Amazon v Hachette: Round Two (Featuring 100% More Monster Porn!)

20140515-161639.jpgI honestly thought I had said everything I wanted or needed to say about the current face-off between Amazon and Hachette; and when I read John Scalzi’s angle last week, I figured this discussion was done. 

Amazing what complete and utter absurdity writers can kick up within 24 hours.

It started first on Chuck Wendig’s TerribleMinds.com where he brought to light a petition making the rounds on the Internet.

Well, it’s not really a petition as a petition is defined as “a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause.” This it is more of an open letter to Amazon saying “You are a winner, bro! Keep that up!” with an appeal to independent authors everywhere to sign this, acknowledging why Amazon is so star-spangled awesome.

Here’s how the “petition” closes:

“It is fitting that Independence Day is upon us. Amazon has done more to liberate readers and writers than any other entity since Johannes Gutenberg refined the movable type printing press. With the advent of e-books and the ability to ship paper books to your doorstep in record time and at affordable prices, Amazon is growing overall readership while liberating the voices of countless writers, adding to the diversity of literature. A large percentage of the e-books sold on Amazon are from independent authors. You have validated our decision to write and to publish. Don’t let the wealthiest of writers convince you to turn away.

We urge you to support the company that supports readers and authors. Amazon didn’t ask us to write this letter, or sign it. Amazon isn’t aware that we’re doing this. Because in the end, this isn’t about Amazon. It’s about you, the reader, and the changes you’ve helped bring about with your reading decisions. You are changing the world of books, and you are changing our lives as a result.”

I was trying to process exactly why I would want to add my name to this when, later in the same day, I got a note from the Science Fiction Writers of America, announcing their endorsement of an open letter from New York Times Bestselling Author Douglas Preston. Here’s a selection from this letter the SFWA president is signing and the SFWA Board are inviting members to co-sign:

“Many of us supported Amazon from when it was a struggling start-up. Our books started Amazon on the road to selling everything and becoming one of the world’s largest corporations. We have made Amazon many millions of dollars and over the years have contributed so much, free of charge, to the company by way of cooperation, joint promotions, reviews and blogs. This is no way to treat a business partner. Nor is it the right way to treat your friends. Without taking sides on the contractual dispute between Hachette and Amazon, we encourage Amazon in the strongest possible terms to stop harming the livelihood of the authors on whom it has built its business. None of us, neither readers nor authors, benefit when books are taken hostage. (We’re not alone in our plea: the opinion pages of both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, which rarely agree on anything, have roundly condemned Amazon’s corporate behavior.)”

Seriously. This “Pick A Side” bullshit has got to stop. Now. Continue reading

A Triple B: Blogworld and BEA in the Big Apple!

May was a blur. It dawned on me yesterday morning that since the middle of April I have been going full tilt. Starting a new job, a book trailer, visiting relatives, two book events, and the premiere of The Janus Affair only highlights the madness that was May. This week marks the end of a powerhouse of promotion and networking, and it seems only right that Pip and I end our power play in the city that never sleeps — New York.

What makes this trip an epic ending for our Janus Affair launch is we will be working both sides of the Javitz Center. Initially we were invited as guests of Blogworld. The amazing Cliff Ravencraft has put together one incredible podcasting track, and with the patience of Job (as he was finalizing everything in May…) he has worked both of us into the programming.

At the same time, Pip got us a signing at Book Expo America! Continue reading

Stranger on a Train: New York Comic Con

And awwwaaaay we go!!!

Between the surprise priority video job at work, our child getting sick, the drama of getting out of Manassas, and WordPress for the iPhone borking on me and devouring my post, it is hard to believe we are on the way to New York Comic Con and yet here we are, chugging through New Jersey…

The recent crisis at work this week brought about an epiphany: some people are under the impression that video editing is the same as putting together a PowerPoint presentation. Thing is, you can’t do in PowerPoint what I put together in Final Cut Pro. You want more than you average slide presentation. Yes I get that. But as Jimmy has learned under The Commodore’s tutelage: You don’t get anything for free.

Boardwalk Empire. That’s some incredible storytelling there.

I am taking some cold comfort in that I did something no one else could do. It’s what my friend Al Garnett calls “the price of being a badass” — you raise the bar and people expect you to go Superman at a moment’s notice; but then again, no one does what I do there. No one could. That’s fact, bro. Straight up.

So now, Pip and I head for NY ComicCon. We want to get a hardbound copy of Phoenix Rising to Felicia Day, and I’d like to get Mark Hammil to sign my copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Funny thing — even with being pro, I’m still the fanboi.

I can live with that.

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New York ComicCon: The Details

First, I want to give a huge shout-out to Stephanie Kim, Assistant Publicist at Harper Collins. She has made this happen along with the crew of New York ComicCon, and with i’s dotted and t’s crossed I am now here with the details on what will be happening in the Big Apple this October!

DATE: Friday, October 14
PANEL: Steampunk in Comics and Literature

TIME: 9:00PM-10:00PM
LOCATION: 1A01

Steampunk traces its origins back to the science fiction of the 19th century, and the term itself was coined to describe a genre of Victorian sci-fi being written by modern authors. At the same time,  steampunk and Victorian industrial age aesthetics have long held a  great fascination for comic and manga artists of various backgrounds. Continue reading

The Latest Guest of New York Comic Con (Seriously? Seriously.)

When Pip and I first got the email from Harper Voyager asking if we would be interested in speaking at ComicCon, I thought it was a longshot. We’re talking about ComicCon, right? The East Coast’s biggest popular culture convention. This weekend is two Dragon*Cons in one convention center. The show floor plays hosts a who’s who of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, and media. The panel, autograph sessions, and screenings feature all feature A-Listers of Hollywood and Geek Culture.

And they want us to speak on a panel?

We were asked to wait to go into detail, and today we were given a green light.Turns out I was wrong.

New York Comic Con 2011 wants us to speak on two panels. And have a signing session.

Ummm….okay. Continue reading