Flash! We’ve read our last Stephanie Plum

Flash! We’ve read our last Stephanie Plum

Well, this was disappointing news!

According to this

AP Article

Janet Evanovich is going to leave her current publisher, St. Martin’s, and go back to Random House.

Why is that disappointing?

Random House blocks text-to-speech, Macmillan, St. Martin’s parent, does not.

My Significant Other (SO) and I don’t knowingly buy books from publishers that block text-to-speech access.

My SO has read all of the Stephanie Plum books.  Since we got the Kindle, I’ve gotten into them.  Why not, when we can both read them for one purchase price…at the same time.

We both finished Sizzling Sixteen already.  I listened to quite a bit of it in the car through text-to-speech, sight-read other parts of it.  My SO has a Kindle 1, so no TTS.

My guess is that Janet Evanovich didn’t take TTS into account when she decided to make the switch…which is too bad.  I’d rather think that she was unaware of the issue than that she chose to ignore it.  I hope if St Martin’s was aware of the “wooing”, that they’d push the TTS to their authors, but perhaps they didn’t.

There’s a movie version in the works (with Katherine Heigl…you can see more of the cast at that link), which should heighten interest.   It’s unfortunate that it will reach a wider audience through the movies at the same time that future books will be less conveniently available.

The ideal solution to this for us?  Random House reverses its decision to block text-to-speech access.  I’ve got a number of books I’d buy in that case. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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7 Responses to “Flash! We’ve read our last Stephanie Plum”

  1. ArtWench Says:

    Send her an email regarding your concerns. She and her daughter seem to be remarkably approachable and the email address is on her website.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, ArtWench!

      That’s a good idea…I was sort of thinking about that, but the deal has been announced already, so it may be too late. Maybe I’ll ask if she’d like to comment on the issue…

    • bufocalvin Says:

      ArtWench, I did send her an e-mail…thanks for prompting me to do that. :)

  2. Dave Says:

    You should have read your last Stephanie Plum book because they’ve become farcical, stupid, inane and unreadable.

    You should also refer back to your poll from a month or two ago where 75%+ of your readers say they don’t use text-to-speech and stop beating this horse to death. Most of us could truly care less.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Dave!

      I like farce. :) I had fun with the last book…it wasn’t brilliant, but I enjoyed it. Geeks like me have a low threshold of entertainment: we’re used to other people saying that what we like is worthless. I’m fairly confident I’ve heard “stupid, inane and unreadable” applied to all of science fiction, for example…maybe not all three words together, but independently, certainly.

      Feel free to skip articles that cover the text-to-speech issue. For me, it’s important: I feel that it disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, and that matters to me. There are times when a minority position is worth holding. There are some, like you, who couldn’t care less…but I’ve heard from people who couldn’t care more. I’m not trying to beat anything to death…I’m trying to keep it alive. :) I wouldn’t respect myself as much if I stopped talking about the issue, while the situation stayed the same. I’d love to stop talking about it because the publishers stopped blocking the access…

      I try to keep a variety of articles here, so all the Kindle subscribers feel like they get their ninety-nine cents worth a month. Some people don’t like the “mathy” articles. Some don’t like the inside publishing articles. Some don’t like the humor.

      I do really appreciate you taking the time to tell me what you think here. I always respect that.

  3. becca Says:

    I would never use TTS myself – I much prefer audiobooks, and would spend the extra money to get a book in audio rather than use TTS. TTS is pretty good for reading newspaper articles, but novels? no way.

    On the other hand, my mom is recovering from an eye operation and can’t read; she’s using TTS extensively. One never knows when you yourself might be in a situation to need TTS. I’d rather have it available and not use it than not available and need it.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, becca!

      Audiobooks and TTS are very different experiences, and different legally. Personally, I’ve never listened to a whole audiobook, but I listen to TTS quite often. One reason why is that I don’t like the interpretative nature of an audiobook…listening to TTS is more like reading the book for me, and listening to an audiobook is more like seeing the movie. The audiobook is a derivative work…the TTS isn’t.

      Now that I have gotten accustomed to listening to books, though, I might consider an audiobook (of a book which I had already read).

      That’s just a matter of preference…I know many people don’t like TTS for novels. I do…and I also use if for non-fiction, work documents, and so on.

      Do the print disabled have an alternative available when TTS is blocked? Yes, by definition, for it to be legal. However, it can certainly be much less convenient. They can get books free, but I’m sure many of them would rather pay for them like everybody else…and be able to get them and share with other people on their accounts like everyone else.

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