miércoles, 30 de julio de 2014

Damn the man!

He must be smart. He's written some impressive things. And a bunch of crud, but that might be a matter of taste. He's, however, extraordinarily blind with certain things.

Touched the guy sometime earlier, on G+. Still...
I think Amazon’s math checks out quite well, as long as you have the ground assumption that Amazon is the only distributor [...] that publishers or authors [...] should ever have to consider. [...] Amazon’s assumptions don’t include [...] that publishers and authors might have [...] reason for not wanting the gulf between eBook and physical hardcover pricing to be so large that brick and mortar retailers suffer [...]. Killing off Amazon’s competitors is good for Amazon; there’s rather less of an argument that it’s good for anyone else.

Is there a law in the States, or something, that grants Amazon the monopoly of internet sales? Because that paragraph assumes that Amazon is the only seller of ebooks and that it only sells ebooks. Plus, "brick and mortar" is a red herring. That means Borders (oops) and B&N or does it mean neighbourhood shops? Those are doing rather well, remember? As long as they try to keep roots, true. Also, readers are only an add-on (between parentheses) in the original.
Amazon’s math of “you will sell 1.74 times as many books at $9.99 than at $14.99″ is also suspect, because it appears to come with the ground assumption that books are interchangable units of entertainment, each equally as salable as the next, and that pricing is the only thing consumers react to.

They are.

Oh, they might not be for a particular reader. I would give preference to Kris' work, for example, at, say 19.99$ over the newest Tor ebook at 5.99. And the whole Hugo ruckus shows that some people would go to great lengths pursuing the same idea. But things average out. It's called statistics. If people can have 20-25 hrs of entertainment at 18$ (current Baen Bundle price) or 2-3 hrs with a current Tor release... Yes, some people would still go Tor. On average? Is a Tor book really 6 or 10 times as enjoyable as a Baen, for the average guy? I rather doubt that.

Also... revising prices is well and good. How many Big-5 imprimpts do that?

His parenthesis about cost is right on the money. See? He does say thoughtful things, now and again. I wonder why he's blind to others so often, though.
Bear in mind it’s entirely possible that Amazon sells 1.74 times as many books at $9.99 than at $14.99,

Yes, it's entirely possible Amazon is not lying through its teeth. That's a generous gentleman conceeding a point.
but then Amazon deals with gross numbers of product, while publishers deal with somewhat smaller numbers, and the author, of course, deals with only her own list of books. As the focus tightens, the general rules stop being as applicable. What’s good for Amazon isn’t necessarily good for publishers, or authors.

Ah, of course! "but".

Mixing points. What's good for amazon is not necessarily good for publishers? Duh. What's good for amazon is not necessarily good for wri... er , authors? Hmmm... Yes, if Amazon manages to sell kitchenware with an extra margin, that's not necessarily good for wri...uthors. Ok, guys, amazon needs writers to sell books. Not the Big-5, but it does need books to sell them.

Also, the fact that amazon deals with gross numbers and that the variance diminishes... does not alter the whole picture. If the idea is bad for publisher A, then there's a publisher B somewhere who's even better to compensate the statistic.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I think it’s very likely that if $9.99 becomes the upper bound for pricing on eBooks, then you are going to find $9.99 becomes the standard price for eBooks, period

This is either silly or way above my possibilities. No middle ground.

I think Amazon taking a moment to opine that authors should get 35% of revenues for their eBooks is a nice bit of trying to rally authors to their point of view

And about time. Do say, sir: while you were the head of your genre association, did you "take a moment to opine" that mayhaps 12.5% was a tad low?

To be clear, I think authors should get more of the revenue of each electronic sale, although I’m not necessarily sanguine about letting Amazon also attempt to set what that percentage should be.

a) About time!

b) Attempt to set? A "moment to opine" is an "attemptto set"? What are you "attempting" with your statements, then, sir?

