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Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Holy Booger Napkin by Mark Allan Gunnells (Guest post)

NapkinAuthor Mark Allan Gunnells answered a call to help fill an open post in the blog for the week. He sent me what I’m calling a warning on being careful of what you eat. I also consider this another way of saying if you have strong enough belief system things you pray for may come. Either way, don’t let this title scare you off the story is worth the read. I want to say “Thank you Mark” for sending this to share and helping to show that authors find motivation in the oddest places even TV evangelists. The biggest thing I can add is do NOT let the title scare you away. Just one more note, there is some violence in the story, but don’t worry life has a way of coming full circle.

 

Home Page: http://markgunnells.livejournal.com/

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Allan-Gunnells/e/B005C18L7Q/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1381885926&sr=8-1

 

Without further comment here is the story:

 

THE HOLY BOOGER NAPKIN

Eileen was watching another one of her damn Church shows.  Seemed like that was all she watched these days.  This here one was her favorite, the old guy with the fake tan that made him look a little like he was mixed and a huge pompadour of silver hair that added at least three inches of height to him.  He always wore expensive looking suits, off-white just like his teeth, and he had a tendency to go into fits where he’d start babbling gibberish.  “Speaking in tongues” is what Eileen called it.  A bunch of bullshit was Gerald’s take.

Gerald sat in the recliner across the room, nursing his fourth beer in a row, listening to the fella hooting and hollering about God.  He was waving a hanky in the camera like he was one of them magicians about to do some kind of trick.  Turn the hanky into a bird or some such shit.

Instead, what the fella said next actually made Gerald spew out a little of his beer and start coughing.  Eileen had the gall to shush him.  Normally this would have pissed Gerald off something terrible, but at the moment he was too distracted by the crazy preacher man on the TV screen.

Brothers and Sisters, do you want God to bless you?  I know you do, I know you want Him to answer all your prayers.  For a 100 dollar love offering to Jesus Christ on a Cross Ministries, I will pray over this cloth, anointing it with God’s blessing, and ship it out to you.

“Am I crazy, or is that kook charging a hundred bucks for a fucking booger napkin?”

Eileen shot him a nasty look.  “You need to stop cussing so much.  And it ain’t no booger napkin neither; it’s a genuwine Prayer Cloth.”

“A what?”

“A Prayer Cloth.  The preacher prays over it and then sends it to you, and then God will answer your prayers.”

“I don’t even go to no church and I know that sounds crazy as shit.  You saying God won’t listen to you praying unless you got one of those holy booger napkins?”

“I suwannee, sometimes I wonder how I coulda married such a heathen like you.”

“Because I knocked you up in the bed of my pick-up when we was seventeen.  You wasn’t such a God-fearing lady back then, though you was calling his name an awful lot, if I recall correctly.”

“You dirty old coot,” she said.  “No wonder our boy ended up in prison, with you as a role model.”

“I ain’t taking all the blame for what happened to Earl.  You didn’t exactly win no Mamma of the Year awards yourself.”

“Just don’t talk to me no more, let me finish watching my program.”

Gerald finished off his beer, crumpled the can and let it drop to the floor with the rest of them.  Leaning forward, he fixed his stare on his wife.  “Eileen, don’t you get no ideas in that empty head of yours.”

“What you going on about?”

“You know exactly what I’m going on about.  There ain’t no way in hell you’re gonna send that quack preacher none of my hard earned money for a damn booger napkin.”

Eileen didn’t answer, just sat rigidly staring at the TV.

“You hear me, woman!  If you so Godly, remember the commandment to honor thy husband!”

“First of all, that ain’t no commandment, you old fool.  And second, maybe if my husband wasn’t such a lousy drunk there’d be some more honoring going on in this house.”

Gerald was up in a flash, rushing across the room and delivering a vicious slap to his wife’s cheek.  The sound was loud in the dim room like a gunshot and her head rocked back.  Right away she started in with the waterworks, and after all their years together, she should’ve known tears only made Gerald madder.

