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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Release Date Announced: Jan. 8, 2013


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You realize that Maria interview was organized by fans who deliberately only gave her questions they knew would be RAFOs, right? It was meant as a joke that Maria was in on. Matt Hatch's sense of humor is a little warped, but the whole thing was meant to be funny.

 

Apparently that fact was not widely enough publicized, or somebody as passionately into WoT as Fish would have known about the "joke," which he obviously didn't.

 

What I believe the incident proves is how totally out-of-touch with WoT's readership Team Jordan has become. If this is Maria's idea of funny she seriously needs to get out more and do a reality check with the people who pay her bills through their purchase of the books. It wouldn't hurt Harriet to do the same, either.

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You realize that Maria interview was organized by fans who deliberately only gave her questions they knew would be RAFOs, right? It was meant as a joke that Maria was in on. Matt Hatch's sense of humor is a little warped, but the whole thing was meant to be funny.

 

Apparently that fact was not widely enough publicized, or somebody as passionately into WoT as Fish would have known about the "joke," which he obviously didn't.

 

What I believe the incident proves is how totally out-of-touch with WoT's readership Team Jordan has become. If this is Maria's idea of funny she seriously needs to get out more and do a reality check with the people who pay her bills through their purchase of the books. It wouldn't hurt Harriet to do the same, either.

 

Jennifer...I did NOT know that. I'm not able to be plugged in online to WOT Happenings/Events as id like. I will say that wasn't the only time Ive seen Maria (who see

s SUPER nice) go overboard with RAFO. Nor is it hardly exclusive to her. Read some recent comments by Brandon...poor guy seems almost terrified by how stern Harriet has become about it, lol. I totally get not.spoiling major things...but come on. Its over kill. This is a book, not state secrets. Also, ive seen many questions that were NOT crucial in a spoilery sense get RAFOD just because Harriet or Brandon or Maria felt like the fan was asking too many question! I just don't understand it, that's all. But then, I had already grown weary of RAFO by about *1994* LOL!!!!

 

 

Fish

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I am not a fan of all the ways it is being handled. Also, the marketing aspects rub me a bit wrong. To say "They are a business, they SHOULD be trying to maximize this!" seems a bit simplistic to me as well. I feel like Tor/Team Jordan got to practically wade in an excess of hype, marketing and profit for both TGS and TOM in the last few years, when originally all they were going to release was one book.. It'd be nice to not feel a sense of overkill with this last volume. Tor has already announced they will be selling merchandise related to AMOL leading up to the release. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Oversaturation. Meh.

 

Come on Fish, you have been off on this since the start. This is not a marketing decision. Say what you will about the split and what they have done in the past but this final push back is not some secret plot to increase sales.

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I am not a fan of all the ways it is being handled. Also, the marketing aspects rub me a bit wrong. To say "They are a business, they SHOULD be trying to maximize this!" seems a bit simplistic to me as well. I feel like Tor/Team Jordan got to practically wade in an excess of hype, marketing and profit for both TGS and TOM in the last few years, when originally all they were going to release was one book.. It'd be nice to not feel a sense of overkill with this last volume. Tor has already announced they will be selling merchandise related to AMOL leading up to the release. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Oversaturation. Meh.

 

Come on Fish, you have been off on this since the start. This is not a marketing decision. Say what you will about the split and what they have done in the past but this final push back is not some secret plot to increase sales.

 

You can not say it is not PART of it - especially when Tor themselves have already announced they plan to market and sell AMOL Tie-IN Merchandise all year long!!! Its fine, its a business. Its just a bit oversaturated for my taste ,but that is just me. We are all different. Its all good. You feel your way about it and I do mine. Its all ok.

 

 

Fish

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You realize that Maria interview was organized by fans who deliberately only gave her questions they knew would be RAFOs, right? It was meant as a joke that Maria was in on. Matt Hatch's sense of humor is a little warped, but the whole thing was meant to be funny.

 

Apparently that fact was not widely enough publicized, or somebody as passionately into WoT as Fish would have known about the "joke," which he obviously didn't.

