you think a PC conspiracy overtook publishing.

            But that’s not what happened. There was no conspiracy, just a shift in culture abetted by dominance of service. The previously high cost of publishing enabled this, and market blindness blocked corrective forces. Bad for publishing, but no conspiracy.

            Amazon is a different beast in a different world, and such a culture shift would see Amazon fail. Amazon does not have market dominance because of a lock on the market, they have dominance because of their service model.

            Amazon’s very own business plan makes them vulnerable to competitors who can do it better.

            But this has all been said here before. So how about, before you admonish our host to LISTEN, you pay attention yourself?

            • First, I want to thank you for not being a poo flinging monkey, but writing something intelligible.

              You’re having a hard time grasping why people don’t credit your gloomy scenario, and I suspect it’s because you think a PC conspiracy overtook publishing.

              But that’s not what happened. There was no conspiracy, just a shift in culture abetted by dominance of service. The previously high cost of publishing enabled this, and market blindness blocked corrective forces. Bad for publishing, but no conspiracy.

              I have no idea exactly how it happened (does anyone really?), nor does it really matter. If it happened once, it can happen again (or at least that looks like a possibility). Plus, it did happen, and now PC dominates the major publishing houses, and wishes to continue that dominance. This is new, and suggests that what happens next could also be new and different. Such as, people could actively plan to slip into the Amazon book buying division and PC-ify it, thus continuing their dominance (it might not be as easy as they think, but they may at least try). Perhaps you think that highly unlikely, and perhaps it is, but it appears at least, from the past experience I have quoted from you above, to be possible. It happened once, could it happen again? And if it does, could this new, PC-ifyed (in it’s book buying division) Amazon pull a Hatchette job on, say all books by “undesirable” authors? Unmutual!

              I should point out that, frankly, I hope Amazon buries the Hatchette. A nice shallow grave outside of Las Vegas is traditional. And then turns on the major publishing houses, and at the very least, forces them to shape up or die. Its the part after that that worries me…

              Imagine that you are surrounded by wolves. Now, a huge bear comes up and absolutely destroys all the wolves. Yay bear! But now, the bear turns and looks at you. You have seen what it can do, might you be worried? Maybe its a bear that’s a friend of yours, somehow, yet still, bears change. And it’s still a wild animal, you know. And it’s so BIG!

              But this has all been said here before. So how about, before you admonish our host to LISTEN, you pay attention yourself?

              Actually, not really been said before. What happened, people started screaming, hurling insults and lies, and generally going emo. I mean really, listen to what? Hate? Lies? Insults? You are one of the few who has not hurled direct insults, often devoid of substance (look above). You have set up no straw man arguments, or claimed I said something I did not say. Your post at least has some substance, contributes something besides emotion, insults, hate, and garble. You add at least something to the conversation, rather than just…words, lots of words (some people seem to be posting merely to see themselves in ‘print’). Screaming is for monkeys.

              Seriously, the only word I can use on many of the above posters is “half savage”. Really, what is the difference between the PC crowds screaming out “sexist homophobic racist”, and the above posts? So, how can these people, how dare they, claim that the PC crowds use of insults, lies, gossip, and the like is wrong, when they have shown here that that is what THEY are? I see no difference, none. And if, like “Vox Day”, I choose to respond to direct, personal attacks, you’ll take it and like it.

              The few people capable of inter spacing their insults and lies and the like with anything sorta…intelligible, mainly seemed to be saying “this can never happen!” (which probably means “I don’t want it to happen”) which, unless you are a great seer and prophet, you cannot know. It appears that they like what Amazon is doing now (as do I), and therefore have decided that Amazon can do no wrong, even in the future. My idea is simple, if Amazon can do it to THEM, what might it be able to do to YOU.

              • … people could actively plan to slip into the Amazon book buying division and PC-ify it …

                See, Leggy, here’s the problem: Amazon has NO book-buying division, so those infiltrators would have a hard time. Amazon is a broker, it does not decide which books get sold.

                The fact that you throw Hatchette into that demonstrates that you completely do not understand what you are talking ’bout.

                Which is why people dismiss your incoherent illogical arguments.

          • Inverting and contradicting your prior logical fallacies does not enhance your present credibility, esp. as you did so with retraction or acknowledgement of “corrections” to initial arguments.

            Neither is your ethos (look it up in Aristotle’s On Rhetoric enhanced by unattributed quotation of Tom Lehrer’s parody song as representing the views of the BSA. Having abandoned logos and damaged ethos your only remaining argument would seem to be pathos.

            • I am merely clarifying my original idea. I simply had an idea, a possible future scenario jotted it quickly down (in it’s simplest, shortest form), threw it out there, and everyone (well, many people) went berserk and became poo flinging monkeys. You, especially, seem incapable of much but poo flinging.

              You people (many, not all) might want to, I dunno, chill out occasionally, suggest I clarify, perhaps, rather than going all emo and berserk and resorting to insults, lies (claiming I said things I did not), and the like. You could say something understandable and polite, like “I do not understand this, could you clarify?” You know, act like adults.

              • If that was the “simplest, shortest form” of your idea I shudder to imagine the long, complex elaborate form. Contradicting the original argument is not generally thought of as clarification, nor is “flinging poo” at people then complaining when they return fire a particularly “adult” approach to discussion, unless you are using “adult” in the same sense as the marketers of “adult” movies — an ironic contradiction which in fact admits the material is adolescent.

                I am curious — what “lies” do you claim have been uttered?

                • I am curious — what “lies” do you claim have been uttered?

                  How about your lie?

                  I said Actually, I simply hadn’t notice the small, dim “reply” button, nothing more.

                  RES | June 25, 2014 at 2:22 am said:
                  I advise you against disparaging others as small and dim. It calls into doubt your own perspicacity

                  Here you can see, all one one computer screen, that I said “reply” button, and you then turned it into I advise you against disparaging others as small and dim. Notice a difference between the two? Followed by your usual direct, personal insult about what you know I did not say.
                  Or can’t you read?
                  Your own writing, even!
                  My!

                  And then there’s:8-Your original theory that Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field and control what everyone writes means you are now sitting at your computer with a smirk on your face and your underwear on your head.
                  Pretty much the same thing, make up something I am supposed to have said (read my posts, CUT AND PASTE and show me different), and then use that lie to make a direct, personal insult.
                  Learn to read.

                  • Learn not to stand in someone else’s living room and shout at their friends.

                  • Read my posts, CUT AND PASTE and show me different.

                    I did, further down-thread (search for “10:50 pm” to find my post). I’m mentioning it here to make sure you see it. As I said in that reply, the part I quoted (from your first post in this thread) is easily read as being exactly that. While that may not be what you intended to communicate, you shouldn’t blow up at people for reading it that way, because it was most naturally read as “this is Amazon’s plan to control what everyone writes”. To communicate your meaning better, that first post should have been a bit longer (but not as long as your second post).

                  • I see — you lack even basic understanding of the difference between a lie and a jest. Which is why you so greatly merit mockery and why debate is wasted on you, as is wit and (as a quick scroll of other recent posts) logic, facts and evidence.

                    I will give you a clew, however, by pointing out that there is no reply “button” on the board and the emailed comments come with a prominent, hard to overlook, button.

                    I do hope it is not necessary to explain to you the difference between commenting on the “board” and via email?

                    BTW, I trust you will understand if I do not take your repeated injunction that others “learn to read” as demonstrating an aversion to direct personal insults? (As you have previously demonstrated a blind spot in this area, please allow me to observe that this is mockery, is humour, and is not insult. It points out your hypocrisy as well as your being a dullard. (Oh, I will give you this: the last statement was an insult. It is also a statement of demonstrated observable fact.))

              • Legatus,

                Hi. I’m Zach. Nice to meet you, I’m sure.

                You seem to have stumbled into an area you’re unfamiliar with. Let me give you the benefit of the doubt and introduce you to the community you find yourself in. See, here at ATH, the regular commenters are referred to as “Huns”. It’s a community. And the name serves a dual purpose. First, it’s a delightful alliteration that plays with the last name of the site’s proprietress, one Sarah A. Hoyt. (genuflects in the general direction of LibertyCon) Second, it’s a not entirely inaccurate description of the people who post here regularly. They are skilled horsemen and raiders with pointed things. In this case, words, logic and argument. Much like the Filipinos (among whom I lived for two years as a missionary), they are kind as the day is long, extremely good-natured, and would give you the shirt off their back. Don’t piss them off. I’m not familiar with the other sites you claim to visit and comment at regularly. I’m sure those sites are great. Having said that, I would be surprised if they had the level of discourse – the high level of discourse and conversation that I find here. I don’t add a lot of comments myself largely because it’s an intimidating group of VERY smart people. Now, there are a couple of curious things about this community in particular. First, they deal with ideological interlopers on a regular basis. They regularly have someone or other popping in here to tell them how wrong they are, how stupid they are, and other things in that general flavor. They have a very highly developed sense of what we’ll call for lack of a better term, trollish language. For whatever reason, you have tripped this sense off in spades. Not saying it’s right. Even the most keenly developed test will occasionally return a false positive. IIRC, I think someone accused me of Marxism my… second time commenting here? Something like that. Second, as I implied before, they can be rather sharp. And not just with interlopers, but with each other. The difference is, with the regular commenters, they’ve had some time to get to know each other, and there’s a respect between them that comes from having participated in this forum for a length of time greater than one day. Which, from my reading of your comments (and I’m away at camp trying to follow along on my cell phone, not the most reliable of methods, I’ll grant you), is about the amount of time you’ve been here. Maybe two days. Other sites, maybe the way you came in is normal. It’s not normal here. Hence, the detectors beeping and klaxoning (totally a word) all over the place. At this juncture, I would suggest a couple of things. This is just free advice, probably worth what you paid for it.

