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.

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