So what’s stopping you?

I’ve referenced agent Lori Perkins before because she’s not constantly talking about how to write a better query or cheerleading constantly. YOU!CAN!DO!IT! YES!YOU!CAN! as if the odds of being picked up by an agent and, in turn, a publishing house aren’t astronomical. (And for a pittance, even.)

Anyhoo, today’s LoriPost What Does This Economic Downturn Mean For Writers? is even more sobering for those of you still laboring in the shadow of the faint hope of The Call:

These publishing companies work so far in advance, that when they decide to slow down acquisitions, they can literally just stop buying for 6 or 9 months. And that’s what I predict will happen here.

And yet the news with epublishing is exciting, the industry vibrant and growing, niche markets blossoming as readers find what they want to read that isn’t the SSDD the gatekeepers must buy to maintain their bottom line.

Perhaps it’s time for more writers to shake the dust of [sneer] self-publishing (otherwise more properly known as independent publishing) off their feet and make like the shoppers at Home Depot: Do it yourself. Yeah, it’ll take some time, quite a bit of money if you do it right (e.g. and *ahem* avoid the more egregious vanity/subsidy presses, pay an editor, hire a graphic designer), a complete 180-degree shift in your thinking and attitude, and a helluva lot of hard work (details! O, the details!) but you’re in control.

Freedom, man.

My mother once asked me, “Why are you basing your goals on decisions someone else has to make?”

Bits and bytes

This and that, in no particular order. Mostly stuff I forgot in the ePub post or didn’t know while I was writing it or changed as soon as I hit the “publish” button.cybook-specs.jpg

BOOKEEN CYBOOK. I briefly mentioned this in the ePub post, but forgot to say that this is one that’s caught my attention more than a few times. It’s just that it gets overshadowed by the Biggies and I forget about it. eInk (therefore, no backlight–but you knew that), supports PDFs (don’t know about reflow), plays mp3s. Also supports Mobipocket, HTML, TXT, and PalmDoc. It runs $379, which is a bit rich for my blood.

BEBOOK. There’s a new little kid in town. According to MobileRead forums, this puppy’s got 30k machines in circulation (which I have no idea what that really means). At $349, you can add it to the eInk contenders.

BOOKS ON BOARD and DIESEL EBOOKS. I know I talk about Fictionwise a lot, but more and more I find myself going to and just because their formats are easier to follow and I can find stuff more easily. Fictionwise is a nightmare for my poor ADD. So, hey, Fictionwise. Do something about your web design, because you’re about to lose a customer.

ESPRESSO IN-STORE POD. Behold: espresso.png

Coming to an Australian bookstore near you. Am I the only one who can visualize this beast in the middle of Wal-Mart and Target, Sams Club and Costco? I mean, this isn’t new news; the concept has been around for a while, but the machines are expensive.

Still, I’d think Barnes & Noble and Borders would find this to be worthy of early adoption, if only to reduce their stores’ square footage and associated costs. Why are you still sitting in that small box? Your cheese moved.

[Okay, okay, to be fair, PersonaNonData reports that they’re steadily rolling out in the US.]

As ebookie as I am, I’m excited about this thing Time called an “ATM for books.” Paper is still my first love, to stroke and fondle, to smell and behold. Uhm, paper prØn?

STANZA. I’ve been hearing a lot lately about this ebook reading software which runs (built expressly for? I don’t know) the ePub format. After preliminary perusal, we at B10 find this pertinent to us in that it offers ways to convert text to the ePub format and an iPhone/iTouch app to read ebooks on those devices. According to the website, it is also:

…the first program that has a built-in export feature especially for the Amazon Kindle. Your PDFs, Word documents, and other eBooks can all be exported to the Kindle’s native format and copied over to the device using a USB cable.

However, before we get our hopes up, Apple may blackball Stanza the way it’s blackballed Podcaster. Still, Stanza 1.4 (newest version) is now up in the iApps store.

So along with Stanza, the current state of publishing, the slow (in my opinion) early adoption of the Espresso by outlets such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, please simply add in the requisite anti-DRM rant–

Just how long until commercial publishers start using Stanza to sell and distribute their wares as nonDRMed ePub? And how will the terms compare to those of Amazon and others? (From the Teleread article linked above.)

This is where you start wondering where the Greedy Bastards went. Ban? Ignore? Flee? No! Embrace! Embracement = mo’ money. Where’s Gordon Gekko when you need him?

What have you done for me lately?


I’d like to see new and different in romance. It took Ellora’s Cave and Loose Id and Samhain to break you out into genres you wouldn’t touch before (and no, they’re not all erotica).

I’d like to see you lead the way into e-publishing but again, you didn’t get in gear until the above-mentioned trailblazers kicked your butts. Apparently not even Baen was able to get to you like those three did.


The consignment system of inventory management is, I believe, in its late afternoon and Barnes & Noble CEO Riggio wants to push it into that good night. Agent Richard Curtis (and foresightful creator of e-Reads) points out that it’s not going away–on the dead-tree book brick’n’mortar playground, but, he says,

Read more

An embarrassment of half-assed riches

See, the thing is, I keep getting these great ideas to blog about, but then I get distracted and they don’t gel and I have about 6 half-written posts in my drafts folder that kinda sorta mean something to me now, but not really. Prepare for leftovers, kiddies, because mommy’s tired and she doesn’t want to cook dinner.

Re: Ann Herendeen and Phyllida

This is what’s apparently called “good” gossip. I shall take the liberty of bragging.

Read more