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Resisting the Urge

I’m in the middle of a project, but I can’t resist the compulsion to blog. Funny Practical Jokes to Play on the IRS.

Cory Doctorow linked to Article about Slip N’Slide lawsuit against a recent film showing it in a bad light. This is a classic case of suing people purely for publicity’s sake. I’m a huge fan of Doctorow’s online stuff (although I haven’t even begun to read his fiction), and it’s a bold experiment putting publishing his fiction simultaneously online and in print. On his FAQ page, he mentions:

Q: Can’t I just send some money to you by PayPal instead of buying the book?
A: You don’t have to buy the book, but I’m not interested in tipjar payments. I’m not doing this to compete with my publisher. If you read the ebook and want to pay me back, but don’t have any use for the dead-tree edition, the best way you can do that is to buy a copy of the book and donate it to a school, library or community center. If you do this, you’ll put a copy of the book on the shelf where it might be read, I’ll get a royalty, and my sales-figures will go up (which means that I’ll get a bigger advance on my next book and my publisher will be more likely to want to repeat the experiment).

I like his reasoning, but I have to wonder why online donations necessarily compete with the need to have a physical product. Quite frankly, I want the right to pay Cory for his genius if I don’t want to possess a physical product. Then again, the publishing industry doesn’t have ebook readers yet, so I’m not sure I’d read it online though (although to be fair, the cost of his books are very affordable). Bruce Sterling writes a glowing biographical sketch. (Sterling is another writer whose writings I adore, but I have yet to read his fiction yet). The world would be a better place if everybody were making audio books instead of dead tree books.

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