Saturday, June 06, 2009

BEA Roundup

Officially, I did not go to the BEA. I went into the building on Sunday, the only day I was available because of Shavuos, but I didn't have a badge and I went to meet with my editor, who was in town for the convention and pre-scheduled it. At that point I could have gotten a free badge from her, but the convention was over in about an hour and I have no more room in my apartment for free books. From my editor and my boss (who attended on Friday), I learned the following things:

(1) There were less people this year. Some booksellers didn't show up at all, or sent very few people. It was not a wasteland, but it was no 2007.

(2) There were a lot of panels on e-books, as nobody knows how to price them and is mad at Amazon for arbitrarily deciding how books should be priced for the Kindle. Whatever the price is, in the publisher's opinion, it's always too low. About a year ago I went to a talk where I publisher said he thought e-books should be priced the same as regular books because they were the same, which had to have been the stupidest thing that came out of anyone's mouth that evening. Obviously they're not the same, and the lower price is a discount because of the production saved in creating a physical book and the money spent on the reader.

(3) Whatever company that decided to send drummers and dancers to promote their new e-Book deserves to die a fiery death of flames, or at the very least get some acid in the face. In other worsd, the people who had to be at the BEA for 3 days (or even 3 hours, really) did not appreciate their ear-pounding presence.

If you have interesting tales from the BEA, feel free to share them with the other readers here.

5 comments:

Adrienne said...

I do, but since I am incredibly longwinded (and like to also post pictures), is it possible for me to, this once, post a link to my blog entry on the subject? Feel free not to approve this comment if you don't feel comfortable in my doing so:

http://ididntchoosethis.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-expo-of-america-bea-2009.html

_*Rachel*_ said...

I almost give the people with the band credit for it; I'd call it creative. But I do indeed understand the annoying bit.

Thanks for mentioning public domain books on google books; I found it in your archives. Thanks also for all the advice here. It's like fining a Miss Snark who's still blogging!

I got here via one of Evil Editor's minion's profiles.

the wanderer said...

haha, yay the bikini girls promoting the Cool-ER were a little ridiculous :)

kirsten saell said...

which had to have been the stupidest thing that came out of anyone's mouth that evening. Obviously they're not the same, and the lower price is a discount because of the production saved in creating a physical book and the money spent on the reader.

As an ebook author, I have to agree, pretty freaking dumb.

It's not only a discount on lower production costs, it's a discount on the tangible property rights readers give up when they choose an ebook over print: the right to resell, swap, give away, lend, etc, which they're not legally allowed to do with an ebook. An ebook that can only be read by one or two people should not cost as much as a print book that can be read by a dozen or more.

Traditional publishers also think they should only have to pay mmpb royalties on ebooks, which, speaking as someone who makes 30-40% on each ebook sale, infuriates me. In these cases, the publisher is usually screwing both reader and author--ebooks that cost $14.95 and only pay the author 6.5%?

It would be nice to see agents start collectively putting their foot down over rights that will only encompass a larger and larger share of the market within the next few years. It may seem like bickering over chump change now, but it won't be any easier to do when ebooks represent, say, 20% of all books sold and they're fighting over tens of thousands rather than hundreds of dollars.

Aimee K. Maher said...

"Whatever company that decided to send drummers and dancers to promote their new e-Book deserves to die a fiery death of flames, or at the very least get some acid in the face."

I love it.