Watch where you step

Yesterday, I went browsing through sites like Publishers Weekly and The Passive Voice, looking for inspiration for today’s post. I’m not too proud to admit my brain is still in that post-publication funk, a funk aided by the fact my work computer (a really nice Asus ROG less than 7 months old) had to be sent back to ASUS for warranty work. That’s meant making sure all files were backed up,the laptop reset to factory settings and then setting up the secondary laptop as the current work machine. So, with all that going on, I felt sure I’d read the article wrong when I saw something about Cory Doctorow setting up a “store” to sell e-books traditionally published.

Okay, that sentence was a bit awkward, so let me try again.

Cory Doctorow, long a supporter of Creative Commons, is setting up an online bookstore to see e-books that were traditionally published.

I’ll give you a moment to consider that statement.

From the start, it is clear Doctorow has fallen victim to the Amazon Derangement Syndrome.

Buying an e-book from a website and sideloading it onto your Kindle will never be as easy as buying it from the Kindle store (though if the world’s governments would take the eminently sensible step of legalizing jailbreaking, someone could develop a product that let Kindles easily access third-party stores on the obvious grounds that if you buy a Kindle, you still have the right to decide whose books you’ll read on it, otherwise you don’t really own that Kindle).

Hmm, so he has an issue with Kindles because you can’t buy directly from other stores. Guess he hasn’t tried using e-readers from other stores or had to deal with some of the problems i-Pad owners have had in the past when Apple decided you couldn’t buy from in-app or you had to sideload. Or let’s not forget about the issues Nook owners have faced either. But Amazon is the big evil. And what do you mean “you don’t really own that Kindle”? Just because a tablet might not do what you want it to, it doesn’t follow that you don’t own it. His logic fails him.

As an author, being my own e-book retailer gets me a lot. It gets me money: once I take the normal 30 percent retail share off the top, and the customary 25 percent royalty from my publisher on the back-end, my royalty is effectively doubled. It gives me a simple, fair way to cut all the other parts of the value-chain in on my success: because this is a regular retail sale, my publishers get their regular share, likewise my agents. And, it gets me up-to-the-second data about who’s buying my books and where.

He’s right here but this is also where his reasoning hits me as being “off”. Yes, if he owns his own bookstore, he gets all this. But he also gets the headaches of operating it, the costs of operating it, etc. Now, I hear you saying he’s been doing this for years already. Yes, but that’s been for his indie books. Now he is talking about selling for trad publishers. That means he is giving them money and doing for them what they should be doing for him.

Remember, writers, the money is supposed to flow to you and not the other way around.

Ah, then you read on a bit further and remember the political diatribe he went on at the beginning of the article and realize that’s what is behind it. Politics. He hates Trump. He wants to reach out to markets ignored by Amazon and others.


The Digital Reader has an excellent post about Doctorow’s announcement. “I want to point out Doctorow’s blind spot: the unwarranted assumption that authors need or even should be doing business with publishers. . . But like many pioneers, Doctorow advanced only so far. He never managed to shed his original assumptions and keep up with the times.”

That last statement hit home with me. One of the things I, as well as the rest of us here at MGC, strive to do on an almost daily basis is see what is going on with the industry, both trad and indie. We are constantly looking for new ways to promote our work, newer and easier ways to put our books together and make them more appealing in look and content. Some of us have been doing this long enough to remember hand-coding the html for e-books. At least one of us has had to show traditional publishers how to make text in an e-book look more like what you get in a printed book (effects, etc.). In other words, we haven’t sat back and rested on what we first learned while the indie industry passed us by.

So, what is it Doctorow wants us to do? He wants us to act as shills for traditional publishers. You know, those folks who, before they sign an author to a contract want us to do our own marketing, have a blog, be active on social media and already have a platform and built-on audience. And, before you say anything, unless you are King or Patterson or the “new big thing”, any marketing the publisher is going to do for you is basically nil beyond getting your book into the catalog sent to booksellers. So, you have to do the job of marketing your book, something they used to do.

