Archive for the ‘NYPL’ category

Reference: Public Libraries And eBooks

December 27, 2008

The fine folks over at MobileRead have put together a wiki for public libraries that offer eBooks.

I live in New York City, so I don’t have to pay the $100/year fee to get an NYPL card.

Suck it up, baby!

Besides, for that $100 fee, you are competing against my domestic borrowing rights!

I hate you for doing that. You know that, don’t you?

UK’s The Do-Not Press On Hold

November 29, 2008

donotpresslogo

As you’ll soon see, The Do-Not Press I hold in very high regard. It’s been a long while since I’ve been to their website. Something made me go today and I was very disturbed to see this:

donotpressnotice

The Do-Not Press introduced me to Ken Bruen, via The Hackman Blues they published:

hackmanbluescover

That cover had to be the most-successful publisher branding I’ve ever encountered.

I found Bruen on the shelves of the New York Public Library. And because The Do-Not Press published all of its crime fiction in that distinctive blue wrapper with red-dot logo, their books stood out on the shelves and I was also introduced to the works of the late John B. Spencer.

Unfortunately, whoever bought those books at the NYPL must have left because there were never any others from The Do-Not Press (this despite my repeated requests for them!). And since it’s a UK publisher, distribution in the U.S. was just about non-existent.

Now they seem to have nearly closed-up shop, no doubt another victim of all the book publishing turmoil going on in England.

Well I have a word of advice, Do-Not Press: eBooks!!!

I want to buy all your crime fiction, dammit. I trust your brand and I’m certain I’d love every word you’ve published.

Why don’t you and some other hard-pressed small publishers get together, hire someone to figure out eBooks and ePub for you, format all your print books into ePub eBooks, and then start selling them to eager people like me me me?!

And see if you all can make the case to the parasite agents and their blessed writers to do it at a sensible price.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #224: eBooks NOW!

September 23, 2008

Bloomberg Asks City Agencies To Cut $500M From Budget

From schools to police to the fire department, New York City agencies have been told to sharpen their budget axes.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked city agencies to cut $500 million from their budgets this year and $1 billion next year, a high-ranking city official tells News 4 New York. Bloomberg asked his commissioners to make deep cuts in the city budget in response to the Wall Street financial crisis.

“The credit crunch which began over a year ago has worsened, and has led to increasingly serious losses on Wall Street,” the letter that the mayor’s budget director Mark Page sent to city all agencies said. “Hopefully the recent market extremes will run their course sooner rather than later. However, the institutional and market changes in the finance sector are likely to reduce employment and taxable revenue from this sector well into the future. This will hurt New York City because of our reliance on tax receipts from this sector of our local economy. The generally worsening outlook for the national and international economies is also likely to affect our revenue.”

It’s not in the web story, but I just heard it on the televised report.

This year: $8 million cut from public libraries.

Next year: $16 million cut from public libraries.

Don’t scoff at that.

New York City’s public libraries are packed during economic hard times. That’s where people go to access the Internet they can no longer afford at home. That’s where they create and email their resumes. That’s where they look up business information to target their resumes.

Ironically, during these times when public libraries are needed more than ever, they get their budgets slashed and that translates into fewer days open and fewer open hours per day.

Come to New York City during this budget strangling and you will see lines outside the main libraries before opening that rival the Apple Store.

Sony Reader U.K. Coverage

September 4, 2008

They still haven’t cracked the ebook

Jostling for space on the crowded platform at Farringdon tube station last night, I was deliberating over which of my preloaded ebooks to read on my Sony Reader when the unthinkable happened – I was approached by a fellow commuter, a jovial-looking businessman.

“Is that it?” he asked. “Wow.” He was planning to get one today, when it goes on sale in 205 Waterstone’s branches. The £199 price tag didn’t bother him – the Reader ebook would be “ever so handy” for all the travelling he has to do.

It happened again at Edgware Road, when the middle-aged woman I was sitting next to wanted to find out more about the device. Her husband has poor eyesight, and was keen to get one because you can zoom in on the text.

Sony Reader PRS-505 – eBook Reader (Trusted Reviews)

It must have been CES 2007 that I first played with the Sony eBook reader. I remember spending far too much time fondling and playing with the device on the Sony stand, when I really should have been traipsing the show floor looking for scoops. But even more vividly do I remember coming back home and requesting a sample from Sony, only to be told that there were no plans to launch the device in the UK. I was therefore surprised, but very pleased in July when Sony announced that it would be launching its latest eBook reader this side of the pond.

Random hosts e-book exhibition

Random House is hosting a virtual exhibition about e-books and e-book readers in social networking site Second Life to coincide with the launch of the Sony Reader.

Publishers rally for Sony launch

Publishers are ratcheting up their digital promotions to coincide with the launch of the Sony Reader in the UK. Waterstone’s m.d. Gerry Johnson said that preorders for the device, which finally went on sale at its stores today (4th September), were “comfortably in the thousands”. E-books will be available to download from Waterstone.com from midday today, so far the site lists about 3,500 fiction titles, and far fewer non-fiction e-books, with discounts of 20%.

