Tell the Authors Guild what you think of used books

Amazon is calling on used-book sellers and writers to send letters to the President of the Authors Guild, giving him what-for in return for his campaign to get writers to sever ties with Amazon to protest Amazon's practice of selling used and new books together. This is a stupid, reactionary response to an innovative idea that will drive more sales, especially for new writers (ahem), and the Authors Guild is way out of line here.

Here's some of my letter:

I'm quite distressed at the Authors Guild's reactionary position on Amazon's used-book service. As a new author whose books will be published as $25+ hardcovers, my principal challenge will be to find a way to introduce my work to new readers. The intershelving of used and new books has been shown to be an effective means of driving sales of new authors -- I discovered this myself when I was a bookseller, and it's an experience that has been replicated in many bookstores, from corner operations like my local genre bookstore, Borderlands Books, all the way up to Powell's Books, the largest bookstore in the world.

What's more, the Amazon used-books service does not push the bounds of established copyright law or practice *at all*. The right of a consumer to resell the property s/he's lawfully acquired (called the Doctrine of First Sale) is the reason that we are able to have used bookstores at all. Also, yard-sales, charitable donations, library discard sales, collectibles sales, etc and so forth.

Indeed, one of the most revolting characteristics of many e-book technologies is that they abridge this right -- think of all the tens of millions of books donated to schools and libraries, sent to prisons and literacy programs, passed from friend to friend or within a family. The Doctrine of First Sale makes all of this possible. READ THE WHOLE LETTER...

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