Book UpdateLife, MiscellaneousPublishing BizWriting

Onward, Again

IMG_1969 Comments have been closed on the previous post. The mod queue has been tightened up, for obvious reasons. It will relax again when the current storm blows over. So if you make a comment and it doesn’t immediately appear, don’t despair, it just means I haven’t swung by the site at brekkie, lunchtime, or after dinner to clear the queue.

It was interesting and comforting to see Charles Stross’s take on the whole Hachette-Amazon thing, especially where he points out the relative sizes of the players.

One thing that surprised me in the response to my last post was how people didn’t seem to realize I’m a self-pubber too. Also, the number of people trying to tell me how the industry works and yet unable to answer even simple questions an industry professional will ask as a matter of course was thought-provoking. Over and over again I found myself asking very basic questions of people who just didn’t seem to understand how books are: made by any publisher, small or large or self; quality-controlled; and/or currently distributed, and why. I don’t know everything about publishing, I’ll be the first to admit that, but after the years I’ve spent in the field, I at least can guess at the dimensions of what I don’t know, and some of those lecturing me did not appear to be able to do the same. Those who don’t know what they don’t know tend to not understand. (Very meta, I’m sure.)

I will say that the flouncing by those who find the Amway Demagogue of Self-Pubbing more congenial was pretty hilarious, though I’m sure my amusement was not the intended effect. Slightly less amusing was the inability of people to parse “yes, they’re both corporations, but one is acting like a toxic asshole right now and the other isn’t.” Not to mention misquoting me, and then mocking the misquote. Which would be singularly un-amusing, but it’s the internet, so as a result it’s only mildly interesting and puzzling.

Anyway, time to get back to work. The books, they will not write themselves. There’s revisions on the first Gallow book, and some Storium work to do.

Over and out.

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just didn’t seem to understand how books are: made

uhm, the pretty book fairies and elves dont magic them into existence in the garden of pages?


Charlie’s a Stross, not Strausss

Ilona Andrews

Will you please stop confusing people with facts? 🙂


I think part of this is driven by pure ignorance of how publishing works, and part of it is driven by the special snowflakes who were ‘rejected by the man/gatekeepers’ and it’s all going to be wine and roses from now on, and every self-pubber is going to be another Konrath or Hugh Howley.

But, as I said in the other thread, most of them won’t. Most of them were rejected for a reason.


Looks like Amazon has offered to pay 50% of Hachette author’s royalties during this contract dispute… if Hachette pays the other 50%.

Ouch, that must stiiiing.

Tell me, when you heard the news and you realized your entire premise of Amazon hating authors came crashing down around you, did you feel like a fool? Because you sure look like one.

Can’t wait for your next post after Hachette says no to Amazon’s offer.

Dan DeWitt (@Dan_DeWitt)

I’ve wanted to join the discussion for a few days now, but I just value my vowels too damn much.

I would posit that it’s not dismissive of the people Amazon considers most important, which is to say, its customers. The whole announcement is phrased as being an explanation to the customers of what’s going on, and the fact that it’s issued as a forum post rather than a press release indicates that’s who Amazon is trying to talk to. Speaking as an Amazon customer, I rather like that the company directs its attention to its customers first, rather than talking over their heads to the press. It’s like it learned from the Cluetrain Manifesto. Anyway, it’s not as if… Read more »
Marc Cabot

Could you please state definitively whether you will accept payments from the author recompense fund if it is implemented? And your opinion as to whether Hachette’s refusing to implement it, assuming they do not, refutes its assertion that it is an “author-centric” publisher?

You know, when Edmund Gwenn said, “Oh, Macy’s doesn’t have that toy, you want to go to Gimbal’s” in Miracle on 34th Street, even though Macy’s management was appalled, the customers absolutely loved it—and subsequently, every store started directing shoppers to their competition when they couldn’t fill a request. (Granted, it’s fiction, but I found actions and motivations of all the characters involved to be entirely plausible within the given scenario.) So, yes, I’d say directing your customers to your competition when you can’t fulfill their order in a timely manner is absolutely customer-centric. And I wouldn’t be surprised if… Read more »
S.E. Gordon

“Quit while you’re ahead” is a cliché you might want to consider.

You’re doing nothing but damaging your brand.


Really? You buy books based on the author’s attitude toward Amazon? How…odd.

L Hutson
People use the most insane reasons to decide whether to support artists of all stripes, including authors. I’ve read any number of instances in which people choose whether or not to purchase based on an author’s actions. Some go beyond that – authors with bad interactions on Goodreads have found their product absolutely pummeled through reviews. Reading fiction – at least for me – is all about distraction and immersion in a world. I can see how people would feel strongly enough about an author that they wouldn’t be able to lose themselves in a story, and if that’s the… Read more »
L Hutson
I practically grew up in my local library, reading everything I could get my hands on. What I knew about the authors was what was printed on the back flap of the dust jacket. Every now and then an author would make the news, though it was usually when they spoke at a commencement address somewhere. Technology for artists is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, interaction can inspire fierce loyalty among people, who’ll devour anything you put out – as long as it doesn’t devolve into total crap. But it can just as easily turn people away. Plus,… Read more »

The same technology that can bring authors closer to their readers can, unfortunately, sometimes bring readers a bit closer to their authors than they would have intended or preferred. Just ask George R.R. Martin.

Stacey G.

I, for one, have many more books I’d like to read than I have time or money to spend on them. When it comes to easy ways to narrow down my many options, author attitude is an easy one. Whether it is their rants about reviews, their politics, their attacks on a company that has allowed me to afford more books, or their childish comment policies, any of these or other annoying behaviors make it simple to say no to purchasing their works.

Terrence OBrien

Do authors and book deserve special consideration in the market? Should they be treated any different from zillions of other producers and goods? Why? As consumers, why should we give them special treatment?


In the end, this basically takes on the timbre of a religious debate. Protestants and Catholics are never going to convince each other that they’re wrong. 🙂 But “someone is wrong on the Internet” and so they have to try.

The interesting thing about it is that, unlike most debates from real religion, sooner or later we’re going to get to find out who was right all along. Some people are going to be disappointed. And who knows, I could be one of them. It should be fun to find out. 🙂

Katie Doyle
I don’t have any kind of meaningful thoughts to add to the discussion of Amazon and Hachette, but I do have a thought on the comment policy: I love it. Every comment that you disemvoweled I did my best to decipher and I absolutely agree with why you did it. I think that people seem to think that just because you are open to discussion on the subjects allows them leeway to behave however they want. It seems to me, however, that they fail to realize this is YOUR site, YOUR blog, and that there were many threads of discussion… Read more »