Found this excellent interview with a sci-fi great, Arthur C Clarke, who grew up in Somerset, UK.

if you havet heard of him (tsk) he was behind the movie 2001: A Space Odessy and the book of that name as well as Childhood’s End (similair in themes and content tyo the later TV series V ) and the Rama series of books

For the next five days my short story anthology “Fragments” is available for free lending from the Kindle library.

If you have a Kindle, please do have a look at those stories.

If you don’t have a Kindle (or if you do and want a sample) check out my short story, Minehead:

Minehead_EdwardKeating

If you have a Kindle and are enrolled in the KDP lending library scheme, you can borrow my novel, The Joy of Ex, for free for the next five days.

Joy Of Ex Cover Front web

The first chapter of The Joy of Ex is below as a free PDF to have a sample of what the novel is about.

JoyOfExExtract_ch1_

The book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

Joy Of Ex Cover Front web

 

 

Found a great review of my book The Joy of Ex left by a reader on Amazon.

If you have read the book, you should post a review on Amazon too – what’s stopping you?

Something I wrote about at length a bit more than two years ago is the use of social media to find news about friends rather than traditional news.

See my December 2010 blog.

Since then, I have visited traditional news sites less and less. The news site I refer to in that blog post was somewhere I visited daily (and had done for five years or so) but it doesn’t even register on the Chrome list of sites I visit often.

Why the change?

I guess there are three reasons:

i) The type of content I am interested in is now on Facebook – so any person / group / issue I care about (from pop star to football team to climate change) have users I follow who post content – quite often daily. So I can read updates from the source of the news for them.

ii) Any other news, particularly breaking news, appears in Facebook streams pretty quick – I heard about the pope abdicating on Facebook and the meteorite hit in Russia via Twitter. Anything which comes up can be verified by a Google search and clicking on the first reputable news source it brings up.

iii) The radio station where I live, and the local print newspaper, each have Facebook streams and post reasonably regularly, so any local news appears in my stream (no need to buy a paper anymore as they are giving it away in another medium) and if it is of interest I take a look.

The future of news appears to be social. Quite how money is made from that, I am unsure.

I am frustrated by the Murdoch pay wall, as content from their cannot be shared (or if it can, it would seem only with other subscribers – feel free to tell me if I am not understanding how that works correctly) as far as I can tell it is working out for him, but his news output is not coming my way online.

Quite some time ago I suggested in a post that in the future  books will be sold in hardback a bit like rarities (a bit like how vinyl is produced and sold now in the era of iTunes) based on the theory that you can buy cheap text as a digital file (altho this has still not quite happened – yet) and if you really, really like the book you can buy it as a luxury item to have on show in your house (altho this will most likely be a wider trend than those few who still buy vinyl – and it is entirely possible this will herald a return to a bygone era when only rich people had books as they were expensive – altho in the future the less affluent will still have access to them, just via digital mediums rather than bulky paperbacks).

Out Christmas shopping in Exeter (UK) recently I saw this in Waterstones (the large store, not the small one – for those of you who know the city):

 

IMAG0387

The text on the display, which you can partially see reads: “Classic books beautifully bound” – hardback books – objects of beauty and curiosity.

Expect to see more of this for all books as the digital revolution continues.

Digital publishing should be leading a revolution in publishing bringing great books to the masses – but this is stalling due to price.

Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin, introduced paperback novels in 1935 with the intention that books should cost no more than a packet of cigarettes.

I don’t buy cigarettes, but my friend Google tells me in the UK they cost a bit less than £6.50 for a pack of 20.

Second on the Amazon best selling book as I write is by Bradley Wiggins, the paperback costs £7.19 from Amazon (RRP £7.99)  while the Kindle edition costs £6.29 (and the reason I have selected 2nd on the best seller list is because first doesnt appear to have a Kindle edition thanks Jamie Oliver)

So the paperback costs more than the cigarettes, while the digital edition costs marginally less than they do.

Let’s think about this for a minute – the difference between a paperback and the Kindle edition is 90p.

That 90p must account for the cost of printing, the cost of paper, the cost of shipping, the cost of storage and possibly other costs I am not factoring in. And bearing in mind publishers sell to retailers at least 50% discount for paper books, then we should be looking at 45p as being the cost of each of those things.

While the Kindle edition is some data uploaded to Amazon who then download it after the customer purchases. Quite often the data is a couple of megabits which if it costs anything at all to store and transmit, cannot be more than a few pence.

So why does a couple of MBs of data cost not much less than a paperback (with all the costs of printing, transporting and storing) ????

I don’t know what is going on in the offices of big publishing houses across the planet, so I hesitate to say this is all about profiteering – they may have a legitimate reason – which I would really like to hear (feel free to comment to explain yourself if you work at a big publishing house).

However, what I do know is I have four books available on Amazon* – three are almost out of print as paperbacks (and the publisher doesn’t plan to print anymore as they will be available forever on Kindle) – but all are available in Kindle.

The paperback prices are in the range you would expect as compared to books from other publishing houses. But, the Kindle editions all retail at £1.92 (which is based on the US price of $2.99 which I understand is the minimum price you can put on a Kindle book). 

I mention the prices of my books primarily to make the point I am practicing what I am preaching (and if Amazon removes their minimum price I think they would go down again – publishing to a literate world should be about volume of sales not price per unit – the industry values best sellers (not highest priced sellers) after all.

Market forces will win out and the big publishing houses will flourish or not in the digital era. But keeping prices more or less the same for paper objects compared to couple of MBs downloads is probably not sustainable – look at what Apple has done to CDs with iTunes at 79p a track. Look at what Netflix and others are doing to movie and box set DVD sales.

The digital revolution is here and if the old publishers cannot change the price then new ones who will change the cost and the business model to compete will rise up and take their place – it is how the market works.

 

*My books available on Kindle:

The Joy of Ex

Fragments

UHF Shadow

The Great Wide Open

Robert Stewart murdered his cell mate Zahid Mubarek in March 2000.
How did a prisoner with a history of violence and racism come to share a cell with a man of Asian descent?

This difficult period in British prison history is examined by crime writer Ian Hitchings in his book Robert Stewart: Portrait of a Prison Killer.

Out now, published by Oktober Books.

The Joy of Ex on Kindle

August 25, 2012

My first published book The Joy of Ex  is available from Amazon here.

The Joy of Ex was published in 2008 on Oktober Books.

The back page blurb says:

“It all starts with a drunken bet, well actually it starts with a lot of Jose Cuervo, some casual sex with strangers and a drunken concept, the drunken bet kind of follows naturally along behind. Nick is convinced the spark that gets a girl to sleep with him is still there between them forever, however the relationship ends.

His best mate Blake doesn’t agree. Instead Blake believes the fire between two people is gone, on one side at least, when things come to an end.

To find out who is right Nick bets Blake he cannot seduce and bed six of his ex girlfriends/one nighters – and provide photographic evidence. So is an ex girlfriend ripe for seduction, or is everything truly over when one partner says goodbye? Blake is about to find out when he discovers The Joy of Ex.”

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