Before I started the A to Z thing, I attempted to upgrade the CMS my website runs on.
Something went wrong.
Then something went wrong when I tried to restore it.
Since then I can't create new posts (everything posted since then is repurposed old drafts) or switch on the spam filter.
I had planned to keep going until after the A to Z Challenge was finished, but that was before I knew I'd get over a thousand spam comments a day. After accidentally deleting two legit comments when trying to clean up, I switched off comments, and without a chance of comments, posting's not so much fun.
I'll try to get the page working and updated in the course of the week(end), though I can't promise anything.
I mentioned I didn't keep up with uploading pictures last year, right? So here are all sketches I drew during Sketch Fests. Since I skipped some of them, of this might be unmanageable. I hope this year I can take part more regularly, and finish more things - this batch has a lot of very rough sketches.
Let's try this again. Some things that caught my eye:
Petridish.org, a platform for crowdfunding scientific research rather than creative projects, has a project to research hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form or nausea during pregnancy that can lead to miscarriages and medical nightmare for the women affected. Since apparently mainstream research decided to skip it because hysteria was a good enough explanation until relatively recently, crowdfunding seems to suit that well.
I've come across some interesting articles on the topic of what an ebook is worth, mostly in context with pricing, but came across one that is particularly baffling today - because of the implications about the worth of books in general.
According to this article, Joan Brady, an award-winning writer (info on Wikipedia) argues that paper books will stick around because they are statud symbols, like Rolex watches and four wheel drives. (Apparently in her world, people who have to drive along dirt tracks don't exist.) Books people would not like to admit to reading will be sold as ebooks, but books people want other people to think they have read will be bought in paper, so they can be put on a shelf to show off to visitors.
Now, some of that makes sense, as does pointing out that being unable to pass on ebooks legally is a disadvantage, but it seems far too polarised to me.
She said that once an e-book has been bought, it is “more worthless than used toilet paper, which can at least end up as compost”.
This line makes me wonder if Joan Brady has been quoted badly out of context. Buying an ebook means having access to the text, to read it whenever you want. Declaring that worthless sounds to me like declaring the actual content of the book worthless. What kind of author would have the attitude that what matters is the block of pages with a recognisable cover, and the "status" that owning it conferred, but not the writing?
I don't think print will perish any time soon. Some people just prefer paper, print books are handy for many kinds of reference works, coffee table books or well-crafted hardcovers are things of beauty. However, I buy those because I need or enjoy them, not to sway other people's opinion of me. (Mind, I do like sharing books I'm fond of, which may shade into showing off on occasion.)
What do you think? How important is the "status" or "shame" factor to you when it comes to letting people know?
Becka Sutton is the writer of two online serials, and has recently self-published Land of Myth, the first volume of her YA serial Dragon Wars.
Why am I not putting Land of Myth into KDP Select?
The first and simplest reason is that I don't like platform exclusive things let alone vendor exclusive. I have both Kindle and ePub readers on my laptop and phone but given a choice I will always buy ePub and feel a bit exasperated when things are Kindle only. That being so it would be hypocritical of me to make my book Kindle exclusive.
Also while I do understand the lure of Select - in the US the vast majority of ereaders are Kindles and the possibility of reaching those readers with a free introduction to your work must be tempting - it's tempting for a reason. Amazon wants to be an ebook monopoly and I have a rampant distrust of monopolies. Once you've got one there's no one to control them. Amazon aren't so bad to authors at the moment but would they stay that way if they held all the cards. Healthy competition lies at the heart of capitalism – no one should hold all the cards.
Finally I don't like excluding people. I have friends with Nook, Kobo, Cybook and Sony readers and I know that there are many people I don't know who have non-Kindle readers. Choosing KDP Select would mean excluding them. Not only is this not good business because it's losing potential sales but it's also bad customer service. Sure if your work is DRM free they can use Calibre to convert it but you're making work for them and making the customer work for a product does not encourage sales. If Select doesn't pan out – as I suspect it won't in the long term – you'll have alienated all those potential customers and they may not buy your books even once they are once again available in non-kindle formats.
So there you have it - a brief summation of my reasons for not going with KDP Select.
You can find Becka's serials Dragon Wars and Haventon Chronicles at firebird-fiction.com. The first collected and edited volume of Dragon Wars, Land of Mythis available as ebook through various channels as well as as paperback.