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Old 07-01-2010, 05:31 AM   #76
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It works by setting up a "page" for the entity you want to "like."
Yes, I understand how that works. That's definitely what I was suggesting.

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Feel free to check out mine (see the blue Facebook link below) and ask questions, if you want to know anything more detailed about how to get a page set up.
<reiterates: i am not a writer or a frequent user of facebook>

When I say the "I like this button", I mean a special widget you can get from facebook to put on your website - not just a link to the facebook page. The widget is actually rendered in your Facebook language (I noticed this due to having set my facebook language to "upside down" :-). I assume there's some reason for this special button, and so it might be worth looking at.
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:42 AM   #77
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I think it'll stick around. The pay-up-front model for entertainment far predates books, and artists (or "producers of entertaining content," if you don't consider what they make to be art) are going to demand some level of recompense to keep making what makes other people happy.

The public will *find* a way to pay them. I suspect that, over the next decade or two, we'll see a drastic erosion of middleman companies. They won't go away, because there'll always be a use for editing and marketing skills that some artists can't or don't want to acquire. But we'll see a lot more "small business" artists of all types, setting up their own websites & using their promotional skills to get people to pay them in a multitude of different ways.

We'll see pay-by-chapter, and social DRM, and "enhanced" paid packages (for free you get an image-only PDF or a string of blog posts; for $4 you get a collection of ebook types with color book covers & a personalized message from the author), and tie-ins with physical sales ("licensed ebook purchase gets you $2 off the cost of the t-shirt") and all sorts of other marketing methods. A lot of them will flop. A lot of the artists will actually be really lousy at their chosen craft, and think that since they're happy to spend an hour a day typing, they are authors, and someone will pay them to put out 80,000 words of navel-gazing ramble.

But in the scrambled mix, I expect we'll find new *effective* marketing methods. They may be a lot more varied... which opens opportunities for individuals & small companies to do the legwork of finding out which one will work for which artists, and charge for the results.

I don't expect "more effective DRM" to be part of the eventual solution pack. I'm with Doctorow in believing that things will *never* be harder to copy than they are right now; the new digital economies won't be dependent on preventing copies. They may be dependent on discouraging copies, but they'll use different methods for that, not something that keeps customers from reading their previously-purchased ebooks on their new tablets.
The pay-up-front may pre-date books, but there's not really anything in our history that can prepare us for the abundant nature of digital entertainment. And yes, there's money to be made on the pay-up-front model, for now, but the book buying audience at this moment in time is predominantly one that grew up on the idea of the object equaling value model. There's a great deal of nostalgic and fetishistic spillover from our earlier experiences when it comes to our consumption of media, generally speaking. I just can't see how the younger generations will continue with a pay-up-front model. Not when they've grown up with free everything, on -demand, instantly available products. Pay-as-you-like might have a chance (it's the one I'd prefer be in place) and at least it is equitable across the board, but I'm not holding my breath on that one either.

One thing is for sure, if you're in this for the mula and you're not hitting Amazon with at least 80% of your effort then you're shooting yourself in the foot. Although it pains me to say so, Amazon are for all purposes the winners in the format war.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:02 AM   #78
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"Kids today" hardly grow up with "free everything," and many of the "free" things they get are only due to the fact that someone else (their parents, their school, etc) is paying for them. They understand the value of money, and the need to use it. Sure, they'll take something that's free, but they also understand that things change.

Need I remind that Americans were used to "free" TV and radio for generations... yet, in less than 1 generation, we got used to paying for both, in exchange for more and better channels and quality (not always related to the programming itself).
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:25 AM   #79
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"Kids today" hardly grow up with "free everything," and many of the "free" things they get are only due to the fact that someone else (their parents, their school, etc) is paying for them. They understand the value of money, and the need to use it. Sure, they'll take something that's free, but they also understand that things change.

Need I remind that Americans were used to "free" TV and radio for generations... yet, in less than 1 generation, we got used to paying for both, in exchange for more and better channels and quality (not always related to the programming itself).
But even if everything isn't free, there is enough 'free' at good enough of a quality to directly compete with non-free now. We did not have that growing up. We did have to pay to get better, but better doesn't mean anything now. Look at how many people build their social life and activity around Facebook. It is completely free (but evil as a four horned Satan). Youtube (free), Grooveshark (free), Hulu (free), the list goes on.
and on. Every single Cory Doctorow book (free), public domain novels (free), creative commons products (free). Younger generations are growing up in a world where social status and activity is their entertainment, and it costs them nothing. Value is being measured in number of friends and becoming a fan, rather that in any monetary sense. All that is left is goodwill and the leftovers of our nostalgia for physical objects. When there is nothing to hold in your hand, when all is abundant, you have to shift your value system over, that's just a given.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:41 AM   #80
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But even if everything isn't free, there is enough 'free' at good enough of a quality to directly compete with non-free now. We did not have that growing up. We did have to pay to get better, but better doesn't mean anything now.
We had "free" growing up. We had TV and radio. We had libraries. We had free concerts in the park, by major professional artists. (Either you're much younger than I, or your memory is failing faster than mine.)

