Ursula K. Le Guin accepted the 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters yesterday, from the hands of the fantasy best-seller Neil Gaiman. She has won the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award, each more than once.
What followed, however, was a surprise – or rather a shock – to the black-tie attendees of the National Book Awards ceremony.
In her acceptance speech Le Guin spiked the likes of “capitalistic” publishers and singling out Amazon, branding them “commodity profiteers” who “sell us like deodorant.” The crowd went wild, eclipsing in a standing ovation when she concluded.
Since the event, Le Guin was widely featured as breaking news in the online media and overwhelmed the hashtag #nbawards.
She based her speech on freedom, mentioning it twice:
I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries — the realists of a larger reality.
We who live by writing and publishing want — and should demand — our fair share of the proceeds. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.
Needless to say, we at Ganxy agree with Le Guin that an author earns freedom by getting the fair share of sales, we support her stance and congratulate her on winning the Medal. Furthermore, we actively engage in the quest for freedom, by giving authors and publishers their “fair share of the proceeds” (on Ganxy it’s 90% – we keep 10% for taming the computers and helping the customers) and total control of the content they painstakingly and lovingly crafted, creating beautiful works of art, which are as far from commodities as the meaning allows.
Keep on fighting, poets and visionaries!
P.S.: Did you know Ursula K. Le Guin’s e-book is sold on Ganxy? Check out The Lathe of Heaven: