Another Print Book v.s. eBook Shocker — and eBookstores in Airports

A year ago I’d talked at length to a book buyer for three bookstores in the Detroit Airport. He was actually very excited and gave me much promise particularly since he loved my genre (historical fiction). But because in my excitement I had no contact information except his name, I waited for my next flight out of Detroit this past weekend in order to drop off one of my books for him to preview. To my shock, the bookstore was gone. I asked one of the workers across the hallway what had happened. She informed me that the two bookstores in that terminal had changed over to sports stores last spring or summer. The Wall Street Journal was the only store now carrying books, and that was only if the author was on the best seller list. This kind clerk actually called the buyer from a year ago, who said he remembered me, apologized, and regretfully told me that books don’t sell. I thanked him, signed the copy of my book, and gave it away to the helpful clerk who apparently does read books, and was very excited about her gift.

I then went to the gate area to await the arrival of my plane, brooding on the sad state of economy where bookstores no longer existed. I felt like I was cast into some bookless utopian society I’d read about as a youth. When I pulled out of my depression, I looked around at my fellow waiting passengers. Out of about two hundred seated people, six slept, three read books or a magazine, and everyone else was on an electronic device. Everyone. Else.

So how are we to adapt to this shocking realization? (Granted, people were playing eGames as well as reading, but some people were reading!)

I was thinking there ought to be eBookstores in airports with QR tags along a wall, which could easily be both categorized by age and genre as well as rotated. The eBookstore would then get part of the profits for selling the books. All it would take is a scan from an electronic device and a “clerk” who would change the tags every week or every other week.

BRILLIANT, SANDY! SIMPLY BRILLIANT!

And finny-dib-dibs on the idea! I figure that for coming up with this sensational original idea, I would have my book covers and QR tags displayed in airports on a rotating basis, or maybe a 0.01% for every book sold this way.

Raise your eHand if you think this is also a brilliant idea.

(BTW, on my trip I read from both print books and ebooks. And on another-yet-similar note, about twenty-five years ago I came up with the idea of hand-held computers. At least I wrote about them in my novel. Seriously. Wouldn’t that be cool? Oh. Right. People have already invented that now. Sigh.)

eBook Stealing

Literature Blogs
Last Friday night, Jacquline McMahon (interviewed here last week) told me her book had gotten stolen from this website: http://download-file.net   When I went there, I saw my own two experimental ebooks listed in various formats. Another author-friend is only in print, and with a large publishing house, and her books were offered (in PFD format). This site is offering books and movies for free (with a less than a five dollar initial membership fee). The authors get no royalties, the publishers no income. It’s theft. It’s wrong. What now?

I hate to be a whistle-blower when it is so soon, when I’m not positive it isn’t a virus scam (i.e., pay to become a member, and *surprise* you now have been gifted with a computer virus). When I contacted them to remove my books, I received back an automated response giving me a reference number and password. A Michigan author wrote the site anonymously to find out if the books were indeed free. They responded to her. Yes, they were all free, after joining.

I suppose with both today’s technology and today’s world laws, something like this was inevitable. One fatalistic writer friend told me it happens all the time. Several friends are contacting their publishers. My livelihood (so far) doesn’t depend on my writing, but for several friends, it does. It will be interesting to see where this goes, with this particular thieving site, and others.

Ebook Experiment

 Literature Blogs

I’ve taken the ePlunge.

I published three short stories into one book with Smashwords.com: BIKER FOLK TALES, BOOK I ( http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46366 ), all for the whopping price of 99 cents! It’s also supposed to be on 7 other eReaders. Very cool.

This as an experiment at this stage — huge experiment — since ePublishing is a rather new business, and it’s completely new to me. I figure I’ll be tripping over my eToes for quite a while, learning, learning, learning.  A couple of weeks ago I uploaded the book, but then last night uploaded a revised edition to include the protect-the-author line in the beginning about the stories being works of fiction and the characters not based on real people. Wouldn’t want any biker gangs showing up on our front lawn because I unintentionally dis-ed one of their brothers.

A sample can be read for free. But if any of you actually make it through the ePurchase line… let me know your success story.