Thursday, February 18, 2010

Anne Rice defends Douglas Preston, buys 10 copies of his novel Impact off Amazon

Last week, bestselling gothic author Anne Rice defended fellow author Douglas Preston’s recent remarks, published in the The New York Times, which implied that readers of e-books suffer from “a sense of entitlement,” have a “Wal-Mart mentality” and maintain “this notion of not wanting to pay the real price of something.” In a moving statement posted in the review section of Preston’s new Mars-realted novel, Impact, on, Rice wrote, in part:
Stop beating up on this author. A book review site is no place for your protests and complaints against New York publishing. Remember this: somebody has to write the books that you want to read; and somebody has to make the movies that you want to see. That "somebody" is a creative individual willing to try to make something out of virtually nothing. Such creative individuals fight tremendous battles and take tremendous risks. It's part of the job that you may never see or ever understand. How an author's efforts should be priced in this world is an ongoing question and an ongoing mystery. But viciously attacking the creator of a literary work because he is caught in the crossfire of a price war is ugly and self defeating. I urge others to buy copies of this book to support Douglas Preston.
Later, in a separate post on Amazon, Rice wrote, in part:
Of course no author should insult or alienate his readers. Without our readers we would be nothing, quite truly. And most of us appreciate this very much. But I don't think Mr. Preston's comments are all that radical or insulting. [...] I feel for an author caught in the maelstrom. Authors aren't saints; they aren't politicians; they aren't PR people; they're human beings, and their complexity as such is intimately connected with their creative ability. I want to support this guy. He's being scapegoated here.
Later, Rice announced on her blog that she purchased ten copies of Impact in support of Preston.

Hilarious. A rich celebrity author telling working class fans that they don’t “understand” the literary creative process, pricing is an “ongoing mystery,” and Preston is just some helpless victim whose comments are not “all that radical or insulting.”

Maybe it is time for Congress to hold hearings on the issue of e-book pricing. Macmillan CEO John Sargent and the executives of competing publishing behemoths, along with a few celebrity authors like Rice, can explain to Congress, and the American people, the finer points of e-book pricing, production costs, profit margins and compensation packages.


Crotchety Old Fan said...

I'll be buying one of Preston's books today

Paul said...

It's only $15 at Walmart. Don't know what they charge for shipping.