I happily ended November with six more ebook sales for Alamo and Knoxville—including twice as many of the latter. Which brings that one to a total of 91 since its first month in April, 2010—finally edging in on breaking even for the cost of ebook formatting.
Hardly bestseller material here, these single-digit sales months. Haven’t had a double-digit month since 15 sold back in April. Record still 27 for Knoxville alone in August 2010, thanks to a plug from power-blogger Instapundit. It’s a nice lunch-money hobby, however.
Thanks to all my loyal readers, including those who promised reviews at Amazon but haven’t gotten around to it. Several have good excuses, including one in San Antonio who’s seriously ill. Best wishes to him, of course, for a recovery soon.
Still in the works: polishing a Vietnam War novel which loyal-reader Snoopy was kind enough to read and criticize, finishing a Civil War digital regimental still in blog form, and writing a memoir about growing up in the Cold War.
War-Is-Us, obviously. One of these days I may do something different. Meanwhile, coupled with new violin lessons and full-time parenting, I’m busier than before I retired.
Used to be that Microsoft was the bugbear of all right-thinking Web users and little Apple the oh, so righteous darling. Well, when it comes to ebooks, Apple is no longer little and certainly not righteous.
Comes a lawsuit that’s been long overdue, arguing that Apple is colluding with traditional publishers (HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster) to keep ebook prices artificially high. It’s been quite noticeable for a long time now at Amazon, when a paperback sells for $8 or $9 and an ebook for $16. Time to take a big righteous bite out of the wormy Apple.
Via Kindle Review.
This is a wonderful hard science fiction story, marred only by occasional repetition (characters show tension so often by running their hands through their hair that I finally decided they all needed a change of shampoo) and, in the Kindle edition, at least, enough typos, misspellings, and grammar mistakes to make an honest proofreader turn to drink.
Seriously, folks, the $6.99 price is just right, the story very surprising and well done, but the publisher (Little, Brown and Company) should be ashamed for this many text errors in one file. I suppose they consider the ebook a throwaway, which is remarkably shortsighted, even for a mainstream book publisher stupidly wedded to paper in the face of rising ebook sales. It’s also a pity because author Sarah Zettel deserves praise and respect for her intriguing tale of machine intelligence run amok.
But no reader deserves to have to wade through so many mistakes in a text, particularly in the last half of the story. I was constantly trying to decide which word or tense was intended. Even the characters’ names are repeatedly misspelled. Not even a homicidal AI would be so cruel!
Borders, it seems, is on the financial ropes. Stuck with stock it can’t unload and, so far, uncompetitive on ebooks. Will they be missed? Says Megan McArdle, not much:
“In the good old days of local bookstores, I frequently went without books that I knew I wanted, because it was such a pain in the butt to order them. Now if I know I want to read a book, I can do so in short order. Ultimately, this is a bigger boon than the occasional undiscovered gem–particularly since there are still libraries.”
Like me, she prefers the almost-instant Internet acquisition of a book you know you want via something like the Kindle, something no bookstore can match. Yet. If they want to survive, they’d better figure out how to beat Amazon at its game.
Via Instapundit, who notes that employee lefty politics may also be involved at Borders.
My indie short-story collection, Leaving the Alamo, Texas Stories After Vietnam, is now on Smashwords in multiple ebook formats, such as Stanza and Sony, at $2.95. Meanwhile, I’m shifting the paperback version from POD distributor Lulu to CreateSpace where it is suffering birthing pains at the moment. The print shift should mean more sales and a little bit more revenue, assuming my new marketing/advertising campaign keeps producing the orders that have been trickling in to the Lulu version for the past few weeks.
Working to format my Indie books Leaving The Alamo and Knoxville 1863 for this program to provide free ebooks to active military, particularly those in Afghan and Iraq. It’s even “adopted” a light aircraft carrier, the Bonhomme Richard. Formatting (or, rather, deleting the old formatting) is a pain, so it’s moving slowly.
Mainly, it’s the price. But there’s also the problem of reading them on Shabbat. No loop-holes. Whereas there’s no problem there with books. Donald Sensing’s analysis here is timely for me, considering my own previous consideration. I’ve just about decided to ask for a new digital camera, instead. I’ve been borrowing Mrs. Charm’s ever since I managed to destroy my old one.