                1. Take some time and read the comment threads for some of these posts. They can easily top one hundred comments. So far, I think the most I’ve seen was recent, and it was north of four hundred comments (might be north of six. Might even be this thread. Like I said… camp, cell phone, etc). Look at the way people like RES, Foxfier, SPQR, Free-Range Oyster, Mary, Cyn, Pohjalainen, etc., etc., etc. interact with each other and with other newcomers. Consider for a moment the contrast between the way they do that there and what happened here. As a long time reader, I can tell you that their behavior is very consistent over time. Their behavior towards you is also consistent, but it’s usually directed at people that have hit their radar as a potential troll.

                2. Assuming you’re not a troll, (and that is an assumption I’m making for the moment, see above where I said I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt) it is generally considered -ah- impolitic(?) to chastise long-term commenters with phrases such as learn to read, act like an adult, or (and this was my personal favorite, as I believe it was directed at the site’s proprietress), YOU OWE ME AN APOLOGY (which I read in the voice of Daffy Duck, and it was hilarious). This is not a good way to make a first impression.

                I suggest you take a little time, reconsider your approach, and try again another day. At least, that’s what I would do. In fact, that’s what I did.

                When I was accused of Marxism, the first thing I did was state, in no uncertain terms, in one comment, that it was not my intention.

                And the second thing I did, and what I’m suggesting you consider at this point, was to go back over what I’d said and consider if maybe I could have said that a little better or a little differently so as not to be misunderstood.

                ‘Cause this group is wickedly smart, and being able to read and participate here is something that I consider an honor and a privilege. But make no mistake. The Huns have very sharp elbows.

                Or I could be wrong. You may not be a well-intentioned person who got off on a very wrong foot with some people that have earned a degree of respect. You may not be a newbie to blogs such as this one where it’s more than a comment thread – it’s a community.

                You could be a troll.

                We’ll see.

                > >

                • Much like the Filipinos (among whom I lived for two years as a missionary), they are kind as the day is long, extremely good-natured, and would give you the shirt off their back. Don’t piss them off.

                  On behalf of my kababayans*, salamat po**. ^ ~

                  *countrymen

                  **thank you, sir.

                • … I’m away at camp trying to follow along on my cell phone …

                  You wrote that on your cell phone? Now that’s dedication. Wow; I would have given up long before the end of that, and gone to somewhere with a real keyboard to write it.

                  Thank you for writing what I wanted to tell Legatus (basically “if you’re not a troll, calm down and stop insulting people and you’ll get along better”), only much better than I managed it. As you said, we’ll see if he’s willing to listen to good advice or not.

                • Shucks, I was gonna bust your chops over the absence of paragraph breaks in your preamble and really let you have it on Point 2’s “Assuming you’re not a troll, …” — I mean, really, around here I thought we knew how to stipulate — but for doing that on a cell phone I don’t have the heart (astute readers will note that I did it anyway, but blunted the point.)

                  In consideration of your eloquence, I will resubmit my fundamental challenge to the Leggy One:
                  Stipulating all you have asserted, so what? Free markets, like Liberty, can not exist undefended, and our choice is not for some utopian system but for those systems which best enable our defense.

                  Besides, before the PC forces can subvert Amazon it is likely that a) the Yellowstone caldera will blow b) an Earth-shattering asteroid will strike c) the inflating dollar will finally collapse into a black hole of debt, sucking all financial efforts into the abyss d) something wholly unanticipated will occur e) all of the above. I dunno ’bout y’all, but I’m worrying about real and present dangers such as Iranian nukes.

                  • Well, yes, paragraph breaks. :p

                    I think the other thing that Legatus is not aware of is the difference between an author’s relationship with a mainstream Big Five publisher, and an author’s relationship with Amazon through its Kindle Direct program.

                    In the Big Pub world, the Publisher gives the author an advance, and purchases the right to make-copies-of/distribute/sell the book/short story/poem/what-have-you. Other rights may (almost certainly will) be included. Royalties are agreed upon, which will be paid to the author in the event that the book sells enough copies to repay the Publisher for the advance. (Ideally, at least. In the real world, people with more experience than I with the accounting practices of publishers may have some healthy skepticism as to whether an advance will EVER be paid out.) The author may or may not have some recourse, but it will be difficult to obtain and almost certainly require the intervention of professional legal representation on the authors behalf – making it also expensive. Authors are essentially “locked-in” to their relationship with the publisher, and has to take what the publisher is willing to give.

                    In the relationship with Amazon, at least under the current agreement that I’m familiar with, the relationship is completely different. The author is contracting with Amazon, not as a “publisher”, per se, but as a mere distributor of the content. If, at any time, the author is not pleased with Amazon’s actions, reputation, business practices, etc., the author can cancel the relationship with Amazon, take his book off of Amazon’s shelves, and find someplace else to hock his wares. There’s no advance, but there is a considerably higher amount of author power and freedom in this scenario.

                    Something else that Legatus probably doesn’t realize is that Amazon has zero editorial input as to the content of the work being distributed. Is it bits someone will might pay for? Amazon will stick that on its shelf on the remote chance that someone might actually be willing to read it. (ahem. dino-pron. I’m just saying. What rational publisher would have bought that? That people are buying it says interesting things about our culture, but the fact that it wound up on Amazon’s Kindle shelves AT ALL puts paid to the idea that Amazon would shut someone down because their political viewpoint differs from theirs.)

                    And like I said, when Amazon acts up, authors can take their book and go home. In a very real sense, the authors do have a higher degree of power in the relationship. Amazon needs their books to sell. If they have no books (or a smaller selection of books), they have a lot of e-ink devices (and tablets, though their multi-function capabilities mitigate the impact) out there that are suddenly less valuable.

                    And to reiterate what Robin said elsewhere, it’s trivially easy to set up a website to hock e-books. I was part of a small (unfortunately failed) e-magazine for a couple of years, and the only difference between setting THAT up and setting up a book-selling site would be the content of the files delivered to the end-user. Given a couple of months (less if what I hear about some services is true), I could set up such a website myself, and I have zero technical training. (Well, okay, a take-at-home course on HTML. And one on Javascript. But I don’t remember ANY of the Javascript stuff.)

                    • While Amazon is a book broker rather than a publisher, it might conceivably be possible for Amazon to tweak its algorithms so as to direct readers toward books that are “good for them” at the expense of books people want to buy, but there is an obvious feedback mechanism that limits that ability.

                      Theoretically publishers have a similar feedback mechanism but it is much much slower in its effect, kinda like a crash at 5 mph versus one at 50, allowing the perpetrators to escape, leaving others in the vehicle to take the hit.

                    • “Hawk” not “Hock” the latter is a slang term for Pawning your stuff.

                      (although I suppose if you went to a true Vanity press, your book would actually put you into hock.)

                    • Huh. I thought I’d always seen it as “hocking your wares”, and I’m glad for the correction.

                    • Well, as long as you don’t say “Tow the line” we’ll get along fine. :-)

                    • Should I toe the line or perhaps line the toe?

                    • Toe the Line is the correct expression. (Standing in military formation, your toes are on an imaginary line.)

                • Hmmm, I’d never give anyone the shirt off my back. First, ’cause man boobs. Second, because shirts this brightly colored and loud, they take a lot of work searching thrift stores to find. These shirts don’t just jump off the rack and beg you to buy them. You have to hunt them, carefully, searching through hundreds of almost-good-enough loud shirts in ARC’s, Goodwill’s and even the occasional independent thrift store. This one I’m wearing now? Found it in a thrift store in Fort Collins. No, I won’t tell you which one.

                • Slow to praise, but not unwilling: the Daffy Duck reference was very apt and vivid.

                  Some people are slow to realize that the world don’t “owe” them squat, much less an apology. The proprietress of this venue might, if feeling indulgent, be inclined to refund the admission fee but apologies have to be earned.

                  • The all-caps was what really brought it home. Reminded me of a sputtering cartoon character.

                    Now, some people will prefer Sylvester to Daffy. Those people are wrong. And probably evil. :)

                    (it’s been raining at camp all day. Zip line? Pool? Giant cable swing? Inflatable bouncy house/waterslide? Not happening this afternoon.)

                    • Hello mudder, hello fadder, here I am at Camp Granada.

                    • I haven’t heard that in years!

                    • Well, just because …

                      Calling [Warner Brothers Records] in Burbank was Hollywood comedian George Burns, of the George Burns and Gracie Allen shows, a radio super-couple. Burns had met Mike Maitland at Jim Conkling’s stag farewell dinner months earlier. Now, Burns asked WBR’s president to sign a contract, not with him, but with another, “in” Hollywood comedy singer. His name: Allan Sherman.

                      “Just give him a listen.” Urged Burns, and Maitland said “sure.”

                      Allan Sherman 1
                      His name was little-known outside the broadcast business. It labeled a pudgy-bodied writer-developer who lived next door to Harpo Marx over in Brentwood. For fun, Sherman would sing his parody songs at parties.

                      [SNIP]

                      Burns said Sherman’s repertoire was ready for records. Plenty of laughers. Satires on songs everybody knew the words of. Like from My Fair Lady:

                      A piece of rye bread isn’t very tasty.
                      A slice of onion isn’t such a treat.
                      A slab of cream cheese tastes a little pasty, but…
                      With a little bit of lox, with a little bit of lox,
                      You get something very good to eat!

                      So Maitland thought “Why not. Sure.”

                      Sherman was on the unemployment line, but if Warner was warm… Hearing “sure,” Sherman quick-called agent Bullets Durgom to make a deal. “Bullets” phoned Mike.

                      Maitland said he was willing, but wanted Sherman to sing parodies of out-of-copyright songs, avoiding, as good presidents must, copyright infringement. Composers, Mike knew, loved to sue.

                      Sherman agreed; so it’ll be do-overs of old folk songs, yeah.

                      The deal was light: $1500 as the advance for Sherman, minus $150 for Bullets’ agent fee. But Sherman needed work, and immediately started re-composing folk songs: night and day, wherever, writing in his shower, even on the road to the Unemployment Office, wherever.