“Stop your caterwauling, bitch, and go fix me a turkey pot pie!”

She just sat there for a moment, a hand to her red cheek, bawling like a baby.

“Don’t make me ask you again.”

Still sniffling, Eileen got up and hurried into the kitchen.

Smiling like he’d just nailed Swedish twins, Gerald turned the television to WWF.

Three weeks later Gerald found the package in the mail.  It was small, almost flat, addressed to his wife.  It was the return address that got him boiling over with rage.

“Eileen!” he roared as he stormed back into the house.  “Get your ass out here right now!”

Eileen came slinking into the living room, wiping her hands on a dish towel.  “Why you screaming?  The neighbors are gonna hear.”

“I don’t give a fuck if they do.  What exactly is this?”

Seeing the package her husband held, Eileen went as pale as a ghost, now wringing the towel in her hands.  “Um, I’m not sure.”

“That so?  You ain’t sure?  Well, let me enlighten you.  It says it’s from Jesus Christ on a Cross Ministries.  What could they be sending you?  Huh?  Cat got your tongue?”

Eileen looked ready to bolt from the room, but she knew better.  Running would just mean she’d get it twice as worse once she was caught.  So she stayed put, though she still didn’t say nothing.

“You went behind my back and sent that quack preacher money, didn’t ya?” Gerald said in a low growl.  “You sent off for that goddamn booger napkin.”

“Gerald, it’s a Prayer Cloth, and I—”

He didn’t let her finish.  No slap this time; this time he flat-out punched her.  She fell to the floor in a heap, blood gushing from her nostrils.  She cringed away from him, already doing that whole pleading bit.

Gerald tore the package open, and sure enough, the hanky fell out into his hand.  “Here it is, the Holy Booger Napkin!” he said with mock reverence.  “Oh, Holy Booger Napkin, please tell me the lotto numbers and who’s going to win this year’s Super Bowl.”

“Don’t blaspheme,” Eileen said.

“What, you think God’s gonna send down a lightning strike or something.  I tell you, God ain’t gonna do shit.  I’m the one you need to worry about.  I’m your God!  So you know what I’m going to do with your special magic booger napkin?”

“Please, don’t throw it out.”

“Throw it out?  Wouldn’t dream of it, this thing cost me a pretty penny.  More than a steak dinner at the Sizzler.  So maybe I should eat it.”

Eileen screamed as if he were kicking a puppy to death when he stuffed the hanky in his mouth, making “Mmmm” sounds as he chewed on it.  He planned to get it nice and shredded then spit the slobbery wad right in her face.  Her look of outrage and hurt was hilarious and he started to laugh…

Which proved to be a mistake.  It caused him to inhale sharply and the hanky got sucked down his windpipe.  He tried to spit it back out, but it seemed lodged there, cutting off his air.  He clawed at his throat, hoping to make himself puke it up or something.  The thing was stuck good, and he stumbled toward Eileen, holding his hands out to her.  She screamed again but backpedaled away from him.  He dropped to his knees, sticking his fingers in his mouth, snagging the tail end of the hanky and trying to yank it out.  It held fast, as if it was caught on a rusty nail down in his throat.

He keeled over onto his side, the world starting to go gray around the edges.  Out of the corner of his eye he saw Eileen crawling back toward him.  Finally, the bitch was going to help.

Only she didn’t.  Instead she raised her hands and her face to the ceiling and shouted, “Praise Jesus, the Prayer Cloth works!  My prayer is finally being answered!”

The last thing Gerald saw before everything went dark was Eileen smiling down at him.

 

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Posted by on August 28, 2014 in Short Stories

 

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Congratulations to Author Doug Lamoreux on Movie Development

Draculas DemeterIt’s not every day that someone who reads a lot of independent authors gets to put a post such as this out. I’m thrilled that I can say I know Doug Lamoreux through the reviews of his books and just learned something awesome for the man.

