Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

New E-Bookstore Has Best FAQ Ever

Hey hey, it's a book club! And this is how it works. There's a celeriac metaphor in there for you.

29 Comments / Post A Comment

Murgatroid (#2,904)

Sorry, Horse ebooks has my loyalty.

@Murgatroid You can worship both these masters!


t_birdo (#131,623)

@Choire Sicha Agreed! I kinda get it but I don't :(

Jim Behrle@twitter (#13,157)

Can you pull an e-book out of a pot with tongs?

jfruh (#713)

"And we want authors, agents and publishers to get paid…"

[weeps bitter editor tears]

bennimaddi (#314)

@jfruh editors kind of fall under the umbrella of publishers though, right?

Multiphasic (#411)

@bennimaddi If you mean that editors collapse to the ground when they are beaten with their betters' bumbershoots, then yes.

@jfruh Seriously, FUCK EDITORS. (JK, love youuuu guysss.)

Tulletilsynet (#333)

The question about how this makes economic sense is not frequently asked, then?

shaunr (#726)

8. …It would ruin the mystique.

shaunr (#726)

On reflection, this looks to be specifically targeted at that niche of readers that want to blindly spend $160 in advance on 12 long text files. They're just not being served right now!

I wasn't being served! And now I am!

I love surprises. And I love books! It's fantastic.

However, not everyone does, so fortunately, books are available as one-offs, for people who like to know what they're buying.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

I might be willing to subscribe — to the tune of $50/yr for six books — to new titles from an electronic publisher whose backlist is reliably wonderful.

shaunr (#726)

@Choire Sicha I give you joy of being served and wish them well but can't get beyond the fact that the shift from book to e-publishing involves not an incremental race to the bottom but a sudden Wile.E.Coyote canyon fall. And then just when an author thinks it's over – their work has been reduced to its marginal cost – an anvil will hit them on the head. *walks away like a concertina*

@shaunr Wait, what? How is this a race to the bottom? This is an ebook publishing company that's taking books that are NOT available on ebook, some of which are likely barely in print or not at all in print, and that are likely quite underread, and providing marketing and distribution for them at a very good rate to the author (or, in this first case, the author's estate). I cannot see ANY legitimate position against that. And neither can the authors involved, or else they wouldn't agree to the arrangement.

In fact, in the new publishing models, the author actually gets MORE per book than they did in traditional publishing, where authors could, after cost, literally be credited with between $1 and $3 per each hardcover sold. The vast amount of book price sucked up by the distributors is being eliminated, and the primary beneficiary of this is the author.

shaunr (#726)

@Choire Sicha Yes, I shouldn't have generalised using this publisher as an example and I apologise for dragging them in. It's just I've recently seen the books of two people I know (ten quid paperbacks before the usual Amazon discounts) almost given away on the Kindle – 'get X for the price of a cup of coffee' &c – and can't escape the feeling that without all those people in the value chain sucking-up part of the book price there'll be fewer people invested in publishing and fewer people to care about books more than they care about a cup of coffee. So, while the author might earn a dollar or two more per book they'll have to earn it all on their own in a crowded and distracted attention economy.

So, an emotional reaction. In short: the record industry; I GOT THE FEAR!

@shaunr Oh, THAT'S reasonable. Big houses are happy to hose people. Shitty contracts, bad faith, confused publishers, WEIRD TIMES.

Mr. B (#10,093)

I don't think those frequently asked questions have really been asked all that frequently.

What about those who are still interested in the physical book? (a lesser used offshoot of the Kurds, of course)

t_birdo (#131,623)

@armagnacforbreakfast This isn't gonna be one of those "oh the smell of the paper, the smell of the pages" is it

@t_birdo It's more like – "I will never buy an ebook reader, because seriously, do you know how much booze can be bought with that kind of cash?"

@armagnacforbreakfast Ha! I agree. I hate ereaders. But the iPhone! It's the ideal reading experience. Plus it sometimes gets sexts!

@Choire Sicha Alas, can't yet afford an iPhone :( The Awl only pays so much!

SeanP (#4,058)

@Choire Sicha Given that 1) it seems like most of the stuff I want to read is only slightly cheaper as an e-book than as a "real" book, 2) most of them are DRM'd, and 3) I don't really like reading on the iPhone (or really, any e-reader)… why would I spend the money on a Kindle or whatever? To each his own, of course, but I've never quite seen the attraction.

@SeanP Exactly. DRM'd books fill me with rage. I'm so glad Emily is going DRM free!

Oh it's too bad you're not an iPhone reading fan. Lots of people aren't! I know I'm in the minority. But I LERV IT.

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