Archive for December 4, 2008

DON’T Buy Printed Books As Gifts!

December 4, 2008

Don’t blame John Scalzi for this. Others have been saying it too: Buy some damn books.


If you buy print books you are only encouraging existing publishers to:

1) Continue with paper

2) Continue their automotive-industry-like ways

3) Continue their Internet-clueless ways

4) Sail along on false hope that they aren’t doomed

Instead, buy an eBook reading device or an eBook gift card.

Or even anything else — but not printed books!

Show the print publishing industry some tough love this holiday season.

Slap them in the wallet so they’ll wake up to the 21st-century.

They need to!

Blog Notes: WordPress Upgrade Looms

December 4, 2008

I really want to do a post about the remake of the Terry Nation series, Survivors.

But with all the screensnap rescaling I have to do, it’d be close to the upgrade deadline of 8PM EST.

A post this involved is something I’d compose in BlogDesk, for bulk uploading.

But I’m not sure if even BlogDesk will function properly as the WordPress gnomes bang on their servers with hammers to get this upgrade going.

So, unless I find some minor stuff to blog about (oh, there’s lots of Doom — none of it minor, however!), this blog might close earlier than 7PM EST tonight.

What You Should Know About POD

December 4, 2008

POD = Print On Demand.

In about ten years, you’ll be going to a FedEx-Kinko’s for a printed book. No more bookstores. FedEx-Kinko’s will have a POD kiosk.

POD SECRETS REVEALED: Hot Air on Some POD Publishers’ Websites By Angela Hoy, co-owner of BookLocker

At BookLocker, we are frequently contacted by authors who say they are surprised by our candor. We never tell authors their book might become a best seller…because it probably won’t (most traditionally published books never become best sellers, either). We don’t twist our words around to make it appear an author’s book will be stocked by “25,000” bookstores. It won’t. And we don’t publish verbiage that makes an author think we do something we don’t. We just don’t do business that way.

Authors appreciate our honestly because they have read so much confusing blurbage on other POD publishers’ websites.

Here are a few examples of what we believe is “hot air” on some POD publishers’ websites. Of course, this is our opinion. You can form your own.

Interesting behind-the-scenes peek at an industry I usually ignore.

— via Twitter from slipdown (whose blog is also worth reading!)

BBC News Scares The Hell Out Of Everyone

December 4, 2008

Click = big

BBC News via Twitter reported six gunmen killed at India’s Delhi airport.

Above is a screensnap of the story the tweet linked to.

I immediately got on TweetGrid and from there followed a link to live NDTV video.

BBC News took a while to withdraw the report.

For a while there, everyone was scared shitless.

Revealing Book Statistics For eBooks

December 4, 2008

This post has two interesting statistics.

Who Should Publish My Book?

* More readers go to an author’s site (23 percent) for information than go to the publisher’s website (18 percent). The difference may not appear huge, but it certainly suggests that it is the author, not the publisher, who sells books. (Spier New York poll, 2006)

Emphasis added by me.

Do you know that the only time I wind up at a publisher’s site is when I can’t find a website for the writer? I have zero interest in the imprint (most of the time). I read writers, not publishers.

And this:

* Seventy-five percent of booksellers surveyed reported that the most important element of a book’s success is the look and design of the cover. In other words, readers don’t check to see who published the book. They buy because of the title, design, and compelling sales copy and testimonials on the back cover.

Emphasis added by me.

I’ve yelled about covers here and here and here and here and here.

Start to think about how important these statistics will become — and how they will change — as more writers give up on the dying dinosaurs of print and do direct-published eBooks.

— via Twitter from blogbooktours

You’re Fired! Now STFU And Deliver!

December 4, 2008


My Twitterstream is filled with shock horror and boo-hoo-hoo for all the people in print publishing who will soon be visiting the Unemployment Office.

Give me a break!

If these people are so smart, so in the know, let them all get together and form an eBook-only imprint to kick the shit out of their slow-moving and fearful former employers.

Revenge is the best antidote to being fired.

Now STFU and do it!

Should You Still Buy The Sony Reader 505?

December 4, 2008

I was asked by someone on Twitter yesterday if I still recommend the older model of Sony Reader, the 505.


Yes, I do.

If most of your reading will be of an entertainment, fiction nature and don’t have a need for Notes and Search, the 505 is perfect.

These are the major features the Sony Reader 700 offers that the 505 doesn’t:

– More speed: which really isn’t an issue for simple reading
– Touchscreen: again, really not required for reading
– Notes: useful for non-fiction
– Search: useful for non-fiction and studying
– Highlighting: unnecessary for fiction reading
– Stylus: for notes and highlighting
– Sidelighting: which is useful for reading in bed

The last issue — sidelighting — can be gotten around with a cheapie booklight or going expensive by purchasing the Sony light wedge cover.

The 505 still has important advantages over the abominable Kindle:

– PDF text reflow: which is in fact iffy depending on individual PDF
– eBook borrowing from public libraries: free reading!
– ePub capability: no file format lock-in

For those who have a Mac, there’s been some discussion in Comments (beginning here) about how to get around some issues for Mac owners. Alas, there’s still no way to force eBook library borrowing. I’m still screaming at Sony for a Mac OS X version of the eLibrary software. I don’t see how Sony can ignore the increasing market share of the Mac and the new competition from the iPhone.


I see the 700 as being two things:

1) A upgrade for 505 owners and a great start for new “power” readers
2) A step before the upcoming wireless model

Those who really want a Sony Reader yet pine for wireless can be best served with the 505. It’s a great introduction to eBooks with less expense than the 700.

Blog Notes: WordPress 2.7 At 8PM ET Tonight

December 4, 2008

I’ve already noted my reluctance for this switch.

I’ll shut down this blog at 7PM ET tonight.

When the switchover happens, I’ll do a bit of testing.

Your best bet is to monitor the backup blog at Blogger in case things have gone horribly wrong here and I can’t do any more posts with WordPress.