10 Books.

So, this thing has been going around on the tweetbook, wherein you ante up your ten “defining/influential” books, from your life. Given how much I read (a lot. Everything. The cereal box if there’s nothing else) this has been flipped my way a few times. And I gotta say, I like the idea. There are books that stick with you. They don’t necessarily teach you anything, but they may settle around moments in your life, realizations, or just be books that really got you. THis is actually a kind of thing I talk about: I’ve talked previously about some of the formative Young Adult lit I read, and that has stuck with me. You’ll see some crossover with that list, for sure.

So, this is mine.

1. The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

Pretty self-explanatory there. I mean, I’m a fantasy guy, right? But the thing is, my dad read these to me, when I was very young, AND used the “proper” (and they’ll always be the proper) voices: thick, exaggerated Yorkshire accents (that’s my background, btw). And I’ll never forget that. It also fixed my love-affair with epic fantasy, right at the start of my life, and had a big part in turning me into the voracious reader that I am. That experience showed me the way a book can be in your head, not just visually, but audibly.

2. The Adventurous Four/ The Famous Five / The Secret SevenEnid Blighton

British kids adventure stories. Kids solving crimes. Books written for kids with kid-themes but serious adult overtones. The Adventurous Four especially, set during World War II, properly set me on a life of reading thrillers; the Five and Seven set me down the road of crime stories. I had all of them. Actually, let me correct that. I STILL have all of them, secreted away to be passed on at an appropriate time. Also, thoroughly and completely British, as I am. Given the modern criticism of the books, I will definitely have to re-read them before passing them along, but they’re definitely formative for me, and I turned out ok.

3. The Hitchhiker’s GUide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Another Brit! Go figure, right? This is another one I read with my dad: this time, found on a shelf in a rented house in the South of France, on holiday, when I was probably nine or ten years old. And as you can probably guess from the first two books on this list, one of those that cemented a love for not only science-fiction, but dry, caustic, black humour. It’s partly on the back of Douglas Adams Hitchhikers series that I fell for Monty Python, and continue to read things like Terry Pratchett, Robert Asprin (check out Phule’s Company, and Robert Rankin (check out The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse.

4. Watership Down by Richard Adams

This was the first book I was told I wasn’t ALLOWED to read. I was in grade 5 (first year in Canada) and it was in the “young adult” section of the school library. WHich was, honestly, a stupid thing to have, in a school that only went to grade 5. I had to get permission to read it. To this day, it’s a hell of a book, and it really, really shouldn’t be. it’s about RABBITS, for god’s sake. British rabbits, at that. But it’s a phenomenal story, with brilliant characters in it. And an ending that STILL makes the room all dusty. You can write about anything, and make it interesting, if you want to. This was the one that proved it. It’s basically an urban-fantasy story and… yeah. I love this book. I’ve worn out three paperbacks re-reading it over the years, and even my hardcover has a broken spine from the same. And I never manage to damage hardcovers. As for the story, the world-buiding (something that comes up with fantasy writers a lot) is particularly stunning: it’s not something I clued into when I was ten, but today, the complexity and completeness of the world that Adams’ created absolutely boggles me, and is obviously a huge part of why this one has stuck with me: invented mythology, social order, language, everything is there. The depth, based on the volume of writing, is at least equal to Tolkien’s “Middle Earth”.

FYI, the movie has basically NOTHING to do with the book, except that it’s about rabbits. And they have the same names. Well, “nothing” isn’t particularly accurate, but there’s significant changes, so… read the book. It’s far, far better than the movie.

—-

I just realized, all my authors so far are British. It’s not going to end that way, but… hunh. How about that?

—-

5. Stephen King. Tough to call out one book: More like “most of the books”.

IT was the first book (at thirteen) that I put down due to content. I got to Stan’s suicide and was just “whoooo, no”. (It took me a couple of tries to get through James Herbert’s “The Dark” but that was later. The Stand: epic post-apocalyptic fiction. All of the Dark Tower: epic high-fantasy. I really just love pretty much everything King has written.