Doug has the book Dracula’s Demeter that is being turned into a movie by Thunderball Films. Even better the development must be moving forward as there are now two women signed to be in the movie.

The actresses are listed as part of a post Doug shared on his Facebook page.

 

Doug’s Post is below:

Meet the ladies of Dracula’s Demeter! (link to promo video)

ThunderBall Films Lid. (London) and producer Brian L. Porter, and casting director Barbara French have officially signed the lovely and talented German actress Isabella Jantz, and the equally lovely and talented Scottish actress Vivien Taylor for the roles of Ekaterina Gabor and Mina Murray (Harker) in the film adaptation of my novel, Dracula’s Demeter, now in development at ThunderBall Films.

Both actresses will first appear in the new Brian L. Porter TV series, Jack the Ripper: Reality and Myth, now in production.

My thanks to ThunderBall CEO and Producer Mario Domina, my publisher, Miika Hannila, at Creativia‬ Publishing, producer / co-writer Brian L. Porter, and Barbara French for their incredible efforts. And my very best wishes for all success with Jack the Ripper: Reality and Myth.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Personal

 

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The Dragon and the Needle by Author Hugh Franks

Dragon&NeedleThe sad thing about humanity is that at some point in our life it will come to an end. I’m sure many want to life long and fruitful lives and not have a life snuffed out early. It is just another factor that some of us will die from disease, murder or even combat.

The book, The Dragon and the Needle by Author Hugh Franks, will take the reader into a world where people are dying through natural causes. The problem these are relatively healthy people and many are politicians or family members. One of those who are found dead is even the daughter of the United States President within the book. They are dying and meeting their end through a disease called Extraordinary Natural Death Syndrome, or the acronym of ENDS.

The book is told from the British experience and involves not just MI5, but the leadership of the government. The world’s health agencies are actively searching for the cause of ENDS and the deaths have been occurring at an alarming rate. There is no evidence on how the people have been killed but, the experts just know it is untimely wrong for the deaths to be happening. The fact it is the elite dying of course puts massive pressure and money into finding out why, and who may be to blame.

The book starts with a seemingly mundane car ride through the busy streets of London. A car ride that has the driver taking off before the passenger can even get the paper he purchased from a sidewalk vendor. The events seem nothing to extraordinary at this point as the setting just seems normal till something unexpected takes a turn and adds a light of danger that will run through the book. The event will send a shockwave into the investigation of ENDS and put all the pressure on one young British doctor.

The doctor, Mike Clifford, will have to follow in the footsteps of his mentor to unravel what is causing the disease. He will follow the notes and meet the well-known American acupuncturist, Eleanor Johnson, who may be able to help with his investigation. Eleanor having studied in China the art of acupuncture after her husband was murdered in a subway when they lived in the US. There will be some friction between the two at first, and some would say a bit “prickly” as west meets east in the medical discussions.  They will both have to put aside their misgivings to work toward finding out what ENDS is, and who is causing the deaths.

The Dragon and the Needle is a really good read. Author Hugh Franks does a great job of showing the reader how the prejudice of Eastern medicine could be hurting the western world. There are things that either side does not understand about the benefits of the use of both kinds of medicine. On top of this lesson there is a wide reaching cause of the disease and shows how the world must understand each other. I say this as to me it seems the fault in all of humanity, pride, comes into play within the pages of the book.

The characters are well developed and there is plenty of intrigue with the pages. There is some old fashioned cloak and dagger type of spying as well as background checks on both doctors. These experiences are told through Eleanor as she must be vetted by the US and British secret service agencies. This is what makes the book so enjoyable the ability for author Hugh Franks to capture the detail of so much and keep the story on point till its conclusion.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Reviews

 

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Ten Plus One Questions with Author Kate O’Connor

Kate Profile PicAuthor Kate O’Connor is the woman behind Mermaid. She not only writes been one checks her bio on her webpage you see she has other interests. She flies planes, digs up artificats and manages a kennel full of Airedales.  Sure sounds like an adventourous life and yet she has the time to write a book such as Mermaid that opens up the mind to a new ideas. So without futher comment here are the answers to the Ten Plus One Questions.