                      [SNIP]

                      One Warner sales guy, going on his weekly rounds to record stores like at the White Front store in the “valley” (the San Fernando Valley), has his bunch of Folk Singer LPs with him. He puts them on the buyer’s counter. The buyer brushes it away; “never heard of it.”

                      Then, this saliva-dripping customer rushes up to them, panting “Just heard something on my car radio. Something about Harry Lewis and the Drapes of Roth. I gotta have that record… I mean I was laughing so hard, I thought I’d have an accident.”

                      Warner’s sales rep (Reggie Tobin) pointed to his album, there on the counter. “That’s what I’ve been telling you. Glory, Glory Harry Lewis. See, it’s in this album.”

                      So the buyer answers, “OK, I’ll take ten.”

                      The Allen Sherman debut album took off across Radio America. Stores ran out. Burbank could not print enough record jackets. At Wallich’s Music City, Sunset and Vine, Allan Sherman albums got sold semi-naked, just in paper innersleeves, with an IOU to come back later and pick up your album’s jacket.

                      Within three weeks, chaos throughout the market. 390,000 sold in three weeks. Heading for over a million. And a gold record.

                      [SNIP]

                      Where Is He Now
                      Allan Sherman – After soaring, Sherman’s career un-soared, starting down hill in 1965. But those first two or three years, Allan Sherman later got summed up by Joe Smith as “he was The Moment. Even more than Peter, Paul & Mary, at that time, Allan Sherman was The Moment. You’re The Moment for a very short time; then you’re not The Moment anymore.”

                      [ http://www.rhino.com/article/stay-tuned-by-stan-cornyn-the-moment ]

        • Sarah Hoyt wrote: 8-Your original theory that Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field and control what everyone writes means you are now sitting at your computer with a smirk on your face and your underwear on your head. (Emphasis as in the original, that is to say, no emphasis.)

          Legatus wrote: See above, I did not say this, so YOU OWE ME AN APOLOGY. You have merely made up a straw man argument and then insulted me for the words you put in my mouth. (Emphasis as in the original.)

          Legatus, here is what you wrote in your first post:

          Step one, eliminate the publishing houses dominance, step two, Amazon gains total market dominance, step three, the forces of PC gain control of Amazon. Now the PC can eliminate any book they don’t like with the touch of a button.

          That certainly looks like “Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field and control what everyone writes”; in fact, it’s a three-step plan to achieve exactly that. And while your later reply did try to explain your point, it was long and rambling enough that most people had trouble understanding it. For example, I completely missed your sarcasm about “The forces of PC have not taken over the SFWA” and thought you were dead serious, and thus contradicting yourself.

          No, the argument that Sarah Hoyt thought you were making is not the argument that you intended to make. But it was the most obvious conclusion to be drawn from your initial post, especially in light of the MANY people who have been saying “Amazon is going to turn evil and hold authors over a barrel!” recently. (Those people conveniently omit the natural next part of that sentence, “… like traditional publishers are doing right now!”)

          Legatus, I have three pieces of advice for you.

          First, if a too-short post is misunderstood, it’s better to write a medium-length post to clear up the misunderstanding, not a long, rambling post that makes several new points. (You can make those new points, but first make sure your initial point is being properly understood).

          Second, if you’re going to reply to several people’s commentary (as you did in that second post), it’s far better to reply to each person individually (and quoting what you’re responding to) rather than lump them all into a single response. That’s a big part of what made your second post so rambling that I, for one, completely misunderstood your intent.

          And third, when people throw insults at a position you don’t actually hold (because they’ve misunderstood your point), realize that they’re NOT actually insulting your ideas: they’re insulting the ideas they think you hold, but actually don’t (because of that first misunderstanding). So let those misdirected insults just roll off you and respond with a simple “You’ve misunderstood me. The position you think I hold, which you think is stupid, is indeed stupid — and that’s not what I meant to say. What I’m saying is ______.”

          If you had done this, your blood pressure would have been much lower now, because you would have cleared up most of the misunderstandings of your point before it turned into a shouting match. (Though in this crowd, shouting matches over misunderstood points are nothing new; there have been some pretty spectacular arguments before between two regular commenters, which then calmed down once someone pointed out that they were misunderstanding each other’s positions and actually agreed with each other.)

          Now, I’m in danger of violating my own advice to be succinct, so I’ll stop here. But your request — quote where you said that “Amazon is going to control what everyone can say” — has been fulfilled. Yes, that’s not what you intended to communicate… but it’s what you did communicate, and it was not intellectual dishonesty on anyone’s part to take your words that way.

          • Legatus, here is what you wrote in your first post:

            Step one, eliminate the publishing houses dominance, step two, Amazon gains total market dominance, step three, the forces of PC gain control of Amazon. Now the PC can eliminate any book they don’t like with the touch of a button.

            That certainly looks like “Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field and control what everyone writes”; in fact, it’s a three-step plan to achieve exactly that.

            Cutting and pasting makes things so much easier, more accurate, and eliminates confusion.
            Since my internet has been down for, oh, 24 hours, I have realized that people may have misunderstood what I originally wrote in my first post (although many of the replies were over the top, possibly you writers are sometimes a bit too, uh, ‘creative’ in your writing). However, if anyone had taken the time to really look at this first post (and have pointed ears, an important point), they would have seen the following:

            Step one, eliminate the publishing houses dominance.
            I made no mention of who would be doing this (I did not say Amazon was actively trying “to achieve” anything), nor did I say how likely I considered it. People seemed to think that I meant Amazon, which is not stated or implied in step one. Note also that you have to get through step one, which will take an unknown amount of time, to even get to step two. This makes the idea “Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field” an impossibility from what I said, because the word is implies that it “is” happening right now. Frankly, any eliminating of the publishing houses is happening not because Amazon is trying to eliminate them (they are not), but because any competition, however, little, which now exists because of the existence of Amazon (it’s mere existence, which allows people to sell direct) will crush them like a bug. Rather similar to if you made a viable and cheap alternative to the US public education system, they are fighting any attempt tooth and nail because they know even slight competition would crush them.

            step two, Amazon gains total market dominance
            Note that you first have to get through step one to get here, and “gains total dominance” is pretty much automatic if your “competitors” implode (I am not sure the major publishing houses even count as “competitors”). However, if the publishing house dominance evaporates, and, say, many small publishers take over, they will be selling through Amazon, which puts Amazon as the bottleneck, you must go through them to sell, hence “gains total market dominance” is accurate.

            step three, the forces of PC gain control of Amazon
            You will note that you have to get through step one and two to even get to step three, once again, the word is is not relevant (stop thinking about Bill Clinton!). Now, in step three, who are the bad buys, is it Amazon? It is clear that it is not, because the bad guys are named, right here “the forces of PC“, which are thus, by definition, “the Evul”. At no time did I say that step one or two or three were planned and done by Amazon (although they may “do” in the gaining of market dominance, emphasis on market). Because of these two points it is impossible to say that I said “Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field”. “The field”, in any case, is publishing, which Amazon is not interested in, just the “market” part, as I specified in step two.

            Also “gains control of Amazon”, I said nothing about what kind of control, or how it would be done. The idea of actually buying up the company is this not stated or implied. Did the forces of PC actually buy up the major publishing houses? Yet they control them, control, not ownership. Also, clearly, since I first, in step one, stated “the publishing houses”, it is clear I am talking about books, and only books, and not any of the other things Amazon sells. Therefore, one need not own the company, simply “control” the book buying part, and that can be done the same way control was gained at the major publishing houses (or by a different method, I did not specify, since I don’t know how they gained control of the publishing in the first place exactly, nor can I predict the future). Also, I never said “gain total control”, that is obviously implied since I was talking, from step one, about books, and only books, since I was talking about publishers of same.

            Finally Now the PC can eliminate any book they don’t like with the touch of a button.
            It is clearly stated who would be doing the eliminating, it is named, the PC, it therefore cannot be Amazon, since that is not Amazons name. PC may use Amazon to do it, but it is not the intent or will of Amazon itself that is behind it, and certainly not the Amazon of today, since you have to get through four steps before it even happens. Since you have to get through at least three steps to get any of PC in control of Amazon, Amazon is clearly not planning to take over from the beginning with the intent of shutting down books that are not PC, since only by step three is PC inside Amazon to direct any of it’s will.

            “With the touch of a button” is obvious, when Amazon decided to take Hatchette to task, all they need to do to shut much of their sales down is touch one button and ZAP, a millisecond later it was done. That is a frightening power and is the point of all this.

            IF you use rigorous logic, as I tend to, it is all rather obvious what I said, and more importantly, what I did not say, because under logic those things were impossible. These include “Amazon, “is”, and “Evul”. “Amazon” impossible because “PC” is clearly named as the bad guy and is a separate entity, “is” is impossible because of multiple steps taking time, and “Evul” is clearly named as PC.

            A question to illustrate this, “it’s a three-step plan to achieve exactly that”, who, exactly, is the planner stated in my first, original post? Is it Amazon? In fact, is any planning mentioned in steps 1 or 2? Only by step 3 is an entity mentioned with possible will and intent (if they even need intent to “gain control of”), and it is not Amazon, and it is only after step 3 that that will and intent is certainly exercised and can be considered the “Evul”. It may be possible for PC to “gain control of” the book buying portion of Amazon by simple osmosis, without planning or plotting, although personally I would expect some actual plotting because the prize of this type of power is exactly what they seek.

            Thus, since I know logic, the statement That certainly looks like “Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field and control what everyone writes”; in fact, it’s a three-step plan to achieve exactly that is an impossible statement to deduce from what I actually wrote, and therefore does not “certainly looks” as you stated. Therefore, to me, it looks like that statement about Amazon must be a deliberate lie since it cannot follow what I said, and therefore the person(s) who stated it cannot be telling the truth, and must be doing so with deliberate malice, or by simply being lazy and not bothering to read what I actually wrote (possibly due to haste), or by also being lazy and simply following the false idea of someone else, rather than look for themselves and see what I actually wrote. Then, the sudden torrent of posts that seemed to have little relation to what I actually wrote made me question the sanity, intelligence, and morals of all the posters (seriously, you look like writers and fans out there! oh, wait…).

