land before

anonymous asked:

So Sanji doesn't like the Okama, but would he be able to get along with one if they weren't forcing themselves onto him? There are drag kings who are still into women after all.

❤; anonymous

i really hate answering questions like this because i know not everyone likes the way sanji treated the okama, but i honestly don’t blame him for freaking out. a whole lot had happened before landing on ivankov’s island, and he was stressed. he was being chased. it was a whole, big mess but people hate him for it anyway ( and i’m too defensive of him tbh. )

if they hadn’t been so damn persistent and tried to force him to be like them, i think he would have. and i do believe that, at some point, he earned their respect. and that he respected them by the time he had to return to sabaody. hell, i’m slightly convinced that the lighter he has now was given to him by one of the okama. i’d like to think that there was a small handful of people there that he got along with because, damn, not ALL of them could be that cruel.

he doesn’t like people in general if they try to force something onto him that he doesn’t want. it’s not just the okama. he can be friends with them if they’re willing to accept that dressing up like that isn’t a thing for him and they can just be chill and have fun. ‘cause even tho he doesn’t wanna wear make up and dresses, they probably helped him learn better ways to take care of himself.

I’ve decided to tell you guys a story about piracy.

I didn’t think I had much to add to the piracy commentary I made yesterday, but after seeing some of the replies to it, I decided it’s time for this story.

Here are a few things we should get clear before I go on:

1) This is a U.S. centered discussion. Not because I value my non U.S. readers any less, but because I am published with a U.S. publisher first, who then sells my rights elsewhere. This means that the fate of my books, good or bad, is largely decided on U.S. turf, through U.S. sales to readers and libraries.

2) This is not a conversation about whether or not artists deserve to get money for art, or whether or not you think I in particular, as a flawed human, deserve money. It is only about how piracy affects a book’s fate at the publishing house. 

3) It is also not a conversation about book prices, or publishing costs, or what is a fair price for art, though it is worthwhile to remember that every copy of a blockbuster sold means that the publishing house can publish new and niche voices. Publishing can’t afford to publish the new and midlist voices without the James Pattersons selling well. 

It is only about two statements that I saw go by: 

1) piracy doesn’t hurt publishing. 

2) someone who pirates the book was never going to buy it anyway, so it’s not a lost sale.

Now, with those statements in mind, here’s the story.

It’s the story of a novel called The Raven King, the fourth installment in a planned four book series. All three of its predecessors hit the bestseller list. Book three, however, faltered in strange ways. The print copies sold just as well as before, landing it on the list, but the e-copies dropped precipitously. 

Now, series are a strange and dangerous thing in publishing. They’re usually games of diminishing returns, for logical reasons: folks buy the first book, like it, maybe buy the second, lose interest. The number of folks who try the first will always be more than the number of folks who make it to the third or fourth. Sometimes this change in numbers is so extreme that publishers cancel the rest of the series, which you may have experienced as a reader — beginning a series only to have the release date of the next book get pushed off and pushed off again before it merely dies quietly in a corner somewhere by the flies.

So I expected to see a sales drop in book three, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, but as my readers are historically evenly split across the formats, I expected it to see the cut balanced across both formats. This was absolutely not true. Where were all the e-readers going? Articles online had headlines like PEOPLE NO LONGER ENJOY READING EBOOKS IT SEEMS.

Really?

There was another new phenomenon with Blue Lily, Lily Blue, too — one that started before it was published. Like many novels, it was available to early reviewers and booksellers in advanced form (ARCs: advanced reader copies). Traditionally these have been cheaply printed paperback versions of the book. Recently, e-ARCs have become common, available on locked sites from publishers. 

BLLB’s e-arc escaped the site, made it to the internet, and began circulating busily among fans long before the book had even hit shelves. Piracy is a thing authors have been told to live with, it’s not hurting you, it’s like the mites in your pillow, and so I didn’t think too hard about it until I got that royalty statement with BLLB’s e-sales cut in half. 

Strange, I thought. Particularly as it seemed on the internet and at my booming real-life book tours that interest in the Raven Cycle in general was growing, not shrinking. Meanwhile, floating about in the forums and on Tumblr as a creator, it was not difficult to see fans sharing the pdfs of the books back and forth. For awhile, I paid for a service that went through piracy sites and took down illegal pdfs, but it was pointless. There were too many. And as long as even one was left up, that was all that was needed for sharing. 

I asked my publisher to make sure there were no e-ARCs available of book four, the Raven King, explaining that I felt piracy was a real issue with this series in a way it hadn’t been for any of my others. They replied with the old adage that piracy didn’t really do anything, but yes, they’d make sure there was no e-ARCs if that made me happy. 

Then they told me that they were cutting the print run of The Raven King to less than half of the print run for Blue Lily, Lily Blue. No hard feelings, understand, they told me, it’s just that the sales for Blue Lily didn’t justify printing any more copies. The series was in decline, they were so proud of me, it had 19 starred reviews from pro journals and was the most starred YA series ever written, but that just didn’t equal sales. They still loved me.

This, my friends, is a real world consequence.

This is also where people usually step in and say, but that’s not piracy’s fault. You just said series naturally declined, and you just were a victim of bad marketing or bad covers or readers just actually don’t like you that much.

Hold that thought. 

I was intent on proving that piracy had affected the Raven Cycle, and so I began to work with one of my brothers on a plan. It was impossible to take down every illegal pdf; I’d already seen that. So we were going to do the opposite. We created a pdf of the Raven King. It was the same length as the real book, but it was just the first four chapters over and over again. At the end, my brother wrote a small note about the ways piracy hurt your favorite books. I knew we wouldn’t be able to hold the fort for long — real versions would slowly get passed around by hand through forum messaging — but I told my brother: I want to hold the fort for one week. Enough to prove that a point. Enough to show everyone that this is no longer 2004. This is the smart phone generation, and a pirated book sometimes is a lost sale.

