Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

If You Could Talk to Publishers, What Would You Say?

One of the things we learned from our survey was that readers were hungry to talk to publishers. But how would you want to engage publishers? On a blog post? On a livechat? A skype conference? What part of “publishers” would you want represented? The CEO? The editors? The authors?

What would you ask them? Is pricing the most important topic for you? Is it availability (geographic or just generally digitized)? Is it DRM? Is it ownership? The right to share? How about resale? Is timing of the release? Is it quality?

For me, it’s a number of factors. First, I definitely want quality. I want the digital book to be as good as the paper book and even more, I want the digital book to avail itself of digital features like searchability, multiple bookmarks, annotations, organization. I want pretty little section breaks and the graphics included in a print book, optimized for the digital book.

I want all books available in digital that are available in print. I want the digital books to be available at the same time as the print books. I will concede that there will be no resale but in exchange, the price of the digital books must be some percentage less of lowest comparable print book.

I would like to share a book but if I can’t share it then I want the price to be lower, again, than the print version.

In order to reduce costs of digital books, I want publishers to decide on one universal format and one DRM that allows for cross platform availability. Reducing the number of formats and different DRMs will substantially reduce the cost of producing the digital book. If publishers are going to insist that there is no difference in the production and delivery of a digital book from a print book, they are going to have to be far more transparent.

Because listening is just as important as speaking. If we consumers are ignorant or presumptuous or sound entitled, then explain why and provide evidence. Don’t speak in conclusory statements about how if we only knew.

As for speaking with publishers, I am not sure who I want to talk to and in what setting. What I do want to know is that they are listening. John Sargent posted about pricing on the Macmillan blog entitled “Macmillan Speaks” and he responded to one comment that I left asking for clarification. Ami Grecko, formerly of Tor and now with Adaptive Blue (GetGlue) says that the time for heavy lifting for Macmillan and other publishers begin. But we can start the conversation.

I want to hear from you. What would you say, if you had the opportunity and to whom would you want to speak?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Elizabeth
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 04:42:59

    I think I would like to talk to the CEO, or the people who establish the vision and direction of the business. I would like to be able to convince them of the possibilities of digital publishing, and the issues that concern me. I would like to have a ‘conversation’ if possible, where readers’ opinions could be heard as well as listening to the complexities of the situation.
    My main concerns are pricing and geographical limitations. I would like the ability to express my thoughts and have them heard even though I am in Australia, not the US.

  2. Joanne
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 06:04:29

    What would you say

    Don’t get between me and the books.

    Or basically: everything that Jane said.

    Adding to that, you (the publisher) may believe that Amazon and Walmart etc. are your customers — but they are not. It’s me. It’s the reader. All of us who buy books on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Make the books available and reasonably priced.

    If we stop buying books from Amazon or Walmart or their equivalents because the pricing is whack or the ebooks are delayed then you may come to realize that the reader is your customer and that your customer has gone to other publishers.

    And if, as you (the publisher) say, you’re finding it difficult to acclimate to the world of online blogging (which, nah, I don’t care if you blog or not) and ebook publishing (which I very much care about) then it behooves you to catch up, quickly.

    If business is bad then change your business model. If you’re paying the Andrew Youngs and Sarah Palins and their ilk exorbitant fees for gossip we can get for free on Entertainment Tonight or TMZ it’s your fiscal stupidity, not the readers.

    Don’t whine about what readers want because, honestly, we want the books and it’s your job to get them to us.

  3. Lori
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 06:31:04

    I want to beg the editors to look beyond what’s selling right now and take a chance on original voices, original ideas and writing that sings.

    I can’t tell books apart from their covers or their gritty, urban paranormal selves. I’m a reader, not a recycle bin. And I’ll read almost any genre, any theme if the voice is fresh and the writing is quality.

    Writing has become produt over quality, commerce over art. Some of us are missing the art.

    Oh… and when I can buy a used paperback on amazon for $1.00 and the ebook on Fictionwise is $15.00, there’s something very wrong there.

  4. Danielle
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 07:44:46

    Promote your new authors — how as readers can we find them? The other day I went to Borders, Walmart, Target and Kmart looking for a new release — no one had it!!!!

    Keep ebook pricing the same if not lower than printed books.

  5. Kimber An
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 08:15:15

    You might sell well just based on previous sales numbers, but you COULD sell a lot more if you also listened to readers’ feedback.

    It’s not enough to know what. We also need to know WHY.

