domingo, 31 de agosto de 2014

With friends like these...

I was reading the blog of a writer I respect. Not one of my musts, but still. And a man with quite the career. He'd made a couple of posts on the Amazon-Hachette tangle. With all his experience, his credentials, etc... he still managed to bungle up his data.

Since I'm not going to be able to keep the post minimally structured without using his name, the guy's David Wolverton (aka. Farland). Here is the original post. [EDIT: Missed the post wasn't his, but that of Kami M McArthur. Don't know about her, besides her work at Mr. Wolverton's site. So, the rest should be applied to her, with some remaining responsibility to Mr. Farland as publisher]

  • As you may know, they’re involved in a massive lawsuit. Really? What court? They're in a dispute, all right, but not a lawsuit. Not a good start.
  • is not a publisher in the same sense as Hachette. They’re a bookstore. Mostly, not only. Tell me, who publishes Barry Eisler?
  • That means that they make sure that they make a profit on every book before they even print it. That’s not what traditional publishers do. Again, publisher's last century methods are a reflection on their adaptability, not the nature of the bussiness.
  • Amazon’s pricing policies. Could be better in some markets. Short stories, textbooks... and so on. The example, however, is deeply flawed. A 50$ legal book? Traditionally published, sure. Indie? Why? And why is it a problem that "Amazon would be taking the majority of the profit" and not one of the Big Five? Also, why can't the book be published in volumes, at 9.99? Finally... " is fairly small"? Over 140000 law students in the US, and that assumes the book can't be used overseas. From all I know, most fiction doesn't even dare dream of such numbers. EDIT: Newest Hugo / Nebula, apparently 30000 copies. Might be higher, now, but I'd bet there isn't one for every undergrad law student.]
  • The traditional publishers feel that they should have something of a grace period And I feel I should be milionare. Feelings are nice and fluffy and put no bread on your table, unless you push them on someone else. Actors do that, businesses shouldn't.
  • In other words, they want to treat a book as if it were a movie. Aha... So, they're going to do like modern studios do, and minimize transitions? Put a complete series on the shelves in a week to profit from binge- reading? I'm calling bullshit on this one. I simply counter the rest; this one's bull.
  • If Amazon does this to a major publisher, it would “cannibalize the sales” on the hardback and paperback versions of the novel, causing the major publisher to lose money as they have to take in large numbers of returns or destroy paperbacks. Prove it. Prove it's not a Big 5 myth. Prove it's profitable. WMG Pub. seems to do well enough putting their hardcopy and e-books out together. Which, for practical purposes, means putting them first on ebook, since it doesn't have S&H delays.
  • Peter Jackson and the Tolkien estate have both sued the filmmakers because on the books, the movies still haven’t “earned out.” Aha... When Jackson and the Tolkien estate sue the filmmakers it's a data point. When Big 5 cook their books, basket-account and only pay twice a year with obscured forms, it's business.
  • So what is the fight really about[...]? It’s a fight over positioning. Well, all fights are. That said, yes.
  • If you want to try to create a market where bookstores thrive and traditional publishing thrives with it, throw your support behind Hachette. I'm sorry, mr. Farland. NO. I like paper books. I don't like being shanked. And equating books and bookstores with traditional publishing, and then traditional publishing with the Big 5 is false, tried and trite.
To say nothing of the obvious response to that reader he quotes (and he doesn't agree with). Does Amazon publish other people's slush? a) Not only b) So do they. How many writers are picked first try? It ends up feeling one of those "no, really, I'm on your side... BUT".

There's a second part to that... I was going to say I wouldn't answer to that, because this had been long enough. But the next post wasn't. It's a simple endorsement of what I punch agaisnt here.

Pity. Take caare.

PS: Ah, of course, "Fifteen years ago, my editor at Tor"

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