Category Archives: Da Book

Amazon Blinked

So it would look like Amazon has blinked first.

On Amazon's discussion board,

“Dear Customers:

Macmillan, one of the “big six” publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases.

We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it’s reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don’t believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.

Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never expected it to be easy!

Thank you for being a customer.”

At least now Macmillan and it's ebooks will stand or fail on the pricing that Macmilan chooses to set, as opposed to being forced to set a certain price by Amazon. Although it is interesting to see Amazon try to paint themselves as a victim in all this as opposed to trying to force a monopoly and monopsony in the ebook market.

One amusing part of this message is this.

“We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles”

Yes – they have a monopoly over the books that they own – that is, after all, what copyright means.

Which is, of course, completely different to having your books only readable on a Kindle…

Press Release

Tuesday 20th December

The Friday Project secures publishing rights to London Ambulance Service blogger, 'Random Acts of Reality'

The Friday Project is delighted to announce that it has secured the rights to 'Random Acts of Reality', a book based on the acclaimed online diary of London-based Emergency Medical Technician (E.M.T.), Tom Reynolds.

Tom began working as a nurse for the NHS at the age of 23. He worked in four hospitals but moved to the London Ambulance Service after realising that working in A&E was making him 'want to torture patients'. Now, as an E.M.T., he has finally found his true calling – so much so that he has stopped torturing 'all but the congenitally obnoxious… and drunks.'

Since 2003, Tom has kept an online diary (or 'weblog', or even 'blog'), candidly recording every aspect of his daily working life. From the tragic to the hilarious, from the heartwarming to the terrifying, the stories Tom tells give a fascinating – and at times alarming – picture of life in inner-city Britain, and the people who are paid to mop up after it.

Random Acts of Reality will be published in August 2006 in paperback format. It will also be the first mainstream UK title to be published online in its entirety under a Creative Commons Licence.

Paul Carr, Editor-in-Chief of The Friday Project explains: “Like many people in the media, we've been huge fans of Tom's writing for a long time. When we first approached him about turning his blog into a book, he suggested that we might also publish an online edition to allow people to access the full text electronically before deciding whether to purchase a hard copy.

It's a fantastic idea and one that suits the material perfectly.

And hopefully it will encourage other publishers to be less nervous about making material available online in order to increase hardcopy sales.”

Publishing under a Creative Commons Licence makes the entire text of the book available online and also entitles readers to download it, and reproduce it for personal, non-commercial use.

The publisher and the author retain all commercial publishing rights to the material.

The paperback edition of the book will be available in all good bookshops, published under The Friday Project's 'Friday Books'



Do you know how hard it is to keep quiet about something when you blog about pretty much anything that wanders across your mind? You'll notice I have a new category 'Da Book', where I'll put anything that occurs while I write the thing. It won't 'bubble up' to the main page, so as to not fill this blog with booky concerns.