Science Fiction (and Fantasy) Writers Wanted

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SFcrowsnest.com

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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Hi the Science Fiction Writing list.

I'm looking for exciting and very well written science fiction
and fantasy novels to publish for a new Publishing Imprint,
Crowsnest Books.

The books are being published as Rocket E-Book editions and sold
through the Barnes and Noble chain (see
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/subjects/ebooks/ebooks.asp) ,
Powells Bookshops (see
http://www.powells.com/rocketeditions.html) and Ecampus (see
http://ecampus.com/) plus at the Science Fiction search engine
Sfcrowsnest.com (see www.sfcrowsnest.com) and SF super store
Orbital Trading Post (see http://www.orbitaltradingpost.com)

As well as catching the rising tide of e-book excitement,
Crowsnest Books is aiming to hook into the publishing on demand
explosion when Barnes and Noble finish trialing this new
technology.

Rather than bore the list with all the details of contracts etc,
you can find full details of how to get your novels published at
http://www.sfcrowsnest.com/greennebula/bkindex.htm (plus lots of
news and details of the Rocket Revolution, if this media is new
to you).

Hope to hear from you soon

Jessica Martin

PS - Please don't be disappointed if you get a rejection for
your work, our standards are very high, and all you need to
reach it is practice, practice, practice.

* Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet's Discussion Network *
The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet - Free!


Anncrispin

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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This is a British e-publisher. They do not, of course, pay an advance. :-(

They are promising wealth and glory, and 40% royalties.

Only problem is, 40% of 0 is still zero.

Show me the money, Jessica, and I might consider publishing with you.

<vbg>

-Ann C. Crispin

SFcrowsnest.com

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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If you check out the E-Book news section of our site, you'll see
that the first Rocket E-book author has just topped 6000 copies
sold - which is good mid-list sell throughs.

Advances cover the publication period of a print book ... and
guess what, e-books never go off the virtual shelf (unlike your
local Borders, where a non-best-seller novel will be lucky to
stay in fron of the buying public for more than 4 weeks).

Make your own mind up people ... preferably after reading the
news sources and sites on our E-book resources pages (and
getting suitably informed).

E-books are going to do to do to the stuffy old print book world
what MPEG music is doing to the music industry, and what desktop
films (aka Blair Witch) is doing to Hollywood. That is to say
they are going to change **EVERYTHING**

If you're a writer, you really don't want to let this revolution
pass you by.

Jessica

Steve Patterson

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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In article <05f86e90...@usw-ex0108-060.remarq.com>,
sfcrowsne...@hotmail.com.invalid says...

>
>If you check out the E-Book news section of our site, you'll see
>that the first Rocket E-book author has just topped 6000 copies
>sold - which is good mid-list sell throughs.

Not in my (admittedly limited) experience. In the miniatures/RPG industry,
6000 copies would be a satisfactory sales number for the first year of a
midlist title, pretty good for one of the smaller houses, and darned pitiful
for White Wolf, TSR/WotC, or Games Workshop.

From what I've heard, 6000 copies for the first year is an order of
magnitude too small for dead-tree publications.

>Advances cover the publication period of a print book ... and
>guess what, e-books never go off the virtual shelf (unlike your
>local Borders, where a non-best-seller novel will be lucky to
>stay in fron of the buying public for more than 4 weeks).

Advances are advance payments against future royalties. IIRC, the vast
majority of publishing contracts state that these advances are *not*
refundable to the publisher in the case that a title does not "earn out"
(sell enough copies that the authour's royalties equal or exceed the size of
the advance). Advances have very little to do with the publication period
of a print book; if the book goes out of print before it earns out, then
the authour still keeps the money.

True, print books do vanish from the shelves rather quickly in a retail
environment which expects best-sellers all day and every day. If you feel
that you're more of a midlist writer, then e-books may indeed be the way to
go. Still, I'd rather check with the dead-tree publishers first for the
next few years since their distribution and promotion system is already set
up and past the hiccup stage.

>Make your own mind up people ... preferably after reading the
>news sources and sites on our E-book resources pages (and
>getting suitably informed).

That includes information both on and off the web. Check trade magazines; I
can't recommend _Locus_ enough. http://www.locusmag.com/ or the print
version.

>E-books are going to do to do to the stuffy old print book world
>what MPEG music is doing to the music industry,

What, mess up the royalty system and encourage piracy? :)

> and what desktop
>films (aka Blair Witch) is doing to Hollywood. That is to say
>they are going to change **EVERYTHING**

Perhaps. It's still too early to tell.

>If you're a writer, you really don't want to let this revolution
>pass you by.

Maybe. Maybe not. By all means, though, get informed before making a
decision like this.

--
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
Note: My "from:" address has been altered to foil mailbots.
Remove the "no_spam_" to get in touch with me by email.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
Steven J. Patterson no_spam_s...@wwdc.com
"Men may move mountains, but ideas move men."
-- M.N. Vorkosigan, per L.M. Bujold
See my refurbished webpage! http://www.wwdc.com/~spatterson


Elisabeth Carey

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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SFcrowsnest.com wrote:
>
> If you check out the E-Book news section of our site, you'll see
> that the first Rocket E-book author has just topped 6000 copies
> sold - which is good mid-list sell throughs.
>
> Advances cover the publication period of a print book ... and
> guess what, e-books never go off the virtual shelf (unlike your
> local Borders, where a non-best-seller novel will be lucky to
> stay in fron of the buying public for more than 4 weeks).

Advances are advances against royalties; they have nothing directly to
do with the publication period of the book. For writers with any track
record at all, the advance is often paid, at least in part, when the
contract is signed, and the writer has that money available for living
expenses while writing the book.

I don't know about _your_ local Borders, but my local Borders, and my
local Barnes and Noble, and my local independent bookstore, all keep
books on the shelf, "bestsellers" or not, a good deal longer than four
weeks unless they are just not moving _at all_.



> Make your own mind up people ... preferably after reading the
> news sources and sites on our E-book resources pages (and
> getting suitably informed).

What, writers should become "informed" on the subject by relying
solely on the information you provide or point them to, and not seek
independent sources of information?



> E-books are going to do to do to the stuffy old print book world

> what MPEG music is doing to the music industry, and what desktop


> films (aka Blair Witch) is doing to Hollywood. That is to say
> they are going to change **EVERYTHING**

Um. Well. Maybe. Eventually.



> If you're a writer, you really don't want to let this revolution
> pass you by.

One doesn't want to give one's work away to someone incapable of
promoting it effectively either, and it seems only fair that the
_publisher_ should assume some of the risk of publication.

Lis Carey

Lawrence Watt-Evans

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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On Tue, 21 Dec 1999 08:13:14 -0800, SFcrowsnest.com
<sfcrowsne...@hotmail.com.invalid> wrote:

>If you check out the E-Book news section of our site, you'll see
>that the first Rocket E-book author has just topped 6000 copies
>sold - which is good mid-list sell throughs.

Um... it is?

Okay, I don't know British numbers very well, but last time I got
sales figures for one of my books published in Britain, it had sold
15,000+ copies, and the publisher found that disappointing.

In the U.S., 6,000 in hardcover is well above average for midlist, and
6,000 in paperback is well below average for midlist. I think it
might be midlist numbers for trade paperback, but I'm not really sure.

My own attitude is that RocketBooks look promising -- I got to play
with one, and it's a very nifty gadget -- but that I'm not about to
risk marketing a new novel that way yet. A subsidiary deal, maybe.
And I've got a handful of short story reprints that'll be available on
Rocket soon, if they aren't already.


