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Jason Williams

Kindle release date - WTF?!!

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This is an industry practice that makes my eyes water in anger. This is not the only series/Publisher that thinks they can bully people into buying physical and then later digital formats of the same book.

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Viperswhip - I sorta disagree with you. It is NOT that much industry-wide. Most series of books do *not* have this attitude - the attitude with the WOT books. And it has been publicly admitted with no shame that this attitude is a mandate handed down straight from Harriet McDougal.

 

She made some very condescending remarks about e-books early on in all this and then it also came out that she had more material interests as well - like getting enough physical copies of the book out there to qualify for the NY Times Bestseller List - which strikes me as a very sadly superficial motivation. What an ego-stroke. Sad.

 

What seems shortsighted of her is that the final books in a series as long, beloved and popular as WOT - the hardbacks would sell enough - EASILY - to make the list no matter HOW early the ebook was also available.

 

I remember when it was AGAINST THE LAW here to even hint that Mrs McDougal might not be a perfect saint and infallible, but over time so much has come out that has been disapointing. This is just one example.

 

To be clear: I still think that Mrs McDougal is a fine woman who has my respect and sympathy, but the truth is that she HAS been a bit ignorant, short-sighted, condescending and catty about this issue from Day One.

 

Brandon Sanderson is the reason we are getting the last three books in Kindle/Nook format at ALL when we DO get them and - despite some other issues I find in his work - he has myy *eternal* gratitude in how hard he worked and pushed at Harriet to go to bat for the fan's desire to have the e-books.

 

There is MUCH more I want to say about this, but I know this thread will probably be locked soon. I just feel like sometimes you can't say too much. I do NOT feel like this topic has been ''beaten to death'' here. Sometimes you have to keep drawing attention to something until you see some results. E - Books are a BIG deal and antiquated and superficial/materialistic attitudes and motivations from the anti-ebook crowd need to continue to be battled. Respectfully and properly, to be sure - but battled none the less.

 

 

Fish

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I remember when it was AGAINST THE LAW here to even hint that Mrs McDougal might not be a perfect saint and infallible, but over time so much has come out that has been disapointing. This is just one example.

 

To be clear: I still think that Mrs McDougal is a fine woman who has my respect and sympathy, but the truth is that she HAS been a bit ignorant, short-sighted, condescending and catty about this issue from Day One.

[...] 

There is MUCH more I want to say about this, but I know this thread will probably be locked soon.

Fish, the attitude of some members might've changed, but not DM's policy about telling the truth, but doing so in a respectful manner. So, you can always say that you think Harriet acted out of ignorance, and you can say you think it's short-sighted of her, but please treat her with respect. Catty?

 

Also, derailing a thread with such personal comments, then hinting that it might be closed because of over-zealous moderation, is counter-productive. There would be no reason to close the topic if people handled it with the requisite sensitivity. However, if this turns into a mud-slinging contest, I will do so.

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Yon, I think I WAS pretty respectful in my opinion above. And I'll always strive to be. Also, imo, ''Catty'' is not an unfair word to describe some of the remarks early on that Harriet is quoted as to making about e-books. And it was condescending - again, imo - when she tried to ''educate'' readers as to what a ''real'' book is. The quotes are out there. Several are on the Theoryland/Terez Index under ''ebooks.''

 

I also ended my post saying I still feel Harriet is a fine woman who I respect. None of us are perfect. We all have things we are not so awesome about and I just feel ebooks is one of these things for her.

 

The reason I worried that this thread might be closed is because, in fairness to DM, there HAVE been numerous threads on this very subject posted here the past few years and I could envision yet one more as being seen as ''beating a dead horse.'' No insult was intended. Quite the opp.

 

However, in the book world, I feel this handling of e-books - especially with the WOT series recently - IS a big deal that deserves just as much commentary here as it has recieved.

 

Again, just my opinions.

 

 

Fish

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I wish the eBook would be released at the same time as the hardcover. I own all the rest of the series as eBooks. I prefer reading them on my iPad. 

 

So eBooks don't count on the NY Times Best Seller list?  

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I dont even have an interest in e-books but i can completely, whole heartedly understand why those who prefer those would be pissed...even feel "dissed". They DO make $$ from those. Ive never understood Harriets issue and i think that even from a financial standpoint they would release it the same day. Personally i dont get it.