Now Doctorow wants us to add to that by selling e-books for traditional publishers, accept and handle all payments (and that will include returns and making sure all tax laws are followed and tax reporting done) and then remit money to the publisher.

My only comment is “WTF?!?”

The Passive Voice says it best, “PG delayed posting about Doctorow’s plan because he was waiting for someone to propose a theory about why an intelligent trad-pubbed author would try to sell books directly from some strange organization for side-loading onto a Kindle. What kind of service is that for an author’s readers? Who do those readers call for tech support when the ebook file won’t load?”

Above and beyond the fact that selling e-books on your site for publishers (when they should be the ones selling your books) makes my head hurt, there’s something else Doctorow didn’t take into account. As I write this, my 85-year-old mother sits across the room from me reading on her Kindle Fire. She gets her Kindle. She gets the books downloaded directly there after I buy them either from the Amazon site or through the app on my tablet. If she had to sideload a book, she wouldn’t do it. For one, it is a hassle. For another, she isn’t anywhere near geeky enough to understand the process.

Then there are those who don’t have computers. Yes, yes, there really are folks like that. Some are older, like my mom. Others spent their working lives dealing with computers and never want to see another ever again. They might compromise with a smart phone but that’s about it. So, Mr. Docotorow, how are they supposed to sideload?

Doctorow has clearly fallen victim to Amazon Derangement Syndrome and forgot to look where he stepped.


Now for my bit of marketing.

Dagger of Elanna (Sword of the Gods Book 2)

Plots form, betrayals are planned and war nears.

Cait Hawkener has come to accept she might never remember her life before that terrible morning almost two years ago when she woke in the slavers’ camp. That life is now behind her, thanks to Fallon Mevarel and the Order of Arelion. Now a member of the Order, Cait has pledged her life to making sure no one else falls victim as she did.

But danger once more grows, not only for Cait but to those she calls friends. Evil no longer hides in the shadows and conspirators grow bold as they move against the Order and those who look to it for protection. When Cait accepts the call to go to the aid of one of the Order’s allies, she does not know she is walking into the middle of conspiracy and betrayal, the roots of which might help answer some of the questions about her own past.


  1. Okay for those that aren’t tech literate sideloading to any device can be an issue. For others I use Caliber to sideload books I have downloaded from other sites (Baen, Gutenberg dot org, etc). Mr. Doctrow is tilting at windmills again. As well, if you have a tech illiterate family member there’s definitely someone close by that does know or can figure something out for you. Possibly teaching you in the process how to so they don’t have to bug tech support again. 🙂

    Sum up, Doctrow is creating a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. Best of luck dude.

    1. I have to wonder what happened to make him take this step back from what had been a longstanding position. Was he not able to grab what he felt was his “fair share” of the market when it comes to e-books, was he threatened by everyone going indie, or is it virtue signalling? Or maybe some of it all? Shrug.

  2. Well, we’re all trying to figure out how to market ebooks . . . but this isn’t a path I’d expected. Silly of me, really. If I had the urge to start a small bookstore, I’d have my print books in it, but it wouldn’t work as an “All Pam Uphoff” bookstore. I’d have to get a bunch of other books as well. And pay the publishers or the other Indie writers I stocked.

    But selling ebooks . . . I’ve always thought of having one as a tiny operation selling just my stuff, in case Amazon folded. A large commercial effort . . . is a large commercial effort. Perhaps Doctorow is tired of writing and wants to go into business. Or, of course, making a token effort for virtue signalling.

    1. I know. It doesn’t make any sense. I think your last explanation is probably the most accurate. Especially since he started his article off with all sorts of anti-Trump stuff.

