It’s NaNo Time Again — redux

Ah, yes, November is here. There was once a time when that meant looking forward to a long weekend of family, football and guilt-free overeating. It meant starting to think about holidays and gift buying and decorating the house. Now, November is a month that brings both fear and anticipation. It’s the month when so many writers commit to trying to write at least 50,000 words. The anticipation comes from knowing that, if you are successful, you have completed a short novel or have a very good start on a longer work. The fear comes from the knowledge that there will be days when you sit down in front of you computer and stare at a blank screen, no words coming out.

And, no, blog entries don’t count.

Or you can be in the position I’m in this year where I’m doing the last editorial pass — that horrible one most writers hate when you do the odd work/spelling hunt through your manuscript — before uploading the final file to Amazon for sale. The hard and fast deadline for that is the 10th because, on the 11th, the manuscript goes live or I lose my ability to offer titles for pre-order for a year. Since I’m not about to do that, I will do whatever it takes to make sure Duty from Ashes (Honor and Duty Book 2) is ready to go ahead of time.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not doing NaNo. For one thing, Sarah informed me I am doing it. Seems she decided she was going to do it this year and she didn’t want to suffer alone. So she tagged several of us and “volunteered” us to share the pain — er, the fun. Yeah, that’s it. The fun. (Must remember to keep telling myself that.)

So, in between edit sessions, I’m writing. I have a short novel — as opposed to a novella — to do. It will be a romantic/suspense novel coming out under the Ellie Ferguson pen name. Once that’s done, I can get to Nocturnal Challenge. Of course, I do have another novel that’s decided now — RIGHT NOW — is a good time to demand attention. The fact I shelved the novel a couple of years ago because I couldn’t figure out where it was going matters not. It has decided it wants to see the world and I have to oblige. Sigh.

Anyway, with all this going on, I’m still trying to keep up with what’s going on in the publishing world. Sometimes, all too often it seems, doing so leaves me shaking my head and wondering just what in the world some folks are thinking. One of the first things I saw was the aftermath of someone who decided it would be a good thing to try to take on Larry Correia. I’m sorry, you’d have thought by now that folks would know how foolish that is. But this guy didn’t and, when people didn’t agree with him, he apparently resorted to calling names and not so veiled threats. When Larry weighed in, with both feet — as he should have — the troll deleted his posts, apparently blocked Larry and then went to his wall and at least one other to whine about what happened. He didn’t like it because the evil libertarian, gun-loving men and women — gasp — on Larry’s wall didn’t lift him on their shoulders and thank him for showing them the error of their ways.

Then there was this article out of Publishers Weekly that has one passage that truly has me scratching my head. Here is the paragraph in question:

Sarah McNally, owner of McNally Jackson bookstore in SoHo, speaking of Amazon, said “I don’t know what impact Amazon has had on my store.” This comment came, though, after McNally criticized the retailer and vowed to never to shop there. Her store is celebrating its 10th anniversary with plans to open another location. Despite her feelings about Amazon, McNally acknowledged that when she opened her store, “B&N had already crippled indie bookstores.”

So, here is a store owner who admits she doesn’t know what, if any impact, Amazon has had on her store. She also admits — something so many other Amazon haters refuse to do in public — that B&N had already crippled the indie booksellers when she opened her store. Since she has been in business 10 years, that implies pretty strongly that she understands the real evil — if you have to ascribe it anywhere — is in B&N and the other big box stores and not in Amazon when it comes to destroying the indie bookseller business.

Yet, despite all that, McNally says she will never shop at Amazon. Without knowing if it has harmed her business — or anyone elses’s in all likelihood — and even admitting the real damage was done by B&N and not Amazon, she has drunk the kool-aid of the haters. It makes no sense. At least it doesn’t to me.

Anyway, all that is a distraction this morning as I get enough coffee in me to get back to work. I guess this is where I put in the obligatory plug. Over at my blog this morning, you can find a snippet from Skeletons in the Closet, the novel that has decided it wants to be written NOW.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Duty from Ashes is, as noted above, available for pre-order on Amazon. You can check it out here. And here is a short snippet from it. Enjoy!

