The Loudness Of Dust Settling

December 19, 2008

The Axe, the Book, and the Ad

A friend (and author) called me recently after visiting a large bookstore in Northern California and, his voice suitably hushed, told me that, on a weekday, he had been the only customer in sight. That’s typical of the nightmarish tales about traffic in bookstores and book sales now ripping through my world as 2008 ends.

Emphasis added by me.

Why is this a surprise?

Back on June 20, 2008, I posted:

Even at Shakespeare & Co.’s NoHo store (which used to have great stock; and which now doesn’t).

But they weren’t.

And then I looked around.

And, dear God almighty!, the stores should have had tumbleweeds running through them because they were like abandoned ghost towns!

This was all in Manhattan.

This has never, ever happened before.

Even in past recessions, I’ve seen people in books stores. The places were alive. Now they are dead.

Which now really amps up my contempt for the shitheads running the dying dinosaurs of print.

Do you ever get out of your fucking offices and visit the places that actually sell your books?

How could you miss the fact the loudest noise you’ll hear in those bookstores is the sound of dust settling?

eBooks grew at over seventy percent in the last year.

Why isn’t that a big enough hint for you lot to change course? To sound the Red Alert klaxon and get busy as all hell adapting to the new marketplace? Is it your intent to avoid being where your customers are?

All of you former publishing employees — again: If you’re such hot shit, Get It Done.


eSlick eBook Reader: GTFOH! Srsly!

December 19, 2008

Via Twitter from booksin140:

ESlick E-Book Reader Cheapest, Ugliest Yet

From the Specifications page:

eBook Formats: PDF, TXT, Any printable document(after converted to PDF using included software)

I have one primary question: Why are you bringing this piece of shit to market?

PDF and TXT?

Are you all out of your fucking minds?

Why are you going to add to the existing confusion about eBook file formats by releasing something that can read none of them?

What greed-infected jackass at your company thought this shit was a good idea?

What, you got wind that “eBooks are the New New Thing” and decided to pickpocket a few pennies from suckers wandering down that garden path?

Do you really think there aren’t people out here in Blogland who can’t see this shit for what it is — and won’t call it the shit that it is?

Well, surprise! This is your lucky day. You’ve just run into the one person in Blogland who will call it the shit that it is!

This is an embarrassment.

No, really. It is. You look like a pack of doofuses.

Call it a mistake. Claim you all had a collective aneurysm and this somehow got loose onto the Internets because someone hit Send instead of dialing 911 for an ambulance.

Anything.

Just get rid of it.

It’s not good for one fucking thing, no matter what the price.

And that slugline? “Save money to buy more e-books”? — to what? Read on a Sony Reader? Your piece of shit can’t read eBooks!

Here’s a more honest slugline: “Save your money for a Sony Reader.”

Srsly.