Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following post is "now appearing" in slightly different form at the Vincent Zandri Vox: http://vincentzandri.blogspot.com/2011/07/rock-under-which-we-live.html



"We prefer safe sex, white bread, and the smell, feel, and look of real paper...Oh, and those hilarious 'Friends' reruns."

Yesterday was a banner day for running into people asking me where they can find my new books. I've decided to categorize these kinds of folks and create a blog around them for your viewing/reading entertainment. So here goes:

THE SKEPTICAL SUBURBANITE:

This guy married rich, likes his clothes, sells real estate, smokes but doesn't consider himself a smoker, drives one of those enormous SUVs that cost more than his boat to fill up, and he pastes stickers on the back windshield so that everyone who tailgates knows he spends time in Cape Cod or Martha's Vinyard or somewhere like that...one of those old friends who sort of used to be a really cool best friend, but who became more like someone your dad would hang out with once he got married and took up residence in a suburban McMansion.

I spot him outside a coffee shop and through the rolled down window of his SUV he smiles a Pepsident smile and says, "I went to Borders to find Concrete Pearl. And it wasn't there."

Well, first of all old friend, Borders is caput. Done. Dead. Gone. Liquified...And even if they were alive and still thriving, Pearl wouldn't be there yet since it's out in E-Book first, and later in trade paper.

He responds with, Well, I tried to download the Sony version to my iPhone.

Ok, fair enough there, but we (meaning my pub, StoneHouse/StoneGate) avoid Sony like the plague since they indiscriminately drop the prices on their books. How about a Kindle.

He tells me, he doesn't have a Kindle.

I tell him, you can download a Kindle reader for free to your computer or Smartphone.

He shakes his head.

I say, Tell you what, I'll email you the galley for free.

He tells me he's not trying to be be cheap.

Huh? Where did that come from?

Finally, I just shrug my shoulders.

Now this dude is perfectly aware that I've sold hundreds of thousands of EBooks of The Remains, The Innocent, Moonlight Falls, etc, because it's gotten a bunch of press in both local papers and even USA TODAY. But he gives me this look like, My mom always warned me about hanging out with your type. He drives off. I'm glad.

THE TRADITIONALIST

I run into her in my dad's office, where I'm sending out some paper copies of my books to some fans who requested signed copies. She's accounts payable, about 50, married once and divorced, but would like to find another partner soon. Pictures of her kids taped to the wall beside her desk. Sweet but sad, and at times funny and always watching her weight. Likes classic rock and American Idle.

She says, "When can I get a copy of you new books?"

I give her the EBook speech.

I could never do that, she explains. I need to feel the book in my hand, smell the paper, put it on my shelf. I could never read electronic print, because it would hurt my eyes.

Me, shrugging my shoulders. Looks like you're SOL ...

But then she explains how her 20-something daughter bought a Kindle and loves it.

That should tell her something right there.

A call comes in. She takes it. I leave.

THE "CALL ME OLD FASHIONED" GUY

Guy's good looking, maybe an engineer but a secret wanna-be rock star. 40-something, lives in the burbs, a couple of kids, defying the odds by still being married to the same girl after 15-plus years. Hard worker. Saves his money. Rarely takes a vacation. A good guy. Kind of guy you like to stop and chat with at the gym, and who you might have played with everyday during your summer vacation if you grew up in the same neighborhood.

But he's also the kind of guy who calls himself, "Old fashioned," even though he listens to the newest alternative music being released every other day. He's on Facebook and Twitter and Myspace, and he knows more about you than you realize so that when you run into him he says, "Jeeze, you've got another book coming out?" It's followed with a giggle and a semi-disbelieving glare.

You try to give him the short of it with the "all my back list books are now being published for the first time, or republished," and he sort of shakes his head. He asks you when they'll be available in paper and you have to go through that speech too. But in order to stress your point you mention how he doesn't buy his music at record shops anymore, or go to the Blockbuster or for that matter, the local Borders.

He smiles, nods, and says, Well looks like you got into the EBook market at the right time.

You nod, smile, and hahahaha...yeah, I know. What the else you gonna say cause you just want to get the hell away from the conversation. You politely tell him you gotta run.

