two-face isn’t only a batman character


soooooo, dear readers, it has been a while since my last post, and actually i have nothing new to report regarding kindles, iPads, nooks, kobos or the like. i think the dust is still settling, but according to recent reviews, the new nook touch is superior to the kindle3, but kindle3 still has all those gosh-darn amazon books available for it.

have i mentioned a wonderful program called calibre? this program converts e-book formats so that you can read basically any format on your e-reader of choice. i LOVE it. i received an amazon kindle as a gift from a “now” dear friend, (THANX BARB!!) and i use it almost daily. but i don’t buy every book i read from amazon. calibre helps me convert books to the .mobi format, which is kindle-friendly. if you have an e-reader or you use any e-reading app or program on your smartphone or laptop, you HAVE to have calibre. but enough of that.

what i really want to talk about is publishing. publishing and the average consumer. and even if you are a librarian, you are still an average consumer. meaning that, chances are, you are not publishing or producing printed works for your library collection. you are purchasing those works (or e-content) from publishers and vendors.

if you know me or follow my blog, you know that i read. a lot. of different things. all the time. i can’t help it. and some of the things i read are various book reviews and book review publications, such as publishers weekly. i was reading that very publication when i came across a starred review for a book titled, boxer, beetle by ned beauman. beauman was a finalist for the 2010 guardian first book award. beauman is british. here’s his website. i LOVE it.

anyway, here’s the thing. i read the review in publishers weekly and i said to myself, “self, i think you want to read that book.” unfortunately, it won’t be published on this side of the pond until the end of august. again, if you know me, you know i am spoiled and impatient…AMERICAN! so in the era of the intergoogle web net, i meandered over to the amazon.co. website. and there, in all it’s glory is my new favorite, yet-to-be-read book, boxer, beetle. not only is it there, but there’s a KINDLE edition. shut the front door!

well, when i clicked on the ‘send sample’ button, i was told in no uncertain terms that:

Kindle titles for your country are not available at Amazon.co.uk.
Please shop for Kindle titles at Amazon.com

but, of course, it’s NOT AVAILABLE IN MY COUNTRY!! there is no kindle edition for the US publishing of this title.

of course, i can purchase a print copy through amazon.co.uk. one-click put that in my shopping cart tout-de suite (see how international i am?). but no kindle edition. bollocks!!

the economy is global. people are communicating with strangers in other continents – doing business, creating social networks, googling, facebooking, tweeting, foursquaring all around the world. i can go to the website ten thousand villages and purchase a vase from bangladesh, a brass tray from egypt, and a candleholder from the phillippines but publishers want me to pretend as if i can only get a book here in the good ol’ US of A and on top of all that…THE US EDITION ISN’T AVAILABLE FOR THE KINDLE! *sigh*

publishing houses are grasping at any thing they can to try to preserve the standard profit model, including perceived exclusivity and drop-down dates. as a former bookseller for a major book retailer, many boxes stayed in the warehouse with imposing messages, “DO NOT OPEN BEFORE FEBRUARY 1ST OR YOU WILL BE EXSANGUINATED.” many months we could have used the profits from those sales to keep from cutting our bookseller hours but, oh well.

publishers want us to buy, but they don’t make it easy. they want us to be excited about reading, excited about e-books. manufacturers want us to be excited about e-readers. apple iPads are flying out the door. let’s stop pretending that we are national and become international. it can only be a good thing. now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a british book waiting for this american reader.

happy reading, no matter the format or the location 🙂

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