 

What I believe the incident proves is how totally out-of-touch with WoT's readership Team Jordan has become. If this is Maria's idea of funny she seriously needs to get out more and do a reality check with the people who pay her bills through their purchase of the books. It wouldn't hurt Harriet to do the same, either.

 

Did you miss the part where it was organized by the fans?

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Pathetic..par for course for WoT anyway. Jordan started milking out the books to make more money so with the last book,the added time to get some extra hype to get some more money should not be surprising. Pathetic.

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Pathetic..par for course for WoT anyway. Jordan started milking out the books to make more money so with the last book,the added time to get some extra hype to get some more money should not be surprising. Pathetic.

 

Yes because obviously the push back into January, missing the most lucrative sales season of the year is a ploy to get more money. Pathetic.

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Lucrative season?..there is no lucrative season for the last book of a 20 year old series..the fans will buy it anytime of the year. No one who has not read the series will buy the 14 th book at Christmas. As as been said before..it gives 2 more months for more merchandise to be sold by TOR. As I said par for course. After all Jordan put WOT on this path when he became greedy.

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Lucrative season?..there is no lucrative season for the last book of a 20 year old series..the fans will buy it anytime of the year.

 

Sorry xxx but if I may ask, what are you basing that upon? As I stated earlier in the thread before my current job I was the Retail Marketing Manager for all of the US Virgin Megastores and I can tell you the above statement is unequivocally false. The loss in Holiday sales more than offset whatever "hype" or additional merchandise those two months bring. If Tor was trying to maximize it's revenue stream they would not push it back from November. I know this for fact from my own work experience and others that have an "inside" perspective into the industry such as Werthead have stated the same.

 

As Mr Ares said earlier in thread.

 

There will be a hell of a lot of people out there who want the ending, but who won't be there at opening time on the day of release begging for a copy. There will be plenty of people who want it sometime as opposed to now, now, NOW. Why hurt sales by appealng only to the most obsessive part of your fanbase, especially when most of your readers are only casual? More people will buy it - either for themselves or as presents - in the run up to Christmas than another time of year. Delaying might have benefits, but selling more is unlikely to be one of them.
Edited by Suttree
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Thing is, with this product in particular, I don't really think you're going to be missing out on any significant sales figures by not having a pre-holiday release.

 

The target audience can be so defined; The majority of those who pick up the book are going to be those who have read through the entire saga.

 

With the aforementioned 20 years of sales data to back up your forecasting...It's not completely outlandish to suggest that whether there would be sales gains, or losses, based on whether or not AMoL were released in time for Christmas, the historical data probably supports the concept that those figures aren't significant enough for Tor/Team J/Whomever to want to push for that specific time-frame.

 

On the other hand we do know the motivations for Team J & Mrs. H as far as why they pushed for a delayed release, and that's cool too - Obviously the people at Tor are completely alright with that as well - there's more than likely a whole lot of loyalty in the board room. Who knows, Tor could be bummed a little at not being in on the cycle, but they can predict how well that book's going to do, even if it's a month later. Maybe it was part of the bargain that as publisher they would get to pump the tires how they saw fit, in exchange for some product licensing, that sort of thing.

 

...

 

Just to bust your balls Suttree: Since you so tooted your horn about being at Virgin: Was that before, or after all the US Stores closed? Would've thought since you know what you're talking about you'd have a little better insight as far as being successful, but really, RMM for all US Megastores, and then every single one of them closes? Geez man, geeeezzz *tongue in cheek, all in fun :laugh:

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Just to bust your balls Suttree: Since you so tooted your horn about being at Virgin: Was that before, or after all the US Stores closed? Would've thought since you know what you're talking about you'd have a little better insight as far as being successful, but really, RMM for all US Megastores, and then every single one of them closes? Geez man, geeeezzz *tongue in cheek, all in fun :laugh:

 

LOL...all my fault, absolutely nothing to do with no one paying for music anymore. :rolleyes: Look whether it is a highly anticipated series or not, the Holiday season represents a massive boost in book sales. The important thing to keep in mind are the reasons Brandon and Team Jordan have giving for the delay. Based on the quality of TGS and ToM I think it is the right move and bottom line the push back(regardless of your opinion on Holiday which we know Tor originally wanted) will NOT be increasing the revenue stream.