            Next time I will realize that you have not, of course, been taught much logic (I had to teach myself), and include more explanation of what seems obvious to me about what I mean, and much more importantly, what I do not mean. Logic is especially good at telling you what someone is not saying, or when they are telling you something that cannot be true, or which cannot certainly be true despite them telling you that it certainly is. One can understand how the school systems of today, who are teaching a lot of stuff that simply is not true, would not want their pupils to understand logic. Logic can be considered as BS detection. Do you want BS detectors wandering around your school? They would be going off constantly! The children would probably enjoy that. :)

            I have pointed ears. Living among humans can be…annoying. I apologize if I was a little too…annoyed.

            I suppose I can bring someone from a past life, back when I was a WWII fighter pilot. He tends to be a little…friskier.
            You can see a picture of him here http://www.sitcomsonline.com/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/213164
            He’s that handsome devil right out front.
            No no, not that one, that’s the major!
            I said Handsome! Devil! Out front!
            The dog!
            What, you gotz a problem wit dat?
            What, are you RACISSS?

            Seriously, I don’t see what the big deal is, if it wasn’t for my sense of smell, I could hardly tell you all apart.

            Now, I know what your thinking, “a dog, as a fighter pilot?” Well, Pappy would let anyone fly if they were good. Besides, it was a rather odd squadron, why, they even had their own song!
            They were poooor little dooogs
            who had looooost their way.
            Yip!
            Yip!
            Ahrooooo!

            (I may have personalized it a lil’ bit).

            Besides, I helped out in, um, “acquisitions” department, when the squadron needed to…acquire, uh, assets. Booze, spare parts, booze, aviation fuel, booze (booze is to fighter pilots what aviation fuel is to planes). I would do the initial scouting (who would suspect the dog?), warn of approaching, uh, former owners of whatever it was, create a chaos distraction as cover if needed (quite good at that!), and if all else fails, there is always the *big sad puppy dog eyes*, which worked as long as they hadn’t really got to know me yet. There was, after all, a reason my call sign was Baddog.

            It was a rather wild squadron, as you might imagine. “Frisky” would be a word that would describe them. It kinda reminds me of you guys here.

            Historical note, this happened during the reign of the ancient game Airwarrior, one of the first massively multiplayer computer games. “The Adventures of Baddog” was quite popular in its day. Why, the developers even named an airbase after me :) just before the game shut down for good :( Just a little strip in the jungle, but it was MINE.

            Baddog was a member of the worlds oldest online squadron, The —-)Musketeers——-, who were, uh, “frisky”. There was a —)Baddog——-, a —)Straycat——-, and a —)Bug——- (and some ordinary two legs, boooooooriiiiiiiing!).

            • I wish there was a way to edit these things after posting, the bold, italics, etc only show up after posting. *sigh*

            • Seriously. TL:DR does not even begin to express my refusal to even start to read that.

              • Iulius, if you skim down to the midpoint he goes off on a wholly irrelevant rant about being a reincarnation of a WWII fighter ace … I think — my eyes were glazing over from the overdose of inanity … I think I saw something about strawberries, Ahh, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them …

                • As I was feeling the brain-suck early I jumped to the end to find a point (no idea why I thought there’d be one.) And found the prior incarnation of dog-fighter pilot, which was so much worse than brain-suck.

                  Really, after that, what more can be said?

              • my refusal to even start to read that Then you cannot object to it since you must, by definition, have not even read it, and can know nothing about it. You are therefor automatically unqualified to give any opinion on it.

                • Logic Fail, Will Robinson!!!!

                  The opinion he gave is one for which he is supremely qualified: Too Long.

                  When a two millennia-old vampire says something is too long, it is too long.

                • I’m qualified to ridicule you in at least three different technical disciplines and two academic.

            • Leggy, I well believe you taught yourself logic. It shows. Regrettably, you apparently missed the section of the coursework about valid logic. I took my first college level logic course in 1972 and have continued since. As you probably haven’t realized, several participants here are lawyers (they use logic, I have been told) and several more are professionally involved in computer programming (which reportedly uses logic.)

              As I am not being paid to school you and do not judge by your attitude any particular capacity for learning logic I see no reason in wasting time explaining the multiple failures in your argument. I will suggest you make an attempt to a) understand just exactly what went down in Hatchette’s argument with Amazon b) consider the problems with a simple assertion that PC can gain control of Amazon without creating significant demand for other book brokers. I also recommend a change in meds as your current regime seems to generate convoluted conspiracy theories that are clear to you and nobody else.

              Before you get to crowing about my failure to refute your logic I suggest you contemplate the idea that your logic is absurd and is refuted by multiple points made multiple times in the discussion ere now. As you have utterly failed to grasp the previous points I see no reason to offer them again.

              • I see no reason in wasting time explaining the multiple failures in your argument
                Show me one. Just one. Any one. Beuller?
                Soooo, how do I know they even exist, these “multiple failures”?
                By “multiple failures”, do you mean “does not agree with me, so must be wrong”?
                Since you have not stated even one of them, you have not actually said anything useful or understandable here, I shall ignore much of your post.
                Logical fallacy :Argument By Dismissal:
                an idea is rejected without saying why.

                Waste of time, why did you bother?
                “I don’t wish to speak!”
                Well. then don’t.

                You also used Appeal To Widespread Belief (Bandwagon Argument, Peer Pressure, Appeal to Common Practice):
                the claim, as evidence for an idea, that many people believe it, or used to believe it, or do it.

                And also your argument about your great expertise in logic Argument From Authority: the claim that the speaker is an expert, and so should be trusted. Which is countered by As Thucydides wrote, men will accept without argument conclusions they find agreeable; but will bring all the force of logic and reason against those they do not like. There is also the fact that you claim it, but have not show it. Too many logical fallacies, and growing.

                a) understand just exactly what went down in Hatchette’s argument with Amazon
                I am aware of what went down, it is irrelevant to the argument, to the logic. In my argument, it is irrelevant why Amazon did what it did, all that is relevant is what Amazon has now shown a proven capacity to do, shut down a lot of book buying instantly. That capacity only shows up after step three above in any case, sometime in the future, possibly years in the future. I carefully explained how there were multiple steps, and that these steps could take some time, did you bother to read that part before replying? By that time, what, “exactly” they are doing right now will be irrelevant, so why should I consider it? And I was speaking about an Amazon that had been invaded by PC (book selling division), not the Amazon of today, you appear unable to grasp that simple statement. I was extremely clear about that, you cannot have missed it (I stated it multiple times). Thus, in your words, this is not valid logic. Logical fallacy Bad Analogy: claiming that two situations are highly similar, when they aren’t. (In this case, you even know it is a bad analogy, since I stated multiple times that the Amazon of the future could be different than today, and in what way it could be different.) Also logical fallacy Complex Question (Tying): unrelated points are treated as if they should be accepted or rejected together. In fact, each point should be accepted or rejected on its own merits. (In this case, the unrelated points of why Amazon is doing the Hatchette thing, unrelated to a different, PCified, future Amazon doing something similar(ish) in the future.)

                b) consider the problems with a simple assertion that PC can gain control of Amazon without creating significant demand for other book brokers.
                That would be beyond step 4, on into step 5, years in the future. How would we be able to predict so far in the future? Well, we could look at the past, and see what happened then.

                Consider the assertion that PC did gain control of all major publishing houses, hurt their own sales, and drove away much of their readership (see the article above), yet either without creating “significant demand” for other new major publishers, or the “significant demand” was there yet somehow they prevented the start up of competitors, or they took over each new competitor as they appeared. All that “significant demand” should have had an effect, according to your “logic”, yet, what actually happened? See the article above, that’s what happened (before Amazon came along, and the effect of Amazon on the market is just starting to be seen). Your idea is shown potentially false by history, that is, your idea is not certainly true. If PC gains control, they have show that, when competitors come along, they can gain control of them as well, as they did in the past with ALL major publishers. They have also shown that they do not care if they hurt their own sales, simply gain control of their competitors and hurt their sales as well. They did it six times, why not go for a seventh?

                And now we are up to five steps, all with imponderable factors we do not even know about yet but can only speculate, we can’t really say for certain what will happen, can we? Indeed, this is all speculation, which is all it was ever intended to be. Speculation on what Amazons proven ability to shut down Hatchette instantly, and PC’s successful takeover of the major publishing houses, could mean, if they can be put together (including the question “can they be put together?”). I never claimed my idea was an infallible prediction, indeed, above, I specifically stated “nor did I say how likely I considered it” with step one above. You appear to consider your ideas to be infallible predictions, as if no other idea but your own could be valid.

                Really people, I am talking about the future. You all seem to think that everything will remain exactly as it is today. I am not talking about today’s Amazon, but the possible Amazon of the future. The past changed, first publishing was not PC, then it was, this could also happen to companies, such as Amazon or new publishers, in the future. Or, ebooks could change the whole landscape, but that is another speculation.

                Let us boil it down to the essential question:
                Computers allow less and less people to have more and more control, more power. Amazon has shown this type of power by making it virtually impossible to buy many books with the touch of a button. Who will control this power? (Note I am talking about the power, not specifically Amazon or whatever future company may possess it) Can it be countered if it goes all PC?

                And remember what always happens when people say “it can’t happen here”.

                • Leggy, I have provided multiple examples on multiple occasions; as you appear to have either not read or not comprehended them previously I perceive no reason to reiterate them.

                  I note that your examples of imagined fallacies on my part are incorrectly characterized. For example, argument from authority is not necessarily a fallacy, it depends on multiple factors which you have neglected. Your characterization also fails on grounds I made no argument from authority. My claims to having studied logic academically were illustrative only.

