January 30, 2010
If you go to Amazon today to buy a Kindle edition of my book, you won’t be able to. Initially I thought it was an error, but actually, it’s just business. From The New York Times:
Amazon.com has pulled books from Macmillan, one of the largest publishers in the United States, in a dispute over the pricing on e-books on the site.
The publisher’s books can be purchased only from third parties on Amazon.com.
A person in the industry with knowledge of the dispute, which has been brewing for a year, said Amazon was expressing its strong disagreement by temporarily removing Macmillan books. The person did not want to be quoted by name because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Macmillan wants Amazon to sell popular Kindle books for $15 rather than the ubiquitous $9.99. So now they’re duking it out publically. It’s sort of like seeing your parents fight right in front of your eyes.
Who doesn’t love cheap? I know I do. But there is a cost associated with plummeting prices, which you can read about in Cheap, a fantastic book written by Ellen Ruppel Shell, which you can still buy from Amazon — at least for now.
January 5, 2010
Some great news and a great deal from Fiction Writers Review:
As you know, we’re big fans of Poets & Writers Magazine around here. So we’re excited to announce that Poets & Writers has generously agreed to offer our readers a special subscription rate of only $12. The reason for this offer is to help build support for a new series in the magazine called “Inside Indie Bookstores,” written by our Associate Editor, Jeremiah Chamberlin. Each issue will feature an important independent bookstore around the country. The first to be profiled will be Square Books, of Oxford, Mississippi.
For those unfamiliar with Poets & Writers, it’s probably the most useful magazine for writers. It’s always chock full of real-world information and practical advice.
January 3, 2010
There’s an essay on the flaccidity of the new crop of male fiction writers in the current issue of the Book Review. Basically, Katie Roiphe is saying the oldies (Philip Roth, John Updike, Saul Bellow, etc.) wrote about sex and the getting of sex and the having of sex while the newies (Dave Eggers, David Foster Wallace, Michael Chabon, etc.) are neutered. The exact quote:
The younger writers are so self-conscious, so steeped in a certain kind of liberal education, that their characters can’t condone even their own sexual impulses; they are, in short, too cool for sex.
Is this true? To some degree, but I’m not sure if it’s liberal education that’s at fault. Instead, I think Roiphe forgot about four very huge letters that loomed as large as anything in the fear cache of my childhood: AIDS. I can still remember seeing a man on TV with open sores all over his body, and the TV announcer more or less saying, “Have sex, and this will happen to you.” That’s something you just don’t ever forget.
Secondly, I can think of two contemporary male authors off the top of my head who have no problems whatsoever writing about sex: Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) and Chuck Palahniuk (Choke). The sex may have become more violent, but it’s still quite prevalent.