Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Most Durable Thing in Writing is Style

26 October 2011

The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never heard of to convince them by slow degrees that the writer who puts his individual mark on the way he writes will always pay off.

Raymond Chandler

How-to: Browse iBookstore for Books in Your Own Language

26 October 2011

From Ebook Friendly:

Recently iBookstore was launched in 26 new countries. But don’t expect that a first thing you’ll see will be books in your own language.

Browsing through iTunes was never easy, but a lack of search by language (both in iTunes and iBooks) is a big mistake and doesn’t help to treat Apple ebookstore as a default reading system by international, non-English users.

If you want to find out how many books in your language are available in your local iBookstore, try one of those two ways described below.

1. Via iTunes & iBooks

In iTunes application on your computer, in a top bar find Books. Click on it and scroll down until you see Bestsellers by Language banner (see picture below).

Be patient, when you click on a banner you probably first see books in English, then in a couple of other languages, like Portuguese or Greek and then maybe you’ll see a section with bestsellers in your mother tongue.

You’ll see only paid books there. If you want to check free titles, go back to a home page, find Free Books banner and, sorry for that, you’ll have to check books manually.

2. Via Google

It’s actually less painful to use Google to search iBookstore.

Link to the rest at Ebook Friendly (the Ebook Friendly website was slow when PG built this link)

Ooof. When it’s easier to use Google to find things in your store than to use the store itself, you have problems.

Perhaps Apple cognoscenti can explain this to Passive Guy, but why is it hard to build a decent search function into a bookstore? Foreign language is an additional step, but others have figured that out.

Indie Publishing Secret – When Do I Get Paid?

26 October 2011

Author Cindy M. Hogan tells all about the cash and when you receive it:

If you indie-publish you will be at the mercy of the places you sell your books. For example, Createspace pays monthly after the books sells. That means that books you sell in February will show up in your bank account at the end of April and only if your total is more than $20.00.

By the way, it is important that you let them pay you electronically. Checks require higher totals sold and take a lot more time.

You will get paid for your ebook with Amazon 60 days following the end of the calendar month when the applicable sale occured. That means that if you sold a book in January, you would get paid in April for that book if your total is more than $10.00.

Barnes and Noble pays the same way Amazon does.

Smashwords pays quarterly and you receive the check 40 days after that period ends. If you sell books in Jan/Feb/and March, you will be paid at the end of April and March may not be included. Confusing, huh! Your total must be more than $10.00.

Link to the rest at Watched

Pitt Medallion – A Flat Heater of Eyelids

26 October 2011

The well-worn Passive Voice spam filter coughed up another gem:

Pitt Medallion, hitting three and thirty suits that my trophy and road breeze to the jacket kill to equalize the deadline.

And the illness is against for her condition in his viagra generico I hope lodged a flat heater of eyelids with a desk.

Passive Guy is disclaiming any rights to Pitt Medallion as the name of the hero of a new action/suspense series. All he asks is that the author dedicate Book Five, Pitt Medallion and the Three and Thirty Suits, to PG.

If you need a pen name, PG doesn’t think anyone is using Viagra Generico yet.

Truly, PG is a friend to all authors. Road Breeze to the Jacket Kill!

Amazon Takes “Self” Out Of Self Publishing

26 October 2011

From Foner Books:

Let’s face it, self publishing is morphing into Amazon publishing, and self publishers who use Amazon exclusively may as well call themselves Amazon authors.

I must have talked on the phone with at least a half dozen first-time authors in the last few months, all of whom believed they needed help getting their books published. These days my advice boils down to “Publish on Kindle first and Amazon’s CreateSpace second.” Both are free. In years past, I would have told them to read Shepard’s and Poynter’s books for two radically different approaches to self publishing and to join an Internet discussion group for up-to-date news. But Amazon has made the whole process so easy that the only challenges remaining are finding a decent editor and creating a decent book cover.

It wasn’t all that long ago that arguments were raging in Internet discussion groups and on publishing blogs about the difference between “true self publishing” and paying for “vanity publishing.” Well, Amazon has effectively put a stop to that argument by usurping both businesses. There are still “true” self publishers who get most of their sales through distribution or aggressive marketing to both bookstores and customers, but the authors I know who have been successful at this generally move on to publishing other authors books as well, which takes them out of the self publisher category. Meanwhile, for the vast majority of self publishing authors, Amazon is 90% or more of their retail market.

. . . .

My main focus when writing for authors has always been the business end, primarily market research and marketing. But that’s changed as well since Amazon has become the dominant retail platform and Amazon marketing is mainly a matter of getting the title and the thumbnail cover right, picking a couple logical categories for the book, and getting sales moving. If you’re writing fiction, it’s critical to at least start out at the 99 cent minimum, and at that price, you can purchase the books as gifts for anybody you think might be willing to review it.

. . . .

Authors who want to produce or pay for a “real” cover, something they wouldn’t be embarrassed to put on a paperback, can sign up with Amazon CreateSpace and see their book live on Amazon within a couple days. While Amazon offers extended distribution, I don’t suggest signing up for it. If the author can generate demand from readers who won’t shop at Amazon, then it makes sense to adopt my old publishing model and sign up with Lightning Source, but that will only apply to a small minority of authors today.

