Huge Discounts! Hmmm.

October 15th, 2012

Good news!  Red Country is out in the UK in three days time!

More good news!  It’s an amazon book of the week, and they’ve slash, slash, slashed the price of the hardcover to an it-should-be-criminal £7.64, that’s 55% off, or a saving of a stonking £9.35 on the RRP of £16.99.  It’s a fair bit cheaper than the mass market paperback RRP will be when it comes out.  £7.64 seems to me a fantastic price for a beautiful brand new hardcover, especially a book of this incontestably extremely high quality.  Just look at Simon Appleby’s BookGeeks review of it:

“Bloody, unheroic, compelling – Red Country is all of these things, a real page-turning fantasy. Abercrombie co-opts the best elements of the Western without pastiche or mockery, and delivers a massively enjoyable read, combining action and genuine emotion to great effect.”

You like the sound of that?  So do I!  It even has coloured end-papers like some kind of collector’s edition, for heaven’s sake, and it’s a full cup of frothy coffee cheaper than Iain M. Banks’ new hardcover on amazon, even with a meaty 50% discount of its own.  It’s a good four quid cheaper than Peter F. Hamilton’s.  I’m cutting my own throat here.  Or at least amazon are cutting theirs, especially since their normal policy is to refund the difference on a drop in price to everyone who’s pre-ordered the book, so I imagine a good few of you will notch up a refund of a couple of her Majesty’s finest British Pounds along with your purchase.  We’re paying you to read it!  You lucky, lucky consumers!

Slightly less good news.  The kindle edition remains at £8.99.  Which looks kinda silly.  And I can pretty much guarantee there’ll now be a few folks one-starring the book on account of how unfair they feel someone or other’s pricing is, as they have with Banks’ book.  Because e-books cost nothing to make, don’t you know.  Sigh.  On the one hand I think, yeah, the e-book should always be cheaper than the hardcover, and that I’d rather see the e-book a bit cheaper anyway, more round the £7-8 mark on a new book, obviously dropping off over time as the mass-market edition appears to more the £4-5 mark.  On the other I can’t help feeling this shit is really tiresome, that the paper and digital versions are different products, and that the model of heavy discounting on hardcovers is always going to produce some brief anomalies.  If the hardcover weren’t so scandalously discounted, after all, and remained a bit more than the e-book, would anyone complain?  After the week promotion, precisely as happened with Banks’ book, the price will bounce back to a more routine gigantic discount of 35%-40% ish, about a tenner, say, and the kindle edition will once again be a pound cheaper, and I will more than likely be left with a clutch of one-star reviews by folks who haven’t read the book complaining at a nebulous someone’s long-vanished pricing policy, like sea garbage left rotting up the beach after the storm has receded.

Still, what can one do but tiredly express one’s feelings to one’s editor, who can tiredly relay them to their publishing director, who can tiredly relay them to the head of fiction, who can have a monthly tired discussion about it with the board, who can kick it upstairs to guys whose pricing policy is set worldwide in consultation with shareholders and whose decision making processes cannot but move at an utterly glacial pace.  Safe to say, the kindle price of Red Country ain’t likely to be coming down this week, whatever you or I may think about it.

I guess a lot of these pricing issues on e-books, deeply frustrating though they are for writers and readers, will gradually sort themselves out.  Be nice if they sorted themselves out faster, but such is life.  For some time the approach of publishers seems to have been to deliberately make e-books as unattractive as possible in the hope of protecting their hardcover market, and fighting for their lives in an unfamiliar fog as they are, I guess you can somewhat understand their reticence.  But as the e-book sector becomes a bigger and bigger slice of the pie that approach just ain’t going to wash.  The agency pricing model which ensured publishers could keep the prices of e-books high is collapsing in the US, and Europe surely will follow, allowing much greater flexibility on promotions of e-books, currently quite strictly regulated, and opening the door for discounts on e-books even more massive than those on paper ones (since even if the development costs of an e-book are just as high as a paper book, the unit costs are undoubtedly much lower).  On the one hand, yee-ha!  Cheap stuff for consumers!