--

The Misenchanted Page: http://www.sff.net/people/LWE/ Last update 10/1/99
DRAGON WEATHER is now available -- ISBN 0-312-86978-9

Anncrispin

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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>Make your own mind up people ... preferably after reading the
>news sources and sites on our E-book resources pages (and
>getting suitably informed).
>
>E-books are going to do to do to the stuffy old print book world
>what MPEG music is doing to the music industry, and what desktop
>films (aka Blair Witch) is doing to Hollywood. That is to say
>they are going to change **EVERYTHING**
>
>If you're a writer, you really don't want to let this revolution
>pass you by.
>
>Jessica

Um, Jessica, I earned in excess of 50 grand from my last hardback book. (Yes, I
know, a boring old stuffy dinosaur dead-trees book...)

Are you saying you guys can realistically compete with the print market in
terms of remuneration to authors?

Again...show me the money.

<g>

-Ann C. Crispin

J. Moreno

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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Anncrispin <anncr...@aol.com> wrote:

Baen's Webscription is paying something at least -- he says that for
sales on just one month, David Weber is getting more than a grand. Of
course Weber is a top selling author, and it's for a book that is just
coming out.

But it's just started up, I expect sales for everybody to increase as
time goes on, and it is at least at a respectable amount of money for a
startup effort -- I bet it's a lot better than what you'd get with
Rocket.

--
John Moreno

Marilee J. Layman

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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In <385FABF6...@mediaone.net>, Elisabeth Carey
<lis....@mediaone.net> wrote:

>SFcrowsnest.com wrote:
>>
>> If you check out the E-Book news section of our site, you'll see
>> that the first Rocket E-book author has just topped 6000 copies
>> sold - which is good mid-list sell throughs.
>>

>> Advances cover the publication period of a print book ... and
>> guess what, e-books never go off the virtual shelf (unlike your
>> local Borders, where a non-best-seller novel will be lucky to
>> stay in fron of the buying public for more than 4 weeks).
>
>Advances are advances against royalties; they have nothing directly to
>do with the publication period of the book. For writers with any track
>record at all, the advance is often paid, at least in part, when the
>contract is signed, and the writer has that money available for living
>expenses while writing the book.
>
>I don't know about _your_ local Borders, but my local Borders, and my
>local Barnes and Noble, and my local independent bookstore, all keep
>books on the shelf, "bestsellers" or not, a good deal longer than four
>weeks unless they are just not moving _at all_.

The WashPost Business section digest a few weeks ago had a bit on IBM
selling Barnes & Noble (and their online version) all the hardware &
software to print books on demand, in about five minutes. I think
that's the real wave of the future.

--
Marilee J. Layman Co-Leader, The Other*Worlds*Cafe
relm...@aol.com A Science Fiction Discussion Group
Web site: http://www.webmoose.com/owc/
AOL keyword: BOOKs > Chats & Message > SF Forum > The Other*Worlds*Cafe

Phil Fraering

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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Lawrence Watt-Evans <l...@sff.net> writes:

>My own attitude is that RocketBooks look promising -- I got to play
>with one, and it's a very nifty gadget -- but that I'm not about to
>risk marketing a new novel that way yet. A subsidiary deal, maybe.
>And I've got a handful of short story reprints that'll be available on
>Rocket soon, if they aren't already.


Why do you think that RocketBooks is better than, say, Pulpless?

Is Rocketbooks tied to a particular hardware platform? Although
I have only used Pulpless once, on one of their older books,
which is only available in one format, it seems I could look
at it on desktop or laptop PC's and mac's, in addition to
palms and Newtons (sob). (Well, in reality, I have two desktops,
but you get the point).

Phil
p...@globalreach.net
--
Phil Fraering "I take it the Orwellian/Obediance is All
p...@globalreach.net message doesn't bother you?"
/Will work for tape/ - Cronan Thomson, discussing Teletubbies

Irvin Koch

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Dec 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/21/99
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Elisabeth Carey wrote:

> SFcrowsnest.com wrote:
>
> > E-books are going to do to do to the stuffy old print book world
> > what MPEG music is doing to the music industry, and what desktop
> > films (aka Blair Witch) is doing to Hollywood. That is to say
> > they are going to change **EVERYTHING**
>
> Um. Well. Maybe. Eventually.

>
> > If you're a writer, you really don't want to let this revolution
> > pass you by.
>
> One doesn't want to give one's work away to someone incapable of
> promoting it effectively either, and it seems only fair that the
> _publisher_ should assume some of the risk of publication.

Based on info. to date, what we may see is a "TV vs Radio" situation on
a lesser scale. The "eBooks" appear to be hitting a "new" market ...
for generally lower quality, lower price, material. Eventually the
market will saturate and the "producers" will start SOME sort of
screening, though not as tough as for print books. That will be about
the same time that the buyers realize what they're getting.

E.g., right now we're seeing a "novelty effect," perhaps.


Lawrence Watt-Evans

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Dec 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/22/99
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On Tue, 21 Dec 1999 22:56:00 -0600, pgf@lungold (Phil Fraering) wrote:

>Lawrence Watt-Evans <l...@sff.net> writes:
>
>>My own attitude is that RocketBooks look promising -- I got to play
>>with one, and it's a very nifty gadget -- but that I'm not about to
>>risk marketing a new novel that way yet. A subsidiary deal, maybe.
>>And I've got a handful of short story reprints that'll be available on
>>Rocket soon, if they aren't already.
>
>Why do you think that RocketBooks is better than, say, Pulpless?
>
>Is Rocketbooks tied to a particular hardware platform?

Yes. And that's what impressed me -- the hardware.

I have a few short stories on the Web, on sites that pay me per
download, but I don't see that as the wave of the future. Most people
aren't much interested in reading fiction on their PCs.

J. Moreno

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Dec 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/22/99
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Lawrence Watt-Evans <lawr...@clark.net> wrote:

> pgf@lungold (Phil Fraering) wrote:
>
> >Lawrence Watt-Evans <l...@sff.net> writes:
> >
> >>My own attitude is that RocketBooks look promising -- I got to play
> >>with one, and it's a very nifty gadget -- but that I'm not about to
> >>risk marketing a new novel that way yet. A subsidiary deal, maybe.
> >>And I've got a handful of short story reprints that'll be available on
> >>Rocket soon, if they aren't already.
> >
> >Why do you think that RocketBooks is better than, say, Pulpless?
> >
> >Is Rocketbooks tied to a particular hardware platform?
>
> Yes. And that's what impressed me -- the hardware.
>
> I have a few short stories on the Web, on sites that pay me per
> download, but I don't see that as the wave of the future. Most people
> aren't much interested in reading fiction on their PCs.

What format are they using that they can't be read on a Palm Pilot
(which is what that looks like)?

I think the Palm Pilot (or something similar) will be preferable to
using a PC, but I do think most people would like to get the "book" by
simply downloading it.

--
John Moreno

Justin Bacon

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Dec 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/22/99
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In article <19991221122422...@ng-da1.aol.com>, anncr...@aol.com
(Anncrispin) writes:

>Are you saying you guys can realistically compete with the print market in
>terms of remuneration to authors?

I don't think she necessarily has to. Her primary target seems to be relatively
new authors, not superstars such as yourself, Ann. :)

Plus, I know that my mother (<hype>Margaret Frazer</hype>) has maintained the
electronic rights to at least some of her books. With 40% royalties from the
E-book sales it certainly couldn't hurt for an author like that to funnel her
work through an organization such as Jessica's (assuming that Jessica is
reputable -- I have neither the time, inclination, or need to verify that). Or
an author whose work has gone out of print.