  3. Personally, I take my Kindle Paperwhite off airplane mode about once a year, if I think of it, to check for software updates.
    I buy most of my e-books from either Baen Webscriptions or Amazon, and they all get downloaded to my computer where I can choose to to read there or side load to the Kindle. About once every week or so I plug the Kindle into the computer and review my active reading list, delete those I’m done with, and load a fresh batch. This also has the side effect of recharging the Kindle battery.
    Terribly difficult process that. Have to connect the Kindle to the ‘puter, open the document folder, delete old files, and drag and drop new ones onto the device. Horrendous process, takes perhaps five minutes, all but the charging. That I usually allow a half hour or so for.
    Meaning no disrespect, but I cannot help but feel that the subset of people who at the same time refuse to use a computer yet really want to read e-books has to be a rather small market. Those who abstain from computers in my experience also tend heavily towards dead tree paper formats as well.

    1. Uncle Lar, you are pushing aside a lot of readers, believe it or not. There is a growing number of readers who have switched to e-books and e-ink devices on the recommendation of their eye doctors. Others do it because they can no longer comfortably hold a large book. Some are happy using a computer and others are not. But most of them — hell, most of us — want the most convenient method of getting their books onto their devices. Add in several steps to the process and they will move on to another “store” that will put the books directly onto their devices.

      1. Nod.

        My parents are gone now but they were heavy readers.

        Considering their “lack of interest” in using computers, I could see them using Kindles but not wanting to learn to “side load” their Kindles.

        1. I know. It took me forever to get Mom halfway competent on Windows XP. She looks at 8.1 or 10 and blanches. And, before anyone says to go to another OS, I wouldn’t trust her with my Mac (she kills tech by just being near it) and I tried her on Linux and she threatened to slit my wrists if I didn’t take her back to Windows. The issue is that, while she is incredibly intelligent and with it, especially for her age, she doesn’t want the hassle of sideloading. It isn’t worth it to her.

      2. Was not my intention to demean anyone else’s methods of operation. My way works for me quite well, but the Lord only knows I’m not the average consumer. I do understand to a degree the attraction of direct to Kindle downloads, but honestly the very idea gives me the collywobbles.
        And having worked in IT as one of my “other duties as assigned” for the gubmint going on a quarter century, I cannot bring myself to trust either mobile devices or the cloud for safe secure storage of several thousands of e-books in a host of formats.

        1. attraction of direct to Kindle downloads, but honestly the very idea gives me the collywobbles

          oh yes, just yesterday Amazon yanked an ebook. Thankfully I was able to download it to my PC from my digital orders, but I’ve heard far too many stories about Amazon yanking ebooks from peoples’ libraries and retorting “you don’t own that.” If I’ve paid $$, then I certainly do own it, and will download it to the PC to protect my investment.

          Sideloading? I was well aware of that when I bought my Nook (no interest in Kindles at all), because my intention at the time was to load Word files onto the memory card. I actually stayed away from Amazon’s Kindle store for years — not because of sideloading but because I’d have to convert the &^%$# KIndle files into epubs.

          Sideloading does take a certain amount of technical savvy and skill (just had to downgrade my Kindle app to the older version so I could actually convert KFX files), but it comes down to what you’re willing to compromise. Some people are comfortable with letting Amazon control their entire digital library, but I’m not. While the technical savvy and skill needed is foreign to our parents’ generation, is isn’t that foreign to our generation or those following.

          1. Actually, they’ve only yanked a very few books, especially when you consider the number of books they have listed. Is it a pain? Hell yeah. But they also have to protect themselves by protecting copyrights of authors and artists. If the book you are talking about is the one I’m considering, they acted after having received complaints about the book’s title being misleading and the publisher is reissuing it under a new title and author name.

            I will sideload when necessary and all my books are backed up on other media. Why? Because there is always the possibility that Amazon will go feral or go belly up. But that’s me and not those who don’t want to or simply can’t sideload. Shrug.