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Look at how many people build their social life and activity around Facebook. It is completely free (but evil as a four horned Satan). Youtube (free), Grooveshark (free), Hulu (free), the list goes on.
and on. Every single Cory Doctorow book (free), public domain novels (free), creative commons products (free).
And all transitory as hell, with the exception of public domain novels. Not losing sleep over that.

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Younger generations are growing up in a world where social status and activity is their entertainment, and it costs them nothing. Value is being measured in number of friends and becoming a fan, rather that in any monetary sense. All that is left is goodwill and the leftovers of our nostalgia for physical objects. When there is nothing to hold in your hand, when all is abundant, you have to shift your value system over, that's just a given.
And it's always been that way... for kids. When they grow up, however, they discover that a horde of friends on the other side of the world won't help you pay the rent... and that you want that cute girl in Kansas City to be more than just your "Facebook friend."

The grownup world still costs. The grownups are still in control of what costs, and the kids aren't making any plans to become the rich CEOs that bribe the congresspeople to keep costs in place. They're too busy bragging about the number of Facebook friends they have.

In any case, there's no use being worried about "those kids," since <tongue_planted_firmly_in_cheek> they don't read anything but specialty magazines devoted to whatever movies, cars, girls and surf hangouts they're really interested in. They're not reading our stuff... they don't even know it exists, beyond the pop stuff advertised in the specialty magazines. </tongue_planted_firmly_in_cheek>
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:57 AM   #81
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We had "free" growing up. We had TV and radio. We had libraries. We had free concerts in the park, by major professional artists. (Either you're much younger than I, or your memory is failing faster than mine.)



And all transitory as hell, with the exception of public domain novels. Not losing sleep over that.



And it's always been that way... for kids. When they grow up, however, they discover that a horde of friends on the other side of the world won't help you pay the rent... and that you want that cute girl in Kansas City to be more than just your "Facebook friend."

The grownup world still costs. The grownups are still in control of what costs, and the kids aren't making any plans to become the rich CEOs that bribe the congresspeople to keep costs in place. They're too busy bragging about the number of Facebook friends they have.

In any case, there's no use being worried about "those kids," since <tongue_planted_firmly_in_cheek> they don't read anything but specialty magazines devoted to whatever movies, cars, girls and surf hangouts they're really interested in. They're not reading our stuff... they don't even know it exists, beyond the pop stuff advertised in the specialty magazines. </tongue_planted_firmly_in_cheek>
You may be right, completely, but I'm having a hard time imagining how anybody can build sustainable business models in the face of generations who don't want to, and don't feel the need to equate any object with a money value. I do believe there are opportunities surrounding the fiction itself, in community driven projects and grants, but it's really all just curiosity and hunches from us all, no matter which way we approach this. And I'll admit, I have absolutely nothing to lose in this as I don't plan on trying to make money with my fiction (if I did, I would not be writing what I write and I would be focused exclusively on genre works and releasing them exclusively to Amazon just as a matter of common sense).

As it is I'll take the hundred or so people who've downloaded my latest story from places I've never visited and might never visit. Somewhere, in some corner of India, Denmark, Italy, the Korean Republic... in a bedroom or a living room in Holland, Malaysia and Turkey... maybe on some phone in the US or a Netbook in the UK....in all these places there's someone I don't know who might be reading what only a few days ago was an idea in my head. Some of them might enjoy that story. For some it might be just the right amount of escape to make their morning a little better, or maybe just enough to send them off to sleep. In my wildest dreams it's some young teenager who, having enjoyed what I wrote, writes something themselves and puts that out for others to read.

Writing is payment.

Last edited by Moejoe; 07-01-2010 at 10:48 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:25 AM   #82
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You may be right, completely, but I'm having a hard time imagining how anybody ban build sustainable business models in the face of generations who don't want to, and don't feel the need to equate any object with a money value.
That, I maintain, is simply not true.

Today's younger generations may be aware of things they can get for free that would have cost their parents to get... but they are also aware of the significance of that fact, because they do understand value. IOW, they understand the significance of getting something of value for free. And most of them also know the significance of the phrase "make hay while the sun shines."

Because of that, they are not going to overthrow the world when something of value that used to be free suddenly starts costing them. They'll gripe, they'll grumble, just like us old fogeys... and when they decide they still want that product, they'll pay for it. And life will go on. That's the way it has been ever since there has been society, and including the periods when movements specifically tried to change that... and failed miserably. I've seen nothing, not even in the web, to suggest that that will change.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:42 AM   #83
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That, I maintain, is simply not true.