 

Was just trying to put my viewpoint in perspective. As a side note I got out about seven months before the first one closed and landed a music and action sports marketing position for a major mobile carrier. But yeah, it still is a bummer, we fought the good fight trying to keep them going. Music has always been my main passion, "Mega" is just a concept whose time has passed. In addition to diving music sales, Branson sold his US stake to a real estate conglomerate who decided they could make more renting out the properties(Times Square etc) then running the actual stores. Ironically I drive by the Market St. SF location occasionally and it is still empty!!!

Edited by Suttree
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while i agree on more additional time devoted to the whole editing process, i must say that no matter what there will always someone out there who will not be completely satisfied with the end product, one can never satisfy everyone.

 

as for the whole marketing, i must say that the holiday boost to sales, is insignificant in the case of such a specific target market, where the demand for the book, can be said to be fairly inelastic, people will queue and line up for the book and pre-order the book no matter what the day is and no one needs to be qualified in marketing to know that the WoT fanbase will still be buying the book. and of course the release of AMOL related material will negate any boost they will be missing in the holiday period.

 

am conflicted in a way, there is a marketing side to the decision not just the editing process to polish the book in a masterpiece worthy of the last book in the series.

Edited by GB
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You realize that Maria interview was organized by fans who deliberately only gave her questions they knew would be RAFOs, right? It was meant as a joke that Maria was in on. Matt Hatch's sense of humor is a little warped, but the whole thing was meant to be funny.

 

Apparently that fact was not widely enough publicized, or somebody as passionately into WoT as Fish would have known about the "joke," which he obviously didn't.

 

What I believe the incident proves is how totally out-of-touch with WoT's readership Team Jordan has become. If this is Maria's idea of funny she seriously needs to get out more and do a reality check with the people who pay her bills through their purchase of the books. It wouldn't hurt Harriet to do the same, either.

The vast majority of WoT's readership does not come online to chat about the series. They don't go looking for author interviews. They've probably never heard of Alan or Maria, have no idea what RAFO means. So even if a small fraction of WoT's readership read that interview, and a small fraction of them were upset by it, I hardly think that can be taken as evidence of Team Jordan being out of touch with the WoT readership. Dragonmount does not pay Maria's bills, nor does Theoryland, nor any other fansite. We are merely the most vocal in our feelings towards the work.

 

 

Pathetic..par for course for WoT anyway. Jordan started milking out the books to make more money so with the last book,the added time to get some extra hype to get some more money should not be surprising. Pathetic.

Extra hype. Because nine months just isn't enough to hype the book up. What would they do without an extra two? Again, it has to be put in context - online fandom is a minority of the readership. More than 90% of WoT fans will never hear about this announcement. Yes, the readership will be limited for the most part to people who read the series already, it won't be attracting many new people. But most readers are not on tenterhooks waiting for the next book. They hear it's coming out aroun November, and think that maybe they'd make a good Christmas present. A hell of a lot of people will only know it's out because their local book shop has them in stock - a nice big display of AMoL. They will probably make more money releasing in time for Christmas than they will in January. They don't gain sales. I see no real reason to not accept their stated reasons for delay.
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after the too late release {in the name of making sure there r no mistakes(which book takes 7 months to edit)} of this book, a big prize amount should be given to first readers finding any mistake in the book. :D

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The one thing that does seriously worry me is teh attitude of Harriet towards ebooks. Now whether she likes it or not they ARE now part of publishing. Nearly all books by mainstream authors are released as ebooks on the SAME day, not 90 days later like ToM was, and would have been even worse if Brandon had not batted for those who read via ebooks. The fact is that a lot of people now prefer to read via ereaders, and it would be huge misstep and slap in the face if we were denied the chance to read aMoL on the same day as those who are reading in hardback.