              1. That would probably be because it’s been out since the 70s and was already ruled a parody then.

        2. Even without Calibre, it’s easy to backup Kindle books. Just plug into your computer and copy over the Kindle Documents folder. How many actually do it is probably on par with those who back up their computers.

        3. Hell, Uncle Lar, I don’t think any of us trust them. But let’s face it, they can get into anything they really want to, whether we want to admit it or not. That said, I only turn on my devices when downloading something or updating the OS. Shrug.

      3. It’s really not hard.

        1. Buy./download book.
        2. Connect Kindle to USB port on computer.
        3. Open Downloads folder.
        4. Open Kindle Documents folder.
        5. Drag from Downloads to Kindle’s Documents.
        6. Close Kindle Documents folder.
        7. Eject Kindle.
        8. Close Downloads folder.

        All done.

        Calibre is even simpler:
        1. Drag and drop from Downloads to Calibre or use Calibre Get Books button.
        2. Connect Kindle.
        3. Load book from Calibre to Kindle.
        4. Eject Kindle from Calibre.
        5. Close Calibre.

        This only leaves out those who only own Kindles and no computers with Internet access.

        1. Actually, you are oversimplifying the situation, Kevin. That is easy, yes. But a lot of folks don’t want to have to go through the hassle. Heck, I know some who would look at those instructions and their eyes would glass over and they’d start twitching. Why? Because they aren’t comfortable mucking around with folders on their computers or devices.

          Then there is the convenience quotient that has to be considered. As you mentioned upthread, it is as easy as backing up your computer but a large number of folks don’t do that because it takes time and isn’t something they either think about or comfortable with.

        2. Kevin,
          I’m fairly computer literate. Stop laughing Amanda, compared to the general public, I am. I can convert my own books, fix problems, etc.
          Calibre defeats me completely. I can’t use it AT ALL. My mind DOESN’T bend that way. Amanda tried to teach me way back, and it ended with me having hysterics. I know tons of people dumber than I do it, but it’s very visual and I can’t reason in a visual mode, or remember it. AT ALL.

          1. I’m computer literate enough to defeat Apple when it tries to make particular things impossible for me to do with a Mac – well, at least half the time. When necessary, I can ditch the GUI and find my way around bash, and on occasion I have done data recovery from raw hexadecimal dumps.

            I hate Calibre. To my way of thinking, it does everything wrong. All its features are misfeatures, and if I were to contort my brain to conform to its prescribed workflows, I would become less intelligent in the process.

            1. Interesting. i find Calibre to be just software, no more no less. I’ve tried some drawing and CAD programs that felt counter-intuitive, but most others had no problem. Wonder why different people have different reactions to user interfaces?

              I’ve used the Amazon interface a good bit, too. First time was when I was away from my computer and had just replaced old one. Tried to access other sites through the browser, but don’t recall having much luck. It was hectic, then, so I’m not sure one way or the other.

        3. Also, I like sitting in bed, with insomnia and buying/borrowing books.
          NOW I know how to sideload, I buy from Baen and have for years. but my mind is my mind, and not everyone works the same.

          1. Hmmm. Question?

            I’ve been trying to train myself to buy from the Amazon store, not direct from Baen (even though they do have a simpler process, via email, than sideloading now).

            I may be mistaken, I haven’t kept up with everything as I should – but doesn’t the “verified purchaser” on a review only show when you buy from Amazon? And doesn’t that affect the ranking algorithm? (May just be rumor…) When I actually get off my rear and write a review, I want it to have maximum effect for the writer.

            Urk. Can you tell the coffee mug is only half empty? If you can parse the above into English, I would appreciate enlightenment…

            1. You are correct.
              I used to buy from Baen in pre-history and now I have an access key, so I don’t USUALLY buy Baen books, unless I think the writer needs a boost. BUT OTOH I get them free now and I’m a tightwad. But yes, if you’re buying, we get marginally a “boost” from Amazon.

