eRead Local: Support Bookstores!

eRead Local badgeEveryone wants to keep their local bookstore around, but I get it — the lure of ebooks is so powerful.

Fortunately, the folks at Kobo have worked out a way where you can have it both ways — the convenience of digital and the support of local!

It’s called eRead Local, and basically it makes it easy for you to buy ebooks…through your local bookstore. Everyone wins!

When you sign up, you get five bucks towards your first e-purchase (enough to buy, say, some of these…), and your local bookstore gets five bucks, too. The bookstore also gets a chance to win prizes, like free Kobo eReaders and an in-store event featuring a bestselling author.

Check out www.kobo.com/ereadlocal for full details.

Clean Reading, Dirty Business

“I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked?”

— Genesis 3:10-11

Let’s start with something both amusing and sad.

clean_reader_twitter_blogifiedOff to your left, you’ll see a detail snagged from the Twitter page of an app called Clean Reader, which purports to “clean” your reading experience by allowing you to mask curse words in ebooks.

Do you see the irony?

Clean Reader wants to protect people from the horrors of curse words. Yet its Twitter bio forces a curse word into your head! “Quit reading $%&# in your books!” can only mean one thing. “$%&#” doesn’t stand for crap or garbage or junk. If it did, there’d be no need to mask it. It can only stand for the word shit. The clean-minded folks at Clean Reader are forcing everyone who visits them on Twitter to think the word shit.

But at least they’re not reading it, right?

“Who told you that you were naked?”

“I saw it on Clean Reader’s Twitter page, my Lord.”

Okay, let’s move on. [Read more…]

Two Things About Amazon vs. Hachette

In general, I’ve been happy to say very little about the ongoing Amazon vs. Hachette (publishers of I Hunt Killers) battle royale, instead pointing to others’ statements. It’s a big, thorny, ugly complicated issue and I don’t have the patience to do it justice, especially when others are writing so often and so well about it. Plus, quite frankly, I just don’t need to spike my blood pressure by thinking about it.

But reading a recent piece by Christopher Wright made me realize that there are two bits I do want to discuss, mainly because I don’t see anyone talking about them.

Wright’s article is well-thought-out and cogently presented, examining the kinds of nuance I enjoy. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he lays out a series of logical inferences in a manner that leaves little quibble room. I encourage you to go read it before you continue here.

So, here are my two problems with the Amazon vs. Hachette discussion, as thrown into stark relief by Wright’s piece: [Read more…]

I Hunt Killers…for Cheap!

Killers_MMPBLooks like the I Hunt Killers e-book is currently available in all the usual spots for the obscenely low price of just $2.99. I don’t know how long this will last, so if you’re interested, best hop on it right away!

Here are some links:

Why Lucky Day is E-only

Since the announcement of Lucky Day, I’ve been getting tweets, comments, Facebook messages, and emails from lyga_luckyday_final_losome folks who are upset that the story will only be available as an ebook. They seem to think this means that they can’t read it since they don’t own an e-reader and they’re upset about it.

First of all, let’s talk about why Lucky Day is e-only: Look, book publishing is good at many things, but publishing short works and making money at them is not one of them. Depending on how you set your fonts and margins, Lucky Day probably clocks in at around 80-100 pages. A nice little chunk of fiction, I think, but if my publisher were to actually print a book that was only 80-100 pages long, they’d still have to charge three or four bucks for it…and y’all would be pissed at paying that much money for such a relatively small chunk of story. As it is, by going e-only, we can offer you this dark, melancholy little morsel of Killers history for just $1.99. Not bad.

“But Barry!” someone in the back row says, “I don’t have an ereader, nor do I want an ereader, so you’re shutting me out! You’re preventing me from reading this story because I cannot afford a Kindle or an iPad, or because I don’t want to buy one.”

To which I say: Easy, there! Every single one of the ereader platforms provides entirely free software that you can use to read stories like Lucky Day on your computer or in a web browser. That’s right: Totally free software. If you know about Lucky Day in the first place, it’s because you read about it online. Which means you have access to a computer. Which means you can read Lucky Day. (Visit the Lucky Day page for a slew of links to the various free apps.)

I would never try to exclude any of my readers from reading something I’ve written!