    For example, if you think TWILIGHT went through the stratosphere just because it had vampires in it and now all you have to do is put blood-sucking dead guys in every book you publish…

    …you’re not listening.

    I’ve observed publishers who listen to reader feederback via forums and blogs attached to their websites. It’s brilliant.

    In the age of Internet, the publisher can no longer remain detached from the reader, just like an author cannot be a jerkwad and get away with it anymore.

    The readers will find you out.

  6. Statch
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 08:22:09

    Price is much more important to me than being pretty is. If the price can be lower because the ebook doesn’t have all the features of the print book, then I don’t need those features. I particularly don’t care about fancy extras, like embedded video, except in history books, where that might be really interesting. Please give me the option, though. If I don’t want the extras, let me buy it without them for less.

    I would like publishing staff to get out there and engage readers where we are, which is in forums and comments on blogs like this. I would like to see some sign that they’re reading what we say. I’d be happy with even just a comment that says, ‘Hi. I work at Random House and just wanted you all to know I’m following your comments.’ I don’t go to publishing house web sites, so wouldn’t see their blogs.

    Price is all important to me. Like most of us, I have a backlog of books to read, so if the prices go up, I’m going to just stop buying and read what I’ve got while I wait for prices to go back down. (I’ve got a lot of ebooks; I won’t be buying print books while I’m waiting.)

    I’d love to see more backlists going to digital format, especially complete backlists. It’s so frustrating to find an author I really like, then not be able to find previous books in digital format, or worse, not be able to find all the books in a series.

    Thanks so much for providing a forum for discussion of these issues!

  7. Lisa J
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 09:15:51

    No DRM tops the list for me. It stops me from buying a great number of e-books.

    Also, make the book available in all formats. I buy PDF or EPUB since I read on my computer at work and with my PRS505, but a lot of the new releases are only available in secure ereader.

    Price is important. I don’t want to spend more for the e-book than I would for the paper version. This includes discounts I would receive from Wal-Mart/Target or with a coupon from the bookstore.

    Look to companies like Samhain for how to get it right. They have no DRM, multiple formats, and they keep your library for you.

    I would want to tell this ot the person who makes the decisions regarding these things.

  8. MariaESchneider
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 09:19:40

    I think you’ve covered the topic pretty succinctly. You also presented some fair options. I’d say the same things, only I might be snide and also thank them–for leaving the door opened just a gap for us indie authors to get our foot in. Ten years ago there was no easy method for us to reach readers. Five years ago, there was no viable, profitable way for us to reach readers. Today? It’s happening and it wouldn’t be nearly this viable if publishers were ahead of the curve instead of behind. (And looking backwards at that.)

    I might leave that last part off though. My goal wouldn’t be to make them angry and the faster they figure things out, the harder it’s going to be for the little gal trying to keep her foot in the door.

  9. MariaESchneider
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 09:20:51

    @Statch: Good call–I’d also like to see a much larger effort to get backlist made available. This is such a backseat effort and there are entire series that I can’t recommend to e-reading friends because only one or two of the books (or none) are available.

  10. Liv
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 09:24:06

    I would ask publishers to come up with some way to have all their books available in ebooks without any limited self destructing DRM’s attached. Sure, do your copyright thing like paper, but I want my ebooks around as long as my hard copies.

    Authors backlists available in ebook formats.

    Don’t limit the ebook to just one vendor format like Amazon. Make it for use with all ereader devices and all ebook stores in various formats.

    Speaking of formats. The ebooks I do get have some major editing problems. Words all bunched up, large gaps between words. Paragraph formating, dropped quotations, bad or no use of hyperlinks. My paper and hard copies don’t have those flaws and I pay the same for all of them.

    Keep the prices of ebooks the same as paper or hard UNLESS they are going to magically disappear on us in a few years. In that case, they should be much, much cheaper. If I want my ebooks to disappear on me, I can download them from my library for free. But I want to keep them, so I buy them.

    Release ebooks same day as regular books. I’ve seen that done with some books already. If it’s a hardback release, discount the ebooks the same.

    Thanks for asking.

  11. Karen
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 09:31:35

    I would like to convey to publishers how many sales that are losing by not coming up with a single format that will work on any device. I’m not thrilled with DRM, but I could live with it if there was one format. I’m a gadget geek and I love buying all the latest things, but I’m not willing to invest in ebooks if my Kindle books become useless tomorrow if I buy an iPad. And I think that’s a view shared by a lot of the people who would be willing to buy eBooks. The longer that the format wars go on, the more readers they lose.