 

And as i said, i read the hardcovers. I prefer paper.

Edited by Mark Al Thor

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It boggles my mind why some publishers act so anti-e-book.  I understand some of their fears, but I mean, the writing is on the wall, and if they don't do something to try and use e-books to their advantage, they will end up sharing similar fate as Newspapers.  Personally, I like to read my first time through on a paper copy, but for subsequent re-reads I usually use an e-reader on my phone.  It also doesn't bother me as much about when the e-book goes on sale because, if I own a paper copy, I can have a digital copy as well, and will download from an outside source.  The formatting isn't as clean, but hey.

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Regardless of who has said what, we should all realize that there is more to this kind of decision than meets the eyes.  There are distributors hunting for a larger share of the market, and willing to illegally fix prices to do so.  There could be both contract-based and non-contract-based bonuses for getting on the NYTBSL.  Not only so they can put the little gold sticker on the cover, but because certain non-bookstore retailers only carry the NYT top 10, like truck stops, small department stores and other small businesses.  That drives additional printings and wholesale sales.

 

There's another argument to be made that the industry success metrics may not count certain types of sales because they aren't up with the modern times, or simply don't have the resources to get accurate counts. Contracts could have clauses for bonuses, penalties, or any other number of consequences built upon these metrics.  Billboard had to change when iTunes came out to allow digital sales metrics to have equal weight with hard copy sales and radio airplay, and had to cut some kind of deal to get Apple to release that information to them.  They probably also had to fight with hard copy publishers and distributors to do it. 

 

Video games are going through similar problems right now because the independent companies that compile sales metrics for stockholders don't have any way to accurately count digital sales.  If you buy a game straight from the developer or publisher, they don't have to release those sales numbers to anyone, it's private info.

 

There's no end to the ways companies deal behind closed doors, and we only see what our fan-boy eyes want to see; that our beloved IP may not be in the specific format that we like on release day.

 

Keep that in mind.

Edited by TheVitaleMob

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Yeah its kinda sad that I wont be able to read the last book when its released due to no Ebook option until April.  I'm still getting the hard back book because i have all of the others and i want to complete the set, but an ebook is my only hope to read the book when its released.  I had to leave for work and i wont be back home for 9 weeks possibly, so i'm left out and wont be able to finish the series with out an ebook :sad:  

 

I have all of the others in hardback and digital copy.  I love my 1st printing hard backs, but when i travel it would be next to impossible to free up that much luggage space so i have them on my tablet to save space/weight.  Hard back books are wonderful things and i love everyone i have, but they are not travel friendly... nor are they friendly to those of us that don't have access to a book store when things are released.  Its going to be marchish before i get to even start reading the end to this series that i started reading back in 95.  And while waiting 2 more months isnt going to kill me, it's damned painful i will say lol

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Fish, I think my track record on the ebook issue is clear as day. You know how I feel about it, and even if you didn't, a quick search for "ebook" by "yoniy0" will tell the whole story. For anyone who doesn't care to go through the ropes, I'm very critical of the decision as of ToM, and believe the considerations behind it to be outdated. What's more, I think it completely disregards a whole bunch of people who don't simply 'prefer' not to carry a HC around, but actually can't get the book in physical form upon release (let someone ask Harriet about supporting your troops, I always figured, see how that factors in). The undertones of double-sales aren't lost on me either, although here I do give Harriet the benefit of the doubt; I figure she doesn't lack for money either way, and I can't see this kind of argument being anywhere near as important to her as preserving RJ's legacy.

 

Even still, there's a way to approach expressing negative feelings regarding another person (as opposed to a situation or some such). If I say "Luckers is stupid, but I still love him", that doesn't make it okay. As a rule of thumb, anything you wouldn't say to Harriet's face (when a burly son-in-law or whatever is standing right beside her), don't say it about her here. You can accuse her of being condescending, or having irrelevant considerations. You can't call a grown woman catty and remain respectful. Saying she's been ignorant also skirts that line (if not trespasses it).

 

My point being, as long as we keep the discussion civilized, there's absolutely no reason for this thread to be closed. However, if Harriet becomes a punching bag (no matter how sophisticatedly), I'm afraid you're probably right that it'll happen.