Increasing authors’ percentages of revenue on electronic sales is an exciting new frontier in contract negotiations,

Oh, please... [my emphasis, above]
[...] I really really really wish Amazon would stop pretending that anything it does it does for the benefit of authors. It does not. It does it for the benefit of Amazon, and then finds a way to spin it to authors, with the help of a coterie of supporters to carry that message forward, more or less uncritically.

Ah... of course. Amazon opening up these last weeks is "spinning it to authors with the help of a coterie of uncritical supporters to carry that message forward". Supporters like, say, Colbert, yes?

Oh. Not?
why does their Kindle Direct boilerplate have language in it that says that Amazon may unilaterally change the parameters of their agreement with authors

Taking your book back from Kindle takes a click. Taking it back from a publisher takes 35 years.

No, amazon is not an author's friend. It's a writer's ally.

Take care.

Current and future publishing 101

I often disagree with Barry, likely more than you'd guess, but... go on and read this. Then we can talk about publishers. No, don't think in "Amazon vs. the world" overtones. But...

Realize that a writer putting her book through CreateSpace & Amazon can reach about 50% of the US market. Anywhere, anytime, as long as there's a network up. What are your chances of getting a book to a guy in, say Castle Rock, CO, with Ingram and with Amazon? Ingram will offer it, sure, and then a manager in a mall several miles off town will decide it she buys it or not. And you'll get your car, make a trip to Wallmart (or Target, or...) and see if you can find it, along with the rest of your list. You want the same book through Amazon, its click & order. Yes, the impulse buy is not as high in hardcopy, but the rest of them...

Then, compare with this, and this. Traditional isn't going the way of bullwhip makers, but they are going the way of video producers, some huge releases now and then (blockbusters) a lot of small producers and services (commercials, clips, youtube fanart...). They don't like the feeling, and it seems they can't accept it.

Five stages of grief, anyone?

Take care.

martes, 29 de julio de 2014

Whatever the explanation, ouch

Hachette sales have gone down, hard... at B&N.

Take care.

Data on Spanish ebook publishing

Checking these things in part because a post on Passive Guy, in part for something around some friends of mine.

The more I look into it, the more I'm convinced that Spanish ebook sales suck. Which is the shorthand version for this. Now, I've looked into several Spanish ebook distributors:
  • One took me longer to find its Glorious Future presentation that it would have taken me to register a user and upload its first book on Amazon-KDP. I can't recall their terms, or even if they published them.
  • One is a strange variant of a vanity press, print only, with not all that undecent terms. It still requires you to buy some of your own books, at a discount, and says nothing about royalties, but it's not exclusive, for example. Wacky.
  • A third one allows for 10-15% of print royalties (depending on distribution channel) and a whopping 35% of ebook royalties.
  • Two best ones, by far, are one linked to both a bookstore chain and the main Spanish publisher. You already know my thoughts on that one. And a new entry in the Spanish market (but I bought an ebbok three years ago from them and it was a nightmare of DRM and OS-specific). Those offer 30-70 and 20-80 terms, respectively, although the seconf one discounts HW printing first. While that's natural, it doesn't allow you to check the price of the printed manuscript without going through the registration process. I think fnac has similar terms.
Amazon, KDP and CreateSpace win all those hands down. In ebooks, big boys offer the best terms, hands down. For mid-numbers, there are nice printers in Spain that can match CreateSpace. For low orders, not really.

Amazon might be the Evil Overlord, but it is a tempting one.

Take care.

You're providers, guys!

Cut the tassles and the glitter and the ooohs and aaaahs, and writers are providers. Fiction writers are providers of entertainment. Now, I came into a quote by Margaret Weis:

In answer to another oft-asked question, I don't read fantasy.

It does explain a certain "flavor" in Mrs. Weis' books. How she never quite manages, in what I read before I gave up in the mid 90s, to break beyond certain topics. 'Star of the Guardians'? Star Wars, lightsabers included. Rose of the Prophet? Al-Qadim campaign setting. Death Gate Cycle? Planescapish, gone emo. She is interesting as a world builder, but world building alone doesn't write a story. And since she doesn't read the competition...