*  *  *

Smoke filled the air and the ground shook beneath her boots as another explosion sounded. It was close this time. Too close. Cursing, she ducked behind the makeshift barricade she and her team had erected outside the school and tried to catch her breath. As she did, the tell-tales from her battle armor warned that her heart was racing and her breathing was labored, not that she needed the onboard computer to confirm what she already knew. This was her worst nightmare come to life and, just like the last time, there had been no way to avoid it.

But she’d be damned if it ended the same way as before.

Not this time.

Carefully, she inched forward until she could see around the edge of the barricade. As she did, dirt and rock kicked up just inches from where she knelt as yet another round of enemy fire filled the air. Even as her team returned fire, she scanned the area, flipping through the various screens of her HUD. Then her lips pulled back into an almost feral smile.

There!

Finally, she’d located the last of the areas where the enemy had dug in. Now it was time to show them just how foolish they’d been to think they could get the drop on her and her team.

“Boomer, two o’clock. The culvert near the edge of the first building.” Once again, she cycled through the various filters on her HUD, taking careful note of what each told her. “Scans show six bogies. Looks like one SAM and three unknown heavy weapons. We’ll give you cover fire so your team can move into position. Hold your fire until I give the order. We need to take those guns out before they decide to turn their attention to the school.”

“Roger that, Angel.”

“Hound, second target’s yours. Same building. Four stories up. Third window from the corner. I spotted at least one sniper.” She paused and scanned the area, looking for any indication the enemy had hostages with them. As much as she’d like to just level the building and be done with it, she couldn’t. Not if there were civilians inside and, knowing the Cabal, there would be. One of the first lessons they’d learned in the last war was that the enemy never hesitated to hide behind innocents. “I’m not picking up any other life signs in the immediate area but that doesn’t mean much. They could have hostages elsewhere in the building so remember your target zone.” She waited for his response, knowing he was calculating the best way to carry out her orders.

“Got it, Angel. I’ll be ready on your order.”

Her heart beat a little slower. So far, so good. Her team still had a chance to get out of this alive and, with a little luck, they’d manage to save those civilians sheltering in the school and elsewhere.

Knowing their next move could mean victory or defeat, she called up the last data they’d received on the enemy’s movements. As she studied it, her mind did the one thing she’d been fighting to avoid since the battle began. It went back to that terrible day more than two years ago. She’d been in this exact location, fighting this same battle. Only then she’d been given compromised intelligence. As a result, she and her squad, a different one from this time, had walked straight into a trap. So many had died. She and the six who had managed to make it back to the shuttle for extraction had been lucky to get out of there alive. At least that’s what she’d told herself. Of course, that had been before they were arrested, brought up on bogus charges, court martialed and sent to the Tarsus military prison.

Damn it! She couldn’t think about that. She couldn’t let the past distract her from what was happening right now. Not if she wanted her team to survive.

“We’re almost in position, Angel,” a voice reported over her comm a few moments later. Master Gunnery Sergeant Kevin “Loco” Talbot. Another asset, an invaluable one, and one she hadn’t had on that previous mission.

“Roger that, Loco. Let me know when you are.”

She paused, waiting to hear from the final team she’d sent out. As the seconds drew out into minutes that seemed like hours, her concern grew. She’d been forced to split her forces before with disastrous results. Was history repeating itself?

She licked her lips and fought the urge to message the last team. It was difficult, but she didn’t. Instead, she reminded herself that they needed to move slowly and carefully to avoid detection. At least she hadn’t heard anything from the direction they’d taken that might indicate they’d been discovered. Surely that had to be a good sign.

Stop it!

She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Her emotions and doubts were running too high. She had to get them under control. This was her command, her mission. If she couldn’t hold it together, they would fail. But she couldn’t think about that. She couldn’t let herself be distracted by the dead, hers and the civilian lives that had been lost in that previous battle. This wasn’t the time to let distractions in.

Finally, just as she was about to give up and demand an update, her comm came to life.

“We’re in position, Angel. We have four bogies ready and we’re ready to paint them,” Captain Lucinda Ortega reported.

