Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Still Standing

Don't you know I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I'm still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind
--Bernie Taupin, of course
Borders didn't find a white knight to buy them out.  Now why would that be.  Surely Borders could be turned around by a savvy business team.  But the reality is, even if the business guys aren't thinking it,  there's nothing to turn it to.  It's a failing industry.  Say Borders did get bought, okay maybe not this year or next, but at some point who is going to be there to produce all the books needed to stock these stores?  The writers the publishers have treated well can fill the tables at Costco.  The rest of us have or are migrating to digital.

For those of you who haven't made the transition yet, I don't know what's holding you back.  Legacy publishing is not trying to do you any favors by publishing you.  It's not a mark of distinction to be published by them anymore.  It's more downside than up.  Get off the Titantic before it sinks.

I'm researching for my new novel.  Yes, it's started!  No, it's not in the Bad Apple series.  Even though it's a topic I'm more than passingly familiar with, I am reading up about it.  I got 2 used books from Amazon Marketplace for some background.  I don't know that there's anything there I'll use but it's understanding, it's about having a different perspective.  Then there was a book I wanted.  In hardcover it was $125.  No, I'm not paying that.  Paperback is $28.  Kindle is $17.  Wait, I have a Nook (that I haven't rooted yet).  BN doesn't have this book.  Kobo does.  It's $28.

This is part of what's killing legacy publishing.  Are you serious, people?   $125 for the hardcover and $30 for the digital?  I'll do without it, thanks.

Then you download the sample and it's 10 pages of crap acknowledgments, front matter, table of contents, dedications, "This page left blank on purpose" and if you're lucky you get a page from the actual book.

In a digital world, you have to put that stuff at the end.  I do now.  I don't even put the cover image up front anymore.  I was sorry to see it go, but while nice and attractive, it didn't help in the sample.

Here's the cover I was going to use for Unspeakably Desirable (I had a border on later versions).

I liked the...you could say strength but I was always going for violence of the fork stabbing the petit four.  People who looked at it, didn't get it.  If the banana tart cover starts to bore me with its rotundity, I'll switch back to this.  I did place a similar image to this one with a stock photo agency so apparently some people do feel its marketable.

I think about covers a lot.  We don't have the resources of legacy publishing (altho I can't imagine how Avalon could have used fewer resources on the cover for my book with them this year--I feel cheated, they couldn't even give me a good strong cover, I would have done the cover and given it to them for free just to have something marketable).  Some people can pay for a professional cover which might cost $500-$1000 or more.
The rest of us have to work around and make it happen.  Covers aren't going to look like the ones from tradpub.
I don't have an art department here helping me out but I can do something else.

I get the feeling, maybe wrongly but it's based on what I've heard, that readers are on one hand really thrilled with the 99 cent price and really angry at the same time.  They expect everything traditional publishing offers but at 99 cents.  Unrealistic.   Even traditionally published ebooks have formatting issues.  As for all the other things writers are accused of...it's wearing thin, people.

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