Just had an update from Amazon in the UK, LAMA isn't arriving at mein Schloss until late March'14
Can you buy the Kindle version on the release date where you live? (At least Tor isn't doing something incredibly stupid like they did with the last book of the "Wheel of Time" series, when they released the e-book FOUR MONTHS
after the hardcover!)
Needless to say that simply resulted in rampant piracy once someone scanned the book and made it available over the internet. People who had been anxiously awaiting the book for decades but had switched to digital format for their reading were punished for no discernible reason. E-books cost absolutely nothing
to mass produce once they're converted to electronic format. No printing costs, no shipping costs, no paying for space on a bookstore's shelves, nothing
except advertising and the cost of maintaining the website that sells it. The prices of e-books are ridiculous, unless publishers increased how much they're paying the authors for e-books verses the dead tree versions, and somehow
I doubt that's happening! (If it is, congratulations
RFC! Your raise is well deserved!)
I fondly recall how shocked
I was when I checked out one of the Honor Harrington novels from my library and found a CD with free copies of many of RFC's earlier books in many digital format. Since my local library didn't have the entire HH series and refused to buy the missing books when I made an official request, it was like Christmas to get the CD - and it made me as a huge fan of RFC for life! It also made me deeply appreciate Baen's and RFC's ideas of promoting his future novels by giving away many of his prior novels for free.
Eric Flint, who co-authors the Torch books with RFC in the Honorverse has some strong opinions about DRM, copyright law, and especially e-book "piracy." Here's some quotes from his "Salvos against Big Brother" essays on his website at http://www.ericflint.net/index.php/2011 ... g-brother/"Someone asked me once, in a debate, how I’d react if I discovered that one of my titles—maybe all of them!—had become widely pirated. I started by posing the most extreme case I could imagine.
“You mean, I walk into a drugstore and see that the latest copy of Time magazine has my face on the cover, with a title that reads ‘Works of Eric Flint pirated worldwide!’ and an article on the inside that tells everybody exactly how to do it?”
“Yes,” came the reply, demonstrating that my opponent was no wizard at the art of debate. “What measures would you take?”
“Well,” I said, “the very first thing I’d do is get on the phone and call my friend Mike Spehar. He’s a retired Air Force pilot, and I’d want his advice on which brand of private jet I should buy to be able to commute easily from the villas I’d be buying in southern France, the coast just south of Barcelona… Hm, maybe a penthouse in Manhattan and another one in Paris…”
The problem authors face (not RFC at this stage of his career) is that people simply don't know who they are, and aren't familiar with their books. It's what Eric Flint calls the "Opacity of the book market.""What you will discover is that every author loses more potential sales in one day due to the opacity of the market than they’d lose from “electronic piracy” in the course of an entire year. That being so, it’s simply common sense to look for any methods that improve your visibility in the market—and steer clear of any that make the opacity of the market even worse.
recommend reading all of the essays included in the above link. He analyzes how our rights are being stripped from us when it comes to the ridiculous "life plus 70 years" copyright that the US congress has now encoded in law at the behest of Disney Corporation and its fellow mega-corporations. We couldn't have Mickey Mouse fall into the public domain, could we?
So we got slapped with the DMCA, DRM of electronic media, DVD and blue-ray players that won't play movies on discs made in other parts of the world, and the myth that every pirated copy of anything is a lost sale. We have the music conglomerates suing parents for $3000 a song that their kids had pirated but the parents knew nothing about. These corporations send out letters accusing people of illegally downloading their products and offer to "settle" for a few thousand dollars, with no proof, assured that most people, guilty or not, will cave and pay instead of facing the expense of fighting a corporation and its bevy of lawyers.
Policies like Tor's delays in making some e-books available, and publishers and hardware that include DRM are absolutely infuriating - not to mention that they discriminate against e-book readers and encourage the very piracy publishers protest against. If they weren't actively fighting against their own customers, e-books would have caught on much more than they have.
Quoting Eric Flint again, "There’s an old maxim: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
And the fact is, the traditional “obsolete and old-fashioned” paper book ain’t broke. Not for most readers, most of the time, for most purposes. And, whatever its limitations, it possesses some enormous advantages over electronic books.
To begin with, like kitchen knives, paper publishing is a technology that has been tested over centuries and has proven itself to be extremely durable and reliable. In contrast, NO software yet developed has demonstrated that it can even last a decade before it gets replaced by something else.
You can buy a paper book and know, for a certainty, that barring a flood or a fire or a bombing raid or an asteroid strike or real carelessness on your part, you will still be able to read the same book half a century from now. If it’s a hardcover, longer than that.
Can anyone say the same about any electronic reading device on the market today—or predicted to be on the market in the foreseeable future?
No. In fact, everyone has dark memories about “inevitable” technologies that bit them on the ass. Can we say… eight-track tapes… Betamax… software programs too numerous to count which became obsolete…
There are some absolutely enormous advantages to paper books. The biggest and simplest stem from the very simplicity of the technology.
Here’s what you need to obtain and use a paper book:
Literacy in one or another language. That is the only software required.
A relatively small amount of money. That is the only financial limitation—and you can get around that one easily, by borrowing a book or using a library.
If you can read and have some money, you can own and use a paper book. That book does not require you to agree to an end-user license. That book does not carry any risk of becoming obsolete so long as the paper, ink and binding holds up—and they’ll hold up for decades, even with a cheap paperback.
There is no restriction as to which publisher you buy from. You can buy from any of them—because they all use exactly the same software. The English language. (Or whichever other language you’re reading.) There are no security codes you need to obtain, learn, memorize. No username, no password.
And… once you buy that book, you OWN it. No ifs, ands or buts. You can do anything you want with it. Keep it, sell it, lend it to a friend, throw it at the neighbor’s yowling cat or use it for a doorstop. There is no chance at all that you will be subjected to a lawsuit because you violated this or that or the other provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or fell foul of the RIIA."
Undoubtedly e-books will become more popular as time goes on, but there's a great deal to be said for buying a paper book - they can't change the technology on you so that you can't read it! It can't crash and take your entire library with it either.
The current anti-piracy laws and ludicrously long copyright laws favor corporations over common sense. We see a constant parade of new e-book readers, as well as new e-book formats. What happens when the format of your e-books become obsolete? If you want to be sure you will still be able to read your book again in the future, there's a lot
to be said for buying it in paper form.