“Hold position, Sorceress. I say again, hold position until we confirm air support.”

“Roger that, Angel.”

“Eagle, are you ready to paint your target?”

“Eagle is ready, Angel,” the squad’s sniper replied.

“Alpha Team, prepare to lay down cover fire. Boomer, the moment we do, you and your team haul ass and take out those heavy guns and that SAM.”

“Roger that, Angel. Beta Team is ready.”

She nodded, not that the demolitions expert could see her, and drew a deep, steadying breath. A quick check of her battle rifle and she was ready. It was now or never. With a glance at the four Marines crouching behind the barricade with her, she snugged the butt of the rifle against her shoulder.

“Now!”

She leaned around the corner of the barricade and opened fire. Instantly, the sounds of weapons – battle rifles, railguns and more – filled the air. Three of the four teams laid down heavy fire to cover the fourth team as it moved into position. On her HUD, three small green lights moved quickly toward the target zone. So far, so good.

“Almost there,” Boomer’s voice said in her ear.

“Keep it up, Devil Dogs. Don’t give those bastards time to breathe, much less regroup.”

“Fire in the hole!”

Boomer’s shout was the only warning they’d get. Instantly, she set her visor to block the flash from the explosion even as she kept firing. At least this time when the ground shook, it would be working for them instead of against them.

“Keep firing!” she ordered. “Eagle, Sorceress, stand ready. I repeat, stand ready. Paint the targets on my signal. Once the air strike begins, we move in.”

Without waiting for the teams to respond, she activated her ‘link once again. “Angel to Kali, we are a go for the airstrike. I repeat, we are a go for the airstrike.”

She waited, scanning the battlefield in front of her for any movement. Smoke and dust from the explosion filled the air. From the distance, she could hear the enemy. Some called for help. Some, those caught in the blast and not lucky enough to be granted a quick death, cried out for their mothers. A small part of her felt sorry for them. But another part, the soldier in her, knew it was either them or her and she much preferred living.

As she knelt there, ready to swing her rifle toward anyone who came her way, she imagined each member of her team wanting to look skyward, but keeping their eyes on the enemy locations, as they waited for the air support to come.

Air support that hadn’t come that first time. Would it now?

“Angel, this is Kali. We are on approach. Paint the target. I say again, paint the target.”

The voice coming over the battle-net was like an answer to her prayers. She relayed the message to the rest of her squad. As she did, she inched further around the edge of the barricade. Once in position, she raised one gloved fist, knowing the others were watching for her signal. Then she waited, knowing any number of things could still go horribly wrong and praying that they didn’t.

Moments later, t sounds of the fighter wing racing in their direction filled the air. The target, six heavy ground transports that had been moving closer and closer to the Devil Dogs exploded into a wall of flames as the fighters dropped their payloads. Instinct and training had the Marines diving for cover, any cover, as shrapnel from the transports flew through the air. Screams from the enemy soldiers unlucky enough to be caught in the open followed. Then, before the screams died out, she gave the order to move in.

“Take out those snipers!” she yelled as she sprinted across the clearing in the direction of the school.

Damn it, this time she would save those huddling inside.

Hound, moving at a speed no human could without the assistance of powered battle armor, leapt from where he’d been taking cover. The moment he landed, he turned and leveled the grenade launcher that was currently his armor’s primary weapon at the target. The building she’d identified for him a few minutes earlier was soon missing part of its far side. Smoke billowed from the area where the sniper had been holed up. Someone would need a new office or apartment when this was all over. But, hopefully, they’d survived the fight and would be able to return home soon. Even as the thought came, she knew the truth could be far different. War was never clean, no matter what the politicians wanted. There was always the possibility of collateral damage, especially when the enemy had no compunctions about hiding behind a shield of innocents.

Ahead and to her left, a head popped up from the culvert. A split second later, it exploded. She smiled slightly as Eagle gave a war cry that almost split her skull. She’d remind him later about how that sort of thing sounded through the battle-net. Not that she blamed him. They’d spent too much time hunkered down behind makeshift barricades and hiding in the shadows. It felt good to finally be on the move again. Now it was time to make the enemy pay for all they’d done.