On the other hand, hmmm.  You can bet the result will be an extension of the tendency towards heavy discounting of the most successful few titles that has been going on over the last couple of decades, since supermarkets and amazon came to dominate the market.  That’s great for the big phenom writers who shift gazillions and are starting to become a standard part of the marketplace.  It’s fine for the established front listers who’ll get the big promotions and the big discounts and the big support, like Iain Banks, and Peter Hamilton, and, well, me, it would appear, fingers crossed.  It’s not so great for the big majority of writers, though, who don’t necessarily sell enough to warrant the big discount or a place on the supermarket shelves, and whose books are going to get progressively more expensive and less competitive.  Even worse, I fear, with margins so squeezed, for new writers, especially those who might be writing something uncommercial, difficult, challenging.  I tend to be optimistic with these things.  Maybe self-publishing really will become the way for new writers to flourish.  No doubt it works for some.  I remain a little dubious, though.

Still, in the meantime, Red Country for £7.64!  Woooooooooooot!

A little later: Amazon sales ranks are an arcane and secretive business, heavily affected by recency, but they’re still quite an interesting indication of what’s selling right now.  This discounting evidently works, and fast, because in the last few hours, Red Country’s Amazon UK sales rank has shot up from somewhere around 300, where it’s been for the past couple of weeks, to 47.

Posted in news, opinion, process, reviews by Joe Abercrombie on October 15th, 2012.

67 comments so far

  • Smoochie says:

    That is a veritable bargain. I’m in 🙂

    Totally on board with your comments on ebooks. However if the weirdness around VAT were resolved – currently paid on ebooks, not on paper books – then the Kindle version would actually be cheaper than the hardback version. And that’s even with the current ludicrous discount.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    As I understand it the VAT situation is a little more complicated and actually considerably more insane that that. Amazon pay their VAT in Luxembourg (of course they do, how could it be otherwise!), therefore at 3% on ebooks. By 2015 all of Europe should be brought into line on VAT, which will hopefully mean zero rating on e-books alongside paper books. But for the time being UK VAT on e-books is the full 20%. Which means that any retailers based in the UK have virtually no chance of competing with amazon on e-book pricing.

  • James Oswald says:

    Eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy, ordered ages ago. I would have bought it without the extra discount, but…

    As for the state of publishing at the moment, I think more and more people will turn to self-publishing, as I did. A few will find success and get picked up by a traditional publisher (as I have just been – hooray!) Most won’t, and their books will languish unloved and unread in the kindle store. Thus Amazon (and to a lesser extent the other ebook players) become the new gatekeepers. I guess you could call it the democratisation of the slush pile.

    And yes, the sooner they sort out the VAT situation the better. But knowing Europe, they’ll want to abolish the zero rate and put 15% or 20% on all books, printed or electronic.

  • ian m says:

    will they be matching the prices at your book signings? as I’m coming to the one in Manchester and want something by you scrawling in it

  • Connor Leigh-Smith says:

    Ach, such a good price. Would definitely order now, except the only reason I’m not buying the Kindle version is that I’ll be at your book signing in Staines and buying my copy there…
    I look forward to reading it anyway, and I’m sure it’ll be well worth whatever Waterstones are selling it for!

  • Ulrik Bøe says:

    I think part of the problem is the expectations the publishers set on hardcover pricing, before ebooks entered the market.

    There was a continual rise in prices, both on hardcover and paperbacks, that was above inflation. The publishers blamed this on the rising cost of paper. This, however, was revealed to be a bald-faced lie when ebooks appeared and eventually settled to be about the same price as paper books. The pricing on books was never dependent on the price of paper.

    Now the publishers are claiming that the real costs is in the development (editing, layout, marketing), but they have zero credibility. It’s impossible for consumers to know if they’re telling the truth this time, or if they’re (again) just making up shit to cover for the fact that prices are as high as they can get away with. And that the difference between the price of hardcover and paperbacks is almost entirely due to differential pricing, getting those who can pay a lot to pay up while still selling to those who wouldn’t buy it for less than £5.

  • Geoff says:

    *looks at the hardbacks of Great North Road and The Hydrogen Sonata arrived from amazon last week*


    *goes to order Red Country at amazon, finds it already pre-ordered*


    *mulls on Joe’s passing resemblance to Derren Brown*

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Ian M,
    I think it’s virtually impossible that Waterstones will be matching that price in store. However, the Waterstones editions should have a little extra short story in them…

    Generally speaking a business is going to charge the highest prices it can get away with, or at any rate the best balance between price and sales that will produce the highest profits. That’s pretty much the essence of capitalism, no? Expecting multinational conglomerates not to do that seems a litte … odd? I’m not that familiar with this price of paper argument, I know that’s significant in magazine publishing but less so with books. I guess it does figure in a minor way, but I would have thought it’s always been pretty well known that the higher price of hardcovers is mostly about getting the book early, and that profits for publishers and authors are a lot bigger on hardcovers than mass-markets. That’s part of the paradigm that’s existed in publishing for some time. Watching a new film at the cinema is going to cost you more than renting a recent film, which’ll cost you more than an old film. It’s a long established commercial principle, I would’ve thought. I’m not sure where the deception is there? You could have a model where everyone pays the same, which might make hardcovers a bit cheaper but mass markets more expensive. The current arrangement and relative price balance has emerged in order, I don’t doubt, to maximise profits. But then profits for publishers can be a good thing for consumers, enabling them to take chances on new authors.

  • Ros O'Sullivan says:

    You probably already know this, Joe, but Amazon also pay their corporation tax, such as it is, in Luxembourg, so retailers based in the UK have virtually no chance of competing with Amazon on anything.

    This will probably sound smug, but I’m buying mine from an independent bookshop (OK, I’ll be honest, the one I work in). The Amazon model is, in the end, unsustainable and will inevitably lead, as James said above, to a massive reduction in the books available to the general public. Do authors really want to spend all their time promoting their books on Twitter because there’s no other way to get them known?

    End of rant. Can’t wait to read The Red Country.

  • Ulrik Bøe says:

    What you say is true, pricing is mostly independent of costs. Costs matter of course, but the relation between price and costs is very weak – unless, of course, there is enough competition in the market, and based on price.

    The issue I have is that for many consumers the cost of making a product determine what they think is a fair price. Publishers know this, so they make arguments like the one about paper or the newer one about the costs of layout and such. And that boils down to telling comfortable lies to your customers. While a lot of people know that hardcovers aren’t really that expensive to make compared to paperbacks, I doubt that the majority of readers are aware of it. If you go into a book store and see the fancy hardcovers going for two or three times the amount of a paperback, your gut reaction is going to be that it’s because it costs more to make, right?

    Another fun publisher statement: “Amazon takes 30%-40% cut of every ebook they sell, that’s a significant factor in our costs and they’re greedy” while a brick and mortar store routinely keeps around 60% of the sales price…

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Well, yeah. Having said all this, amazon are very, very good at what they do. Their customer service is superb and they’ve consistently been way ahead of the curve, and left all competitors in their dust. I mean, I buy from them often. It’s always concerning when a single entity exerts such a stranglehold on a market sector, though. I can remember when Ottakar’s were taken over everyone looked at Waterstones as the evil mega-corporation, now Waterstones are in trouble and everyone roots for them as the plucky underdog. It’s going to be interesting times in bookselling over the next few years. Or possibly terrifying is the word. I worry about what happens when Waterstones, as seems inevitable, starts to close down stores widely, and there’s much less presence for books on the high street, aside from the blockbusters in the supermarket racks. Will amazon’s book sales shrivel when Waterstones aren’t acting as their showroom? Will amazon have to open showrooms of their own?

