Follow up to Wednesday’s post about Agency pricing and the online store


First the store: It’s not working and I don’t know why it’s not working. Shopp’s help system isn’t very helpful but I plan to create a help ticket (or whatever they call it) sometime tomorrow morning.

Until this gets fixed, everyone who buys a story directly from me will have to wait for me to email the file to them. I’m terribly sorry, but I don’t see another way to handle this for right now. To complicate things, I’m going away this weekend and don’t know how much internet access I’ll have. No matter what, I hope to get some Starbucks time to check emails and so forth.

Anyway, yeah I suck. No big.

About the agency pricing thing: John Scalzi already wrote some sensible advice for people who root for one side or the other in the ebook price battles. But one thing I want to point out (and I’ve talked about this before, bear with me) is that these changes are not the result of some inexorable process.

For too many people, the changes we see around us are treated as though they’re the result of “natural” progressions. They think that New York City has a bunch of highways cutting through it because people like cars, and that’s also Los Angeles dumped the trolley system in favor of all those freeways. But that’s bullshit; people made those decisions, and they didn’t make them because Americans were clamoring for it. They had the power to do what they thought was best and highways were it.

You can argue whether it was a good choice or not (I think not) but despite the fact that people love cars and were buying cars as fast as we could make them, other choices could have been made, other directions taken.

The same is true for ebooks. E-readers and ebooks are beloved by some people, and they want more and more of them. I don’t find ebooks very convenient but I’m not against them–the first half of this post was all about the difficulties I’ve had selling them.

Still talking about “publishers fighting to protect their old business model” or “Time to get ready for this new economy” is childish crap. It’s Naivete dressed up in Cynicism’s old clothes. There is no unavoidable future here, there are only choices. Either we make the choices, or people with money and power will make them for us.

Personally, I’d like to see us work on a system that fosters competitiveness and openness, and you don’t get that with either collusion or monopolies.