Response to Amazon and Hatchette

Amazon sent me a note this morning, asking me to write Hatchette and voice my opinion on this matter.

I decided to take them up on that, as I had an opinion during the MacMillan spat as well. here is what I sent:

OK, you two, this is getting ridiculous.

You both realize the entire world is watching as you play this game? Not with bated breath, as you may imagine, but more with long sighs and “oh great, NOW what?”

Well, maybe not the whole world. But as someone in the literary scene, each time something like this happens, it makes the rounds. It is more akin to watching your neighbors fight than anything else. (we’d like you to quiet down so we can get back to work)

Here is what you need to know:


Give Hatchette the same deals, the same percentages and costs you give me, Apokrupha press, who has 8 books. Let them price their stuff anyway they want. They are the ones making this stuff, they can make those choices on price. Treat all publishers, big and small, the same. It is for the author to decide if they are happy with their deal with Hatchette, and act accordingly. Your dealings are between Amazon and the publisher. Treat all of us equal.


I will never, ever, pay $10 for an ebook. Ebooks must be cheaper than the mass market. Period. It is a digital file that you are crippling with DRM, making its value about that of a cereal box. Now, this is important so listen, if you price your book at $15, I won’t just buy the mass market–I will forget the book all together and buy a different book. The price of the ebook should be YOUR choice, but never forget that purchasing it will always be MY choice.

Both of you:

Your public temper tantrums are getting worse, between this email, the public ad the other day, and it isn’t making anyone like you two more. Quite the opposite, it is seeding doubt in the minds of writers, readers, and more importantly, CUSTOMERS about both of you.

And both of you need to realize that there are options, different places to buy online, different publishers selling ebooks. If you push us, the readers, enough, we will go elsewhere.

Fix this. Restore our confidence that both Amazon and Hatchette are companies that we, writers, want to work with and that we, the customers, want to buy from.


The Kobo Mini Review

(Edited on 10 August with some fixes)

I am a gadget geek, but that is not news to anyone. Since starting my publishing endeavors, I’ve been looking into all the ebook reader options, not just the Nook or Kindle. With the advent of eBooks, we are in a situation where the tactile experience of our books are independent of the intellectual one. As such, I am enjoying exploring all that is offered to see how different companies tackle this same issue.

I recently picked up the Kobo Mini and it is fantastic.

What is it? it is a small (5 inch) epaper reader

What isn’t it? anything else

This thing has one purpose in mind: read. And for that, it does a great job. The size is really the killer feature with this reader. It is about the size of a paperback book. The screen is responsive and the device is easily held with one hand. And light, it is nice and light.

The software is responsive, and reasonably customizable. They have an achievements type system built in which marks your accomplishments: number of books finished, number of pages read, etc. Not essential to any experience, but can be fun to look at.

It works well with Calibre, which I use to organize my ebooks from Smashwords or Storybundle, allowing me to read on whatever device I want.

I found my only real complaint is that it is difficult to operate left handed because of where on the screen the “next page” regions are. A small softer customization on this part would make it fantastic. There are three options for the screen on how to change the pages on the Kobo. While none of them are what I’d prefer, it is set up so it can be used either left or right handed. After changing the setting, this became much better to use.

Small, light, great battery life, this reader really is a fantastic single minded gadget.

An Almost Year… An eBook confession

I didn’t make it.

A Year Without Big Pubs

Admittedly there were a few paper books purchased, mostly poetry, throughout the year. And yes, I bought the zombie Star Wars book. Seriously? It was zombies and Star Wars. How can one resist? But all of these were paper.

Then Black Friday / Cyber Monday happened. For the most part I don’t pay much attention to the sales that go on this day. For the most part it isn’t worth my time or energy to go out into the world, fight with others to get something. I’d rather be in, with my friends, family, or loved one.

And I was. But something happened. That something was Open Road Media having a massive, massive sale. I was alerted to this by someone posting that Swan Song, by McCammon was $3 in ebook. So I went to look.

I wanted Swan Song, and if I hadn’t looked at the main list, that might have been it. But I saw something that I couldn’t resist: Octavia Butler. I paid $4 for a trilogy of hers. And, it was as they say, ‘on’ after that.

I grabbed some more of McCammon. Then some Michael Chabon. Elizabeth Hand. Alice Walker. And, since it is sometimes needed, “Go the F*ck to Sleep.” Still a fav.

So what changed my mind? Why did I jump back in? Simple. The price was right. These books were priced as they should be. And for that, I purchased them. Simple, no?

Simple. No?