February 15, 2013

Chasing Tale (2/15/13): No Such Thing As a Used E-Book

Chasing Tale is a regular look at the books added to my to-be-read pile. Some are advance review copies, some I bought from one store or another, and others are freebies from promotional offers that caught my eye.

I thought it was a joke. Chuck Wendig started using the hashtag #usedebooks on Twitter last week, and I thought he was joking. Then John Scalzi wrote a blog post--two in fact--about the new patent approved for Amazon, then I saw the articles on Publishers Weekly and Gizmodo, plus the other blogs, and I just couldn't fathom it. Used e-books?

No one has ever accused me of being a brainiac, but I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as a used e-book.

An e-book is a file, right? We're all on the same page there, aren't we? Good, because the last time I checked an object had to exhibit some kind of wear and tear in order to be labeled as "used." Never mind the fact that a used car, used TV, or a used paperback of James Patterson's latest masterpiece can't be duplicated ad infinitum with the click of a button. E-books on the other hand ...

It's a troubling prospect, but maybe Amazon won't do anything with this patent. Maybe it's just a land grab to prevent any future attempts to start these kinds of shenanigans. But what if they do create a secondhand marketplace for Kindle books?

There's already a website out there selling "used" MP3s apparently, and I highly doubt the people running that operation are sharing revenue with musicians. I never really bought into the whole "Amazon wants to destroy publishers" rhetoric, but if used e-books become a real thing, the Amazon apologists will have a helluva time putting lipstick on that pig.

Bah, enough pissing and moaning over what-if scenarios. I'm going to chill out with a video of a puppy falling asleep. You, feel free to check out the books I've added to my to-be-read pile, none of which are "used", by the way.

Saturday's Child (Cal Innes Crime Novel #1) by Ray Banks - I already have a couple Ray Banks books sitting on my Kindle, but when I saw the first novel in his Cal Innes series on sale a couple weeks ago, I couldn't resist. I loved the heck out of his novella, Gun, so I really need to read another crime story of his this year. It may be this one, too.

Siren by John Everson - This book is on sale through February on the Kindle Store for a scant 99 cents. You just can't beat that price. This is one of the books rescued from the clutches of Dorchester Publishing, yet it retained its cool cover, so that's a plus. So is cashing royalty checks on John Everson's end of the exchange too, I imagine.

Pale Preachers: A Zombie Novella by Tom Piccirilli - I spied this book from Creeping Hemlock Press, a publisher that appears to really enjoy the zombie genre considering their catalog. Heck, with a fella like Tom Piccirilli writing a zombie story, who wouldn't.

The Walls of the Castle by Tom Piccirilli - Here's another of Tom's books I snagged after getting Dark Regions Press' newsletter announcing the e-book release. It's a novella that is set in an enormous medical complex called The Castle, a psychological thriller of one man's secret life within its walls. Yup.

Earth Thirst (Arcadian Conflict: Book One) by Mark Teppo - Suzanne Johnson hosts a book giveaway on her Preternatura blog each week, highlighting new releases in the fantasy, scifi, and horror genres. I happened to win one of the giveaways last month and received this dystopian novel of vampires coming to the rescue of a ravaged Earth.

Review Copies:

The Warlock by Nicholas Boving - An ad executive goes on sabbatical on a Greek island, holing up in a monastery, just in time to bear witness to a satanic ritual. Not exactly my idea of a summer vacation.

Green Faery (Dangerous Spirits) by Kyell Gold - I think this is set up as a dark fantasy tale, but I'm not entirely sure. In any case, I'm guessing it's not Tinkerbell fan-fic. Looks like it has werewolves, though.

Fast Track by Lee Goldberg - A new novella from Lee showed up in my inbox. I love the cover for this one, and I'm hoping the Fast and the Furious vibe I'm getting is misleading--not a fan of the franchise I am a fan of Lee's stories though, so fingers crossed.

The Inner City by Karen Heuler - Here comes a new release from Chizine Publications, this time a short story collection from one more award-winning author with a penchant for the weird. And check out that cover. Jeez, that's eye-catching.

The Showing by Will Macmillan Jones - A horror novella about a haunted house. Alright, it's got that going for it right off the bat, so I'll eventually find out if the story holds up.

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne - An ARC of this novel showed up in my mailbox unannounced courtesy of the folks at Simon & Schuster Canada. Not sure how much I'll enjoy a novel about a tween pop star, but given it's a bit of a satire, I'm quite willing to give it a go.

1 comment:

  1. I find it hard to believe that publishers and authors would sign up to it. I know Amazon are a bit of a bully, but surely it's better that people stand up to them? Was chatting the other day with an industry bod on Twitter who seemed to think the publishers are too scared of Amazon to say no to their ridiculous demands. If they do try and take this forward, I sincerely hope publishers take a good, hard look at what their business really means and whether they want to give it all away to Amazon.