                  • Leggy, I have provided multiple examples on multiple occasions; as you appear to have either not read or not comprehended them previously I perceive no reason to reiterate them.
                    I just looked through the entire post, starting from my first on down, to see posts by RES. Haven’t really seen much where you provided substantive, fact based, logical arguments. Amusing yourself, mocking, and other such things (guess that’s your thing, probably goes with the ears) sure, but not really “examples”.

                    And you should be the one called “Leggy”, them things are HUGE. Well, on closer look, maybe more like Feety”. So, whats your best long jump?

                    • Long jump? With MY knees? I used to run like the wind but for the last thirty years a brief shamble is all I can do. I can actually go faster on crutches.

                      “I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.”
                      — Samuel Johnson, Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”

                      The arguments and facts are in there, swaddled by gentle mockery intended to alert you to your wrong-footing of this venue’s participants.

                • I repeat what I said in my other response to you:

                  The next thing you need to learn (and it’s harder to teach yourself this one, so I advise asking others for advice) is how to communicate clearly and succinctly, so that the points you’re trying to make won’t be drowned out by a flood of irrelevant verbiage.

                  Please do note the part I put in bold; it’s important.

                  And by the way, when you try to refute his point b), the argument you make is proving his point, not refuting it. When the publishers were taken over by the PC, they created huge demand for an alternative… and one showed up. The reason Amazon was so successful so fast is because of that huge demand. And the reason it took that long was because ebook technology (which bypasses the need for publishers to create physical books) wasn’t available yet. But now, it is — and so if Amazon were to be taken over by PC forces, the competition would spring up instantly.

                  Now, I’ll answer your last paragraph in a bit more detail, because there are several things I want to say:

                  Let us boil it down to the essential question:

                  Thank you for finally being succinct.

                  Computers allow less and less people to have more and more control, more power.

                  Actually, the inverse is true. See, for example, Glenn Reynolds’ book An Army of Davids. Computers and the Internet make disintermediation possible.

                  Amazon has shown this type of power by making it virtually impossible to buy many books with the touch of a button.

                  Hmmm, I could go buy Hachette’s books from any number of places, if I wanted to. Here’s one, for example. (I’ll stick to one link so this comment doesn’t go to moderation, but there are plenty of others.) So no, Amazon does not have the power to make it “virtually impossible” to buy Hachette’s ebooks. Merely to make it hard to buy them from their site. Which is certainly the most popular site at the moment… but they have no ability to control what other sites, other competitors do.

                  Can it be countered if it goes all PC?

                  To be succinct: Yes. And the current situation, where new sites are springing up to sell Hachette books that Amazon doesn’t want to sell, is proving it.

                  • Gee, who is this Zola Books?

                    oh, a competitor to Amazon in the field of digital book sales, you say?

                    Doesn’t that invalidate Legatus’ entire argument?

                    • Kind of, yeah. Which is one reason why I grabbed them as my one and only link.

                      The other reason was because they were among the top ten results in my Google search for “Amazon Hachette ebooks” (without quotes). Which, again, kind of makes a point; in this case, how easy it was for me to find an Amazon competitor.

                    • not only that, but the ‘amazon can make any books unpublish!!!’ argument is pretty much shown to be invalid by Zola putting Hatchette books on sale because of their dispute with Amazon.

                    • I’ve thought about it some more, and there’s a bit more subtlety to how this example refutes Legatus’s argument.

                      His argument is, basically, that the Left / the forces of PC / the SJWs (pick your poison, they’re all poisonous) have the desire to take over everything — no argument there, they’ve done it in the past, as we all agree on — and the capability to do it again. That second part is where I disagree with him (as do most of the other Huns who’ve responded to him). Because while the PC brigade might be able to take over Amazon at some point in the future, the capability to control everything is out of their hands. It simply takes too much time to embark on a Long March through the institution(s), and they can’t do it in a day or even a single year. Whereas new competitors can spring up in much less time than that. The example I gave, of several months to hack together a functional website that would be a competitor, is a real example based on what I’m doing right now at my day job.

                      The Zola example is another case. The Amazon-Hachette dispute surfaced in, what, early May or so? Which means Zola had their website up less than two months after the public had any reason to start wanting a competitor to Amazon. Zola was probably around long before that, and if so, they already had the website developers and thus a head start. But even so, two months is a very short time compared to how long it would take the PC brigade to infiltrate their next target. (Yes, Zola, being founded by a former literary agent, may already be headed up by the PC brigade — but the point is about capabilities. The PC forces wouldn’t have time to take over, say, the Huns’ & Hoydens’ Story Selling Site. It would take generations, until all the original owners and their children died off, before that particular organization went leftist. If it ever did — maybe the individualists actually would organize.)

                    • The internet is a decentralized network designed to reroute around problems. And it does.

                    • One of the critical elements recognized by economists for maintenance of a monopoly or oligopoly is the issue of barriers to entry. For a publisher barriers to entry would include capital requirements, attracting authors, entry to marketplace of distributors and chain book stores (list not intended to be comprehensive.) These are significant in the world of dead tree brick and mortar.

                      Barriers to entry for an internet book broker, especially one retailing e-books, are comparably trivial. Rent server capacity as needed and you have further reduced a barrier. Locate your offices where rent is cheap and taxes low (frankly, I wonder that Detroit hasn’t promoted such businesses, except … it’s Detroit.) Establish credit terms with the content providers while customers pay before delivery and you greatly reduce capital required.

                      Regulatory compliance is a significant barrier to entry, especially when powerful vested interests can rent legislators.

                    • OK, lets try that again…

                      Regulatory compliance is a significant barrier to entry, especially when powerful vested interests can rent legislators.

                      See, this was what I was thinking of, I thought these barriers were already so great that it would take a year or something. However, someone has now pointed out the data that Zola was able to do it in two months. That means my scenario is far less likely (baring future government actions), and so there is less to worry about.

                      See, it was the new data that changes things. I’m used to science stuff, and there, data is king. All the fancy arguments in the world mean nothing to me without data to back them up. In fact, in honest science, clever arguments and the like are frowned on if they are not accompanied by data, and the cleverer, the more frowned on. I know some very clever arguments that have been falsified, some still being made today.

                      ”What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”–what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” Robert Heinlein

                      And data, facts, are rather few and far between in “The Voodoo Sciences”, like Sociology and Economics and the like ( newspaper article, “Economists were surprised today when…”). In fact, that newspaper article could be the one about quarter one of this year.

                    • Doesn’t that invalidate Legatus’ entire argument?
                      I would be very happy if it makes it completely impossible. Assuming, that is, that they become a true competitor, succeed, survive, all that.

                      The only reason it seems still possible, and the reason I may disagree with Robin Munn’s post below (which has no reply button) “It simply takes too much time to embark on a Long March through the institution(s), and they can’t do it in a day or even a single year. Whereas new competitors can spring up in much less time than that.” is that in the past, the forces of PC conquered all 6 major publishing houses in the USA, and reported all publishing in Europe. They, at least then, advanced on a broad front, and did not have to “conquer” them one by one, taking years (actually, I have no idea how long it took), but appeared to have “conquered” all simultaneously. Perhaps, it takes less time now to invent a new competitor than it did in those old days?

                    • … Robin Munn’s post below (which has no reply button) …

                      One way you can manage to reply to comments nested that deeply is to check the “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” box (just below the comment area) before hitting “Post Comment”. The emails that WordPress sends out include a Reply button in the email. I only suggest doing that if your email address (the one you use for commeting here, I mean) goes to a Gmail account, though, because you’ll get an email notification for every single comment on the thread, not just the ones that were in direct reply to your comment. However, if you have Gmail, they all get collapsed into a single “Conversation” in the Gmail interface, so it’s not too annoying. And the benefit of it is that you still get a Reply link even on threads that are nested too deep. (The reply gets nested “flat” under the comment it’s replying to, rather than getting nested a step further, but it’s still a reply — and it still makes the little talk-bubble notification icon turn orange on the screen of the person you replied to, letting them know as soon as they next visit the site that you’ve replied to their comment. That allows the conversation to keep going, if there’s still more things to say.)

                    • Another, albeit slightly less congenial method, is to (I recommend opening Notepad for this)
                      1. Copy the number of the comment to which you wish to reply by right-clicking on its time-stamp and copy/pasting the URL into Notepad (or simply jotting down the number.

                      2. scroll up to a comment with a “reply” link visible, right-click on the link and copy the URL. Edit it to replace the comment number in the URL with the number of the comment to which you want to reply.

                      Example: this reply has the URL:
                      [EDIT]accordingtohoyt[DOT]com/2014/06/21/lenins-stat[EDIT]own/?replytocom=180050#respond

                      If the comment you desire to reply to is number 180057 you would make the appropriate change in the URL

                      Paste the edited URL into your address bar and enter.

                      The process can be done entirely in your address bar, of course, but requires much painstaking care to not screw up. It is even worse than HTML tagging.

                    • This is a test.
                      This is a test of the emergency no reply button visible system.
                      If this had been an actual emergency…
                      Do you think I’d still be talking to you?
                      *runs off screaming*

                      Uh, thanks RES, if this works…
                      Well, it says “Leave a Reply to RES”,
                      so, here goes.

                    • yes, after a certain number of replies the in-thread reply button disappears but the emailed ‘new responses’ still show one. Notice that this reply to your reply may not be actually threaded below yours.

                    • Perhaps, it takes less time now to invent a new competitor than it did in those old days?

                      It certainly did in the case of Zola — less than two months between “Amazon won’t sell Hachette books anymore!” (not actually accurate, but that’s how it was reported) and Zola saying “Hey, we’re open for business, and all Hachette books are on special sale right now”! Computers and the Internet make this whole process a lot faster than it used to be, which is why your argument that “[c]omputers allow less and less people to have more and more control, more power” turns out to be incorrect. The reverse has been proving true.

