Book technology, printing, Polaroid film...

mjp

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Well, okay. If the complaint is money though, I would think another format to sell would be a welcome thing.

But I know you can be very successful in that genre and make zero money. A guy used to work for me doing a $10/hr tech support job but he had 30 science fiction books published with one of the major publishers in that field. There were fan sites about him and everything, and he was flat broke.
 

Rekrab

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Over 1000 posts
Money may be at the heart of it but I think the psychological attachment to the book as a tangible sign of accomplishment is a big part of it as well. Kind of like if they gave actors digital Oscars instead of the golden statues -- would it feel as good? She's no dummy and in the end may go along with ebook publication just for the money, but it won't sit well with her. This is just me guessing -- I don't know anything about Kiernan other than having read some of her stuff.

Can you tell us who the SF author is that worked for you? That's pathetic. Readers assume their favorite authors are raking in the dough, and it's seldom true.
 

mjp

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Can you tell us who the SF author is that worked for you? That's pathetic. Readers assume their favorite authors are raking in the dough, and it's seldom true.
I knew someone would ask, but it was 15 years ago and I don't remember his name, sorry. I may be able to find it though.
 

Stavrogin

Over 1000 posts
If the complaint is money though, I would think another format to sell would be a welcome thing.
Been thinking of all this from the standpoint of a reader but the ebook route may prove to be more profitable for the author. Will use a random book recently published as an example: The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago. Amazon lists the hardcover with the marked down price $16.32 (list price $24.00). The Kindle edition can be had at a price of $9.99. If I understand correctly the author is paid on average an 8-10% royalty on hardcover sales and an average of 25% royalty paid for digital sales. 10% of 16.32 = 1.63. 25% of $9.99 = $2.49. If the digital way proves to be more profitable for the author then I can't help but be for it. If the masses eventually do opt for this method there's also the hopeful possiblity that niche markets will be created to feed the demand for those that wish the standard book form. I'll personally never own a Kindle (I like the look of full shelves) but if the author finds greater profit with its use it's difficult to argue fault with it.
 

Rekrab

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Maybe this explains why I'm always broke, but I'd rather have any percent of hardcover sales than any other percent of digital sales. Digital publication holds zero appeal to me, as a writer. There is no attraction. Even if it means I get read by a million people instead of 20. No appeal. But I realize most writers are motivated by money, among other things, and they'll do well with that math.

To me, ebook publication would be like getting paid to blog. Nice, I guess, but I still have no interest. I'm hardwired for paper on ink.
 

Rekrab

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Of course, I'm exaggerating a bit. If I were offered a deal with 1,000 hardcovers and a digital edition, I'd take that. I'm not stupid (well, maybe a little stupid...). It wouldn't have to be a hardcover. Trade paperback or mass market paperback or flimsy pamphlet would do. But I'd have to have that hardcopy to be happy.

If in ten years I'm living in a mansion thanks to digital downloads, you can remind me that I'm full of shit.
 

bospress.net

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<paranoia>
When the power grid is disrupted and we spend YEARS without any electricity (Which I am convinced will actually happen), paper books will be all that we have. Of course, non-spoiled food and basic security will still be more important that reading anyway. When we are gone from the face of the earth and a future society finds our wealth of knowledge, it will be in paper books in paper libraries.

99.99% of this knowledge will be cookbooks, self help books and awful novels, but at least they will find something.
</paranoia>

As far as digital sales. What about digital piracy? Will books go the way of music where most people do not pay for it, they just download it? Will they start selling a patch for the Kindle out of China that will illegally download any book at no fee? Sure, they can always pirate a book, but unless it is a MAJOR seller, I can see no profitable reason to do it. I can imagine that it is VERY easy to pirate a digital book. If it is not easy now, just wait a year...

Bill
 

Stavrogin

Over 1000 posts
If in ten years I'm living in a mansion thanks to digital downloads, you can remind me that I'm full of shit.
No, Rekrab, I understand where you are coming from with the comment you are hardwired for paper on ink. So am I. I'll elbow the likes of Stickpin and LickTheStar outta the way to get your next book but if you made a better profit with it via digital I'd not begrudge those sales. :smile:
 

Rekrab

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[snipping my own quote here] ... If I were offered a deal with 1,000 hardcovers and a digital edition [...] If in ten years I'm living in a mansion thanks to digital downloads [...]
Yeah, like that's likely to happen. Pardon my delusions of grandeur.
 

Rekrab

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Over 1000 posts
Bill,

Where's the paranoia quote from? It sounds almost like something I've said, but not quite.

