Monday, April 30, 2012

The Customer Is Always Right


Do I need to expand on that?

I raised the price of everything but a couple books.  The hey day of the 99 cent book is over.  The freebie is over.  Ebooks are real.  Writers do this not out of charity but as a business.  I'm sorry that musicians can tour and make money while having their music free as downloads.  Writers stay home.  If readers want to read books, they'll have to pay realistic prices for them.  Or they can read the crap books from 1909 that are in PD for free.

What's kind of interesting is that Amazon who is at the cutting edge for everything, I see as caught completely off-guard with their very ineffective Select Program.  It seems great for them but it's not great enough for a vast number of authors to get involved with.  You try it, it doesn't work.  It does work for some.  That's why you try it.  Then you find out it doesn't work for you, you've tied up your book for 90 freaking days and got nothing.

I wonder what they'll wind up doing.  As a disclaimer--I love Amazon.  I do 99% of my shopping there.  I just bought a Kindle Fire.  But DashingBooks (me) is not the same as Foxcom (the company in China that makes tablets).  This is "art".  This is intellectual property.  They can't treat (they have been) writers/authors the same as companies who make mesh screens for doors.  We're not suppliers of an item and novels aren't units.  They found a way to treat Joe Konrath and all those involved with Mercer Books (whatever it's called) better, they'll have to learn to treat us all better.  OR they'll alienate the lot of us.  And find fewer and fewer actual writers enrolling in Select.  Newbies will always be cannon fodder--such is life.  Amazon is superbright, I'm sure they could figure this out if they wanted to.  I think the ebookharmony idea is a good place to start.  They already have tons of data.

Whatever.  We're in another transition period.

For the exact reasons why I didn't immediately convert the Renie Lake book to digital  I find were totally accurate.  It's impossible to not want to tinker.  When I went back to Kate, I did a rewrite.  I had been thinking about it for years, and took that as an opportunity to "fix" what I had inexpertly tried to say originally.  I have not been thinking about Renie Lake for years and while I do see why it would have been attractive as a movie property then, fast forward a bunch of years and I think we see this every night.  I've never watched Pretty Little Liars but everywhere you turn on television it's Girls Behaving Badly. 

I did learn something in daytime that I will pass along to you.  Instead of fixing something, it's easier to just delete it.  Disappear it.  There's this whole long exchange between Renie and Jan that I can see made sense to me when I wrote it then but it doesn't now.  Instead of trying to make it make sense while retaining it, I'm just cutting it entirely.  Jan can buy it off for me with one or two sentences and I'm out of it.

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