VICTOR METHOS' ADVENTURE REVIEW

The Official Blog of Bestselling Author Victor Methos

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What's It Like to be a Homicide Detective?


As a criminal defense attorney, my dealings with homicide detectives are always in opposition. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there's some homicide detectives that hate me. My job is to attack their case, attack their credibility, and their knowledge, in defense of someone that very likely committed the crime in exactly the manner the detective is on the stand describing. So homicide detectives, and FBI agents when I'm in federal court, and I have a complicated relationship.

But, most of the books I write deal with FBI agents and homicide detectives chasing down the most sick and depraved killers I can think of. So it's interesting for me to read how others view the detectives, and to craft an objective view of them.

And I think I do have a more objective view than most, because I've seen both sides of the good and evil perpetrated by the boys in blue.

Most of the detective novels I've read paint homicide detectives (and police in general) as saviors of the human race that can do no wrong. Well, sorry, but that ain't reality. The reality is that I've had detectives and police officers fabricate evidence to get convictions against people that pissed them off, I've seen them abuse inmates and detainees on videos I later obtained, and yes, I've seen them hurt and even kill people. In fact, at a recent preliminary hearing, we asked an officer if he had ever been disciplined.  He stated no, then thought about it a second longer, and then said, "Well, I'm under investigation for rape. I guess that counts."

Seriously? He had to think about it and then said he "guessed" being under investigation for rape qualified as discipline? We sued the department and the county/city to get our hands on the findings of this investigation. Rather than give it to us, the county/city dismissed the case against our client entirely. A scary thought that they let our client go so they wouldn't have to release the results of a rape investigation against one of their officers.

But, some of the best people I know are police officers, too. People that put themselves in danger to help others selflessly.

It's like any other profession: there are good ones, and there are bad ones. And you have to take the good with the bad. Detectives may have a skewed view of us defense attorneys as well, but they have to simply take the same stance. There's good and bad in every profession. And the detectives have to understand that defense attorneys are the common citizen's only defense against an overzealous, powerful government (anyone that's had to deal with the IRS knows how scary government can be).

But what's it like to walk in a homicide detective's shoes? Here's an interview with a nearly thirty year veteran of the LAPD robbery-homicide squad. I would recommend checking out the full film One-Eight-Seven as well.

www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2014/01/the-life-of-a-los-angeles-homicide-detective/282960/

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Marketing for Authors

By far the bulk of my emails from the public still relate to how I sell my books. I wouldn't quite consider myself an expert, but I have sold somewhere around half a million books (I say somewhere because I haven't calculated it precisely) so I suppose I'm more of an expert than the droves of hacks out there looking to steal author's money with "secret promotional strategies they don't want you to know about." Just check out the Facebook ads by these snake oil salesmen and you'll see what I mean.

Well, to quote Princess Bride, "Life is pain. Anyone that tells you different is selling something."

There is no magic bullet to marketing. It takes a lot of work to sell books and sacrifices of time and money. But, as always, I'm happy to share what I've learned so far. Here are five tips for those of you looking to make your mark as authors:

1. Write a Series

I'm surprised by the number of people that contact me for advice and have only written standalone thrillers. Standalone thrillers are fun to write (I've written at least a dozen), but if you're looking for sheer sales, you have to create a series around a popular character. I've created five: Jon Stanton, Mickey Parsons, Sarah King, Brigham Theodore, and Baudin & Dixon (new series that hasn't been released yet). Why so many? Because I monitor my sales figures closely and it's clear that the people that buy the first in the series are the ones buying the second and third. In some cases, almost to the number (for example, in my Plague Trilogy, the first and second book sell only a few books difference from each other each month).

But just because you have fans in one series, doesn't mean they'll jump over to another of your series. So you have to write several books in each series. Sorry, but unless you have a standalone that just takes off (which is about as likely as winning the lottery) you're going to have to write a series.

2.  Publish as Often as You Are Able

Again, rather simple rule that isn't followed that often by authors. Your readers don't want to wait forever. They'll move on to other things; books, video games, Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes and Pandora, the movies and network television are all vying for your reader's attention. So if you think they're gonna wait two or three years while you write book two in your trilogy, forget it. They will have forgotten all about you by then.

So you want to dedicate yourself to writing. Treat it seriously. It's a difficult art and every page you write is your soul bleeding on the page a little bit. It deserves better than 'I'll just write on the weekends' or 'I'll write when inspiration hits.'