Justin Bacon
tr...@prairie.lakes.com

(Admittedly, Jessica's lack of knowledge concerning what an advance is has me
more than a little skeptical of her professional standards.)

William December Starr

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Dec 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/22/99
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In article <CmZ74.17588$W2.1...@iad-read.news.verio.net>,
lawr...@clark.net said:

> Yes. And that's what impressed me -- the hardware.
>
> I have a few short stories on the Web, on sites that pay me per
> download, but I don't see that as the wave of the future. Most
> people aren't much interested in reading fiction on their PCs.

Tell that to alt.sex.stories... :-)

-- William December Starr <wds...@crl.com>


Phil Fraering

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Dec 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/22/99
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Lawrence Watt-Evans <lawr...@clark.net> writes:

>>Is Rocketbooks tied to a particular hardware platform?

>Yes. And that's what impressed me -- the hardware.

>I have a few short stories on the Web, on sites that pay me per
>download, but I don't see that as the wave of the future. Most people
>aren't much interested in reading fiction on their PCs.

I keep hoping something like the Newton would come back. I think
there's a market for it, even though the company that built it
abandoned it and basically wouldn't license it to anyone either.

Ernie Sjogren

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Dec 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/24/99
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SFcrowsnest.com <sfcrowsne...@hotmail.com.invalid> wrote:

>Hi the Science Fiction Writing list.
>
>I'm looking for exciting and very well written science fiction
>and fantasy novels to publish for a new Publishing Imprint,
>Crowsnest Books.

I know what a crow is. What is a snest?

-- Ernie Sjogren

Martha H Adams

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Dec 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/27/99
to
Perhaps a snest is where you wind up if you sell your work to the wrong
party. (It sounds Suessian to me.)

Maybe I missed it, but something very important seems missing from this
topic thread. It is,

http://www.sfwa.org/Beware/

which I can only describe as ten degrees more serious than required reading.
This site and its many links won't make you happy; but if you make yourself
very familiar with the rich content here, you may save yourself a lot of
major unpleasantness later.

Cheers -- Martha Adams

Paul Fraser

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Dec 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/27/99
to
I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the issue of piracy here. Once your
book is out their in digital form you potentially lose control of it
forever. Look at what has happened to computer software and music.

I'm not a writer, but if I was, you wouldn't get a digital copy of one
of my books...

Paul Fraser

email: ma...@spectrumpublishing.com
web: www.spectrumpublishing.com

Kai Henningsen

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Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
to
nos...@nospam.com (Paul Fraser) wrote on 27.12.99 in <38639aab...@news.demon.co.uk>:

> I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the issue of piracy here. Once your
> book is out their in digital form you potentially lose control of it
> forever. Look at what has happened to computer software and music.

They still sell like mad?

Kai
--
http://www.westfalen.de/private/khms/
"... by God I *KNOW* what this network is for, and you can't have it."
- Russ Allbery (r...@stanford.edu)

Paul Fraser

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Jan 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/1/00
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On 28 Dec 1999 23:59:00 +0200, kaih=7VhEx...@khms.westfalen.de (Kai
Henningsen) wrote:

>nos...@nospam.com (Paul Fraser) wrote on 27.12.99 in <38639aab...@news.demon.co.uk>:
>
>> I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the issue of piracy here. Once your
>> book is out their in digital form you potentially lose control of it
>> forever. Look at what has happened to computer software and music.
>
>They still sell like mad?

I disagree. I think that music sales are affected adversely by mp3
piracy. Computer software sales are also affected by copying.

Secondly, the software and music businesses don't have any option but
to distribute their goods this way; publishers do.

Michael Martinez

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Jan 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/2/00
to
In article <3869d752...@news.demon.co.uk>, nos...@nospam.com wrote:
>I disagree. I think that music sales are affected adversely by mp3
>piracy. Computer software sales are also affected by copying.

This has never been proven. The software industry and the music industry have
been dealing with piracy for years, but the impacts on the two industries have
been significantly different. Piracy of music tapes, CDs, and albums through
the years HAS cost the music industry tons of money -- because people buy
those products. Software piracy sometimes involves product sales (especially
where someone pirates key components for complex software and resells them as
part of larger packages without paying appropriate licensing fees) but most of
the PC-based piracy has simply consisted of people making illegal copies of
software.

The software industry is ENTITLED to billions of dollars that never exchanged
hands. They cannot show the sales would have occurred had the piracy been
preventable. Software has for the most part been way overpriced, though it
has mostly been coming down up until the last couple of years. Microsoft,
unfortunately, has helped to make PC software more expensive again, but maybe
that problem will be resolved in the next year or two.

The impact of mp3 piracy has yet to be demonstrated. If people are paying for
illegal mp3 files then the impact is substantive, but if they are simply
making illegal copies then no can rightly claim they have had sales stolen
from them. All they can rightly claim is that they are entitled to
compensation. There is a very big difference between having sales stolen from
you and merely being entitled to compensation for illegal copying of software
(which is essentially what mp3 files are).

>Secondly, the software and music businesses don't have any option but
>to distribute their goods this way; publishers do.

Actually, software could be distributed in multiple formats, and has been in
the past. And music is still distributed in multiple formats. I see no
weakening in the CD or cassette market. I still buy a fair number of them
(all legitimate copies, of course -- I've never liked the quality of the old
pirated stuff, and the cost of music is not outrageous like the cost of
software).


--
\\ // Science Fiction and Fantasy in...@xenite.org
\\// I need a new .sig. This space for rent.
//\\
// \\ENITE.org...............................................

Don D'Ammassa

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Jan 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/2/00
to

SFcrowsnest.com wrote:

> If you check out the E-Book news section of our site, you'll see
> that the first Rocket E-book author has just topped 6000 copies
> sold - which is good mid-list sell throughs.
>

Well, my first novel sold better than 4 times that and it was apparently a poor
midlist performer, so that doesn't seem to be a valid comment.


Don D'Ammassa

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Jan 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/2/00
to
I worried about that at one time, but then I looked at scanning software
and realized that once it's printed, it can be electronically reproduced
without much trouble anyway.

Paul Fraser wrote:

> I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the issue of piracy here. Once your
> book is out their in digital form you potentially lose control of it
> forever. Look at what has happened to computer software and music.
>

> I'm not a writer, but if I was, you wouldn't get a digital copy of one
> of my books...
>

Michael Martinez

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Jan 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/2/00
to
In article <386FA961...@ix.netcom.com>, Don D'Ammassa <damm...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
>Paul Fraser wrote:
>
>> I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the issue of piracy here. Once your
>> book is out their in digital form you potentially lose control of it
>> forever. Look at what has happened to computer software and music.
>>
>> I'm not a writer, but if I was, you wouldn't get a digital copy of one
>> of my books...
>
>I worried about that at one time, but then I looked at scanning software
>and realized that once it's printed, it can be electronically reproduced
>without much trouble anyway.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS has been available on the Internet for some time now,
but I believe it's still the best-selling fantasy novel of all time, and it
doesn't seem to be showing any decline in sales.

Maybe that's just a fluke.

