jueves, 24 de julio de 2014

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.

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