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More and more annoyed at the book industry

I can’t tell you how pissed off I am with the book industry at the moment.

It’s such a shit service, it really is.

The mainstream media does a piss-poor job of getting to me. I can’t believe that publishers put out their books and sit on their hands hoping to get my cash. Stupidly inefficient.

I’m a fan of the Bourne books. The ones by Robert Ludlum — and now the mantle has been assumed by Eric Van Lustbader. The latest, The Bourne Sanction, came out on August 28th.

I had no idea.

And this really, really pisses me right off.

How did I find out? I was walking past the bookstore at Heathrow Airport, poked my nose in and happened to spot it.

Yes, I bought it. So in a way, the publishers can sit pretty. I’m a fan, I bought the book. All is good.

Well, no. I’m totally unsatisfied.

I want to subscribe to an author. I can’t be arsed visiting the piss-poor publishing industry websites. I want to FINISH a book and text ‘BOURNE’ or whatever to an international mobile number.

Then, 2 months before the book is due out, I want the first teaser paragraphs sent to me. Send me a text with a link.

Then 2 weeks before, I want to be reminded.

Then on the day of launch, I want another reminder.

Help me give you money, Mr Publisher.

I logged into Amazon a moment ago and found that Conn Iggulden, an author who I’ve been resolutely following since his wicked Roman books on Ceasar, has got a new one out.

Again. Where was the prompt? Where was the text message from the publisher?

It’s simply not good enough to just assume that the old-ways-are-the-best.

I live on text. Twitter. Jaiku.

I don’t read the Daily Sodding Mail. I don’t watch mainstream bollocks television.

You’re just dead lucky that I made the time to sit down and pop on to Amazon. Or walk by the bookstore.

And that, I think, is a ridiculous business model — to sit and wait — when folk like me will readily buy. If only we knew.

Won’t somebody PLEASE get these publishing companies into the 21st century. Or do I have to do this myself?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

28 replies on “More and more annoyed at the book industry”

I thought the Amazon recommendations stuff did that ? via e-mail ? I'm sure I keep getting mail about more recipe books when new ones from authors I like appear (to add to my ridiculously large collection – WhatleyDude you wanna see this load of books haha).

The problem with that option is that books can sit around for a very long time, and how would you feel if you picked up a book today in the UK and tried to send a text message, only to get an error message because the UK revamped all its premium rate codes a few years ago?

I have books at home which exhort me to buy the next edition – for a whole £2.99, which today actually costs more like £8 if I tried to buy it (assuming that the postal address even exists anymore).

Amazon used to have an “Alerts” service that would let you know when new books by specified authors came out, amongst other things.

I'm not sure what's happened to it since then.

But, yes, it's a tad strange that I have to find out about new books by polling rather than being notified

I feel the same way. I had no idea that Terry Prattchet had a new book out. I could sign up at various publishers' websites, or rely on word of mouth – but it's a bit hit and miss.

What I *really* want is an eBook reader. The Sony reader is ~£200. That's the same cost as 100 books from a charity shop or ~20 hardbacks. Waaaaay too much. If an eBook reader came with, say, £200 of vouchers to their store – I'd buy one in an instant.

I'd have it as
5 * £10 off
10 * £5 off
10 * £5 off when you spend £10 or more
25 * £2 off when you spend £5 or more.

Then, the publisher can see what I'm reading – and how I rate it – and push new books to me.

Or something similar.

Has anyone thought of subscribing to the Times Literary Suplement or the London Review of Books. Both are a push service delivered to you regularly and have the added advantage that you can flip down the top edge when your wife speaks to you over the breakfast table (they come with a special foldy bit).

It also acts as a ultra-geek shield on the train – you can be texting behind it and nobody ever suspects that you might be geeking behind such a non-geeky masthead. A ebook reader won't work nearly as well.

Has anyone thought of subscribing to the Times Literary Suplement or the London Review of Books. Both are a push service delivered to you regularly and have the added advantage that you can flip down the top edge when your wife speaks to you over the breakfast table (they come with a special foldy bit).

It also acts as a ultra-geek shield on the train – you can be texting behind it and nobody ever suspects that you might be geeking behind such a non-geeky masthead. A ebook reader won't work nearly as well.

I thought the Amazon recommendations stuff did that ? via e-mail ? I'm sure I keep getting mail about more recipe books when new ones from authors I like appear (to add to my ridiculously large collection – WhatleyDude you wanna see this load of books haha).

The problem with that option is that books can sit around for a very long time, and how would you feel if you picked up a book today in the UK and tried to send a text message, only to get an error message because the UK revamped all its premium rate codes a few years ago?

I have books at home which exhort me to buy the next edition – for a whole £2.99, which today actually costs more like £8 if I tried to buy it (assuming that the postal address even exists anymore).

Amazon used to have an “Alerts” service that would let you know when new books by specified authors came out, amongst other things.

I'm not sure what's happened to it since then.

But, yes, it's a tad strange that I have to find out about new books by polling rather than being notified

I feel the same way. I had no idea that Terry Prattchet had a new book out. I could sign up at various publishers' websites, or rely on word of mouth – but it's a bit hit and miss.

What I *really* want is an eBook reader. The Sony reader is ~£200. That's the same cost as 100 books from a charity shop or ~20 hardbacks. Waaaaay too much. If an eBook reader came with, say, £200 of vouchers to their store – I'd buy one in an instant.

I'd have it as
5 * £10 off
10 * £5 off
10 * £5 off when you spend £10 or more
25 * £2 off when you spend £5 or more.

Then, the publisher can see what I'm reading – and how I rate it – and push new books to me.

Or something similar.

Has anyone thought of subscribing to the Times Literary Suplement or the London Review of Books. Both are a push service delivered to you regularly and have the added advantage that you can flip down the top edge when your wife speaks to you over the breakfast table (they come with a special foldy bit).

It also acts as a ultra-geek shield on the train – you can be texting behind it and nobody ever suspects that you might be geeking behind such a non-geeky masthead. A ebook reader won't work nearly as well.

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