Kai Henningsen

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Jan 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/2/00
to
nos...@nospam.com (Paul Fraser) wrote on 01.01.00 in <3869d752...@news.demon.co.uk>:

> On 28 Dec 1999 23:59:00 +0200, kaih=7VhEx...@khms.westfalen.de (Kai
> Henningsen) wrote:
>
> >nos...@nospam.com (Paul Fraser) wrote on 27.12.99 in
> ><38639aab...@news.demon.co.uk>:

> >> I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the issue of piracy here. Once your
> >> book is out their in digital form you potentially lose control of it
> >> forever. Look at what has happened to computer software and music.
> >

> >They still sell like mad?
>

> I disagree. I think that music sales are affected adversely by mp3
> piracy. Computer software sales are also affected by copying.

Computer software sales never existed in a world without copying. (And
typical M$ software has extremely inflated prices, too.)

As for suffering, well, how much they really suffer by individuals copying
stuff ... my impression (from what I can see around me) has always been
"very little". *Very* few people who copy would buy original if they could
not copy.

As for copying-for-profit, well, those exist even without easy copying
(look for example at people copying brand clothes, or brand watches, and
so on).

> Secondly, the software and music businesses don't have any option but
> to distribute their goods this way; publishers do.

So? How many people would skip buying a book just because they could copy
one? At current paperback prices? Not I, certainly.

It's different for fiction non-mass-market books, of course; but if a mass
market edition is not available (and not expected in the near future),
that is solely the publisher's fault, IMO.

Non-fiction non-mass market books already get copied all the time at
universities, for example - still, I've certainly bought my share.

But with these especially, an electronic, searchable, quotable edition
would itself be worth money to me.

Juha Kerätär

unread,
Jan 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/2/00
to
On Sun, 02 Jan 2000 18:29:07 GMT, Mic...@xenite.org (Michael
Martinez) wrote:

>THE LORD OF THE RINGS has been available on the Internet for some time now,
>but I believe it's still the best-selling fantasy novel of all time, and it
>doesn't seem to be showing any decline in sales.
>Maybe that's just a fluke.

One cannot really compare software and music piracy with distributing
literature in electronical form.

In former you have an original, and a copy, both almost exactly same
when it comes to contents on the CD or disk. Music is almost the same,
except of course that the format changes nowadays. But MP3 is much
more handy when using computer, and when it comes to quality of sound
it will almost as good as real CD.

Of course, when copying will miss a few things: manuals, covers and
such. And of course you'll have that feeling in the back of your head
that you're a stealing bastard, but when wAR3D00dZ have cared about
that?-)

With the literature the situation is IMHO a bit different.
The_Black_Company.txt cannot replace the Glen Cook's book on my shelf,
at least not yet. There are practical reasons: reading a printed paper
is much more comfortable to eyes than reading from monitor... And you
cannot read your computer screen too easily in bed, if you don't have
a laptop that is. :)

And there are of course sentimental reasons. .txt doesn´t smell the
same as a paperback. And it doesn´t look so good in your bookshelf.
Someday I plan to own a big bookshelf, smelling like literature
smells. :)

-Luna

The Cure : Prayers for Rain

Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
On Sun, 02 Jan 2000 11:39:13 -0800, Don D'Ammassa
<damm...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>I worried about that at one time, but then I looked at scanning software
>and realized that once it's printed, it can be electronically reproduced
>without much trouble anyway.

I think you are missing the point somewhat. Earlier in the thread
people here were talking about rocketbooks and other e-readers. My
contention was simply that the files for supplied these would be
copied and sales would be lost due to casual and commercial piracy.

Also. there is a considerable difference in workload between scanning
a paper book and converting it to digital than copying a pdf, txt or
other electronic file. Plus the fact that in the former case you don't
get a perfect copy, in the second you do.

Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
On Sun, 02 Jan 2000 05:49:15 GMT, in rec.arts.sf.written you wrote:

>>piracy. Computer software sales are also affected by copying.
>

>This has never been proven.

I don't have the time or inclination to trawl about for proof of my
original statement, but I do have anecdotal evidence. If you seriously
think that computer software piracy has never cost a company money you
are dreaming.

On Sun, 02 Jan 2000 05:49:15 GMT, in rec.arts.sf.written you wrote:

>>piracy. Computer software sales are also affected by copying.
>

>This has never been proven.

I don't have the time or inclination to trawl about for proof of my
original statement, but I do have anecdotal evidence. If you seriously
think that computer software piracy has never cost a company money you
are dreaming.

Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
On 02 Jan 2000 18:04:00 +0200, kaih=7W7aR...@khms.westfalen.de (Kai
Henningsen) wrote:

>Computer software sales never existed in a world without copying. (And
>typical M$ software has extremely inflated prices, too.)

What about those packages that required a dongle?

>As for suffering, well, how much they really suffer by individuals copying
>stuff ... my impression (from what I can see around me) has always been
>"very little". *Very* few people who copy would buy original if they could
>not copy.

As I have said elsewhere I have anecdotal evidence that refutes this.

>So? How many people would skip buying a book just because they could copy
>one? At current paperback prices? Not I, certainly.

Just wait till there's a e or rocketbook market (which I still have to
be convinced about) and then watch the sales of the latest King or
Bujold plummet when the files are cracked 12 hours after release.

I doubt, watching the experience of the European satellite companies,
that publishers'll be able to develop an encryption system that'll
survive.

Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
On Sun, 02 Jan 2000 18:29:07 GMT, Mic...@xenite.org (Michael
Martinez) wrote:

>THE LORD OF THE RINGS has been available on the Internet for some time now,
>but I believe it's still the best-selling fantasy novel of all time, and it
>doesn't seem to be showing any decline in sales.
>
>Maybe that's just a fluke.

This is a totally unprovable staement. How can you possibly know what
the sales would have been.

As I have posted elsewhere, this is about copying in the world of a e
or rockerbook reader. I doubt many people can be bothered dwonloading
and printing out books the size of LOTR, or reading them on-line.

J. B. Moreno

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
Paul Fraser <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:

Unless you happen to be one of the few people entitled to use
"nospam.com" (and since you seem to be posting from Demon I seriously
doubt if you are -- instead you are most likely ripping off someone
else's domain and in violation of Demon's AUP, which can get your
account closed) I'd suggest that you change that address to:
<nos...@nospam.invalid>

> (Kai Henningsen) wrote:

> >So? How many people would skip buying a book just because they could copy
> >one? At current paperback prices? Not I, certainly.
>
> Just wait till there's a e or rocketbook market (which I still have to
> be convinced about) and then watch the sales of the latest King or
> Bujold plummet when the files are cracked 12 hours after release.

Uhm, have you checked out the Baen website recently? Online books,
1000's of copies sold, no copy-protection, and the closest I've heard to
a problem is someone sending it to a mailing list and saying they
thought it was OK (and I'm not sure if that actually happened or was
referring to someone/something else).



> I doubt, watching the experience of the European satellite companies,
> that publishers'll be able to develop an encryption system that'll
> survive.

And why should they bother -- there is actually little incentive to
steal (by giving away) online books (particularly not if sample chapters
are available).

The "try it before buying it" factor is eliminated by the sample
chapters, the "prestige" factor doesn't exist unless it is difficult to
do (and with no encryption to beat it isn't).

Some few people that can't afford the cost might like to steal it, but
that requires that someone who actually did buy it to give it away.
Which I don't believe will work well as a distribution method (even if
someone gets it that way, they don't have any incentive to go around
giving it to other people).