 

EDIT: damn, the boards are so buggy that you can't see my separate paragraphs. Sorry about that.

Edited by yoniy0

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I know it sucks. I was so hoping to sneak into work and read it. It will all be digital soon, like the cameras. 

 

All my books are now in the Kindle, incluidng WoT...Amazon just rules. I gave all my paperback and hardcover WoT books away a long time ago. 

 

I will have to buy it twice (I don't mindd :) to have a complete collection, but I dislike the delay.

 

I bought Brandon's The Way of Kings (1007 pages) for the Kindle, I could not imagine carrying that around.

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This is an industry practice that makes my eyes water in anger. This is not the only series/Publisher that thinks they can bully people into buying physical and then later digital formats of the same book.

It's NOT an industry practice. This release date is purely down to Harriet, and her alone. Check the hardbacks for most authors and you'll see same day Kindle releases.

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I am not very happy with it either.  I refuse to purchase it twice, so I will be waiting until it is available on my kindle to purchase it.  My library is slow, but they will get it in eventually so I will be able to get my hands on it sooner than April.  I have purchases all the other books for my Kindle, and wish to keep my collection there.  

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I had been planning on just buying the e-book, since I only ever read the Kindle these days. But, I got an Amazon Gift Card for Christmas, and it was burning a hole in my pocket. Also, I have all the other books in paper form. So, I pre-ordered "A Memory of Light" from Amazon. I am weak, but is does prove the strategy of delaying the e-book release as an effective one. Though, I probably won't ever buy the e-book version now.

 

Now I just have to rush and finish my re-read before I receive it. I'm 3/4 through Winter's Heart now.

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Everyone in my family knows that I love to read, and for that reason whenever Christmas or my Birthday come around I make sure that they know that I will NEVER use an e-book.  There is something missing in them, they have no soul. Personally I love that the e-book version is coming out late, and yes that is just my opinion, but it was the author's choice and I would bet that RJ had similar feelings to e-books as Harriet.  A book you can hold in your hands and feel the weight of it, the depth to which you have entered the story, the smell of aged pages, the marks made in prior reading that bring you back to those times and you remember who you were back then and who you have become.  An e-book weighs the same every time, no matter the story, there is text but no texture.  You can't point to a Kindle and say look at all my books the way you can with a book-case.  When I go to the book store I like to put my hands on the books and run my fingers over the spines as I browse the titles, trying to feel the one that I will read next...

 

Maybe I'm a Luddite, but perhaps some things should stay the way they are.

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I have a book case in my house. It is overflowing to the point where I also have books in storage bins under my bed, even in my attic. Storage is at a premium in my house. e-books allow me to have a nice library without forcing me to decide between storing winter clothes or books. I plan on eventually replacing all my paper books with e-books, though I also plan on keeping a few, like my WoT collection.

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You've hit the nail, JasonW. That's the weak part of his argument, not his personal preference. Going in length into the latter doesn't explain the former. Or excuse it, really, because it seems somewhat antagonistic.

 

Speaking as a former bookworm myself, I love the smell of a book, both new or one that's been sitting on my shelf for a decade or two (or three... sorry, I can't go above that :smile:). What I don't like is dusting them, finding space for my newest purchase (and storing some of my earlier acquisitions in a box under my bed), taking them along when I move apartments, having to decide before each trip which of them I'd like to have with me, and then being restricted to a couple of them because of airline policies. I don't like lying down in a single position for hours because I can't lift it in the air while reading (not for any length of time), and I don't like opening one and discovering that I accidentally closed it on a mosquito, and now I've got a big stain of something I'd rather not consider on my favorite scene. In short, I like them just fine on my bookshelf. I just don't really enjoy reading them as much as I do an ebook. What's more, I find the notion that a book's soul is in its binding rather than its text, well, absurd. That's a strong word, so I should apologize, but I can't think of another.

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What's more, I find the notion that a book's soul is in its binding rather than its text, well, absurd. That's a strong word, so I should apologize, but I can't think of another.

 

I felt that way until I got a tablet, but in reality I barely notice the difference, and as you said, e-books have an absurd amount of advantages. Now if only they weren't extortionately priced...

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