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http://www.hyperorg.com/backissues/joho-jul24-02.html#marketing apparently many authors are upset that Amazon is offering used copies of their books on the very pages that offer their books for sale. It’s easy to see why: Given a choice of buying Small Pieces for $17.50 new or $11.00 used, you may opt for the used book and deprive me of my $3.75 royalty (well, $3.19 after my agents get their well-deserved cut). I have thought long and hard about this and have a well-worked-out position that I believe argues irrefutably from first principles while also incorporating the relevant utilitarian and social-communitarian considerations. It argues the following to authors: Tough shit. Authors have never gotten paid by everybody who reads their books or else we’d shut down those dens of iniquity: libraries and used book stores. As a society, we want to encourage people to have access to ideas. So, yes, authors are going to lose some money they could have made if it were harder for people to find used books. But that’s the nature of the business you’re in. I.e., as I said, the fecal matter is sturdy and impervious. And the world is better for it.