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. 

Monday, July 8, 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, 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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday for Writers #6: Why You Should Never Be the Smartest Person in the Room

Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, #1)Last night on Twitter, I chatted on and off with my friend JL Bryan. Since you read my blog, you might remember that he is the awesome author who wrote Jenny Pox and that maybe sometimes I can be a bit fangirlie.


It's weird because, I have a hard time remembering that my buddy Jeffery is this dude I had a writer crush on before we 'met'. Here's how it happened: I read an excerpt of Jenny Pox in some Amanda Hocking novel. I don't remember which. I have read all of them and it hurts my head to remember timelines back that far. So at some point I started stalking Jeff on the internets. Only it was odd, as there didn't seem to be a whole lot of other people doing that. Jeff had sold a crap ton more books than me--so the fact he didn't have a twenty thousand Twitter followers, and like ten times the number of blog followers was sort of in direct contrast to EVERYTHING I KNEW ABOUT SELLING BOOKS ON THE INTERNET. Which I thought at the time, was quite a lot.

As it turns out, it really wasn't.

To make a long, painful, and humiliating story very short; one night I was sharing my, "Goals in life*," on Twitter. One of them was to have JL Bryan follow me, and it happened! We have come a long way since then, now I get to call him a friend and not just some idol.

I told you that story to tell you this one.

Every author has an ego. Finding a healthy balance is necessary and almost impossible. Too little ego and your books will never see the light of day. With out ego, an author wouldn't care if anyone ever read their books. Too much ego, and you will develop what I like to call, "Smartest person in the room syndrome." Or SPITRS for short.

SPITRS come in all varities but the main SPITRS are fools, the ones dumb enough to think they are the coolest, bestest, most awesomest person they knew when they aren't and the people who make sure they are. Sounds heavenly! If I were to have SPITERS that would be the way I would go, trust me my ego would love it. People who make sure they sit atop the mountain and look down on everyone else. It sounds great, but what will you learn if you refuse to associate with people who do know more than you?

I'd be lying if I said my ego wasn't wounded every time I re-read Jeffery's bio and remember he studied English at Oxford--I was a Drama Major some place not nearly as impressive! But it doesn't sting like it used to, because I have learned so much from hanging out with people who are cooler than I am. It makes me sick thinking I could have missed out because of pride.

Speaking of Jeffery, he has a new book coming out and I know a lot of you are going to LOVE it. Check the deets:

A new dystopian novel from the author of Jenny Pox - coming July 26.

They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.

By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.

Cover by PhatPuppy Art

Stalk Jeffery on Twitter.
*BTW, doing a goals in life post Friday. Because I'm down to my last one.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Twitter Cheerleaders and THE GODS OF MARKET STREET

I nearly titled this post, "Somehow it's Monday." I thought it would be funny--and man, does it feel like a Monday! Let's hope tomorrow doesn't feel like Monday too.

First things first. THE GODS OF MARKET STREET has been updated on Juke Pop Serials. Please take a moment to read it, and vote for any chapters you haven't yet! I took a brief break from life (as you noticed if you read this blog) but I plan to update it twice a week from now on. Yet I am sure there will be some hiccups. I wrote the story for the 3 Day Novel Contest last year, so it is written. BUT! If I forget or get lazy just poke me on Twitter. It's an awesome story, and I want everyone to get the chance to check it out.

Remember, it's FREE for you to read. Please just pull the lever, and if you have a spare second share it with your friends on facebook, twitter, or hey in real life!

The second thing I would like to do is take a moment to thank my Twitter followers who cheered me on last night. I think I am missing some people but here is my short list:








You guys have no idea how much you helped me! I am so close to having POMI ready for publication and anxiety is causing me to drag my feet. 

Speaking of Pigments of My Imagination, I can't even begin to describe what it has done to my nerves. I am a writer, yet I struggle with the words. It's like jumping out of plane and forgetting where the parachute cord is. I know I will find it, but I am going to freak the freak out in the meantime. But it's done. It just needs to be made pretty.

Admit it, you want an awesome Twitter Cheerleader button for your blog.
I should make some. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Somehow, it's Friday.

I sat at the computer Monday, quite ill, and quite ill mannered thinking I should write a blog! A blog where I talk about how I took last week off as it was the end of school and things were insane-er than normal in the Kulig house. But I hated the world and told my self, "Self, you can wait until Tuesday." Tuesday turned into Friday. Trust me, no one is happier about that than I am. Even if I haven't been blogging.

Finally, I feel normal and not like a used up bit of towel frayed in all my edges halfway through the day. So now the updates. POMI is really for real being formatted next week. It has been so hard to let go of. My last two books were released between perfectly normal heartbeats; but this book has been giving me anxiety attacks. POMI is getting really special formatting, so it might take a bit longer than normal...........I think Larry Kollar will do it as he goes about the last editing pass though and he has gotten fast. Then a few short weeks after that, DUST OF THE DEAD SEA.