But before you go he says, I hope the good luck lasts.

Thanks for the warning buddy. You know precisely what he means. I hope the EBook "fad" doesn't fade anytime soon and you're back to looking for real work.

I usually finish by telling this kind of person, the fad will end only when it's the end of the world and the power supply is gone and we are back to writing on cave walls. But I'm not sure he would understand this kind of forward thinking.

He's too old fashioned.
 
G

·
So instead of making fun of these people, why would you not just make your books available on CS in print?  I don't ridicule my customers who don't like ebooks.  I give them the format they want.  Maybe I'm confused...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
Good one--I completely relate to this.  But I do like having the CS paperbacks around.  People love to have me sign them, and when they carry them around, people ask about them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
I love this!!!

These EXACT scenarios happen to me. Same kind of people. Same questions, disbelieving faces, same attitudes.

I do have a few of my books available in print, but I don't think I'm going to continue doing this.

Ebooks are the way to go!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
I enjoy the voice in the post, but I'll go along and say why not have CS handle paperback copies?

Think about it... $39 for the upgrade, $10 for the ISBN (which you can get for free  but CS is the publisher).  It costs maybe around $10 for a proof copy (which aren't required to get anymore if you don't want)... and you're all set.

So, let's say, take $100.  Pay for the upgrade, ISBN, proof, and then a small inventory. 

Worried about credit cards?  Get Square.  It's a little device that plugs into your iPhone that allows you to swipe credit cards.  They deposit into your bank that night minus a charge.

Bing, bang, boom!  Everyone's happy.

I prefer ebooks ALL THE WAY because there's no inventory and I make more money, but I try to keep everyone happy.  I carry a bag around with paperbacks because you never know.

Imagine that guy in his car asking about Sony, Borders, etc... now what if you were able to take out a clean paperback copy and sign it to him right there on the spot?  Pretty cool stuff if you ask me.

-jb 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
jimbronyaur said:
I enjoy the voice in the post, but I'll go along and say why not have CS handle paperback copies?

Think about it... $39 for the upgrade, $10 for the ISBN (which you can get for free but CS is the publisher). It costs maybe around $10 for a proof copy (which aren't required to get anymore if you don't want)... and you're all set.

So, let's say, take $100. Pay for the upgrade, ISBN, proof, and then a small inventory.

Worried about credit cards? Get Square. It's a little device that plugs into your iPhone that allows you to swipe credit cards. They deposit into your bank that night minus a charge.

Bing, bang, boom! Everyone's happy.

I prefer ebooks ALL THE WAY because there's no inventory and I make more money, but I try to keep everyone happy. I carry a bag around with paperbacks because you never know.

Imagine that guy in his car asking about Sony, Borders, etc... now what if you were able to take out a clean paperback copy and sign it to him right there on the spot? Pretty cool stuff if you ask me.

-jb 8)
I'm just jumping in to agree that, yes, Square is a great device/service. Highly recommend it to any of you who want an easy way to accept credit cards.

Also, great Post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,323 Posts
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
So instead of making fun of these people, why would you not just make your books available on CS in print? I don't ridicule my customers who don't like ebooks. I give them the format they want. Maybe I'm confused...
This.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
846 Posts
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
So instead of making fun of these people, why would you not just make your books available on CS in print? I don't ridicule my customers who don't like ebooks. I give them the format they want. Maybe I'm confused...
I have to agree here (shock I know), but you ridicule a potential customers for not knowing anything about eBooks and make yourself look like a Class A jerk in the process. Here is a clue, the eBook market isn't as big as you think it is and like everything it takes time for people to adapt to it. Maybe its me, your trying to come across as the cool kid on the block and its rubbing me up the wrong way. Seriously 5 minutes of your time on CS and suddenly you have another revenue source, don't really have to carry inventory and your good to go.
Arigato,
Nick Davis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,233 Posts
jimbronyaur said:
I prefer ebooks ALL THE WAY because there's no inventory and I make more money, but I try to keep everyone happy. I carry a bag around with paperbacks because you never know.

