And – alas – no, not the gem of a movie or the gem of a book it was based on. No, this neverending bloody soap opera is the ongoing saga of Amazon vs Hachette, complete with New! Exciting! Dubious! Claims (yeah, yeah, so what else is new).
Exhibit 1, on the side of the megamultimedia giant with the teensy weensy publishing arm (of course I meant Hachette, who the heck did you think I meant?): Publishers Weekly spins a claim that Amazon is begging authors to shut up. Note that this is described as a phone conversation, so it will inevitably come down to who believes whom. Given that Hachette is playing dirty pool as dirty as it gets, and has done so in the past, I rather suspect that this is another exercise in disinformation eagerly gobbled up by those who want to believe that the massive multinational content distribution megacorp is on the side of the little guy. Sounds kind of dumb when you look at it that way.
Exhibit 2, a claim that a teensy weensy survey (come on, since when is 5k-ish representative of something like American book buying habits?) performed by an organization that depends on the publishing industry and especially the Big Howerever-the-hell-many-it-is-now for its news is more or less accurate about book buyers being turned off Amazon because of the dispute. With the fine record of disinterested comment from these guys I’m hardly surprised Amazon hasn’t returned requests for comment. “When you stop showing ridiculous levels of bias” isn’t really going to work with this lot.
Oh, and the author of the article making this claim? Well, he’s the Editorial Director of one Digital Book World, owned by…. non other than the owners of Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Market, both of which would have more than a few problems should the Big Publishing Babies not be there any more.
Exhibit 3 is actually rather balanced and doesn’t skimp on the facts. Since it’s explaining why Amazon scares the bejeezus out of the Big Publishing Babies this is a good thing. Of course, much of it is anecdata, but we all know the hard data that lies behind all of this. Yeah. That. The survey that says clearly that indie isn’t just eating trad’s lunch, indie is eating trad’s breakfast as well, and probably a good chunk of dinner on the side.
Now that you’ve all had enough of the soap opera for now, here’s a nice little example of what one little typo can do… (Alas, I don’t have the image. When the typo was pointed out the creator pulled it to fix… It’s advertising a paranormal romance).
Imagine a toned male torso, low slung jeans that look about a quarter inch shy of indecent exposure. Presumably the droplets on said torso are sweat. Male hands rest lightly on the things, most likely belonging to the owner of said torso. Female hands possessively caress the stomach (the owner of those must be standing behind the guy). Pic doesn’t go high enough to show nipples. Background is a dark stormy blue with lightning in the distance. Pretty much standard, so far.
Now the text… And I quote (emphasis is all mine): “Damn the gods. The fell of her solid form blasted through his petrified center. He hadn’t realized how much he missed this. Human contact. The simple act of ouching and being touched. Warmth and the softness of a woman. So long denied, now he feasted.”
Without that typo it would be pretty good copy for that style of book. And – inevitably – the creator is a tad pissed that it slipped through. Proof that a) one letter matters. A lot. And b) you can proof-read something a dozen times and you still won’t see the mistake until you publish the bloody thing.
Oh, and many thanks to Amanda for the links. Without those, all I would have had to offer was the typo.