Now, upset as I am about that, it's not the point. It's data. Data that accumulates over Mr. Preston's add, Big 5's practices... Can you imagine a furniture store's clerk telling you "Sure, it's a nice one. The designer's never sat on a couch!"? Meat providers buying adds in the NYT to pressure McDonald's into raising prices? Those providers would be off the rolodex so fast you could actually sell the energy.

But we accept it from writers. And many writers accept it from their, face it, service providers (publishers).

Writer's, read this one and apply it both to your providers and, as providers, to readers. Or be off.

Take care.

sábado, 26 de julio de 2014


"Never look at covers"? Well, sort of, sort of not. For example, I try not to look at Baen covers. I mostly find them horrible, and I wouldn't approach most of those books if I was checking those. I know, it works for them. And there are some good ones out there. Most? Way to 80s pulp, for me.

Romance? I positively hate romance covers, but I'm not quite a romance reader. I've read and enjoyed Kris deLake's work [aka, Kris Rusch]. Plus, her books don't violate one of my standards[*]. But most romance covers? Might as well burn them.

Ans so on. I do like some covers, and some others make me go "hmm... let's see". Most covers? Not really, no. Not even with fantastic artists. Part of it is clutter. Probably because artist and designer are not the same guy, many covers jam the visual impact of the art to properly impress the reader with the author's name. Or title. Or... Which kinda tosses away the whole idea behind hiring a good artist. See here.

So, basically, I try not to look at covers. On average, it's better for the writer.

Take care.

[*] I'm becoming an Equal Nudity Reader. Male nudes on cover? No problem. But then, don't dress the partner. Same for half nudes. I don't require full frontals (it's simply a cover), I do require "equal opportunity".

Agenda publishing

Everyone's free to have his own agenda, bias or thrust. It's tiring, specially from several timezones away, to see certain things advocated for in the US. Guys, dont' advocate for entire organizations, sectors or industries publishing more of this or that. Ask for readers to buy it, if you need, but if you think idea A is "not properly represented" in one market or another... put the book out yourselves. It's done, these days. If the subject is truly under-represented, it'll raise in the charts like beear foam. If it doesn't... then you know why it wasn't published. Not a conspiracy but good bussiness perception.

Take care.

viernes, 25 de julio de 2014


I just "unbought" a book. I had it in my cart, and a pop up warned me about its DRM. Now, I'm not all that bad with computing security, and I do have available extra resources that would allow me to crack any ebook out there should it be beyond my personal habilities. Plus, I could also download an already stripped copy once I got my own, and that would be perfectly legal where I'm sitting (like the first option, in fact).

So, why didn't I?

I work computers for a living, people. I don't want to spend extra time or money when I read.

Someone told me (a bookseller!) some time ago that he didn't like perfect bound hardcovers becasue they were a bother to hold, and he didn't buy them. Now, that's accepted. But when I say I don't want DRM because it's a bother to read and keep... oh, the horror!

Pity. Looked an interesting entrance into a genre I very seldom follow.

Take care.


Probably, the biggest difference between "Big Five" publishing (and its copycats) and small presses or individuals is something I believe Kris cals push / pull. I'm not sure, I can't find the article.

Thing is, Big Five are still trying to push their ways: their pricing, their layered releases, their tempo, their fashions... Oh, sure, if something like Shades of Grey comes out, Big Five will dump as many similar titles as they can. Which misses most of the point, sure. Or they will try to gobble successful indies... and smother them. That last is probably not their intention, but they're the scorpion on the turtle's back: it's in their blood. And, specially, it's not in indie writer's (or most succesful self-employed people, truly).

