Category Archives: Ebooks

Publishers and booksellers stuff it up

In a sense, all of my life I have been a publisher. Books, magazines what have you. And I have dealt with booksellers albookshop1l my life. (I originally headed this article ‘Booksellers stuff it up’ but, in fact it is publishers and booksellers.
I have never agreed with the popular image that they are intelligent, thoughtful, cultural souls who have the interests of the public at heart. Indeed, I would argue strongly against that image.
Let us take one simple fact.
When Sir Allen Lane first launched Penguins in Britain no bookshop would stock them. They did not think they would sell and, frankly dear, they were somewhat common. It was the wife of the buyer at Woolworth’s who Continue reading Publishers and booksellers stuff it up

Writing answers all ills

henriette KlauserEven in these dog day days when we are in a festal season and the living is easy I still write. I still, in truth I write every day. I like writing. It is for me a hobby, a solace, and a form of friendly comfort. I need no other reason for writing. I use a keyboard. This time i am hammering away on a Lexmark (perhaps the best keyboard ever made) but, in truth, anything keyboard will do that comes to hand.
I started with a an Underwood that you hammered if you wanted a result and progressed upwards.
What I did not do was handwrite.
My handwriting, is to be polite, appalling. It is a matter of great pleasure to me that I have a son who has handwriting, that is, if that were possible, worse.
Continue reading Writing answers all ills

You want to be an author?

There is a most excellent article by David Carnoy (seen here)  on self-publishpubplus1ing a book: 25 things you need to know. In it is a small error where he refers to ‘critics’ as ‘crickets’ but otherwise it is totally brilliant and, certainly from the Australian perspective, right on the mark. The USA may be different but I doubt it.
He went the traditional route. Worked on it for several year, got an agent. And got nowhere. The book was possibly publishable. Carnot could not find a publisher.
So he though why not try self-publishing? Here he sums up the situation with great accuracy: ‘What I found was a mine-field with roads that forked in every direction and very few clear answers.

Continue reading You want to be an author?

Amazon v Hachette Round 2

Kindle1Steve Dent writing in Engadget brings us up-to-date on the Amazon and Hachette punch up. And it is a punch up. More than the little tiff — unless he was being ironic –that Steve Dent refers to.  Much is at stake.
Simply put Amazon wants to sell all ebooks at $10 a pop or less.
Hachette thinks the prices should be set according to the title and the author. And Hachette want s more of the money. Two sides fighting to control a massive market.
Continue reading Amazon v Hachette Round 2

Free books exist but be careful

fb3If you cannot get a publisher to publish your books could you let your books be sold — wrong word but it will do — by a publisher, a web-site offering free books. I know there exists a concept called Vanity publishing where you pay to have your book published. A concept I cannot understand.
This is a new world to me except in the case of Gutenberg and after freely exploring the sites I had a hot shower.

Continue reading Free books exist but be careful

Copyright and the new calibre

Possibly I have written too much about calibre but it is such an amazing program that it kovidcries out for attention. The man responsible is Kovid Goyal and it is impossible to overestimate the difference he and his unpaid voluntary team have made to ebooks.
Note that in a sense this new edition of calibre possibly appeals very much to us of the criminal underclasses.
I joined that select band after I left my regiment, the 1st Foot and Mouth Deserters, and found myself in publishing., the only industry that would have me.

Continue reading Copyright and the new calibre

Kindle: Thanks for the memory

Kindle4GB Kindle has quietly – no drums, no bugles – increased the capacity of its amazing Kindle PaperWhite (I have only just caught on to the fact that is a pun on paper weight. Or perhaps it is nothing of the sort.) The Kindle originally had 2GB of memory. When various odds and sods were added it came to 1.5GB which you can think of as 1,000 books. Who wants to carry 1,000 books around with them. No one. So taking it up to 4GB is a major move which benefits who? I am simply not sure.
Continue reading Kindle: Thanks for the memory

Print is not dead, not yet

Belshazzars-FeastDifficult to speak for other countries but in Australia the decline and decline of printed newspapers shows no sign of letting up. Roy Morgan Research yesterday released its latest Print Readership and Cross-Platform Audience results for Australian newspapers for the year to June 2014.
Printed newspapers with one exception were down. But what the newspapers lose in print readership they more than made up online. In Australia electronic newspapers are expanding. As is the world of e-books.
Continue reading Print is not dead, not yet

Kindle PaperWhite near perfect

paperwhiteIn an earlier post this appeared: “Boingboing has an article entitled “I Am in Love with my Kindle Paperwhite” which is a well-written — it is BoingBoing after all — and accurate piece on the better screen Kindle. The author of the article is Jason Weisberger who is also the publisher of BoingBoing so we are talking heavy metal.
I was so impressed by what Jason Weisberger had written that I immediately bought a Kindle Paperwhite.
Continue reading Kindle PaperWhite near perfect