It got me thinking, or what passes for thinking, about that which must never be mentioned by name… *s*n*t… and in particular alt.binaries.e-books
So, just for shits and giggles, I set newsleecher to download everything from the “dailies” for the last few days, which queued up a total of just over 2,000 e-books.
Once downloaded and imported into Calibre, it was time to clean up the dupes, a few of these were mirror dupes, mainly they were the same book in different formats, anyway, when done, 1,331 unique titles left.
Now go through and select every title with a wimminz author, calibre pops up the book cover so even if the title doesn’t give the content away the cover does, click remove from library.
Down to 358 books
Go through them and see from the cover which ones are clearly written by wimminz using androgynous nom’s de plume, or men’s names, delete
161 books left
delete all the warhammer and star trek crap
122 books left
Nota Bene, these are just BROAD filters, exclusion filters, excluding only wimminz authors, and 100% of their output in fantasy sex shit, utterly opposite from an inclusion filter, such as sci-fi only, ignore everything else.
In this 122 books there is a fairly broad range, tom clancy, feynmann, a little sci fi, a couple of westerns, a couple of crime/detective ones.
But the point is from my random sample of some 2,200+ titles, we are down to 122, which represents about one half of one per cent.
eg 99.5% is chick lit crap.
Now, I’m a reader, not a writer, but let’s take DMJ’s book.
I have not read his book. No particular reason, it falls into the cluster of things I do read, so why haven’t, why, so far, has Broken Roads been that one thing NO retailer can track, the sale that was not made, the lost sale? At least as far as me as a unique potential customer goes.
Number one is I dislike the price disparity, 11 bucks for a hardcopy paperback that is printed and bound and packed and shipped and lands at my door, but 7 bucks for an electronic version that DMJ could have produced himself with Calibre, and yes I understand the vast marketing reach of amazon and resellers margins, but really? 7 fucking bucks for something that has a unit cost of maybe 0.5 cents to process and deliver electronically?
Is DMJ getting the lion’s share of this 7 bucks? I doubt it.
Is the 7/11 bucks ebook/hardcopy price break indicative, eg it costs 0.5 cents to produce and distribute an ebook, and 4 bucks to produce and distribute a paperback? I doubt it.
Number two, again, speaking personally, I got no use for poxy proprietary file formats, nowt wrong with epub, Amazon can kiss my ass with their kindle lock-in, I will either read a ebook with Calibre on my main PC or Moon reader on my Samsung Note 10.1.
Number three, I have nothing against paying for shit that I consume, you can tell from the above that I know how to get pirate copies of anything I want, and yet my PC and Android devices are littered with software and apps and data that I have paid for.
The stuff I have NOT paid for is simply because either;
- the pirated shit simply worked better than the paid for shit
- the shit itself is worth max maybe 1% of what the seller is demanding
- I already paid for that shit five times over (eg music) and to this day you don’t offer that shit to me in a format I want to use
- I just wanted to look and play, not keep and use, but you don’t offer a working demo
- while I am happy to pay for the shit itself, your insistence that you will bundle it with a bunch of shit I do not want and not give me any option about installing it without that other shit made it a no sale
- I’m not prepared to buy your other proprietary device or service (kindle / xbox / ps4) just so I can use this shit.
But I cannot enter into any form of negotiations with you that I could if I was dealing with you face to face over a shop counter, not because electronic trading forbids such things, but because you simply are not interested in selling anything to anyone who does not want it your way, up the ass.
Number four, market dilution, see the above where >99.5% of literary output is wimminz writing shit that frankly, if I tore the pages out and wiped my ass with them, I’d have more shit on my ass than when I started… the ONLY way I know of DMJ’s book is because *******I******* fucking found him and it in my browsing and clicking, so tell me, why should I give one red fucking cent to your marketing machine Amazon? Why should DMJ, for such a putative sale?
In fact, it is the likes of Amazon and the other publishers who diluted the fucking market in the first fucking place…. I should be able to walk into a high street bookshop and ask where the science fiction section is, and when I get there I should be able to find the hard science fiction section…. good luck with that.
If I have to trip over piles of 50 shades on the way in the shop I am not fucking going in.
I don’t mind paying DMJ to read his shit, to me it is the same as buying some beers for the guy jamming down the pub or telling a story over a fire.
I don’t see why I should have to pay Amazon for something they have not done, marketing, as far as my individual potential purchase is concerned.
That is like being in the pub anyway because you were wandering down the street and fancied a pint and spotted a likely looking watering hole, so you walk in and there is this guy jamming with a guitar, and you go up to the barman to get a drink and maybe listen to the guitar guy to see if he is any good, and some cunt in a bow tie walks up and gets in your face and demands a 5 buck entry fee before I can hear any notes guitar guy plays, hey, bow tie cunt says, I’m his fucking agent, I promote his act, fucking pay me.
end of numbers
This ain’t about DMJ or his book, this is about media, distribution, business models, etc etc etc.
When the unit cost of publishing a single book from a single author is measured in cents, or fractions of a cent, and you seek to make money by making trillions of such micro transactions, that what fucks shit up.
It was EXACTLY the same in the early days of the internet, it used to take money and effort to get online, and sure you didn’t like everything you found, but you didn’t find crap because nobody had the resources to upload crap… even when it started to take off as enough of a mainstream thing that there was now a world wide web and a web browser, and therefore potential viewers, you spent a ***LOT*** of fucking time ensuring that NO page on the website was over 50 kilobytes, and the front page better be less than 25 kilobytes, and this was for EVERYTHING, including graphics, check everything for load times over a 9.6 or 11k modem connection, and load processes, ALL the text better load first, while the gfx downloaded line by line as the images appeared like a slowly lowered blind.
The came Assholes On Line and (in the UK) Freeserve, no more cost per minute for the modem connection, and just like the chick lit, it turned to crap, world + dog had websites, contents of my desk drawer in puke technicolor and BLINK and all 230 web safe colours.
It just devalued and buried everything else.
we live in a world where you decide to buy a coffee, si you go to starbucks / costa / wtf and who cares it all tastes like shit and the fucking cardboard cup is literally a greater cost to the shop than the coffee / milk / electric to make it.
you know how much the cost is of the chicken in a mcfuckits? 6p per portion, that’s about 10c american, eg it is the cheapest ingredient
you know what the so-called managers in high street retail food chain shops (I mean restaurants here, not walmart) spend most of their time doing? juggling staff and rotas to achieve the industry target of making wages never exceed 40% of the TOTAL costs of that particular outlet.
all of the above are factual by the way, so, back to tracking the sale that was not made for DMJ’s book, in my particular individual case, I’ll buy that fucker when TRUE values are represented, eg Amazon treats it like a loss leader, and go “Hey DMJ, we just sold another copy of your book to some guy called AfOR, here is the 5 bucks he gave us, and here is 6 bucks from us, making a total of 11 bucks for you.”
Maybe then I won’t have to download 1,000 books to find 50 that I might possibly read, it’ll be like publishing used to be, you know, in the bad old days when you walked into a bookshop and found it full of Petersen how to books and the latest Larry Niven and Clarke and Dictionaries and Thesaurus and maybe even a Gazetteer or two.
Music is already there, so is video, only video I watch now is fly on the wall shit.
Turn your speakers up. And the sub-bass… To 11
- How to Use Calibre (literaryetc.com)