If, however, I have to pick one, it’s… none of the above. The Bachman Books is my pick. Specifically, on the strength of Rage and The Long Walk: The Long Walk is one of the finest pieces of writing I’ve ever read. It’s a study in character development and nothing else at all. If you’ve not read it, get to it.

6. FutureTrack5 – Robert Westall

Basically, everything I said in the YA post I linked to above still applies. I still love this one for it being the first “almost an adult” book. I’m pretty sure that this is the book that jumpstarted me into post-apocalyptic dystopian lit: yes, even before I got into Orwell. I really loved this book in its day: to the point that I’ve not re-read it in the last fifteen years, because I’m scared that it won’t be good anymore. One day, I will: because it may be better now, than it was then, just due to perspective. But either way, I can’t un-read it, once I do reread it. SOooo, still, I wait.

7. Helter Skelter

This is the only non-fiction that really jumped on me early on. It terrified me too: much like watching “Nightmare on Elm St”, I didn’t sleep properly for a few days after reading it. This swas the one that piqued my curiosity for true-crime. I still love these kinds of books… in moderation. And with the lights on. Every bit as terrifying as anything Stephen King ever wrote, maybe more so, being as it happened.

8. Illegal Aliensby Nick Pollotta and Phil Foglio.

There is no reason this one should be on the list, except that… I love it. I really do. It’s not especially well written, it’s a bit of a one-trick pony. It is, stylistically, trying (and failing) to be Douglas Adams. But in that failure, it becomes something of its own, and there’s a good story in there, too. It’s funny, and strangely, surprisingly compelling. And I’ve replaced the paperback twice, and recently bought the ebook, too. I just keep coming back to it. It’s fun and mindless, and I love it.

9. Shakespeare.

You know, you’re not even getting a link. If you don’t, and haven’t, read and loved Shakespeare, get out of here. Seriously. You’re not really into reading if you don’t have a favorite Shakespeare piece. I BITE MY THUMB AT YOU, SIR.

10. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

We’re finishing off with a fifth Brit: I didn’t even read it the first time: my family had these audio cassettes (and “Flash Gordon”) in the car as we drove around Europe when I was a kid. The voice characterization, the madness, the … just everything. This is one of those kids books that is so, totally, completely for adults. Except that it isn’t. I can’t read it without hearing Kenneth Grahame’s voices in my head. It is completely MAD. And I really do love it.

That’s it. That’s my ten. I always say more than I mean to, and lets face it, that’s more than ten (obviously). There’s a lot of mentions, and I could easily add another two or three dozen as “honorably mentions”, especially if I got into my new favorites.

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[Books] BlightBorn by Chuck Wendig

IF you don’t already know @chuckwendig, you should follow him on the twitters, and check out his blog at TerribleMinds.

Today, however, if you do know his stuff, and have read Under the Empyrean Sky (Book one of the Heartland Trilogy), then you should just go order both that, and the released-today-ish BlightBorn (Book 2).

Just to make it even easier, here’s the links to Amazon.ca (Because Canadian, alright??!!)

Under the Empyrean Sky
BlightBorn

All of this awesome reminds me I should probably talk some about my summer reading list.

Stay tuned for that, I guess?

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Seriously? Four dollars LESS for the paperback than the Kindle edition? It’s almost like… publishers don’t WANT electronic versions to succeed, so they’re pricing them out of the market.

And they wonder why people torrent.

Books, of the “Young Adult” kind.

Young Adult, is, I’m assuming, a tough write.

You’ve gotta cross that barrier. the one where it’s still technically for kids, you can’t go too far with language, violence, sex, the works. But at the same time, if you dumb it down too much, you’re not writing Young Adult, you’re writing children’s lit. Now, I like Children’s Lit, but CL and YA (as I’ll refer to them from here on out, because I’m lazy, fuck) are not the same thing.

Why am I talking about this?

Blame Chuck Wendig. Again. That damn blog of his always gets me thinking.

When I was a Young Adult (and I consider that basically fourteen to eighteen: which is the other problem with “YA” and keeping it in that groove. There’s a HELL of a lot going on with you between fourteen and eighteen, and it’s almost definitely not the same as what’s going on with everyone else, or at the same speed, so.. fuck? how do you WRITE appropriately for such a potentially broad audience? I digress) I consumed EVERYTHING. I still do, but at the time, my small-ish-town library had a pretty strict policy on who could sign out what, and I was not of the who that could sign out adult-classified books.

