Thomas Galvin
Purveyor of Fine Pulp Fiction

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.

This Week on the Web brings you a host of Dark Knight Rises news, The Hobbit, Prometheus, and Wrath of the Hair Stylist Titans trailers, a baby polar bear that can’t seem to keep its tongue in its head, the Republicans caving at the last minute, and more!

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This Week on the Web brings you a chance to win a signed copy of Sire, a sad farewell to Christopher Hitchens, dispatches from the front lines of the eReader wars, the real job creators, a whole bunch of Vampire Diaries news, and more!

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This Week on the Web brings you more of our wedding photos, how PayPal stole Christmas, a bunch of Top Three moments of TVD Season Three (they’re all wrong of course, because internet), the trailer for Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods, a fifteen inch MacBook Air, the Obamacare Bomb, and more!

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There’s an article out now about how the Big Six publishing houses have cut their own throat with eBook DRM*. If you’re interested in the business behind the books you read, it’s a worthwhile article.

The gist of it: eBooks have finally overtaken physical books in terms of units sold, and Amazon has 80% of the eBook market. That gives Amazon a tremendous amount of power when it comes time to negotiate the price of a new book, or how much of a discount Amazon will receive, or even when negotiating with an author to sign up with Amazon’s “direct” program, which cuts traditional publishers out of the mix entirely.

Traditional publishers would love to have a competitor pushing back against Amazon, but this gets less and less likely every day, because 80% of eBooks sold are locked in to the Amazon platform — because of the DRM the publishers themselves insisted on. The books can only be opened on a Kindle, which means people aren’t likely to start using a different platform: they want all of their books in one place.

As an author, I can understand the fear of having your work stolen and given away for free. You put a lot of time, effort, and money into a book, and you’d like to recoup those costs. But DRM is not the answer.

First, it’s amazingly trivial to circumvent it. When Amazon (or B&N) sends you an eBook, you have to be able to open and read it. And if you can open it and read it, you can save it in an unencrypted format. There are scripts that will do this for you, and plugins for the more popular eBook managers. I would wager that you could free a 100-book library in under an hour.

Second, DRM pisses off the people who were kind enough to actually pay for your work. When you buy a story, you should be able to read it on your Nook, Kindle, PC, Mac, phone, et cetera, just like you could read a paperback on the bus, on your couch, in a restaurant, or waiting in line at the DMV. DRM puts handcuffs on legitimate customers, friends, and fans in a failed attempt to hamper digital thieves.

That’s why Sire is available DRM-free from all of the major eBook stores, and that’s why all of my future novels will be, too.

* DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, or as I like to call it, Digital Rights Restrictions.

This Week on the Web brings you The Evil Blood Sluts, love interests for Alaric and Bonnie (not each other, you sickos), the story of a man and his buffalo, Barnes & Noble telling Microsoft to fuck off, and Michele Bachmann telling you what Jesus would do: let your lazy ass starve. And some other, less depressing stuff!

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Right now, about fourteen million Americans are out of work.*

Right now, there are about three million job openings.*

That means that even in every single out-of-work American was doing absolutely everything in their power to find a job – sending out resumes and pounding the pavement and making phone calls and cashing in favors – there are eleven million Americans who cannot get a job, through absolutely no fault of their own.

These people aren’t slackers, or lazy, or bad, or any other pejorative. Can we agree on that? And if they aren’t bad people, can we also agree that they deserve some basic human rights, like food and clothing and shelter? We can? Good.

This sounds like it’s the beginning of a political rant, but I promise, it’s not. Instead, I want to take the current situation, and look ahead ten, twenty years.

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This Link Blast brings you people facing their worst fears, cars that drive themselves, Amish on Amish violence, the best hobbit costume ever, and more!

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This link blast has news on Godzilla and the Punisher, the new Kindle format, Sire news, and more!

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I’m getting married tomorrow! So expect postings from me to be… not, for the next week or so. But to hopefully tide you over, here are a bunch of links!

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This Week on the Web brings you your usual Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle roundups, a head-to-toe look at Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman costume, everything we think we know about physics possibly being proven wrong, a hungry turtle, the GOP asking the Federal Reserve to keep unemployment high, and more!

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