You should write every day, for a set amount and not stop until you hit your goal. It doesn't really matter what that goal is. Some of my author friends write 500 words a day, and some write 10,000. Doesn't matter; the point is they are writing and consistently putting out new work. You have to do the same.

3. Try to Spread Your Works to as Many Readers as Possible


This is a tough one. It was recommended not too long ago to put your book on every platform: Kindle, Nook, Apple, Kobo etc. But Amazon has so dominated the market, it may not be worth your while to publish on those other platforms and forgo the benefits of being an Amazon exclusive author (which include higher royalties in some countries, better promotional opportunities etc).

Here's a piece that came out a couple days ago stating that Barnes & Noble is losing so much money on the Nook they're kicking it out of their company and staring a new company. Why are they doing this? My guess is so that, on paper, their parent company keeps looking like they're not losing the enormous amount of money they are losing every quarter (I predicated recently that Barnes & Noble would be out of business in a year and it looks like my predication is on the right path).

But, given all this, I know there are droves of authors who swear they make more money on B&N or even Kobo than Amazon. I don't see how this is possible since those platforms are likely rigged against authors (Hugh Howey had an excellent piece on his blog months ago where multiple bestselling authors said their books were selling thousands of copies a day and never got past #128 on the B&N bestsellers list because they were indie authors and not with the big publishing houses that have deals with B&N).

So experimentation might be for you and you can try the different platforms all at once and compare results. I personally have had the most success on Amazon, as have all the other big and mid-list indie authors I know, but you may want to play around before settling down.

4. Promote Newer Books in Older Books

Putting a link to your new works in the front or back of your older books is a great idea. If someone finishes one of your older books and turns the last page and sees a link to your newest book, you better believe if they enjoyed the book they're clicking. They may not buy right away, but they're checking it out. And if your cover, pitch and writing are solid, they'll likely buy. I used to have all my books listed at the end of my works but I don't think people bought much like that. Having forty titles at the end of the book drown out each one. So now, I may have one title at the end of a book with a link to it, and that seems to be working well.

5. Don't worry about Piracy

I know you're grimacing at this, but the fact is, you can't stop it anyway. I know you think you can, but you can't. Digital pirates are too sophisticated for you to do anything about them. So you may as well not enable digital rights management and get your book out to as many people as possible.

I enable digital rights management on some books, but not others. I think of piracy as a promotional tool: I want to give the pirates a taste of my work, but not the whole enchilada. Hopefully they read one of my books illegally, and then decide to buy one that they can't find illegally. Might just be wishful thinking on my part, but, like I said, you can't stop someone from stealing your work so you gotta just find a way to use them.

Conclusion

Well, that's it for now folks. Not that complex is it? One more thing I would recommend: don't waste your money on people that claim they can make your book a bestseller. If that were true, every one of their clients would be bestsellers. Ask them to verify that that's the case and watch the backpedaling and squirming begin.

So just work hard, put out a lot of books, promote your books within your other books, and don't sweat piracy. Eventually, you will start making sales.




Saturday, May 3, 2014

Signing with a Publisher

As any who read this blog know, I have a hard time with legacy book publishers. I truly believe they exploit authors (17.5 royalties, really?) and fans alike (ebooks costing more than print books?). Also, I think they're VCR salesmen in the time of DVDs. Print technology will soon go the same route as the video cassette and yet, instead of adapting, they cling to the videocassette like it were a life preserver.

So I will no doubt be called a hypocrite when I tell you I've signed one of my books with a publisher and optioned another.

But, this publisher is the only publisher I would ever have said "yes" to. It is Thomas & Mercer, a subsidiary of Amazon Publishing. And I cannot tell you how pleased I have been with them thus far. The royalty rates are out of this world, and when I send them an email with a concern I have, they actually respond.

In addition, I have a marketing team and several other perks. I can't release any of the details, but the deal is MUCH better than anything the legacy publishers have offered me.

I remember when I shopped White Angel Murder around to legacy publishers and literary agents. Only one showed any interest but when I sent him a manuscript he never responded. But I knew that book would be an absolute hit.

I indie published it and that book went on to sell somewhere in the realm of 150,000 copies and has been in the top 30 in the U.S. and the top 10 in the U.K.

Legacy publishers, despite their claims, cannot and do not predict bestsellers. They're terrible at picking winners. They're the poor loser at the racetrack in velour clothing with an unlit cigar dangling from their mouth, crusted with drool, as the last of their savings vanished when their horse came in last.

