Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Canada is funny; Ireland is cheap

Here's one of my favorite bits of humor from Tumblin' Dice:
“Gayle looked at him, slumped in the big leather chair, drinking beer at ten o’clock in the morning, watching himself on tv, the old days, and she was thinking pretty soon they’d have to take him out with a forklift, bury him in a piano box.

“She said, `We can’t have guys running around shooting people all over the place.'

“Danny said, no, sure, that’s right, `But once in a while it’s good.'”
Here's author John McFetridge on "The Hono(u)r Killing in Tumblin Dice."
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is now $2.99 or £1.95 for Kindle! And, never mind this post's title; Absolute Zero Cool is funny, too. And hard-hitting. Mind-expanding, as well, and totally legal. Here, the novel's author, Declan Burke, holds forth on e-book pricing on the Irish Times website.

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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8 Comments:

Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Interesting to hear an Irish voice (and other Irish & British? voices) comment on e-book pricing. It's also interesting to hear from the traditionally published. But the electronic world isn't exclusive to them. There's a huge U.S. market (and other foreign markets). And there are the independently published authors. Competition sets the price, and that depends on the sort of book it is and how well-known the author is. In any case, publisher-generated pricing hasn't worked very well for authors (except perhaps for best-selling ones, and they've already collected their 6-figure advance). The rest of us experiment with price to learn what works best. The 99 cent deals and give-aways may produce huge down-load numbers, but those are almost never returning customers. And anything over 5 bucks must suffer scrutiny and possibly fetch bad reviews.

February 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The quality of copy editing and proofreading in self-published and small-press e-books has generally been below what I expect and take for granted in traditional publishing, sometimes well below. I'm reading all kinds of short crime fiction that might not have found an audience before e-books, and I'm grateful for this. But I think producers of these books need to devote more care to creating a more professional product if they want to be taken seriously.

"Producers" these days can mean "authors," of course, and if this means paying for professional editing and design, so be it. But it also means that publishers who set prices will have to take into account that the price need not just pay the author, but also the editor and designer. If this means paying $4.99 instead of $2.99 for a book, I'll sure as hell do it.

Sure, this is a plea for authors to hire me as a copy editor. But it's also a plea that authors be recompensed for their expenditures in producing professional-quality work.

February 22, 2012  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

I'm reading all kinds of short crime fiction that might not have found an audience before e-books

Peter, Every now and then would you mind just posting a list of some of your e-reading, even if it is not something you want to blog about, pro or con? These kind of posts by bloggers help me select material for downloading to my e-reader, esp. for travel purposes. Short stories are esp. good for reading during travel, it seems. Thanks!

February 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I could do that. In the meantime you could note the subjects of my blog posts. I post about most of what I read, and I don't read too many bad books because I lack the patience to do so. If I write about it here, it's generally worthwhile and interesting at the very least.

February 22, 2012  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

OK, if you're posting about most of your crime fiction reading then I'll just scan titles/tags periodically when I'm looking for e-reading ideas. But, as I'm sure you know, other reading bloggers post now and then just a "what's on my nightstand" kind of post. (As Gilda Radner might have said: Never mind!)

February 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's not a bad idea. I've made at least one "books received" post, following the model set by scholarly journals.

February 22, 2012  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Kindle has been a blessing for my short stories. In the past, they just died within 2 months of release in AHMM. Now they are back again.

As for the editing: yes, I hear/read many complaints about self-published books, but I've also found typos and grammar problems in publisher-edited books. My own editors have only on one occasion been very helpful. And that one was British. :)

February 23, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I.J.: No surprise there. As alive as I am to the drawbacks of trying to read on an e-reader, I'm grateful for the increased availability of short fiction, and authors should be, too.

Proofreading and copy editing have been getting sloppier in traditional publishing as well, and some authors tell me that publishers are scrimping on higher-level editing and making authors pay for editing that the publishers themselves once paid for. But editing as a rule is still better in traditionally published books.

February 23, 2012  

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