DBW ’17: Why are print sales up? Data Guy gives his reason—and it isn’t adult coloring books

Perhaps the reason print book sales are on the rise has nothing to do with coloring books, digital fatigue, the “ebook fad” or book store appeal. Data Guy has offered a different reason based on the data he has scraped for Author Earnings.

To start, independent book store sales are up 5 percent from 2015, but the rest of the brick and mortar stores are down 5 percent, on average. However, the industry is up 15 percent as a whole with the difference coming from Amazon.

Data Guy states that the real reason print sales are up is because a change in how Amazon priced its titles. In 2015, discounts on ebooks for large traditional publishers was eliminated. In turn, Amazon discounted the prices of print books in mid-2015 – and that’s dbw_2017_logo_withdatewhere we see the change in print sales.

To break down the data even further, when Amazon discounted sales…

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Big 99c sale of Science Fiction and Fantasy eBooks, Jan. 7-8

I’ve got a book in this event as well.

Anyone looking for a bargain price on scifi/fantasy REALLY ought to check this out!

Ruth Nestvold - Indie Adventures

We have another big sale coming your way to start the new year, over 100 eBooks in science fiction and fantasy genres, all for only 99c each.

January promo

Just go to http://pattyjansen.com/promo/ and click on your favorite retailer to see what’s available! The promo officially begins tomorrow, January 7, but a lot of books have already reduced the price.

My contribution this month is Shadow of Stone, book 2 of The Pendragon Chronicles. The books are standalone novels, though, so you can easily start with the sale-priced one. 🙂

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Smashwords Predictions for 2017

Hot dang. Smashwords is moving to a monthly payout.

It’s about time!

Read more here!

 

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – a review

Okay – so another of the movies I got given for Christmas was this one!

220px-batman_v_superman_poster

Kiss and make-up?

So now I’m going to review it.

Fair warning – there are GOING to be some spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, hold off on reading this review.

Mind you, I am somewhat biased. I can’t be too rough on this flick. I mean, I asked freaking Santa Claus for it, after all.

My taste in movies can’t be THAT bad, can it?

bad-taste

Peter Jackson flick – long before the horror that was The Hobbit!

Let’s start with the beginning. We open with that scene of the alley-shooting which I have seen about a billion times before – in comic book and movie format. Come on now. Can’t we safely assume that MOST of the world’s population have a pretty good idea how Batman got into the crime fighting profession?

Then we get that whole scene of how Superman’s battle messed up the city and how Batman couldn’t get to the scene of the crime fast enough to rescue some dude who got a building dropped on his legs. I mean, this guy is Batman, isn’t he? He OUGHT to have something a little sportier than an SVU to ride around in.

Let me pause for a minute and divulge something that’s pretty important. First off, I hated those three Batman movies (Batman Begins and those other two). First off, Batman’s voice became harder to understand with every movie. By the time the third movie came around we had Batman fighting Bane – the only super villain in the world to decide that wearing a Predator’s jock strap over his mouth was a really smart idea!

bane

Read my lips…

Well – Ben Affleck really does a great job portraying Batman.

Superman (Henry Cavill) is a little stiff playing Superman.

Wonder Woman – who is really only in this movie to help advertise her own movie – looks great but as soon as she speaks her dialogue really seems to fall flat. I’m sure she is a competent actress but I felt like she was reading off of cue cards the whole way through. But I bought her in the fight scenes.

Mind you, my wife made me take her back for a refund.

🙂

Let me talk about Luthor.

Why hasn’t anyone been able to come up with a real kickass Lex Luthor yet?

The dude who played Luthor in this movie had all of the dramatic depth of a Borat – with the Joker thrown into the mix. I just didn’t buy him as a criminal genius, not one little bit. I kept feeling he’d had too much sugar and had been watching YTV commercials most of his life. He kind of reminded me of Foamy the Squirrel on helium.

So we got an hour of all sorts of build-up. Everybody is hating on Superman and hating on Batman and we got a whole lot of angsty shots of brooding superheroes with a couple of cheap-assed cameos from the Flash and Aquaman who might as well have been wearing sandwich boards advertising the upcoming Justice League movie which is probably also going to be heavy and shadowy and angst-ridden and boring.