--
John B. Moreno

J. B. Moreno

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
Paul Fraser <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:

> Mic...@xenite.org (Michael artinez) wrote:
>
> >THE LORD OF THE RINGS has been available on the Internet for some time now,
> >but I believe it's still the best-selling fantasy novel of all time, and it
> >doesn't seem to be showing any decline in sales.
> >
> >Maybe that's just a fluke.
>
> This is a totally unprovable staement. How can you possibly know what
> the sales would have been.

You can chart what it was doing before, and make a good guess (you're
right that you can't know absolutely what it would have been, but then
again, you can't know that it doesn't increase sales either).

--
John B. Moreno

Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
On Mon, 3 Jan 2000 10:18:02 -0500, pl...@newsreaders.com (J. B.
Moreno) wrote:

>Uhm, have you checked out the Baen website recently?

Yes.

> Online books,
>1000's of copies sold, no copy-protection, and the closest I've heard to
>a problem is someone sending it to a mailing list and saying they
>thought it was OK (and I'm not sure if that actually happened or was
>referring to someone/something else).

I am _so_ glad to hear we live in a Utopia... However, as the Baen
web-site sales have just started I would suggest you wait to see what
the end-of-year sales figures for both electronic and book sales
combined are. I have little doubt that this company has estimated a
certain amount of loss of sales and hopes it has set its e prices at a
level to compensate.



> there is actually little incentive to
>steal (by giving away) online books (particularly not if sample chapters
>are available).

The "incentive" for theft of books is the same as the incentive of any
kind of theft: getting something for nothing.

>Some few people that can't afford the cost might like to steal it, but
>that requires that someone who actually did buy it to give it away.
>Which I don't believe will work well as a distribution method (even if
>someone gets it that way, they don't have any incentive to go around
>giving it to other people).

Well, some people think that those nasty publishing and entertainment
companies earn to much as it is, so they might do it as a David and
Goliath thing; others will do it because they can; alternatively, what
about a club of people chipping in a portion of the cost and then
copying the number of copies they need? And no-one's going to send a
copy to their friend "you really want to read this".

The great thing about this thread is that time will definitely tell...

Selki

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
Paul Fraser <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
: I disagree. I think that music sales are affected adversely by mp3
: piracy. Computer software sales are also affected by copying.

Sales of music media, probably. However, Christine Lavin
(singer/songwriter) wrote an article a few months ago saying that most
performers make most of their money from touring (concerts), not CD
(etc.) sales, because of the way most record distributors structure the
deals with performers. Her theory is that CD sales are mostly good (for
performers like her, as opposed to the companies) to get fans enthused
enough to go to concerts, so the minor damage (to artists) of pirating is
outweighed by the goodness of it getting easier for artists to do their
own packaging, promotions, and distribution (via mp3 etc.).

--se...@clark.net
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that
can be counted counts." - Big Al

Elisabeth Carey

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
Paul Fraser wrote:
>
> On Mon, 3 Jan 2000 10:18:02 -0500, pl...@newsreaders.com (J. B.
> Moreno) wrote:
>
> >Uhm, have you checked out the Baen website recently?
>
> Yes.
>
> > Online books,
> >1000's of copies sold, no copy-protection, and the closest I've heard to
> >a problem is someone sending it to a mailing list and saying they
> >thought it was OK (and I'm not sure if that actually happened or was
> >referring to someone/something else).
>
> I am _so_ glad to hear we live in a Utopia... However, as the Baen
> web-site sales have just started I would suggest you wait to see what
> the end-of-year sales figures for both electronic and book sales
> combined are. I have little doubt that this company has estimated a
> certain amount of loss of sales and hopes it has set its e prices at a
> level to compensate.

The National Academy Press (publishing arm of the National Academies
of Sciences) started making most of their books available online in
fulltext for free several years ago, figuring that their main goal was
to make the information available, and that they could afford some
loss of sales in order to increase the information's availability.
Instead, what they found was that their sales of print editions
_increased_ when the books were available online. People would start
reading online, decide that they wanted to read the whole book but
that reading on the screen was too much of a strain, and order a print
copy.

Now, that's non-fiction and indeed fairly serious science publishing,
and the same thing won't _necessarily_ apply to fiction publishing,
but Baen's not crazy. There is a basis for believing that making the
books available online free or at a token cost may actually boost
sales of print copies. It is, at the least, a worthy experiment.

<snip>

Lis Carey

J. B. Moreno

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
Paul Fraser <nos...@nospam.invalid> wrote:

> pl...@newsreaders.com (J. B. Moreno) wrote:
>
> >Uhm, have you checked out the Baen website recently?
>
> Yes.
>
> >Online books, 1000's of copies sold, no copy-protection, and the closest
> >I've heard to a problem is someone sending it to a mailing list and
> >saying they thought it was OK (and I'm not sure if that actually happened
> >or was referring to someone/something else).
>
> I am _so_ glad to hear we live in a Utopia... However, as the Baen
> web-site sales have just started I would suggest you wait to see what
> the end-of-year sales figures for both electronic and book sales
> combined are. I have little doubt that this company has estimated a
> certain amount of loss of sales and hopes it has set its e prices at a
> level to compensate.

I have never suggested we live in a Utopia.

As for loss of sales -- they are in fact aware that they are both
loosing some sales and gaining others. Some people will buy as an ebook
and that will be that, others will go ahead and buy a paperback when one
comes out, and others will buy the HC as soon as it comes out.

Some theft may be accounted for, but personally I think it's unlikely
that many people that were willing to pay 20-30 for a HC, are going to
be stealing the 2.50 (or $10 depending upon how you look at it) e-text.



> >there is actually little incentive to steal (by giving away) online books
> >(particularly not if sample chapters are available).
>
> The "incentive" for theft of books is the same as the incentive of any
> kind of theft: getting something for nothing.

Ah, but it's not the ones that are "getting something for nothing" that
are of importance -- it's those that are first buying it and then
giving it to someone else.

In most cases outright theft is not possible because they don't have
access to the other persons machine.

And even after they have stolen it -- what incentive do they have to
help other people steal it?



> >Some few people that can't afford the cost might like to steal it, but
> >that requires that someone who actually did buy it to give it away.
> >Which I don't believe will work well as a distribution method (even if
> >someone gets it that way, they don't have any incentive to go around
> >giving it to other people).
>
> Well, some people think that those nasty publishing and entertainment
> companies earn to much as it is, so they might do it as a David and
> Goliath thing; others will do it because they can; alternatively, what
> about a club of people chipping in a portion of the cost and then
> copying the number of copies they need? And no-one's going to send a
> copy to their friend "you really want to read this".

David vs Goliath --- as a one time distribution it is there and then
gone (and relies upon other people being willing to steal it for any
damage to occur), if it's repeated then they can be sued.

As for a club -- so what, they can do it legally; buy it and only one
person at a time reads it. Given reasonably fast readers (the kind that
would use etext over paper), a club of 30 people could reasonably share
it, just as they could with the paper version.

(Although given the price, $10 for four books, if I was to do it, I'd
say $1 a person and buy multiple copies).

As for the "send a copy to a friend", again, if they act responsibly and
the friend deletes his copy afterword, then it's the exact same thing as
loaning out the paper.

> The great thing about this thread is that time will definitely tell...

Not necessarily -- only if it is drastic one way or another will there
be a definite answer and even then there will probably be people arguing
extenuating circumstances and coincidence.