            2. In theory, and probably in practice, a verified purchase flag on a review gives it a tad more weight, but at this time it is the sheer number of reviews that counts the most in the Amazon algorithms used for their book promotions. I stress at this time as apparently they are always fiddling about with something internal to their business engine.

              1. Waggles hand. The verified purchase reviews do count more — and there is no solid word that I’m aware of as to how much more. Also, note that when you look at reviews, you are only shown the verified reviews unless you use the dropdown box and tell them to show you all the reviews. That has a big impact because a lot of folks don’t think to do that.

  4. “You don’t own that”. . . .

    Hmm, where did we hear THAT one before ???

    (evil grin)

  5. No way does this work out for anybody except a very famous and successful author. Does Doctorow thinks readers want to go check 20-30 authors sites any time they want a new book? Doctorow is trying to eliminate the new indie authors since nobody would know that they have their own sites.

    1. Most indies learned long ago that it isn’t worth the time or effort to have a webstore of their own. You have to maintain the site, make sure payments are processed correctly, deal with refunds and complaints. Nope. That is something I would rather have someone else do. And, if I am doing it, I sure as hell don’t want to be sending money back to my publisher because I am selling books for them. That goes against the grain.

    2. It doesn’t work out even for a very famous and successful author. J. K. Rowling failed spectacularly with Pottermore, which was meant to be a Harry Potter ebook store but more or less turned into a very poor MMORPG instead.

      1. I knew it hadn’t flown, but would you explain how it became a poor MMORPG — this is not an hostile question. I haven’t followed it, and don’t know what happened, and would love to.

        1. It isn’t exactly an MMORPG; that was a poor choice of phrase on my part. But it’s trying to draw people in with game-like content – the Sorting Hat, Diagon Alley (which is a sort of weird online shopping/trivia/stuff environment), various weird (and often twee) stuff. Maybe it’s best described as a would-be playground for Harry Potter fans, not very cleverly designed, with a lot of stuff thrown at the wall to see what sticks – since it prominently failed to become the go-to store for Harry Potter products.

  6. I’ve got tree sourced books sitting here waiting to be read… but picking up any of my tablets, my phone, my laptops… are all easier than opening a book unless it’s brand new so I can sniff the paper, glue, and ink… Or a classic old book carrying the smell of years on a library shelf.
    My favorite “reader”is a cheap little Samsung 8″ Tab A, a nice size for most anything, but terrific for reading pages in full, book sized, fonts.
    OTOH my 7″ Kindle Fire is just a little more portable (fits more pockets) and works with my Alexa and Fire TV devices almost as if they were intended as a system.. It also allows Amazon Video content to be downloaded for off-line watching.
    I used to keep about 500 books on my devices. Gutenberg content, purchases from Amazon and B&N, and freebies from promotions.
    I haven’t counted for a while; ;though… Calibre manages them for me and KU supplies a LOT of First In Series trials, or all through a series. Usually though, if it”s something I’d read again (Like stuff from this Amanda Green with her AKA names) I’ll KU and then buy it… Hopefully that helps the bottom line

    1. I’ll admit, I love the way Alexa has tied the Kindle devices together. As for the bottom line, it does help and I appreciate it. 😉

      Now to wander over to caliber and see how many books I have on my different devices right now. I think I might be surprised. I haven’t cleared them out recently.

  7. It makes sense to have a plan B for if (when?) Amazon goes all powermad and decides to not sell “unapproved” ebooks. But that’s about all this does and it probably isn’t the right way to do it for all the reasons everyone has already pointed out.

    The good news is that an Amazon competitor using epub and smartphone/computer etc. apps is not difficult so the real requirement is to set up a billing engine. Again not that difficult lots of off the shelf solutions.

    The trick would be to make sideloading simple on actual kindles. A cloud based calibre can probably do this using the browser function on kindles so I’m kind of amazed that Doctorow doesn’t seem to have figured that out.

    In other words authors don’t need to worry.

