Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Open Thread

Today's an open thread day here at MGC. Ask your questions, give us your opinions, let us know if you've seen an interesting blog/article about the publishing industry. The floor is yours.

20 comments:

matapam said...

The End Of The World As We Know It.

What would be worse, every single publishing house going belly up, or just a single mega publisher surviving?

If you were King of the World, how would you rebuild the industry?

Anonymous said...

Just a thought on e-book promotion that recently worked with me. Not for me, mind you, but with me, as a reader.

I'd never read Kim Harrison's Witch series. I did pick up one of them a couple of years ago and then put it down for whatever reason and never got back to it. Honestly, I didn't find it all that interesting, and I just never made the effort to get back to it. I do still have the book around somewhere and thought I'd try again later. Sometimes, if I'm stressed, or hurried, or just getting to read in 10/15 minutes segments, a book that I would normally enjoy doesn't get a fair shake. She's an extremely popular fantasy writer, so I figured it must be one of these things causing my disinterest.

As you may remember, Steve got me a Nook for Christmas and I absolutely love it. I find myself reading faster and more. Barnes & Noble recently hosted a promotion by the publisher to get a free copy of Harrison's Dead Witch Walking. It was free, hey, and I could delete it if I didn't like it, so I downloaded it to give her books another chance.

And I freaking loved it. I don't know what the difference was. Maybe it was just this book. Maybe I'll hate the others. But I am definitely going to pay for at least one other book to see.

Did this promotion work with me? You betcha. Let's assume that this worked on at least one person in each American state. I'm taken for Florida, and that leaves 49 other states which makes 50 new readers off of a promotion that probably didn't cost the publisher much.

The book was already formatted...it's not like the publisher prepared this book just for these particular readers. With a hard copy book (as opposed to electronic), it would've actually cost the publishers money just to put that one copy of paper and ink into my hands. It was a "what the hell" thing...let's see if we can attract some new readers. And they got me. At least for one more book. And who knows? I might buy the rest of the series, preferably in e-book format.

I don't know if authors have any say in whether their books are offerred electronically, but when I get a book out there, I definitely want it available for e-readers. It does offer benefits.

Linda Davis

C Kelsey said...

matapam,

Neither. The worst thing would be TEOTWAWKI and none of our favorite authors being able to write ever again. AHHH!!


Linda,

I have notived when I read eBooks on my computer (just finished the Mission of Honor eARC) that I read much faster than I normally do if I'm sitting down and reading a book. I don't know why this is, but it just seems to be that way. And yes, I find that some books I couldn't stand in print form are great fun in e-form. In act, I have a favorite author whom I will only read in e-form. I shudder at reading that author in dead tree. Weird.

C Kelsey said...

If a flea bites a vampire, and then gets squished, does it come back as a squished vampire flea? If so, does it spread vampirism to other creatures? Could the plague be stopped?

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Chris,
You know Open Thread Day is not he same as when the teacher leaves the room for five minutes and all the kids go crazy???? LOL

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Matapam,

The big publishers seem to be gobbling up the successful small ones, but then there are lots of newly launched little publishers, trying their wings.

Could it be that successful Indy Press are run by a couple of dedicated people who burn out after devoting themselves to their dream and are happy to take a back seat after X years?

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Linda,

I must speak to my publishers about this phenomenon. I've heard of it before.

RJ_CruzeJr said...

(matapam -- I have this strange urge to sing "but I feel fine..." :-D)

Well, if that single publishing house was Baen, I'd be totally cool with it. After all, I'm sure Toni's read the "Evil Overlord" list, so we wouldn't have to worry about Baen falling into any of the pitfalls a more "traditional" publishing house would.

But think about it: every single book published from that moment on would be available through Webscriptions in a multitude of DRM-free formats, and at a reasonable price! Though, we'd have to get Arnold a good supply of well-trained minions -- possibly something along the lines of the Igors from Sir Pterry's "Discworld" series...

C Kelsey said...

Rowena,

LOL. Are you sure? I know Amanda would scalp me if I went into politics, but crazy's the new cool. Right? :P

Stephen Simmons said...

Not exactly a blog or article but ... I just got a letter back from the new indy publisher I submitted my first-ever longer-than-flash short story to, saying they're interested and will be sending me requested edits shortly. :)

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Congratulations, Stephen!!

Kate said...

The squishy vampire flea would need to do a lot of biting to vampirize anything much bigger than another flea.

Now a plague of vampire fleas... That could get nasty.

C Kelsey said...

Kate,

Nasty is putting it lightly assuming they could vampirize other critters... Short from immediately nuking the area, I don't know how you could stop the plague from going. For the record, yeah, I was wondering what would happen if Dan came home with fleas and they found Rae. No, I'm not even thinking about writing such a story.

Lin W said...

Weird about reading faster onscreen. I find it just the opposite. I can read a pb in a few hours, but onscreen it just drags.

I do a lot of research with old newspapers, and that is even worse! I can quickly scan (human, not computer!!!) a newspaper page and flip to the next one in about 20 seconds, marking what I want to go back to read in detail. On a screen it takes me closer to 20 minutes.

I have no idea why this is, either. Some weird way my brain is wired, I would guess.

Lin

Stephen Simmons said...

I had a GM who threw in a swarm of undead gnats, feeding off of the offal under a slaughterhouse ... my wife's character was nearly done in by a dozen undead chickens the gnats had vampirized ...

Stephen Simmons said...

Pam,

TEOTWAWKI ... the publishing equivalent of, "Now all restaurants as Taco Bell"?

Dave Freer said...

As an open thread mention I see Slow Train to Arcturus is out (I am sure last time I looked on Amazon it was scheduled after Easter). This is proabably my most serious attempt at 'real' (as in possible) science in sf about an area that fascinates me - space colonisation. (he said the c word. The PC pollies can now pounce screaming). Of course being me I wasn't prepared to leave it at that, so there might possibly be just a touch of satire there, and a story. Or even romance.

Dave Freer said...

Oh, congrats Stephen! Hope it leads to great things.

Dave Freer said...

Matapam -I am beginning to wonder if we don't need it all broken so we can start again. What about the idea of a PLR type system where internet usage costs x, which, less the actaul service provider costs, gets ascribed to sites you use? (Just to start the riot);-)

matapam said...

The owners of Facebook and LiveJournal would be rich, except that the owners of their access will scoop off a generous portion.

Sites such as Amazon.com would try to make shopping last just long enough to earn them more money without you giving up in frustration.

I think increasing the cost of the internet would guarantee a couple of pissed off generations, the young ones who know how it works and how to use it to get those nasty people who are trying to interrupt their world.

I think a monopoly situation would be the worst for the fiction publishing industry, but sans the erection of barriers to new companies, it would be short lived. Small independent presses selling though online stores and at first skipping the distributors and the brick and mortar stores would pop up quickly, IMO.