I do, and have no choice in the matter. heavy books hurt my wrists and fingers, so I have to read via a Kindle. What worries me is the very real chance aMoL will not be released as an ebook until weeks or months after the hardback. Now it will be close to impossible to not find out what happens in the book if we - those who read via ebooks, have to wait. I know that the NY Times list now incorporates ebooks in the listing now. I just hope that for the last one it is released on the day. But i doubt it.

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Yeah, AMoL will HAVE to come out on the same day as an ebook as the hardcover. The market has changed radically in even the last two years and they are now a standard format. Not bringing the book out in ebook on the same day again would result in a backlash of huge proportions against the series.

 

More than 90% of WoT fans will never hear about this announcement

 

I'm not sure about this. I've been in several Waterstones in the last few months and all of them had a 'MEMORY OF LIGHT COMING IN NOVEMBER 2012' sign attached to the shelf (presumably they'll have to change all of them now). This date is being publicised pretty widely, and I suspect Tor/Orbit have a goal of making 2012 the year of WHEEL OF TIME (in the same way last year was unequivocally the year of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE). Though without a film/TV adaptation announcement I'm not sure how far that can work.

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You're right, the market has moved drastically. Before I got my Kindle, August 2010, I read paperbacks and hardbacks. Back then not many books were in Kindle or ePub format, depending on which ereader you used. But, since then the market has shifted, more ebooks are sold each year than hardbacks, according to Amazon. For Harriet and Tor to ignore that would be a monumental mistake.

I suspect though we'll get more details as the year deepens and more details of how things will go, and the marketing grows.

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While I certainly understand the emotions fueling the level of frustration, let me suggest that we not forget that we saw tGS and ToM published very close to each other, and there has been more WoT content published in the last few years than we have seen in a long time.

 

Brandon has done better that what we should have rightfully expected, simply because it is not his material and it is not the only project he is working on. As for Harriet, I think she has earned, and most certainly deserves, the benefit of the doubt. Even if you believe she is over reacting, who cares? Sales and marketing aside, EVERYONE involved wants this book to be the best it can be under the circumstances.

 

November or January? For me, I am just grateful that I am getting an ending, and getting one that I believe I will enjoy. It could have been the case that it was left unfinished, or worse, imagine if Goodkind was doing it? (Sorry, couldn't help myself)

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I think Harriet absolutely made the right call. Both TGS and ToM suffered from being too rushed, and the final book in a 20-year-old series deserves to be done right.

 

The only mistake was for Tor to make a big fanfare of announcing AMoL was done when in fact it was only a rough first draft that had been completed. Now some fans who are unaware of how much work remains are angry because they don't understand why it takes more than a year to publish a book that's supposedly finished already. Many seem to think it's only a matter of fixing typos and minor continuity issues. For those who don't read interviews with Brandon, here's how he describes his first drafts:

 

My first pass through is...I'm laying down character, dialogue, and plot. I'm not doing description. And in a lot of cases, I'm not doing—for instance, I'm doing a lot of telling rather than showing, because I'm getting on the page what needs to happen. And then I need to go back and take out huge chunks of, you know, people standing up and monologuing.

 

So you get the whole story in the first draft, but it would be boring. And the first draft also often introduces lots of big problems. And when I do my revisions, I need to fix those problems.

If you care at all about getting a good book, let Brandon and Team Jordan take the time on they need on it instead of delivering a half-done book just so we can get AMoL a few months earlier.

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Ebooks are an increasingly important factor, but seriously does anyone really think those involved are genuinely concerned about possible backlash, specifically with regard to WoT in some sort of long term viability?

 

It's the last book, they're not in some mindset of "oh no, what if people sour on the series and we have a backlash when it's time to release the next volu- er...nevermind"

 

Tor has the data that shows percentage volume of total sales to date that their ebook versions that they have put out. It's more than likely not a significant enough figure to demand a simultaneous release in both hardcover & electronic formats.

