Saturday, October 16, 2010

Penguin Publishing Pissing Off Readers

From the Amazon Discussion Boards:

Penguin is absolutely pissing me off with their slip shod editing of e-books. The most egregious example recently is Kat Richardson's latest Grey Walker. About half of the chapters are missing the first letter of the first paragraph and almost every word beginning with Q is capitalized (e.g.: the Question). This after a two month delay in delivery.

This isn't even close to being the only poorly edited eBook Penguin has published, just one of the worst. It is the third book this month that I bought.

I am speculating on this point, but I strongly suspect that this is the result of having the IT department convert the paper copy to eBook format using OCR instead of starting with the soft copy used for typesetting. IT people do IT work, they are not trained as editors.

The best evidence I for this is:

1: the corporate moaning about the conversion price
2: looking at the hard copy of "Labyrinth", the missing letters are printed 5 lines tall and with gradient coloring - thus causing the OCR to class them as graphics rather than letters.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why We Love Random House: From an Amazon Kindle Discussion Board:

"The level of love that I have for Random House for not going with the agency model cannot be overstated. In the same way that I shy away from Penguin books, I favor Random house.

I know a couple of people with iPads. They downloaded Kindle for iPad so they could have a decent assortment of books, and once downloaded, tend to use Amazon for all their book purchases. I mean for God's sake, the iBookstore didn't even have the Stieg Larson books."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Harper Fails Adriana Trigiani

I stumbled on Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani at Barnes and Nobles. Read the first few pages and then opened my Kindle app on my iPhone, thinking I'd buy the book if it was 9.99 or less.

It wasn't even available for the Kindle, yet. But I could preorder it.

This is a huge fail by Harper, Trigiani's publisher. Now, not only will I not by the hardback, but I won't by the Kindle version. I'll wait until it becomes available on Bookmooch or pick up a copy from a friend.

I understand Harper wants to make money, but if they were smart, they'd realize that keeping Trigiani's fans (and possible new readers) happy and reading by releasing the eBook the same time as the hardback would be a win win situation for everyone.

Another publisher that wears its greed on its sleeve.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hey, let's really screw our new author!

Hi Kaleb,

I read a recent article about your publisher and agent deciding that NOT releasing an ebook when the hard back is released.

I'm an active member of the Amazon Boycott eBooks over 9.99 Board and so in love with my Kindle that I created a website devoted to eBooks that are priced accordingly (it cost pennies to produce, if that!).

I'd love to hear why you think they are looking out for your best it your goal to make a boatload of money or establish new readers and reach as wide an audience as possible?

Regardless, much luck to you. And I look foward to the far, far away eBook release...

Here's an interesting article -

A small publisher is holding back on the eBook release (for a year) for a brand new author.

So, here we have an author trying to build a following...and a platform to market his book (that cost nothing - no overhead). We've seen that *free* kindle eBooks often lead to readers discovering a new author and buying his/her other books.

So this publishing company decides to hold off on an ebook because they want to make profits on the hardback.

IF you read the article, both the agent for the author and a publisher states it's all about the money.

It SHOULD be all about building the authors fan base (which leads to profits in the big picture). Paulo Coelho?

It's really no wonder that publishers are laying off people left and right and closing whole divisions. They oughta try reading a few marketing/business books.

Might I suggest you shoot the agent and publisher an email to let them know that, as a Kindle owner, they are losing a potential sale, and a potential fan?

Richard Curtis: Agent

And, of course, no email for the publisher (why give a platform for customers to contact them? It's not about customers, is it?).

However, there is a blog featuring the story link about the refusal to release the can post your thoughts...for the whole world to see. I did.

And, here's the author email...I've written to him and wished him much success and told him I was disappointed that his small publisher is costing him potential sales, and hope that when his contract us up, he will consider signing with a publisher that cares more about his career and reaching out and establishing new readers than they do about making a quick buck.

Something to think about anyway.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kindle Flamer Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie - the author that stated he hates Amazon and Kindle owners so much that when he saw a lady reading a Kindle on the airplane, he wanted to hit her with it?
Well, he tried to explain his remarks, and, (IMHO) threw more dirt out of his hole than into it - the deeper to bury himself.