I read one such person in a New Yorker attack article who said Amazon may have algorithms and data, but there's a human element to it that traditional literary agents and publishers provide. What human element is that: screwing the authors?

Amazon's detractors are saying the company has signed books that haven't been hits: how many hits do traditional publishers have compared to the amount of books they put out? I'll wager less than 1% of the books they put out are bonafide hits. Can you think of any other industry, other than legacy publishers and literary agents, that would taut a 99% failure rate as success?

The author of this New Yorker article went on a diatribe about how poorly Amazon Publishing is doing. I was shocked. How could Amazon not be selling a lot of their books?

Well I looked into it, and this article and the data the author is using do not include ebook sales in those sales figures. Are you freaking kidding me? I bet Amazon sells one print book to every ten ebooks and they're not including ebooks when they're trying to evaluate whether Amazon Publishing is a success?

If those legacy publishers are going to attack Amazon, I guess they have to fudge the data to do it. I've dealt with a lot of companies and no one's been as gracious or author friendly as Amazon has. And to all those indie authors reading this blog, I will say again:

I HAVE NO IDEA WHY ANYONE WOULD SIGN WITH A LEGACY PUBLISHER.

Not in this day and age when you can make 70% royalties publishing on your own through Amazon. If you think the legacy publisher is going to nurture you, forget it. They don't care about you. They care about James Patterson and their other hit authors. You're not going to get marketing money, you're not going to get support. You'll go from book signing to book signing, desperately trying to raise sales, and feel like you don't even have a publisher behind you.

Which brings me to why I signed with Thomas & Mercer.

I had read on Joe Konrath's excellent blog that Thomas & Mercer treated him very well and shot his book to the number one spot on the Kindle bestseller lists, so I thought selling them one book would be worth a try. And about the time I decided this, they contacted me and stated they loved The Neon Lawyer and would like to pick it up to republish under the Thomas & Mercer brand with their backing.

So far, I'm very impressed with them. We'll have to see how the sales go in November when it comes out, but I'm expecting big things (it's Amazon pushing an Amazon book after all).

Does this mean I'll give up indie pubbing my books? Never. I love the freedom of publishing how much I want how quickly I want. But I'm grateful to have this opportunity to experiment with Amazon and hopefully stomp some of the legacy published books in terms of sales.

I'll keep everyone posted on how it goes...



Photo courtesy of thephotoholic and freedigitialphotos.net

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Is Psychic Phenomena Real?



When I was sixteen, my buddy and I visited a psychic. It was on our way to a tattoo shop and we decided to stop by because the sign said it was five bucks for a palm reading. But, being the skeptic I was, I decided that we would go in separately as if we didn't know each other. I went in first.

The psychic was an older woman in a funky scarf. She was leaning back in a chair, the place decorated to the brim with odd trinkets, old bones, and lighting that made the space appear darker than it needed to be. She took my hand and rubbed it with her gnarled fingers and pronounced my future.

I would be successful in business, married not twice but once, have two children, and a host of about fifteen other predictions. When I left, I waited outside and my buddy went in. He came out about ten minutes later and we compared notes: he would be successful in business, married not twice but once, have two children yada yada.

The psychics were bunk.

When I began researching my newest novel, Blood Dahlia, which you can check out on Amazon here if you're so inclined, I studied psychics in earnest. The novel is about a psychic the FBI use to attempt to capture a serial killer copying the original Black Dahlia murder from 1947.

I went in with a skeptical eye. James Randi has done a great job debunking psychic phenomena and his educational foundation at www.randi.org put up a million dollar challenge: anyone that can show true psychic phenomena in a laboratory setting will be paid $1,000,000. No, ifs, ands, or buts. Million bucks. Of course, in the decade the challenge has been out, no one's been able to claim the million dollars.

Harry Houdini was absolutely obsessed with psychics. Since his mother's death, he wanted desperately to find a real psychic that would allow him to speak to his mother. He flew around the world, visiting exotic hard to reach locations in nearly every continent, looking for anyone that had a grain of psychic power. He then worked hard proving them a fraud, in the hopes that they would pass his tests. Of course, no one ever did. And in his later years, Houdini traveled around the world visiting psychics not with hope, but with the sole purpose of debunking them and have them run out of town.

Michael Crichton on the other hand, one of my favorite authors, believed in psychic phenomena. Not because he was a man prone to believing in the supernatural, he was a doctor and man of science, but because he stated he had witnessed it first hand. Both precognition, and telekinesis in the form of an eight-year-old child bending a spoon with his mind.