Small presses? They'll find something that works for them, something people want to read, and publish it. Individual writers will find something they want to write and see it if works, an adapt. Their nimbleness allows for that, but it's also a different paradigm. Big Five's R&D shows the tale. Compare with this.

It goes further. In the last month, since I wrote a small piece that did some traveling on Google+, I've been able to contact several writers who were pretty helpful providing paid copies of their work through different channels than their usual. Depending on how you do your accounting, in one case it cost me almost 20x the bargain price. As I see it, it cost me exactly the usual ammount, but I didn't get lots of things I didn't want. And it was, in fact, voluntary, almost a donation.

Compare that with over 10 USD for a single DRM'd book, and try to tell those publishers: "Guys, I'm having trouble buying from the Evil Amazon. Would you mind if I bought it directly from you?" I wouldn't probably even rate a response.

And that's another reason I'm going indie without even realizing it much.

Take care.

jueves, 24 de julio de 2014

Goal checking

I might try to adapt this to other endeavours. Meanwhile... Remember Kris' booklet on Goals and Dreams? This little barb by Larry Correia is a nice substitute for your own list.

My suggestion? Print it out and check what you might already have reached, what you lack (and wish), what you don't mind and what you'd rather avoid. Check again in six months.

Take care.

Going indie?

I didn't plan on it, I really didn't, but it's looking that way. There are two reasons:
  • I keep blacklisting publishers. Not my original intent, but publishers keep crossing the line. Hachette, Penguin, Tor... The Big Six Turned Five should, by rights, be all in the bag, but I'm trying to restrain myself. Still, there are publishers who insist on going the extra mile WRT alienating their readers. Not "customers", they don't think of readers as such. Their customers are big distribution chains and stockholders. And it works like it does. Or, in fact, does not.
  • Publishers keep off-listing themselves. If you treat books like perishable widgets, then it would seem obvious that if book A is twice the price and thrice as difficult (or long-winded) to obtain, then I'm going for book B. However, publishers seem to be unable to see this. While books are widgets, their books are Art.
It doesn't work that way, guys. Now, the first part is only a branch of ethical purchasing. Nor all that "ethical" itself, but I refuse to participate in bussinesses that insist in insulting me or going against certain values. I am, after all, sworn into this, like most Spanish males between 30 and 55 and a good extra of people, and certain businesses accurately possitively attack the first sentence of articles ("Sections", in the translation linked above) 15 to 18, at the very least.

But the second part is likely more interesting. I mean, the first one is often subjetive, and people (by and large) only mind about insults when they receive them, not when they hear them around. However... let me repeat: publishers keep off-listing themselves. It's silly. But that's, after all, the bluff behind Hachette vs. Amazon: "They won't dare off-list us". They didn't; they just stopped being a warehouse for them (which increases distribution lag), and look what happened. Oh, the horror!

But it goes beyond that. I've lost track of the times I've read about a book, searched it and found no way to purchase it. Now, some of that is my particular e-book "stance" WRT formats and such. Still... Except writers tied to Kindle Select [*], Big Five publishers are the worst to buy from. For certain values, even beyond Select guys. You read about a book at this or that blog, you check the publisher and then, like in other bussinesses, you expect a button to add your product to a cart. Or, at least, a link to a provider.

Most publishers fail to provide this. Sometimes, they provide a single link. To amazon, that most evil of evils. B&N, Kobo, WHSmith? No. Indiebound? You must be high.

Providing the first in a series widely, at a reduced price, to hook new readers? Joining things like StoryBundle? Call the medics!

They're cornering themselves into a niche of highly loyal readers, but nothing else.

Good bye, Big Five. Take a care, out there.

[*] And I'm going to look into that; I fail to see why writers put all their works under Select instead of a chosen few. A the very least, their first in a series whould be as widely available as possible.

miércoles, 23 de julio de 2014

The Readers against Douglas Preston

After reading a post by Hugh Howey I finally got around to reading the "Us vs. Amazon" letter penned by Mr. Preston. From Mr. Howey's post it would seem that Mr. Preston is both able to backtrack and apologize (good) and prone to view readers from an... er... exalted sense of self. Un-bad. As in un-dead.