The one dimensional Reader

Publishers’ intentions to keep e-book prices at parity to its physical counterpart may be a good idea for them to avoid rampant discounting but it’s not great for the humble consumer. To pay near enough £200 for a device and then fork out more money to add books I already own to it? Not exactly fair.

That last quote I must address. I stopped buying printed books a few years back. I could no longer deal with the bulk and weight for moving. I’ve been using the New York Public Library (and sometimes paying fines through the nose!). So I don’t have a collection of recent book purchases to replace. My eBook purchases would all be brand new, even though I’ve already read them. That’s my advice for all of you thinking of eBooks: stop buying printed books right now. Use your public library to read. Then you can start an eBook collection fresh.

Note To Self: Does NYPL Have Cops?

August 21, 2008

This came over Twitter via Drudge Report and my eyes bulged:

And yes, it’s frikkin true!

Book Her, Dan-O
Wisconsin woman, 20, arrested for two overdue library volumes

I mean, WTF?!

We have an Administration that has violated the law, the Constitution, and every benchmark of common sense — if not sanity — and we have police arresting a girl who works two jobs and never got around to setting her library fines straight?!!?

Is there anyone in charge of things in this country who can still fucking think?!!?

Previously here:

I’ll Have To Surrender My Frikkin Spleen

I’ll Have To Surrender My Frikkin Spleen

June 18, 2008

The Library Police are after me:

Library records show the following item(s) overdue. If you have returned them, please excuse this notice. Otherwise, please return them as soon as possible to avoid increasing fines.
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
[redacted]

At notice printing you have 3 items overdue.
Outstanding balance = $54.00

Books. Nothing. But. Books!

Videos? No!

CDs? No!

Loose librarianettes? Hell no!

Just. Frikkin. Books!

But the joke is on them: My spleen has been gone for decades!

(Law of Compensation: Hence my entire body is now one big spleen.)

Writer Richard Herley Gets Bad News

May 20, 2008

Teleread chronicles it:

March 6, 2008
Well-regarded U.K. writer Richard Herley offering The Penal Colony and other novels as shareware

“As far as I know, I am one of the first mainstream writers to adopt this publishing model. It somewhat recalls an earlier age, when the arts were supported by patronage and subscription; in operation it is indistinguishable from the modern model of shareware.

“I believe this is a better way of funding authorship: the conventional model is inefficient, bad for authors and new writing, and unduly expensive for readers.”

May 13, 2008:
Share the ware but not the wealth? Nonpaying readers dash U.K. novelist Richard Herley’s shareware hopes

So what are the results of the experiment after three months? Despite 11,000 downloads of The Penal Colony and other titles, Richard got paid by a mere 25 people for 89 books.

May 20, 2008:
No Free Lunch Department: U.K. novelist Richard Herley takes shareware book site down

Richard Herley, a prize-winning U.K. writer of such lively books as The Penal Colony, hoped that the shareware model would work for his novels. It didn’t, at least not as he saw it.

Now he’s taken RichardHerley.com down and disabled the related e-mail address since he doesn’t consider the hassles to be worth it.

I doubt he will ever read this post, but still.

Richard, you have just made a big mistake.

This is the year ebooks will really begin to take off.

Next month Apple will open its AppStore for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Things will be exploding on the ebook front as e-reading software is offered for those devices.

Suddenly, millions and millions of people who otherwise were never exposed to ebooks in an easy way will have a chance to experience them.

What you’ve done is started a race and the fog on the track has obscured the Finish Line for you and so you’ve given up. Ignore the goddam fog! It will pass.

When you began as a writer, did you expect instant success? (Please dear god be one of the realistic ones who replies No!)

Then why should you expect anything different when acting basically as your own publisher?

Forget that figure of 11,000 distributed. That really is meaningless.

In fact, I’m shocked that the figure is so damned low. (And no, you do not get to claim torrents; those too are meaningless, unless you’ve done a movie.)

How did you promote this new move of yours? Did you try to get the attention of mainstream media? Did you try to get on radio talk shows to spread the word? Did you distribute any press release? What did you do other than the equivalent of dumping a bunch of books on a street corner with a handscrawled sign declaring, “Please take and pay if you read it and like it”?

Hell yes I’m coming down hard on you.

Because your action is going to influence others!

I never got to your site, so I can’t comment on that. I don’t know what it was like or what you were doing there or how often you updated it. Was it anything like John Scalzi’s site? Or was it more a promotional vehicle that lacked a personal touch? (Oh, I could name names, but then I’d never be able to face some of the writers I list here!)

Christ, man, what were you in it for? Giving up after three months?! What the hell is that?

Do you know how far behind I am personally in my own reading? Part of it is because I’m not yet doing ebooks. Rothman has educated me on the evils of DRM and lock-in file formats and I’ve seen too many teleread people comment on their ebook investments being lost. And I can’t buy any more print books because it’s been hellish just packing and transporting what I already have during moves. So I’ve been using the New York Public Library — where I’ve now got a collection of fines about the cost of two hardcover books.