Find Kate:

Twitter: @kateoconnor03

Her Publisher Musa Pubishing.

 

Question 1: What inspired you to write Mermaid?

I love old folk- and fairy- tales. This story started with Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” which has always been one of my favorites. I wanted to put a futuristic spin on it to see how the old fairytale structures stood up to the test of time.

Question 2: Is there any significance to the name/names of your main characters?

The four primary characters each have a surname related to the element I felt suited them most. Nerine – water, Lur – earth, Azar – fire, Esen – air. The accidentally funny bit is that adding an extra ‘s’ to Rob’s last name gets you “essen” which is German for “eat.” In spite of being entirely unplanned on my part, it works out ridiculously for the heir to a food company.

Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories?

I’m not sure how to say this without sounding silly, but I don’t actually think much beyond the technical aspects of getting words coherently on the page when I’m writing. With a story like “Mermaid” where the basic structure comes from a fairy tale, rather than being something I have to plan out, this is particularly true. On the other hand, this approach makes it fun to read back over a story when I’m done and pick apart which pieces might have come from where in my subconscious.

Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, Orson Scott Card’s Enders Game, Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama.

Question 5: Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

Nope, I don’t. Which is not to say I wouldn’t like to.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

There isn’t a print version for this one. However, getting the finished ebook copy was very satisfying. I usually write short stories, so having a finished, published longer work was quite exciting.

Question 7: Do you continue to write?

Always and forever.

Question 8: What is the message you want people to take away from the book?

I don’t write with a message in mind. I’ve always felt that once a story leaves the writer’s hands, it is up to the reader to attach their own personal meaning to it. I hope people take something away from the story, of course, but I don’t have much attachment to what they find there.

Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

Hmm. I going to have to stick to imagining a future for Rob and Kiera. I imagine them taking control of their lives and fighting to make the company and the world a better place for drones and humans alike. Kiera especially is strong enough and smart enough to do just about anything she sets her mind to. I think Rob will spend a long time looking for Cora, even though he tries not to.

Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you? 

“Mermaid” is dedicated to my little sister. Beyond being a wonderful sister, she is also my first reader/primary editor. She has a gift for finding the weak places in my world logic and character arcs. She is blessedly blunt when I am making a mess, so I know that when she tells me a story is good, it really is. She buys me coffee and chocolate when I’m feeling like I’ll never be able to write a decent story again. Without her, this book, and most of the rest of my writing, would not be possible.

The +1 Question: If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

Ireland. I haven’t been in a while and it would be a lot of fun to catch up with friends and show off what I’ve been working on. There’s also this little pub I need to go find again…

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Interview

 

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Mermaid by Kate O’Connor

Mermaid CoverMermaids have been around in history or lore since man was sailing the seas carrying cargo too far off places. There are even reports that Christopher Columbus had seen them upon one of his trips to the Americas. These tales of men seeing beautiful half woman and half fish fill books across the world. They have been painted as evil creatures that have caused shipwrecks and death. On the other hand, they are also known to be kind and beautiful. A being that is fascinated with the human world and would rather fall in love with a man over ever harm them. There is thus no surprise they have been seen in books and movies throughout this entire time.

Author Kate O’Connor brings us a new tale in the lore that surrounds these creatures of the deep. In this instance we find them in the pages of her book, Mermaid. The book will show that there is indeed something under the waves. The creatures that are half woman and half fish do exist, but in this case they were created by man.

Mermaid introduces the reader to a potential near future where man must cultivate some of the world’s food from under the seas. These creatures are artificial and primarily electronic in their build. They do have human characteristics but at same time had more than two arms as they have six. Either way they are human like in their face, and more importantly some in their curiosity.