Here's my response to Mr.Kindle Flamer:

What a hypocrite.
If Sherman had bothered educating himself on the Kindle, he'd discover that people are purchasing and reading more books than ever before. He'd discover that the Kindle is enabling people who are paralyzed, people who have vision and hearing challenges, the awesome opportunity to enjoy reading again.
Amazon discounts books - Amazon's numbers are increasing while all major publishers numbers are decreasing - and why is that? Because publishers refuse to change with the times. The only greed I see is coming out of the Avenue of the Americas.
And Sherman trying to put the spin on his negative comments by his concern about 'poor' kids - and yet, nowhere on Sherman's website (as of 7:32 a.m. on June 3rd 2009) is there any place to donate books or money to a worthy childs cause.
And since when is up to Amazon to make sure every child is not left behind w/o a Kindle.
Sherman claimed "Oh, I had to submit to eBook rights, I have no other author allies."
Guess what Sherman. You did NOT have to submit. It's a free country.
I doubt we would be reading the headlines "Author killed by gunshot to the head after refusing to sign eBook rights in his publishing contract."
If you really despise Amazon that much, you should have refused to sign a contract unless your publisher agreed to not sell your books on Amazon.
So, let me get this straight, you hate Amazon, but you're happy to take the money you make from the sales of your books from them, yes?
Any true lover of books and reading would be championing every opportunity for books to be sold. Independents, Retail, Online, eBooks, audio, etc.
The true elitist is Sherman, who feels that books should only be sold one way - his way.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kindle goes Virtual "Post It Notes"

Recently, I actually DROVE to a bookstore (and the clerks almost fainted when they saw me - it's been so long due to the fact I have the Kindle and Whispernet) and picked up the book "I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like" by Mardy Grothe.

I decided to actually buy the hardback because I love to highlight and flag things, but have always found that doing so on the Kindle is fine, but used to be tedious to try and and go back and slog thru everything.

While reading it last night, I went through a ton of Post It flags, marking lines that I really enjoyed.

I'll admit it right now, I'm a POST IT NOTEaholic. I had to BUY the actual BOOK Practical Magic so I could highlight all the dreamy, thought provoking, sentences, (hey, it's what writers do!). Also, I did want to have an actual copy of the book in case something happened to my Kindle (no electricity, drop it in the toilet, roll over on it in bed and crack it, etc).

I wake up this morning, open the email from Amazon announcing that now highlights and notes can be easily navigated on line by going to

As an avid highlighter and notetaker, I can't tell you how enthusiastic I am about this new feature!

And my family will be relieved not to find little neon Post It flags stuck to their shoes all the time!

Love it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Boycotting Baldacci

Sadly, I'm now boycotting ALL David Baldacci after reading his comment quoted in the NY Times Article "Steal This Book"

"The lower e-book price “is not sustainable,” said Mr. Baldacci, whose novels regularly rise to the top of hardcover best seller lists. If readers insist on cut-rate electronic books, he said, “unfortunately there won’t be anyone selling it anymore because you just can’t make any money.”"

In the hands of the right person, a well marketed eBook is valuable. In the hands of someone that is more concerned with their art than "making money" - a reasonable priced eBook is a spark that will ignite a career.

Paulo Coelho (author of The Alchemist) was disappointed that his book only sold 900 copies in its first he made is available for free. What happened as a result? Actual sales of The Alchemist jumped to one million over a 3 year period (with no additional promotion or publicity from his publishers). Coelho is still an advocate of sharing his work for free and because of this, author Jeff Jarvis named Coelho 'the Googliest author' in his book 'What Would Google Do.'

I've discovered new authors that I hadn't previously tried because their book were free or cheap on Kindle - Charlie Huston a prime example. I downloaded the free "Caught Stealing" liked it so much I actually bought more of his books - HOWEVER - his latest is 11.99 - so...not buying till the price is lowered.

So, yeah, there are authors and publishers out there that keep their readers in mind and with diligence and authenticity, are able to make a living selling their stories.

And THOSE are the authors & publishers that I will continue to support, spread the word about, and read.

**and ironically, Mr. Baldacci has several philanthropic interests
that concern and promote literacy - yet instead of seeing the positives of eBooks, he's worried "no one will make money."