Imagine that guy in his car asking about Sony, Borders, etc... now what if you were able to take out a clean paperback copy and sign it to him right there on the spot? Pretty cool stuff if you ask me.
This. If friends or family want paper copies, why not provide them? In the end it's not about being married to one superior format but supplying what the reader wants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
993 Posts
I had to laugh at the post. I have a trade paperbook available of my first book, but I still need to get the second into that format. I do mostly give the copies to friends and family, not really even because I expect they will read them. (I don't and they won't.) But they like to have a signed copy from me in case I ever do become famous. ;)
 
G

·
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
So instead of making fun of these people, why would you not just make your books available on CS in print? I don't ridicule my customers who don't like ebooks. I give them the format they want. Maybe I'm confused...
I ridicule almost everyone. Call it reverse marketing. After all, we're all human, and I'm at the head of the parade with a banner. As Mark Twain said:

"Isn't human nature the most consummate sham & lie that was ever invented? Isn't man a creature to be ashamed of in pretty much all his aspects? Is he really fit for anything but to be stood up on the street corner as a convenience for dogs? Man, 'Know thyself'--& then thou wilt despise thyself, to a dead moral certainty" - letter to WD Howells, Aug. 31, 1884.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
846 Posts
MikeAngel said:
I ridicule almost everyone. Call it reverse marketing. After all, we're all human, and I'm at the head of the parade with a banner. As Mark Twain said:

"Isn't human nature the most consummate sham & lie that was ever invented? Isn't man a creature to be ashamed of in pretty much all his aspects? Is he really fit for anything but to be stood up on the street corner as a convenience for dogs? Man, 'Know thyself'--& then thou wilt despise thyself, to a dead moral certainty" - letter to WD Howells, Aug. 31, 1884.
Mark Twain you ain't
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,667 Posts
I get the kind of thing Vincent is saying all the time--but it's usually from people who know I write and don't actually want to buy my books but they feel like they need to make small talk.  Sometimes, it's like I'm sending out mental messages:  don't ask, don't ask, don't ask . . .

Not because my books aren't selling but because I know they don't understand about writing and I would rather they didn't buy my books than feel this obligation.

At the same time, I too have gone the CS route.  I don't sell them at all myself (so no need to process credit cards), but Amazon does a fine job for me and I just direct people there.  If people are genuinely interested, their eyes light up when I tell them they can buy it in paperback.  I sell one paper copy for every 50 ebooks, but it adds up delightfully over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
I think he specifically said in the post that the books will go ebook first and trade paperback later. I got the impression he works with a publishing company. Lots of ebook publishers go this way. First the ebook, then the paper book.

Personally, I'm totally over putting out print books. It's not the money so much as it is the time it takes to format one. It's like the ninth circle of hell for me. And I swear to God, convincing my computer that Primo Pdf is a printer is a full day's work. Plus, of the four print books I have, I usually don't make enough money for the Createspace payout for like fourteen months. So I say, screw print. Waaay too much effort for the payoff, in my opinion.

I think I'm coming off a bit snarky, but I feel oddly protective of the OP, as it almost seems like everyone jumped on him and sort of implied that he didn't care about his customers or that he shouldn't complain. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone or stating your opinion, of course, but it's a kind of strange trend I'm beginning to notice about writer's forums. I come to a place. I hang out. And suddenly it denigrates into this place where a group think emerges about certain ideas and woe to the person who might have other ideas. It's fascinating from a sociological standpoint. I may google some articles on it after I finish this actually. But I kind of feel miffed about it, because one of the things that used to be so cool about this board is that it didn't seem to happen here. Maybe it's just human nature.

All right, I've derailed this thread enough. Carry on, all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
valeriec80 said:
I think he specifically said in the post that the books will go ebook first and trade paperback later. I got the impression he works with a publishing company. Lots of ebook publishers go this way. First the ebook, then the paper book.
It's fine to go ebook first then paperback. I do that. What I don't get is all the people who talk talk down to family, friends, and potential readers / customers because they don't like or get ebooks and then rant about it on a blog. eBooks and eReaders aren't for everyone. Some people like chocolate ice cream, others like vanilla, while some like both. You don't see someone at Baskin Robbins berating a potential customer for their choice in ice cream. As an author, we shouldn't do it to readers because they prefer to read in one format over another.

