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You guys, this upset me so much today, I just have to post it here: http://publishingperspectives.com/2011/06/selling-ebooks-99-cents-destroys-minds/ It's by Chad Post, editor of Open Letter Press, a literary press specializing in books in translation. As a Twitter friend said, it's "a perfect example of everything that's wrong with the publishing industry right there, all neatly tied up in one little post."
 

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I like this bit particularly: "Having read the opening of one of his “Donovan Creed” novels, I can assure you that he’s not selling all these books due to his talent. No offence intended, but let’s be real about this."
This about a man he admits made a hundred thousand in the past year. WTF does John Locke have to make that sort of money if he has no talent then? Sounds remarkably like sour grapes to me.
 

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Wait, so... am I reading this right? His main argument isn't the price point alone, but rather that the price point encourages people to read for entertainment rather than for some more noble (and generally boring) reason? Bit full of himself, isn't he.
 

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lazyjayn said:
Wait, so... am I reading this right? His main argument isn't the price point alone, but rather that the price point encourages people to read for entertainment rather than for some more noble (and generally boring) reason? Bit full of himself, isn't he.
It isn't serious literature if you read it on an E book. How dare you. Get down that book store now and buy a real hardback copy of that 0.99 book for £25.00
 

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Oh how I wish I was some dumb ass who couldn't write for toffee, earning $100.000 a year. I wonder how much he earnt in the last year writing pap like that artcle?
 

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greenpen said:
It isn't serious literature if you read it on an E book. How dare you. Get down that book store now and buy a real hardback copy of that 0.99 book for £25.00
I'll have you know that where I am now, it's not a quick trip to the bookstore, it's a 2 hour ride in a chicken bus to the nearest bookstore with more than 3 English language books. And a decent hardback (in that specialty store) is a heck of a lot more than £25.00.

I guess I should go buy one and be extra cultured, huh? ::) ;D
 

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I love the fact that he looks at the top books at Amazon and then shrieks, "But none of these books are lit fic! That's unpossible!"

It's like he forgot that the NY Times had to invent a trade paperback list so that lit fic paperbacks would have a chance. Nobody show him the mass market list!
 

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What an astoundingly arrogant essay. He seems to think that the only books worth reading are those "praised by the New York Times, books that influential tastemakers gravitate towards." Listen, buddy. There's more to life than you.

Remember old Gutenberg and his compadres? They rocked the world, turned the status quo on its head. Horrors above! Suddenly books are more accessible. They're within reach of the peasants. Whatever will we do? What was the next cataclysm in the availability of literature? Martin Luther and the translation of the Bible out of Latin and into the language of the people. Accessibility and ease of idea transmittal. The world got turned again on its ear. The ebook revolution is just another step in a long line of punctuated eeks from people like you (sorry, Stephen Jay Gould, you old phony).

"...what we're doing is important to culture..." Yeah, maybe. But I'll raise your culture with a straight flush of 0.99s and let's see how the game plays out.

Sheesh. He even gets a slam in at Angry Birds. You should never anger the birds.
 

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I laughed all the way through that article.

But to pull back from the misanthropy, the point is this: self-published authors game the system. You set your e-book price at $0.99, get a hundred friends to buy it in a short window of time, and shoot into the best-seller list where sales breed sales, and Terry Gross has only a momentary impact.
Really? What an arrogant... well something I can't say here, but it's bad.
 

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Hahaha, in the comments section someone posted as John Locke (no idea if it's actually him, but I think so).

"Having read the opening of one of his "Donovan Creed" novels, I can assure you that he's not selling all these books due to his talent."

Chad, that's an astounding comment to make, that you can judge the quality of my nine books by having read the "opening" of one! I wish I could say you're wrong about my lack of talent, but I've always been the first to admit my books aren't meant to be great literature!

I wish you well in your publishing venture, and would like to add that you and I can still be friends even if you don't like my writing. But we can't be friends if you keep insulting my audience.
Emphasis mine. Class act, all the way.
 

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Coral said:
Hahaha, in the comments section someone posted as John Locke (no idea if it's actually him, but I think so).

Emphasis mine. Class act, all the way.
I was just about to post that too. :D

Yep, I can definitely say that he's getting sales as a result of that. I'm tempted to buy one of his books now just for the heck of it.
 

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I just read the article (and the John Locke comment  :) ). The article is nothing. Forget the the translation aspect of his publishing business, what he's really decrying is that lit fic has a small audience and is now having to defend that from the attractive pricing that indies can offer. I imagine opera and theatre companies made the same complaints when 'the wireless' became available with their radio plays.
 

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The article was great. Thank you for posting it. I especially liked this part:

"Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."

"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.

"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."
Truly moving.

And since this is the Internets--and it pays to lay things out like the laundry--let me be plain: I don't think there is any reason to get angry about what the guy wrote. I think we should feel kinda bad for him. (He's tilting at windmills.) Let's be mature adults and let what is clearly an accidental straw man pass like water under our indie bridge.

B.
 
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