    1. As always, you cut straight to the heart. Yeah, we need a plan B. This isn’t it. I really have to wonder what Doctorow was thinking with this. Right now, however, I’ll continue as I have and do what I can to make buying and reading my books as simple a process as possible.

  8. About a dozen years ago, I noticed that Doctorow tends to write persuasively about things he doesn’t understand (technological, social, or even checking someone’s arithmetic). A useful skill for getting published, but embarrassing when even Boingboing commenters call him out on factual errors.


  9. It is possible to send an e-book to a Kindle via e-mail from a third party. There is a special e-mail address for your Kindle, (which is how Amazon sends you content, actually) and you need to go into your Amazon settings to put the sender onto the “accept” list, but it’s not a complex process. I’ve sent beta versions of my manuscripts directly to reader’s Kindles on several occasions. Amazon doesn’t publicize the information, but it’s all there in the help documents if you go looking for it.

    1. It is there but there comes a point where you also get charged for doing so. Which is another turn-off for folks, myself included.

      1. I think they only charge if the file size is over a certain amount 1 MB I believe. Tried it by e-mailing from Baen then they started charging so off to download and Caliber I went.

        1. I honestly don’t remember. I haven’t done it for a bit. I don’t recall if it’s by file size, number of files per month or what.

      2. Doesn’t the charge only come into play if you’re using a 3G connection rather than WiFi?

        I’ve used the email method for several books from Baen and Gutenberg, and the “send to Kindle” app on my PC for some PDFs. I’ve only sideloaded a few files too big for email.

  10. And another trad pub shill is heard from.
    I have no idea why this guy ever got ‘famous’. I’m sorry, but everything that’s credited to him, other people were bouncing around the internet before he attached his name to it.

    1. Well he is friends with the Haydens…

      And he’s also enough of a lolcow to earn his own Encyclopedia Drammatica entry.

    2. “I have no idea why this guy ever got ‘famous’.”

      Canadian Author. In other words, he’s got a talent for getting attention in the very small pond of Canadian publishing, mostly by virtue signaling.

  11. I have a Kobo paperwhite from Chapters that I gave to my mother. She gave it back unused, because she’s old and doesn’t know how to make it work.

    Yes, such people do exist. At nearly 90, she can manage paper books but can’t grok the supposedly idiot-proof e-reader. That’s because they’re harder to use than a book, and her time for learning new things has passed.

    Side loading? Yeah, sure.

    I use the Kobo to proofread my work in odd moments, such as waiting in a cafe or at the dentist etc. I convert and load with Caliber. Peace be unto Sarah Hoyt, I managed to figure it out, but it is a non-obvious package. We use it because we must.

    By contrast, I cannot be bothered doing anything ebook-related on an iPad or an iPhone. I have accomplished the feat, after much study, but the iTunes loading dance is -retarded- and I Just Won’t Even. (What is it about Apple products that brings out the petulant hipster in me? Two words, Apple: file system.)

  12. Last part of that article — is he saying that his site will have “choose your own price” books? He seems to be saying he is going to have open pricing, which would be … well, it would be interesting to see how that might play out. I’d be willing to bet most people would pay roughly what they think such an ebook would cost at Amazon or such. Nah, he can’t be saying pay what you like, can he?

    1. Online vendors of Tabletop RPG PDFs do offer ‘pay what you want to’ pricing.

      1. Unless its a White Wolf PDF, in which case they will charge as much as the original print books cost, or more.

  13. Of course, the thing is, the whole idea of the ebook is offensive to those of us who are bibliophiles. It is truly troubling to me that when you purchase an ebook, you really are just leasing it. Further, no one seems to have much concern at how easy it is to ban books on electronic devices. No messy fires for burning – just a button push and – poof! Gone. And, given the predominantly leftist nature of publishers, I anticipate the proliferation of ebook “burning” to take hold as more and more snowflakes take offense at people outside of the progressive bubble having a forum for their ideas. I so expect it that I, a consumer of writing and not a creator, have considered starting a publishing company just to make sure that I can continue to have a wide array of viewpoints to choose from as I believe that consuming many different viewpoints and reflecting on them is the only way we truly learn. Of course, that doesn’t stop the lefty writers (or any other group) from refusing to publish with someone who respects a marketplace of ideas, but I digress.