Then, on midnight of my book release, my brother put it up everywhere on every pirate site. He uploaded dozens and dozens and dozens of these pdfs of The Raven King. You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting one of his pdfs. We sailed those epub seas with our own flag shredding the sky.

The effects were instant. The forums and sites exploded with bewildered activity. Fans asked if anyone had managed to find a link to a legit pdf. Dozens of posts appeared saying that since they hadn’t been able to find a pdf, they’d been forced to hit up Amazon and buy the book.

And we sold out of the first printing in two days.

Two days.

I was on tour for it, and the bookstores I went to didn’t have enough copies to sell to people coming, because online orders had emptied the warehouse. My publisher scrambled to print more, and then print more again. Print sales and e-sales became once more evenly matched.

Then the pdfs hit the forums and e-sales sagged and it was business as usual, but it didn’t matter: I’d proven the point. Piracy has consequences.

That’s the end of the story, but there’s an epilogue. I’m now writing three more books set in that world, books that I’m absolutely delighted to be able to write. They’re an absolute blast. My publisher bought this trilogy because the numbers on the previous series supported them buying more books in that world. But the numbers almost didn’t. Because even as I knew I had more readers than ever, on paper, the Raven Cycle was petering out. 

The Ronan trilogy nearly didn’t exist because of piracy. And already I can see in the tags how Tumblr users are talking about how they intend to pirate book one of the new trilogy for any number of reasons, because I am terrible or because they would ‘rather die than pay for a book’. As an author, I can’t stop that. But pirating book one means that publishing cancels book two. This ain’t 2004 anymore. A pirated copy isn’t ‘good advertising’ or ‘great word of mouth’ or ‘not really a lost sale.’

That’s my long piracy story. 

*Me and my future kids talking*

Kids: Mommy, who was president from 2016-2020?

Me: I don’t remember kids, but let me give you a rundown on what happened at the 2017 Oscars-it was WILD

Reasons the whole Land Before Time series is incredibly important and awesome

Even if the sequels aren’t grim as hell and don’t leave kids emotionally scarred

  • Teaches kids that we’re all equal and have anti-racism and anti-any kind of discrimination messages
  • Shows that it is usually adults who are the discriminatory ones and kids are fine until their parents teach them otherwise. Also that it is up to kids to make the difference when adults are “set in their own ways”.
  • One of the main characters is canonically neurodivergent. Spike was literally created to appeal to mentally disabed kids.
  • And none of the characters ever try to get him to change or act like them or differentiate them from him. (He doesn’t look like us, he doesn’t eat like us, yes but he still likes to play the way we do~) He’s one of the gang and they love him for who he is. 
  • Even when they find out he can talk they never pressure him into it, Ducky says he can talk when he wants to, and the point is never pushed again. Wow Spike is so important my beautiful autistic non-verbal baby I’m tearing up.
  • Also Spike is happily adopted!! And his mum loves him like the rest of her kids! But sometimes wonders if he should grow up in his own culture and wants what’s best for him and doesn’t stop him when he leaves with the other Spike tails in VIII wow A+ adoption.
  • Single parent families!!
  • Grandparents raising their grandchild and treating them like their own son.
  • Speaking of which the Grandnecks are SO AWESOME do you know how many Sharpteeth these two old people beat up in the series?? It is a lot. They are the most badass couple ever. And also adorable.
  • How Cera develops from “Threehorns are so much better than Longnecks” to “Littlefoot is my FRIEND and if you insult him I WILL FUCK YOU UP”
  • (possibly not in exactly that wording)
  • Teaches kids that parents do not always know what’s best for you and teaches parents that too.
  • “Yelling is no way to teach your child what is right or to show that you care.”
  • Although there is so much of parents (and grandparents) caring for their kids and showing that parents are there to look after you and are incredibly important.
  • But also mixed with the message that adults might claim to know better than you but this isn’t always the case, although it doesn’t make them bad people.
  • And sometimes you have to follow your gut instinct than your parents’ rules. Seriously these films are so important
  • Deals with terminal illness (that is cured by special yellow flowers)
  • In one film there is an orphan who looked after younger orphans until they were all adopted and was essentially aged out of the foster care system. He’s very bitter.
  • (And he ends up happily adopted)
  • PTERANO who is the best anti-villain (or possibly anti-hero) ever
  • He also has PTSD and is so well written
  • Not a lot of unnecessary gendering of the dinos
  • I mean Littlefoot has longer eyelashes than Cera.
  • And a few characters whose genders never get mentioned at all everyone can be trans and it’s so great
  • Mr Threehorn almost always has a good point, he just goes completely the wrong way in getting it across and he’s a fantastic character.
  • SUE who is the biggest sweetie in the universe and incredibly nice and a little shy. And steps on crocodiles for fun.
  • People hate the Yellowbellies but I get a lot of autistic metaphors out of them. I mean they’re not great at looking after themselves in some situations, but Littlefoot discovers they have their own survival techniques that he doesn’t have and their own way of looking at things and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • The Yellowbelly “wise one” is non-verbal and also makes friends with Spike and it’s the cutest ever.
  • Shorty thinking Cera is awesome. The most fragile ego in the world validating the other most fragile ego in the world.
  • When the kids decided to raise a baby Sharptooth.
  • Tria is an absolutely wonderful step-mother.
  • the
  • best
  • songs
  • in
  • the
  • world
  • That time when six kids and four adult Longnecks had an EPIC FIGHT SCENE with three Sharpteeth.
  • They have so much heart
  • (Also at one point there are aliens)