Mr. Preston's letter includes the names of 780 writers (Oh, sorry, "authors"). It pains me to see some names, there. Names of people I'd read as a teen, valued, cherished and looked up to. Names of people who'd been with me as I explored new places, went through pain and joy. Names of people I'd discovered more recently and enjoyed. Some 40 wri... authors, in a rapid check.

Names of people I'm increasingly unlikely to ever read again.

Now, I don't buy through kindle. My computing environment would require way too much work. I fight computing emulators and file formats for a living, not to reach my hobby... when I have other choices. Also, it insists on computing taxes 21% higher than most of my dealers. That said...

Besides the fact that the original letter's links are extraordinarily biased (and that the WSJ should learn about bussiness from Amazon), what that letter is saying is that amazon should
  • Engage in risky bussiness practices, entering into agreements with its customers it doesn't know it'll be able to fill (unless it bows down and says "yess, masster" like it properly should).
  • Price its books at the writer's whim. Not its needs, its marketing analysis or even the price the publisher suggests. Amazon is expected to create its own price and guess what Mr. Howey thinks is an adequate one.
  • Fill its warehouses with items from a publisher in a contract dispute
To say nothing about the fact that some waits are normal for many other writers. No, amazon must handle Hachette writers like special flowers. Hachette is good, hachette is our friend, Hachette can't do wrong. All hail our glorious publisher.

As I've said before, I have other choices now. Often cheaper choices, choices that don't scam neither writer (or the occasional lost "author") nor readers. Farewell, gentlemen. Be seeing you if you turn around, but you just lost the advantage you could have.

Take care.

PS: As expected, SFWA joins a battle for irrelevance. Without checking its members, as far as I know.

sábado, 19 de julio de 2014

Bitching readers

Take a stroll outside and check Neil Gaiman's post. I just re-read it tonight after following Kris Rusch comments appropos the upcoming Retrieval Artist mini-series.

Mr. Gaiman is a Briton. You know, like Bond. Classy. "So-and-so is not your bitch" would be full of fucking expletives somewhere else. I can feel some of his pain.

And yet...

I stopped (dead stopped) reading epic fantasy in the mid 90s, after what the local publisher did with Robert Jordan's series. I was simply not in the mood for certain "coitus interruptus" that also cost a fortune. I really got fed up, with that publisher. And, with him, epic fantasy. Baby and water, yes. Also, the state of Spanish fantasy in the 90s.

But... Even so, that series took a while. Like Martin's looks to be set for. Now, I like Martin's work, I specially love his short stories. Because of my previous experience, however, I won't be touching the Iron Throne until he's done with it.

And that's a writer I like. Knew his work in the 90s, saw "his" TV series, back before I knew he existed. I think he's one of the best things to happen to literature since the typewriter. And yet, I won't touch his best known series.

Novels take a while. Good novels, good worlds, link the writer and the reader tremendously. More so, lilely, with modern media and communications. When you start a series, you stablish a contract with your readers, in that you'll try to finish it. No paper? No signature? So. There's no paper, no signature, that says I have to be courteous with my in-laws, but I should at least try. If I don't, there'll be consequences.

That's why Kris is trying to keep her readers appraised. Forget things like that and you're likely to see blowback (sorry, couldn't resist).

Just saying, but you might want to avoid it. Take care.

viernes, 18 de julio de 2014

He's a pirate!

I reached last post's link through another one, sent by a high school teacher (I said I wasn't joking about those attitudes WRT young readers; not hers, but...). One other link in that collection is this.

Basic recap? Very first paragraph:

Economic crisis, e-books' VAT at 21%, drop in textbook subventions, less investment in libraries, lack of book awareness policies and, above everything else, piracy

Above. Everything. Else.