“Angel, to your right!”

Loco’s warning came at almost the same moment that her armor’s sensors warned her of someone – or something – suddenly appearing and moving in her direction. She turned, bringing her combat rifle to bear. Her finger slipped behind the trigger guard and she felt her combat implants coming to life as she focused on the figure running hell bent for leather in her direction.

“Hold your fire!”

Without waiting for confirmation, she broke into a sprint, racing toward the small figure. The child couldn’t be more than five or six. Where he had been hiding during the fighting she didn’t know and, just then, she didn’t care. Not when her armor’s onboard computer was telling her that several of the enemy were bearing down on them.

She had to get to t child before he was hurt – or worse.

Without conscious thought, she switched out her battle rifle for her sidearm. Using the targeting system of her HUD, she laid down fire in the direction of the nearest enemy soldier. A scream of pain followed. Good. One down but who knew how many more to come.

Three more steps and she scooped the child up in her arms. He cried out as an enemy trooper appeared to the right and opened fire. Reacting on instinct, Angel shifted the child so he was shielded by her armor before returning fire. Then she pivoted, running in the direction of Loco and the rest of his team. They were laying down cover fire, forcing the enemy troopers to duck back down into the trench. At the same time, Sorceress was calling in air support. But that was all in the background as Angel focused on the child in her arms and the need to get him to safety.

“Down!”

Loco’s shout was all the warning she needed. She dropped, sliding feet first toward the barricade. At the same time, Loco stepped forward, Tank and Hound on either side of him, and all hell seemed to break loose. As they opened fire with everything they had, so did the rest of the squad. If that wasn’t enough, three Sabres, the newest and most deadly fighters the Fuerconese Navy currently had in operation, screamed overhead and opened fire on the culvert.

The ground shook again and another explosion – no, a series of explosions – deafened her. Then there was silence, the kind of silence that really wasn’t. Angel’s pulse pounded and her breathing was ragged. The crackling of fire mixed with the heavy smoke that filled the air. She heard someone, one of her people, offering up a quick prayer of thanks. Someone else uttered a curse. For once, she agreed with both sentiments. Then she heard the boy whimper. Much as she wanted to reassure him, she couldn’t. Not yet. She had to make sure the area was secure first.

Still cradling the child in her arms, Angel twisted around so she could look in the direction of the culvert. Nothing moved except for the smoke rising from it. Without warning, the silence was broken by a single shot to her left. Instantly, half a dozen battle rifles responded. Then nothing.

Barely daring to hope that it was over, Angel went to active scans. For several long moments, she studied the readouts on her HUD. The locations they had tagged as being held by the enemy were either showing red, indicating they were too hot for anyone – even armored – to survive or there were the tell tales of the dead and dying. Could it finally be over?

“Sound off!” she ordered as she carefully climbed to her feet.

As she did, the medic assigned to her squad hurried forward to take the child from her. Except the child had other ideas. He wrapped his arms and legs more firmly around her and burrowed in. with a jerk of her head, she motioned the medic off. She could spare the child a moment as she caught her breath and her people reported in.

One by one, each member of her team sounded off. A few sounded the worse for wear but she’d lost no one that day. Thank God. The nightmare hadn’t replayed in all its horror. It had come close, though, and she wanted to know why.

Relieved, she looked down into the child’s face and the world came to a crashing halt. No! He couldn’t be there. Damn it, he couldn’t be there. As bad as that time had been, that would have made it worse, so much worse.

“End sim!” she ordered, ripping off her combat helmet. “I said to end the damned sim!”

35 Comments

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35 responses to “It’s NaNo Time Again — redux

  1. Someone tried to tangle with Larry like that?

    Why do I always miss the fun stuff?

    • Luke

      I hope someone got a screen cap. And shares it with the rest of us.

      I can’t blame the owner of a bookstore for saying she’d never shop at Amazon. If I owned a bookstore and was able to get any book I wanted at wholesale price prior to public release, I’d have very little reason to ever shop at Amazon, either. I also can’t help notice that the reporter doesn’t actually quote what she said.

