It’s eight years since the Authors Guild first sued Google about scanning books and displaying snippets. During that time, the Guild claimed to be representing all authors, not just their authors, and attempted to sell us all down the river by entering into a deal with Google that would have given them permission to produce and sell our books without the copyright holders permission and would also have prevented us suing Google ourselves. The Google Book Settlement was over 200 pages long, hard to understand, very one-sided in Google’s favour and a nightmare for authors. It took a great deal of effort and hours of time to fight but fortunately we won.
The judge who threw out the dreadful Google Book Settlement was Denny Chin – the same judge who has ruled that Google’s scanning and display of snippets is “fair use” under US copyright law. Judge Chin listened carefully to authors comments on the Google Book Settlement, even those like me who wrote him ordinary letters because we couldn’t afford to pay lawyers.
I’m sure Judge Chin was right in his decision over the Google Book Settlement so I’m happy to accept that his decision on the “fair use” issue is equally right.
This morning I had an email from Kobo telling me they had changed the payments section of their agreement. I clicked the link and was horrified to see exactly what the changes were.
In order to continue to qualify for 70% of the sale price, the price of my book had to meet a set minimum for each country in which it’s for sale. That doesn’t sound so unreasonable until you realise Kobo wants me to charge at least £2.99 for There Must Be Horses in the UK although it’s happy for me to charge the lower price of $2.99 in the US.
I was upset and took my books off Kobo as a result. But they have now contacted me and told me there was a misprint and the price should have been £1.99. That sounds much better and shows why proof reading is so important.
If you are interested in self-publishing, you’ll find plenty of information to help you on www.helpwithpublishing.com.
Last week I was a victim of credit card fraud. The fraudster spent almost £2000 on a coach ticket, a stay in a hotel and some shoes. “That must have been an expensive hotel,” I can hear you thinking. But it wasn’t. The bulk of the money was spent on the shoes – £1600 for two pairs!! The fact that footwear could cost so much shocked me almost as much as being cheated.
Praise must go to MBNA for sorting everything out at top speed. It only took one phone call to get my card cancelled and the money refunded. So I’m no worse off, and the insight into how the rich live may come in handy one day in a book. No experience, however bad, is ever completely wasted for an author.