Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Good news everyone! The POMI release date is coming soon.

My editor was eventually successful in prying my manuscript from my fingers for last time--and I should have the date for it really soon. I am so glad it's finally ready, but I might need a paper bag.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The eBook Apocalypse Part II: The revolving story of us versus them.

I have never met and indie/self published author that hated Amazon. I am sure they are out there, but for the masses there is love or respect for The Zon. There is a good reason for that, Amazon makes what we do possible. They get a lot of credit--good and bad--for allowing people to self publish, but let us be frank; they are the bread an butter for a lot of the independent publishers too. My co-op included. For reference, an indie publisher is any publisher outside the big six...*counts* er, five, publishers and their imprints (of which there are A LOT).

Penguin and Random House recently morphed into some type of megazoid publisher, that just leaves Hachette, Macmillion, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster.

The more I talk about Amazon, the more people I meet who hate my guts. They love to tell me how wrong I am, and if I miss commas. They love to tell me they hate what I am doing, but not any of them have been able to prove that I'm wrong. They just don't like me.

So far, these people have all had one thing in common. They are all committed to traditional publishing. And that's great! I am a firm believer that everyone in the "book industry" is on the same side, even if we don't like each other. (One day, I want to sell my book for half off at the Walmart too.) Oddly, these people tend to be the ugliest to me. Not all of them! Some are FAB! But the self published and the micro published have caught on to the fact that they are their brand. They know being a vicious bitch on social media will catch up to them--and quickly. Agented writers that haven't sold a book, and don't have fans, or a publisher to please probably aren't going to see the effects right away. But I am a firm believer in Karma.

I freely admit, there is all kinds of hostility, and it is on both sides. The thing is, when one gets on their platform and screams that Amazon is evil and shouldn't exist; the other group hears that they are evil--and that they shouldn't exist. It can't be both ways, and most people don't even try and pretend it is. They don't want Amazon to live, and they don't want indies to live either. It's nothing personal, except when it is. The traditionally published make more money in real books than indies and self published authors. It's because they have great distribution channels, and we don't. So if Amazon fell, they'd still sell books. But if Amazon never existed, then the waves of small presses wouldn't exist, and self publishing would still be completely laughable--though I am sure they still think it is. There would be no Amanda Hocking, no .99 Millionaires.

I revised this article four times, and almost always and three AM. I had to do that because of how quickly the publishing world changes; and because people keep pissing me off on the internet. In the amount of time it took me to run through this thing again, I am worried Barnes & Noble will have wheezed its final breath and this whole last bit will quickly become faction.

Just to recap: If Amazon fell, no more indies. There is no one ready to step up and fill their shoes, and I am not sure anyone would want to if Amazon was no longer there to compete with. The Nook branch of B&N lost millions of dollars last year, and the only one that has enough devices in hand to take on Amazon is Apple--and they had to go be taken on by the DOJ and lose. Read that article here.

BUT what would happen if Barnes & Noble shut their doors for good? You know, after systematically destroying most indie book stores. Like they have done. Well then other than the big box stores, as mentioned here, there really isn't anywhere else for them to go. Except for back online, where the playing field isn't at all in their favor. You can argue that their books are in some cases better edited, that they sometimes have better covers, but the thing that really speaks to be people is the almighty dollar. Most readers don't know that I might miss a comma in the next sentence, but they know if they like a story. They will see them side by side on Amazon, and if they have no idea who any of these people are, they are probably going to pick the one with the better price tag. There is less risk.

It helps that every day people are becoming smarter about publishing. A professional looking cover can go a long way.

You could even argue that all self published books are crap! But I am a capitalist. I believe that the market does a good job of weeding out the garbage. I also believe you are far less likely to pick up a lemon on Amazon than you are just browsing in Barnes & Noble. That is because on Amazon all the reviews are just there, you can read through the first part of book in both places but only one will get you looks from the teenager in the Starbucks if want to read a big chunk. You don't have to just look at the cover and read the blurb, at least I hope you won't.

With the stakes so high, it's no wonder we're all yelling at each other on Twitter. Still, I stand by what I said before--we are all on the same side. Do you agree?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Who I am, and what I do.