Then we got an eight minute fight scene between Batman and Superman.

They pretty kill each other until the Batman – great detective that he is supposed to be – finds out that Superman’s adoptive mother had the same first name as Batman’s mother.

Martha.

One minute before that happens the two superheroes have each other on the brink of destruction and then all of a sudden it’s kiss and make-up time.

“Damn dude, your mom has got the same name as my mom. What are we fighting for, anyway?”

Really?

Is that what really passes for scripting?

About that time somebody in production looks at their wristwatch and says something like “Damn it, we are going to need an whole hour of movie length before we hit the credits.”

(and yes, I have heard about the so-called ULTIMATE version that adds another half an hour to the whole bloated two and one-half hours of mind kill)

So then all at once somebody gets the idea of throwing Doomsday into the mix.

I mean – stop and think about it.

We’ve got the whole Frank Miller Dark Night Returns story arc kind of cannibalized and vivisected and mosaicked back together in a rather piss-poor fashion.

That’s a story arc that could have been a whole entire movie.

Then we’ve got the whole Superman versus Doomsday story arc kind of cannibalized and vivisected as well, jamming it into this two and a half hour crapfest.

I just have to say that I was left really feeling disappointed in this flick. I was really hoping that this would revitalize my love for superhero movies but between Batman v. Superman and Marvel’s Civil War movie I really feel like I had my pocket picked at the movie store.

Damn Santa Claus.

One last comment.

I am way past tired of hearing bloggers and newscasters alike talking about this movie and calling it BATMAN VEE SUPERMAN, rather than BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN!

Damn it.

V means versus – although if I had to give this movie a grading like in public school I guess “V” wouldn’t be that far off of the mark.

I gave Captain America: Civil War a “W” – and it was only Giant Man that saved them from a “Z”.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

 

 

Monkey Business in Publishing

Hard times for romance writers.

Gabriella West

monkey-selfie-thumbnailI’ve posted before about All Romance eBooks, which I’ve always regarded as a nice little niche market for my work, despite eccentricities like taking $1 off my royalties if they paid me through PayPal, and constant “sales,” not to mention a long wait for royalty payments.

Truthfully, nothing seems solid or healthy in the world of indie publishing, and I was struck by the sudden shuttering of Torquere Press recently. Ellora’s Cave was another notorious example of a mismanaged company which ended up badly letting down its authors.

But sadly, All Romance eBooks has joined the ranks of the baddies. In an abrupt and shocking email entitled “All Romance Closure” yesterday, head honcho Lori James told writers that the site would be going dark on December 31, 2016, and that the company would not be able to pay its fourth quarter royalties. She offered 10 cents on the dollar to authors.

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Captain America: Civil WTF???

civil-war

Okay, so this Christmas I got a whole heap of dvd’s. I love movies. I especially love superhero movies – but they keep messing them up. They just can’t seem to make a decent follow-up to most of the superhero movies I loved.

Let’s talk about THE AVENGERS. That’s a great movie. I’m having a bad day or sick with a cold and I want to watch a movie – odds are I might pick up the Avengers and watch it. Again. But AVENGERS: THE AGE OF ULTRON left me wanting a couple of hours of my existence back.

Same thing with IRON MAN. The first flick was brilliant. The second and third flicks were about as entertaining as projectile vomit.

CAPTAIN AMERICA? Well, while I know a whole lot of folks have sung the praises of THE WINTER SOLDIER (Captain America 2) – it left me feeling like I had eaten an entire bucket of unsalted, unbuttered three day old popcorn.

Turns out that CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is no exception to the rule.

I know.

I should have posted a spoiler alert. You can skip the rest of my movie review if you want to. Just by reading that sentence “Turns out that CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is no exception to the rule.” you can already guess what I thought of the flick.

It sucked.

Except it didn’t – for just a tiny little while.

Let me tell it to you. Humor the old fart, would you?

Let’s start with the title, shall we?

First off, the Civil War (at least in America) took about four years to resolve itself. I mean, there was Fort Sumter and then throw in the Monitor and the Merrimac, Antieatam, the Emancipation Proclamation, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg – and a whole bunch of other battles I can’t remember – and we’re still arguing over the flag on the top of the Dukes of Hazzard’s Dodge Charger.