    Anyway – Just a simple viewpoint from your endpoint user. Take from it what you will.

    1. Which is why indie publishing is so great. It is also why indie publishing has taken off the way it has. Without the so-called gatekeepers, all views can and probably are represented. It does put more pressure on the reader to check out the blurbs and samples to make sure the book will to their tastes.

    2. “Further, no one seems to have much concern at how easy it is to ban books on electronic devices. No messy fires for burning – just a button push and – poof! Gone.”

      It is surprising, the number of people who don’t understand that. The ability for a vendor to reach into your e-book reader and change things in there is very complete. That ability extends to the Internet as well. If somebody wants Von Clausewitz to disappear, they can actually do that. Just change the Google ranking, and an entire historical figure is gone.

      This is why we back things up on off-line media. It is difficult for Big Brother to erase a thumb drive in your pocket or a DVD-ROM in your desk drawer.Having an old PC sitting in a closet is a good idea too. That way you can -read- your off-line backup with a guaranteed clean off-line PC.

      No, I really don’t think that is too paranoid. Sadly.

      1. Thus my earlier reference to the screaming collywobbles.
        Every e-book I own lives multiple lives, on my desktop computer hard drive, on the backup drive that protects said desktop, and eventually on a backup DVD optical disk. It only ever hits the Kindle when I place it in the queue as soon to read. That way I don’t have to sift through dozens of pages on my device to find my next new thing.
        I understand that doesn’t fit with any number of folks, but I rather suspect that those same folks eschew things like texting and on line banking and bill paying as well. And that just means that their risk/reward lifestyle choices are different from mine. And that’s a case where I have no problem with a bit of diversity.

    3. Meanwhile, some of us like to read, are halfway competent at making backups, and can only have so many books.

  14. Gee what a surprise about your ASUS. I bought an ASUS laptop last April on the recommendation of the computer guy who diagnosed my late previous device. In less than a year the hard drive had to be replaced twice, and now I’m waiting for its return after battery/power supply replacement. A real piece of shit. Never buy an ASUS product.

    1. I’ve been a long time Asus user and have never had any real complaint. But this particular ROG has been nothing but problems. Nothing that can’t be worked around but, when I pay as much as I did, I don’t want to have to work around anthying.

    2. Meanwhile, at casa snelson134, my wife and I have owned Asus devices and never had an issue. Their free tech support is awesome when I’ve had questions, including at night and on the weekends. (Video driver incompatibility with new monitor; not even strictly an Asus issue).

      OTOH, I wouldn’t have a Lenovo or Dell if you paid me.

      1. Until this laptop, the only issue I’d had was the “w” key on the older ROG sticking. No problem. They replaced the keyboard and had the machine back to me asap. This time, it’s been nothing but “try this driver” and “try that driver” and “oops, now we have driver conflict” to “we don’t know, send it it”.

  15. Trump and Bezos don’t actually have all that much in common politically.

    Bezos was raised by a guy who converted to anti-communism.

    Trump’s political posturing would probably not be exceptional in a Democrat thirty years ago.

    Bezos is not using the Washington Post to carry water for Trump. Trump may even have a grudge against Bezos.

  16. Why keep saying “sideload”?

    All Kindle come with a Browser, so navigate to the not-Amazon site (as Baen) and click download.

    This is in your Kindle User Guide and has been since 2009.

  17. I used to be able to find my Kindle content on my laptop, but any files more recent than April of 2016 have gone invisible. Did they change file type (the old files seem to be .AZW3), or what?

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