Stop the Truck! What? And a Cool Film

Following yesterday's flood, I thought it a sign that I needed to rearrange the office/art studio. I had every intention of getting this done today. Ha! Right now, I am surrounded by piles and stacks and odd and ends. I am trying not to look at it too much right now.

Since I am procrastinating on the cleaning, I figured it was a good time to blog and link. Here we go...

Today Amazon announced KDP Select (Kindle Direct Publishing). Controversial? You bet. Over at Writer Beware Blogs! they have quite a bit to say. Smashword's Mark Coker also weighs in on the KDP kerfuffle. KDP Select is specifically for self-publishers. There is a great deal of fine print and an author who opts in is locked in for 90 days exclusively with Amazon. So, the author cannot distribute books elsewhere during that time. The language used in KDP's terms and conditions is pretty tricky. I suggest anyone who might be considering this as an option -- take some time and review the contract carefully. And get a second professional opinion.

Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware Blogs! says:

This is a grant of rights and a non-competition clause all in one, and authors need to think carefully before agreeing to it. Contrary to what many authors seem to believe, the regular KDP program does encumber rights, and gives Amazon considerable control over intellectual property...


Other things to note: if you opt out of KDP Select, your book remains subject to the Terms and Conditions until your current 90-day term expires. And if you violate the Terms and Conditions, there are consequences...

Mark Coker over at Smashwords puts it simply:

Let's examine the implications for this new program, not only for authors but for the nascent ebook industry as well.

When authors enroll a title in the program, they're contractually obligated to remove their books from all other distribution channels.

Wow. Most indie authors appreciate their independence. This rule is quite restrictive.

As far as I am concerned, it seems far more prudent to sell my books through as many channels as I can. I would prefer to receive money directly from readers rather than through a shared percentage of money which Amazon has set aside (ahead of time) to split amongst the participating authors. Yes, you read that right. Amazon is setting an amount which is to be shared (according to some mathematical percentage) among the participants in KDP Select. So, you will have no idea how much you are going to get. And since the program is new-- who knows what those number will be.

TL;DR: Amazon's new KDP Select is full of legal mumbo jumbo you should read carefully before signing away your intellectual property rights.


In other news, The Rainbow Awards were announced. Congratulations to everyone who won!

The LGBTQIA Conference is happening February 17 - 19, 2012 in San Diego, CA. If you are an educator, school counselor, school nurse, marriage/family counselor, etc this is an opportunity to learn how you can reach out to LGBTQIA youth. Adam Bouska of NOH8 will be there as well taking pictures.


And for those who need to relax after all that news, I offer you this amazingly cool stop motion film-- Chalkboard Wars-- made by some talented Japanese students for their school cultural fair: