A Canadian book blog: Publishing, marketing, books and technology from a Canadian perspective

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Buy Anita’s House

My friend Anita has reduced the price of her super cute Alert Bay house. This week July 1st to 4th will be open house viewing by appointment.  Please call 250-650-1204. 


Monday, June 15, 2009

Amazon: At it again

Is Amazon Taking Over the Book Business? is a great article by Lev Grossman and Andrea Sachs in TIME on Monday, Jun. 22, 2009.

As I’ve said before, Amazon isn’t just a bookstore.

As numerous publishing journalists and bloggers have pointed out, Amazon has diversified itself so comprehensively over the past five years that it’s hard to say exactly what it is anymore. Amazon has a presence in almost every niche of the book industry. It runs a print-on-demand service (BookSurge) and a self-publishing service (CreateSpace). It sells e-books and an e-device to read them on (the Kindle, a new version of which, the DX, went on sale June 10). In 2008 alone, Amazon acquired Audible.com a leading audiobooks company; AbeBooks, a major online used-book retailer; and Shelfari, a Facebook-like social network for readers. In April of this year, it snapped up Lexcycle, which makes an e-reading app for the iPhone called Stanza. And now there’s Amazon Encore, which makes Amazon a print publisher too.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gummy War: Ever Feel Like Things Aren’t Working Out?


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Gratis vs Libre: Giving Books Away for Free

BookCampTO was this weekend and it stimulated my brain.

Mitch Joel, who I admire greatly, was in attendance and we had a couple of excellent thought exchanges, one of which is playing out on his blog.

Here’s a fleshed out version of my comment “Gratis vs. Libre.”

The thing of value that publishers and authors have is the content of their books. Setting the value of that content at zero is not the way to go. (Although there are interesting examples of free PDFs that lead to great value for the publisher and author. See the D&M case study on The Tar Sands (PDF).—Thank you Alison for sharing!)

Giving the content away for free (in whatever format the book takes) is like my fellow apartment dwellers who toss books into the “free” box in the laundry room. Those books are gratis. They are one step above being thrown away. The value exchange between giver and taker is “meh”.

Freeing the content, as in libre, is what publishers and authors are after. It’s the quest to give—as in a gift—that allows the value exchange of the content to remain in tact.

Why did the D&M campaign meet its goals with the free PDF? Partly because it’s still early days for free PDFs. D&M captured our attention by giving away the entire book because there are few people doing that as a marketing strategy. There is value in the rarity.

More important though is that there was a strategy to this campaign. They set measurable goals in advance. And they didn’t set the only goal as increasing sales because they recognize that there’s not a direct correlation between a single marketing campaign (with multiple facets) to sales. But most important of all, they treated the PDF as a gift.

It was available for a limited time. And it was available, in particular, to journalists and bloggers as a file that they could gift to others. It was libre—free to travel, free to be shared.

And, quite cleverly, there are still reasons for us to talk about Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent by Andrew Nikiforuk because the publisher has created this case study to share as a gift to other publishers and authors who are debating the merits of posting a free PDF. Thank you again for sharing!

Book publishing is an industry in a cribbage game—and it’s not about avoiding getting skunked by your fellow publishers, it’s about avoiding getting skunked by every other industry vying for consumer attention. You are playing as an industry, not as individual players.

BookCampTO is one example of how we can work together and I really hope to bring that conversation to the west coast. Thank you for the Toronto hospitality.

I’ll be posting my BookCampTO notes at http://www.breakthespine.com/. If you’re interested in attending the Vancouver debrief session sign up for email alerts at Break the Spine, email me, DM me on twitter—chose your means.

Email Alerts from Break the Spine

Website: http://www.breakthespine.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/breakthespine or http://www.twitter.com/somisguided


Monday, June 01, 2009

Kill a Critic: A Revenge-Lit Contest

imageBiblioasis and SeenReading have launched the Kill a Critic: A Revenge-Lit contest, to celebrate the Launch of Terry Griggs’s Thought You Were Dead.

The first entries are up at www.revengelit.blogspot.com and the deadline (pardon the pun) is June 12.

How to Entry
Write 250 words or so on the Death of a Critic (Literary or Art), and what they did to get there.
Send entries to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Visit RevengeLit.Blogspot.com for details 

Everybody Hates a Critic. Some people hate them more than others.

Terry Griggs’s new comic-noir biblio-mystery Thought You Were Dead kicks, err, off with a literary critic found under a hedge with a knife in his head, and literary revenge plays an increasingly important role as the novel unfolds. The literary world, and especially the Canadian literary world, can be a small, spiteful – and occasionally murderous – place. Character assassinations abound, books are regularly murdered in the (shrinking) book pages across our fair land, while others are smothered with damningly faint praise. More than a few knives, even if thankfully metaphorical, have been buried hilt deep in authorial backs.

Do you bear the scars of CanLit’s internecine wars? Have you spent a small fortune on postage and only have a drawerful of rejection slips to show for it? Has the world been slow to recognize your evident talent? Then, dear reader, this contest is for you.

To celebrate the launch of Terry Griggs’s Thought You Were Dead, Biblioasis and Seen Reading are teaming up to help you unleash the murder we know is in your heart with our Revenge-Lit contest. Pen a flash fiction of 250 words or so (though, in truth, no one is likely to count them) on the (fictional) literary critic whose body once filled the chalk outline and what he did to get there and send it by June 12th to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The best of the entries will be published as they are received at RevengeLit.blogspot.com. The winning entry will:

1) Receive a one hundred dollar cash prize

2) Be published in a forthcoming issue of CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries

3) A Biblioasis press catalogue of in-print trade titles (approx. 40 books, retail value approx. $1000.00)

Entries to be judged by Dan Wells, Julie Wilson and Terry Griggs.