Beyond Cloud Nine (Beyond Saga Book 1) by Greg Spry
File Size: 2486 KB
Print Length: 391 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0990822400
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Greg Spry; 1 edition (September 17, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Author site: www.gregspry.com
When author Greg Spry submitted Beyond Cloud Nine to me for review and described the book's main character, who is of American/Japanese heritage, I immediately accepted.
I have always had an affection for Japan and the Japanese and think it's really too bad about that whole WW II thing. Why? Well, it's not because I have any close friends who are Japanese, though my buddy from my days at MicroPro, publisher of WordStar for you antiques out there, Todd Judge, lives in Japan with his Japanese wife and their extremely cute identical twin daughters.
I have never been to Japan. I speak no Japanese, though I've read extensively about the history of the country and its culture, and recently bought a used copy of The Yakuza from E-bay, a movie I saw when it was first released in the 70s and have never forgotten. And I have a ton of Japanese plane and ship models I one day intend to build if I can live long enough.
I also enjoy Japanese manga (I read it online mainly here) and and watch a fair amount of anime online (currently working through Vampire Knight, though the lachrymose sound track is really grating). Elements of manga and anime are tightly woven into my own novel, Rule-Set, another tribute to my interest in Japan.
Interestingly enough, I didn't much care for the animes of the 60s and 70s, especially Speed Racer with that stupid monkey, though Tobor the X-Man was a bit more palatable. I knew the Warshawsky brothers had made a mistake when they announced they were doing a live action version of Speed Racer. Any comic that features a monkey wearing a hat is trouble.
The reason for my soft spot for the Japanese is Mrs. Narita, my third grade teacher at PS 86 in the Bronx. Mrs. Narita was Japanese American and, as I recall, very cute. Even better was the fact that Mrs. Narita appreciated my compulsive desire to read. By third grade, the phrase that probably most defined my early childhood was "Ricky, get your nose out of that book." During a parent/teacher conference, Mrs. Narita informed my mother and father that my vocabulary had become so extensive that she found herself reaching for the dictionary when talking with me. (No, I wasn't a boy genius. My math skills were as horrid as my reading skills were good.)
I really was a very good reader, but I've always wondered if Mrs. Narita had not come to the strategic conclusion that while I had my head pointed towards my lap as I ignored my other lessons on history, math, spelling and so on, I was less likely to trouble her and the rest of the class. Regardless, my parents were quite pleased with that aspect of the meeting and the entire incident was the high point of my elementary school career. My affection for Japan was set in my heart.
But enough reminiscing. Let's move onto the review.
The primary protagonist of Beyond Cloud Nine is Brooke Davis, the daughter of an American father and Japanese mother. The story kicks off in the year 2247 and homo sapiens has spread into the solar system as far as the moons of Jupiter. A political crisis is underway as different colonies begin the process of breaking away from Mother Earth and their nations of origin. Compounding the problem is that humanity is on the brink of finally mastering faster than light (FTL) technology, bringing travel to the stars within reach. Who will first have access to the technology, and when, has become a flash point in the gathering crisis.
When we first meet our heroine, she's been deployed on a UN (sigh. Yes, the UN. If you read my review of Second Chance, you know what I think of the UN. To see what I think about the UN, go rent Idiocracy. Oh well. It's convenient) space carrier assigned to protect the FTL project, named Luminosity, from terrorist attacks. Brooke is a serious badass in the tradition of Starbuck in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica and demonstrates it by taking a wrench to the face of her wingman after they have a disagreement about battle tactics. Gotta love the girl.
The action kicks off with a battle between Brooke's fighter squadron and a group of terrorists who we later find out are much more than they seem. One of the best aspects of Cloud Nine is that author Spry works to make the science feel real, something I also strove for in my novel. Here's his description of Brooke preparing to launch in her "SF-522 Starthroat" and intercept a group of baddies:
She fastened her helmet to her armor and sealed her face shield, feeling like a futuristic knight. After the safety harness clamped down around her shoulders, locking her in place, the canopy closed. Gravity gel rose up above her boots, legs, torso, and helmet until it filled the cockpit. The gel buoyed up her body, soothing her as if she’d crawled back into the womb.