                  • And by the way, when you try to refute his point b), the argument you make is proving his point, not refuting it. When the publishers were taken over by the PC, they created huge demand for an alternative… and one showed up.
                    I was unaware that this had happened. Now I wonder, what kind of trend might come from this, and what might Amazon do about if, if they can do anything? Could this represent a sudden change? And will the government keep it’s *$@& nose out of it?

            • Legatus,

              I have pointed ears. Living among humans can be…annoying. I apologize if I was a little too…annoyed.

              Okay, I see the source of the original miscommunication. You’re a Vulcan type and wish everyone would communicate more literally. Fine; there are many people who wish that. (Asperger’s types of people are also very similar, for example.) I actually have some tendencies that way myself — “why can’t people just say what they mean?”. BUT… that’s not how the world works. People have a huge variation in their communication styles, and many people are not formal-logic levels of careful in their writing. Which is why it was completely understandable for others to assume that you were doing the same — in fact, the odds of finding someone who is NOT formal-logic levels of careful are MUCH higher than finding someone who is that careful. Which means that when you first encounter a new person writing, that’s the way to bet.

              And by the way, your post just now proves that you can also be less than careful in your writing — if you were being truly Vulcan in that post, you would have left out that whole bit about your Airwarrior adventures. They had no relevance at all, and were completely off-topic for your point. Which means I have yet another piece of advice: don’t do what you just did. You just mixed two completely unrelated topics together in one long, stream-of-consciousness post that started out coherent (and complaining about writers getting a bit too “creative” in their writing) and ended up with a completely incoherent bit of rambling nonsense, to which the word “creative” would be the kindest adjective that could be applied.

              If you’ve taught yourself logic, good for you. The next thing you need to learn (and it’s harder to teach yourself this one, so I advise asking others for advice) is how to communicate clearly and succinctly, so that the points you’re trying to make won’t be drowned out by a flood of irrelevant verbiage.

              • GAH. I did the same thing. ONE single misplaced / in my closing tag for the blockquote, and the whole post gets messed up. Ah well.

              • And by the way, your post just now proves that you can also be less than careful in your writing — if you were being truly Vulcan in that post, you would have left out that whole bit about your Airwarrior adventures.
                I’m half human.

                Here is the relevance:
                I posted seriously, logically (this has not been disproved yet, it must be disproved by logical argument). The relevance is, you people were claiming you were engaging in frisky humor, and that I should not take it personally, so I said OK, I’ll buy that. So I brought in a frisky character, a fictional character, to a writers blog, even a writer of fiction, and I introduced that character. If humor is forbidden here, should I now assume that the idea that I should not take this “humor” of yours seriously is wrong, and that the claimed “humor” was direct, malicious, personal attacks? Make up your mind!

                And I clearly separated the top part, on topic, from the bottom part, fiction. The line was easy to see, a triple space, logical on top, “frisky” on the bottom. You wanted frisky, and claimed to be frisky, I gave you frisky. I don’t have to be logical 100% of the time, who does?

                As Thucydides wrote, men will accept without argument conclusions they find agreeable; but will bring all the force of logic and reason against those they do not like.
                And all the forces of illogic and unreason.

                As far as I can see, many of you (that replied anyway) see it like this:
                The publishing houses are PC, they are evil (I agree, no quotation marks, flat out evil).
                Amazon allows you to go around the publishing houses, they are therefore “good” (I also agree).
                The very suggestion that Amazon might become PC and spoil the party (such as it is) is hated (and it is a pretty grim scenario).
                Therefore anyone who even suggests such a thing must also be hated and attacked by any means available, logical fallacies of all kinds, insults (humorous or not), stated refusal to even read my post, find any excuse to reject the idea. And always assume that Amazon will never change, since Amazon is now “good”, even though people and hence the institutions they build always change, as did the publishing houses. You do not wish Amazon to change, therefore it won’t.
                Clue, the universe does not care what you wish. Your wishing will not make it so (doing something, however, might, should that become necessary).

                “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle
                Are you capable of at least entertaining this thought, even if it is undesirable? Do you have an educated mind?

                Is that succinct enough? Succinct takes time, and revision.

                • It would have been much better to separate the two into two different comments.

                  Also, I’m more and more persuaded that we have a case of blue-on-blue* here. You’re saying things like, “Clue, the universe does not care what you wish,” which is absolutely correct — and yet many people seem to think that the universe does go according to their wishes. Most of the folks here don’t, though, which is why I think you were actually in “violent agreement” with many of them.

                  Out of curiosity, is this the first post you’ve discovered on Sarah’s blog? Or have you been reading it for long? If you’re pretty new here, I suggest you stick around. Read some of her other good posts — “He Beats Me, but He’s My Publisher”**, or “Odds” — and get a feel for what the people here are like. Then you can maybe start to make friends, instead of getting everyone’s feathers (your own not least among them) ruffled for what amounts to a massive miscommunication.

                  In other words, welcome, and enjoy your stay. If you stick around long enough, I think you’ll find you’re among friends. All you need to do is act like a friend in return.

                  * If you happen to be unfamiliar with the term, let me know and I’ll try to explain.

                  ** No link provided because it’s easy to Google, and I needed my one link per comment to link to the “Odds” post.

                  • I’ve read only a little, and these posts are the only ones I have made.
                    And you get ruffled feathers, I get ruffled fur.
                    And I did mention I was once a fighter pilot, and the planes happened to be blue, so, uh, yeah, I understand blue on blue.

                    And I suspect that some of the comments were just people…amusing themselves. This is one reason I thought of bringing the dog, hes…more into that sort of thing. He fit in the squadron world, not sure if he would fit here. I mean, the flying dog was actually kinda amusing, people liked him. Besides, he’s actually kinda busy over at John Wrightes’ place training the new henchmen for the Evil League of Evil, the Bene-Jesuit Mentat-Assassin Shaolin Monks. Bit of a handful, fortunately, he is immune to their use of “The Voice”. “Sit! Stay! Good dog!” “Do I look like a good dog?” *chomp*. See, he fits there, not sure about here. Unless you need some henchmen, and a security chief, you know, for the evil lair (that was one post I read extensively, first one I found).

                    BTW, the reason I suggested that some want the universe to be as they wish, is that some appeared to violently disagree for no logical or stated purpose, hence my belief that some people are simply attacking because they dislike my idea (that is, it represents an undesirable future) and wish to attack the bearer of bad news (which is only possible, future bad news). Otherwise, their objections make no sense. Yet others objected to what I did not say, usually because they failed to notice, or did not wish to notice, that it was the PC that were the bad guys, and not Amazon. They also seemed to strongly believe that I was on the side of the major publishers (which I never stated or implied). Considering that it has only been recently that I can get at, and identify, books I want to read, I certainly am not! I mean, for years all there was was Baen Books, good, but a ‘lil small.

                  • Well, I read at least some of “Odds”, and I had an idea…

                    “Oh no, not again!”

                    Shaddup dog!
                    Anyway, I think I might know what makes “odds” tick. Odds are dreamers, dreaming of new things and ideas, things that don’t exist yet, and that means that they have a harder time concentrating on the here and now, their immediate sense impressions. That means that they will have a harder time concentrating on, say, jumping rope, or flying fighter planes, because their mind wants to get back to dreaming of new things. The thoughts simply will not shut down, and interfere with any such repetitive activity.

                    However, the non dreamers are necessary, an example, building a bridge. You have to be able to dream up a bridge, so you need a dreamer designer. However, if you then have the dreamers try and build it, their minds wander off while, say, riveting or something, it’s not done quite right, the bridge falls down, and everybody dies. So you need both kinds, and mostly non dreamers to keep everything working.

                    Non dreamers, however, are good at doing the same thing over and over, and tent to resent new things.

                • Are you capable of at least entertaining this thought, even if it is undesirable? Do you have an educated mind?

                  This, by the way, would be the opposite of the “acting like a friend” that I mentioned. If you want to get a friendly response here, you’ll want to assume better faith on everyone else’s part than that. I understand that you’re feeling angry about the insults (some of which were banter, and some of which were not) hurled your way — but as I already mentioned a couple times, those were misdirected, and a case of blue-on-blue fire. So take a day or two away to calm down, read some older threads without posting to them, and I think you’ll find that you actually like the folks here. You wouldn’t be the first to have come in with a big argument, then settled down to make friends.

                  • If you want to get a friendly response here, So…I should…

                    “Seize the moral high ground!”

                    That’s not what I…

                    “With fire and sword!”

                    That’s way out of li…

                    “We’ll ruuuule the world!”

                    Stop that!
                    Excuse me.

                    C’mere you!
                    *scamper*
                    *crash*
                    Hey! Bad, bad dog!
                    *skitter*
                    *slam*
                    AND STAY THERE!

                    OK, where was I?

                    (*muffled voice* “Moral high ground!”)

                    Oh, right, be good, real good.
                    In fact…I’ll be so good that…I’ll be like…

                    (“Oh, here it comes…”)

                    A shining beacon in space, all alone in the night!

                    (“Thought that all up on your own, did you?”)

                    And then…and then…*eyes gleaming*
                    All women will look on me, and despair!

                    (“Puhhh-leeease!”)

                    *wanders off, arms waving* And then, from my great and lofty perch!

                    (“Don’t fall off!”)

                    *distantly* I shall look down on all those lesser mortals!

                    (“Or up!”)

                    *even more distantly* And I shall rain great curses down on their heads, like sexist, and homophobe, and heteronormal cismale, and even, dare I say it, RACISSSSS!
                    And then…and then…*looks around*
                    Say, where am I?

                    *peers down over the edge* “Moral high ground.”

                    What!?! Why…why…YOU DID IT TO ME AGAIN!

                    trots off happily* “Just doing my job!”

                    Uh…say…has anybody got a ladder?

                    (With absolutely insincere apologies to Alter-Ego, Bugs, and Daffy.)

                • Succinct takes time, and revision.

                  Succinctness also requires clarity of thought, so I do not look for it from Leggy any time soon.

