Archive for The Horror Mall

settling in and books aplenty

Posted in Rumination with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2009 by scottsplatter

We are getting settled into the new place and making pretty good headway against the walls of cardboard boxes. I’m finding stuff I haven’t seen in years. There has been a lot of moving in the last 5 years and it’s good to finally be someplace that I don’t feel unpacking will be a waste of time. As I mentioned before this will be the first time I’ll have my full studio set up since I finished recording “The Aberrant Laboratory” in 2006. There will no doubt be some new music in the works before too long. Whether it’s Gruntsplatter or something else I don’t know yet.

It has been a beautiful thing setting up the new bookshelves and loading them up. I went on a bit of a bender and picked up several new titles to get me through the looming Oregon winter.

Omens by Richard Gavin
The Everlasting by Tim Lebbon
The Book Of Days by Steve Rasnic Tem
Poe’s Progengy Anthology edited by Gary Fry
Tales Of Terror by Guy De Maupassant
Stories from A Lost Anthology by Rhys Hughes
Sesta & Other Strange Stories by Edward Lucas White
Edgeworks I: Over The Edge, An Edge In My Voice by Harlan Ellison
The Complete Stories of JG Ballard by JG Ballard
Writers Workshop Of Horror edited by Michael Knost

Most of those were acquired from The Horror Mall, everything except the Ballard book I think… It will be a long, gray winter of weird tales around here.

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eBooks

Posted in Rumination, Video with tags , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2009 by scottsplatter

I’ve been holding off on posting about this topic, but news just came down from Delirium Books that has brought it to mind again. Here is the announcement from Delirium.

Delirium is discontinuing all publishing of trade paperbacks (TPB) in favor of digital publishing for Kindle and other eReaders. Delirium will continue to produce limited and lettered special edition hardcover titles for the collector’s market.

This is disappointing because I am signed up with Delirium’s TPB book club and that will be coming to an end. It was a great way to check out new authors and titles at a very fair price. The collector’s hardcover book club will continue, but sinking $40+ bucks (at  least)  into an author I haven’t read is not something I’m interested in.

The digital products will be affordable. However, I sit in front of a computer well over 8 hours a day. I’m not going to read at length off my desktop screen for fun. One of the pleasures of reading is not looking at a screen. The other option is to shell out for an eReader. The Kindle is $299 right now and it looks like the Sony one is around $275. Everyone I’ve heard from that has used a Kindle says that it’s not like reading off a computer. I am skeptical, but I will give the benefit of the doubt to those who have actually done it. The market is new enough that the devices out there are going to go through an evolution and sinking that kind of money into something destined to become obsolete in short order seems a bit silly.

While the digital releases will be more economical, that point  does appear to be undergoing some debate. I don’t see this as being an issue with the small press community like it would be with the big publishing houses. However, for the eReaders to take off and remain viable cooperation from the big publishing houses will be necessary. If they fight it or seek to manipulate pricing, then it will be more convoluted than the mp3 fiasco. With publishing there are different rights available for an author’s work, electronic, print, audio, foreign, anthology etc. If people start bootlegging books on mass, those permissions will become entirely clouded and work will be devalued because of it. (Though, the thought of a world where people cared enough about books to bootleg them is not wholly unpleasant)

As it stands now, publishing a story on your personal website, blog or whatever is considered publishing by many publishing houses. Thus selling that story to one of those houses becomes even more difficult than it already is. Suddenly you are selling to the reprint market rather than the new market because you hosted it on your site. The pay rates for reprints are often reduced and this is assuming the houses are interested in reprints at all.

For people writing for the small press market,  I wonder what accepting digital publishing for their work may mean for that piece to ever see a print edition.

In theory all of this means writing (books) can be distributed at a much lower cost, allowing consumers to get more for their entertainment dollar and the author stands to be paid more for their work because the publisher doesn’t have the overhead to recoup. Sounds great, but whether that market establishes itself and what paraphernalia you will need to read that market are all still question marks. Whether eBooks are able to shake the stigma that say print on demand/self published books have in regards to quality is also up for some debate. One would hope that reputable publishers will produce reputable eBooks, but from discussions I have seen the quality definitely varies even from reputable publishers. I will add, since Delirium is my jumping off point for this, I have heard nothing but high praise for the quality of their ebooks. 

Delirium is one publisher. I’m not suggesting this is a death knell to paperbacks. However, the Delirium folks are highly respected for their catalog, and business practices. In addition, they operate The Horror Mall (which you should go buy something from) and the horror themed social networking site The Haunt. Their position in the community makes this a significant development that  I suspect will have some influence over other publishers in time.

Here is an interview with award winning book designer and novelist Chip Kidd with his thoughts on “the death of books.”