One of the main criticisms, according to Crichton, that people have of psychics is that if they were real, they'd be playing the stock markets or gambling. Here's Crichton's response to that:

"I often hear skeptics say that, if psychic behavior was real, the psychics would be playing the stock markets or the ponies. In my experience, many of them do. There is, in fact, a kind of secret level of activity in which psychics consult to major corporations and businesses. People seem embarrassed to admit this activity but it takes place, just as you'd expect it to."

This sparked an interesting idea to me: secret psychics at the CIA and Coca Cola, helping them without public knowledge. I wondered if psychics had ever been studied by the government. I doubted it, but looked into it anyway.

And then I found the Stargate Project.

The Stargate Project, which I discuss briefly in Blood Dahlia simply because it's so interesting, was a study conducted by the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA into psychic phenomena to establish if psychics could be used for the purposes of the Cold War.

I'm not making this up, this is not conspiracy theory stuff, we have the documents through GRAMA requests and there's even a Wikipedia page for Stargate. The study was conducted from the '70s through to 1995 and then terminated because the researchers concluded there was no useful intelligence application of psychic phenomena.

But, did they establish that psychic phenomena was in fact true, even if not useful to the intelligence field? Believe it or not, the answer is both yes and no.

Telekinesis, the ability to move objects with your mind, was found to not exist in a laboratory setting. Basically, the people that claimed they could move objects with their mind could do it outside the laboratory but not in it, i.e. they were frauds.

Most of the other psychic phenomena received the same results: all except one. Remote viewing.

Remote viewing is the ability to describe people, places and things from a distance. For example, what the DIA and CIA were hoping for was a team of psychics describing the manufacturing plants and number of weaponry of the Soviets, or listening in on their plans of attacking the United States.

The study concluded that there was a statistically valid result in remote viewing within laboratory conditions.

Let me repeat that.

The most extensive, objective study ever done on psychical research concluded that there was truth to remote viewing. That a man could sit in a room and think of a room half a world away, and describe what was in it.

Later researchers looked at the report's results and questioned its findings, stating that the subjects must've been given more information than the study let on in order to make their "hits" (a "hit" being the term the researchers used to describe when a subject was correct in their descriptions). But there were parts of the study that have simply not been invalidated. The CIA has recommended more research in the area of remote viewing, but the study was shut down before that occurred.

On an interesting side note, the CIA did keep three psychics from the study and allocated half a million dollars a year in studying and using them. These psychics, last I have been able to gather, were working full time for the government out of Fort Meade, Maryland. The CIA released several statements that the three would be let go and the project terminated completely, but I was not able to confirm that they have actually been let go. So it's possible that the CIA was convinced enough from the results of Stargate to keep three full time psychics on their payroll for decades.

So what does this mean for us, the common public? Should we go out and consult with Sylvia Brown about our futures?

No, it does not.

Whether you believe in psychic phenomena or not, the fact is that the majority of those proclaiming to be psychic are frauds (here's an interesting little piece about "psychics" that swindled a poor lonely man to give them hundreds of thousands of dollars if he wanted to break the curse of his love life).

The sad truth is, they're almost all frauds and hucksters.

But… the interesting question is, what about those three that are working full time for the CIA? The three that, of all the psychics in the world the government recruited, they were deemed the only worthy ones to stay on. What would they tell us if we spoke with them?

Maybe one day, if the government ever becomes as transparent as everyone in government claims they want to be, we can find out. For now, we'll just have to live with the mystery.










Monday, January 20, 2014

Why I (Reluctantly) Wrote a Legal Thriller

The question I most get asked as a criminal defense attorney is not "How do you defend those people?"Which is, let's be honest, what everybody thinks when they hear about what I do. The question I most get asked is "Why don't you write a legal thriller!"

I'll tell you why.

I hate them.

I spend nearly eight hours a day in the courtroom. Most of my job is going through metal detectors, racing from court to court, and getting yelled at by judges for being late. I've been writing for fifteen years and I love it. It's what I look forward to every day. Why would I possibly want to work in a courtroom all day and then write about it, too?

But, I finally caved with my first legal thriller, The Neon Lawyer. The fact is, criminal defense attorneys and cops have the best stories and I wanted to get some of these stories down.