    Pricing and costs are certainly loosely connected in the case of any single unit of a given book. I’m not sure pricing as a whole is so independent from the costs of running a publisher as a whole, though. More profitable hardcovers tend to fund less expensive mass market paperbacks. Hugely profitable books and authors tend to fund chances taken on a lot of unprofitable ones. I worry that fierce competition on pricing is going to make the few very successful books cheaper and cheaper, but force up the price of the rest, and make it tougher for publishers to take risks. I’m not sure such a narrowing of the market is good for consumers in the long run.

  • Neil says:

    I ordered through and received Red Country Thu 11 October. Is something not quite right that I received the softback before the hardback is out in the UK?

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    The trade paperback is what’s sold outside of the UK, typically, as it’s cheaper to ship. So, a big paperback – the hardcover pages in a soft binding. There probably isn’t a tight embargo in place on release date elsewhere in Europe, so they’ve just shipped it to you when it arrived in their warehouse, you lucky thing.

  • Dan Y says:

    The problem is that the current situation is very good at creating in the customers the feeling that they are ripped off when using the digital versions of the products. The toxic combination of DRM, licensing, regional/IP segregation and protection of the old business models, rarely leaves the customer with the satisfaction that he got a good deal.

    That is not limited to the book industry – steam and some other digital media vendors are as bad. Situations like this one are way too common.

    The problem is not the absolute dollar price of the books. This is not a call for “ebooks must be cheap”, but more like – ebooks should be with predictable and sane pricing scheme. The market for ebooks should be global – a situation where refuses to send 500KB mobi file on discount to Bulgaria, but is more than happy to ship the same words for the same price in a 5 pound brick form is absurd.

    Or the fact that to read your book I have to wait one more month because

    Kindle titles for your country are not available at
    Please shop for Kindle titles at

    even if I am willing to pay the full asking kindle price.

  • Soteris says:

    From £17 to just over £7 before its even released? Something smells a bit rotten in the publishing world.
    As for ebook pricing, its all very wrong. Will never understand how an ebook costs more than a real book.
    On a final note, cannot wait for Red Country to arrive.

  • Ulrik Bøe says:

    Dan Y,

    hasn’t started selling Red Country yet? I live in Norway, so have to buy from .com. I got my Red Country a few weeks back.

    (And it’s awesome, great job Mr. Abercrombie!)

  • Melkor says:

    I pre-orderd Kindle edition of the Red Country a copule of months ago at the and it was sent to my kindle device on the 29th of September. So I’ve read it already (btw it’s fantastic! 🙂 )and I don’t have any complaints about different price policies. There is a big advantage getting an ebook almost one month before the offical release date, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Drew says:

    Without going into specifics Joe, I was wondering if you get a better deal out of e-books or hard covers as the author? Do authors generally get a bigger share of one of the other or is it usually the same?

    As a consumer I’d imagine e-books would work out better since you don’t actually have to print anything and the cost of making and distributing multiple copies is negligible, so there’s more profit pie to go around on that 8 pound rather than a 15 pound hard cover.

    Anyway just curious, can’t wait to read Red Country!!

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    That’s weird. Sounds like might have jumped the gun somehow. Maybe to those outside the US, or something? Glad you liked it, though…

    Very complicated and difficult to say, but there’s a general agreement in place that authors get 25% on ebooks, which is very good. Mass market paperbacks might be 5-10%, hardcovers 10-15%. A full RRP hardcover is probably still king, but full RRP is a rare thing these days. I’m certainly not complaining if you’re buying ebooks.

  • Kreso says:

    To me, there’s only one reason to buy e-books over the old paper: you can read them at work. 😛

    But the “normal” book is still 100x better.

    So I usually end up buying both.
    Also, an kindle edition means I get to read A Red Country straight away, I don’t have to wait for my paper version to arrive. 😀

  • Luke Kidson says:

    Alas, I will buy it at FP for your signing (wouldn’t be fair otherwise) and shall have to choke up full price.

  • Ulrik Bøe says:

    I haven’t checked on their website, but I preordered and got the email about it being ready to download on September 28th.