The book opens with one of these creatures feeling the surge of an impending storm. Her name is Coral and she had grown used to her job for World Food Company of tending her patch of the seaweed farm. In this instance the thrill of the storm, its energy was almost calling her name. She did what she shouldn’t and swam out to experience the storm and enjoy chasing it in deep water.

During this chase Coral makes one major mistake she comes across a boat full of humans. She knows it is best to turn back and get back to her patch of seaweed. Instead she got closer to them. She wanted to see them, and sadly she missed a bright shiny object in the water. Before she understood what was happening she was on the ship with a mix of humans staring down at her. Afraid, caught like a fish she could barely speak let alone move. It was this moment that she saw Rob. He knew immediately what she was and how she came to be, it helped that his father owned the company.

Rob was able to get his friends to release Coral back into the water, but the delay on their fishing trip would cost them dearly. They failed to notice the storm moving up upon them, and soon their small boat was sinking to the bottom. Coral had to make a hard choice that day. She had to choose to ignore the chaos of the event or safe the humans. She saved a woman from the boat named Kiera first and she pushed Coral to go and find Rob.

Coral did all she could that day to save those two from the boat and it stirred a new sensation within her. She was going against the things that she should have been programmed to ignore. She wanted to find Rob, she wanted to be HUMAN.

The book will follow Coral’s attempt to reach that dream and the reader will be introduced to a man that just may be able to help her live that dream. The one thing we all must remember is that sometimes those who help with a dream will have a price they may want paid later.

Kate O’Connor does a great job of getting the reader into Corals mind. In a small way you get the feeling you are following a young child grow up and become an adult. This is explained in the book as she will have to learn so much to live as a human. There is intrigue in the background of the book, but you must read it to find out what and how this will impact Coral. You will also have to make a decision does she truly reach that level of becoming a human, or was she just playing one. The book is published through Musa Publishing, and is well worth the read.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Reviews

 

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A Message from the Amazon Books Team (Re-post)

As I promised in yesterday’s post I am posting the Amazon Books Team response to what is happening between the authors and Amazon. In this you will get to see Amazon’s side and for them to come out in public during an issue between companies it must be big. I say this as Amazon does not usually comment on issues it has with other companies. In this instance they are and this is their side of what is going on.

A Message from the Amazon Books Team

Dear Readers,

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents — it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.

With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution — places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.

Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette — a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate — are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market — e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.

Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.

The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.

Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.

Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.

But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell’s interest to suppress paperback books — he was wrong about that.

And despite what some would have you believe, authors are not united on this issue. When the Authors Guild recently wrote on this, they titled their post: “Amazon-Hachette Debate Yields Diverse Opinions Among Authors” (the comments to this post are worth a read). A petition started by another group of authors and aimed at Hachette, titled “Stop Fighting Low Prices and Fair Wages,” garnered over 7,600 signatures. And there are myriad articles and posts, by authors and readers alike, supporting us in our effort to keep prices low and build a healthy reading culture. Author David Gaughran’s recent interview is another piece worth reading.

We recognize that writers reasonably want to be left out of a dispute between large companies. Some have suggested that we “just talk.” We tried that. Hachette spent three months stonewalling and only grudgingly began to even acknowledge our concerns when we took action to reduce sales of their titles in our store. Since then Amazon has made three separate offers to Hachette to take authors out of the middle. We first suggested that we (Amazon and Hachette) jointly make author royalties whole during the term of the dispute. Then we suggested that authors receive 100% of all sales of their titles until this dispute is resolved. Then we suggested that we would return to normal business operations if Amazon and Hachette’s normal share of revenue went to a literacy charity. But Hachette, and their parent company Lagardere, have quickly and repeatedly dismissed these offers even though e-books represent 1% of their revenues and they could easily agree to do so. They believe they get leverage from keeping their authors in the middle.

