Posts Tagged ‘petitions’

Normally I don’t voice my opinions or make calls to actions on this blog, but I feel like I have to say something on this one. Earlier this week, my stepmother, who works for Columbus’s library system, asked if I had any opinion on a petition the library was gathering signatures for to send to Macmillan Publishers. I did a little research, and what I found shocked me.

Starting this November, Macmillan Publishers, one of the biggest and oldest publishing firms in the world, will not allow libraries to purchase more than one copy of an ebook they publish for the first eight weeks after the book is published. For those unaware, many libraries these days lend e-books to readers who prefer reading on tablets to paperbacks using technology called e-lending, during which patrons have access to the ebook file for a short access period, after which they’re unable to access it without renewing or checking it out again. One ebook file equals one book to check out, so libraries buy multiple copies, especially for more popular books and writers. If this change goes through, libraries will only have one copy of an ebook for readers for the two months after release.

Now lest I be accused of being biased, Macmillan cites e-lending’s effects on book sales as their reason for why they’re doing it. According to a memo released by John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan:

It seems that given a choice between a purchase of an ebook for $12.99 or a frictionless lend for free, the American ebook reader is starting to lean heavily toward free.

First off, thirteen bucks for an ebook? Of course people are going to go for the cheaper option! The majority of people aren’t rich, you know. We hae rent and car bills to pay.

Second, let’s take a look at print books, which are still more popular than ebooks. Libraries order several physical copies of books by famous authors* months before they’re released. Upwards of hundreds of people reserve copies of those books and wait months to read them without having to pay anything. However, this doesn’t seem to affect publisher sales significantly enough to put similar measures in place. And if a publisher dared to, I imagine they’d face riots. I mean, what if libraries could only order one copy of the latest JK Rowling or Stephen King book, and were perfectly honest about why? I’d imagine the offending publishers would be visited by mobs of angry wizards and blood-soaked prom queens.

And finally, the word-of-mouth effect should have a counter-effect to anything e-lending can do to book sales. The more people who are reading a book, the more people are likely to talk about it. The more people who talk about a book, the more people who will want to read it. The more people will want to read, the more people who will read, which will repeat the cycle. Allowing access to more ebooks at libraries only helps this effect, so Macmillan is kind of cutting off their own digits with this move.

This and other reasons is why the American Library Association has launched a petition asking Macmillan to reverse their decision, a petition which I support. As of writing this, the petition has a little over twenty-thousand signatures, but it’s going to need a lot more to change CEO John Sargent’s mind. So I wrote this article to help change a few minds.

If you would like to sign the petition, please click here, and make sure to spread the word. The more people who are aware of this issue, the more people who will be persuaded to help. And honestly, for the sake of the many people who like to read, including our work on occasion, we owe it to them.

You can also read this article from Slate.com if you would like to further research this issue yourself.

Thanks for reading, Followers of Fear. I hope you decide to support the cause, and until next time, pleasant nightmares.

*AKA not Rose and/or anything else by me, though if you want to help me change that, I’d appreciate that.

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(This is the sequel to my previous post The Rabid Fans. In this installment, the fans are nuttier, the anger is much more bloodthirsty, and the references to Charlaine Harris’s work…is basically not part of this post. Sorry, but it’s an old story, and frankly there’s more to this phenomenon than vampires in the Bible belt. Onto the sequel, which may or may not be better than the original, depending on your opinion)

He’s Batman, deal with it.

Hollywood is being terrorized. Well, not really terrorized. More like annoyed. A few weeks ago, Warner Bros. announced that in the Man of Steel sequel, good ol’ Bats will be played by Ben Affleck. Now personally I have no problem with Affleck. He’s a capable actor, I liked him in Daredevil, and I’m sure, given the chance, he will break new ground in the role of Batman (if they force him to play a Bale copycat or something else that’s been done before, then God help the producers of the film). However, some fans were not so happy with the casting decision, taking to Twitter to voice their discontent in a tweeting storm. Many sent angry letters to Warner Bros. to tell them they hated their casting decision, and some even started a petition on the White House We the People page to get the White House involved.