Which sucked.

Especially as the YA section was MAYBE a dozen shelves (two stacks, side-by-side, six shelves each), and not everything appealed to me, and I read quickly.

So, I ended up re-reading a lot, until my folks put a tag on my Library card saying I was allowed to sign out anything I wanted. By then, however, I was working part-time, and a good portion of my paychecks went to books and comics, where I had no restrictions based on age).

Again, I digress.

I re-read a ton. And that’s kind of when you find your favorites.

I don’t know why FutureTrack 5 became one of mine.


(That’s actually the cover I remember, not the re-release: and I don’t want the paperback. I desperately want to find a copy of the Library edition/original hardcover).

I don’t know if it would have the same appeal to me today, at thirty-nine, either: Whether it would stand up. I’m certain I’ve blogged about FutureTrack 5 before, too, I just can’t remember where. I think I was probably nineteen the last time I read it. Maybe younger. And I remember a desperately bloody, dystopian story. And yeah, there were literary boobs in it. And I read THOSE scenes carefully. HEY, I was sixteen, what do you expect?

It’s the first book my mind flashes to, and the bar I hold all other YA lit to when I read it.

And I do still read YA. There’s some fantastic story-telling in the YA world that gets passed over (some, like, say, Hunger Games hits a societal chord. Some CL books become YA. Harry Potter, I’m looking at you.)

So, now we get to the grist of it. I have RECOMMENDATIONS. YA is tough, for sure. That balancing act of not getting too brutal or too ‘adult’ (for lack of a better word at this moment) versus keeping the interest of a more-varied-than-normal group of near-adults.

1] Harry Potter I think this one is obvious. Ridiculously so. The characters grew with the readers, which is nearly perfect. But, you can still go back and re-read, because you know what’s coming. There’s all the adolescent awkwardness and confusion, but no isssues with language or actual sexual content, but people die. And they don’t come back. It’s a YA win, and there’s a reason the serious sold a bajillion books, and was credited with getting kids to read again.

2] As also mentioned before: Hunger Games. No language, no overt sexuality, but still, all the ‘stuff’ that goes along with being that age. Death is a real thing, not just for the games themselves, but because that’s what happens around yoU: the developing adult fears of the surroundings show really well. And no punches are pulled in terms of “reality”: the Good Guys don’t always win.

3] Futuretrack 5 Obviously. It’s another dystopia, much more bleak than Hunger Games, but there’s hope: I do have to read it again, but I remember a brightness, a sense of future starting to appear at one point in the book. At the same time, there is overt sexuality, and violence, and death. I’d recommend it, but only for the mature/older YA reader.

4] Scott Sigler’s GFL series. The “GFL” is “Galactic Football League”. The series follows the career of Quentin Barnes, and his coming-of-age as he gets off a backwater world, with a rigid structure, and has to evaluate, and re-evaluate, the world around him in his own terms of his own learned bigotries, and his own so-called truths. Light on language, mid-level on violence, and epic in terms of football and alien action.

5] The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings. No need to say much here. I firmly believe that, by age fifteen, pretty much everyone should have read these. If you haven’t. GET OUT. I don’t care if you liked them, you should have read ’em. Because the kids in your life almost definitely will. Go read them now, no matter how old you are. Go on. We’ll wait.

6] The Narnia Books by C.S.Lewis, because NARNIA. I know, I’ve said it already, and I’ll probably say it again. If you’ve NOT read these… just go read ’em. I don’t care how old you are, these are FUN.

7] Pretty much anything by Monica Hughes, but for me, I always loved Crisis on Conshelf Ten, but Hunter in the Dark was great, as were a multitude of others.

8] Absolute classic: Tom Swift. I’m still trying to remember which of these I read: there’s more than a hundred of them. I read ’em around… 1985? I guess? And they were fun stories. Very typically “adventure stories for boys”, and I’m pretty sure they were Third series.