      • I took the “I’ll never shop at Amazon” thing to also mean she wouldn’t buy non-book items from there either.

        • Luke

          She lives in a major city. She has ready access to nearly everything Amazon could sell her, all she has to do is hop in the car.

          Far and away the major thing I buy from Amazon are books. Things I can’t buy locally are a very distant second.

          • I buy plenty from Amazon I can get locally, mostly because of the price. I know I’m not alone on that either.

            Her? Who knows. Just offering an alternate take on what she might mean.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Obscure computer parts. If you need a specific component or tool, or if you want to figure out standard options on something you don’t shop for much.

          • Luke, I do as well. But I still buy a lot of stuff off of Amazon that I could buy locally from one major retail chain or another. Why? Because it saves time and, from what I’ve seen, a lot of what I’m buying from Amazon is actually from Amazon Associates — and they are local to me. So I’m still helping the local economy.

            The import I got from the comments, both direct and implied, was that the bookseller was buying into the “Amazon is evil” mantra despite not being able to say how it had harmed her business, if it had at all. Whether it was simply out of a need to show solidarity or blindly following the loudest voice, I don’t know. Shrug.

    • Tom, that was my thought when I saw the thread on his well. By then, the guy had taken down his comments but there was enough left to be able to figure out what he’d done — complete with, at the time at least, a screencap of what he’d posted elsewhere about the thread.

      • Yeah, but I didn’t even get that. 😦

        Of course, I personally don’t understand deleting everything you put in a post if it’s what you really believe. I can see one that might be a bit more aggressive than you meant or something, but everything?

        Personally, that’s the sign of someone who just shouldn’t discuss politics outside of the echo chamber.

        • I have deleted exactly two FB posts. In both instances, I had posted in the wrong forum and the posts were not appropriate to said forums. Otherwise, it stays up and I’ll take my lumps if someone doesn’t like what I said.

          • I’m the same way.

            Hell, even after spending a few days being called a Ray Rice apologist (because I said a woman can make a man angry of all things), I still didn’t delete anything I said. Why? Because I own what I say, for better or worse.

  2. NaNoo NaNoo
    What day is it? What . . Day ? Words, need more words. Main character took a turn toward insanity. What do I do? Try to pull him back or just let him go down that path into madness and call it a horror story?

    A girl friend, he needs a girl friend to rescue him, rehabilitate him, talk him down from the ledge, back from the brink. A girl friend who will love him and it will be a romance. Words, need more words, so he’s … they’re …. ok, call it a bodice ripper.

    What? A plot you say, and outline? Hell no. I have a character and a scenario, after that, it’s out of my hands. I’m just the stenographer. So there has to be sex. Right? Every story has to have sex in it if you’re gonna make a movie. Sex and nudity. Ok, so we’re going explicit triple X rated Adult Themed Content.

    Oh, I can see it. She’s a nurse, has three other roommates. Oh yes, yes.
    How many words is that so far? Arrrghhhh, and what day is it?
    Imma gonna go crazy, crazy…50 thousand words and throw’m all away at the end of the month. This is just practice, right? Just for experience. I’m not really expected to sell this thing, am I? Who would buy such a thing, a scifi, adult themed, bodice ripping horror story, in bad rhyme. . . . with puns.

  3. Pat Patterson

    I’m NOT writing, I’m reading. Just finished my Dave-Freer-book, although it was just one on 14 short stories in ‘Use Only As Directed.’ Review just posted. Now going with Cedar Sanderson’s Pixie Noir.

  4. robfornow

    I picked up a bit from the comments in the article though. One person stated that he was a seller in the ‘affiliate’ section of Amazon. Sometimes they undercut Amazon’s price even. These retailers of new books only have to list the books on Amazon’s site, then when they sell the book for less than Amazon, Amazon still does the job of cashier and all they have to do is send the book and wait for Amazon to send them the check. Even better for used bookstores.
    Another person recommended that the bookstore put in a computer order system where someone could order the book after seeing it on display at the bookstore. The store would qualify as a affiliate and get their check, the client gets the book and the publisher gets his/her cut.
    I’m still waiting for Micro-Print on Demand machines in every bookstore.