I looked you up at the NYPL (where I turn first when I’m interested in a writer). Let’s see:

Um … you’re not there. Why not? (Don’t scream “Go to the next screen!” at me. The next screen begins with Herlianey!)

I go to amazon (my backup lookup, but I really should use bn.com, dammit). The results are not happy. Out of print in the U.S.?

Well, that’s even worst news. Imagine if you’d gotten — let me go temporarily insane here — 250,000 copies distributed and 25,000 people who paid.

Do you realize how much money you would have also lost? Because those ebook readers wouldn’t have been able to go to a store to buy a printed copy to give to their non-ebook reading friends.

And if you had gotten that hypothetical distribution and paying result, do you think it would have impressed a major print publisher? You’d have been pissed on as either a fluke or seen as a minor-leaguer. (“Wait. You tell us you’ve won awards and you could only sell how many?”)

You say you’re sitting on a thriller. For Christ’s sake man, get back in the game and release that.

Speaking personally, looking at the descriptions of your past work, most of it doesn’t appeal to me. Stone age people? Historical dramas? Uh, no.

But a thriller, a mystery?

Learn the lesson that Tom Piccirilli did:

I’ve been a horror writer since I was twenty-one or so. And despite having written in just about every genre across the board, I always felt like a capitalized HORROR WRITER who just dabbled in those other fields. I’ve never quite understood those authors who only write in a single genre. I would think that most authors are inherent readers who read widely throughout all the breadth of literature. Since I read a little of everything, it’s only natural that I write a little of everything. One of the reasons why we do what we do is because we want to impress ourselves upon the grand annals of the fiction that we enjoy so much. You read a book that amazes and awes you, and you think, I want to do this too, I need to become a part of this thing.

But over the past couple of years I’ve drifted further and further away from the core genre I always felt most attached to.

The older I’ve gotten the less interest I’ve had in writing fantastical work and the more I’ve turned toward realistic fiction. Now I think I’ve actually become a CRIME WRITER, or maybe better put, A WRITER OF DARK AUTHENTIC STORIES, THE SHIT THAT MIGHT HAPPEN, THE SHIT THAT DOES HAPPEN.

He’s a damned good writer with many books behind him (read his other blog entries).

Out of all of that work over all of those years, how did I happen to finally find him? By one of his few crime fiction novels. And what sealed the deal was that Ken Bruen wrote an introduction to it. (Ken Bruen was the one who introduced me to crime fiction; I never considered reading it before I came upon his The Hackman Blues. I thought anything with the label Mystery was the stereotypical drawing room mystery; as dull as most of the “mysteries” American TV has presented under that label.)

So that thriller? Get it the hell out there. It could the one that saves you.

Get your website back up. Keep pounding at it. Don’t let the site look like a “I’ll do it when I feel like it” whim. If you are serious about staying a writer, get serious about your future. Ignore the print publishers. They haven’t a clue (just ask Rothman!).

Dickens, Balzac, Poe, Nerval, Dostoyevsky and many others would have jumped at the chance to liberate themselves from print publishers. You live in an age they never imagined. Are you going to pass up such an incredible chance?

Get back in. Do it now!

Previously here:

Writer Harlan Coben Shares His Favorite Link Ever
Orson Scott Card Rips J.K. Rowling
Quote: J.D. Rhoades
Quote: Ken Bruen
More Words About One Thousand True Fans
J.K. Rowling Trial Ends
M. Dylan Raskin: The Curse Of The Writer
Reference: Author Magazine
J.K. Rowling Is In NYC For Her Silly Lawsuit
Warren Ellis Twists My Dendrites
Mark Billingham: Writer, Crime Victim
Harlan Coben: Writer’s Perspective
Quote: Warren Ellis (Again)
Writers Don’t Fear The Future: Publishers Do!
Red Room: Social Net For Writers
Quote: Warren Ellis
Quote: Jean Rhys
More On The 1KTF Matter
When One Thousand Means Over Fifty Thousand
Harlan Ellison (Again)
I’m Infecting You
Self-Published Ebook = DIY Or Vanity?
A Spirit That Can Conquer The World
Self-Confidence Vs. Self-Delusion
More Writers Getting Screwed
Iain Banks Interviewed
Defensive Pessimism: Part Of The Real Secret
Quotes: Benn Jordan
Edgar, The Fount
Quote Fight
Quote: J.K. Rowling
Quote Goodness
A Quote To Learn From
You Go, Ringo!
Harlan Ellison
Why Don’t More People Read?
More About Trent Reznor And Saul Williams
Hollywood’s Worst Nightmare: Obsolescence
DIY Book Marketing
The New School: Saul Williams Vs. Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor Meets Real Life And Weeps
Print Publishing Is In Self-Destruct Mode: eBook S.O.S.
Writers: Laugh Last, Laugh Best
Video Vitamins For Our Souls
Who’s Flogging Their Work Online?