                  Amazon allows you to go around the publishing houses, they are therefore “good”

                  Incorrect conclusion. The processes which create an Amazon are good; Amazon itself is merely a concrete if ephemeral example of those processes.

                  The problem with Leggy being self-educated in logic is he apparently skipped the chapter on “Valid logic working from false premise yields false conclusion” — more commonly referred to as GIGO.

                  • “Amazon allows you to go around the publishing houses, they are therefore “good”

                    Incorrect conclusion. The processes which create an Amazon are good; Amazon itself is merely a concrete if ephemeral example of those processes.

                    Processes are all very well, nice theories and all that, but it is the concrete company(s) that are produced that actually do the actual actions that can be considered “good”, IE useful and beneficial to you. If those processes had produced a different company which did the same thing (no guarantee, although likely), I would have named that other company as the “good”, because it would have done the concrete, personally beneficial actions necessary to be named “good”.

                    So, the processes are “good”(if and only if they manage to actually produce something, IE an Amazon or equivalent), Amazon as the concrete expression of it is “good”, but, as a concrete expression with a name, it is an awful lot easier to name the “good” as Amazon, rather than trying to name all those processes, wouldn’t you say?

                    So I did.

                    I mean, “succinct” is good, right?

                    Oh, and as for the earlier “dim” comment, am I right in thinking that you saw an opening and simply could not resist?

                    • You continue to be utterly incoherent.

                    • Succinctness at the expense of clarity is without point or purpose.

                      Oh, and as for the earlier “dim” comment, am I right in thinking that you saw an opening and simply could not resist?

                      It is customary in many communities to treat the new arrival — especially the brash, full of him(her)self new arrival — with a degree of teasing in order to test responses and determine character. Slight tweaking, mild insults and outright ridicule are traditional methods employed in this process. This is especially the case when said new arrival burst in spewing long enthusiastic incoherent diatribes and reacting to challenges by turning boorish.

                      Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to reflect upon your presentation in this forum, the reactions thereto, and the likely implications thereof. You might also express thanks for not being taken as a troll — our anti-troll response team makes what you received a very mild treatment.

                    • Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to reflect upon your presentation in this forum, the reactions thereto, and the likely implications thereof.
                      And if I fail you will deny all knowlege of my actions, got it. This post will self destruct in 3,2,1…

                      Well, I went back to my very first post, way above, to see what I originally said. It was such a short post that I had not saved it to drive, as I customarily do, so that I could refer back to what I said. I was sure that I had said such and such, yet when I went back, I saw, uh, huh?

                      I mean, I clearly remembered hitting the enter key to put step two on a separate line below step one, like bullet points, so as to make sure that everyone knew that there was a period of time between step one and two, and that they were not connected (which would assure that no one thought that Amazon, in step two, was causing step one, which would be cart before horse). So, I looked back at my original post and I saw, I mean, I was sure I put the bullet points right….I clearly remember putting it right…
                      Maybe the dog ate it.

                      I did not!
                      Besides< I don't even like bullet points…too salty.

                      Ohhh-Kaaay.
                      Anyway, that is when I began to suspect that, maybe, just maybe, what I wrote was not exactly like what I remembered writing. So I decided to carefully parse what I had written, to see what it actually said.

                      I thought I had written:
                      “If A, then B.
                      If B, then C. Therefore…”
                      You know, logic.

                      But what actually ended up here was
                      (A = Amazon, V = Villain, PC = the forces of political correctness)
                      “A equals V.
                      PC equals V.
                      Therefore A does not equal V, because…
                      A does not equal PC” (due to PC only showing up in step 3).
                      The ‘logical’ conclusion being, A equals NotA (that’s logic!).
                      So, since Amazon has become a logical impossibility, Amazon cannot logically exist, and so we don’t need to worry about it.

                      The dog shakes his head violently and walks off, muttering

                      So, I can be, uh, logical, just not in that original post (probably because I dashed it off in haste).
                      And my reactions after that was because I was sure I had written such and such, whereas actually…
                      And as for “the reactions thereto”, I assume that I will be shot, stabbed, blown up, garroted, and then slapped. However, I feel fairly safe, because I have a secret base, and am surrounded by minions. And by secret, I mean I have a giant relief of my face carved in the side of the usual mostly extinct volcano, and by minions I mean the usual rather easily fooled kind that come cheap. So I’m good.

                    • Oh dear — a word of advice: do not — repeat, NOT — buy your bulk minions from The Empire. I know what their sales people claim but those really are just clones and the production quality control (esp. the targeting subsystem) is frankly inadequate.

                    • Oh dear — a word of advice: do not — repeat, NOT — buy your bulk minions from The Empire.

                      Oh no, I’m much</b. too smart for that, I bought all my minions from Cylon Enterprises, said to be good shots, anyway. Plus, you don't have to feed them or anything.

                      The dog suddenly races down into the basement, a door slams.)

                      I wonder what suddenly got into him? Just a sec, I think I hear something, I’ll be right back…

                      (This space intentionally left blank)

      • Your original theory that Amazon the Evul is trying to take over the field and control what everyone writes means you are now sitting at your computer with a smirk on your face and your underwear on your head

        … Okay… I know this is OT and I accept any carping headed my way… but I gotta ask because no matter how long I stared at it, I couldn’t figure it out beyond ‘it looks ridiculous in my head’, I figure it’s one of those tropes / cultural images I completely missed out on… and I am a little scared of googling, and all things considered y’all are a decidedly safer bet on asking…

        What’s with the underwear on head thing/trope/image/stereotype? O_O

    • So not only is each of your comments incoherent, but mutually contradictory?

      Ignored.

  22. Clark E Myers

    It might be useful in thinking of the future of publishing and distribution to remember the past. See e.g. Spider Robinson on the impact of Thor Power Tool on his individual world.

    Both electronic distribution and self publishing can be seen as systems adapting to Thor’s inventory and tax paying agent rules.

    • I’ve never read that Spider Robinson interview, article, or whatever it was. A Google search turned up another reference to it, but not one where I could work out what the original was. Mind summarizing it for me? Or giving me a link if you have one handy?

      • Clark E Myers

        For Thor Power Tool in general see a long detailed researched piece:

        How Thor Power Hammered Publishing
        by Kevin O’Donnell, Jr.
        Many of us know that publishing has changed considerably over the last 15 years. More titles see print every year, but the average title sells fewer copies, and goes out of print more quickly, than its late ’70s counterpart. Advances and royalties have dropped in inflation-adjusted terms. More books become insulation and other recycled-paper products earlier than ever before.
        Many of us also know that one of the causes of this change was the Supreme Court’s 1979 ruling in Thor Power Tool Company v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. ……..

        Copyright © 1993 by Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. First published in the Bulletin of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Spring, 1993 (Volume 27, Issue 1; Whole Number 119).

        Spider Robinson had more to say about the industry in general and Thor Power Tool in particular than most people. For a brief summary in Spider’s own words

        The government has also devastated the industry by passing a new law that taxes all books in backstock, stored in warehouses as assets. Instead of holding onto books by mid-list authors, publishers are being forced to reduce their print runs to what they know they can sell. This leaves publishers less likely to take chances, or reissue mid-list authors. This is coming at a time when the internet is teaching us that it’s creating a wide variety of niche products available to a huge audience. This is the business model of the future. The government is effectively hamstringing the publishers from being able to pursue that option. Bad news for science fiction. For good books generally.

        Maybe the internet will save us. All I can say is, it had better get a move on. In the meantime, let’s form a movement to reverse that new tax on books.

        Spider Robinson

        I don’t think there are any fair use issues on something originally broadcast to the winds

        [–Spider’s text begins–]

        I’d appreciate it a great deal if you would post, forward, link,
        and/or otherwise disseminate the following screed to all those at
        alt.callahans, #callahansIRC, the Compuserve SFLIT Forum, AOL’s
        Callahan’s Forum, and/or any related sites you can dig up or
        swing up out de jungle:

        ————————————————————–

        “Squeegee That Monitor For You, Sir?”
        AN OPEN LETTER TO ALT.CALLAHANS AND RELATED SITES
        FROM SPIDER ROBINSON

        My toast tonight is, “To writers–may the saints add preservatives to them.
        And FAST!”

        !!!SMASH!!!

        This is something I swore I would never do.

        But I’m too worried not to. The horse I ride on–the publishing industry,
        never exactly a thoroughbred–has just begun to stumble and cough up blood.
        Suddenly I need your help too badly NOT to pull on your coat-tail.

        You alt.callahans folk and related accomplices owe me nothing. You have
        made YOUR Callahan’s Place all by yourselves, with no help from me, and I
        think it is in many ways a better, finer creation than my own–one in its
        way more wonderful than I COULD HAVE imagined. I’m not trying to call in
        some nonexistent marker–just asking for a minute of your time. I promise
        I’ll play you out with a song when I’m done, at least, like the last time
        we spoke. Okay?

        Let me try and give you an idea of HOW worried I am:

        I have recently given serious thought to what else I might do for a living,
        besides write books.

        No, really. I have even…God, this is hard…I have even contemplated
        honest work. Of some kind. There must be some trade you can pick up at
        age forty-eight…right?

        As concise a statement of the problem as I can provide:

        The publishing business has, in slow stages over the twenty-five years I’ve
        been writing, essentially been captured by the same kind of vampires that
        ruined Hollywood. Freebooters, parasites, looters…oh, come out and say
        it: SHAREHOLDERS, and their chieftains and goons…who want only to milk
        the industry–ANY industry–for the maximum possible short-term return, and
        don’t mind at ALL if they bleed it dead in the process, so long as they
        personally get sufficient advance warning of the crunch. People who–for
        reasons I will NEVER comprehend–actually WANT to be Very Rich. (People, in other words, who either don’t know or don’t care whether they themselves are happy or not…as long as they have all the marbles.)

