B. Justin Shier's Blog

April 24, 2013

What an awful week for industrial publishing.

Self-published titles in the #1 and #2 bestselling ebook slotsEbook prices at all time lows (avg. of $6.93, down from previous low of $7.21)Legendary author, and perennial cash machine, James Patterson publicly stating that US publishers may require government aidAgents having to issue grudging apologies to Barry EislerHeck, even Mike Shatzkin was changing his tune
We may be witnessing an inflection point. The oft predicted drop...
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Published on April 24, 2013 11:16 • 357 views

March 19, 2013

The Supreme Court, in a rather far-reaching ruling on copyright law, just gave foreign buyers of things like books and movies the right to resell them in the United States without the permission of the copyright owner. The 6-3 decision involved a USC student from Thailand that figured out that he could make money by purchasing textbooks at lower costs in Thailand and re-selling them in the United States. The ruling also featured a dissent by Ginsburg, Kennedy and Scalia. (Yea, you read t...
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Published on March 19, 2013 17:00 • 153 views

February 7, 2013

As an end consumer of Facebook content, I feel Facebook's filtration algos have gotten a bit out of hand. I use a browser plug-in called FBPurity to force the Facebook news feed to sort by "most recent," but I'm still not catching everything. For instance, a band I like announced a new album last week and that announcement wasn't pushed to my feed. I liked the band's page for a reason; I wanted to know when their next album was coming out. I was left wondering why I should have even bothered....
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Published on February 07, 2013 12:25 • 100 views

January 13, 2013

An unusual Kindle Daily Deal today. It's almost all textbooks.

So if you need a digital version of something like Pocket Medicine

 (my favorite)

or Merriam-Webster's Book of World Histories

or Lippincott's Biochemistry

Swing over to the main page. Some of the prices are still ridiculously high, but it's worth checking to see if they are offering books that cover any of the classes you might be taking in the next year or two.
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Published on January 13, 2013 10:08 • 67 views

January 12, 2013

Aaron Swartz at a Creative Commons event
Photo taken by Fred Benenson,
and shared under a Creative Commons
Generic Attribution license Swartz helped promote
At the age of fourteen, Aaron Swartz co-authored the RSS 1.0 protocol.
He founded Infogami.
He helped form the Creative Commons.
He participated in the creation of www.reddit.com
He was one of the key figures behind www.demandprogress.org
He helped kill SOPA/PIPA
And he was being prosecuted for "stealing" academic journal articles....
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Published on January 12, 2013 13:46 • 80 views

December 9, 2012

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Published on December 09, 2012 10:29 • 72 views

November 26, 2012

Quick heads up. Amazon is running a huge sale on ebooks to celebrate Cyber Monday. Lot's of the titles are from "indie" publisher Open Road. I picked up Lilith's Brood: Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago by Octavia Butler. That and Cloud Roads will be my Christmas reading.

Another sweet (but perhaps bad sign for Microsoft shareholders) deal is Windows 8 64-bit System Builder DVDs for only 70 bucks. I don't really recommend upgrading from Windows 7, but if you are building a new PC...
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Published on November 26, 2012 14:16 • 61 views

November 13, 2012

You may have already heard from other authors like Kevin Hearne (1|2) and tycoons like Mark Cuban that changes are afoot at Facebook. (Even Slate featured an article on the topic today.) The quick and dirty version is that when we used to make a post on FB, everyone that liked our pages would get to see that post. Now, if sources near and far are to be believed, only 15% of my audience do. If I wish to reach the once usual 100%, I must pay, and pay a lot. There is some variability to this phe...
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Published on November 13, 2012 23:13 • 77 views

November 2, 2012

Found a few goodies in the new batch of Amazon under $3.99 titles.

Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles for $3.99

Felix Gilman's The Half-made World for $2.99

Martha Wells's The Cloud Roads for $1.99

And a fun non-fiction title called Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart for $2.99

Also, I noticed one title that I hadn't seen before called Forged in Death, written by Jim Melvin ($1.99). It's the first in a new fantasy series. The initial reviews look pretty good. Anyone read this one yet?

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Published on November 02, 2012 13:44 • 75 views

October 23, 2012

You guys need to check this pianist out on YouTube. I just spent the entire day listening to his work. I especially liked his versions of "Daydream Syndrome" and "In the Garden of Sinners." Enjoy!

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Published on October 23, 2012 18:19 • 72 views