What's fun about this passage is that it's scientifically feasible. One of the problems with most descriptions of space battles is they're always a bit ludicrous if you know anything about Newtonian physics. On Earth, the limits of human anatomy generally restrict us to Gs between the 5 to 15 range for any extended period. At speeds that can generate those Gs, ship-to-ship combat in space is a slow, tedious affair. I'm not sure how many Gs Star Trek's warp drive theoretically generates, but it's enough to rename the ship the USS Strawberry Jam. (Yes, I know they have "inertial dampening systems" on board the Enterprise, but no one ever attempts to explain how they work.)
By contrast, Greg's gel system could indeed enable a pilot to endure hundreds of Gs, turning space based fighter-to-fighter combat into something that wouldn't put you to sleep. Of course, I'm hoping in the future mankind will be as one and no one will be shooting at each other. But if we are, let's not be boring about it.
The rest of the book also strives for a feeling of reality and creates a world of the future you can believe in. His description of how an FTL-driven spaceship might handle and operate appears to be based on the Alcubierre drive and feels solid. Cityscapes set in a future Chicago were also enjoyable and had a nice hard edge.
The author is also good at building interesting, sympathetic characters. Some of the best writing in Beyond deals with the interaction of Brooke with her identical twin Marie and her niece Maya. In fact, if I have any criticism of the novel, it's that author Spry concentrates on providing slam bang action and perhaps needs to focus on the human factor a bit more in Beyond's sequel. For example, I thought the relationship between Brooke and Kevin Sommerfield, the scientist responsible for the Luminosty project, could have been built out further.
To sum up, a blast to read. Professionally copyedited and composed. Scientifically well constructed. If you enjoy strong feminine leads, definitely your cup of tea. If you're ethnically Asian or share an Asian background, a must read. Go buy it.
And Mrs. Narita, wherever you are, I still love you.
The Orb of Chaos Vol.1: No Rest for the Wicked by M. Ray Allen
File Size: 2752 KB
Print Length: 558 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615874029
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Lucky Duck Publishing (January 19, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
I first read the Lord of the Rings in the original "unauthorized" US Ace editions ( the ones that really annoyed J.R.R. Tolkien and inspired him to write his famous note about courtesy to living authors in the early, authorized Ballantine versions of TLOR). It is ironic that the whole kerfuffle was sparked by Tolkien's belief that his epic fantasy would be harmed by appearing in:
“ ‘degenerate a form’ as the paperback book.'”
Ace's book were not pirated edition of the series BTW, as the interpretations of US law at the time seemed to support the position that Tolkien had mishandled his copyrights. (I'm not going to go into this as trying to explain copyright laws and IP licensing gives me the hives. I do have a friend whose legal specialty is IP and I notice that he seems to scratch himself a lot.)
While I don't think he ever appreciated it, those degenerate Ace editions spread Tolkien's fame far and wide among the beatniks, hipsters and flower people of the 50s, 60s and 70s. From there, the series moved up and out and eventually filled his and his family's coffers with enough loot to fill up a reasonably sized room in Smaug's Ereborian pied a terre.
Now, I know I'm going to catch a great deal of heat for this observation, but I think Tolkien overrated himself (I know, I know. I have a lot of nerve. How many mega-best seller have I written? But give me time). I don't think TLOR is great literature. I think it's a very good yarn and a stunning achievement in popular culture as is Dracula and The Wizard of Oz, two other books that don't quite scale the literary peaks high enough to reach that ultimate summit we call "literature."
Perhaps the problem lies in the character of Sauron. We never learn much about him or his personal motivations for wanting to conquer Middle-Earth. When we first “meet” him, he’s faceless and remains so for the length of the trilogy. I’ve always wondered why TLOR didn’t provide Sauron with a richer backstory. Tolkien was, after all, a master of creating detailed, three dimensional imaginary worlds. Perhaps something like the below would have helped:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Mirkwood,
I’m writing you per our agreement to update you on Little Sauron’s progress at Middle-Earth Elementary School. While everyone is sure your son is a bright and inquisitive child, the current state of his peer interactions remains a concern (though, in his defence, many of the senior staff find Little Sauron enchanting and predict he has a bright future. Still, I must report on what I see).
