Thursday News: Amazon’s pricing, Hollywood’s (lack of) diversity, Latin America’s publishing and America’s orphan fantasy
But after all the fireworks and fun, the one thing I never ever received from AAAG were coherent answers to my questions, particularly the most important one of all. And that is: Why has Amazon placed indies in a $7 dollar pricing box? Why does it grab 65% of your revenue (not counting its transmission fees, which it charges on every transfer and which vary based on book size) if you price under $2.99 and the same if you charge over $9.99? This is an issue of critical importance to indies because it is not financially feasible to hand over that level of margin to a reseller for a download service. (And if you think Amazon is paying you a “royalty” when you fork over that 65% operating expense, please stop reading now. You are incurably ignorant and I cannot help you.)
The most coherent answer I ever received from AAAG acolytes was “because they can.” When I’d respond that Hachette was therefore perfectly justified in providing that same answer to Amazon over the issue of agency pricing, AAAG people became very unhappy, though never informative or more coherent. –Rule-Set
Between financial data and the demographics, producers have plenty of reasons to invest in more movies about women and minorities. Would Exodus have done better if it starred minority characters, instead of being plagued by a whitewashing controversy? We’ll never know for sure, but Ridley Scott insisted he needed white people in order to sell the movie and then failed to really sell the movie. At the very least, it wouldn’t have made a difference. And ultimately, movie studios are in the business of giving us what we want. No matter how gross the people are who run the studios, if the audience tells them with their cold hard cash that they want more diversity in their movies, then the studios will follow the cash. –Lainey Gossip
From ebooks to textbooks, rights sales to mergers, the Latin American publishing industry has seen plenty of change recently. New opportunities for international and local players are emerging, while companies are also looking to address challenges of distribution and access. –Publishing Perspectives
At first glimpse, there are plenty of upsides to orphans. A fictitious orphan’s appeal is easy to grasp: mysterious in origin and open to limitless potential, an orphan could do, be, or mean anything. As Nina Auerbach argues in “Incarnations of the Orphan,” the orphan is one of those rare creatures that belongs only to herself. She is a survivor, “the primary metaphor for the dispossessed, detached self,” a self we all embody as members of a disconnected, ahistorical world. No wonder we identify.
Orphans are also a boon for authors—they come with lots of baggage, but few family ties. In 1924, comic artist Harold Gray was reminded of this potential when he ran into a ragamuffin girl named Annie while scouring the streets of Chicago for story ideas. “She had common sense, knew how to take care of herself. She had to,” he recalled. “[I] made her an orphan, so she’d have no family, no tangling alliances, but freedom to go where she pleased.”* A comic strip juggernaut was born—one that spun the adventures of the spunky, redheaded Annie into syndication for a whopping 85+ years. –JSTOR Daily