Link to the rest at Foner Books

Is It Apple Forcing Down Apple’s Hardware Prices, or is Amazon?

26 October 2011

From Steve Windwalker at Kindle Nation Daily:

“Apple’s Lower Prices Are All Part of the Plan,” ran the headline for an interesting piece . . . by Nick Wingfield of the New York Times.


Wingfield believes that Apple, “once known as the tech industry’s high-price leader,” is carrying out a major strategy change to the point where it is now competing with, and often beating, its rivals on hardware prices.

I’ll have to admit that despite some interesting anecdotal pricing comparisons made by Wingfield, I’m not feeling him. Yes, Apple has certainly shown some signs that it is pulling back some on its hardware prices, and those prices could soon collapse by 30% or more due to forces entirely outside Apple’s control. We’ll get to that, but it is unlikely that such a collapse would reflect Apple’s strategy.

. . . .

For starters, let’s look at the tablet market, which it is entirely fair to say was created through the innovative brilliance of Apple and its late leader Steve Jobs. The brilliant success of the iPad — both in its elegance and in its acquisition rate by the public — made fierce competition inevitable. So while iPad sales continue to grow dramatically quarter over quarter, iPad’s overall tablet market share fell from 95.5% a year ago to 66.6% in the third quarter of 2011, FierceWireless reported Friday. Nothing truly stunning there; it’s a pattern one could expect to see in any new market as it begins to mature.

A little more of a jaw-dropper is that the market share for the various Android tablets on the market — including devices from HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Acer and Dell — grew from 2.3% to 26.9% in the same period.

Now, in the fourth quarter of 2011, the Android market share is likely to grow even more dramatically with the launch of the Kindle Fire tablet, priced at $199 and capable, Amazon clearly believes, of doing everything an iPad can do except for the things that only a few people really care about.

If the Kindle Fire hits the hardware sweet spot once people have it in their hands, it could quickly become the single most coveted holiday gift for smart grownups this year at that $199 price, and that price and popularity would constitute a very powerful if traditional pressure on the $499-to-$829 iPad price structure.

. . . .

But there could be another mission for Amazon, one that could well influence the economics, the retail pricing, and perhaps even the share price for a competitor such as Apple over the next few years. It’s easy at this point to think that Amazon’s new two-way hardware market will be dwarfed in scale by Apple’s front-door production and retail power.

But Amazon knows better than anybody the effects that its Amazon Marketplace secondary market for new and used books had on competing booksellers and publishers over the past decade. Some in the publishing industry believe that Amazon’s customer-friendly innovations actually destroyed billions of dollars in corporate wealth, even if it also fueled tens of thousands of small and often home-based businesses.

“Some companies,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is fond of saying, “do everything they can to raise prices for their customers. Other companies do everything they can to lower prices for their customers.”

Link to the rest at Kindle Nation Daily

The Art of Chaptering

26 October 2011
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From The Blood-Red Pencil:

In a recent Ask the Editor post, Kathy Stemke asked how a writer decides where to place chapter breaks. In fiction, chaptering is often intuitive. The practice isn’t even as old as long-form fiction—it began in Great Britain so parts of books could be published in serial form.

Chaptering may feel arbitrary at first, but here’s what you can gain from the exercise.

. . . .

2. Chapter breaks remind you to think in terms of scenes. Chapters may have been revolutionary in Dickens’ day but the modern reader is well adapted to sound bytes and jump cuts. We are busy. We want you to get to the good part. Whether your chapter includes one scene or more, ask what new conflict will now impact the forward movement of your story?

. . . .

5. Chapter breaks remind you that you must woo your reader—not just at the opening, but again and again. Your job is to make it difficult for a reader to put down your book and walk away, where distractions may prevent his return.

Link to the rest at The Blood-Red Pencil via Joel Friedman

Amazon Third Quarter Sales Up 44%

26 October 2011
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From the Amazon press release late yesterday:, Inc. today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2011.

. . . .

Net sales increased 44% to $10.88 billion in the third quarter, compared with $7.56 billion in third quarter 2010. Excluding the $371 million favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown 39% compared with third quarter 2010.

. . . .

“September 28th was the biggest order day ever for Kindle, even bigger than previous holiday peak days – we introduced Kindle Fire for $199, Kindle Touch 3G for $149, Kindle Touch for $99, and our all new Kindle for only $79,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of “In the three weeks since launch, orders for electronic ink Kindles are double the previous launch. And based on what we’re seeing with Kindle Fire pre-orders, we’re increasing capacity and building millions more than we’d already planned.”

. . . .

Amazon Publishing released 61 titles in the quarter, including Kindle bestsellers “The Detachment” by Barry Eisler, “Dove Season” by Johnny Shaw, and “A Small Fortune” by Audrey Braun. Recent acquisitions include Tim Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Chef,” Penny Marshall’s memoir “My Mother Was Nuts,” and the epic Foreworld Series project led by Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear. Amazon Publishing also announced a new imprint, 47North, which is dedicated to science-fiction, fantasy, and horror. 47North joins sister imprints AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Powered by Amazon, Montlake Romance, and Thomas & Mercer.

Link to the rest at Amazon Media Room

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