For instance, today at Lunch Recess, your son attempted to transform several members of the First Grade into Uruk-hai, frightening several of his classmates terribly and even causing one little Elvish girl to wet herself. Little Sauron has also volunteered to take care of the class bunny, something that I initially thought was a hopeful sign, but now I am not so sure. When I went over to Bombadil to check on his well-being, I noticed his incisors were abnormally sharp and he nipped at me. Also, I do not believe bunnies normally salivate much.
Another issue has arisen that must be discussed. As you know, Middle-Earth Elementary School serves a diverse educational audience that includes Humans, Hobbits, Elves, Ents, etc. Recently, your son has taken to shouting out “Hey, Get Shorty” anytime he spies a Dwarvish child, behavior that does not contribute to the atmosphere of tolerance and community we constantly seek to build at this establishment.
On a more positive note, Little Sauron continues to show a positive flair for penmanship, though his practice note pads do have an unfortunate tendency to burst into flames when he has finished with them.
Miss Fenmarch, Kindergarten Second Class, Middle-Earth Elementary School
I feel this adds a bit of depth and perspective to the story. Or maybe not.
Ah, you ask, which modern books in the genre, or close to it, do I regard as literature? I nominate two. T.H. White's The Once and Future King and Arthur Rex by Thomas Berger (also the author of Little Big Man). If you haven’t read Arthur Rex, pick up a copy. You are in for a treat). Why are they better than Tolkien? Because they create worlds in which humor and tragedy both exist and intermix, something that Tolkien's work lacks.
Regardless of your particular opinion on Tolkien’s literary ranking, the astounding success of TLOR has provide subsequent authors with a solid template on which literally thousands of novels, novellas and short stories rely on (not to mentions hundreds of game and virtual worlds). If you want to create a fantasy epic, you can pull from a laundry list of different plot elements and characters such as:
And so on.
Grab your chosen ingredients, mix, spin, write your yarn, complete, and begin again.
The Orb of Chaos is a Tolkienesque tale built from the basic template above and fits firmly in that class of fantasy novel I refer to as ”Shaggy Orc.” Exemplars of the genre are Robert Asprin’s Myth series, Craig Gardner’s Wuntvor line and just about anything published by Terry Pratchett. Normally, the “heroes” of these stories are nebbishes, ne'er do wells, magical nerds and generally people who are unlikely to be dating on Friday night or borrowing twenty dollars they promise to pay back next week but don’t. Or both.
Orb takes place in the magical realm of, well, actually, I’m not sure. It’s a fairly generic magical realm with knights, elves, goblins, wizards and the other usual suspects. Most of the early action centers around an inn named “The Lucy Duck,” inhabited by two of our protagonists, Soliere Forrester, a rogue suffering from a congenital cash shortage who is catnip to the various serving wenches and members of the lower middle class who inhabit the environs in and around the Duck and Oather, a large Barbarian of unknown origins. Soon to be thrown into the mix is Halistan, a young cleric, Serieve, a paladin in training, and Andrea, a young and beautiful assassin who would just as soon shove a dagger in your ribs as look at you. Let’s not forget Zorath, a querulous wizard.
As the plot moves along, more elements are added to mix, including a sadistic emperor who likes to toy with his employees before dispatching them in various horrible ways (I kind of liked him. He reminds me of Steve Jobs in his heyday), an evil demon king with an attitude and the ability to raise the dead in unholy quantities (I know, that’s redundant, but it’s my review), court schemers, and more characters drawn from the standard stocks.
And yes, there is a dungeon quest, a battle with two kinda-dragon-like creatures, and at the end, an epic battle against an undying army of the skeletal dead. That section was very well done and provides some enjoyable shivers. All the bases are pretty much covered.