        They have the same swing-for-the-fences mentality that is screwing up
        cinema. All we want here are zillion-dollar superstar blockbusters…and a
        few “little” pictures in which to groom the superstars of tomorrow.
        Nothing in between; no second features. In like manner, many of the people
        making decisions in publishing today would like to have a list consisting
        of nothing but Clancys and Parkers…and a handful of talented newcomers
        who might be the NEXT Clancy or Parker, but meanwhile are willing to work
        for first-novel prices. (I hasten to add that I mean no slightest
        disrespect to either Tom Clancy or Robert Parker; I picked them because I
        respect them both highly, and buy their new books on sight.)

        This isn’t the editors and publishers themselves I’m talking about, either.
        Many if not most of them love good books, even now. But their policies
        are being made for them by the conglomerates that swallowed them up in the last decade or so. Men and women who got into the business for the
        fundamental purpose of publishing (at least some) books they were proud of,
        are now working for people whose ONLY guiding principle is the mantra,
        “Place yourself between the talent and the money.” The ultimate,
        industry-shaping decisions are being made, as in Hollywood, by people who
        don’t give a toasted DAMN about the PRODUCT, much less the producer-slaves.
        What they want is simple: HUGE profits, NOW. Blockbusters…and good first
        novels, or hacks who are willing to work REAL cheap.

        What they DON’T much want anymore are MID-LIST writers. Quirky scribblers. Ones with faithful but not mammoth audiences. Ones difficult to sum up to a salesman in Paducah with a one-sentence soundbite. Ones PEOPLE magazine isn’t talking about. Ones whose books haven’t been a sma-shit (no, that’s not misspelled) movie yet. Ones whose works not only reward, but REQUIRE a high-school education and some imagination. Ones who sell well…but not VERY well–or not all in one big lump, but over time.

        They’ll keep a few around, for show…but only if they’re willing to accept
        a little serious downsizing.

        I’m not the only one squawking. At least one colleague recently circulated
        an urgent open letter similar to this one, triggered when he learned that
        after over 25 years of award-winning publishing, he can literally no longer
        sell a book in New York–even to editors who like his work. The sales
        figures for his last book (and ONLY his last book) just weren’t good
        enough…

        Upon reading this, I suddenly became very interested in things I’d never
        paid any attention to, like my own sales figures and print runs. I was
        fairly cheered by what few numbers I could find, lurking under concealment
        on assorted “royalty statements”; my printruns were routinely well over
        100,000 copies, always sold well enough to call for at least a second
        printing, always hit the Locus sf Best Seller list. The rent always got
        paid–often on time. But lately there has been all sorts of Bad News in
        the publishing biz, talk of “cutbacks,” so I resolved to keep a weather eye
        out, or peeled, or whatever it is you’re supposed to do with a weather
        eye…

        Guess what I just found out? Tor, citing “industry retrenchment,” only
        printed up less than ONE QUARTER AS MANY copies as usual of the latest
        Callahan paperback, CALLAHAN’S LEGACY.

        That’s right, a book which carries in it printed acknowledgment of all
        60,000+ of you alt.callahans members out there plus all the related forums,
        channels and groups was not printed in sufficient numbers for HALF of you
        to buy a copy, should you be so inclined.

        They will only go back to press if most of those sell out. Those pitifully
        few copies, like ALL paperbacks, have a maximum shelf-life of about a
        month. Tops. In some venues, a week. (If they GET to the shelf at
        all…)

        So here at last is what I’m saying: if you were by any chance thinking of
        picking up a copy of Spider Robinson’s new one — or the new one by ANY
        author you care about who isn’t already a blockbuster superstar — for the
        love of God, PLEASE DON’T PUT IT OFF! This chance may not come again. If
        it’s not on the shelf, ORDER it….FAST, before they pulp the returns and
        unshipped copies…

        Times have changed. If you love books, you must now start to change your
        thinking, and come to see them as precious, evanescent fireflies, which
        flicker briefly and then are no more. If you do not stay alert for them,
        and grab them on sight, they will probably never be reprinted: the concept
        of backlist is on its way to the ash-heap. All of us who put words in a
        row for your enjoyment are in serious no-shit danger, and we need your help
        and support. I know *I* do.

        How much? Let me give you a clue: I LEARNED the above information about my most recent print-run while trying to get an explanation for why the
        proposal I had submitted to Tor for my NEXT book about Jake Stonebender and his family and friends (working title: CALLAHAN’S KEY) had, after months of puzzling silence, just brought back an offer of…60 percent of what they paid me for the last one. (In devalued dollars.)

        Cousins, I was just barely making it at the OLD rates. Until a month ago,
        when a miracle occurred, I was composing my books–all my work–on a
        computer which I just saw advertised in MacWorld for US$49 plus shipping.
        I can’t TAKE a 40% pay cut and pay my rent. And at 48, I just haven’t got
        the stamina to go back on the road as a musician; it’s a young man’s game.

        The ONLY lever I can hope to apply is to show a LARGE sell-through for that
        miserable first printing…and the next (dear God let there BE a
        next)…and the next…and hope that eventually one of those illiterate but
        NOT innumerate bean-counters way up on the corporate ladder of unknown
        strangers who tell the publishers what to do will see numbers he or she
        likes, and decide that there just might be room for me somewhere on one of
        the bottom rungs of the Star section. “Knock that cat a living wage…”
        rather than “Throw a statue where that cat blew…” as Lord Buckley might
        have it. THEN I’ll be able to write you all the next Callahan book…

        (And again, I’m not trying to put a knock on Tor. They’ve showed strong
        commitment to the Callahan series; this must be the best they can do for
        me, the way things are these days.)

        Christmas will be here all too soon. Why not get your shopping done
        early…down at the bookstore? They happen to have, or should have, THREE Spider Robinson paperbacks on the shelves at once, just now–another of those wizardly publisher decisions–containing a total of SIX complete Spider Robinson novels between their six covers. (See my website for details–[no longer current see e.g. SpiderRobinson.com) A Sixpack of Spider (and Jeanne)–for under US$22/CAN$30!

        And trust me: they won’t be there long…

        (The combined ad and promo for all three volumes, from two different
        publishers, has been far less than I’m used to seeing for a single novel in
        the past. I guess they now want to wait and see how the books sell, before
        deciding if it’s worth advertising them…see what I mean? Typical
        Hollywood “thinking.”)

        As Homer and Jethro used to say at the end of every number, “Thanks for
        your sympathy.” I appreciate your listening, and appreciate any help you
        may be able to throw my way. So–just like the last time I wrote to all
        you folks–I’m going to play you out with a song, to thank you for letting
        me jingle my cup.

        I was sitting here in my office one night ’round midnight, last month,
        pecking away, and Jeanne was two open doors away, invisible to me, lying on the couch in the livingroom reading a Zen book…and all of a sudden for no particular reason I looked up and smiled and called out, softly, “I’m aware
        of you.”

        And she purred, and stretched on the couch, and called back, “That’s a song
        title.” So when I got dressed again and got back to the computer, I wrote
        it, and by the next day I had the tune right.

        Slow ballad, attempted Ray Charles flavor, key of A. It goes:

        I’m Aware of You, Jeanne
        (c) 1997 by Spider Robinson; all rights reserved

        I’m aware of you
        When I’m busy at my work and you are humming in the parlor
        I’m aware of you
        We don’t have to say a word, I never need any reminder
        I’m aware of you
        And I care for you
        I will be there for you

        (’cause)

        You’re aware of me
        You give me what I need most times before I know I need it
        You’re aware of me
        I don’t have to slay a dragon just to come to your attention
        You’re aware of me
        And you care for me
        You’ve been there for me

        And this house is alive when you’re home
        When you’re gone, it’s a pleasant hotel
        I don’t ask if you’re home as I come through the door
        I can tell
        I can tell…

        (’cause)

        I’m aware of you
        While my mind is chasing characters across the Galaxy
        I am aware of you
        When I’m rapt at my computer playing poker with myself
        I am aware of you
        And I care for you
        I know you know I do…
        You know I know you do…
        ‘Cause I’m aware of you

        ————————————————————-

        THANKS FOR LISTENING. PLEASE FORWARD. TELL YOUR FRIENDS. HAUNT YOUR BOOKSTORE REGULARLY, *ESPECIALLY* YOUR INDEPENDENT OR SPECIALTY BOOKSTORE.
        ASK THEM TO PHONE YOU WHEN A NEW BOOK BY YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR COMES OUT;
        THEY’LL BE *GLAD* TO TAKE A LIST. IF YOU DON’T HAVE SUCH A STORE NEARBY,
        GET AMAZON.COM TO AUTOMATICALLY SEND YOU YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS’ NEW BOOKS
        ON RELEASE; THEY’RE SET UP TO LET YOU FILE A LIST.

        “‘PEOPLE WHO READ BOOKS’…NEXT ON GERALDO…”
        IT’S NOT FUCKING FUNNY.

        Well, okay, it IS…but it’s a funny DISASTER, for our whole species.

        And certainly for

        –Spider Robinson
        Vancouver, BC
        15 September 1997

        [–Spider’s text ends–]

        There’s creative destruction and there’s just plain destruction. I suggest knowing the past helps make it creative.

  23. OH, one lil’ thing that might be relevant here, Hillarys’ book. At 14 million advance, even after book bombing and every trick there was to boost sales, the projected sales are maybe 150,000 tops. At that rate, they will have to make almost $100 per book to break even. Were they just stupid, so blinded by leftwingyism that they actually believed it would sell, or is this, as I first surmised, merely a 14 million campaign contribution plus free political campaigning on the book tour etc disguised as an advance?

    And who’s head will roll at the major publishing house behind this when they lose their shirts? And can I watch?

    And if the publishing house pulled out all the stops to promote this book, which they did, what relevance does their promotion have? Do we need them anymore? Are they relevant?

    And the big question of the day, since they have now shown that their promotions are a lot less effective than believed, how many books be promoted without them? I mean, if the midlist used to sell 70k and now only sells 7k, how can books people want to brought to their attention like back in the old days when bookstores who read and knew books did it?