Comments for The Passive Voice A Lawyer's Thoughts on Authors, Self-Pub and Traditional Publishing Thu, 26 Nov 2020 20:11:01 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Noble Volunteers by Felix.J.Torres Thu, 26 Nov 2020 20:11:01 +0000 In reply to Mike Hall.

Make that post-modernists.

Anyway, it’s not just Gibson.
It’s Hollywood.
Research is generally beneath them and historical accuracy tend to be inversely proportional to their budget.

Comment on Long Live Work! by Mike Hall Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:49:41 +0000 In reply to Felix.J.Torres.

I’ve just checked and I’ve got 114 collections, though some are administrative (like “Reading”, “Short TBR List”, “Books to Re-read” etc.). As the book numbers have risen the collections have multiplied, so for SF there are four collections split alphabetically by author name, one for short story anthologies, plus some individual author collections (which get created when the number of books by an author gets large enough). Other genres get similar treatment and then there is the non fiction, with the greater part being history books split both by period and type (so military history, naval history, other).

As I see it, if you stick to the Amazon ecosystem you need to set up collections from the very start of your book purchases or you’ll never catch up later and there will always be books you’ve forgotten you own. The trouble is that whenever you want to rearrange a set of collections it can be a lot of (simple but boring) work to do so.

You also need to do the download part of the “download & transfer by USB” work as you go so that you create your back up files: I speak from experience when I say that going back and doing this when you’ve got 1000+ books showing in “Manage Your Content and Devices” is a real bind.

Comment on Noble Volunteers by Mike Hall Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:30:54 +0000 In reply to Felix.J.Torres.

I have had that misfortune. As someone once said: “Truth is the first casualty of Mel Gibson”.

I suspect your “modernists” would have a good time denouncing his laughable treatment of slavery (and for once they would be right) though they probably would not care that he pretended that the British carried out the 1944 massacre of French villagers in Oradour-sur-Glane during your war of independence (after all it’s allowable to lie about imperialists).

Comment on The Monster Publishing Merger Is About Amazon by D. C. Chester Thu, 26 Nov 2020 17:01:41 +0000 Why is it the purview of a “new administration” to kill Amazon?

Comment on Long Live Work! by Felix.J.Torres Thu, 26 Nov 2020 16:56:21 +0000 In reply to Mike Hall.

I’m using the Collections to segregate the books. One for Baen series, one for standalong Baens, one for Amazon series, one for standalone classic etc. The one collection I never use is Everything Amazon. That’s only for an Emergency.
The search function and the filters are also useful in finding that one bookyou know is there, somewhere.

Comment on Noble Volunteers by Felix.J.Torres Thu, 26 Nov 2020 16:49:14 +0000 In reply to Mike Hall.

Did you ever see Mel Gibson in THE PATRIOT?
That is all the exposure many folks have to the War of Independence.

Except for the modernists, who decry everything and anything before they hit University.

History used to be written by the winners but not any more. Nowadays history is whatever the politics of the day require.

Comment on Long Live Work! by Mike Hall Thu, 26 Nov 2020 15:24:25 +0000 In reply to Felix.J.Torres.

I’m a bit late in noticing this PG, but comparing the first generation Paperwhites with the latest release the latest ones have:

1. Better screen resolution (300ppi as against 212ppi): this is noticeable but not actually too important (at least to my subjective view, though I’d always take the 300ppi if given the choice),

2. As Felix says, more memory. Our original Paperwhites maxed out at about 1,200 titles (but were the very early 2Gb versions). This only matters if you’ve got a lot of books (we do) and want to load them all onto the reader – which we also do for fear of having no internet contact whilst travelling (you remember travelling to places without internet – the kind of thing we did pre pandemic?). We are now using 32Gb models and have no expectations of running out of space even though Kindle files sizes are getting distinctly larger than they used to be (though possibly less so than for Karen who presumably downloads awz3 files to her PC ready to strip the DRM and convert to epubs).

3. Better software: our new devices are up to version 5.13.3 whilst the olds ones are at Again very subjective, but I prefer the updated software, even though I’m not sure of the utility of the new(?) functionality for viewing tables.

One downside, which I think came in with the generation 9 Oasis and Paperwhite (it certainly does not affect the generation 8 Paperwhite but I’m not sure about the Oasis), is a change to the navigation when in library or collection views. Here one has to swipe to turn pages and I find that it is much more likely to result in a book or a collection being accidentally opened than was the case for earlier generations (and this is, to my mind, the main reason to use the Oasis’s page turn buttons).

I should add that trying to download about 3,600 titles to a new Kindle is no easy task. Assume it’s going to drag out over several days as the processor struggles to index the books. Expect frequent freezes and the device regularly restarting itself.

Comment on Noble Volunteers by Mike Hall Thu, 26 Nov 2020 14:51:08 +0000 The caricature is ubiquitous…

I’m willing to believe that this ubiquity is true, but cannot but wonder whether this is not a very Americocentric view, or indeed whether it is actually held by Americans who have read anything other than very superficial works of military history.

Is there a similar caricature about sailors of the RN? If so, Mr Hagist would have a good subject for his next book as the “other ranks” of the Napoleonic period are a fascinating and extremely varied multi-ethnic group. Thouigh judging from some of the things I’ve seen recently the Puritans may be in greater need of to be de-caricaturisation.

Comment on The Monster Publishing Merger Is About Amazon by DaveMich Thu, 26 Nov 2020 06:46:53 +0000 In the face of Amazon’s dominance, book publishers have huddled together in search of safety. Amazon’s size gives it terrifying leverage over the industry. Amazon, with its heavily visited home page, its emails to consumers, and its control of the search box on its site, has the power to make or break a title. To counter Amazon, publishers have sought to increase their bargaining power. They believe that they can match Amazon’s size only by growing their own.

This is sort of a vague complaint. “book publishers have huddled together in search of safety.” Safety from what threat, exactly? Absent specifics, one has to assume the threat is that Amazon won’t necessarily promote what the publishers wish they could tell them to promote, as they can do with bookstores. Amazon sells books – how is that a problem for publishers?

WaPo weighed in

Comment on The Monster Publishing Merger Is About Amazon by CE Petit Thu, 26 Nov 2020 05:30:16 +0000 The biggest problem with the OP — and almost all other commentary on this sort of thing — is the treatment of “publishing” as a single industry, let alone a single market (as antitrust law sort of defines that term).

It’s not. It’s not even close. “Publishing” is the bastard offspring of a three-century-long orgy among thirteen distinct and incompatible individual industries. The three centuries of evolution have actually made things worse — during the first half of the eighteenth century, there were only six or seven industries at issue.

The best evidence that these are distinct and incompatible is the recent purchase of Penguin USA’s trade operations only by Bertelsmann. Pearson wanted to keep the vastly more profitable nontrade industries, and did. Pearson’s internal rate of return has nearly doubled since 2015.

I’ve been through this sort of thing professionally before; even before law school. Once upon a time — as recently as 1976 — there were eleven independent firms that could be counted on to participate in a US military one-or-two-seat fixed-wing aircraft development/contract competition. Fifteen years later, it was down to two; it’s now down to one, realistically. The shrinkage is almost entirely due to acquisitions and consolidation, not “actual” business failures.