Free Book Chapter: Financial Armageddon

October 31, 2008

Financial Armageddon: Korea and Japan Sign On

I’ve just learned that my publisher, Kaplan, has sold the rights to the Korean and Japanese versions of Financial Armageddon.

In celebration (or, perhaps, as a final inducement to those English-speaking readers who’ve not yet gone out and bought a copy of their own), I’ve just uploaded a PDF version of Chapter One, entitled “Debt,” from the hardcover version of Financial Armageddon.

Go there for the link.

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The Final Sony Reader Revolution Video?

October 31, 2008

Day 28: Reader Revolution

Hey, where’s Day 29 and Day 30?!

At least now I know what the allusion to the “Chuck Norris signs” was about earlier today.


Dave Farrow Has Left The Window!

October 30, 2008

Dave Farrow — speed reader and memory expert — started a read-a-thon thirty days ago in the window of DataVision in New York City at the behest of Sony to promote the Sony Reader and to donate as many eBooks as possible to schools across the country.

Today, around 4:45PM EDST, that mission was accomplished.

Dave Farrow is gone. What remains is a commemorative sign in his former seat.

44,097 pages were turned.

Over 100 eBooks were read.

Sony will donate 4.4 million eBooks to schools.

I have a ginormous number of screensnaps for the final day to sort through to produce the final post for the Sony Reader Revolution cam posts here.


Is Another Suit Against Google Book Search Coming?

October 30, 2008

I think so.

Google has arbitrarily stepped in as an uninvited third-party to put “in print” thousands (perhaps millions) of books that have been out-of-print.

Being out-of-print is grounds for an author to demand a reversion of rights granted in the original contract.

That basically ends the business arrangement between writer and publisher.

The publisher took a commercial chance, it didn’t work out, the book was never kept alive, it stopped earning money, and the writer should have all rights reverted and be free to make commercial deals elsewhere.

Google has upset this equation by putting those books back “in print” and has suddenly jeopardized the future livelihoods of thousands of writers as we enter this age of eBooks.

Publishers holding contracts that long ago should have reverted can now claim grounds of works being “in print” even though those damned publishers never did the deed themselves.

And what’s more: they probably never, ever intended to do that deed, either!

I really don’t give a damn what a limited author’s group and a limited collection of publishers have agreed to.

Neither one of them speaks for me. Neither one of them can speak for any other writer who is not party to this agreement.

Google is going to find itself having to negotiate with individual writers for the rights they mistakenly believe they have been granted by this “settlement.”

This is a settlement only between Google and those two parties.

The two parties suing Google do not at all have the right to speak for every writer out there.

I foresee writers getting together and filing suits either singly or in groups.

That big 67% to “rightsholder” is still bullshit, when it comes to conventional book contracts. Some of these contracts will not contain provisions for electronic rights and I’d damn well bet money that publishers are going to dole out only the printed book royalty rate — and the lowest rate they can get away with too.

That 67% should bypass publishers who have kept works out of print — that money justly belongs solely to the writers.

Google, stop dancing around your desks.

This isn’t over.


Sony Reader Revolution Cam #11

October 29, 2008

This is Day 29 of 30!

Tomorrow Dave Farrow emerges from the window!

This is what he looked like at 2:17PM EDST today:

And right now there’s a substitute reader — using the gorg-o-licious red Sony Reader!

Reader Revolution cam live video!


Sony Reader Revolution Cam #10: SMOOCH!

October 28, 2008

My timing is perfect. 7:40PM EDST tonight:

The Smooch heard round the Internet!

More hot action at the Sony Reader Revolution cam.


Google Book Search: Medialoper FTW

October 28, 2008

The Google Book Search Deal: Winners and Losers

Two items. I didn’t realize this:

Google: It’s hard to overstate how important this agreement is for Google. Google has essentially acquired the digital rights to the long tail. At least the portion of the long tail that’s locked up in out of print books. That’s a VERY long tail.

Emphasis added by me.

And I didn’t know this bit at all:

Amazon: Amazon’s 190,000 Kindle titles look puny compared to the millions of books Google now has access to. Granted many of those Kindle titles make up the big head of consumer demand, as opposed to the long tail. Still, Google now has the ability to monetize millions of books Amazon can’t, if for no other reason because they’re out of print. What’s more, under the new agreement Google has the right to sell printed copies of those books via print on demand. And I have a sneaking suspicion that Google still has a few more surprises in store for us. Android may turn out to be more than just a mobile phone platform.

Emphasis added by me.

Holy cow. Millions of out-of-print books are now POD candidates!?

Yes, that’s good for Google, but now all those contracts in the hands of the dying dinosaurs of print will never, ever be prised from their greedy, grasping claws!

Amazon lost, yes. But writers have just been screwed again!