keyboard-smallOne-star protest. The Kindle reader practice of giving a book a one-star Amazon review to protest the price  is bullshit. It’s like stiffing a waiter or complaining about the service because you’re pissed about the cost of your meal or the restaurant’s policies. It punishes the wrong people. If you don’t like the price, don’t buy the book. Stop hurling tomatoes at the author.

Do-it-yourself publishing. It seems the self-publishing trend on Kindle and Smashwords will eventually hurt the vanity presses. A certain number of writers may always be willing to pay someone else to turn their Word document into a book, but that number must be dwindling. Writers can find someone to format their books for Kindle and Smashwords fairly cheaply too. And those who want a printed book can go through CreateSpace for next to nothing. How will vanity presses survive in this new world of do-it-yourself publishing? For that matter, how long will the major publishers survive? I think independent presses will be the last ones standing.

Free books are not bestsellers. I’m glad to see the NY Times will separate out the popular free downloads from the books that are competing in the market for consumer  dollars. The term bestseller means a  book that was purchased. It was never logical or fair to include free books on the list.

Guest blog. I posted at Sisters in Crime today. Crime Fiction—the Odd Cousin? highlights why crime fiction is important and worth reading.

Why do you think about these subjects?

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  1. I agree with what you said about the “one-star protest” reviews on Amazon. They are total bull. It’s done not only to protest prices above $9.99, but also on new releases not available for Kindle. Which is an even bigger load of bull, in my opinion.

    Okay, so I actually agree with everything you said here. (I had to go back and finish the post…)

  2. I concur, L.J. Punishing an author with a ridiculous one-star rating accompanied by a rant instead of a review is just plain stupid, The practice, it seems, was started by a bunch of old folks who were angry with something – don’t remember exactly what but they probably don’t remember either. The one-star raters started before the teabaggers but methinks their motives were similar. (I won’t get started on teabaggers.)

    If you’re upset with something on, let them know. It probably won’t do any good. Aren’t they trying to be an Internet-only Walmart and more? If you’re upset with Jeff Bezos (like I think he’s giving my initials a bad name), don’t deal with Amazon, I won’t – until a publisher makes me do it.

    It might be a better world if Indie and university presses are the last ones standing, certainly a better one if the old-fashioned vanity presses disappear.

  3. It does seem silly giving a book a one star review when you are angry at the seller and not the writer. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Thanks for shring these issues with the rest of us.

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