Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday's Whats?

We really hit our seasonal slowdown this week. It happens every year, eventually.

The better than average business was nice while it lasted.


Read an important chapter of my book last night at writer's group, which was picked to shreds. I agreed with the criticism, mostly. There just isn't much I can do about it --- yet.

As I near the end of the first draft, it becomes more and more clear that I've got some major reworking to do. I'm going to need to shuffle the plot around. For instance, my second chapter really needs to come later, and the chapter I read last night, (the 13th chapter) really needs to come a lot earlier.

So just move them around, right?

But then every other part of the story also has to be changed. Arrgghh.

It's the price I pay for writing my story blind. But I've found that writing a story as a way of discovering the story is the only way I can write.

One of the writers was shocked that I didn't know the end of the book until the 13th chapter.

What usually happens with me, is I just get a glimpse of an idea and start writing. About 50 pages in, I usually get a glimmer of a rough outline for the rest of the books. And then about 2/3rds of the way in, the total plot comes into focus.

But like I said, the price I pay is finding out crucial plot points halfway or more through the book....


They keep talking about Halloween being a big retail holiday. Not for me. Don't see any bump at all.


This Falls T.V. shows:

I've completely lost interest in Ringer. Not much good material for Sarah Michelle Geller to work with there.

Terra Nova looks like mediocre Star Trek. Which is enough for me to keep watching.

Boardwalk Empire keeps floundering -- promising lots of action and delivering lots of talk.

Dexter -- love the character of Dexter's sister. Scenes come alive when she's on.

Alphas -- some reviewer (Salon or Slate) pointed out the above (Deb of Dexter being a firecracker) and also pointed out the kid who is autistic in this show being the best character, to which I totally agree.

C.S.I. Las Vegas: Starting to become a habit show, which isn't good. Still enough to keep me on board, but not excited by it.

Looking forward to Walking Dead, though the showrunner from last year is gone, which can't be good.

Mentalist: Another habit show.

Homeland: I like it, but I can tell they are going to stretch it out and out and out.......

The Good Wife. Still probably the best network show out there.

At least we've gotten in the delay habit. DVR'ing shows and watching them all later. Figure it saves me several hours a week.


Interesting about Chase opening two new branches in Central Oregon. I'll be closing my account there by the end of the month. I had a vestigial account that didn't cost me anything from the days when I got a business loan from Western Bank, which was pre-Washington Mutual, which was pre-Chase.

U.S. Bank offered me a line-of-credit as backup to my checking years ago, so it's been my preferred bank.

If I could start fresh, I'd go to a local bank or even a credit union, but I don't like making changes all the time.


I think the Digital Trolls keep missing the point.

One of the online digital sites asked: what percentage of the cover price of a comic they'd be willing to pay for a digital version?

About 60% would be willing to pay up to 60% of the price.

Only about 10% were willing to buy 80% to 100% of the price.

But that still begs the question of whether it makes any sense to even PRODUCE a comic at those numbers.

I'm sure 100% of these digital trolls would buy your comic for FREE.

I've designed my store to let the bargain hunters go elsewhere with a shrug of my shoulders.

Once upon a time I chased them, and always to my regret.

I wish the publishers would grow a spine. They're running scared. They are going to chase customers at the cost of profits, and they'll get no thanks for it. They won't satisfy the digital trolls until it's free, I tell you.

Let them go. Make the profits while you can. Then, when the field clears, do what you have to do. Following the digital trolls downward is only going to lose you money in the short run and eventually you'll be so weak you won't be able to implement whatever solution emerges.

I'm not saying we won't have to change. I'm saying, keep trying to make money until you know what shape that change is going to take. Constantly tacking to the wind only makes you weaker.

Making the big bet, the way Barnes and Noble has done, is just a huge gamble. And most gambles fail. (Borders failed because they made a whole bunch of mistakes -- not having a e-reader being the least of them, in my opinion.)

I think publishers are acting like a bunch of ninnies, running scared from a bunch of digital trolls who really don't have the purchasing power they think they have. Most of them haven't supported their local shops or bought anything retail forever.


Duncan McGeary said...

If the ONLY way I can win you over is by price, I've already lost you.

Because they price you want will always be below the price I can sell and still pay my bills.

And there will always be someone stupid out there who will sell to you below the price that will pay their bills.


Because they're stupid. There are a whole lot of them.

Don't believe me?

Just make a list of the two kinds of stores and see which ones are still around after 5 years.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"I think publishers are acting like a bunch of ninnies, running scared from a bunch of digital trolls who really don't have the purchasing power they think they have. Most of them haven't supported their local shops or bought anything retail forever."

I don't know about all the other "digital trolls," but I used to buy A LOT of books retail before I got a Nook. Like, before going on vacation I would pick up half a dozen paperbacks for beach reading. This year I downloaded half a dozen Nook books instead.

Duncan McGeary said...

As I've mentioned, I'm selling books with my eyes wide open. I came in after many of the changes, so knew what I was up against.

Sales have continued to increase.

Because I'm downtown, my job is to have good books in the store and proximity to customers and nature will take it's course...

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a WaMu in there somewhere on the Western Bank to Chase thread? Man I miss Western. Been very happy with South Valley. Haven't transferred everything there yet, as I've got extremely favorable terms on an old HELOC with them. Otherwise...

Duncan McGeary said...


You're right. It was WaMu not Countrywide. I'm going to correct that.

Yeah, Western Bank was easy to work with.

H. Bruce Miller said...

Just went to download Ron Chernow's biography of Washington to my Nook and discovered it costs $27.99. WTF?!? That's only a dollar less than the friggin' HARDBOUND edition!

It's simply outrageous to charge that much for ANY e-book, considering that the costs of production and distribution are practically nil. I'll either buy the paperback or not get the damn book at all. I suspect many other "digital trolls" will do the same.

Jack Goodman said...

And while I agree with you Dunc about the "digital trolls" I agree with Bruce in part as well. Cover price should only be for an item I can put on a shelf, hold, let my buddy borrow, etc. Full price for a novel or comic in digital format...well that just smacks of stupidity in my book. The idea that I'm paying full price for a set of binary code on some machine somewhere just perplexes me. Of course I buy mostly trades now anyway (sorry I haven't been in in a while...broke like everyone else).

Anonymous said...

Price on digital is starting to piss people off, especially on "big" books. Just wait till that's the only game in town.

As for TV, Sons of Anarchy remains the best thing going.

H. Bruce Miller said...

Found out yesterday that Amazon is selling the Kindle version of the Chernow book for $9.99. Is B&N trying to commit corporate suicide?

Anonymous said...

An concept that I am curious about with digital is the personal library. With digital content, is it really owned by the purchaser?

When tech changes, or rights shift away from the provider that it was purchased from, is it still yours. Hard copies like dvds, books, comics, are moot. Cloud storage, or change of devices could mean your 500 books you purchase won't be there down the road.

I think that digital content is going to end up being more like renting.


H. Bruce Miller said...

"I think that digital content is going to end up being more like renting."

I'm fine with that, because I use my Nook for books that I'll most likely read only once. But if I'm only renting a book I don't want to pay full purchase price for it.