Today's younger generations may be aware of things they can get for free that would have cost their parents to get... but they are also aware of the significance of that fact, because they do understand value. IOW, they understand the significance of getting something of value for free. And most of them also know the significance of the phrase "make hay while the sun shines."

Because of that, they are not going to overthrow the world when something of value that used to be free suddenly starts costing them. They'll gripe, they'll grumble, just like us old fogeys... and when they decide they still want that product, they'll pay for it. And life will go on. That's the way it has been ever since there has been society, and including the periods when movements specifically tried to change that... and failed miserably. I've seen nothing, not even in the web, to suggest that that will change.
I'm not sure I get this, if you believe that people will pay in the future then you should be excited, not annoyed and calling for draconian new laws to imprison your works. It's not like the ebook market is going to shrink, it can only grown in the future.

So taking this into account and that 80% of e-book sales are made through Amazon, why are you not on Amazon now? And yes I know of your earlier annoyances with them, but it seems counter-productive to avoid that market as it continues to grow. They have the best deal for profit-centred authors at the moment, you'd be clearing $2 on each sale of a book at $2.99. Even without a marketing budget, you'd probably get casual sales that wouldn't have been there beforehand. For writers who want to make money, I can't see any downsides at all.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:29 AM   #84
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I'm not sure I get this, if you believe that people will pay in the future then you should be excited, not annoyed and calling for draconian new laws to imprison your works. It's not like the ebook market is going to shrink, it can only grown in the future.
Very loaded text there, which I've addressed earlier, so... moving on.

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So taking this into account and that 80% of e-book sales are made through Amazon, why are you not on Amazon now? And yes I know of your earlier annoyances with them, but it seems counter-productive to avoid that market as it continues to grow. They have the best deal for profit-centred authors at the moment, you'd be clearing $2 on each sale of a book at $2.99. Even without a marketing budget, you'd probably get casual sales that wouldn't have been there beforehand. For writers who want to make money, I can't see any downsides at all.
For whatever reason, my foray into Amazon sales for 1 year netted me fewer sales in that year than I got on my website in a month (I'm talking single-digits... in a year). With no ad budget to push my books up in notice against other, well-ad-financed books, and with no recommendations among Amazon users, no one ever found my books, and so I saw little point in keeping the books there. (You can't clear $2 on a $2.99 book that never sells.)

Biggest problem on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, etc: Being found among the growing piles of ebooks, and more being submitted every day.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:05 PM   #85
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Steve, on the Over The Air/Cable switch, you miss the fact that you got something you couldn't get otherwise for your money. It was that extra that people were willing to pay for.

Better Reception.
More channels.
For pay movie channels which made movie watching cheaper than theaters.

Some people weren't willing to pay for them, and some aren't willing today.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:12 PM   #86
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Steve, on the Over The Air/Cable switch, you miss the fact that you got something you couldn't get otherwise for your money. It was that extra that people were willing to pay for.

Better Reception.
More channels.
For pay movie channels which made movie watching cheaper than theaters.

Some people weren't willing to pay for them, and some aren't willing today.
I'm not missing that at all... it's exactly my point. My belief is that ebook related features/services will arise that, for most customers, will be worth paying for and not worth risking the consequences of violating copyright laws to circumvent... just like the situation we have with cable.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:24 PM   #87
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I'm not missing that at all... it's exactly my point. My belief is that ebook related features/services will arise that, for most customers, will be worth paying for and not worth risking the consequences of violating copyright laws to circumvent... just like the situation we have with cable.
I think that most customers are now already wanting to pay for contents, even with the plain ebooks that we have now. And I think that most customers do want to conform to the copyright laws, not only because of the consequences of violating them, but because they consider them for the greatest part fair. But there are a couple of aspects that are unfair, for example the prohibition to convert your honestly paid DRM'ed ebooks to another device. For example when you got fed up with your Kindle and you want a Sony. Or when you had bought Mobipockets in the past and they are no more supported on your new device.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:31 PM   #88
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Steve, if there was a mechanism whereby the only people who could read your books were those who'd paid for them, what difference do you estimate it would make to your income from them?
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:35 PM   #89
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I'm not missing that at all... it's exactly my point. My belief is that ebook related features/services will arise that, for most customers, will be worth paying for and not worth risking the consequences of violating copyright laws to circumvent... just like the situation we have with cable.
My point is that people are not paying for content with cable. They are paying for delivery of content. Different animal. (for pay channels are different)

For example, someone pay for internet access. They "pirate" some I.P. The fact they are paying for internet access is a different fee (like a cable fee) than for the I.P they are acquiring...
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #90
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Biggest problem on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, etc: Being found among the growing piles of ebooks, and more being submitted every day.
Which is a concern I've been voicing about on various forums for some time.

I get shouted down by some who cite that good books will always rise to the top because of reviews, recommendations and access to samples, no matter how many e-books there are out there...I'm really not so sure though...
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