9] Watership Down: Ostensibly, it’s about rabbits. It’s pretty heavy, emotionally though, and it’s definitely a ‘cusp’ read: I read it at thirteen, but parents might not want to have their kids into it until later on. I know my grade school made my parents give me a note saying that I was allowed to read it, even though it was in the school library. This is, to this day, still one of my favorite books. It builds a mythos, and maintains it brilliantly the whole way through. And the last ten pages KILL ME every time.

10] Geoffrey Trease, but again, mostly Bows Against The Barons: YA historical fiction, set in medieval and rennaissance time frames. I read this one on my own, and I can’t remember why.. but the Shakespeare-set story, Cue for Treason was assigned in my grade nine class. A long, long time agao.

11] Lord of the Flies Again, HEAVY SHIT here. But definitely some of the good stuff as far as YA goes. If you don’t know what I’m talking about? Go read it.

12] Holy CRAP, I almost forgot about Gordon Korman and the McDonald Hall books! I love these for so, so many reasons. they’re irreverent, and funny, and well-paced, and honestly, they’re National Lampoon adventures for fourteen-year-olds. They’re brilliant.

There’s tons more, honestly. Some of it’s YA on the twelve-to-fifteen end of things, some of it’s … well, honestly, it’s heavy enough in its topics to not only cover the fifteen-to-eighteen level, but will keep adults entertained over and over. As you can tell, even as a kid I was heavy on the Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

More? Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, anything by Enid Blyton, but personally, I always favoured The Adventurous Four. It didn’t stop me buying every single Famous Five and Secret Seven though.

If there’s a more modern sci-fi fan at that age? The Robotech books to keep ’em going. The Robotech/Macross story still holds up really well. I’d take Stephen King’s “Silver Bullet” or “Eyes of the Dragon” over “Twillight” or “Sookie Stackhouse” any day of the week, then or now. Your mileage may vary, because, and I don’t know if it’s weird or not, my dad had me reading Tolkien and Douglas Adams (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy specifically) before I was ten, and introduced me to Piers Anthony’s Xanth books by the time I was eleven. I was always a reader, I may have mentioned that, and I devoured everything I could find.

Seriously, I could keep going. There’s great worth in “young adult” fiction, for both the young adults they’re intended for, and for the so-called adults they become.

I’ll shut up now.

Go read some YA, already!

So. Many. Books. To. Read.

It’s summer again, and weirdly, I read more in summer than winter.

In winter, I settle down to read and well, it’s dark outside, and it’s warm inside, and maybe there’s a fire going, and the lights are dim, and then I’m asleep after six pages.

In summer, though, i’ll get up with the dog on Saturday morning, get a coffee, and go sit in the dawn sun on the deck and read for two hours. Even more so since we cut cable (and went to just netflix/huluplus). And I’m a junkie too, so, you know. I’ve always kinda “kept track” of what I was reading, mostly by blogging about it. So, this year, because I always miss things, I figured I’d do the Good Reads thing, and specifically, their “reading challenge”.

I’ll be honest, I don’t CARE if I hit a hundred books (my goal as set). But, I do like keeping track of what I’ve read, and approximately when. So, a defined one year period with a goal, that actually helps me a bit.

So, this is MY YEAR.

Ok, so that’s out of the way.

Right now, there’s a lot of cool stuff out there. So, here’s what I’m looking forward to.

1] S.M.Stirling – Lord of Mountains Ok, I’m almost done this one, but I love the world that Stirling has created. I highly recommend going back to the start of the series if you’ve not read any of ’em.

2] Lauren Beukes – The Shining Girls: I read Zoo city recently (I got it as part of the Humble Reading Bundle, actually) and now I must have more. I can’t wait for Shining Girls to become available. And because North Americans are the last ones to get access to it? Yeah, torrents were tempting. I didn’t: I’ve got lots to read in the meantime, but damn… yeah, tempting. You should probably follow @LaurenBuekes on twitter, too. She’s super active, and wickedly smart.

3] Chuck Wendig’s Unclean Spirits. I’ll admit, I pretty much get anything @ChuckWendig puts out right now.

4] The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig. See what I mean?

5] Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. I’m totally diggin’ Joe Hill. He’s another one (and this is a trend for me, for sure) who is super active and engaging on Twitter (@Joe_Hill FYI). On top of that, I can highly recommend Horns and the Locke & Key graphic novel series. I can’t wait for Nos4A2.

6] Stephen King’s Dr. Sleep. Because Stephen King, and I’m a HUGE fanboy. It’s not even worth talking about.

7] Matt Wallace’s Delve. Grabbed that on Kindle a week or so ago, and definitely looking forward to it. Again, another loud SOB on twitter: @mattFNwallace

And, finally,

8] Jonathan Maberry’s latest Joe Ledger book, Extinction Machine came as part of my amazon order last week, and again, it’s another one that just “gets a pass”. I don’t always dig everything that Maberry writes, but the Joe Ledger series hits my buttons apparently.

So, that’s a good week or two of reading for me, I guess.

I’m still working through the huge Zombies: A Compendium of the Living Dead, but that’s my “at work for breaks” book, because shortstories.

Sadly, I actually have a lot more than that. Book Nerd, through and through. But those are the ones I’m most looking forward to: the top of the pile, so to speak.

[BOOKS] Here’s the Problem, Well Illustrated.

I’m currently reading a fantastic zombie compilation. It’s fine. This post isn’t about zombies. Totally safe. Trust me.

So, Yeah, I’m reading The Living Dead 2 ed. John Joseph Adams. Highly recommend it so far, and, it’s $6.99 at Chapters.ca in store, in the bargain bins, and you just can’t beat that for summer reading.

However.

I just came across a particular story, Reluctance by Cherie Priest. Now, obviously, these are all shortstories, which means even if I don’t like it, I’ll finish it. Short stories, at the very, very least, are a great way to find new authors. And in this case, how could I resist? An alternate history world where the Civil War has dragged on for twenty years, and led to massive steampunk innovation? And Zombies?

Seriously.

So, read the story, and I gotta say, I love it. Which means the first thing I did was jump on Kindle, and go looking for some of the other stuff in that world. Specifically, BoneShaker

Which is where my irritation with the industry raised its head again.

Paperback: $11.97
Kindle: $12.56

Wait, WHAT?

Keep in mind, this is a four-year old book now, too. But, it shouldn’t be cheaper for me to order physical, dead-tree editions (I can get the first three in the series, Boneshaker, Clementine, and Dreadnaught for $38, with free shipping) cheaper than the electronic, make-a-copy-and-sell-it-with-no-additional-overhead versions.

That’s fucking dumb.

I’ll probably eventually acquire this series. I dig it a lot. But if the ebook pricing was more realistic, that’d already be a sale. or possibly several sales.

And this isn’t an abnormal situation. I ran into the same thing a little while back with a book review on MotherJones. I thought it looked neat, so I hopped on amazon to check the pricing.

Hardcover: $16.43
Kindle: $17.95

Oh. Heh. I tagged that link about six weeks ago. In that time, the hardcover price has dropped to $15.45. WHICH MAKES THE DISPARITY EVEN WORSE.

Shiver Me Kindle (AKA “Please Don’t Pirate My Book” Day)

I talked, at length, because of Chuck Wendig’s post on e-book pricing last year. The sonofabitch never commented on it. I’m not really suprised. unless I’m waxing about how I’m being stalked by a denizen of an 60-year abandoned tuberculosis hospital, my readership is in the low-dozens. Which is fine.

But, here, Chuck brings up the issue of e-book piracy. And, quite honestly, he hits it pretty much on the button, and how I feel about it. Some of his points? Well, I’ve addressed e-book pricing in that other post, and I ranted pretty good on it. But the piracy itself?

Well, like he said. If he’s going to make February 6th “Please don’t pirate my book” day, and all he asks is that you talk about the idea of piracy, and your views on it? How can I say no? I mean, I LIKE to talk.

First though, go back to that link, and read his “25 thoughts”. Hell, I’ll make it easy, and just put it right here, again, for you: 25 thoughts on book piracy. I actually want to thank Chuck Wendig, a creator, for writing a well-nuanced, honest, both-sides-of-the-coin piece. More discussion like this, instead of one side or the other jumping up and down screaming the same shit that has been accomplishing nothing for fifteen years, is what we need.