Digital does lend itself to both piracy and plagiarism. You can bet if you publish in digital form or post your work on the Web, somebody somewhere will repost it claiming they wrote it. I've seen fools take credit for having "created" (stolen) material from published books by well known authors.

As you know, there have been piracies of printed books for decades, coming mostly out of China and Taiwan, but digital just makes it so much easier, and then, like you say, the Kindle and other readers no doubt can be hacked and the ebooks distributed free. Physical books take more work and up front cost to pirate. And I'd rather be pirated in print than published in digital form.
 

mjp

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Piracy (wait, what is this, the RIAA?) shouldn't be a concern. Digital media is always going to be stolen. But the fact is, the vast majority of the people who "steal" your digital media weren't going to buy it anyway, so it's kind of a moot point. Millions of people use Photoshop, for example, but only a few hundred thousand of them actually pay for it. If you made it impossible to steal Photoshop, the people who use black market copies would just move along to something else they could get for free. They would not get out their credit cards and pay Adobe $800 or whatever the hell Photoshop costs these days.

My first job on the internet was doing support for a guy who wrote a few different programs, the most popular of which was an html generator. He made the registration process so difficult and problematic that he ran his own paying customers away (and put me out of a job), rather than just forget about the cracked copies of his software floating around. I tried to reason with him that those knuckleheads weren't going to buy the shit if they couldn't use it for free, but he didn't accept that. And his company died.

And if you think "illegal" MP3s are killing the recording industry, think again. They make boatloads of money from legit download sales, more than enough to offset the all-but-dead CD market. They still go to maniacal and psychotic extremes to track down illegal downloads, and those kinds of actions are going to eventually kill them, just like they killed the html program company I worked for back in 94 and 95. You can't have a hostile, combative relationship with the public for long and still expect to sell shit to them.

As for someone taking credit for your work, who cares. So some knob on some obscure web site that only 10 people are ever going to see says he wrote your story. Big deal.
 

Gerard K H Love

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I bought my wife a Sony Reader for her birthday last week and it's perfect for people who read the best sellers. We paid for her latest book The Girl Who Played With Fire: The Millenium-series (Book 2).
 

Stavrogin

Over 1000 posts
I doubt your wife will lend out the Sony to friends or co-workers as she might a book. Random shit this but profitability potential (even allowing for piracy of some degree) for a writer is far greater simply due to the new mechanics of distribution amongst readers after the books are purchased. If I had a Kindle filled up with the latest bestsellers I'm sure as fuck not lending out my Kindle for others to read. But books often do get passed around till they are tattered out. One purchase and 10+ people have essentially freeloaded. You wanna read Koontz on my Kindle? Fuck you! Buy your own Kindle ya freeloader! Okay, time for a nap.
 

Rekrab

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Over 1000 posts
All true, mjp. I used to run into that a lot -- registration procedures that were so difficult I gave up and decided I didn't need whatever it was I was trying to buy -- but less so now. Maybe companies have figured that out.

Speaking of piracy, there are a number of companies that sell print on demand editions of older books now in the public domain -- entirely legal and ethical, but there's at least one company that's offering POD copies of damned near any book they can get their hands on, including works first published in the 1950s, 60s, even 70s, that are still protected by copyright. They seem to think that if it's out of print, it's fair game. Their legal stance (such as it is) is that if they have violated any one's copyright, the owner of the material can complain and maybe they'll stop. I hope they get their asses sued. I forget the name of this company, but they are scum, and ABE is cluttered with their shoddy offerings. If you do a search now on ABE for just about any old book, you get listings for 100 POD copies from a dozen companies, and maybe a few old editions from traditional publishers. I wish ABE had a filter for POD crap. Some of these listings warn you of blurred pages, missing pages, garbage OCR text, etc. Like they know it's junk but they're still asking $43 for it.
 

bospress.net

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One day they will piss off one author or one major publisher and they will get sued out of existence. The argument that they assume that it is OK to reprint a copyrighted book unless the author complains will not hold up. I know that this is Google's stance, but that will not hold up either. It is really very easy to figure out if a book written in the 50's is public domain. The answer is that it IS NOT in public domain, unless the author specifically relinquished his copyright (which d.a. levy did and Brautigan did on at least one book, but very few authors do). I believe that in the US, it is 70 years from the author's death. Assuming that the author was alive in the 50's when the book was published, then it is impossible that it is in public domain.

