Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Scribd.com Gets Greedy

It's been brought to my attention that Scribd.com has begun charging people to download my free e-books hosted on their site. To get around my copyright and the free distribution notice I've placed in each e-book, they are using an archive subscription scam to make their money (this also neatly avoids them having to pay me any royalties on the profits they make.) Evidently all the money they've been raking in from the Google ads they've posted on my e-book pages hasn't been enough for them.

I was not made aware of this new policy by Scribd at all; a reader kindly brought it to my attention. If you have free stories or documents hosted on this site, chances are they're doing the same to you.

I immediately contacted Scribd.com and demanded an explanation, which they provided at their leisure. Basically they washed their hands of any liability and ethics by telling me it was my problem, not theirs. In order to prevent Scribd from further profiting from my free books, I have to remove each e-book individually from their archives (for instructions on how to do this, see Scribd's instructions here.) As I discovered this morning this is going to take a considerable amount of time for me to accomplish, and it's not a permanent solution; they tell me I'll have to check the documents regularly to see to it that they aren't arbitrarily returned to the archive, where Scribd can then again start charging people to download them.

I find the situation particularly ironic, as anyone can bootleg my work on the internet with no problem, yet when I try to give it away for free, greedy people still try to make a buck off it. Writers just can't win.

Honestly, I do not want to deal with this garbage right now, and I'm tempted to delete the entire library this morning and say the hell with it. However, I've been giving away these books for ten years, and I'm not going to allow the greed of others hoping to make a surreptitious buck off my name to defeat me.

I may still have to take down my library of free reads. For now I will be researching other options, removing my free e-books one by one from Scribd's archive scam, and see if I can find a solution that doesn't cost my readers anything or make my head explode.

In the meantime, please do NOT pay Scribd.com to access or download my free e-books. If you are asked to pay ANYTHING for any of the thirty e-books I have on Scribd, and you can't wait until I find a solution, contact me at LynnViehl@aol.com and I will personally send you a free download of whatever you'd like.

Added: I think I've found a solution, but I still have to test it out and make sure it works. Unfortunately I have to finish some revisions to meet a deadline first. Please be advised that I will be removing my library of free e-books and documents from Scribd.com as soon as I get everything transferred over to the alternative site and make sure the links work. This will happen probably within the next couple of days.

Added 9/2/10: I've temporarily transferred my free library over to Google Docs, which allows anyone to read them online or download them in .pdf format for free. I tried to delete my documents and account on Scribd, but despite numerous attempts their web site was unresponsive, so I've contacted them and told them to take it down. Hopefully they will do so quickly; in the meantime please use the Google Doc links listed on the Freebies page here and please do NOT pay Scribd.com anything to access my free e-books.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


I'm still working on the rush job. I also need to spend a little quality time away from the internet, so I'm going to unplug until I'm in better shape to provide you with the kind of content that is helpful (versus the kind I want to write at the moment, which would only make you as blue as I am.)

I don't know how long it will take, and it's nothing to do with you guys, honestly. More like I've hit too many creative speed bumps lately and now my soul shocks are shot. While I've got the downtime I'll probably be tinkering with these new pages and continuing to rework the sidebar. If the blog disappears no worries; I'm backing up everything in case I wreck it in the process.

While I'm gone, I hope you write often and well, help each other out whenever you can, and read a great book or four.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Off To Rush

Create a sticky note online for your blog at Wigflip.com's sticky note generator, Superstickies (link swiped from Gerard over at The Generator Blog.)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


It seems that Blogger is now providing up to ten satellite pages for static content (Theo gets credit for the heads-up; she mentioned it in comments):

While I appreciate the extra space, I don't know what to do with it. I'm not what you'd call an "About Me" writer. I have the stories blog for excerpts and fiction stuff, and the photoblog for pics. My public bibliography is posted and linked to the sidebar; so is everything else I think is interesting (and I think I already have more than enough stuff on PBW.)

Before I pass on it altogether, I thought I'd ask you guys: is there anything I don't already have on the blog that you'd like to see me post on these pages? Let me know what you think in comments.

Added: I'm going to be tinkering with the sidebar today while we discuss the possibilities.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Series Ten

Ten Things I've Never Told Anyone About StarDoc

Beyond Varallan's cover art is still my favorite from the series, which is lucky because I also own the original painting. I paid for it with some of the wages I earned moonlighting as a bookseller.

Cherijo originally had a middle name (Ten) but it made the whole thing sound disjointed when spoken out loud. I decided everyone would have to wait until Shockball to discover that she was the tenth clone Joseph created.

Dream Called Time originally ended on what is page 355 in the print edition. After talking about the series with you guys here on the blog several times, I decided to add what is now Chapter Twenty (disclaimer: I mentioned it to Shiloh Walker after she read the book, and she says it was definitely the right decision.)

Endurance is the only book in the series that I've never re-read since I corrected the original proofs. I've tried, but the memories involved with writing it are still too painful. Whenever I needed to check or use something from that particular book, I've always consulted my original notes.

Joren represents several different personal metaphors, including my vision of what I considered the perfect world. Still do. It has also appeared regularly in my stories since 1974, when it came within one typewriter key's distance of being called Goren (fortunately I found my brother's secret stash of Gor novels, and prudently decided to alter the spelling.)

Maggie's character was named for my Great-Aunt Margaret, who for every Christmas and birthday gave me a new Laura Ingalls Wilder novel until by the time I was eleven I had the entire Little House series. Those were the first books I ever owned, and motivated me to become a ferocious reader.

Nine of the titles in the series are either the original titles I came up with or alternates I thought up when my first titles were vetoed. The exception is ClanSon, which was retitled Plague of Memory by my publisher. I always tried to limit my titles to one or two words, although I planned far in advance to call the final novel Dream Called Time (and fought hard for that title.) The biggest disappointment to me was having to give up Drednoc, which I thought perfectly suited the eighth book, and go instead with Omega Games.

Reever is the character who has escaped death by author more times than any other member of the StarDoc cast. At least once during the writing of every single book I've wanted to kill him; I usually write my way through it. As a result I have a rather massive collection of unpublished Reever death scenes, which include succumbing to the Core plague, losing a challenge to Xonea, being eaten on Catopsa, being eaten by Catopsa, coding on Joseph's operating table, being blown up during the Jado Massacre, dying on the battlefield during the Akkabarran rebellion, bleeding out on Vtaga and, my personal favorite, being stabbed in the heart by Jarn at the end of Rebel Ice.

Squid Lips, Cherijo's nickname for Squilyp, is a chiding nickname one of my guy's oldest friends uses for him (I guess we kissed a lot when we were dating.) Typical writer that I am, the first time I heard it I thought, "God, that would make a great SF character" and Squilyp evolved from there.

Xonea's name is an anagram of "one axe" with an e dropped (mainly because Xoneea looked a little weird on paper.) His character was inspired by a Frank Frazetta painting I fell in love with in high school.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Cherijo Arrives

It's here.

Dream Called Time, the tenth and final StarDoc novel, is now available online and in stores. If you enjoy science fiction, would like to know how I wrapped up the series and support PBW in the process, I hope you'll check it out.

The novel is dedicated to the people who kept me and StarDoc going, and today I'd like to share that dedication with everyone:

This book is for
all the loyal
StarDoc readers out there.
It took ten years for us to make this journey
through constant hardships
and endless heartaches,
but while I chose this path,
you never once let me
walk it alone.
Thank you.