  12. Mary G
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 09:49:36

    Exactly, Joanne – “Adding to that, you (the publisher) may believe that Amazon and Walmart etc. are your customers -‘ but they are not. It's me. It's the reader. All of us who buy books on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Make the books available and reasonably priced.”

    Which brings me to my pet peeve (in addition to agreeing with all the comments). Why trade size at $17 – $20 Canadian here? The mass market copy costs half of that. I don’t care about target markets & who reads what format. I am the market. If I have a fave author I don’t care who the publisher is. I will buy it.
    I do care that after spending that $18.00 you rerelease to mass market. I also hate when you print a series in MM & the last book is a hardcover because it’ll be on some best list & you’re hoping I won’t wait for the MM print. Waste of paper & money.

  13. CourtneyLee
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 10:06:23

    Embrace the idea of digital books.

    That’s it. Because even though publishers a putting out books in digital format, they haven’t shown any enthusiasm for this newfangled concept born of the information age. They’re so busy hanging on to the hardcover business model that they see digital books as a threat to it, not as a possibility of a new era in publishiing. They’re afraid, really, of change, of the new and fresh, and that’s a very bad thing when the people who keep them in business, authors and readers, are barreling headfirst into the possibilities presented by digital books.

    I think that everything will start falling into place as soon as the publishing industry stops seeing ebooks as a nuisance, a threat, and a mystery.

    Also, please please please organize some sort of analysis of the effectiveness of DRM using data from publishers who don’t use it like Samhain and Loose Id. They don’t DRM and they’re perfectly profitable AND have very loyal customers. If DRM actually worked, it would be different, but I doubt it does so it’s more trouble than it is worth.

  14. liz
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 10:11:19

    I would have to agree with everything said so far in making the books more reasonable price-wise, and to make them more available internationally. I live in France (of course its one of the rural areas^^), so I order over the internet, and I’ve noticed that whenever a new book is coming out, a lot of the time it comes out over here 2 or 3 months after it came out in the States (very annoying!)

  15. Jo Leigh
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 10:46:50

    I’m of the belief that publishers are standing too close, with fear as their guiding principle rather than stepping back and seeing opportunity. Use the digitalization, portability and availability to create an experience that is compelling, but doesn’t diminish the fundamental requirements and comforts of traditional reading. I don’t know what that would look like, which is good. It’s still to be created.

    Just as 3D is pulling new audiences into theaters because it’s making the ride more exciting and more experiential, the publishers would better serve the book buying public by approaching ebooks as if the possibilities are endless – because they are.

  16. Kalen Hughes
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 10:56:04

    Also, make the book available in all formats. I buy PDF or EPUB since I read on my computer at work and with my PRS505, but a lot of the new releases are only available in secure ereader.

    I would like to convey to publishers how many sales that are losing by not coming up with a single format that will work on any device. I'm not thrilled with DRM, but I could live with it if there was one format.

    The first is a publisher issue and I agree 100%! I was an early mobipocket adopter, and it irks me to no end when a book I want isn’t available in my chosen format. Which seems to be happening more and more, rather than less, as SHOULD be the case.

    The second issue however is a device and software issue. Publishers have no control over the fact that Amazon doesn’t want to let you buy books anywhere else for their device or that software producers such as Adobe will only license their software as an “exclusive” format, so the reader has to chose.

  17. jcp
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 11:16:36

    If you publish a new book in a long running series..make sure all the previous booka are in print and on the shelves.
    2. Promote your new and midlist authors.
    3. Harlequin have one free shipping day any size order per month (same date) on your web site.
    4. list any previous bookjs by an author in the book regardless of publisher in the new book.

  18. Stuart
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 11:21:35

    Well, I live in the UK so my pet peeve is geographic restrictions. Please let me give you money for your books! Is that such a big ask?!

    The easiest way – given that renegotiation of contracts is a bit of a pain, I guess – is to apply geographic rights on ebooks at point of sale, rather than point of purchase. That’s how it’s done with paperbacks, so why should ebooks be any different?

    Secondly – obviously – DRM. It doesn’t work, it eats in to the publisher’s (and author’s) profits, it reduces value to the customer (the reader, that is)… the only people who benefit from it, as far as I can see, are the retailers who can set up walled libraries, and the sellers of DRM software…

  19. Cara McKenna
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 11:48:13

    To some of the newer publishers, particularly e-book pubs, please value consistency and quality as much as you do quantity and efficiency. It’s frustrating as both a reader and an author to see editorial standards slipping across the board as production goes into overdrive…and I say that as part of the wave of new e-authors. While I’m thrilled that my work has found a place on the virtual shelves, I worry my “generation” of new writers isn’t being held to the possibly more rigid standard set by the old, print-only system.