--
John B. Moreno

Michael Martinez

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
In article <3870992...@news.demon.co.uk>, nos...@nospam.com wrote:
>On Sun, 02 Jan 2000 05:49:15 GMT, in rec.arts.sf.written you wrote:
>
>>In article <3869d752...@news.demon.co.uk>, nos...@nospam.com wrote:
>>>piracy. Computer software sales are also affected by copying.
>>
>>This has never been proven.
>
>I don't have the time or inclination to trawl about for proof of my
>original statement, but I do have anecdotal evidence. If you seriously
>think that computer software piracy has never cost a company money you
>are dreaming.

I have worked in the industry for many years. The claims by software
companies that they are losing money to illegal copying are largely bogus, as
I pointed out, for the reasons I pointed out. They are ENTITLED to user fees
from all the illegal copying, but the illegal copying mostly did not deprive
them of any sales.


--
\\ // Science Fiction and Fantasy in...@xenite.org

\\// LOTR Movie News: http://www.xenite.org/faqs/lotr_movie/
//\\ 1500+ Xena Links: http://www.xenite.org/xor/home.shtml
// \\ENITE.org...............................................

Michael Martinez

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
In article <3870994...@news.demon.co.uk>, nos...@nospam.com wrote:
>On 02 Jan 2000 18:04:00 +0200, kaih=7W7aR...@khms.westfalen.de (Kai
>Henningsen) wrote:
>
>>Computer software sales never existed in a world without copying. (And
>>typical M$ software has extremely inflated prices, too.)
>
>What about those packages that required a dongle?

Dongle technology was broken before it became popular (and that's only one
reason why you don't see them any more).

It's more cost effective for a software company to lower its prices and
generate more sales than it is to implement anti-copying technology that won't
generate more sales.

Michael Martinez

unread,
Jan 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/3/00
to
In article <38709a8...@news.demon.co.uk>, nos...@nospam.com wrote:
>On Sun, 02 Jan 2000 18:29:07 GMT, Mic...@xenite.org (Michael
>Martinez) wrote:
>
>>THE LORD OF THE RINGS has been available on the Internet for some time now,
>>but I believe it's still the best-selling fantasy novel of all time, and it
>>doesn't seem to be showing any decline in sales.
>>
>>Maybe that's just a fluke.
>
>This is a totally unprovable staement. How can you possibly know what
>the sales would have been.

For one thing, most book buyers in the United States aren't cruising Russian
Web sites for illegal copies of THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Justin Bacon

unread,
Jan 4, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/4/00
to
In article <386FA85D...@ix.netcom.com>, Don D'Ammassa
<damm...@ix.netcom.com> writes:

>SFcrowsnest.com wrote:
>
>> If you check out the E-Book news section of our site, you'll see
>> that the first Rocket E-book author has just topped 6000 copies
>> sold - which is good mid-list sell throughs.
>>
>
>Well, my first novel sold better than 4 times that and it was apparently a

>poor midlist performer, so that doesn't seem to be a valid comment.

Huge difference between midlist paperbacks and midlist hardbacks.

Justin Bacon
tr...@prairie.lakes.com

Nancy Lebovitz

unread,
Jan 4, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/4/00
to
In article <1e3tt29.poaqb5126qp5yN%pl...@newsreaders.com>,
J. B. Moreno <pl...@newsreaders.com> wrote:

>Paul Fraser <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>> (Kai Henningsen) wrote:
>
>> >So? How many people would skip buying a book just because they could copy
>> >one? At current paperback prices? Not I, certainly.
>>
>> Just wait till there's a e or rocketbook market (which I still have to
>> be convinced about) and then watch the sales of the latest King or
>> Bujold plummet when the files are cracked 12 hours after release.
>
>Uhm, have you checked out the Baen website recently? Online books,

>1000's of copies sold, no copy-protection, and the closest I've heard to
>a problem is someone sending it to a mailing list and saying they
>thought it was OK (and I'm not sure if that actually happened or was
>referring to someone/something else).
>
Imho, the breakpoint isn't the existance of e-books--it's the development
of a way to read them that's as pleasant and portable as paper books.
--
Nancy Lebovitz na...@netaxs.com

October '99 calligraphic button catalogue available by email!

Louann Miller

unread,
Jan 4, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/4/00
to
On 4 Jan 2000 14:00:22 GMT, na...@unix3.netaxs.com (Nancy Lebovitz)
wrote:

>J. B. Moreno <pl...@newsreaders.com> wrote:

>>Uhm, have you checked out the Baen website recently? Online books,
>>1000's of copies sold, no copy-protection, and the closest I've heard to
>>a problem is someone sending it to a mailing list and saying they
>>thought it was OK (and I'm not sure if that actually happened or was
>>referring to someone/something else).

>Imho, the breakpoint isn't the existance of e-books--it's the development
>of a way to read them that's as pleasant and portable as paper books.

I have to agree. I have a Baen webscription (selected months, not
everything that comes down the pike.) At times when I feel like
sitting upright at my computer desk with a lot of light coming at my
face, then it's a great way to read. It's probably less of an
eyestrain, when I feel that way, than reading paperback-sized type.

OTOH, if I feel like curling up in bed under the covers and reading in
a low-light environment, or reading in the same room with my husband
watching television, or reading in the bathtub, it's no use to me at
all.


Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 4, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/4/00
to
On Mon, 03 Jan 2000 17:48:15 GMT, Elisabeth Carey
<lis....@mediaone.net> wrote:

>Now, that's non-fiction and indeed fairly serious science publishing,
>and the same thing won't _necessarily_ apply to fiction publishing,
>but Baen's not crazy. There is a basis for believing that making the
>books available online free or at a token cost may actually boost
>sales of print copies. It is, at the least, a worthy experiment.

Yes, I agree. But I don't think I'd have done it the way that Baen
Books has (and, no, I don't think he's crazy...)

Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 4, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/4/00
to
On Mon, 3 Jan 2000 13:49:25 -0500, pl...@newsreaders.com (J. B.
Moreno) wrote:

>I have never suggested we live in a Utopia.

Unnecessary sarcasm. Sorry.

>Ah, but it's not the ones that are "getting something for nothing" that
>are of importance -- it's those that are first buying it and then
>giving it to someone else.
>
>In most cases outright theft is not possible because they don't have
>access to the other persons machine.

I never suggested it happens this way. Look at the alt.warez groups -
people freely post software they have obtained for no direct reward.

>As for the "send a copy to a friend", again, if they act responsibly and
>the friend deletes his copy afterword, then it's the exact same thing as
>loaning out the paper.

It's easier, and a lot cheaper, to send something to a contact over
the internet. A digital copy is more easily sent than a paper one.

>> The great thing about this thread is that time will definitely tell...
>
>Not necessarily -- only if it is drastic one way or another will there
>be a definite answer and even then there will probably be people arguing
>extenuating circumstances and coincidence.

Well, what the publishers do will determine the answer, regardless of
what any of us here think.

Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 4, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/4/00
to
On Mon, 03 Jan 2000 20:19:25 GMT, Mic...@xenite.org (Michael
Martinez) wrote:

>>What about those packages that required a dongle?
>
>Dongle technology was broken before it became popular (and that's only one
>reason why you don't see them any more).

I know. But you said that computer software had always existed in a
world where it could be copied.

>It's more cost effective for a software company to lower its prices and
>generate more sales than it is to implement anti-copying technology that won't
>generate more sales.

That avoids the argument. What I originally said was that digtial
copies of books would be pirated. I'd suggest that the pragmatic
response that computer software companies have been forced into is
irrelevant.

Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 4, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/4/00
to
On Mon, 03 Jan 2000 20:18:02 GMT, Mic...@xenite.org (Michael
Martinez) wrote:

>I have worked in the industry for many years. The claims by software
>companies that they are losing money to illegal copying are largely bogus, as
>I pointed out, for the reasons I pointed out.

Well, best we agree to disagree then.

Paul Fraser

unread,
Jan 4, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/4/00
to
On Mon, 03 Jan 2000 20:21:31 GMT, Mic...@xenite.org (Michael
Martinez) wrote:

>For one thing, most book buyers in the United States aren't cruising Russian
>Web sites for illegal copies of THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Again, how can you possibly tell how many copies of LOTR have been
downloaded from these sites by Americans? (Those other English reading
people worldwide obviously don't count... :)

J. B. Moreno

unread,
Jan 4, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/4/00
to
Paul Fraser <nos...@nospam.invalid> wrote:

> pl...@newsreaders.com (J. B. Moreno) wrote:

> >Ah, but it's not the ones that are "getting something for nothing" that
> >are of importance -- it's those that are first buying it and then
> >giving it to someone else.
> >
> >In most cases outright theft is not possible because they don't have
> >access to the other persons machine.
>
> I never suggested it happens this way. Look at the alt.warez groups -
> people freely post software they have obtained for no direct reward.

Quite a few of them are looking for a quid-pro-quid arrangement, and
that's where both the "price" and the "availability" have their effect
-- quite a lot of people think that 200-700 dollars is just way to much
to pay for a program, and others feel that people ought to have a chance
to use a program before buying it, or just have it in case it's needed
(someone getting a document in the latest word format and not having
anything to accurately open it).

I don't believe books will be quite so popular an item to give away.

> >As for the "send a copy to a friend", again, if they act responsibly and
> >the friend deletes his copy afterword, then it's the exact same thing as
> >loaning out the paper.
>
> It's easier, and a lot cheaper, to send something to a contact over
> the internet. A digital copy is more easily sent than a paper one.

True, but it only makes a difference if the other person would have
bought the dead-tree version, AND is unwilling to pay for the electronic
version.

Again -- I'm not saying that it's all sunny-side-up, but I expect that
overall it'll be of benefit, that sales will go up of the dead-tree
sales because of it, and that the effect of theft will be fairly small,
and infrequent.

> >> The great thing about this thread is that time will definitely tell...
> >
> >Not necessarily -- only if it is drastic one way or another will there
> >be a definite answer and even then there will probably be people arguing
> >extenuating circumstances and coincidence.
>
> Well, what the publishers do will determine the answer, regardless of
> what any of us here think.

They'll make their decision as to what to do, but that's rather
different from finding out whether it's of benefit

--
John B. Moreno

Michael Martinez

unread,
Jan 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/5/00
to
In article <38726d82...@news.demon.co.uk>, nos...@nospam.invalid wrote:

>On Mon, 03 Jan 2000 20:19:25 GMT, Mic...@xenite.org (Michael
>Martinez) wrote:
>
>>>What about those packages that required a dongle?
>>
>>Dongle technology was broken before it became popular (and that's only one
>>reason why you don't see them any more).
>
>I know. But you said that computer software had always existed in a
>world where it could be copied.

That's correct. And even with the dongles, the software was copyable. In
fact, it was crackable, since you usually had secret codes embedded which
would let the software work while you sent the dongles off for repair (or
waiting until a repairman with enough sense to unplug everything and let the
static buildup discharge came by).

>>It's more cost effective for a software company to lower its prices and
>>generate more sales than it is to implement anti-copying technology that won't
>>generate more sales.
>

>That avoids the argument...

It addresses one of the tangential points which arose.

>...What I originally said was that digtial copies of books would be pirated.


>I'd suggest that the pragmatic response that computer software companies have
>been forced into is irrelevant.

Everything will be pirated. Illegal copies of things have been made as long
as there have been copyrights and patents to prevent unauthorized duplication.
That's a fact of life, not of the electronic age.

Michael Martinez

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Jan 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/5/00
to
In article <38726db1...@news.demon.co.uk>, nos...@nospam.invalid wrote:

>On Mon, 03 Jan 2000 20:21:31 GMT, Mic...@xenite.org (Michael
>Martinez) wrote:
>
>>For one thing, most book buyers in the United States aren't cruising Russian
>>Web sites for illegal copies of THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
>
>Again, how can you possibly tell how many copies of LOTR have been
>downloaded from these sites by Americans? (Those other English reading
>people worldwide obviously don't count... :)

People cannot steal what they don't have acces to.

Paul Fraser

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Jan 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/5/00
to
Slightly off topic, but does anyone know why Baen chose not to give
PDF file downloads off the site? I would have thought this was ideal
for the readers.

You can give them readers spreads which can easily be printed out in
Acrobat to give sequential pagination and stapled top left hand
corner. I use these a lot and find it quite convenient (you get
pagination and some copy-edit errors are more obvious in this format).

With a bit more work you can organise the PDF file to print out as a
booklet. The latter is a bit flimsy (usually too thick to staple) but
I've found reading this format close enough to a paperback that you
pretty soon stop noticing. However, you are probably looking at 75 to
100 sheets A4 paper (letter to you American folks) per book.

It's no that work intensive either. Once you have your template it's
just a matter of flowing the text into Pagemaker or Quark or whatever.

Pete McCutchen

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Jan 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/5/00
to
On Mon, 03 Jan 2000 17:11:34 GMT, nos...@nospam.invalid (Paul Fraser)
wrote:

>I am _so_ glad to hear we live in a Utopia... However, as the Baen
>web-site sales have just started I would suggest you wait to see what
>the end-of-year sales figures for both electronic and book sales
>combined are. I have little doubt that this company has estimated a
>certain amount of loss of sales and hopes it has set its e prices at a
>level to compensate.

Go look at the original litigation regarding the first VCR machines.
The movie companies were absolutely convinced that the VCR would mean
the End of the World As We Know It, and that people would be taping
movies off of HBO and Cinemax and then selling them. Well, I suppose
that happens from time to time, but, even so, the VCR has created a
huge aftermarket.

Likewise, Baen may well end up losing a few sales due to the online
market. Maybe a couple of people will download the full text of
_Ashes of Victory_ and e-mail it to friends. Maybe you'll get a rogue
website or two. But it's quite possible that it will have the same
effect as taping of CDs or videotaping of movies from HBO: none to
speak of.

Oh, and the "lost sales" might very well come not from people who get
pirated copies, but those who decide to purchase the Webscription
version and then forego the hardcover. Though I honestly don't know
if that will cost Jim Baen money; for all I know he makes more selling
the web version than an actual hardcover.

>
>> there is actually little incentive to
>>steal (by giving away) online books (particularly not if sample chapters
>>are available).
>
>The "incentive" for theft of books is the same as the incentive of any
>kind of theft: getting something for nothing.

Sure. There's an incentive. But the question is whether it's going
to become a serious problem. My hunch is that it won't, if for no
other reason than that for it to become a serious problem, you have to
have people selling pirated copies, and people who sell pirated copies
can be detected and stopped.


--

Pete McCutchen

J. B. Moreno

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Jan 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/5/00
to
Pete McCutchen <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

> Oh, and the "lost sales" might very well come not from people who get
> pirated copies, but those who decide to purchase the Webscription
> version and then forego the hardcover. Though I honestly don't know
> if that will cost Jim Baen money; for all I know he makes more selling
> the web version than an actual hardcover.