    Oh, and I can see why the story is demanding release. I had my hand halfway to the wallet at the end of the second paragraph.

    • Pat Patterson

      “I’m still waiting for Micro-Print on Demand machines in every bookstore.”
      Okay, that may be a joke, I don’t know, but about the only economic term I know is ‘economies of scale.’ Can’t make that scenario fit, but then I haven’t researched bulk printers in about 25 years.
      Used bookstores: those things will last forever, and may even go from a junk-shop equivalent to a curios/antiques format.
      Is there a market for independent brick & mortar bookstores having on-site downloads? You walk into the bookstore with your coffee and browse, then point your device to their device and they take your money and you download the book? Then you sit in the comfy chair, sip yer coffee, and read on yer device? I could see me doing that, if the bookstore was in a mall. You get the picture…

      • I have been very carefully NOT mentioning that idea for “amazon” competition. “The retailer who shall not be named” is the one most likely to do it. Amazon might even be willing to go “partners.” I’d be willing to give up 10% (taken off my royalty) to WRWSNBN as a sales partner, for the extra sales avenue. People with more money than sense may not like them, but they do have a _massive_ sales presence.

        • Actually, they will be the last to do it because the POD machine in stores goes against the age-old business plan. That is, imo, why the espresso (again, not sure of the spelling here and not with it enough yet to go research it again) machines haven’t made bigger inroads into bookstores. The general mindset is that books should be available for instant sale and merchandise is limited to what is in the store. The bean counters don’t think about how much money they could save by not having large inventories on hand all the time. Publishers don’t get tha it would save them money as well — of course, they’d have to figure out a way for BookScan or something similar to track the sales. Can’t have anything like accurate sales to report to authors now, can we?

    • Rob, the comments were interesting and entertaining. As for the micro-print on demand in bookstores, that is already here. If I remember correctly, the main one is the espresso (?) machine. The problem is the cost of maintaining it as well as getting customers to use it. So the tech is there, but it is like anything else. It will take time.

  5. On line shopping–not just Amazon–has hurt a lot of stores. One example I know of is music stores. If you know what you want, you can get it cheaper on line. Specifically, when my musically inclined son graduated from high school and could no longer use the school’s bassoon, we went shopping. Yeah, they could order the one he needed, their distributor in NY . . . we bid on a few on eBay, didn’t win one, one of the sellers emailed me, from the Netherlands, they worked directly with Scheweibers (Sorry about the spelling, they manufacture really nice bassoons) . . . even with the shipping costs we got a better bassoon than we’d been looking for at half of what the music stores were quoting.

    Now, it’s not so obvious with paper books. But the fewer middlemen, the lack of the expense of brick and mortar stores, any internet seller is going to beat those indie bookstores. And then there’s ebooks.

    If Amazon disappeared tomorrow, by next week we’d be selling somewhere else.

    • B&N’s Nook, Kobo, Gumroad, D2D, CreateSpace and whoever else comes up with an efficient way to up and download books, e-payment services and file downloads from our own web sites, author’s clearinghouse websites that would spring up like mushrooms after rain (eRomance dot com, anyone?)

    • Absolutely, Pam, on all counts. There was a time when the middle man was integral to getting products to market. They still are when it comes to a lot of things. But things like books and music, basically anything that is digital, there is no real need for all the different layers of middlemen anymore. That is especially true when it comes to inventory production, storage and distribution.

  6. It’s coming. My SWAG (Scientific Wild A– Guess) is that it’s maybe five years out. With the Ellora’s cave Fiasco, and the Harlequin Class Action suit, a “world shattering” change is coming. I’ve said elsewhere that I believe a series of bankruptcies, and probably RICO suits are going to hit the Publishing world. Baen, will probably be the only survivor. If you think the Hachette/Amazon squealing is loud now, wait until that suit starts taking depositions. Trust me, when the court says. “Open the royalty accounting kimono.” It gets *opened.* It’ll take years to wade through the Tsunami of feces and obfuscation, but lawyers will get _*RICH*_ off of it. Even if it were close to honest, there would be years of litigation, and “Look what *I* found.” I keep advising authors to try to get their back lists back, if possible. Although, there may be enough money to be made, in protecting the IP (Intellectual Property) from bankruptcy courts, to make it worthwhile, for someone. (For tnose who don’t know. “Book rights are considered as ‘corporate assets,” in bankruptcies. IOW, the author basically has the contract rewritten in favor of the new owner.”)