I have lots of new friends, fans, and followers and I am super excited about every last one of you! I just have one problem, I can't keep up with everyone. I try to talk to everybody who talks to me, and I do pretty good with that goal--only I feel like a lot of new people don't really know who I am or what I do so I wanted to take a moment and go over that. Somewhere along the line, people maybe started to think all I did as social media! I mean, I am good at Twitter, but not that good!

In case you missed it, my name is Angela Kulig. I write books. I have written books since just before I turned thirteen. My first book was terrible, but I like to think I have gotten a lot better since then--45 books later. These days I write mostly young adult, and middle grade. That's the boring stuff.

Originally, I published with a small indie press. Though I was more successful than a lot of people in this business, we parted ways last year and  after that I founded a publishing co-op with Author Larry Kollar. In the co-op I handle mostly marketing and book covers--because besides writing books those are the things I am good at. That's the boring stuff of my bio.

I am releasing two books in the very near future, but I am super tired of talking about me already. I want to talk about you. Please take a minute and introduce yourself, old followers and new followers. I want to learn about you too!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Barnes & Noble Hovers Close to Doom, APPLE Loses (Judge Rules in Price Fixing Case)

We interrupt this regularly scheduled eBook Apocalypse to bring you another one. Yesterday it was announced Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch had resigned the previous day, effective immediately

Looks like Barnes & Noble is headed for splitsville, but if Microsoft only purchases the Nook bits like it's looking, what is to become of the brick and mortar stores? It's interesting to me that Microsoft would want the Nook platform at this point considering it's losses last year were something like $177 MILLION. Yet somehow the store fronts don't look appealing with out the digital arm of it. 

The world is Bananas. Read the Bloomberg Article about BN here. 

I think it's safe to say at this point a Windows 8 based eReader is in our future, one way or another. 

In other eBook news,  Judge Denise Cote ruled today that Apple had violated anti-trust laws in wave of price fixing way back in 2010. Apple tried to reason that publishers wanted prices raised, and duh; of course they did. The judge replied that the plan had required  publisher participation, but that doesn't change the fact the laws were broken. (That's a fancy way of saying they are just as guilty). Read the PW article here. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Ebook Apocalypse, What Would Happen if Amazon Fell? PART I Saints, Sinners, & Statistics

Did you know, that in 2012 eBook revenue surpassed revenue from hardback books for the first time ever in America? And I'm not talking about Amazon's bottom line, I am talking about real numbers from real publishers. That makes a lot of sense to me, considering we are talking about revenues and not total units sold. Publishers like to price eBooks comparably to what their hardback books will go for on Amazon, BN.com etc; and the eBook is without the bulk of paper,  and the need for transportation, warehousing, and the like.

So much is going on in the publishing world, and I feel as though we have all been conditioned to look at in through a red tinged lens in need of blood. But let us step down for a minute.

My first love was books. It would be nice to think that my childhood was all blue skies and ice cream sundaes, but it wasn't. At least in stories when things ended they were usually tied together in neat little bows, the hope that comes from a happy ending in a fictional land is like no other. Pure. So perhaps, I am guilty of not caring so much where the books come from; as much as caring that they exist. And that they continue to exist.

And all writers, readers, and believers should care that books exist.

Barnes & Noble is crippled, and it's likely permanent. So they will either go the way the other massive chain bookstores have gone--conveniently after shutting down tons of the indie stores where they will die a slow and painful death as they wheeze and limp along, OR they will be sold off to Walmart or Microsoft. (Read about B&N's troubles here. I also suggest you read The Amazon Effect here.)

Either way, it seems that arm of book selling is close to changing forever. So where does that leave us?

I live in Las Vegas. Most people have heard of it. It's not some nothing town with no where to shop. Its got anything you could ever hope to see, all in one spectacularly lit place! Well everything except for an indie book store. If there is one here that doesn't just sell used books, I have not been able to find it. Las Vegas boasts a population of more than half a million (569,000+ in 2010) and last year we saw close to 40 MILLION visitors. But the only places I have got to buy new releases are Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, and other big box stores. So if B&N bites the dust, the only brick and mortar stores I have to buy new books at have very finite shelf space. At Walmart for example, new releases are on shelves that span roughly the same space as my office door.

So forgive me, if I have become increasingly paranoid about where I am going to be able to buy books. If I had to pick between the nostalgia of a bookstore, and  all the books I could ever hope to read, I'd pick the books every single time.

It's no secret that I am a fan of Amazon, but that doesn't mean I think they are devoid of fault.

Which leads me to this: Pretend for a moment, that all the people wishing for Amazon's demise could will that into existence. That is what we are going to explore in this blog series. Originally three parts, it has been expanded to include some new articles that came out last week. Though a lot of the scenarios we will be weaving through are hypothetical, this series will require you have an open mind. If you aren't capable of thinking outside of, "Amazon bad. Evil. Must kill." I'll still love you, but you might want to sit this one out.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The moral of the story is, don't take yourself too seriously and don't make jokes on the internet.

So I had written up this whole blog post letting people know that chapter six of THE GODS OF MARKET STREET was up. I know a lot of you were waiting and I put it up at a really weird time. But more on that later.

In my last post,

Dear book lovers, don't you remember? Barnes & Nobel are the enemy.

I made a joke with Barnes & Noble's name and their behavior over the past few years. I was attempting to invoke the image of the Nobel Prize--as people have begun acting as though BN is some kind of Saint. I thought people got it, because no one said anything. Was I wrong? Lots of really wonderful and respected people came out to talk about the post both here on Twitter and no one brought it up--and usually Larry Kollar yells at me if I make obvious and awful editing mistakes. Because it's true, I might miss things in blog posts written after midnight--and that is most of them. 

But this morning, when I did my first morning Twitter stint I received a tweet from someone who didn't get the joke. I did blame myself, but there is not need to be ugly to each other. Sarcasm, isn't always obvious on the internet because a lot of it has to do with context. AND there isn't much room for context on Twitter and in the occasional dry blog post. 

So to fix that, I just won't make anymore jokes on the Internet!

That was another joke, if you missed it. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dear book lovers, don't you remember? Barnes & Nobel are the enemy.

Most people that follow news in the publishing world have seen the last quarter numbers for Barnes & Nobel then promptly shook their heads. If you haven't, you can read about them here. Only what happened next was a bit puzzling to me.

Amazon gets a lot of flack for, "Destroying Indie bookstores." Which, on some level I think is unfair. Especially now that the blog-o-sphere is hammering them for destroying Barnes & Nobel. Honestly, who cares if they destroy BN--they are the bad guys remember? With the help of now defunct Borders--and that third chain bookstore I can never recall the name of, they shut down more indie bookstores than Amazon ever did. They also did it methodically, and a part of their business plan. Dare I say, evilly. Amazon never once built a bookstore across the street from one that was already there, and lets be frank; brick and mortar stores fulfill a completely different need than Amazon. If I want to hand select a meaningful gift, or get a custom book recommendation from the mouth of someone I trust--I'm going down the street, not to a .com.

So I suppose down the line, someone decided that Barnes & Nobel was the lesser of two evils. I want to know, are you absolutely sure about that? What if I told you that BN was *this close* to being bought out by Wal-Mart? The chief destroyer of the mom and pop store. Would you rather they joined forces with Wally World, or would you rather they just went away--and possibly paved the way for more indie book stores to stay open? Don't believe BN would ever do that? Read about it here.

I think it's real easy to point fingers at Amazon and blame them for the shuttering of small booksellers, but really I think the bad economy is more to blame. Only now that Barnes & Nobel is on the brink of collapse, we are willing to forgive every sin they ever committed against anyone. Keep in mind, they would be in a far better place is every business decision they have made in the past, oh three years or so, wasn't a knee jerk reaction to something Amazon did.

I have been sitting on a 3 part blog series for a while, waiting for the right time. I think it's finally here. The series is called, The E-Book Apocalypse. What Would Happen if Amazon Fell? It's in this same vein, but while I think the publishing world in it's current state won't collapse into chaos with out Barnes & Nobel, I think we are in a world of trouble if Amazon were disappear. It's going to run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, next week.

I made a joke about the name of Barnes & Noble; if you didn't get it read about it here.