    It was a surprise, I wasn’t expecting it for maybe another month or so. Not that I’m complaining!

  • EdC says:

    Certain branches of Waterstones offer a half price deal on pre-orders. My local branch didn’t on Red Country but I asked nicely and got it for £8.49. Not as cheap as Amazon but I get the extra story.

  • Mus says:

    Hi Joe, do you have any future plans for an anthology of these extra shorts stories? It would be great to be able to get hold of them.

  • Graham says:

    Have not long finished the proof copy my friend won, very well done sir. Very well done indeed.

    I will still have to purchase myself a copy I think.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Yes, there will in due course be an anthology of all my short fiction. To date there are, er, I think five stories in all, with maybe a couple more in the pipeline. Probably ten to twelve needed before anthology time, so a little way off yet. It may be that some of them get made available on ebook before that time which, of course, I will announce.

  • Jakub dan Worst says:

    One-starring books only because of the prices of their kindle editions – aaargh!!!!! Logen would surely turn into The Bloody Nine upon witnessing such idiocy. Totally unfair with the authors.

  • Soteris says:

    Say one thing about these one star reviewers…say they’re bloody fools

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    I was going to buy it regardless of the price, but that is just ridiculously good. One might say, orgasmic?

    Thank you very much, Amazon, you once again prove to be a cheap bastards best friend.

  • SwindonNick says:

    Because you made me feel guilty about being so near to Swindon for your talk, I have signed up with Toppings. I expect a dedication at the start of your talk at the very least.
    I am making the wife come along and that has cost me dinner for two at Sotto Sotto. And I’ve ordered the book from Amazon but am going to have to buy something on the night as well obviously. So don’t go on about your cheap book, it’s costing me a bloody fortune.

  • Smoochie says:

    A few of you are going off about one-starring a book on the basis of pricing. The thing is that hitting a book’s sales figures is the only sure-fire way of getting a publishers attention. The “star” system is, to my mind, a review of the contents, the packaging (cover art, robustness of the book, error-free nature of the text, etc. I don’t mean the cardboard box it came in!) and the perceived value-for-money of an item.

    I agree it’s sad that the author also gets punished by this – but unless you can come up with a way of effectively lobbying the publisher without this collateral damage then I’d say it was a legitimate way of voicing a valid complaint.

  • Graeme says:

    £7.64?! Done!

    Welcome, friends, to the circus of value!

  • Alex says:

    Kindle version ordered already!

    How can I explain to the wife that I needed the hardcover version too….

  • Dan Cook says:

    I shall be demanding the difference from you when I purchase the Waterstone’s hardback in Guildford this Thursday Joe.

  • Dan Cook says:

    I shall be demanding the difference from you when I purchase the Waterstone’s hardback in Guildford this Thursday Joe.

  • Bryan W. says:

    So, just to confirm, the UK edition a different (and in my opinion better) cover than the US edition (

    And there is no way to get the UK edition other than ordering from the UK website for Amazon?

    Alot of your American readers have Amazon Prime, which would mean free shipping, but we are stuck with generic-guy-with-sword version of the cover.

  • Mike says:

    Getting my hands on a copy of Red Country this week is the light at the end of the tunnel as I am going to a job interview tomorrow and I’m dreading it. Curiously however, my last interview was on the same day that The Heroes came out and I got that job (I read the first half on the train up and finished it on the train journey back down again), so hopefully the publication of your latest work will give me the edge oncce again… See you at Forbidden Planet on Friday to get my full price copy signed!

  • Pauly says:

    I would really love to buy a kindle Fire HD (and buy your lovely book on it as my first purchase) but every time I am tempted to buy a kindle I notice that all books I want to buy are cheaper to buy in physical format.

    Seems like despite my groaning book shelves I will continue to live in the dark ages, which is such a shame, as I am sure my wife and kids would love messing about on the Kindle.

    /pre orders RC on Mamothzon…

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Everything cheaper on paper, really? Pretty much all my books are cheaper on e-book than their current paper equivalent. Red Country, for the small period of this promotion, is the only exception.