  20. DS
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 11:59:12

    A brand new irk– a chapter from another book is not “bonus” material in an ebook. I bought Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison eons ago from audible. Recently Amazon had a freebie of the Kindle version with “bonus” material. I would not have bothered to “buy” and download it if I had known that the “bonus” material was just part of Harrison’s latest book.

    A friend had already shared the new book with me and I won’t be buying my own copy because I feel Harrison’s Hollows series is getting a little stale.

  21. Suze
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 12:59:28

    The biggest irk for me right now is availability. I see a book I want at the bookstore, come home to buy it on-line as an ebook, and can’t find it anywhere that I shop. I may remember to write it down to check later, but most likely, it’s a lost sale.

    Geographic restrictions, DRM, formatting, price — all irksome. I bought Kinsale’s Lessons in French, a long-awaited, long-anticipated book. At least once on every page, there was a space within a word. Usually between f and l for some reason. Muff led, baff led. Irksome.

    What I don’t get is why publishings are lurking like fiends on places like, well, here and Mobile Reads. You want to know what ebook readers want? Hang out where they hang out and eavesdrop on their conversations. You don’t even need to pay for a focus group. Listen to what we’re bitching about, what we’re excited about, steal our ideas and make them happen.

    What if publishing companies came up with a standard format, and all (major) publishers used it exclusively, and left it to the device companies to convert to proprietary formats?

  22. Shanna
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 12:59:35

    If I can’t share a book I would love be able to gift it (or transfer ownership) of the book in the same way that Apple allows me to gift music in my iTunes library to someone else.

    I agree with you Jane that if I can’t share, then the price needs to be lower than the print book.

  23. Tamara Hogan
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 13:12:51

    I agree with so many of the points made in the article and in the comments, but, perhaps selfishly, want to focus on one: publisher promotion of debut and midlist authors.

    It’s sad how many times over the last few years that I’ve accidentally stumbled across an absolutely stunning book – sometimes months or years after its release – and I’ve never heard of the author or the book. Without visible promotional support from their publisher, a lot of individual authors shouldering their own promo responsibilities simply get lost in the digital static. It’s a sheer numbers game. There are too many blogs and not enough time in the day.

    Gawd knows the odds are against most of us ever making a living wage from writing novels. There’s a lot about this business that’s outside our control. But one thing we DO control is who gets our content. To me, a publisher who offers visible promotional support to their authors is worth selling to, and worth staying with, because they’re providing me, the author, with a better return on my hundreds of hours of investment.

  24. Janet W
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 13:14:15

    What you’all said! Don’t get between me and my book is pretty basic for me. Sandy, one of the All About Romance publishers, just wrote a blog last week — same general topic — 10 Things Publishers Need to Hear — and while it was more humourous than your blog, there was some definite common ground.

    There is a sub-current of disrespect to readers/book buyers — be it constantly trotting out same plots/same locations, following trends rather than breaking new ground … just too many to list. I would encourage people to read Sandy’s blog too. Maybe there could be a blogger manifesto from the really big players online that could be culled down to some major points of agreement — and it could be presented to publishers. They do seem to be operating, many of them, out of fear. And yet the most forward thinking publishers don’t always treat me, the reader, the way I want to be treated. Lots to think about!

    I would sign it!

  25. Marina
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 14:19:30

    Problem One – Proprietary file formats. All publishers need need to agree on a single file format. If you make that change, bonus, most of the ugly formatting disappears, since it’s generally caused by trying to force one master file into a dozen formats. Stop confusing your customer and making unnecessary work for yourself.

    Problem Two – DRM. We hate, hate, hate being treated like potential thieves instead of potential customers. The music industry imploded over this lame technology so why are you walking down the same road? Save the money you’re wasting on DRM software and stop alienating your customers.

    Problem Three – Geographical restrictions. What century do you live in? You don’t want a world’s worth of customers?

    Problem Four – Price. Fix the first 3 problems and number 4 goes away. Give us a product we want and we’ll pay the price you ask.

    Dear Publisher,

    We know you’re terrified. Your job is on the line if you don’t make the right choices. So here’s one big, right choice – simplify the technology, make it invisible to your customers or Amazon & Apple will do it for you. And take your job.

