The Morning Coffee – 23 September 2014

The Tuesday morning reading list leans to book blogging, with a dash of POD, Amazon, and book art mixed in.

  • An ingenious way to save the comments section (The Kernel)
  • Are Amazon exclusives the next big challenge for everybody else in publishing? (The Shatzkin Files)
  • Book Art Is Awesome: Grown Edition (BOOK RIOT)
  • Half a Dozen Regrettable Choices That Mark a Self-Published Book “Amateur” (Stephen Tiano)
  • It Isn't (Always) Personal: a Bloggers Take on Not Accepting Self-Published Books (Kate Tilton)
  • It's Not Just a Girls Club: The Boys of Book Blogging (I'm Lost in Books)
  • Why I Believe in the Future of Print-on-Demand Books (Publerati)

About Nate Hoffelder (11374 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on The Morning Coffee – 23 September 2014

  1. “Are Amazon exclusives the next big challenge for everybody else in publishing? (The Shatzkin Files)” – interesting piece, but wish the site had allowed comments.

    • It would also help if he actually looked beyond the Hudson to see that vendor/platform exclusives are nothing new in software, gaming, music, and even consumer electronics. The practice goes back decades. Even in books, a lot of specialty book stores have long trafficked in “exclusive” titles, rare and foreign editions not readily available elsewhere.

      And it would also help if he had noted that Amazon’s Select “exclusivity” doesn’t apply to print and that many indie publishers do print editions that get distributed to willing bookstores. (Emphasis on *willing*.)

      He does allude to the bookstores boycotting Amazon Publishing titles nudging customers to Amazon so he gets a half brownie point for hinting that Amazon exclusivity is at least in part a product of the establishment’s unwillingness to play along. As Amazon’s recent effort makes clear, they’re not all that interested in print, moving forward.

  2. Hi Nate,

    I just wanted to say thank you for including my article about bloggers not accepting self-published reviews. I hope it helps explain some of the reasoning behind the choice and why it generally isn’t personal.

  3. AltheGreatandPowerful // 24 September, 2014 at 3:38 am // Reply

    That’s why I don’t read many book blogs, because I can’t tell when the bloggers are shilling for the big 5 publishing houses and when they are just biased. I certainly won’t be reading yours.

    1) You don’t like indypub because there are too many books for you to choose from. That’s your JOB as a reviewer, isn’t it? Picking out relevant books, interesting books?
    Okay, you won’t drink from the firehose, that is a personal choice, isn’t it? Because other bloggers seem to manage it.

    2) You don’t like indypub because you don’t know if they are professionally edited, formatted, and designed.
    You review books, right? How is the quality not one of the things that needs to be reviewed? If you go look at reviews for appliances, I guarantee they will tell you if the machines don’t work. And you aren’t saying all indy books are bad, only that some are. Choosing not to review any indies because you don’t want to address POSSIBLE quality issues is certainly personal.

    3) You don’t review indypub because you are concerned that there’s no company to keep an author that you gave a bad review to from behaving badly. “Because of authors behaving unprofessionally many bloggers do not accept requests from self-published books.”
    Lets consider that. You are an author, how often do the traditional publishing houses have to reach out to make you behave? What’s stopped you from acting badly when you write reviews? How are you different than indy writers? How is this not personal?

    Now this can be hard to read, but let’s break this down even further.
    “So let’s stop trying to convince these readers to change their policies and instead focus on what we can do as professionals in this industry to produce quality work and make the connections we need to get it out there.”

    YOU are NOT ‘the industry.’ You are not a professional in this industry. You’re a blogger, an enthusiast who reads and posts for free. At best you’re a symbiote who helps the publishers in exchange for books, at worst you’re a parasite who doesn’t pay for their books like the rest of us.

    “The majority of book bloggers blog for fun and do not receive any compensation for doing so (and yes free review copies are received but this isn’t a perk, it is an exchange for much more time and effort than the book cost). In order to keep sane many bloggers only accept requests from larger publishers simply because it is manageable. By reviewing from the big five a reader can request and receive a limited number of books, review books already owned, and check out library books all without feeling swamped under a to be read pile that is much too large for any reader.

    Now does this have anything to do with the author? No! This is simply a way for the reader to manage their hobby and enjoy it.”
    As you said, you are just managing a hobby. Understandable, but that means that it is entirely your personal choice. Every time you reject an indy author simply because you can’t be bothered to look into the big pool of indy books, or because you think their MIGHT be less than professionally put together WITHOUT looking at it, or because you think they MIGHT behave badly simply because they aren’t working with a publisher, that is ALL personal. You’re a bigot. And that’s why I don’t read book bloggers like you.

    This criticism is not due to any review or lack of review from you or other bloggers, either. I am not a book author. I do write for a living, but it is nothing you are ever going to see unless you have a wild hair for archaeological reports…

    • Hi Al,

      Actually when I accepted review requests I did accept requests from all authors. I am sorry if you found my article offensive but my hope is that authors won’t be discouraged by policies that really have no personal malice behind them. But not all will see it that way and that is your choice.

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