 

We're talking about something that's not some kind of willy-nilly pick it up because it looks interesting kind of book - the majority of buyers are going to be those with a long term investment in reading this specific series, and I think it's extremely doubtful that the vast majority of those lining up for purchase, of this specific book would be so fickle, or be of such significant numbers that there would be a marked backlash as a result of a staggered release.

 

So if there were a backlash, and those who demand ebooks refuse to buy, you could still safely predict AMoL's still going to be up there on the NYT list. Five consecutive volumes released where the book debuted at Number 1, none of which had simultaneous electronic release. One of those volumes notoriously being the much ballyhooed wah-wah of the series - CoT.

 

Sucktacular book: Grounds for backlash

Staggered release: *snort-laugh

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Hey, thanks you guys, for picking up the ebook banner. It shouldn't be about threatening anyone that we wouldn't pay unless it's out at the same time (Mat's Spare Hat is correct; can't threaten what you're not willing to do) - but rather about genuinely asking to be told, either way, what's going to happen. It shouldn't be such a great mystery. Those who can see their way clear to do so, please consider politely inquiring with Brandon (Twitter's a good way to do it) whether an announcement could be made.

 

BTW, Mat's, I only wish everyone agrees with your assessment. Likely you don't remember that one of the reasons given last time was Harriet's concern that many might opt for the ebook instead of the hardcover, which would mean ToM might not have reached #1 on the NYT list (as was mentioned already, their system changed sincd then to include e-sales, so who knows if that's still relevant). Even still, I do think the situation is somewhat different now (ToM was released right as they published TGS's e-version, and NS was yet to come, so to release it concurrently could've been seen as ahead of schedule. That's no longer the case, with every book now out in e-form for about a year). The market has, indeed, changed.

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J just wanted to follow up with something. Ive done some checking, and I think jenniferl and I are talking about two different things. The interview I'm looking at is specifically from March 21, 2011, featured very serious questions and it certainly doesn't read like a joke at all.

 

ANY question that even touched on Verin, The Black Ajah, The Voice, Dreadlords, Forsaken, Darkfriends, The Oaths, The Aiel......ALL got RAFOS.

 

It gets old. Fast.

 

 

Fish

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NYT's list does a weighted stat for printed books vs. e-books, which aren't at this time.

 

It has to do with the format still emerging rather than being wholly established, so as it stands you can hit number 1 for hardcover fiction, but there is that inherent chance you wouldn't be number 1 for the combined list. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2012-02-26/overview.html They break down methodology towards the bottom of that page.

 

That'd be true for any book though, but what I think what makes AMoL's situation different is that established audience that you can accurately predict that is going to buy, regardless of format - and to play the broken record, they have a couple decades of sales figures to back them up.

 

Like you said though, yoni0, if you're interested in finding out or having your voice heard when it comes to an Ebook, call them up, write an email, hit up twitter. There's so many ways of making you voice heard, and all you really have to say is something like "Hey, are there any plans for an ebook release alongside the hardcover?" - No need at all to snipe or be any sort of douche about it, and if enough people show interest who knows, you might actually get an answer, or even sway some opinions down the line (there's almost a year til release after all).

 

And if not you can say you tried, and still enjoy reading the book whenever you feel like picking it up.

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J just wanted to follow up with something. Ive done some checking, and I think jenniferl and I are talking about two different things. The interview I'm looking at is specifically from March 21, 2011, featured very serious questions and it certainly doesn't read like a joke at all.

 

ANY question that even touched on Verin, The Black Ajah, The Voice, Dreadlords, Forsaken, Darkfriends, The Oaths, The Aiel......ALL got RAFOS.

 

It gets old. Fast.

 

 

Fish

 

If it is this...

 

http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Q%26A_with_Maria_Simons_about_Verin_March_2011_-_report_by_Matt_Hatch

 

That is the one Jenn was referring to. It was set up by the fans.

