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Industry news: Amazon tax in France, Teacher won’t get arrested for reading Ender’s Game, Tech Writer hits social media lottery

March 24, 2012

France proposes tax on online and large bookstores to help struggling indie stores

The French Ministry for Culture is proposing a tax on online booksellers, such as Amazon, as well as larger brick-and-mortar bookstores, to create a fund for smaller bookstores. France also has a law that prevents companies from selling books for more than a 5% discount. Support for independent bookstores runs deep in literary circles, but even the most vehement supporter of Indies might struggle with the proposal for a tax on one set of businesses to support another, especially when the market may not support the others as they currently exist.

Police drop criminal investigation of Middle School Teacher who read Ender’s Game in class

Of the 3035 customer reviews in its Amazon entry, 152 (5%) rate Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game one or two stars. In contrast, 78% give it five stars. The American Library Association rated it among its 100 best books for teens. My son (eighth grade) digs it. Image the surprised of  an unnamed Schofield (SC) middle school teacher who read an excerpt to his class and was then subject of a criminal complaint for reading pornography to students. Police have decided not to pursue the complaint, filed by the mother of a 14-year-old, who was upset with the content of the book. After the complaint, the teacher was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation. The teacher, however, may still face disciplinary action for presenting supplemental material without appropriate approval.

Social Media Turns Tech Writer Into Hollywood Author

Technical writers can often turn their urge to write into success. Jodi Picoult, Kurt Vonnegut, and Amy Tan all did okay. Now James Erwin may join them. Erwin’s climb from cubicle-based obscurity started when he answered a question on the Reddit website. The question asked how a group of time-traveling Marines would do in a battle against a Roman legion. Erwin posted an answer in a series of comments. Faster than you can say “Great Scott, is that a flux capacitor?” Erwin had a query from a Hollywood film producer. Two weeks later, he had a contract for a script treatment. So there you go. Next time you’re screwing around on Facebook instead of writing, maybe you’ll be paving your way to fortune, fame, and success. Probably not, though.



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