We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture. We’d like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us.

Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch: Michael.Pietsch@hbgusa.com
Copy us at: readers-united@amazon.com

Please consider including these points:

  • We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive.
  • Lowering e-book prices will help — not hurt — the reading culture, just like paperbacks did.
  • Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle.
  • Especially if you’re an author yourself: Remind them that authors are not united on this issue.

Thanks for your support.

The Amazon Books Team

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Authors United: A Letter to Our Readers (Re-Post)

As many of those who follow the blog know I read books that are often provided to me by self-published, independent, small press authors. I have recently heard about some things happening at Amazon that is impacting authors no matter their size. In researching this I cam across Authors United and below I’m sharing a statement they have put out to the public and will even be in a major US newspaper.

Now the letter below primarily mentions Hachette, but what is being done can impact all authors including those I have read, and will read someday. As I post links to Amazon for most, if not all, the books I’ve reviewed I wonder if some of the below mentioned policies will impact the authors I’ve been working with.

Thus, I have decided to share the below to help bring light to what is going on with this fight. I’m trying not to take a side, but for book lovers putting this out to the public.  At the same time to give the other side an equal voice I will be posting the Reader’s United letter tomorrow.

 

A Letter to Our Readers:

Amazon is involved in a commercial dispute with the book publisher Hachette , which owns Little, Brown, Grand Central Publishing, and other familiar imprints. These sorts of disputes happen all the time between companies and they are usually resolved in a corporate back room.

But in this case, Amazon has done something unusual. It has directly targeted Hachette’s authors in an effort to force their publisher to agree to its terms.

For the past several months, Amazon has been:

Boycotting Hachette authors, by refusing to accept pre-orders on Hachette authors’ books and eBooks, claiming they are “unavailable.”

Refusing to discount the prices of many of Hachette authors’ books.

Slowing the delivery of thousands of Hachette authors’ books to Amazon customers, indicating that delivery will take as long as several weeks on most titles.

–Suggesting on some Hachette authors’ pages that readers might prefer a book from a non-Hachette author instead.

As writers–most of us not published by Hachette–we feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want. It is not right for Amazon to single out a group of authors, who are not involved in the dispute, for selective retaliation. Moreover, by inconveniencing and misleading its own customers with unfair pricing and delayed delivery, Amazon is contradicting its own written promise to be “Earth’s most customer-centric company.

Many of us have supported Amazon since it was a struggling start-up. Our books launched Amazon on the road to selling everything and becoming one of the world’s largest corporations. We have made Amazon many millions of dollars and over the years have contributed so much, free of charge, to the company by way of cooperation, joint promotions, reviews and blogs. This is no way to treat a business partner. Nor is it the right way to treat your friends. Without taking sides on the contractual dispute between Hachette and Amazon, we encourage Amazon in the strongest possible terms to stop harming the livelihood of the authors on whom it has built its business. None of us, neither readers nor authors, benefit when books are taken hostage. (We’re not alone in our plea: the opinion pages of both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, which rarely agree on anything, have roundly condemned Amazon’s corporate behavior.)

We call on Amazon to resolve its dispute with Hachette without further hurting authors and without blocking or otherwise delaying the sale of books to its customers.

We respectfully ask you, our loyal readers, to email Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, at jeff@amazon.com, and tell him what you think. He says he genuinely welcomes hearing from his customers and claims to read all emails at that account. We hope that, writers and readers together, we will be able to change his mind.

Sincerely,

  • Megan Abbott
  • Robert H. Abel
  • Rachael Acks
  • William M. Adler
  • Elisa Albert
  • William Alexander
  • Sherman Alexie
  • Mike Allen
  • Jonathan Ames
  • Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Roger Angle
  • Carol Anshaw
  • Anne Applebaum
  • Debby Applegate
  • Kelley Armstrong
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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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