Also, If the author is long dead, but the book is republished, the new publisher owns the copyright to the specific book, but not the title. They can add a foreword and then the book, as they printed it is their copyright, but you could always go back to an earlier edition and use that as your source and you would not be violating their copyright. I have heard that some publishers that specialize in reprint titles (like Dover books, who sells Poe, Twain, etc for $1 in horribly cheap paperbacks) may actually change or add a word, which then makes their printing copyrightable. Anyone copying that book with the added word would violate their copyright.


Bill

also, some authors die without a publisher, executor, or heirs to guard the copyright. This would mean that there would be no one with legal standing to sue you for publishing their work, but it would technically be illegal.
 

Rekrab

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Everything you said jibes with the stuff I've read on copyright, Bill. That POD company (I forget their name) deserves to be driven out of business by law suits.

I didn't know that about Dover "Thrift Editions". It's incredible they can put out the books, sell them as cheaply as they do and still make a profit. I can see adding a new preface and copyrighting that edition, but changing a word here or there seems meaningless -- what intellectual property can that be? But if it works for them in court, I'm sure they'll do it. One thing I like about Dover is that their paperbacks often have sewn bindings, not glued. They hold up well with use.
 

Rekrab

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Over 1000 posts
This just in:

"New digital recordings [...] are at risk of being lost much faster than older ones on tape and many are already gone, according to a study on sound released Wednesday.

Even recent history [...] is at risk because digital sound files can be corrupted, and widely used CD-R discs only last three to five years before files start to fade [...].

"I think we're assuming that if it's on the Web it's going to be there forever [...]. "That's one of the biggest challenges."

[...]

Digital files are a blessing and a curse. Sounds can be easily recorded and transferred and the files require less and less space. But the problem [...] is they must be constantly maintained and backed up by audio experts as technology changes. That requires active preservation, rather than simply placing files on a shelf [...]"

Here's the whole article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_endangered_digital_recordings
 

Rekrab

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Over 1000 posts
"The reader, available in black, white and silver and white and purple..." Well that makes all the difference. Sudden I have to have a white and silver reader. Imagine how cool it will be to be seen reading from a thing that looks like an Etch-A-Sketch. Better than sitting in a cafe with a beat up copy of ON THE ROAD.
 

justine

stop the penistry
Over 1000 posts
The Death of the Book has been Greatly Exaggerated

Here's the reality this kind of hype is up against: back of the envelope calculations suggest that ebooks are only six percent of the total market for new books.

How can that be possible, when Amazon recently said that ebooks are outselling hard-cover books at Amazon.com? Easy: Amazon is only 19 percent of the total book market. Also, Amazon has something like 90 percent of the world's ebook market.
 

Gerard K H Love

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I think when we order books they are first downloaded into our computer and then transferred to her reader. So, Stavrogin, our friends could get the file from our hard drive, unless there are built in safe guards. In reality, most people would not think to ask.
 
Books VS Kindle (Ipad)

I love to get cozy in my bed and read a great book...mostly Bukowski;). Books are getting throwing away by the thousands. Their value has really gone down in the new digital age. I believe in the future books are going to be more valuable, because there will be so few left.
People don't want to carry their heavy books around, especially if they have to move.

The Kindle and Ipad can fit 1000's of book in it. They are light and easy to carry. It's not the same to get cozy in bed and turn on your book.

What's your thoughts?

Here's a video about recycling book.
 

nervas

more crickets than friends
Over 1000 posts
The Kindle and Ipad can fit 1000's of book in it. They are light and easy to carry. It's not the same to get cozy in bed and turn on your book.

What's your thoughts?
I can't tell if your for it or against it?

[strike]Anyway, you should probably check this thread out...[/strike] (merged, ed.)
 

Gerard K H Love

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I just bought my wife the Sony Reader and so far it's fine. Two books $18.00 so far and it remains to be seen what I really think about it.

She likes it.
 

Mark73

Over 500 posts
I took part in a contest to win an Ipad a few days ago. If I get the chance to have one of them for free, why not, but I wouldn't buy one for myself.

Wish me luck so that I can be hip.
 
Thanks for merging the threads. I love to read. Being from Russia, having a book got me through some hard times to allow me escape my environment.
 

mjp

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"Fall of Giants" is a 1,008-page novel...

Someone needs an editor.
 
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Stavrogin

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Do authors with a wide readership even listen to editors? One of the biggest fiascos in recent memory is the out-of-control bloated "squeeze the last coin out of the cash cow's teat" fantasy series known as The Wheel of Time. I think I read the 1st 6 books and gave up on it - no ending in sight and page after page after page of fluff and puff drivel (padding I think they call it in some circles). That was back in the mid-90s. The author croaked in 2007 after the 11th book was published and other writers have continued the series. Poor editors are probably ignored when they are needed most.
 
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