I was not drinking when I wrote this. (Maybe.)

Stop the presses. Looks like a small but surprisingly significant percentage – more than ten percent – of Caucasians may have a gene that makes them more creative while consuming alcohol. Okay, you can restart those presses.
Now that all the writers have fled to the nearest bar claiming they want to “get some work done,” the rest of you can weigh the consequences of drinks ability to prime the pump:

The creative effect of alcohol, then, seems to involve a delicate counterpoint between stimulation and relaxation. Unlike some side-effects of drink, such as its tendency to make some people morose or violent, this endorphin release is positive and pleasant to behold. People with this gene variant also seem more prone to alcoholism, perhaps engaging in an increasingly vain pursuit of the highs they used to experience after the first drink or two.

Yeah, so, not all good. Good feelings (plus), more likely to be alcoholic (negative), vain pursuit of the high (been there, done that).

Arrr… Pirates!

“It’s a game of Whac-a-Mole,” said Russell Davis, an author and president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a trade association that helps authors pursue digital pirates. “You knock one down and five more spring up.”

— NYTimes
I think the key issue to literary piracy is the availability and ease of purchasing e-books. Some people don’t pirate music simply because it has become so easy to buy music legitimatly. So many people are uninformed on how to find pirated material (the less tech savvy) that reaching out and saying “Hey, 99-cent music purchases” was all it took to get them. Instead of chasing after the minority of readers who are pirates, why not reach out the majority of readers who aren’t and who are, for whatever reason, not buying as many books.
As the article says:

“If iTunes started three years earlier, I’m not sure how big Napster and the subsequent piratical environments would have been, because people would have been in the habit of legitimately purchasing at pricing that wasn’t considered pernicious,” said Richard Sarnoff, a chairman of Bertelsmann, which owns Random House, the world’s largest publisher of consumer titles.

Some form of subscription service, with ease of use and limited hoops to jump through might just make sales go up even if piracy doesn’t go down.

Trent Reznor: Won’t someone please think of the artists?

Trent Reznor, front man and founder of Nine Inch Nails, talks about the changes to the business model of music publishing in a recent interview done by Digg.com. He is an artist worth listening to, and a visionary in both his artistic work and his business acumen. While the interview is targeted specifically at changes to the music industry, his vision of how artists can advocate for themselves is applicable across the spectrum to artists of all media, including publishing. The entire interview is worth checking out, if for no other reason than to see Trent explain why he has Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” on his iPod, but the video below is focused on the first question, about the changes to the industry, and where he thinks things might be headed.