Edited by Suttree
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The Ebook situation...its one that concerns me. And saddens me. Just take a look at some of these quotes by Team Jordan concerning the Digital Age/E Books:

 

 

INTERVIEW: Aug 31st, 2011

Reddit AMA

MATTSTEELBLADE ()

 

Will A Memory of Light be released as an e-book at the same time as the hardcover next year, or will we have to wait?

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

It's unlikely. Harriet has much worry about the ebook format, and the fact that we wouldn't have gotten #1 on the New York Times list if we'd done the ebook release at the same time has her extra jumpy. She released the ebook earlier than expected by my request last time, and I think we'll get it even earlier this time. But it probably won't be at the same time.

 

(Though, it may depend on how the Times counts ebooks then. Harriet feels it's important for RJ's legacy that these last few books continue the string of being #1 hits.)

 

 

...This is by far one of the most upsetting quotes on the whole matter in my (Fish) opinion. Another example of the old guard not understanding the ways of today and trying to dig in their heels and stubbornly fight the world's moving on...IMO.

 

 

 

INTERVIEW: Nov 10th, 2000

WH Signing Report - Hawk

QUESTION

 

There were a lot of fans upset at your decision to sell the Prologue to S&S as an ebook, and there were other people upset at your "special introduction", thinking that you were mocking your fans. What was your intent/how did this come about?

 

ROBERT JORDAN

People who got upset about the "special introduction" need to "take a break and get a milkshake." The introduction was definitely about mocking ebooks and how it really did feel like selling your soul. S&S came to him and begged for something—anything—to sell from Winter's Heart as an ebook. He didn't go to them at all.

 

 

INTERVIEW: Aug 31st, 2011

Reddit AMA

RANDTHEHERO ()

 

Will new versions of the Wheel of Time books be printed with the Ebook covers after A Memory of Light is released?

 

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

I'm pushing for it. Harriet is hesitant. She wants a re-release with something like the UK covers, more symbolic and classy. I kind of prefer the ebook covers, myself, though I wouldn't mind the UK covers.

 

 

 

INTERVIEW: Nov 6th, 2010

TOM Signing Report - Bailey's Crossroads Tower Guards

TOWER GUARD

 

After the reading, Harriet and Brandon held the Q&A portion of the signing. Several questions about the nature of publication were raised, including why the price of audiobooks is so much higher (because of the hundreds of hours of takes the voice actors have to record as well as a relatively low production rate) and why the ebook is delayed (because ebook sales are not counted by the New York Times for the bestseller list).

 

HARRIET MCDOUGAL RIGNEY

Harriet pointed out that the longer the book is on the bestseller list, the larger the discount for that book later on. She also expressed a general wariness of ebooks. In her definition, a book is “an artifact that can transfer ideas from one person to another without an external power source,” which was not something I’d heard said before. Still, she listened when Brandon recently voiced the concerns of the ebook contingent of fans (“Brandon went to bat for ALL of you”), and agreed to move the publication of the ebook up to February 2011, 90 days from the hardback publication date.

 

 

INTERVIEW: Nov 6th, 2010

TOM Signing Report - Robert Mee

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

Someone asked about why audiobooks are so expensive, and Brandon made it clear that it was an issue of production costs...which makes sense. Harriet is not a fan of eBooks, which is why it’s taken so long for the books to be converted over to that format.

 

 

- Fish.

 

 

P.S. Two Things:

 

1 I want to be clear. I am not bagging on Harriet here. I think she is wonderful. However, as human benings, we are ALL different and on this ONE issue, her mysterious, ill-explained attitude on this subject just REALLY rubs me the wrong way. Again, that is JUST MY OPINION.

 

2 All of the info I posted came from http://www.theoryland.com/intvsresults.php which is really fantastic and should be visited - and all those who worked on it should be given BIG Kudos!

 

So, maybe we should ask ourselves: Why is the attitude of Team Jordan (with, thankfully, the HUGE exception of Brandon Sanderson) towards today's digital world/E Books historically so...hesitant, mocking, not liking, etc...? (All adjetives used by Team Jordan themselves).

Edited by The Fisher King
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