Things Learned in the Blogosphere

I made my weekly rounds of agent, editor, and writer blogs, and I came up with a few interesting things.

– Many of you may know this already, but I hadn’t heard about the Amazon snafu of last Friday. Basically, someone uploaded some pirated e-books to Amazon, and customers bought them, thinking they were the real deal. Upon making this discovery, Amazon refunded those customers’ money and remotely deleted the books from their Kindles. Lots and lots of people proceeded to freak out, writing articles galore about the impending censorship crisis and apocalypse of free thought. That might not have happened had the deleted books not been works by George Orwell, including 1984.

(That’s what his estate gets for refusing to let David Bowie make a musical of 1984 back in the seventies.)

Amazon says they’ve changed their policy and will no longer delete purchased books from users’ devices. The agents whose blogs commented on this mostly seemed to think it was silly.

I can see a couple of views on the matter. A student says he lost all the notes and annotations he’d been making on his e-copy of 1984 when it was removed, so that’s obviously a problem. Overall, though, it seems to me like a good idea to take pirated books out of the system while refunding the customers’ money so that they can buy the real thing, with royalties going to Orwell’s estate. It was pretty silly of Amazon not to realize that the media would go crazy over the deletion of these specific books, but I think the principle is sound. Ideally, an e-mail would go out first to say that the books were being recalled and why, and to explain how to transfer any notes, etc.

– I doubt this link will be around long, but this is insane! I wince, especially when I read the words “fiction novel.”

– The Writer Unboxed blog has a fun contest for wacky metaphors, in which you can win free books! Submission time ends in just a day or so.

– In other news, everyone should join me in eagerly anticipating the release of a book about man-eating unicorns and the badass women who hunt them. Early reviews have compared it to Buffy, and the author’s blog is fun and interesting, boding well for the quality of her book.

It seems the author has done quite a bit of research for the book, called Rampant. At first, I was surprised by the “unicorn hunters must be descendants of Alexander the Great” bit – Alexander the Great? Hunh? Why? Supposedly he got his warhorse, famous at the time, by rescuing it from men who were about to put it to death because it could not be tamed and ATE HUMAN FLESH. Later, people decided that the horse was actually a type of killer unicorn, and Alexander the Great became known during his lifetime as a unicorn tamer!

Also, today I restarted my part-time job at the library! Huzzah!

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