Tuesday Morning Meanderings

This is going to be a short piece this morning. Something’s come up and I’ve got to head out the door in just a few minutes. Add in the fact I overslept and, well, something has to give and I’m afraid it is this morning’s post. That said, there is a great deal going on in the world today, including on the publishing front. So let’s get to it.

First, if you’ve been involved with traditional publishing and you’ve gotten your rights back. please be vigilent about confirming the publisher is living up to their end of the agreement. That means you can’t take them at their word that they’ve taken down order pages for your work on all platforms. You need to check them yourselves. Not just once either. Do it at least twice a month for the next several months. Why? Because I know too many authors who have wound up having trouble trying to re-release those titles later because the publisher still has them available on that particlar platform. It might be Amazon, it might be B&N or Kobo or Apple. You get what I mean.

It is up to you to protect your rights. The publisher isn’t going to do it for you. And, yes, I’ve seen this happen with several authors in just the last month. So do your due diligence and protect your rights and your money. (This includes making sure you demand a full accounting of any and all sales the publisher might have made after they agreed to return rights to a title or titles to you.)

Second, if you haven’t read the latest on the anti-trust lawsuit brought in Manhanttan against Amazon, take a few minutes to check out what The Passive Voice has to say about it. I don’t know what I love more about PG’s take on the issue: his “trigger warning” or how he addresses some of the legal issues presented. But this one comment from PG warms the cockles of my cold indie heart:

PG would argue that looking at what has happened to the ebook prices of traditional publishers with their excessive cost structures and obligations to kick lots of money upstairs to their often privately-held overseas owners is only looking at the portion of the ebook market that is in slow decline.

And this is important for us as readers to remember, just as it is for those of us as indie writers to remember. I looked at my e-book purchases for the past year. To say I made more than a few purchases is putting it mildly. My purchases (not counting books read through Kindle Unlimited) count in the dozens. But of those dozens, only a handful–less than I can count on one hand, to be honest–came from traditional publishers. Even then, only two of those cost more than $7.99. One of those was non-fiction, which I expect to pay more for. Everything else, including my KU reads, came from small press and indie authors and none cost more than $4.99.

Read the article and see if you have some of the same questions about motivation of the plantiffs in this case as I do.

Finally, a very short updat regarding the ReMarkable Tablet and its impact on my writing. In the time since I received the tablet, the creative well has been overflowing. By tricking my mind into thinking I’m using pen and paper, I’ve managed to work through major problems with two different projects I’ve been working on. I’ve made notes on several others, including one I knew I needed to write but didn’t have a clue what it was going to be. All I had was the series and title.

Now I’m back to a more “normal” work schedule. The day is spent at the desk or in my recliner doing actual writing. Evenings have the ReMarkable at my side as I watch TV with Mom. That’s when I find myself making notes, doodling about upcoming plot points, etc. There is a very definite line that’s been drawn between the creation process–figuring out the basic plot, character development, etc–and the writing process. As a result, words are flying and I no longer feel like I’m fighting to get anything down “on paper”. Fingers crossed this keeps up.

And now I’ve got to run. Until later!

Featured Image by Becca Clark from Pixabay

5 comments

  1. I’ve bought a lot of ebooks in the past year, and very few of them cost more than $5.00. The only books I’ve bought above that price point are books in series that I really like (e.g., the 1632/Ring of Fire series) or are by authors that I really like. Otherwise, there’s just too much good stuff available below that price. I already don’t have time to read all of the books I’ve bought, so as much as I hate to pass on an interesting ebook above $5.00, realistically I know I’ll never miss it.

    1. I got turned off of 1632 after a couple of books that were too <something> I didn’t make it past chapter 2 in one that was just overflowing with incomprehensible (although likely historically accurate) names for German nobles; I can’t be bothered to keep that sort of stuff straight in my head. One or two, sure. Dozens? Nope. Another one had all new characters, which is fair – Grantsville had lots of people and we haven’t met them all; let alone all the downtimers – but the cast is already sprawling and I just couldn’t bring myself to care.
      That was after reading at least a dozen of them. I suppose I could see what’s come out in the last couple years.
      Yes, Pam, it is surprising you didn’t lose me for the Empire stories; sometimes author quality makes up for the hassle of distinguishing Ahja from Ahxi.

  2. Twenty dollars is my non-fiction e-book price cap, for the most part. University presses are (in)famous for the high e-book prices. Which goes along with their high print book prices. Fiction? Five is a pretty hard cap. Eight is “no, I’ll wait.”

  3. I’ll grant Amazon’s monopoly status as a bookseller. However, I don’t see how it can be a defendant. Apparently, these “most favored” agreements exist all over the place. If there is any price collusion (which is not clear), it’s happening at the publisher level. Amazon just says “best price you offer.” What price that may be is beyond Amazon’s control. If all five publishers have the same best prices, that’s publisher collusion, which has nothing to do with Amazon.
    I also agree with the PV commenter who says Amazon will bury this case in data. There is an implicit assumption that those five publishers are the only ebook publishers; I don’t think they’re even a majority, these days.
    It seems to me that Amazon’s worst-case outcome is “OK, fine, we’ll tear up the MFN agreements” and it will have almost no affect on anything. Even deep discounts to another retailer are not going to pull people off Amazon because no one is using Amazon just to get big-5 published ebooks. The few people who clip coupons might go to the bother of searching for a better price, creating an account for the purchase, and buying a particular ebook from a particular retailer, but unless the price difference is both significant and long-term, it will be just the coupon clippers who do it (and the tech-savvy subset of them are already pirating the books).

    1. Hypothetically…

      Someone, I think it was Theodore Dalyrumple, said something like for the left, forcing people to lie was a tool to break self respect.

      If such a left regime thought that it had won forever, making legal procedures a bizarre mishmash might be an end in itself.

      I’m a crazy paranoid, am not really following what is going on, and am ignorant of legal theory.

Comments are closed.