Friday, June 28, 2013

This blog may will be discontinued without warning.

Due to Google's new policy of deleting blogs that have "adult advertising" (a term which they have failed to define adequately) this blog may spontaneously disappear. You have been warned.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mysti Parker interviewed me!

Did you know that it took me ten years to get my first full-length novel published? And do you know what animal I would be for 24 hours if I had a chance? Go visit Mysti Parker's blog Unwritten to find out!

Oh, and about that novel, it's called Train Wreck, thanks to Nobilis, who was brave/suicidal enough to read through it and help me edit. Just click on the title.

Yes, I'll add the cover to the sidebar when my headache goes away!

Ann

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ebook Piracy, take 2

My previous essay on this topic was very focused on one list published on one blog at one moment in time.

I'm now doing a bit more research on my own. I just went to a very popular torrent site and did a search for "ebook" to see what was in the most demand. One of the things about bittorrent, is that not only do you see how many people are providing files for download ("seeders") but you also see how many are downloading ("leechers").

Here's the top five results of my search, sorted by number of leechers:

Oxford University Press Ebook Pack 652 Books - Sorted - PHC 190 seeders,184 leechers
Cambridge Univ. Press Ebook MEGA Pack - 1193 Ebooks PHC - 156 seeders, 124 leechers
Routledge Ebook Pack 867 Books - 166 seeders, 90 leechers
0Day Scene Ebook Pack Oct.Nov.Dec 2010 PHC - 72 seeders, 66 leechers
University Presses Ebook Pack PHC - 159 seeders, 55 leechers

Every single one of these is a package of textbooks, spread across many subjects. Before we get to any fiction at all, we have to go down to number 18 on the list, which is Lord of the Rings. We have to get down to 22nd on the list to see any fiction at all.

I'll leave it to people who write and sell textbooks to worry about what this means for them. Having been a college student, I know how much of a scam college textbooks can sometimes be, and I don't feel a great deal of sympathy for their publishers. Maybe they can work out a subscription system, where the university pays the publisher for electronic access to the books, and make print copies an 'extra' that are available to students who prefer them.

As for fiction, waaay down the list (35th or so) I found Terry Pratchett's "I Shall Wear Midnight". That was the first new fiction on the list. Six people were leeching. Is that a significant number? I can't say.

But do check out this item: Amazon is selling the hardcover "I Shall Wear Midnight" for $9.43, and the Kindle edition for $9.99.

Friday, March 4, 2011

On the Galleycat List, and What it Tells Us

An article recently appeared in Galleycat, listing (ostensibly) the ten-most-pirated titles on Pirate Bay, a notorious torrent site.

It'sa good article, definitely worth reading, but I would like to pluck a bit of information from it for analysis, that is, the list itself:

1. 1000 Photoshop Tips and Tricks
2. Advanced Sex: Explicit Positions for Explosive Lovemaking
3. What Did We Use Before Toilet Paper?: 200 Curious Questions
4. Photoshop CS5 All-in-One For Dummies
5. What Rich People Know & Desperately Want to Keep a Secret
6. 101 Short Cuts in Maths Any One Can Do
7. Touch Me There!: A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots
8. How to Blow Her Mind in Bed
9. 1001 Math Problems
10. How To Make People Like You In 90 Seconds Or Less

Much commentary has been made about the strange assortment of titles, about how little there is to tie them together.

Au contraire.

Searching for those titles on Amazon reveals some interesting data:

1. Not on Amazon at all.
2. $30 used, not available on Kindle.
3. $8.45 new, $8.03 Kindle (95%)
4. $26.39 new, $23.75 Kindle
5. $0.63 used, $11.99 Kindle
6. $24.95 used, not available on Kindle.
7. $11.06 new, $9.99 Kindle
8. $10.36 new, not available on Kindle.
9. $4.99 new, not available on Kindle
10. $4.49 new, $9.08 Kindle

The #1 title is a bit problematic, because the title does not appear ever to have been for sale anywhere online, at all. It looks like a resource that someone assembled from some site somewhere, and is using file-sharing to distribute.

But for the other nine, there is a commonality: Four of the nine are not available on the kindle at all. Given that kindle format is the most popular ebook format in the world, one can assume that these are not available for sale in ebook form. Of the remaining five titles, the price for the ebook version is no less than 90% of a paper version, and often much more than what a used copy is asking.

It can be inferred from these facts, that a significant proportion of pirates are downloading books from pirate sites either because they cannot get them legitimately at all, or else because the price is too high.

This leaves out the question of whether the books are available internationally, and where the downloaders are coming from; other analyses of book piracy have found that many pirated books are not available in the countries where their downloaders live.

I see nothing in the Galleycat article to shake my belief, that piracy is a symptom of a failure by the publishing industry to find a way to serve its customers the way they want to be served, at a price they are willing to pay.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Good Parts, Episode 16: Does Length Matter?

This week we're talking about length... no, not THAT kind of length... story length. Short stories, novellas, novels, life-destroying monsters; how do you know what length a story will come out? How much sex do you need? How do you manage it all?

Plus the usual tomfoolery.

Direct Link

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Good Parts, Episode 15: Entitlement

This month's show we're responding to one listener's email. There's lots of good stuff in here about ebooks, podcasts, why we do what we do...

Oh, and the waters are a bit more snark-infested than usual.

Here's the direct link to the audio.

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