I like Goodreads. It’s a nice little site. Come visit if you’ve never been. Readers talk about books without all that pressure of having to put on pants and brush their hair. We form book clubs, discussion groups, have a little chat around the virtual fireplace. Literary movements have been and continue to be born there. Even though every time I log in, it reminds me that I’m a slow reader who is not living up to her ill-considered 2013 Reading Challenge Goal, as a reader, I like the place. And if, as an author, you don’t hard-sell or spam (you don’t, do you?), it’s a good place to launch a new book with a giveaway and interact with readers. Unless they are clearly abusive, no vague, Big-Brotherish policy steps in and strips away your reviews. Continue reading
City: Mainz, Germany
Year: 1399 CE
Location: A café that caters to scribes, illuminators, and publishers.
A tired looking man walks into the café and joins a group at one of the tables.
“What a day, guys,” he says. “I wrote almost six pages today; we practically ran out of quill pens. I need a beer.”
One of the men sighs. “Soon this will be the last of your problems, Heinrich.”
“Ha? Problems? Why?” said Heinrich. “You all look so gloomy, what’s wrong? And what’s with Friedrich over there?”
Everyone turns to look at Friedrich, who is sitting at another table, his head buried in his hands.
“He is an illuminator, Franz. He is doomed, and he is afraid to tell Magda and the children…”
“What are you talking about? He works for the best publisher in town!” Franz says. “He has nothing to worry about since they just started writing a new Bible for King Zrob of Khazaria!”
“So you haven’t heard, Franz,” said another person. “You remember last year, when Johannes said he was going to invent a printing press, and we all laughed? Well, he did. The first Gutenberg Printing Machine was just set up right here in Mainz, and he has very important, wealthy investors. Scribes and illuminators are a thing of the past.”
“Na,” said Franz. “It’s just a fad. The kids will enjoy it, but real scholars are not going to look at those things they call books. I remember how he described them, they are so ugly, you don’t even roll them out, you flip pages… who can read like that? And what about art? They will never be able to insert art properly since it will break down between those pages. Forget it, we are fine. Herman!!!! Would you bring me some beer already? And take another one to Friedrich over there, he needs to cheer up.” Continue reading
Last week, on March 24, 2012, we looked at a brief history of eBooks, Publishers and the Agency vs. Wholesale pricing model. You can review that post here.
Ironically,on Thursday March 29, 2012, the Huffington Post ran a story by Mark Coker the founder of Smashwords. Most of you are familiar with Smashwords as one of the first distributors to supply eBooks to retailers including, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, the Diesel eBook Store, and Baker and Taylor. Continue reading