The thing that most seems to puzzle people about the book is that it's somewhere around 80 to 90% true. Even the whacko characters that seem made up are people I actually worked with. But, of course, I have to protect people's identities so certain key things about the cases and locations and dates have been changed.

And now, the book has gone on and become successful and dang it if I don't have to write another one.

But, for those of you considering a career in law, I probably wouldn't recommend it unless it's something you really want to do. I've been very, very lucky. I was a prosecutor first and myself and another prosecutor jumped ship and opened our own firm at exactly the right time. We mastered internet marketing and are doing really well at a time when most law firms are failing.

The fact is, law practice has completely changed and will continue to change. Companies have realized how much they pay for legal services and they've begun outsourcing. As such, law firms have cut staff or switched to contract attorneys. But law schools are still pumping out lawyers by the tens of thousands with no jobs for them once they graduate. The market is adjusting a little (law school applications are down nearly 30% this year) but not enough to make a difference. A law degree just doesn't do what it used to.

Then again, if it's what you know you want to do, then jump in. Life's too short to go into a career you hate. As I've always advocated, I'd rather fail at something I love than be successful in something I hate.

But, getting back to the book, yes, it's based on a true story and most of the stories in there happened to me. Hope you enjoy it, and drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What Went Wrong with Arrested Development and What Writers Can Learn From It

Arrested Development, I feel, is the funniest show that has ever been on television. Here are just a few of the gems that show has produced:

Michael: "What have we always said is the most important thing?"

George Michael: "Breakfast"

Michael: "Family."

George Michael: "Oh, right, family. I thought you meant of things you eat."

--
Lucille: Get me a vodka rocks.

Michael: Mom, it's breakfast.

Lucille: And a piece of toast.

--


Michael: Can’t a guy call his mother pretty without it seeming strange?
Buster: Amen. And how about that little piece of tail on her? Cute!
Michael: I’ve opened a door here that I regret.

Everyone has their own favorite lines and I think each time we go through them, we find new ones that we missed before. So I ask this question:
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
Season four, the newest season only found on Netflix, has been torn apart by critics and fans alike. So how could the funniest show in history (I'm not alone in this by the way) fall to what it was in season 4? 
Granted, there were sections of season 4 where the old brilliance shined through. But it was more like a diamond buried in dung that you just catch a glimmer of. Mostly, the show was a long stretch of boredom and crassness. My novels certainly don't spare on the profanity and sex, but Maeby whoring out her own mother for a few bucks? The quaint sweetness the show had for me died right then. 
The plot, for those of you that haven't seen it, is enormously convoluted, guest appearances are all over the place to the point that it feels like some celebrity telethon, and the jokes are  just not funny. 
HOW THEY RUINED IT
Every show, just like every series of books, has an engine. It has a method and formula that works and that we crave. If done well, we barely notice the formula. 
Want examples? 
Every episode of Gilligan's Island is Gilligan screwing up somebody else's attempt to get them off the island. 
Every episode of Who's the Boss? is putting Angela and Tony in a situation where we ask will they or won't they? 
Every episode of Three's Company is based around a situation where one or more of the characters misunderstands the context of what's happening. 
See the patterns? For a fun game if bored at work, try and figure out the central engine for all your favorite sitcoms. 
So why do TV writers use engines/formulas? Are they lazy? No, definitely not. They work their tails off. But the fact is they don't have a lot of time to write each episode so they can't start from scratch each time. They must have a framework and a formula. 
What was Arrested Development's? Give up? 
It was Michael and his son George Michael. 
Every episode revolved around Michael and his attempt to save the company and his family or to leave them, and his family's antics in screwing that up. 
His relationship with his son was the central relationship and all the other characters were ancillary. This made them even funnier when they were put against the backdrop of everyday-Joe, Michael Bluth. 
George Sr., Lindsey, Lucille etc. are only funny in relation to Michael. So what happens when you take Michael out of the picture? Season 4 happened. 
There were entire episodes I sat painfully still without cracking a smile. I compared this with my near-peeing-my-pants-with-laughter in the first three seasons. And certain other writers I know share the same feeling. In fact, I haven't personally spoken with someone who enjoyed season 4. I know, I know, it's anecdotal. But the social media feeds were abuzz with disappointed fans for weeks after it came out.
WHAT WRITERS CAN LEARN. 
Formulas work. They're there for a reason. If you have something that's working, that readers are responding to, why on earth would you change it? I understand pushing boundaries and trying new things, but if people love what you're doing, don't mess with it. Stick to it until right before they grow bored and then switch to something else. 
This goes back to what type of writer you wish to be of course. I wish to be the writer that entertains my audience and writes what they want to read. If you prefer to be the type of writer who writes what they personally want regardless of what their audience wants, that's fine too. But why publish your books at all? Just do what J.D. Salinger did and write them and stick them in a safety deposit box so the public will never read them. 
I wanted so bad to love the new season of Arrested Development (on a sidenote, huge mistake releasing all 15 episodes at once. Everyone was on different episodes when talking about the show. If one episode a week was released, everyone would have been talking about that episode the next day). But the show just didn't do it for me. Alas, unless the formula goes back to what it was, I probably won't watch more than one episode of season 5. 
So, don't be that writer that disappoints the fans that made you successful. Stick to what they want and always keep the audience in mind when you want to make changes.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Slow Goodbye of Barnes and Noble


