Crazy stuff going on out there in the world of books. I guess the big news in publishing is Simon & Schusters' bid to wrest rights from authors. Here's how it works. A book has been in print for a while but readership/sales have dropped off and so said book begins to languish. No more editions are printed. After a few years, these rights revert back to the author. Sometimes it's just plain dead. But sometimes that author gets back in the news for some reason and there is demand for that book. The author can take the book somewhere else where it will be published again and given a new lease on life.
S&S contends that with the rise of print on demand, these books can have many years of drips and drabs instead of a big leap in income it can receive with the authors getting back control.
Tha Authors Guild, and more recently the Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy, are urging writers and agents to eschew S&S until they change their contracts. Well, we'll have to see how that one pans out. Read more here.
In other news, Jackson County in Oregon has lost funding to support its 15 libraries and they have closed their doors. An election was supposed to fund a bond to open the doors again but the voters in Jackson County VOTED IT DOWN! It is almost unbelieveable that a community that supports 15 libraries would have to close its doors. Libraries are magical places. I was lucky enough to visit the library in downtown Los Angeles as a kid. It's temple architechture from the 1930s along with its endless supply of WPA murals gave it an otherworldly quality, filling you with an awe not only at your surroundings but at what filled those surroundings. Acres of books for the borrowing. Free! With its own children's room with all those marvelous murals and--let's face it--the really cool-looking wall of card catalogues with the brass handles.
Come on, Oregon. Get with the program. You voted for suicide. Vote to get your *&%$# libraries back!