Author’s Guild Rails at Amazon’s Buy-Box

(This post might be more interesting to the writers among us, but readers and buyers-of-books are also affected by the dynamics of this issue.)

Author’sGuild.org recently posted an article discussing a change in Amazon’s algorithms regarding who gets top billing in what is called the “buy box” of books – apparently the display at the top that lists all available formats and the relative prices. As you might know, a little farther down appear links to other retailers offering “used” or “new” copies of the books.

Currently, Amazon places itself in the prime “buy box” spot, as the first buy-option people see, but according to the article Amazon intends to use metrics to allow third-party retailers the chance to get in that prize spot. (Amazon gets its stock from the publishers, but acts as the distributor itself.)

Author’s Guild (AG) is incensed at the suggested change, but on reading their article I find their arguments less than compelling. Continue reading

Trust: the Economics of Ebooks

IMG_7670 In this season of buying, selling, celebrating, advertising…I’d like to take a moment to talk about ebooks. The market of ebooks actually reveals some profound facets of our philosophy, and points to the worldview that underlies our actions.

From the prices of ebooks (for which I’ll direct you to Jordan Smith) to DRM (which I’ll explain in detail), how authors and readers interact matters – both to how readers view writers and their works, and to how writers are compensated for the toil and tears they put into creating their book.

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“Book of Poisons” by Serita Stevens and Anne Bannon

No Such Thing As Iocane Powder

 I’m a quiet kind of person, but I have a peculiar hobby. That’s why I got the Book of Poisons. No, no, I write novels. Honest.

Especially useful for mystery writers, Book of Poisons details hundreds of toxins for causing havoc and death (to fictional characters, of course). Continue reading

“The Emotion Thesaurus” by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

Emotion_Thesaurus-Cover One of the most useful writing aides I have found along my journey has been The Emotion Thesaurus. In the constant quest to show readers our characters’ actions and let them deduce the underlying emotions and thoughts for themselves, The Emotion Thesaurus provides engrossing lists of physical tics, physiological sensations, and other characteristics that can be used to display a character’s internal state without reusing the same ones again and again. Continue reading

“Finding the Core of Your Story” by Jordan Smith

FindingCoreStory_Cover Of the writing of books there is no end, and of advice on writing there is (seemingly) no end. Finding the heart of your story is not a new quest, and yet Jordan Smith has crafted a new angle on the subject, and delivered it in such sparkling, quick-footed prose that his book is well worth the price of admission. Continue reading