In Which Your Hostess Answers Burning Questions

Marty went poking through search terms that led to his blog and found something a bit disturbing.  Curiosity started poking this cat, and I peeked at my own.

Some of them are questions I can answer!

1. what’s the counting crows song that goes ba da ba da da

That’s an easy one.  “Another Horsedreamer’s Blues,” based on the play Geography of a Horsedreamer by Sam Shepard.  Here, give it a listen:

2. what to say to a valued publisher when the price is too high

Uh.  Okay, this question is kind of vague to me.  I’m assuming this is someone upset over the price of a book or eBook.  It appears that by calling them a “valued” publisher, you have some respect for their other work and have purchased their titles in the past.  So, first of all, approach them respectfully.  Most publishers will have an address you can write to with concerns.  It might appear to be a generic customer service email address, but it will get filtered on to the appropriate people.  When you write to them, lay out the reasons that you believe a price is too high:  is the binding falling apart, or the paper quality poor?  Are they charging $25 for a 50-page book with lots of blank white space on every page?

Be honest, but be polite.  And, also, do  your research.  Do you think eBooks shouldn’t cost more than $9.99 or less?  Why?  If your answer is “because they don’t cost anything to make,” close your email program right now, do not press send, come here while I smite you. Someone finally talked about the cost of books, both e- and print, in the New York Times.  Go read that.  And go read Tobias Buckell, who posted about this a while back.  Also, Charlie Stross, who’s taking us step by step through how books are made.

Now, if you dropped $400 on a Kindle and don’t feel like shelling out $10 for an eBook because it’s too expensive omg, I’ll give you a running start.  Would you whine about buying a car and then having to pay to put gas in it?  Or buying a refrigerator and having to buy food to put in it?  No?  Then stop crying about having to pay for books to read on the device you bought for the purpose of reading books.

Another context for this question that occurred to me:  are you an author who feels that the price your publisher has set on your book is too high?  Do you have a literary agent going to bat for you?  Talk it over with your agent, first.  If you’re unagented, ask your editor (again, politely and respectfully) how the publisher came to that pricing decision, and if there’s any wriggle room with it.

3.  tales from the kitchen cannibal

I… what?  Okay, I can’t answer this one, but I feel like it has the potential to be a hilarious zombie story.  Someone write it and entertain me with it. GO!  In the meantime, there’s an episode of The I.T. Crowd entitled “Moss and the German” that might give you a giggle.

4. how to say roy in french

I believe that would be kind of like roo-wah.  Though, the way you say roi, meaning king, is more like rwah.  I could also be completely wrong, since it’s been something ridiculous like fifteen years since I took French.

5. stuff of legends ian gibson

Needs to come out NOW.  But, alas, unless I can scrounge an ARC out of someone at Ace Books, I’m stuck waiting six more months for it just like the rest of you.  However, in the meantime (and through some googling of my own), I see that fellow Feathermooninite Ian Gibson has a blog.  To which you should go.

6. all royalties are based on net amount received by publisher (wholesale price achieved)

I don’t get what the parenthetical statment at the end means, and I’m neither an agent nor a lawyer, but your standard royalties for print books from a commercial publisher should be based off of your book’s cover price, not the net.  I can’t really speak to ebooks, since the times, they are a-changin’ in that regard.

That’s about all the wisdom I have for today, though if you have any other burning questions for me, go ahead and leave ’em in the comments.  I’ll see what I can do!

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One Response to In Which Your Hostess Answers Burning Questions

  1. Just added your blog to my reader; why hasn’t it been there til now??

    Thanks for the link to Ian’s blog; added him as well! Great stuff there!

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