Yes, that's the only real problem I see -- and it in my opinion isn't
such a large problem at the moment (not as comfortable to read as a
book, so most people will want both electronic and dead tree versions).

As for Baen -- I rather doubt if he is making more per sale. It's 4
books, so that's only 2.50 per and he's got expenses (including
royalties) to pay out of that.

If the stores are paying more than 2 bucks a book, then he's not making
more per book.

--
John B. Moreno

Louann Miller

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Jan 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/5/00
to
On Wed, 5 Jan 2000 13:16:08 -0500, pl...@newsreaders.com (J. B.
Moreno) wrote:

>As for Baen -- I rather doubt if he is making more per sale. It's 4
>books, so that's only 2.50 per and he's got expenses (including
>royalties) to pay out of that.

But no printing or distribution costs. Or sales reps, or advertising.
The web site is a nice-looking one, but there are many fancier ones
out there put out by total amateurs. I doubt he's getting so many web
hits (over and above the capacity he'd need anywar for the regular
baen.com web site) that he'd have to pay for a big pipe.

Nancy Lebovitz

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Jan 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/6/00
to
In article <38739d37...@news.smu.edu>,

Louann Miller <loua...@yahoo.net> wrote:
>On Wed, 5 Jan 2000 13:16:08 -0500, pl...@newsreaders.com (J. B.
>Moreno) wrote:
>
>>As for Baen -- I rather doubt if he is making more per sale. It's 4
>>books, so that's only 2.50 per and he's got expenses (including
>>royalties) to pay out of that.
>
>But no printing or distribution costs. Or sales reps, or advertising.

And no waiting to see whether the book gets returned. Aside from
getting the money sooner, it must be refreshing for books to stay
sold when they go out.

>The web site is a nice-looking one, but there are many fancier ones
>out there put out by total amateurs. I doubt he's getting so many web
>hits (over and above the capacity he'd need anywar for the regular
>baen.com web site) that he'd have to pay for a big pipe.
>

Kai Henningsen

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Jan 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/6/00
to
nos...@nospam.com (Paul Fraser) wrote on 03.01.00 in <3870994...@news.demon.co.uk>:

> On 02 Jan 2000 18:04:00 +0200, kaih=7W7aR...@khms.westfalen.de (Kai
> Henningsen) wrote:
>
> >Computer software sales never existed in a world without copying. (And
> >typical M$ software has extremely inflated prices, too.)
>

> What about those packages that required a dongle?

If you think those packages can't be copied, you are dreaming.

However, I do know for a fact that presence of dongles *does* adversely
affect sales figures.

> >As for suffering, well, how much they really suffer by individuals copying
> >stuff ... my impression (from what I can see around me) has always been
> >"very little". *Very* few people who copy would buy original if they could
> >not copy.
>
> As I have said elsewhere I have anecdotal evidence that refutes this.

How would anecdotal evidence refute this claim? Note the qualifications.

> >So? How many people would skip buying a book just because they could copy
> >one? At current paperback prices? Not I, certainly.
>
> Just wait till there's a e or rocketbook market (which I still have to
> be convinced about) and then watch the sales of the latest King or
> Bujold plummet when the files are cracked 12 hours after release.

I don't believe it.

> I doubt, watching the experience of the European satellite companies,
> that publishers'll be able to develop an encryption system that'll
> survive.

Oh, sure. Encryption is not the answer, just as dongles aren't. You'll
note that most software does *not* use dongles, even though the technology
is widely available. There's a reason.

Kai
--
http://www.westfalen.de/private/khms/
"... by God I *KNOW* what this network is for, and you can't have it."
- Russ Allbery (r...@stanford.edu)

Kai Henningsen

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Jan 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/6/00
to
nos...@nospam.invalid (Paul Fraser) wrote on 04.01.00 in <3871c601...@news.demon.co.uk>:

> On Mon, 3 Jan 2000 13:49:25 -0500, pl...@newsreaders.com (J. B.
> Moreno) wrote:
>
> >I have never suggested we live in a Utopia.
>
> Unnecessary sarcasm. Sorry.
>

> >Ah, but it's not the ones that are "getting something for nothing" that
> >are of importance -- it's those that are first buying it and then
> >giving it to someone else.
> >
> >In most cases outright theft is not possible because they don't have
> >access to the other persons machine.
>
> I never suggested it happens this way. Look at the alt.warez groups -
> people freely post software they have obtained for no direct reward.

Also note that the software companies in question (especially M$), for
some weird reason, are *not* going after the perpetrators. It's not as if
that would be particularly hard to do; most of them leave fairly obvious
traces.

But M$ and friends don't seem to think it worth their while to do
something about this. Why do you think that is?

Kai Henningsen

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Jan 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/6/00
to
pl...@newsreaders.com (J. B. Moreno) wrote on 05.01.00 in <1e3xoj2.i8zeqt11aenqiN%pl...@newsreaders.com>:

> As for Baen -- I rather doubt if he is making more per sale. It's 4
> books, so that's only 2.50 per and he's got expenses (including
> royalties) to pay out of that.
>

> If the stores are paying more than 2 bucks a book, then he's not making
> more per book.

How much of that 2.50 go to the author? How much gows to other costs?

And how's the same for the 2 bucks? Other costs are bound to be
significantly higher.

The reason most software ships with electronic docs these days is that
electronic docs are *very* much cheaper to produce than dead tree ones.

Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes

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Jan 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/7/00
to
4 Jan 2000 14:00:22 GMT: in <84sudm$4...@netaxs.com>,
na...@unix3.netaxs.com (Nancy Lebovitz) spake:
>In article <1e3tt29.poaqb5126qp5yN%pl...@newsreaders.com>,

>J. B. Moreno <pl...@newsreaders.com> wrote:
>>Paul Fraser <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>>> (Kai Henningsen) wrote:
>>> >So? How many people would skip buying a book just because they could copy
>>> >one? At current paperback prices? Not I, certainly.
>>> Just wait till there's a e or rocketbook market (which I still have to
>>> be convinced about) and then watch the sales of the latest King or
>>> Bujold plummet when the files are cracked 12 hours after release.

Most people are actually willing to pay reasonable prices for their
books or other media, and sometimes unreasonable prices, as with the
case of music CDs. Most people are not thieves, and do understand that
buying the book = food on the author's (and publisher's, and printer's,
and editor's, and secretary's, and...) tables (not much food by that
point, but still...)

It's when you have UNreasonable prices, as software often does, that
you see piracy on a wide scale, and even then most people respect the
author's license terms and pay.

>>Uhm, have you checked out the Baen website recently? Online books,
>>1000's of copies sold, no copy-protection, and the closest I've heard to
>>a problem is someone sending it to a mailing list and saying they
>>thought it was OK (and I'm not sure if that actually happened or was
>>referring to someone/something else).
>Imho, the breakpoint isn't the existance of e-books--it's the development
>of a way to read them that's as pleasant and portable as paper books.

Rocketbooks are way cool. They're as portable as a paperback - and
more comfortable to hold for a long time than a spread-open pb. The
image is still too low-rez, but it's reasonably pleasant to read. While
not perfect yet, they're *very* spiffy. You can find them at your local
high-tech shop. <http://www.rocketbook.com/enter.html>

Palm Pilots have a user interface not as well-designed for reading
books (no page-flipping buttons on the case), but are equally small and
have comparable displays. Several people I know read on them all the
time (one carries the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe on hers, so she
can do full-text searches at whim).

-- <a href="http://kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu/~kamikaze/"> Mark Hughes </a>