Wait.

You mean that the movie wasn’t about THAT Civil War?

Oh yeah.

I forgot.

Well, secondly, the actual Marvel Universe Civil War saga went on for about a couple of dozen graphic novels worth of material involving damn near every single superhero in the whole entire Marvel Universe.

I haven’t read any of it, you understand. When a storyline runs that long it tends to be garbled and DEFINITELY out of my wallet-range.

Yup, I’m a cheapskate. And I’m broke. That’s a bad combination, but there it is just the same.

So the filmmaker who decides to try and cram all of that into one single two and a half hour movie has REALLY got their work cut out for them.

Well, the folks who made this movie didn’t let that stop them. They crammed about two hours worth of hissy-fits, pointless dialogue, long meaningful glances and stunned looks into a long and pointless movie.

First off, they forgot the villain.

I mean, I read some of the earlier Captain America comic books and I remember Baron Zemo looking something like this.

baron-zemo

If I recollect correctly, he was a Nazi mad genius who accidentally got his favorite red toque super-glued over his face in a kind of a sudden-death-reverse-wedgie maneuver. I figure he was the sad victim of a ruthless high school hazing incident.

Actually, he was the dude responsible for the death of Bucky Barnes, back when Bucky looked like this.

bucky

Well, probably because it’s become politically incorrect to use mad genius Nazi dudes in movies these days they decided to use some dude who looked like a high school nerd-gone-bad.

raiders

WHAT’S WRONG WITH MAD GENIUS NAZIS, ANYWAY???

So then we have the start up – about an hour of folks talking back and forth and a whole lot of intense arguing and then there’s General Thunderbolt Ross chewing up the scenery and wondering where in the heck the Hulk is and then all of a sudden Iron Man and Captain America throw a simultaneous hissy fit and send each other nasty tweets and blocking each other’s Facebook accounts.

Then there is about fifteen solid minutes of superhero entertainment when Captain America pulls together his version of the Avengers (Hawkeye, Sharon Carter, Falcon, the Ant Man and Scarlet Witch) and Iron Man pulls together HIS version (War Machine, Black Widow, Black Panther, Vision and Spider Man) into an absolutely kickass superhero versus superhero experience.

And I’m on the couch going “YEAH! DUDE! THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! SPIDERMAN! ANT MAN! GIANT MAN!”

And then there’s an hour long stretch of more boring back story and a blurry and poorly shot scrap and then Captain America and Iron Man kiss and make up.

That’s right. A two and one half hour episode of Big Brother – with about fifteen minutes of kickass WWF (back before the World Wildlife Federation sued the “F” out of the WWF) action.

I know.

If you do the math you’ll come up with one hour in the beginning, one fifteen minute kickass airport fight scene, and one more hour of muddied-up carnage.

The other fifteen minutes is the credits.

And yes, there is an Easter Egg credit surprise scene – two of them actually, that don’t give you much more than a hint that the next two Marvel movies are Black Panther and Spiderman.

(And who the hell thought that Marissa Tomei would make a good Aunt May? What, did she fall into a time vortex or something?)

That’s it.

That’s all that I’ve got for you.

Okay, so I will watch this movie again – but I’ll most likely skip to the scene list and just pull up the Airport fight scene and skip the other two hours and fifteen minutes.

Seriously.

I’m not kidding.

Sometime today I think I’ll watch Deadpool and see what all the excitement was about!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

How (not to) market your book

Some good advice here for folks trying to get the word out regarding a new (and/or less-than-new) book release.

Kate Macdonald

My, what an interesting range of approaches there are in the publishing world as to how they think a reviewer can be best inveigled into reading their new book.

In the interests of good relations between reviewers and the publishing industry, here are the methods that work for me, and why; some that could be risky; and a few that annoy me. This is a personal view, obviously, and probably a hardcore response. I am the world’s least persuadable potential customer. I am a nightmare for sales staff instructed to offer their unwanted help to shoppers, and my rebuttals to telephone cold-callers are failsafe (pro-tip: reply in a language different to that in which they have confidently greeted you). So, if I say a marketing approach works for me, it might work for a lot of other people too.

bin-1These Methods Work

  • Send a short informative email with the name of…

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