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Don't Be Evil... Unless There's a Good Angle To It

March 20, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Jay Lake has a well-reasoned and well-informed post on his blog about the Google Book Search settlement.  It'll take 3 minutes of your time, and whether you're a reader or writer, it's worth it. 

In general, I think that people like Cory Doctorow are right when they say the biggest problem facing an author is obscurity.  Certainly that's the biggest problem I face as I ponder the publication launch of the Milkweed Triptych next year.  After all, who has heard of me?  A minuscule fraction of the people it would take to make my first novel a commercial success.  (Even assuming every single person who has heard of me eventually buys the book.  Ha!)

But Jay makes a good point.  Jay, who has written more novels and more short stories than I will in the next N years (where N is a large number).  This writing novels thing?  It's really freaking hard.  And it kind of pisses me off to think that somebody else -- a complete outsider -- can just wait until I'm finished sweating blood over a manuscript, come along, and lay claim to a chunk of my subrights. 

Most of the time, you're okay, Google.  But on this one?  You can bite me.



Melinda March 22, 2009 at 3:09 pm
Thanks for posting this link. I meant to go over to Jay's blog, but never got around to it. I just went to the Google settlement site, and got signed up. Hey, $300 beats a kick in the head, and it might add up to more money. I want to keep my books on the list because I agree that our problem is obscurity not piracy, but I'd like to be compensated for my work.
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