I should have titled this blog “Ebooks in Hell.”
I have received several messages from
For the record: I did not forbid anybody to sell ebooks of my stories in any country. Neither did my agent or my publisher.
What happened is that ebook sales went suddenly from nowhere to somewhere, and the publishing world wasn’t ready. You took them by surprise, ebook readers. Now they’re all going, “Eeek—what do we do?” and running around screaming and clutching their heads.
At least in my imagination they are.
I am not sure why they weren’t ready or why they’re having such a hard time working this out. It seems as though it should be so simple. Book distributors and retailers have been navigating the shoals of foreign rights/tax laws/duties, etc. forever. I have no trouble getting a print book from the UK or Australia. I just click the button at the online bookstore. You’d think ebooks would, if anything, be easier to buy than print books. There’s no packing and shipping. You click the button and Presto! the book magically appears in the device of your (Gentle Reader’s) choosing. What, exactly, is the problem?
There’s more, but this is as much as I understand and can relate coherently.
However, they will sort it out—and soon.
Meanwhile, Gentle Reader, I ask for your forbearance.
Illustrations courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540. USA. Above left: Beauty holding a book, by Toyonobu Ishikawa, c. 1742. Below right: Albert Morris Bagby's new novel Miss Traumerei, by Ethel Reed, 1895.