Of course, it’s possible he’s just looking for people to admit that they pirate shit. But I don’t think so.

So, he did twenty-five points on the subject. I want to address a few of them, that I think are most important. In fact, they’re central to my argument about why and how people pirate.

First, this is how well he gets the internet, and the various industries (music, film, literary) need to pay attention to this one:

4. Except It’s Kinda Not Theft, Exactly
It’s easy to call this stealing, but it’s not. Stealing is the act of taking something that does not belong to you — and here, “taking” implies that the other person does not get to keep it. This isn’t stealing. This is getting water on Gremlins. This is doppelgangering. This is motherfucking multiplication. That’s not to say it’s right or fair or legal, but you cloud the issue every time you call it “stealing.” Yes, it feels like stealing. But this is copying. Illegal duplication.

This. Exactly. it definitely goes hand in hand with his point 18. Our Primary Source Of Revenue Is Our Books And, Oh, By The Way, We’re Fond Of Not Starving And We Also Like Paying Our Mortgages And Feeding Our Kids And Sweet Jeebus This Header Really Got Away From Me Didn’t It?.

And the answer is that I WANT to pay the guys I like, be they bands, artists, authors, film makers, the works. I also need to eat. And there’s an awful lot of well-marketed shit out there. In fact, that was, for years, the music industry’s business model. Market a song, sell an album of shit. You’ll all have to pardon my if I’m now pretty fucking cynical after paying eighteen bucks for album after album, and finding out the single was the ONLY good track. I’d refer you to 8. Theoretically lost revenue rather than actually lost revenue on this one. I definitely download music. Regularly. If I like it, I then GO AND BUY IT. If I don’t, I delete it. That’s pretty simple, eh? But the industry seems to treat that as ACTUAL lost revenue. Because that was their model: sell shit packaged with a modicum of sugar. But, if i’d have heard the album to start with, I WOULDN’T HAVE BOUGHT IT, BECAUSE IT WAS SHIT. We know damn well the music industry (and the rest, I’ll spread the blame around) most likely consider that “theft”. I don’t. I consider “try before you buy” just fucking desserts after twenty years of not having the ability to do so. I do the same with books. I did it with The Magicians. I also got six chapters in, decided I loved it, went and bought the hard cover. I also bought it for my dad (additional sale) who like me, bought the sequel (two additional sales). I also know a large number of my friends group bought the same books (at least ten additional sales) because one or two of us pirated the book in the first place. Try before you buy is great. So are libraries, and so is lending of the physical product. You know. Two things that the (music and video) industry would desperately like to go away. Because almighty dollar.

And I think Chuck gets this, as it’s the heart of his points 15. Downloader as potential fan, 10. Piracy helps some authors

Chuck, if you’re reading this? I’ll be honest. I stole pirated your book. I’ll even tell you which one.

It was Blackbirds. I missed the discounted (or free: I can’t remember which) by a really short period of time. But, I was interested. So, I went and torrented it (Because of COURSE it’s out there).

Then, I got half way through it, and much like Lev Grossman’s book, I went and bought it (on kindle, this time). I also bought both ShotGun Gravy, and BaitDog, and then Mockingbird when it was released, and DoubleDead in paperback/trade. Oh, and the kindle version of Irregular Creatures.

So, as you can see, and a lot of other people have talked about, i … buy… things… because.. i… try them… first. I don’t see the artist losing an awful lot in this equation. Unless, of course, what they’re producting is unmemorable crap. Which, obviously, you want to sell before people realize that it is crap.

