A good deal of yesterday was wasted on the Google Books fiasco. Today, I'll be contacting a lawyer in New York who's working with authors opposed to the "settlement" accepted by the Author's Guild and the Association of American Publishers. We'll see where that leads. It does appear, after all, that the option currently exists to remove your books from the list that Google intends to digitize, display, and sell. And really, that's all I'm asking for here, to be left out of this, to have the choice not to participate. None of my books have yet been displayed, so I'm not interested in recouping damages or lost income.
If anyone out there thinks that I'm being unreasonable about this, just stop and ask yourself how much work you're willing to do for less than minimum wage. Me, I often write for less than minimum wage. Most novelists and short-story writers do. Even a decent advance, when divided by the number of hours required to write, say, a one-hundred thousand word novel, often yields alarmingly low wages. And I'm not talking about the time required to type the ms. I'm talking about all the time required to write it. Mostly, I don't let myself think of it this way, because it only locks me up. Regardless, it's one thing to choose to work in a field where most everyone's underpaid.
It's another thing altogether to agree to the illegal rights grab that Google Books is attempting here. $60 a book, indeed. It took me something like twenty-seven months to write Silk (just as a "for instance"), and I'm actually expected to smile and hand over electronic display and sales rights to these assholes for $60? Not a chance. I'd much prefer to have nothing at all, even in this economy. What Google is attempting threatens to depreciate the value of what authors do, and I strongly urge others to opt out. I'll post more about exactly how you do that when I understand the in and outs a little more. No small part of yesterday was spent reading the absurdly convoluted legal documents associated with this case, and I've only processed about half of what I've read. Which is why I'm contacting said lawyer.
Anyway, enough bellyaching.
More WoW last night than is good for me. I didn't get to sleep until after four a.m. But Shaharrazad and Suraa both nailed the "Five Exalted Reputations" (or whatever it's called) achievement last night. This evening, I can easily become exalted with the Darkspear trolls and claim the title "Ambassador." Then, maybe I'll begin leveling again. And, yes, I really do need to get a life.
Time to make the doughnuts....