(Breaking News: Message from the future via "Wool" silo received today: "David Streitfeld. Worst. Person. Ever.")
Boy O Boy, is Hugh Howey mad this morning! He thinks New York Times Reporter David Streitfeld is the worstest human being in the entire world. Ever. Since evil was invented.
How bad is David Streitfeld? He's THIS bad:
"David Streitfeld of the New York Times has now cemented himself as the blabbering mouthpiece for the New York publishing cartel, and while he is making a fool of himself for those in the know, he is a dangerous man for the impression he makes on his unsuspecting readers."
"After reading this, I'd be very, very careful. A dishonest man with access to a pulpit is like a poisoner with access to a well. David Streitfeld is a dishonest man."
Boy, that is bad! I kinda expect to next see David Streitfeld nominated for membership in the ISIS drone hit list.
Now, just what has David done to deserve such opprobrium?
Well, he wrote an article that's mildly sympathetic to the Hachette authors who are caught in the cross fire between the publisher and Amazon. Link here. If you've just read Part VI of my series on book channels, you know that the fight is over agency vs. wholesale pricing. Amazon doesn't want to buy any books under the agency model, primarily because it shifts pricing power to the publishers, and the publishers don't want to sell all their books under the wholesale model, primarily because they wish to optimize revenue when they launch new books by well known authors. (For even more reasons on the part of both parties, read the article.)
I also don't quite understand Hugh's carrying on about Hachette and agency because, as I point out, Amazon uses a modified version of that model in regards to indie publishers. If it's sauce for the indie, why shouldn't Amazon baste in the same rub?
Now, when casting thunderbolts at poisonous blabbering mouthpiece Stretifeld, Hugh makes some very specific comments backing up his call for summary execution, but dunno. Some of these seem a bit sketchy to me. For example, this one:
"We obviously have a reporter here in the pocket of monied interests,..."
I don't know, maybe it's just me, but if you're going to basically accuse someone of taking bribes, perhaps you should offer some evidence of this? Is Hugh Howey prepared to substantiate this serious charge?
And this seems rather problematic as well:
"Douglas points out that: (Douglas is Hachette author Douglas Preston, also unloved by Hugh):
Anyone contemplating ordering his latest novel, “The Lost Island,” written with Lincoln Child, is warned it might take as long as three weeks to arrive. That, as Amazon and its customers know, might as well be forever."
Hugh points out how utterly foolish this argument is by stating:
"Without mentioning the fact that this delay is due to Hachette’s shipping inefficiencies."
Whu? Huh? But, but, but, Hachette has been shipping books to Amazon for years! Amazon never claimed those damn Frogs don't know how to put books in boxes and ship them to us on time! At least, not until now. And print books are also shipped through distributors and they know how to break bulk. Can't Amazon obtain those books from, say, Baker and Taylor?
Hugh goes on:
"Why should Amazon sell pre-orders for books when it has no lasting contract with Hachette? Why should it stock predictive quantities of their titles in warehouses when it may not be able to sell that stock in the near future?"
Can't this question be asked another way? Like this?:
Why shouldn't Amazon buy some of Hachette's books via the agency model and let the market demonstrate if Hachette is acting foolishly or wisely in terms of maximizing its revenues? Why should Amazon attempt to dictate the pricing structure of E-books when authors, publishers and buyers can find that out for themselves?
And finally, Hugh lets loose a lament designed to pull tears from heaven. He wails that the NYT has empowered a:
"...reporter who sings the praises of a handful of elite authors in exchange for 6-figure ads while dismissing the thousands of authors who disagree."
But wait a second. Hugh himself has told us that 200,000 people signed a petition supporting Hachette and the publishers. Hugh doesn't seem to like these people and calls them "whales." (I don't KNOW why. Maybe he actually thought the signatories were whales, though one look at those flippers and you can guess they'd have problems with a pen. Maybe they used a voting app that responds to ultrasonic squeals.)
Anyway, the whole article goes on like that and all I have to say is that I were a whale, Douglas Preston, or David Streitfeld and I saw Hugh Howey standing near me with a harpoon, I'd respectively dive deep, run away quick or hide myself well until Captain Ahab had cleared the area.
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Scifi/-fantasy only at this time. Make sure it's been professionally copyedited. If it's not, I'll know in about five pages and will reject the book. I don't mean to be a hump about it, but approximately 40% to 50% of the books I've received have had far too many typos, comma splices, misuse of dependent clauses, etc. (No, it doesn't have to be perfect. Most books have a few typos, including ones coming out of "traditional" publishing.) Your book cannot succeed in the market with such flaws and it's not fair to ask reviewers to read it in such a state.
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