The local library probably has more actual “books” inside their doors than the last “bookstore” you were in. Still, most of them are now lending e-books and actual e-reading devices, and I am sure they are not lying awake all night worrying if they are doing the right thing. Which thing? Take your pick. This is going to be kind of like those books you buy in the gas station when you are on a long road trip and they fill in the blanks in the story and then you are supposed to laugh or marvel.
Anyway, it is moot. Libraries run on tax dollars, right? Not counting the tote bags they sell and the money that they get from over due fines, and from the used book sale and that box in the corner of the hall full of unclassifiables that are twenty five cents a piece. Oh, no. Wait. Now those are free. They have the unclassifiables shelved and priced now.
(Aside) I used to take a book I owned and had finished reading and put it on that shelf. Hardcovers 50 cents, paperback, 25 cents. One day I got “caught”. You have to put it in a special slot so it can be catalogued. A person does this, a library employee, paid with your tax money. Not a volunteer. I asked her why they decided to do it that money wasting way and were they afraid someone would not put down the quarter or the two quarters that they were charging for books people left off for free? I guess our town is so safe and secure that they do not have a training program at the library for new hires on how to deal with the local anarchist. I just set my book on the shelf while making a noise that I hope sounded like a wry chuckle and not a threat and left. She can stick it in the slot herself.
Anyway, I just read another article about how Penguin is determined to crush the world of publishing and reading under their heel, or maybe that is the wrong metaphor. Maybe Penguin is actually trying to bring the world of publishing to its knees. Heels, knees, what ever. Now they will not give the author of the book a copy of his own book pre-release, unless he pays $300. Why did he NOT upload his MS to Adobe Books before he sent it to them? Well, someone said then he is not seeing any of the final edits. Lora Leigh sells like hotcakes, and you would go through two red pencils sitting and editing any of her books just for fun. The same rule applies to the cover art, or the facsimile of the actual cover, or something. And everyone is ringing in, which is I guess what I am doing here, and wringing their hands about rights and DRM and piracy.
I am small potatoes. I do no promo and I drop off the map in two or three months. But I did enough business back in the day when I cared about being a writer to win a spot in someone’s algorithm so if someone buys even one of my titles, my rating jumps way up. Of course that probably doesn’t mean anything to most of you since you don’t know anything about purchasing one of my titles since you have no experience at that sort of thing. (Yeah. Bitchy.) During one promotion when I was able to offer Sacred Sin for free, I had over 6,000 downloads. The day after the freebie was over I had eight cash sales (no returns) and shortly thereafter, in one day, which I remember clearly, cuz it never happened again, I had thirty two cash sales of different titles. I have had (few) cash sales in Germany, France, and Italy and I do pretty good in New Zealand for some reason. I am building up to this. As an Indie I may have had equal or less success than most, but most of the stats I have read state that I have sold more than the average Joe E-pubber. Well, actually it said I made more money than Joe. And this is my point. I am on Pirate sites. Some let you download a PDF for free. I saw one the other day that was charging more for my Anymore than I do. I don’t see a cent of that money. I actually find it flattering. They go on about DRM which has been a non-issue for at least four years. You can find how to break DRM in dozens of places on the net. They talk about having a real publisher, a real agent, a real book. I net more on a single copy of my book than almost anyone who goes through the traditional method. Unless it keeps selling for years, like Harry Potter but not like Shades of Gray which is already dropping out of sight.
I cannot understand the furor they are trying to create. It is like they are screaming from the bottom of a well and there is a hurricane roaring right over head of that well. I know they have to try. I know there are firm believers, but how many JKRowlings come along? Not enough to make more than one publishing house happy. That David Foster Wallace was goopy and he is gone. Did you read him? Did you try? I tried. I think I checked out a Franzen but returned it unread. I read this book that knocked my socks off about this guy that was having weird dreams and deja vus and then a missile crashed into his office building and I never saw a review of it and I cannot remember the title much less the author’s name.
Maybe I will never publish another book. Maybe I am a flop. Maybe I am jealous. But that is all about me trying to be an author. Me being a reader, I have the creds. And I know these people are barking up the wrong tree. (That happened just before they fell in that well. )
Did you see that movie Happy Feet? They inserted a huge electronic tracking module into the body of this famous dancing penguin and he was happy. There is surely a metaphor in there somewhere.
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