Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

So, Do Libraries “Steal” Money from Authors?


Some folks seem to think that just because libraries buy a couple copies of a book then loan them out to a multitude of patrons that they’re causing authors to lose out on royalties

We have quite a few posts about libraries on this blog and you may want to take that link and see, among other topics, what effect e-books are having on libraries

This post is going to focus on a group of posts over at MetaFilter called Public Libraries: Stealing Authors’ Paychecks?

I urge you to go to that last link and explore all the opinions represented but I’ll put a few here for the folks who don’t follow links on blogs :-)

The lead opinion that others responded to:

“UK children’s author Terry Deary (Horrible Histories series) on Britain’s public libraries. Neil Gaiman and others respond.
posted by Rykey (103 comments total)”

What Deary is saying is on the Guardian in the article Libraries ‘have had their day’, says Horrible Histories author ~ Author of children’s bestsellers Terry Deary says they are a drain on taxpayers and authors that no longer makes sense.

The lead quote from that article:

“We can’t give everything away under the public purse. Books are part of the entertainment industry. Literature has been something elite, but it is not any more. This is not the Roman empire, where we give away free bread and circuses to the masses.”

Here are just a few of the responses:

“Man, that English wit is bone dry, isn’t it. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he’s being completely serious.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:41 PM on February 22”

“Please be satire, please be satire, please be sati… shit.
posted by milarepa at 5:45 PM on February 22”

“Hang on, he’s totally cool with libraries as long as they contain books written by middle class women. Because they are just indulging in a pleasant little hobby. So it is all OK!

Also, middle class women don’t need to eat? Who knew?
posted by b1tr0t at 5:50 PM on February 22″

“I often purchase books that I initially checked out of the library and got tired of renewing.

“libraries are powerful economic engines”
posted by mecran01 at 6:01 PM on February 22″

“If anything, libraries are more relevant now than ever, because there are so many distractions that compete with literature for people’s attention. It’s kind of like drugs: you get the first hit for free, then start wanting more and more. Pretty soon you’re installing bookcases and making lists of books you haven’t read yet and you’re hopelessly hooked.
posted by Kevin Street at 6:08 PM on February 22″

OK, those are just a few representative posts

If you go over there and read more, do, please, come back and tell us what you think in the Comments.
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* Google Author Page

What Writers Tell Other Writers . . .


I’ve written before about Writing “Advice”—how it can help and how it can block one’s efforts

Perhaps, How To Write A Story? is good to read because it shows John Steinbeck writing a letter to his former writing instructor; plus, it will lead you to other posts about Writing Advice

Perhaps, this video of Neil Gaiman addressing a graduating class is good to watch since he stresses writing as Adventure not Work.

I’ve never read Neil’s work but have watched a couple movies he helped create

Then, comes the advice of a man who’s just passed from his adventure in a writing life, Ray Bradbury.

I’ve read a number of works by Mr. Bradbury and just downloaded one of his stories, The Playground, to my Kindle.

An excerpt from the introduction to that story gives insight into Ray’s writing life:

“He was unable to sell his early science fiction stories to the leading market of the 1940s, John W. Campbell’s Astounding. Bradbury had to publish his short stories in the second-line magazines like Planet Stories and Thrilling Wonder. After the War, however, Bradbury’s fantastic and surrealistic fiction began to find a steady market in mainstream magazines like Mademoiselle, Collier’s and Harper’s Bazaar and he became the first science fiction writer to place work in Martha Foley’s Best American Short Stories. The novel, Fahrenheit 451, later the basis for a notable film of François Truffaut, secured his reputation. In 2000, Bradbury was awarded a medal for the body of his literary achievement by the National Institute of Arts and Letters.”

Not being accepted in the most respected publication because he was already beyond their “standards”

Continuing to write because, to him, it was an adventure

Eleven years before he shufflel’d off this mortall coile, he gave a talk that is warm and cozy—a summation of his journey up to that point—a self-celebration full of writerly wisdom and advice


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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com