eBooks; Benghazi


View 750 Friday, November 16, 2012

Survival in a world of makers and takers. I am working on an essay. Suggestions welcomed. It will not be necessary to remind me of Atlas Shrugged. I am not that absentminded.


Barnes and Noble is closing FictionWise. Those who bought eBooks from Fictionwise have one a short time to convert them to B&N Nook format; the FW books are under Digital Rights Management, and once B&N stops maintaining the FIctionWise servers, they will be inaccessible.

If you have bought FictionWise books the following applies:

You will be able to read the transferred eBooks that you purchased at Fictionwise (including eReader.com and eBookwise.com) by downloading NOOK’s free mobile app to your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, or you can read your transferred eBooks with your PC/Mac web browser, as well as on the award-winning NOOK® devices. If you would like to transfer your Fictionwise eBooks in your Fictionwise Bookshelf to a NOOK Library, simply opt-in by following the steps below.

Step 1:

Click through to the link below to go to the opt-in page, where you’ll be instructed to confirm that you would like your Fictionwise eBooks in your Fictionwise Bookshelf transferred to a NOOK Library. Please opt-in by December 21, 2012.

Step 2:

Once you opt-in, you will receive an email from Barnes & Noble.com with an access code and instructions for redeeming this code. This access code represents the Fictionwise eBooks in your Fictionwise Bookshelf that are being transferred to a NOOK Library for you. You will also see a link to a code redemption page.

Click through to the redemption page and simply enter your code as prompted. This will move your existing eBooks into a NOOK Library. Please redeem this code by January 31, 2013.

Note the deadline.


Authors of FictionWise books presumably will get their rights back. It should not be difficult to convert them to some other format. Note that Barnes and Noble and Amazon use different formats, but you sell books in both formats – but you can’t have a sale at B&N and undercut the price you charge at Amazon.

The publishing revolution continues to shake, rattle, and roll, and we can only dimly see outlines of some future developments. At the moment, about 80% of author revenue from eBooks comes through Amazon, 15% from B&N, and the rest is lost in the noise. That doesn’t preclude the rise of other eBook publishers. At one time Baen dominated the eBook market, but that was long ago when the market was much smaller than it is now.

Things change like dreams, but so far it has been good for authors.


The Benghazi story will not go away. It is clear that the obscure video had little to do with it – this was a well planned attack involving well equipped forces, not something assembled to support a protest – yet high public officials insisted for days after that it was not a planned attack nor was it sponsored by a terrorist organization.

We can speculate as to why it was thought a good idea to pretend to believe this story, and it is possible to come up with theories that make the whole mess fit in with Napoleon’s dictum: never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. But in that case the incompetence must reach the highest level; and there must have been disagreement at some lower levels, and that disagreement must have been suppressed. Again we need not assume malice, merely obedience, on the part of the subordinates. Now that the story is out, one would think that at some point those ordered to act stupidly would welcome the discovery that they were merely obedient…