Archive for August 15, 2011

Mass Market eBook Pricing

WTF? How are BACKLISTED EBOOKS $9.99?  Do I get an eMassage with that? Seriously.

I can understand the publishers having to raise prices for Mass Market print books due to the changing publishing, supply, distribution and market factors. But BACKLISTED EBOOKS?  Yes, there’s a certain amount of work to convert books nicely into eformats.  And if they were NEW books, there are costs associated to editing and formatting the book, etc.  But seriously.  BACKLISTS?  Of cheap-fun pulp mass market paperbacks converted to EBOOKS?  I love books, and support books, and am all for supporting authors, but many backlisted genre paperbacks are not great works of art I will be reading over and over, especially in eBook format, they are disposable consumable entertainment, and surely they’ve sold through by now, so really, what’s the justification for $9.99 eBooks?

All you’ve done is made me NOT buy those books now.  Unless I find them in a used book store.  Now, let’s see what we have available for a SANE price …


Thrift Store Observations

Man, that’s a totally pimpin ride!  I never knew Barbie was so cool.

Pimpin Ride

Oh, wait, of course! It is from Jem and the Holograms, not Barbie.

Jem is to Barbie as Lady Gaga is to Hannah Montana.  I”m pretty sure that’s on SAT tests, and if not, it should be.


Hey, a whole set of Babylon 5 action figures!

Babylon 5 figures

Oh, wait, it’s all lame secondary characters.  You’d have to be real geek to buy one of … wait, I could totally have my Terminator action figure put Vir in a headlock, giving him noogies on his fan head, and — no, no, moving on.


This is the first time a sports trophy ever set off my gaydar**:

Super Fabulous Hit!

Super Fabulous Hit!


On the opposite end of the sports spectrum, we have Hunter Dan, American Sportsman!  Presented without comment.

Hunter Dan


So, Thrift Stores — where every facet of American culture sits side by side on the shelves, available for an equally low price.  It’s downright inspirational, it is.


** Note: While Gaydar has been proven to exist from a psychological perspective based on facial queues, etc. it is not reliable.  For example, I’m sure your own gaydar might have gone off when I started talking about Jem vs Barbie, but that would be a false positive.  Honest.  I know because I once explored my sexuality through a brief and horribly doomed proxy tryst between my Evil Knievel and Six Million Dollar Man action figures.


How to Be a Genre Promotion Guerrilla at a Bookstore Near You

Quick: Can you spot the scifi and fantasy magazines?

Hidden Magazines

Where the heck is my F&SF?


As usual, the spec fic magazines are almost impossible to spot.  They are hidden in the shadows on the bottom shelf of the Literary section, which is completely out of view if you are actually standing close enough to the shelf to browse the top row.

Whenever I see this, I go ahead and arrange things as they should be:

Revealed Magazines

Ahhh, that's better.


I noticed a similar problem with John Pitts’ latest novel, “Honeyed Words”.  Can you spot it?

Where's Pitts?

Where's Pitts?

Now, books present a slightly different problem since they are alphabetized, and to simply rearrange them might actually hurt sales for those searching by name.  So I simply made it more visible by propping his book up using another book.  Don’t worry, I didn’t use one of the Tim Powers books or any of his other neighboring authors’.  I used a copy of Twilight.*

Pitts Visible

Much Better. No actual novels were harmed in the making of this point.


So, when you are in a bookstore (for however many more months they are still around), don’t be afraid to make sure folks can find the good stuff.  You can’t rate products or give comments in a physical bookstore like you can a virtual one, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still express your support and appreciation.  Just don’t be a jerk and completely hide or “lose” anyone else’s stuff.

* There were plenty of other copies of Twilight, so I don’t think struggling artist Ms. Meyer will be suffering terribly from my choice.