March 3rd, 2004


Chutzpah: noun

Today's spam includes a scam so blatant that I have to be impressed by the sheer nerve:

Your credit card will be billed at $22.95 weekly and free 3 pack of child porn CD is shipping to your billing address. To cancel your membership and CD pack please email full credit card details to [...]

The worst part is, I'm sure that there are people out there who will be so flustered by the accusation of child porn that they'll fall for it.

(Although I am surprised and slightly confused that they give an abuse address for an apparently-real ISP as the target to mail to, which may indicate that there's something a tad subtler going on here. It's possible that all of this is an attempt to essentially DDoS the abuse line for the ISP...)

Geez, I wish they'd had that fifteen years ago...

I've been a customer of CafePress for various things over the past couple of years -- I'm used to them being the easy way for folks to sell mousepads, t-shirts and stuff like that.

What I didn't know is that they now deal with both CDs and books. Format your stuff according to their specifications, send them the masters, and *poof*: it's available for sale. They aren't free, of course -- they're trying to make a profit, so it's rather more expensive than doing it yourself. But the process appears to be pretty easy, and if you're just trying to make something available (rather than really making money off of it), the prices are reasonable. ($5-9 for CDs depending on the frou-frou; about $13 for a 200-page book.) Their user agreement seems to be fair, and doesn't contain any really onerous intellectual-property provisions -- they get the right to use your stuff to advertise sales *of* your stuff, but that's pretty much it.

The current editor of The Letter of Dance is considering using it to publish the collected volumes from here on out, and I have to say that it makes sense. If this had been available when I was running it, I'd probably have done the same -- it allows the editor to focus on the content, and offload the production, sales and support (which is most of the work, and by far the least rewarding part of the task) elsewhere easily. If I ever get The Ace's Boke (a project I really must do a bit more of) to the point where it's worth collecting and publishing, I'll have to keep this option in mind...