1. At 10:00 p.m. last night, I typed “THE END” on the first draft of Snow Queen. First draft is done!!! So, time to start reading and marking things up for rewrite #1.
2. HUGE thanks to everyone who suggested titles for Snow Queen. You had some wonderful ideas, and I’ve e-mailed my top picks as well as a few crowd favorites to my editor. I’ll let you know what I hear back.
3. Catherine Shaffer believes I should be smothered with a pillow in my sleep for writing “The Creature in Your Neighborhood.”
4. The CEO of Macmillan explains their side of the Amazon incident:
“This past Thursday I met with Amazon in Seattle. I gave them our proposal for new terms of sale for e books under the agency model which will become effective in early March. In addition, I told them they could stay with their old terms of sale, but that this would involve extensive and deep windowing of titles. By the time I arrived back in New York late yesterday afternoon they informed me that they were taking all our books off the Kindle site, and off Amazon.”
4b. Charlie Stross and Tobias Buckell offer two good essays on Amazon’s move.
4c. I don’t think I could offer anything more articulate than what’s already out there. But I did want to point out that my previous post has already generated one angry comment which reads, “will not be buy macmillan books. it is ridiculous to pay such a big price for virtual books. will look for other authors.”
Brilliant. Let’s punish the authors for something they have zero control over. But it’s a good reminder that most people are pretty ignorant about how the business works, and a lot of those people are going to see Amazon as some sort of hero standing up for cheap e-books.
4d. I was happy to find a short YouTube clip which I feel better captures Amazon’s attitude toward these negotiations. This is my first-ever attempt at embedding a YouTube clip, so my apologies if I mess it up.
January 31, 2010 @ 2:52 pm
Woot! so when is Snow Queen slated to come out?
January 31, 2010 @ 3:03 pm
I would never treat this type of thing as an absolute not to buy a book. Pricing is one of those things that the market corrects for itself. If they price too high, people will stop buying as many. If they price too low, they don’t recoup their costs. No matter what they set the ebook prices at, they’ll normalize soon enough.
I buy books when I can, but I’m going to do that no matter the cost. Well, and when my “to read” list gets under a meter in height. Obviously, with an ebook reader, it will never get more than 30-40 mm in height, but you can guess what I mean.
I already decided not to buy a Kindle. I’m an open-source person and I love hacking computers. My little n810 has FBReader and I like that, but I’d pay for a good quality, DRM-free ePub or open format file. I want to own my books, not lease them; and I simply don’t feel that Kindle provides that yet.
I think there are a lot of passionate people on both sides of this argument. I’m curious to see how it will iron itself out, mainly because I hope to have something published some day, but I feel that I’m not even a pawn in this specific game.
(BTW, you have a strange space in your reply fields on Firefox and Epiphany.)
January 31, 2010 @ 3:04 pm
BTW, gratz on getting the first draft done!
Jim C. Hines
January 31, 2010 @ 7:34 pm
No firm date yet, but I’m assuming some time in 2011.
Jim C. Hines
January 31, 2010 @ 7:36 pm
I do like the idea of an e-reader. I like the idea of a multi-purpose device even more. Unfortunately, at least for the moment, the budget only covers paper books.
Like you, I’m curious to see where this whole war ends up.
February 1, 2010 @ 8:38 pm
ZOMG. We have one of those scanners in CT!
I *so* want to come in to work in a bathrobe and do this…….
February 1, 2010 @ 8:40 pm
Wait… was the Scrubs clip not the point of your post?
February 1, 2010 @ 9:58 pm
I have to comment on topic 4c. You are right in the fact that most people do not know how the book industry works. But on the other hand not everyone on this list is an author or cares how it works. I have no idea how the industry works (learned a lot more with your posts though, they really do explain a lot) but the fact is it is about the end user with the ebooks. The end user looks at the price and decides to buy or not.
When people purchase a car they do not looks for how much goes in parts, or to the engineers or assembly or delivery, they just complain that they are overpriced and they will not be buying anything from that dealership.
When i don’t buy a CD or video game (Come on 65 bucks for COD Modern Warfare 2) I do not believe i am punishing the creator of such goods. After all if i decide due to Macmillion decision i will only buy them used from a second hand store so not the publisher or author makes a profit is that ignorant.
Now i conceed that punishing all Macmillion authors for their decision is not the greatest move, but we have ALL sworn we would never buy a product from a certain manufacturer before, and we all still do…hahahaha.
As always this is just my opinion right or wrong (my girlfriend has not ever read it and she already told me it was wrong).
Jim C. Hines
February 2, 2010 @ 8:17 am
Just remember to put it on YouTube when you’re done!
Jim C. Hines
February 2, 2010 @ 8:30 am
Sean — absolutely true that not everyone is an author. And I would have no problem with readers determining what is and isn’t a fair market price. I’d probably refer you to Tobias Buckell’s roundup, but I think it’s important to emphasize that this isn’t about cheap e-books.
Macmillan isn’t trying to jack the prices. They’re trying to negotiate with Amazon for the right to price their e-books between $5.99 and $14.99. A brand-new e-book might be in that $14.99 range, but after a while would likely drop below Amazon’s default $9.99 price. In other words, allowing readers more choice in what they’re willing to pay and when. (Much like some readers are willing to pay $24.99 for a new hardcover, whereas others — like me — tend to wait for the cheap mass market edition.)
It is the end user’s choice, and you have every right to choose what to buy and what not to. I’ve bought used books before, and I see nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, the people who look at this Amazon/Macmillan mess and decide “Authors and publishers are greedy, and I refuse to support them” piss me off.
Both publishers and Amazon want to make money. Publishers want to do it by pricing their books in such a way that they turn a profit. Amazon appears to want to do it by becoming a monopoly.
Authors, well, we want to make money too — but we have absolutely no control over most of this stuff. Yet there’s a fair amount of commentary out there about rich, greedy authors trying to prevent readers from getting cheap e-books. (Check the Amazon Kindle discussion forums.) That’s where the “boycott ’em!” approach most pisses me off. Followed closely by those who buy into Amazon’s “Oh, we’re just trying to protect our customers,” line.