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Climbing the Charts!

NEW VA 1

V&A SHIPPING! STILL FREE! http://www.amazon.com/V-Shipping-J-R-Murdock-ebook/dp/B00B1MVTYM

I woke up this morning to see that V&A Shipping had reached #42 in free Space Opera! That’s quite exciting! My Goal and hope is to get it into the top 10 of Space Opera! Now that would be something.

But I cannot do this alone. I do need your help. If you have an Amazon account and you haven’t picked up a copy yet, please consider doing so. It will help move the book up the charts and help it gain some much needed visibility. And hey, you get a free ebook out of it. 🙂

I’ve sold a few copies of V&A Shipping II as well as a couple copies of Giant Robot Planetary Competition. This was the goal all along to help get some other titles a little bump while getting this one moving along.

If you’ve gotten a copy, THANK YOU! You’re awesome! If you’ve shared my post in your social media feeds, THANK YOU! You’re even awesomer! If you’d like to help a little more, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com or goodreads.com. Both help tremendously.

Again, thank you for all your help and support.

Stay Awesome!

WOO WOO!

My take on the whole Amazon v Hachette debacle.

If you’re an author, or follow authorial type blogs, you might have seen some noise regarding a big old mess between Amazon and Hachette. If not, let me sum it up for you in a few words. Amazon and Hachette are negotiating on who will get what when the monetary pie is sliced up from the sale of an ebook and just how much will be charged for those ebooks.

At this point in time, that’s all that’s really known. There’s been much speculation, but that’s all it really is at this point; speculation. Much of it is good speculation on the side of those pointing out that Amazon is a business and doing what a business will do in order to make more money. They want to set the price of a product they’re selling through their marketplace. Plain and simple.

On the other side, Hachette wants to force Amazon to charge a higher price so other sales avenues will be able to compete.

Again, this is all speculation.

So Amazon has decided that since they cannot come to an agreement with Hachette, they’ve removed pre-order buttons and from all of Hachette’s titles until they can come to an agreement. They’ve also raised the prices on the books to the LIST price. That’s the price the publisher has asked for the ebooks to be priced at, and not the discounted price Amazon would like to list them for. On the surface, it’s all business. Nothing personal. Just trying to make sure that all parties get the most money they can. We live in a capitalist society and that’s what business is all about, the money. It’s not about the readers, it’s not about the authors. It’s about a product and where the money goes.

Amazon is very silent on this matter and that works in their favor. There’s no need to get the details out there because it’s no one’s business other than Amazon’s.

On the other hand, there are a LOT of authors out there crying about Amazon being bullies to this publisher. Lots of hand wringing, calling to arms, complaints, etc.

Um… if you’re an author with Hachette, you have nothing to complain about. Nothing. Zip. Nada. You’re a writer. You sold your rights. You’re a widget. You’re replaceable. You are no more important to Hachette than a box of thumbtacks (and probably less so). If you fail, regardless of whose fault it is, they can have another you tomorrow (if not sooner). If you don’t own the rights to your book, you have nothing to complain about. You signed a contract with Hachette allowing them to do whatever they like with your book(s) including allowing it to wither and die on the vine if they so choose. You don’t own the book any more.

Yes, I’m sorry if this will hurt your career. I think that really sucks. Honestly, I feel for you. I just don’t see where you have any room to complain. No one owes anyone a living. The fact that you can make a living from your writing is awesome. I would love to do the same. But if you don’t own the rights to your work, then you’ve already been paid for your part of the bargain.

As for Amazon doing things that you don’t like, as I said, this is business. You don’t have a contract with Amazon that says they’ll carry your books forever and ever. Amazon can carry whatever books they like. If they’re not getting the terms they want, they do NOT have to carry that product. Plain and simple. They distribute. Nothing else. I don’t hear any of these authors complaining because every bookstore in the world isn’t carrying their books. It’s only about Amazon. Why not complain when you don’t see your book in my local bookstore? They’re also just a distributer. Should they be required to carry every title of every book that was ever written? Should every online retailer of books carry every title no matter what the publisher is demanding?

For me, the argument falls apart every time I read an author all up in arms over what’s happening.

I get the frustration, but I think they’re looking in the wrong direction. Amazon is just a distributer. If they’re not getting the terms they want, they’re under no obligation to continue to distribute a given work. Just because they’re the world’s largest distributor of books, I understand the desire to attack them. They’re a monster. They’re also a business.

If publishers are all upset about what’s happening, they need to look back over the years and figure out where it all went wrong. They had the chance to make their own Amazon-type website to distribute their books. They had the chance to take advantage of the technology. They could have even taken advantage of Amazon’s platform, signed a licensing agreement, and SOLD DIRECT and delivered to the kindle. They still could. Instead, they’d rather just complain they’re being treated unfairly by a distributer.

I don’t personally know any of the authors affected by this. I know some of them as friends of friends. I do honestly feel bad for this speed bump. Like I said, once you sell your rights, you sold the right to complain about what’s happening to your work. If you don’t like what’s happening with your publisher and how they’re dealing with the situation, find a new publisher.

Better yet, self-publish. All those things that you think you NEED a big publisher for are a fallacy. You can pay for a cover and get the cover you want (or learn how to make your own covers). You can pay for editing. You can pay an agent to help you get your book into the marketplace. You can pay a promoter. All of these will be a one-time cost. Done. Over. You make all the money. You can still spend your time being a writer. You will have a small staff doing work for you and only pay them once the work is done. You can write what you like, when you like, how you like. Your readers won’t care if your next book comes from Tor, Hachette, or you. I can’t remember the last time I looked to see who published a book before I bought it and I know I’m not alone. It’s called freedom and many writers are making a living being free to do what they want.