6. It’s The Internet’s Fault & 9. DRM Probably Creates More Piracy Then It Deters & 13. Sometimes It’s About The Cost

Look, it’s EASY, as Wendig notes, to make a duplicate of a file. REALLY easy. That’s not a bad thing. Oh, it’s a bad thing if you only give a shit about every single nickel you can wring out of a product. But it’s an awesome thing if you want to make your money on volume, rather than individual sales. If you want to sell a brand, and create a following, rather than a unit. It’s why I continually commend a ton of authors for occasionally just.. giving their shit away. I’ve already given a few examples. And, I stand by ’em. I’ve talked about DRM only hurting the ‘legitimate’ consumer before: I had to “steal” a copy of an album I’d bought, because the site (HMV) kept aborting the download. But still counting the download as one of five I was ‘allowed’. Two weeks of tech support, and I finally had legitimate access to the music I’d bought. Of course, by then, I’d torrented it, so I could listen to it. DRM is fucking balls, ok? In fact, if most of these organizations were to drop their DRM budgets, they’d be fucking rolling in cash. And what do they get out of it now? it takes someone four minutes to copy a file, instead of thirty seconds. Unless, of course, you’re a ‘legitimate’ consumer, in which case, the DRM stops you using your thing (reading a book, in thise case) where and when you want to, and ever, if the company the file ‘checks in with’ goes out of business.

Also, if I buy a hardcover? I very often go and download the ebook. For free. From ze torrentz. Again, I don’t feel I’m STEALING anything. I’ve paid for the book. The format is irrelevant. It’s just me using it. But, this is something that needs to happen five years ago.

I’ll go one further. How many times have I got to buy the same thing, so I can watch/listen/read it on the new “standard” technology? I realize it applies differently for books, but DAMN.

I mean, how often did I buy the fucking Ghostbusters franchise?

Yes, I said Ghostbusters.

  • I saw the movie, in the theatre ($5), in 1985.
  • I bought the soundtrack, on vinyl($13), in 1985.
  • I bought the soundtrack, on tape ($14), in 1987.
  • I bought the movie, on VHS ($20), in 1991.
  • I bought the soundtrack, on CD ($20), in 2001.
  • I bought the movie, on DVD ($20), and the sequel on DVD ($20) in 2002
  • I replaced both DVD’s because they disappeared in a move ($40) in 2009

    So, that’s what, a total of … $152 actual dollars, of mine, on two movies, and a soundtrack. Fuck an industry that says I need to pay for that AGAIN on bluray, or pinkdisc, or ULTRAFUCKWEWANTTHEMONEYDISC. I’ve paid my god damn dues to the Ghostbusters. I may even have had the coloring book at some point. I’ll never tell.

    Point is, I do this a lot. And now, I don’t have to. If I spend $25-40 on a hardcover, yeah, I’m gonna go download the ebook. At the very least, it’s way easier to read an ebook on the shitter, but I want the damn hardcover on the bookshelf. Fingerprint-free. You know what I’m sayin’. Which leads us to…

    23. Combat Piracy By Adding Value

    This. THIS. FUCKING THIS. A THOUSAND TIMES FUCKING THIS: “Buy a physical copy, also get a digital copy.” (More publishers need to be doing this, stat.) . I LOVE that when I pre-order something from Scott Sigler, the day the hard cover ships, everyone gets an email saying “your dead tree version will be with you shortly: we understand you don’t want to wait, so please download a digital copy here”. This is how shit should work. And the grand thing is? It keeps the customers and fans happy, and BARELY COSTS A FUCKING THING.

    So, Ok, point 25. the whole point of this post, technically, it’s about why you’d like people to pay for your book instead of, say, just taking it.. And I know, this is from the point of the consumer. But it’s important to keep stating, much to the chagrin of the industry wonks, that the consumer isn’t a greedy fuckknob, who doens’t want to pay for anything. We’re just tired of getting ripped off, tired of being taken advantage of, tired of being a product to the industry, in general. I know there are performers, artists, writers, who get it. There is a happy medium, and it doesn’t include the assumption that all consumers are thieves.

    At the end of the day, and I say this everytime I get ranty on this subject, I want to give my money to the guys who are worth it. I want to pay them. It’s totally selfish. I mean, I don’t REALLY care if Chuck Wendig eats, or can feed his children. I don’t know him, I’m just a fan. But I do care that, knowing he’s going to make a conscious decision to make money so he can feed himself and his children, he might as well do that doing something that benefits ME. Which means, if I give him money, he doesn’t have to work at BurgerMac’s flipping tacos, and he can spend his time providing me with entertainment. Which is the important part.

    Seriously, I’m not kidding.

    I’m REALLY selfish like that.