I had a really interesting experience today. 

I had some time to kill in between court appearances for some cases I was handling and there was a Barnes and Noble nearby. Liking the written word as I do, I thought I'd pop in. I haven't been there in several years so I thought why not. I could browse the poetry sections, check out Anne Rice's new books, and if there's any new thrillers out that look interesting that I could later buy on my Kindle. 

I walk in, and I'm awestruck. 

About 40% of the store is children's toys. Another 20% are children's books. Considering that 10% of the space is the cafe, that leaves less than a third of the store for actual books. 

In the front of the store, the first thing you see and the last thing you see as you walk out, is the Nook display with promos on ebooks. To the left are cash registers with a clerk standing behind them, I kid you not, reading an ebook on a Nook. 

I ambulate around the store and look at the shelves. Only the biggest and most famous authors in any genre remain on the shelves. There simply isn't enough room for anyone else. I walk to the Westerns and a thick layer of dust is on most of the books. I flip through a few of the pages of a short story collection and the book, kind of, stinks a little bit. Not like mold or anything; just a stale smell like it's been sitting in a warehouse for the past five years. 

So I head up to the clerk and the two of them are sitting there literally trying to find stuff to do. I think there were perhaps six people in the entire store and four of them were in the cafe sipping drinks. I ask her to see if they have one of my favorite books, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and she flips through her computer. They don't have it, but they can order for it. It will take five days to get here. I passed. 

The only reason I asked at all is because the publisher of that book won't allow it be published as an ebook. And then I'd have to wait five days? I'm used to Kindle where I read what I want when I want. It used to be nothing to wait that long for a book you wanted to read, but now it seems as outdated as the horse and buggy. 

I realized something just then: Barnes and Noble is an antiquated business. Like typewriter stores and VCR repair shops (and yes, they did have those in California and parts of New York in the 80's. Not sure about the rest of the country). 

The reason they're antiquated is they, and the Big 5 publishers, are trying to push an ancient technology on us: paper books. If you're one of those that like paper instead of ebooks, I would dare say you just haven't given ebooks a shot. Objectively, they are better in every respect. The environmental impact of paper books alone is reason enough to switch to electronic. Not to mention built in backlights, dictionary, highlighting, voice, and font and color control. 

The publishers and Barnes and Noble refuse to adapt to the new environment. They treated authors terribly for so long, and milked the public for everything we were worth for so long, it's like they're addicted to crack. They don't want to give it up. And so that's why publisher's ebooks are sometimes more expensive than the paperbacks, and even the hardbacks: they want to deter this whole ebook thing. 

The thing is, the new technology has already taken over. Amazon announced in 2011 that they were selling more ebooks than print books, and now, it's not even close. 

Ebooks are the future. And they allow the writer to reach the reader and the reader to get great deals and find books they couldn't before. It's a win-win for everyone, except the drug dealers selling us overpriced paper. 

When Barnes and Noble goes out of business, and it certainly will with news like this, announcing that their stock dropped 17% and that they're thinking of starting a new company to handle the Nook, it will be a great day for book enthusiasts. 

Why?

Easy. First, those big publishers will realize they can't charge the same for an ebook as for hardback and the ebook prices should fall. 

Second, all those little mom and pop bookstores they have all over Europe might pop up here in the U.S. without the major chains to gobble them up. Print books can then be a little niche, like vinyl. 

All in all, the future is looking bright for writers and readers. So instead of mourning their loss, we should all say our farewells to Barnes and Noble, thank them for the years they helped us read, and wish them well in that long goodnight. 
By Victor Methos

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