And they want to help you. All you need to do is educate yourself, and ask for help when you need it.

It sounds so simple, but it’s change. Change is scary. That’s why so many authors will continue to complain, bemoan, and defend their publishers. They’re scared of change. It’s scary when things happen that you have no control over. Unless you make a publisher millions of dollars a year, you’re replaceable. Unless you own the rights to your books, you have no recourse. Unless you take charge of your career instead of selling away the rights to your work, you’ll continue to have no control over your career.

There’s a lot more on this topic around the web. http://www.jakonrath.com/ (J.A. Konrath) has a lot more information including posts from other authors and him take on what these authors are saying. I agree with a lot of what he says (in some case almost everything he says.) If you’re interested or if you’re an author, go read what he has to say. There is a lot of wisdom in his words.

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

 

Daily Update: I remember…

There was a time when I was a kid oh so many years ago. I’d be reading a comic and think, I should order those x-ray glasses. Wow! 100 army men for only a dollar! That joy buzzer looks cool. And I’d get some of my lawn mowing money together, shove the order form in the mail with cash (I wasn’t a smart kid) and then I’d wait on pins and needles for the next 6 to 8 weeks before something would arrive. I loved ordering things through the mail. I even had my own Sea Monkeys. It wasn’t the having the item, it was the ordering and the waiting. The anticipation. I loved the wait wondering when it would show up and I’d have my prize. Sometimes I’d have three or four orders out at one time and I’d lose track.

I had a junk drawer in my dresser dedicated to all the little things I had ordered over the years. Some things broke after one or two uses, others died flaming deaths (green army men burn nicely, but smell horrible), other things I’d hang on to for a while before they got lost.

The joy was never in the having of the items. Sure I got my use out of the cheap, plastic toys, but it was always the looking for something else to purchase. The excitement of waiting for something to arrive in the mail. The sheer enjoyment of tearing open a package, envelope, box, to get at what lay inside. Some times I would be disappointed, but most times I was very happy with my little purchase. They never cost a lot of money, but brought me a lot of joy.

I think that’s why I love ordering things from http://dealextreme.com, http://tigerdirect.com, http://amazon.com, and http://monoprice.com. It’s not that I NEED the things I order or even that I feel they’re be of higher quality than what I already have. It’s the excitement of ordering something and waiting for it to show up. Right now I have five orders that I’m waiting to arrive. Lots of little things (a bigger thumb drive, some cables, a book, new earbuds) but each day I go to the mail and it’s filled with junk. 99% of what shows up in my mail box is trash. The rest, stuff for someone else (more trash) or the occasional bill (I have almost everything paperless).

Now I’m like most people. I think instant gratification is a wonderful thing. I could head off to Fry’s or Best Buy and pick up what I saw online and have it right now, but there are times that I enjoy the wait. Wondering when I’ll go to the mail box and find something interesting in there for me. There was a lot of junk today. Maybe tomorrow there’ll be something. I’ll just have to wait. 🙂

Where are some cool places you like to shop online?

Remember when I said that hitting my writing goal yesterday would be a challenge. Yeah. Unfortunately writing time didn’t happen at all yesterday. I worked through lunch, picked up my favorite daughter, went to visit my father-in-law to say Happy Birthday, attempted to fix his sprinkler system, took my favorite daughter to volleyball practice (and I even walked for 30 minutes) and then it was back home. I did take care of replacing a loose/bad outlet, renewing my driver’s license, ordered checks (we were down to 2 before I renewed my license) and I even took care of a couple needed phone calls.

Yeah, yesterday was crazy busy. Today, not so much. Or so I hope. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m treading new ground at work. That’s always fun versus just bashing out code. I’m actually having fun experimenting…until I hit a wall that is. I have a co-worker who will be helping me at some point today. I’m sure it’s either a silly mistake or I’m just not using the code as designed. I don’t think I’m trying to re-invent the wheel. Again, we’ll see.

I’ve bookmarked a couple anthologies that I’d love to submit to. I’ll post those once I decide to write story for them. The links to the anthologies, not the stories. I also need to write a couple calls for guest posts. I have a couple friends who are having open calls for guest posts. This should be fun. There’s a lot of writing I need to get done this afternoon. I’d better get at it.

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

Book Review: ShatnerQuake



ShatnerQuake by Jeff Burk

Find the title on Amazon where you can also read a full description of the book and about the author.

I met Jeff Burk at WFC2011. Silly me, I bought the book from him and completely forgot to have him sign it. Ah well. This will push me to attend another con where I may be able to meet him again and have him sign my copy.

I was not given my copy of the book. I was not asked to or paid to write this review.

What prompted me to pick up this book was William Shatner? William Shatner. William Shatner! And a Captain Kirk holding a light saber. Well, that and speaking with Jeff was a lot of fun. I’m glad I picked up this book.

From start to finish this book was a fun romp. Yes, it was a quick read, but it was a fun, quick read. I’m sure Jeff had to do some research into all the variations of Shatner, but I’m getting ahead of my self.

The book finds William (Bill) attending ShatnerCon. A convention in his honor. Outside are Campbellians protesting. Those would be fans of Bruce Campbell. In the first couple of chapters, a fiction bomb is set off and every variation of William Shatner comes to life. Yes, in the middle of a convention. And the real William Shatner must deal with confused fans, Campbellians, and Shatners. More shatners than you can shake a bat’leth at.

I really enjoyed this book. Like I said, it was a lot of fun. I expected a funny, twisted tale and Jeff Burk delivered. If you’re a fan of the Shat, and you’re looking for more William Shatner than you may really want, check out ShatnerQuake. It’s just plain weird fun.