He placed his long-fingered hand on Jeff’s chest. Jeff heard himself whimper quietly from somewhere beyond his control. “And what about content, Jeff? I assume there are restrictions? You have to take the fun out of it somehow.”

“Well we’re not allowing crossover, where characters from two fictional worlds interact.” Jeff could barely get the words out now. He had never felt this strange intensity, this lust for anyone. He felt a strange throb where his soul had once been, years ago.

Amazon to monetize fan fiction, he moaned | MobyLives

Dustin wrote Jeff Bezos fan fiction and it is beautiful.

(via libraryjournal)

Neither of them is very confident, however, about Goodreads’ future. “I’m a very faithful user!” Mickelsen explained, but “I don’t trust Amazon’s business practices.” Shea worries that it will be “difficult to discern what recommendations come from [Goodreads’] algorithm and what have been paid for.” Leah White, reader services librarian from Northbrook P.L. in Illinois said, “I worry about the consolidation of reading resources on the internet—Amazon now owns Shelfari, Audible, and Goodreads” as well being the biggest retailer of books on the internet. “This lack of diversity scares me.”
Will Librarians Still Use Goodreads? by your LJ tumblrer, in which collection development and readers’ advisory mavens Erin Shea, Leah White, Anna Mickelsen, and Robin Bradford discuss Amazon’s recent purchase. (via libraryjournal)
The move also adds to the sense that Amazon is slowly buying up much of the book world. Over some 15 years, the company has bought,, Brilliance Audio, the Book Depository, Shelfari,, Lexcycle, BookSurge, CreateSpace, and (through AbeBooks) 40% of Library Thing.

Amazon Buying Goodreads: Industry Reactions - Shelf Awareness

Pretty impressive list of ownership by Amazon. And by impressive, I mean “thoughtfully frightening sometimes”.

(via booksyarnink)



Now that we’ve dealt with the price gouging (sort of), I think its time we turned our attention to other issues. 

"This should be one of the great advances of ebooks: that if the printer makes a mistake, everyone doesn’t have to live with it until they sell through a million copies or whatever."

"One of the curious things about SEO optimization is that it works by altering webpages so that they market themselves: that is, instead of creating ads external to the thing advertised, you re-shape the thing itself so that it’s easier to find and more interesting and attractive to link-clickers. And if we can do it with webpages, why not with, say, books? Why shouldn’t books undergo whatever ongoing tweaking they need to be as successful as possible?"

(via LISNews)


From PWxyz, The Average Book Has 64,500 Words:

According to Amazon’s great Text Stats feature, the median length for all books is about 64,000 words. The figure was found through looking at a number of books’ text stats, until Brave New World‘s 64,531 word count landed in the exact center of all books–50% of books have fewer words and 50% of books have more words. PWxyz isn’t sure how useful this information is, but because we secretly like math, we’re all for injecting objective truths into subjective fields like literature. (Which is why things like this happen.) But it is nice to know, when you pick up a book and feel its weight, where it stands in relation to all others. Anyway, here’s a sampling of classics and where their word counts land them on the spectrum.

Animal Farm   29,966 words   (75% of books have more words)
Ethan Frome  30,191 words     (75% of books have more words)
The Crying of Lot  49 46,573 words     (64% of books have more words)
Slaughterhouse-Five  47,192 words     (64% of books have more words)
We Have Always Lived in the Castle  53,510 words     (58% of books have more words)
Lord of the Flies  62,481 words     (51% of books have more words)
Brave New World  64,531 words     (50% of books have more words)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  70,570 words     (45% of books have more words)
Portnoy’s Complaint  78,535 words     (41% of books have more words)
Lolita  112,473 words     (21% of books have more words)
Madame Bovary  117,963 words     (18% of books have more words)
Mansfield Park  159, 344 words     (9% of books have more words)
Moby-Dick  209,117 words     (4% of books have more words)
East of Eden  226,741 words     (3% of books have more words)
Ulysses  262,869 words     (2% of books have more words)
Middlemarch  310,593 words     (2% of books have more words)
War and Peace  544,406 words     (0% of books have more words)

(via libraryjournal)

"Last year I published my children’s book about computer science, Lauren Ipsum. I set a price of $14.95 for the paperback edition and sales have been pretty good. Then last week I noticed a marketplace bot offering to sell it for $55.63. “Silly bots”, I thought to myself, “must be a bug”. After all, it’s print-on-demand, so where would you get a new copy to sell?

Then it occured to me that all they have to do is buy a copy from Amazon, if anyone is ever foolish enough to buy from them, and reap a profit. Lazy evaluation, made flesh. Clever bots!

Then another bot piled on, and then one based in the UK. They started competing with each other on price. Pretty soon they were offering my book below the retail price, and trying to make up the difference on “shipping and handling”. I was getting a bit worried.

The punchline is that Amazon itself is a bot that does price-matching. Soon after the marketplace bot’s race to the bottom, it decided to put my book on sale! 28% off. I can’t wait to find out what that does to my margin. (Update: nothing, it turns out. Amazon is eating the entire discount. This is a pleasant surprise.)

My reaction to this algorithmic whipsawing has settled down to a kind of helpless bemusement. I mean, the plot of my book is about how understanding computers is the first step to taking control of your life in the 21st century. Now I don’t know what to believe.”

(via LISNews)