You know what's interesting, I have been reading WoT for 15 years and I have spent countless hours lurking this and other forums, but this topic made me register for the first time. I love the Wheel of Time. I have suffered, laughed and bled with the characters along the way. Hear me now.
The decision about the e-book is not only short sighted, but insulting.
Dear Harriet, I understand and appreciate your reasons, but lets review them in detail (note that quotes are not exact and may be re-phrased due to author being lazy :):
1. "the e-book will hurt sales and prevent the book reaching #1 in the NYT list"
Wrong. Even a 10th of the fans that have bought it would be enough for that NYT spot. Disregarding that NYT includes e-books in their rankings (albeit sometimes it's messy), most, and I'm talking 90%+ of the people that bought the e-book would buy the hardback as well. Why you ask? Because we already have the other 13 books and would be downright stupid no to finish the collection. On the other hand, people that have not bought the first 13 books will have no incntive to do so now and have a single book in their library (and no, you won't force them to buy the whole series this way). I would have bought both the hardback for my collection and the e-book for ease of reading. Hauling that brick around is not convenient. Which leads me to...
2. "e-books are not the proper way to read"
I am very sorry, but this borders on extreme prejudice and self-importance. Who are you to decide what's right for everyone else? Please, feel ffree to read the way you want - a hardback, papyrus, goat skin with charcoal, etc. that is none of my business, but the reverse applies as well. You cannot force anyone to abide by your prefered way of reading and you don't have the authority to decide what is the correct way for anyone, but yourself. And lastly...
Hehe. Considering it took less than 24 hours for a properly formatted epub to pop up on the web (not to mention the scanned pdf before that), I cannot see how this curbs pirating. If anything, it encourages it.
People that cannot read it any other way than an e-book:
- foreigners (more on this below)
- people with disabilities (weak arms/hands/muscles or poor eyes)
- people that cannot afford the hardback price (self-explanatory)
- people that go "green" and don't want to kill the trees (I find that laughable, but it's their choice, I accept and respect it)
I'll use myself as an example:
I was perfectly willing to pay the full hardback price for an e-book on release day, but I was overcome with suprise and subsequently rage at the decision not to publish it. I live outside the US and UK, English is my third language. I cannot afford to ship the book here, because it will cost me a fortune, I cannot wait for a translation, because it will be available in summer, in my country, and I have been reading the books in English anyway.
So I have two choices:
1. Wait three more months while everyone else reads it and spoils it for me thus killing any satisfaction after patiently waiting for 15 years for the outcome of the story.
2. Pirate it.
Which one do you think I chose? I promptly downloaded it, read it and called it a day. Is it my fault? I don't think so. You made me do it, your poor marketing strategy and meieval understanding of technology. You forced me to pirate it and lost the money I would have given gladly and happily to you.
I apologize to Mr. Sanderson for this, for using his work without proper payment, but I don't feel bad. I even feel justified, because the one tainting the final book and Mr. Jordan's legacy is you Harriet.
I hope Tor sees the light and never lets such absurd decisions rule their publishing policy in the future.