VAT of the main modernization of reading habits at 7 times the tax of ordinary books pre-crisis (still over 5x). EU mandatory TAX, so it's not quite the fault of the national politicos. Who, nonetheless, risk EU sanctions WRT the energy market but won't even dream of touching ebooks.

But the fault is pirates.

Ebooks were the only area with growth, at 8.1% [...] second highest in Europe, but insufficient considering the effort and cost of digitizing and putting that content at reader's reach

Bullshit. Getting ebooks in Spain is above and beyond the nightmare I ranted about here. Way above and beyond. Digitizing is publisher speak for "I pushed a button on the Wordpro". Unless you still keep old metal plates you haven't digitzed since the 60s. Also, yes, single-digit growth is way too low. Which means it's starting... going to be fun. Let's see what certain seller says around Christmas.

Another touchy subject at the event has been what measures can be taken to stop the allmighty Amazon

Eisler and Konrath have been having enough fun WRT religious overtones in amazon-bashing. I won't go further there. Right after the previous...

who in the last weeks' conforontation with Hachette has even offered 100% of its sales to writers, for as long as disputes last. A standing Mallafré [publishers' rep] considers "unsustainable" and bordering "unloyal competition"

I'm not sure about the wording, but some actions around "unloyal competition" are illegal, here, and trigger something similar to what "unloyal opposition" could trigger in politics in the US. See what he's playing with? Also "unsustainable"? To whom? Again, check Author Earnings. Economically, amazon could ditch Hachette today. Legally, could have done it in March.

Hachette? I do hope you're joking. You are, right?

And, mind you, he does reach some sort of self-critique. Not much, but it's there, right at the end. But...

Amazon! Piracy! Poop!

Also: Agency pricing saves the day!

Take care.

Salad dressing

Apparently, that's what readers, and indies, are, in the views of the establishment. And, by establishment I mean publishers, editors, booksellers and anything in a similar vein.

A Spanish editor was griping about the current status of publishing. Link in Spanish, sorry. He makes some brief points, some of which I agree, some of which... depends. Some of which is blind.

We debate around Amazon and Hachette in a round that looks like it might shape the publishing world's future. And the feeling is that, at most, it's about Amazon and publishers. I'm afraid it's not like that.

It... depends. He makes the classical mistake of equating Hachette (and the other Big 4) with the publishing world. Sorry, that train is gone.

While US writers rail against Amazon's offer on rights, which sounds almost like corruption

Er... Amazon didn't make an offer on rights, but owed payments. And "sounds like corruption"... I might agree, but I think my "whose" and his don't match as much as I first tought.

Following the last quote...

our writers keep their silence [...] That's a new show of how publishers, writers, agents, libraries, booksellers and book institutions row each to its side looking for individual salvation

As I said in my first post, I'm a reader. Seen me considered anywhere, in there? You won't find "lector" (for 'reader') in the original Spanish, either. Not in the whole article.

I recall 9/11 (yes, that 9/11, not any of the ones in the Spanish speaking world) following the events though a nerdish news aggregator. Everything else was off. People were shocked, later, and still are, that Newspapers were being discarded, put into the same cathegory fancy leatherbounds were. Showy, useless.

We have people going into music who were vetted away by the critics and gateguardians (Lindsey Stirling, anyone?), people who set up their own crowdfunding (the old public subscription with better reach, nothing new), or publish through amazon or smashwords or...

And while Hachette drags its feet as it becomes less and less relevant to Amazon (and the rest of us), the Spanish publishing industry keeps ranting about Culture, pushing for penalties against those who push the boundaries of mandatory agency pricing, while those who can discover that some books, even translated, are far cheaper imported. Pushing for mandatory reading lists in high school, and making students buy the book (as opposed to library lending; I wish I was joking). Money keeps flowing to the same people, time and again, while their lackeys push and push and push.

Fourty years ago, it was dangerous to even try anything else. Five years ago, it might have worked. These days? The Spanish equivalent of "MAD" lost all its biggest names three weeks ago after pushing for preventive censure. A hasty indie edition by those writers sold the equivalent numbers (and over twice the average price for the e-magazine, in a pay-as-you-wish scheme) in about 12 hours.

Frankly, the establishment can kiss my ass. I want to read. You may not think me worthwhile, but some writers out there do. And they'll get my money. Mine and, I'd bet, some other people who're quite fed up with this. And you might keep content because "indies only win in some genres", but it's a short margin in the rest of them (and might be reversed by autumn) and, frankly "Literature", besides the classics (genres themselves, once upon), is a negligible market. Do I have data? Author reports; check thelink in my last post.

Take care.

Pseudolegal self publishing scam?

As I said some days back, some people have weird opinions about amazon.

Stolen from here. Get into the full site, but, for now, this will suffice. Take away certain statistical anomalies, and self publishing is, right now, way better for writers. While there are some gray areas, and some exceptions... well, think about it.

Take care.

lunes, 14 de julio de 2014


Some commentators say the publishing industry is in enormous trouble today. They are completely wrong, and I don't understand that view at all"

Tom Weldon, UK chief executive of Penguin Random House

Quoted by The Guardian, three months ago already, as "one of the biggest players in Britain's book world". Now... No, he wouldn't. And, apparently, neither would The Guardian. PRH is, by far, THE biggest player.

However... the article goes on to... wax about PRH having "15,000 writers" and "He stresses the 200 to 250 debut writers Penguin Random House publishes every year."

Hm... that explains a lot. See... At best, that's 1.67% of the publishing equivalent of R&D. That's quite on the low end of R&D. On part with metallurgy, for example. Below half the US average. A value associated with low-risk, low-technology enterprises. Yes, I'm not using proper investment ratios... but. In fact, it might be lower, since the bulk of best-sellers revenue is used to pay best-selling writers, not reduced advances.

My point is that they act like a low tech/risk enterprise. And yet, they expect to compete with Amazon, CreateSpace, and small publishers. Publishers who compete with Hachette in number of new books a year, who market their e-titles aggressively, join Bookbundles and such.

An industry that's supposed to be progressive.

It's gonna hurt, boys.

Take care. [EDIT: Forgot to link the original article]

domingo, 13 de julio de 2014

Romeo must die...

...but if he were so kind, he could take Spanish publishers for travel company.

Spain, agency price mandatory, by law. Recently, a 5% discount was allowed. In theory, to protect the classics, to ensure access to culture. However... Check "The Master of Go", in Spanish. About 50 bucks vs. 15 in the US, pre-discount. Bookshops still pretend you pay S&H of books... books they've already sold and aren't subject to returns. In a country with deep discounts for book parcels.

This is one reality. A reality made of "old money" [or Civil War thieves] faking bussiness sense. And artistic sense. And... well, common sense. Where artsy modern booksellers consider Amazon a mix between a logistics shop and a vanity press scam. Where e-book distributors have lengthy PDF introduction slides that take longer to find than it takes to publish through Amazon's KDP.

Which is a reason I prefer to read blogs by Kris Rusch, J. A. Koranth and Barry Eisler (often in tandem), or Hugh Howey. People, all of them, who've braved situations similar to what Spain faces. Because the difference between scams like the Author's Guild, Hachette and Spanish publishers is suntan, make up and make believe.

Take care.

sábado, 12 de julio de 2014


Mostly a reader, here. Though I do have some short stories doing the rounds, here and there, that's more of a hobby. At least for now. Used to write some, then I used that flow for RPG and now a kid means I do need another venue...

Thing is, I've been following the "new world" of publishing for a while (4 years or so, I believe) and I just got tired of telling peope the same thing time and again, and writing some things in the format-handicapped platform of Google+. Great for some things, but... So, I'll make some more comments here. From time to time.

Take care.