  • I suppose I shall buy it then, seeing as they’re practically giving it away.

    Any more news on the audiobook release date, Joe? Will it be the same day? I’ve saved my credit for this month in anticipation. Do you get paid the same, whether I use a credit or using real monies?

  • On ‘Audible’ I mean.

  • k0k0 says:

    I purchased it on the UK Amazon, even though I’m in America so that I get it early. I absolutely cannot wait. I will put down whatever book I’m reading when it arrives and immediately dig into Red Country. Even with the dollars to pounds price and the cost to get it sooner, it’ll be so worth it.

  • AO says:

    @ Bryan W.,

    You are mostly right, the UK Amazon has the beautiful cover and the US publisher went with “that other cover” which I consider crap but to each their own.

    There are other retailers that you can turn to though. The Book Depository is another online retailer which currently has the UK version for just over $20, but with free international shipping.

  • Miw says:

    No problem with paying just shy of nine quid for the ebook. Can’t believe it’s only a couple of days away! Eek!

  • anthony says:

    What’s all this about an extra story? I’ve cancelled my amazon order and will go for waterstones, feel a bit better giving my hard earned cash to a book shop!

  • Richard says:


    If I were to leave off buying from amazon and purchase a copy at your signing would you make up the difference, ’cause you’re a smashing guy?


  • Ryan says:

    What Lazio said, been wondering exactly the same.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Lazlo, Ryan,
    Audiobook read by Stephen Pacey should be out the same day as the physical and e-books. I’ve got a copy, so it’s done, no reason I’m aware of that it shouldn’t be available Thursday.

    I would strongly recommend against any expectations about anything which rely on me being ‘a smashing guy.’

    Waterstones have an edition with an extra story in. Slightly frustratingly, I can’t absolutely guarantee that every book they sell will be one of those editions, though…

  • Michael says:

    Almost the very first thing I got from Amazon was a paperback copy of an Ian Rankin novel. The copy they sent me had a fold mark on the back cover. I was a bit pissed at this until I saw the handwritten post-it note inside. It said that this was the last copy in the warehouse, they were sorry it was folded, but I could have it for free rather than wait for new stock. They refunded the full price.

    They serve 137 million customers every week, and bothered to write me a post-it note.

    I ordered two copies Joe, and Thursday can’t come soon enough!!

  • James Webster says:

    I’m in Hong Kong, usually buy from also, but it is still not available to me until the 18th.

    Incidentally, Joe, your Amazon biography pages is well out of date:

    It still refers to Best Served Cold as your latest standalone… Fire your promoter, sir!

  • Sword1001 says:

    I cracked . . . pre-ordered my copy halfway through your second sentence 🙁

    Was going to wait until xmas, as I’ve got an exam in December . . it’ll play havoc with my studying, but sod it, I can sue if I fail right?

  • bta says:

    Just had an email from Waterstones to say that your latest was posted today.

    Of discounts….. pre-order it was £10.19, but (I think) includes the extra short story – and it was post-free.

    A bargain, I calls it.

  • footle says:

    I also got to paragraph two, visited the amazon site and bought the book.
    But if it wasn’t for the price difference, I’d have bought the ebook in preference.

  • Jamie says:



    i always knew you where a psycho joe!

  • Jacob says:

    What is the short story, exactly?

  • Curtis says:

    Foul language and fist waving from America…..yet still I patiently wait.

  • Piggy says:

    Pre-ordered the book long time ago, but as I’m half a Europe away and I pre-ordered it through one bookshop, my guess is I’ll get it 2-3 weeks later and exactly when all my exams begin. Oh the fate!

  • Knappos says:


    Last month I returned from honeymoon to one of those red post office card thingys. Off to the PO i trundled, getting thoroughly soaked and picked up a package.

    Got home and opened it up. Lo and behold it was a proof copy of Red Country what I won from entering one competition or another run by your esteemed publishers.

    Fantastic (belated and unintentional) wedding present. Thank you very much. I read this in about 5 minutes.