    • My concern with the royalty issue when it does finally go beyond a few authors at a time demanding an accounting is that the publishers will still manage to skate, at least some, by placing the blame on BookScan as the reporting entity. It is going to take an attorney — or, more likely, group of them — with law clerks who are hungry enough to do the necessary internet research to find the statements by BookScan execs and publishing execs that state they know the numbers aren’t correct. It is going to take them building a case of bad faith on the part of the publishers, starting with finding statements that, at the very least, show a propensity in publishers to think of authors as interchangeable cogs that they can toss out at will.

      My other concern is what the fallout will be if S&S is hit with either an investigation or a law suit that winds up impacting its distribution arm. A number of mid and large publishers use S&S for distribution and they will be adversely impacted if that channel is slowed or closed for whatever reason.

      Let’s just say the next five years is going to be interesting on both sides of the publishing table.

  7. robfornow

    That’s the important thing, change is coming. No one can predict exactly how it will play out; but, it is going to be something to see. micro-print-on-demand does sound like a joke until you note that a printer or copier used to cost hundreds of dollars. Now fifty dollars will get you a ‘all in one printer, copier, fax, scanner and wireless to boot.
    It used to be that you had to send film in to be printed. Today, just about every Walmart has a photocenter that will give you prints, cds, from both film and digital.
    What’s the odds of them putting in a ‘bookcenter’ Rows of screens with digital bookcovers and description, a ‘look inside’ like Amazon already has. Pick and slide your card, choice of print-download or both to check off. Turn around and there is your paperback sliding out of the pretty gray box with a ‘paid’ sticker on front. The eBook is already on your phone.
    Walmart with its buying power can get quality equipment at a discount, so the price to set it up might even be feasible in the near future.

    No, I don’t know if any of this is going to happen; but, I won’t be surprised at what does rear its head.

    • Pat Patterson

      “micro-print-on-demand does sound like a joke until you note that a printer or copier used to cost hundreds of dollars. Now fifty dollars will get you a ‘all in one printer, copier, fax, scanner and wireless to boot.”
      This is absolutely accurate. I think, though, that as soon as the movable-block printing press was invented, the limit on how much a book cost became the actual medium it was printed on; first labor costs dropped, then the equipment got cheaper, but while paper is cheaper than stone tablits, it still costs something. I don’t know any way around that. Maybe some type of plastic film? What’s cheaper than paper? And there HAS to be a lower limit on how much is used, because the type has to be big enough to see.

    • Print on demand already exists, but not at this level

      YET.

      I think you’re right, book kiosks that print the book for you while you wait. I can see it happening. I was talking with a friend of mine in the printing industry a while ago, and we both felt that it was only a matter of time until a page printer is cheap and feasible, that can print at high speeds.The technology is there, has been for a while. It’s just making it cheap enough and small enough with high quality.

  8. A little off topic here, but can anyone recommend a good copy editor that doesn’t charge over-the-top prices? I want to run some of my latest works past them to see what kinds of SPaG errors I’m missing.

  9. robfornow

    If you venture into copy editor, consider what a reasonable charge is; because, the line will be long.

    • Also, be clear on what you want/are offering as a copy editor. Sarah has a post somewhere on MGC about what the differences are between an editor, copy editor and proofreader.

  10. robfornow

    Actually, I’m not all that sure about print on demand. I was just using it as an example of progress. Like RAH’s view of the future considered using thumbprints for purchase verification, instead we got debit cards. I don’t know how we got microwaves instead of replicators. (Joke people) Then, there is the royalty issue and will traditional publishing wake up? Yes ma’am, the next five years plus are going to be very interesting.