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Wĭthûr Wē by Matthew Bruce Alexander

Wĭthûr Wē by Matthew Bruce Alexander

I’m pleased to announce that we’re launching our first book giveaway on Prometheus Unbound. Our very own Matthew Alexander has been generous enough to agree to give away free copies of his libertarian science fiction novel Wĭthûr Wē.

We’ll be giving away ebook copies in Kindle (mobi) format during the entire month of July 2012.

One lucky winner will also receive a signed paperback copy of Wĭthûr Wē.

For more information, click on the link below:

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Please help us promote this book giveaway. Share the book giveaway page (linked above) far and wide.

And congratulations to Matthew whose Wĭthûr Wē recently won the 2012 Libertarian Fiction Book of the Year presented by the Libertarian, Agorist, Voluntaryist & Anarch Authors & Publishers Association (LAVA).

One judge described Wĭthûr Wē as “[a] beautifully written explanation of anarcho-capitalism, without being overly didactic or so steeped in philosophy that the plot suffers.”

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Sharis Pozen

DoJ Assistant AG Sharis Pozen

Sharis Pozen
DoJ Assistant AG Sharis Pozen

Get this: The federal bureaucrat who last month started the litigation against Apple and book publishers for ebook pricing is the same person who, back in the stone age, represented Netscape in its lawsuit against Microsoft.

Recall that Microsoft was trying to give away its Internet Explorer to computer users for free. Netscape went nuts and got the government to clobber Microsoft for being so nice to consumers. It put the company through litigation hell and even demanded that Microsoft change its operating system code to untie it from IE.

The person’s name is Sharis Pozen, and she is acting head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division and a political appointee of the Obama administration. She claims that she is threatening state violence against Apple and publishers for pricing collusion — and that it’s her job to protect consumers.

Interesting. She began her career trying to protect the rights of an old-line company to rip off consumers. To her, a price of zero was unfair competition. She was sure that a browser should be a paid product. The progress of history flattens that argument. Today, dozens of companies beg you to download their browser for free. Browser use is all over the place, sort of like a free market. There is no Microsoft monopoly, contrary to the overheated predictions.

Given that history, one might suppose she would retire from public life and maybe go into flower arranging or something. Instead, she is still at it. Last year, she denied a proposed merger between T-Mobile and AT&T that would have improved your cell service. This year, she says that a deal between publishers and Apple is harming consumers, so she has to act.

[Keep reading…]

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NEWS | Can a bookseller destroy bookselling by selling books? Should writers be paid for their writing? Thumbnail

As you may have heard, the Department of Justice is looking into opening an antitrust case against the Big 6 publishers and Apple for allegedly colluding to set prices via an agency model which the publishers set the prices for their books in the iBooks store, not Apple. They were then able to put enough pressure on Amazon to coerce it into accepting the agency model as well, which it had previously resisted. This is why you see ebooks being sold on Amazon for $9.99 or more nowadays.

Now, there’s a contingent of publishers and authors who fear change and have grown complacent and dependent on their IP-based, physical distribution model; they tend to see Amazon as an evil corporation out to destroy publishing, bookselling, and writers.

Scott Turow, president of the Authors Guild — does anyone else find the idea of an authors guild disturbing, like modern-day feudalism? some would say the same about the Big 6 publishing houses — recently wrote an open letter speaking out against the antitrust investigation and in defense of the agency model. Quelle surprise! Though it’s ironic to see someone defending big corporations against antitrust investigations who, under normal circumstances (i.e., ones in which his bottom line isn’t directly affected), would probably be in favor of antitrust suits against monopolistic big corporations.

Anyway, Turow types some rather outrageous falsehoods about Amazon. Indie powerhouses Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath1 do a pretty god job of showing how ridiculous Turow’s claims are. Richard Lea summed it up on Twitter with question that makes up the first half of this blogpost title: “Can a bookseller destroy bookselling by selling lots of books?”

I do disagree with Eisler and Konrath on one thing, however, and that is their opposition to the collusion between Apple and the Big 6 publishers. As a libertarian, I don’t have a problem legally speaking with collusion, or price fixing. Without government support, cartels are unsustainable. Of course, believing some practice shouldn’t be illegal doesn’t mean I approve of said practice.

[Keep reading…]


  1. Full disclosure: Both men recently made publishing deals with one of Amazon’s new fiction imprints but were extremely successful self-publishers beforehand and are still self-publishing other work. 

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I’ve made a number of changes and improvements to Prometheus Unbound recently.

I think the three most important are our new mailing list, Support page, and Dwolla account.

Email Newsletter

Previously, you could subscribe to our posts via email using a widget in our sidebar powered by Feedburner. That you could do this was not obvious, however.

We now have a new and improved mailing list powered by MailChimp. And there’s a new email subscription form at the top of the sidebar. It should be hard to miss.

I’ve kept the subscription form simple. All you have to do is enter your email address and click “subscribe.” Later, you can choose to add more information to your account profile, such as your name. You can also choose to receive the email newsletter in html (default), plain text, or mobile format.

Once subscribed, you will receive an email in your inbox at the end of any day on which we have published new posts. We may also use the mailing list to send out the occasional special announcement. We promise not to spam your inbox.

If you’re subscribed to our posts via Feedburner or WordPress.com (Jetpack), please switch over to the new mailing list.

Support Page and Dwolla

Over the past few weeks and months I’ve added more ways that you can support Prometheus Unbound. I’ve also added a Support page that lays out clearly all of the ways you can support our work, both financially and non-financially, as well as what we plan to do with any money we receive. Big plans. But we need your help to accomplish them. Head on over there and check it out.

[Keep reading…]

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