Before I had a Kindle and an iTouch, someone asked me why I didn't buy their ebook. The answer was I couldn't afford an ereader but if they were willing to buy me one, I would be happy to buy their ebook. Needless to say, the conversation ended at that point.

valeriec80 said:
Personally, I'm totally over putting out print books. It's not the money so much as it is the time it takes to format one. It's like the ninth circle of hell for me. And I swear to God, convincing my computer that Primo Pdf is a printer is a full day's work. Plus, of the four print books I have, I usually don't make enough money for the Createspace payout for like fourteen months. So I say, screw print. Waaay too much effort for the payoff, in my opinion.
I just use the basic templates provided and it takes me about twenty minutes to format a book for Createspace. Yes, it takes a little more time than formatting my ebooks but the extra time doesn't kill me. I'm not looking to make money from it. Money is always nice but for me the payout is having my friends and family own a copy of my book if they are so inclined.

One thing I noticed, my friends and family, even those with ereaders, are more likely to spread the word about my books if they have a print copy. Maybe having a physical copy makes it seem more real to them. Maybe it serves as a constant and visible reminder that I'm a writer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,809 Posts
valeriec80 said:
There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone or stating your opinion, of course, but it's a kind of strange trend I'm beginning to notice about writer's forums. I come to a place. I hang out. And suddenly it denigrates into this place where a group think emerges about certain ideas and woe to the person who might have other ideas. It's fascinating from a sociological standpoint. I may google some articles on it after I finish this actually. But I kind of feel miffed about it, because one of the things that used to be so cool about this board is that it didn't seem to happen here. Maybe it's just human nature.
I've begun noticing a trend in this direction, too, Valerie, and it's a great shame. Sometimes someone will post something - quite innocuous in and of itself - and at some point in the discussion, someone thinks it's cool or badass to take a swipe at the OP in some disrespectful way. Then a chain reaction seems to occur, and a pack mentality overwhelms the thread and takes it down to some puerile, mud-slinging level.

It just started happening in another thread I was following.

Not cool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Let me get this straight, someone posts something that he admits is sort of a rant and somehow everyone is jumping on him when so far opinion has been split down the middle.

When did the mud slinging start in this thread?

Edit: Instead of laying blame on human nature and the community as a whole, you might want to look at the individuals involved and how they handle things. Most of the time when a thread goes off the tracks or gets out of hand, it's because someone gets defensive or takes what is said personally. What isn't cool is this idea that people are quick to say "so and so is being jumped on" when it usually isn't the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
Old marketing adage:

If a customer walks into your store and asks if you have a product that you don't carry, you politely tell him no.


If a second customer walks into your store and asks if you have a product that you don't carry, you politely tell him no.


If a third customer walks into your store and asks if you have a product that you don't carry, you say, "I'm planning on ordering some."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,809 Posts
kyrin said:
Let me get this straight, someone posts something that he admits is sort of a rant and somehow everyone is jumping on him when so far opinion has been split down the middle?

When did the mud slinging start in this thread?

Most of the time when a thread goes off the tracks or gets out of hand, it's because someone gets defensive because people disagree with their opinion. Disagreeing with an opinion doesn't mean you're right or wrong, it just means you have a difference of opinion. What isn't cool is this idea that people are quick to say "so and so is being jumped on" when it usually isn't the case.
Look, there's no need to start in on me. This is exactly what I'm talking about.

If you re-read my post you'll see that I was talking in general terms, not about this thread specifically.

The OP wrote something that was intended, I believe, to be an entertaining and somewhat humorous piece that allowed him to let off a little steam at the same time. If you enjoyed it, great, comment, etc. But if not, just walk away. If you want to disagree with what someone's written, that's all well and good - as long as it's kept within the realm of healthy discussion, and not disrespectful. But in this instance it wasn't really something you're asked to agree or disagree with - it was more of a sharing of the OP's recent experiences written to vent a little but also to entertain. Why can't he just do that?

It's a real pity to see so many instances of the Writers' Cafe being turned from a place of support and community and friendly conversation, into a place where folks are more and more having to look over their shoulder and self-censor for fear of p***ing off someone's mother-in-law's cat.

Anyway, that's all I'm getting into on this. I know where these things go from here.

Sigh...shrug.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top