About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Independent author and amateur beefcake

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Case of Kindle vs Macmillan

This is a conundrum, at best. With both sides staying pretty much mum it's hard to tell exactly what's going on, except that there's a war on e-book pricing. Macmillan feels that a 9.99 price point is to low and degrades the value of their books. The point they're not understanding, however, is that people that buy a 9.99 book for their Kindle don't get to actually 'own' that book. The Kindle's licensing agreement, you know that list of regulatory rules and gibber gabber that you have to click "yes" to, the form that everyone scrolls through in their rush to get onto the next page, it specifically notes that you are only leasing the novel. Theoretically as long as you have a Kindle, as long as Amazon supposes to support the Kindle, you keep that lease.

This is 'very' remanicant of the early days of the iPod and iTunes, when you bought the song, or album, and then they determined what you listened to the music on and how many times you could burn yourself a copy. The difference here, of course, is that with the Kindle you don't get to burn yourself a copy. There's no backing up the product.

I think, for such a tenuous hold on an item, 9.99 might, actually, be too much, when thought about in such terms. If the game plan changed and you were buying digital books that you could put on your hard drive and take with you, to whatever ereader came along, years from now, then 9.99 might seem too little. But, as things stand now, 9.99 is somewhere in the happy middle ground.

How this is all going down, however, is a different story. There are two stubborn giants in the room unwilling to see the other point of view. The consumer is in the middle, when, really, they should be the decider. If Macmillan wants their books to be 15.99 then Amazon should let them see what happens when a Kindle reader is forced to decide between 15.99 and 9.99, esp. when the actual hard backs on Amazon usually run under 20 bucks, as it is.

With huge corporations pulling stunts like this it's a perfect time for the indie author to publish their books to the Kindle and sell them for 5.99. In the end publishers might regret forcing readers to consider other authors.

Who knows.


News release from Amazon
Dear Customers:
Macmillan, one of the "big six" publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases.
We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it's reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don't believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.
Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never expected it to be easy!
Thank you for being a customer.


That was fast and obviously, they see the point. If the publisher wants to take that gamble...then they should be allowed to. And, as I pointed out and Amazon followed, it's a holiday for indie authors. Any of us with unfinished books, out there, should be all over this.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Exorcise One

I don't know why I remember...(I'm to start off a small piece with that particular sentence and the subject shouldn't be anything big, birth and deaths and such, only small things that, on reflection, I have no reason for remembering.)

Here's a few I worked on last night (I was quite surprised at how trivial they were, truly, why do I remember these things?)


I don’t know why I remember my Mom doing her hair in my Grandmother’s mirror. In the grand scheme of things it’s wholly unimportant and using up, quite frankly, valuable space in a brain that could use more pertinent information. It was one of the few times she was home, as a child, and she was getting ready for work, which, if I remember correctly, at that time, was the Back Door Lounge, a dingy bar a few blocks down the street. I had been in there once and the most remarkable, or memorable, aspect, for me, as a pre-teen, was the painting of a nude woman, hung over the pool table, blond and sporting a tuft of hair between her legs, a real blonde at that. It reminded me of the painting of the nude woman that sat above the black mans bed in ‘The Shining’. She’s sitting there, curling her hair, a cigarette burning in an ashtray and the smell of hairspray permeating the room. And not just hairspray but the Aquanet from before the hole in the ozone forced them to change the formula. Her hair is in a pseudo perm thing, curly around the sides and pulled taught on the top, hard to describe to anyone who hasn’t lived part of their lives in the seventies. It’s a short snippet of a memory, nothing anchoring it to anything. My Grandmothers mirror is an old antique, though I suspect it wasn’t, looking thing, a vanity adjacent to her bed. It’s ironic, really. My Grandmother, who is bed ridden, has the only vanity in the house, and, as such, gets to witness everyone else getting ready for their dates or pretty themselves up before work. A random thought, brushing around like the scent of cigarettes and hairspray.

I don’t know why I remember the sound of frogs outside my last apartment, before I moved in with my first partner. I’m lying in bed, it’s hot, and the window’s opened. Outside, in the dark, I can hear both the river running and the sound of frogs. I had never lived in a place where you could hear frogs. I remember it being a hard time for me. I had just begun dating and had put some faith in a man that turned out to be playing games. I was alone and, for that reason, the sound of frogs, many of them, the sound of a team, working toward some goal, comforted me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Making of a Story

Bought a little book this morning, not really, it's more like 600+ pages, called "The Making of a Story". I'm liking it because it has, not only, exorcises and tips, but it's inspirational too. I'm a fan of any book that teaches you the key to good writing is good reading. I'm of the opinion that schoolin' does not create a good writer, unless, of course, you're writing research papers. Creative writing comes from experience and free form thinking.

But, then, what do I know, I'm an unpublished author. :P

Seriously though, if there's any readers out there that are wanna-be-authors, pick the book up.