Has your book been Google pirated?

News broke this week that Google is facing class action over its scanning of in-copyright books. One of the criteria, as I understand it, is whether scanning and republishing snippets constitutes copyright infringement. Here in New Zealand it does. The act of duplication, alone, is a breach of copyright. New Zealand’s Copyright Act 1994 s.16(a) is explicit. And Google have scanned … More Has your book been Google pirated?

The moral balance of Google’s book scanning saga

This week the long legal saga over Google’s controversial book scanning programme entered a new phase. This time the argument is flowing around whether Google should be dealing with authors’ associations, or individual copyright holders. Doubtless it will go on for a while, while lawyers get rich and authors wait. It’s an awkward dilemna. On … More The moral balance of Google’s book scanning saga

The two e-evils facing writers: piracy and plagiarism

Authors these days have to handle the fact that e-published work can be illegally copied across the internet. And they won’t be paid for it. The point being that pirates are taking income from hard working writers who need those lost sales to eat That said, at least the pirated stuff has the author’s name and … More The two e-evils facing writers: piracy and plagiarism

Covering it off: the artwork that sells your book

One of the biggest challenges facing authors is getting good cover artwork. It’s essential – even for e-books – and the hard fact is that a good cover that inspires the imagination, or catches the eye, or does something emotional, really will help sell. It also establishes an at-a-glance tone for the quality of the … More Covering it off: the artwork that sells your book

Why it’s important to show not tell when writing

The other day someone tweeted that their book was always free on Smashwords. I had a look, and it only took me five seconds to discover why this tome was (a) self-published, and (b) free. It was unreadable, a morass of passive, adjective-riddled, graceless clunk that failed to flow or capture. There are many things … More Why it’s important to show not tell when writing

Fahrenheit 451 as an e-book – irony or insight?

Ray Bradbury’s 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451 is coming as an e-book. At last. Bradbury himself, reportedly, has opposed the publication until now. That might seem ironic. Wasn’t the book about the restriction of information – a riff on the book-burning-as-censorship that was such a feature of twentieth century totalitarianism? ‘Don’t think for yourself, think as … More Fahrenheit 451 as an e-book – irony or insight?