  26. Statch
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 14:45:57

    I absolutely agree on the publicity issues. I’d love to see the publishers get together and agree on a metadata standard that would allow them a lot of granularity in describing books. Instead of telling me what other books people who bought a particular book bought, tell me ways in which this book is similar to other books in detail. Let me describe what plot devices I like (and just as importantly, dislike), then have a way to find me books like that. Give us more sophisticated ways to find books, and we’ll find books you don’t have the money to advertise.

  27. K. Z. Snow
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 14:49:02

    Excellent suggestions. I can only add: seek out competent editors and cover artists.

  28. mary beth
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 16:39:56

    I’d like to be able to download books and read them without worrying they won’t work on my iPod, and I’d like to know the e-book price isn’t going to be higher than the paperback or trade price once the paperback or trade format is released. Bookmarkable is essential. And I’d like a great cover.

  29. Janet P.
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 17:03:39

    *A customer standing in front of you holding money and wanting to buy is not your enemy. Quit treating them as such. Quit telling them what they can’t have and listen to what they want. Try to find a way to supply that even if it means doing business in a whole new way.

    *Make it easy and convenient for them to purchase your product. Make them feel like they are receiving good value and are appreciated.

    *Quit complaining that they don’t buy enough, or in the format you want them to buy and appreciate them for what they do buy, whether it is one book a year or a hundred.

    *Realize that library users are readers and as such … your target market. That is where your future customers are hanging out. Court them. Rather than complaining about them wanting “free stuff,” supply the libraries with the materials and create more readers then turn around and entice them to become buyers.

    *Keep your battles with authors and retailers where they belong …. private and outside of the public view and definitely out of the New York Times Ad section. Customers shouldn’t have to even think about your contracts with Amazon and WalMart, much less be expected to choose sides.

  30. Edie
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 19:33:45

    I would probably go psychotic over geo restrictions, realistically in Australia most of the pubs are owned by US pubs, so do not understand why something can’t be freaking worked out so we can get hands on the damn ebooks.
    Or at least if international rights aren’t picked up within a month or so of release, why not make it so internationals can get the ebooks?
    – Realistically 95% of the (romance) releases are never going to get printed here. Even in other genres that percentage is probably still around 85%

    I would also rant about DRM.

    And if it was Aus publishers I would go to town and rant about a million and one other things apart from ebooks. LOL

  31. meoskop
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 23:42:23

    Stop treating me like an enemy. We’re on the same side.

    DRM, because if I have a computer problem or change readers, I don’t want to lose my TBR stack.

    Availability. Don’t penalize me for wanting to read a book on release day. The mass market and the e-book should hit together. The e-book should NOT cost more than the paper version. If you want to stagger the e-book from the hardcover release I can live with that, I don’t buy hardcovers.

    Offer me a reason to buy from you instead of a 3rd party. Send me a checklist of new releases with stacked incentives, I buy so many, I get a % off. You’ll be surprised how many of us buy big ol’ stacks each month.

  32. Lisa Richards
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 08:00:36

    I’ve got to agree with all the above on the ebooks cause if and until it is straightened out, I will not purchase an ereader nor any form of ebooks. It was with great dismay that almost all 31 comments up to now were all about the digital books and print books weren’t even mentioned so my points will only concern the print books. And as long as they are available, I will probably be a print reader which brings me to my biggest peeve. While quality is definitely important, pricing is right up there too. I don’t and won’t ever plunk down the $14 that you ask for for the oversized paperback. It’s twice as expensive as the MMP and the damn thing is too big to go in my purse and on most bookshelves. We are in a recession, people! again, I CAN BUY TWO MMP for this price. And most of the newer authors that I’d like to try are using this more expensive format. I can almost buy a HB for this price. But again, I won’t. I pass right by these overpriced books and instead pick up a hand-full of MMP by authors I’m familiar with. And if you are foolish enough to print my favorite author in a trade size rather than MMP, I’ll wait and get it used, where you get NOTHING for it, or wait on the MMP. I’ve got hundreds on my TBR list that need reading so I can wait, If I’ve not read it, it’s new I don’t care if it came out last year. I probably spend between $50 and $100 a month on books. For $50 I only get 7 of the trade paperbacks but I get 14 of the MMP. I almost never reread a book and I’m not going to hold on to it. When I buy it, it’s mine to read and pass on, just like the shirt on my back whether it be print or digital.

  33. Joy
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 09:56:39

    Series. Where some books are available in e-book and others are not. Where some of those e-books are available in only one format, and others are available only in a different format. These are the things that try our souls and send us to used book stores and public libraries, when we’d rather have bought all the e-books.

