the state of things

 

The New Season Begins With A Goal In the First Five Seconds For The Opposition

by Douglas Lindsay - 12:42 on 01 November 2010

Interesting facts from the pages of the Bookseller last week. James Patterson has become the second writer after Stieg Larsson to sell more than a million ebooks through Amazon - [included in that statistic are, of course, those which PATTERSON NEVER ACTUALLY WROTE, but what the hey...] - and, in the thirty days to 26th October, ebooks outsold hardbacks and paperbacks combined, 2 to 1 on Amazon.com. That last statistic is pretty extraordinary.


There are dark forces blowing through the publishing industry, as it goes the same way as music. Ebooks are taking over, momentum is growing, and soon the paperback will have gone the way of the vinyl disc and the CD, with nothing left but the niche market.


For those of you interested in very niche market statistics, in October, ebook sales accounted for 29.16667% of Long Midnight Publishing's business for the month.


So, the late autumn period begins, and we get down to business for the pre-Christmas period. Encouraging start with this review from Jane Smith at the Self-Publishing Review for Lost in Juarez. Given the history of the Barney Thomson novels, and the overseas editions and the fact that a large publisher in Italy actually paid to translate Juarez - and not to mention the fact that Long Midnight Publishing is a major international conglomerate with offices in seventeen countries - I tend to think of the Barney series and Juarez as a bit apart from other self-published books. But they're not. Not really. Nevertheless, I sent Juarez willingly to this site with some confidence.


Hubris will, of course, get you nothing but a sharp and crunching blow to the testicles. This from the review:


The author's style is staccato and repetitious: he frequently uses sentence fragments and seems to be aiming for a hard-edged tone which at times morphs into pastiche. There were several confusing passages; a few lines which made no sense at all; a scattering of odd punctuation choices including an ellipsis of magnificent proportions; and a post-coital scene which was so full of adolescent self-importance that I found myself cringing as I read it.


(There are just so many different quotes to choose from for the cover of the second edition.)


Gosh, when you're writing scenes of adolescent self-importance in your 40's and on your eighth book, one might presume to be in the wrong job. Fortunately I was intending to sort out my tax return this week, so the nuclear weapon exploded at the core of my writing id won't have any effect just yet. Post tax-return, I can perhaps eschew writing for a while and begin that astronaut training that I've been putting off since I was eighteen.


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