That petition was taken down because, for all the obvious reasons, the White House isn’t going to take part in a casting call in Hollywood. They’ve got some bigger problems to deal with, in case you haven’t noticed. But then things got crazier, when this past week Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced that Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam and Ben and Kate actress Dakota Jonston were cast in the roles of the leads for the upcoming film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. Moms and middle-aged women and a former neighbor of mine who just happens to be a fan weren’t happy when the announcement came out. Instead, they started a petition, this one on Change.org apparently, asking that instead of Hunnam and Johnston, Matt Bomer and Alexis Beidel play the roles.

I’m surprised this is being made into a movie, but hey, if it makes money, why not?

Obviously, Hollywood ignored both outpourings of fan reactions. And I’m not surprised. After all, a lot more goes into a casting besides good looks. Talent, availability, willingness to play a role, chemistry, and a bunch of other factors go into the casting of a single character. And if the fans don’t like it, that’s their decision. In a meantime, there’s a movie to make, and not enough time to bother with annoyed men and women on their computers.

That’s Hollywood’s line of reasoning, anyway. But honestly, I think even the elites in LA are a little annoyed and worried. Heck, I find it worrying. Fans these days seem so…entitled. It’s not just casting calls, but demands for sequels (or threats should a sequel/remake be made), certain characters be made couples or else. It’s insane.

So let me take this moment to let all you rabid fans out there know one very important thing: THERE’S A F***ING LIMIT TO HOW MUCH OBLIGATION HOLLYWOOD HAS TO YOU, AND YOU’RE BLOODY WELL OVER THAT F***ING LIMIT!!! I mean honestly, the people who make these pieces of entertainment don’t have to make these films/shows/books. They could easily find other things to do or make. Yes, they’ll try and stay close to the original vein of the story, and they will do what they feel is best. You may not like it, but to assume that you know better than the producers and directors and writers is just plain snobbish arrogance. I mean come on! They have money and creating a brilliant story on their minds when they make these things. To assume they’re not trying to make the best story possible or that for some reason a simple fan knows better, well before the story is even made, seems imbecilic to me.

Yes, I understand there are people who want sequels to John Carter or Dredd 3D despite their miserable box office intakes (I wouldn’t mind the latter personally). And I know you want the characters you love to be portrayed by competent actors who look like they would fit the parts (I’m a little skeptical because the person playing Sue Snell in the Carrie remake isn’t a brunette). And I know you want certain characters to end up with each other at the end of the series (I was a Harry-Hermione supporter until Book 5 or 6, I’ll admit it now). But listen, you’ve got to let these things go. Give the filmmakers and writers and directors a chance, and stop thinking you know better. I’m willing to see if the new Sue Snell can impress me. I want to see if Affleck can break new ground at the Dark Knight. And I think Harry-Ginny and Ron-Hermione has a sort-of harmony to it.

There will not be a sequel. Harassment must cease. Failure to comply will result in the ultimate punishment provided by law.

Besides, the world won’t end if there’s no sequel to your beloved film. People won’t die if the favorite actor/actress plays a certain part. The universe won’t cause a storm if Character A and Character B end up in love and having cute babies together. The world moves on, because everything I’ve listed above–50 Shades, Superman vs. Batman, Carrie and John Carter and Dredd 3D and others–they’re all FICTION. Not real, fake, born from the imaginations of people who are paid to lie. Yes, they feel real and I understand that, but at the end of the day, it’s all fictional and therefore irrelevant to the workings of the world.

Help those being treated like mutants now.

Stop Assad with me!

If you must get angry about something, then think about this: people in Syria are being killed like humans when faced with General Zod. In many nations, LGBT communities and women are treated like Marvel’s mutants. In many nations, women can’t decide between two hunks who look good without their shirts on or have sex with mysterious and tortured partners. They get married off to men sometimes much older than them by their parents and if they protest they can get tortured or killed without any protection from the law.

Now that’s something to get upset about!

But if you still disagree with me on all that I’ve discussed above, I’ve some friends I want you to meet. They’re very animated, but I think they’ll take good care of you and you’ll learn a lot from them and their foundation.

Get the picture? Good. Have a lovely evening, everybody. Hope you’re not planning on sending me hate comments or discussing casting and writing decisions for the latest Star Trek movie (yes, there were obvious flaws in that movie, but that’s a post for another time. Probably never).