  34. stevie
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 10:42:19

    Jane said:

    “As for speaking with publishers, I am not sure who I want to talk to and in what setting. What I do want to know is that they are listening.”

    That really is nonsensical.

    You decline to do the intellectual work necessary to define your thoughts, your goals and your audience within the world-wide publishing industry, and yet you expect the world-wide publishing industry to wait with bated breath for your pearls of wisdom to arrive at some undetermined point/s in the indeterminate future.

    Congratulations on doing such an excellent job demonstrating that US cultural imperialism is alive and kicking; in the mean time you might bear in mind that however deeply you are convinced that the rest of the world should get in line in order to provide you with what you want, whatever that happens to be, and whenever you happen to want it, the rest of the world doesn't necessarily see it that way.

  35. Tom
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 11:00:48

    What to say? A whole lot.

    The readers are the sales. We are the ones giving money to buy the book because we like to read. Simple. Alienating the book to only one format is a dumbass move. You lot are restricting access to other features and devices that other readers like to read the book. I’ve noticed that most of the big publisher houses are delaying other formats of the books; forcing some to buy the paper version. That makes a lot of people pissed off to wait while the book is out physically. We’re all readers, the same so why do the digital readers get different treatment? Even the format/device is restricting. We’d give you our money willingly yet you people are prejudice keeping to one format = unhappy customers and losing our money.

    DRM. (these seems spoken for already) Prices. Pushing the prices is pushing the customer. Granted, HB/PP/MS are reasonable. E-books? If its released HB then maybe I’ll pay a slightly higher price if it goes down than later. Quality – complicated to push upon with so many factors.

    The vibes I’m getting from publishers is that they aren’t happy with some book sales. Well, head’s up, pay attention to the customers who DO and WANT buy the book instead bitching about other readers who don’t. And yet they’re punishing the willing readers A.K.A customers. How about looking at the sales AND the readers feedback on availability and pricing.

    Well, if publishers really want more readers feedback then they’re not looking hard enough (not that Dear Author is unreliable). Just saying that there is a more larger network and forums that soley addresses the publishers with topics (and others that Jane has been posting relating to this).

  36. XandraG
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 12:41:22

    I’ll echo several other posters here and say, “Don’t get between me and the book.”

    The reader is the customer, because without the reader, all the supply-chain suckerfish don’t have a tank to swim in.

    Do not make me financially responsible for your bad/inefficient/not profitable business decisions. It’s not my fault the crappy celebrity tell-all flopped, it’s your fault for ponying up six figure advances for books you know would end up in the bargain bin two weeks after release date. Why do I have to pay two extra bucks for a decent story and a portable format just to cover your losses?

    Promote your authors–not just the big names, either.

    No, you don’t sell directly to the consumer, but why the hell not? That’s money walkin’.

    Get your house in order over remainders and returns. Wasting paper and energy like that is ridiculous in this day and age. It’s worth the effort to police your own industry in this respect and reap the reputation benefits over missing out on a few extra bucks for dragging your feet. If you all want to stay in business, as business leaders, then be leaders, already, and try something new.

    That goes for authors and voices and premises and stories, too.

    Never lose sight of what a good book can do for a reader.

  37. Mr. V
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 01:17:06

    We’re not the ones pulling the strings – it’s not like we’ll get some kind of compromise either or what we at least want is change. Our ‘demands’ aren’t going to magically ensue and we aren’t expecting for it all to happen. I don’t expect the publishers to follow exactly, just a compromise of some sort. It’s called feedback. A readers opinion. A little change. So congralutations for sounding like you put our asses on a plate when you really don’t get the difference between bitching our ‘demands’ and a customer’s perspective. Some of us do understand how it all works.

    As a word to the publishers – Am I the only one who noticed the inconsistencies of different formats? Further books in a series is out as an ebook, but either the earliest or current latest release haven’t been available for a while.

  38. SAO
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 03:59:12

    1) Geographical restrictions. I am among millions of American expats living in non-english speaking countries. Why is our access to American books limited?

    2) I share most of the books I buy with my husband and sometimes with my children. Do you think I’m ever going to pay full price for FOUR copies of Harry Potter? Sorry, it ain’t gonna happen.

    3) I get a lot of my books from the library, used bookstores, and swaps. I’d be happy paying the author some money for the books I read. Please remember that your books have readers at price points well below the lowest price for a new book. I could be your customer, rather than the used bookstore’s customer, but only at price points similar to a used book.

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