    In terms of other wedding presents the wife won’t use it and I’ve used the coffee maker more, but, it’s a fantastic read and I actually may have made some out loud noises at certain parts.

    I eny everyone who hasn’t read it, because they haev their first time to look forward to.

  • Pauly says:


    Just speaking from personal experience I find the physical prices are more expensive, as I either tend to pre-order my most wanted books (including yours of course), in which case Amazon usually runs a deal that undercuts Kindle, or for older books I tend to buy them second hand. Some people may sniff at this but I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

  • Ross Warren says:

    Worth noting that the Waterstones edition contains a bonus short

  • Sword1001 says:

    How short is this “short” and could I get away with reading it in my lunchbreak without buying a copy . . . ?


  • RBWalker says:

    “avoid any imperial entanglements”

    Deliberate Star Wars reference?

  • JK says:

    My pre-ordered copy arrived today… Now I am torn – do I read it immediately or save it for my long haul flight next week, especially as I’m in the middle of some re-reads… Decisions, decisions!

  • Nick says:

    With my grumpy hat on, yes, the Kindle prices still annoy me.
    I don’t know they can’t sort out a reduced price for both versions if they’re going to do it for one.

    Still, at least I won’t get weird line breaks and typos in my hardcover copy. The lack of care in e-book versions really pisses me off.

    Can’t wait to jump in.

  • JK says:

    My strength of will shone through… Am 2 chapters in already… I have a feeling this afternoon and evening will vanish as I finish the rest of the book!

  • Sword1001 says:

    Book arrived today! 😀

    Read the last page and I can’t believe everyone dies at the end!

    Kidding . . 🙂

  • msoltyspl says:

    Well, with reference to what you have written about ebooks vs paper – there’re more problems. Amazon’s deluded dreams about monopoly (proprietary format), same about B&S and their custom drm approach (though, I think lates adobe stuff supports it, so at least for most epub capable readers it’s a matter of firmware upgrade – assuming the vendors bother …), whole drm nonsense in general. Relative triviality of workarounding it giving a cute surreal touch on top of it all. And then, sometimes region locks – something making really little sense in the digital world.

    As for ebook publishing. Sure it’s not free 0 time effort, but it’s barely difficult or a rocket science. ePub in general is an open well documented standard, and it’s bloody html/xml for the most part with a few twists. [A few] random fan[s] that happen to have certain computer/ebook/web affinity, could prepare a fantastic epub version in matter of day[s], mostly or completely by hand and for free.

    I’d say self or semi-self pulbishing is a great alternative. And easy tools helping with that are only getting better with passing time for less computer-savvy folks.

    From reader’s perspective – I use kobo touch, it’s nice somewhat independent ebook reader. If I wanted to purchase a typical title now, my options are:

    – amazon: start with drm removal and conversion to epub
    – B&N: start with their custom drm removal
    – other: hopefully an ePub version – almost guaranteed to have Adobe drm – so bare with it or remove it; and bare with book’s price in most cases

    Or … just google obvious terms, click first link, get unencumbered version ready to use, in whatever format I might need. Some better made (sometimes great), some worse (sometimes horrific) – but then again, it’s the content that matters first and foremost in the books after all.

    Does that help writers ? Or am I just to geeky, as average Joe (no phun intended 😉 ) just buys Kindle and welcomes all the mess he possibly doesn’t even know about with open hands ?

    On the related subject:

    Do you have a paypal account ? Mind putting it on site or even somewhere here in the blog ? Say for people … less amused with whole publishers’ approach ?

    Or do something like band “Flashbulb” – their albums can be bought directly in a very convenient way, e.g.: . If your books were availabe in such way directly from your site, that would be a blast …

    I won’t suggest Paulo Coelho approach, though it did wonders for him in markets he never existed to begin with … Actually aforementioned Flashbulb did something similar though went a tiny bit further – official torrent with payment info directing to more official ways if one liked the album.

    Bloody hell what a wall of text I produced …

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