Now, the secret to making a book like this work is the characters. They must be interesting and their interactions intriguing enough to freshen up the fairly standardized backdrop on which they perform. Otherwise, it’s pretty much been there, seen that.So, how does Orb do in this respect? Pretty well, especially as the story moves into the latter half. I will say that in the next book of the series, author Allen should mix it up some more and build out the main characters while letting others drop into the background. Also, slightly sharper copy editing is also recommended. (Indies, make sure you get this right and don’t skimp.)
To sum up, a bright, well-written Tolkienesque tale that will keep you entertained for an afternoon. The characters don’t break new ground, but the rogue is roguish, the paladin noble, the assassin winsome and deadly and there’s something going on between her and the cleric and I want to know more.
Hugh Howey is feeling some heat these days and you can tell from reading his blog. The tone has shifted from a righteous clarion call to battle on behalf of Amazon and its adorable King Jeff Bezos to Slay the Evil Publishers and the Minions of Agency Pricing to a sort of abashed and befuddled "Wh jus happn'd?" vibe. This is because Amazon has cut a deal with Simon and Shuster that enables the Evil Publishers to continue Evil Agency Pricing in return for more margins and MDF. IOW, it was a typical supplier/channel battle over money and control that we've seen before and will see again and again and again till our Sun goes nova.
In the meantime, as I've pointed out (and now Hugh has jumped on the bandwagon), Amazon continues to impose agency pricing on indies via its $7 roach motel pricing box and locked in margins. (Hugh calls this model "Incentivized Agency" and it's to be thought of as a sort of whip to punish evil indies who want to make more money than Hugh thinks is seemly. And yes, if you actually were one of the 8.5K or so who signed that ridiculous petition at Change.org and are feeling duped, well, you were.
As a result, Hugh needs to begin the process of walking back some of the silly things he's said to maintain credibility, but this is not an easy thing to do. As exemplified by his latest post, "Who is David?" which is littered with cracked logic, more misstatements of basic facts, and internal breakdowns of language and common sense. It's a sign of a mind that's lost track of itself.
The problem begins with the post's opening lines. Here's one example:
The negotiations between Amazon and the Big 5 publishers is often framed as a war between David and Goliath. What’s strange is that who gets to play David depends on who you’re talking to. Both sides claim him. The rare moments when people equivocate between the two parties, they state that this is really a case of Goliath vs. Goliath, which is far closer to the truth. We’re talking about multi-billion dollar corporations on either side.
Wait a second. When you equivocate between two parties, you're attempting to hide the truth. But Howey now tell us that a battle between two "Goliaths" is closer to the truth. Which isn't equivocating.
And is also true. The revenues of all five major publishers together are about $15B. Amazon's yearly revenues are currently estimated to come in at $75B+. Amazon's book business is currently estimated at between $5 to $5.5B, about 7% of Amazon's overall business.
Of course, leaving aside the issue of Amazon's house imprints, the two entities do different things. Publishers create (well, aggregate) content, Amazon is a channel for content. In the channel, Amazon is a heavyweight, though in sheer number of dollars, smaller than B&N, with 2013 revenues of $6.8B. But we all know what's happening to B&N.
The post continues, and quickly descends into the swirling, obfuscating clouds of Planet Howey as logic and reason are discarded in favor of rhetoric and dizzying departures from the truth.
In practically every way, Amazon is the clear underdog here. The upstart. The newcomer.
Amazon is not an upstart. The company was founded in 1994 to sell books. Twenty years ago. On what planet is a company that's been in business for twenty years considered an "upstart.?" A "newcomer." Only on Planet Howey.
They’ve published roughly 5,000 titles across their imprints to date, which is the number that the Big 5 might publish in a year.
Yes? Twenty years ago, Amazon went into business to sell books, not be a publisher. Now, Amazon has a right to also try to be a publisher, though this opens the company up to conflict of interest and monopsony issues. But that's really off the point. Amazon's core book business is to be a channel giant and it is.
Meanwhile, the Big 5 have banded together to establish price floors with other retailers in what the DOJ found to be illegal collusion.
Yes? And they were spanked by Uncle Sam. But the good news is that agency pricing still survives! The big publishers retain it and so does Amazon in respects to indies. Planet Howey is where the whips are stored to punish the indies.
And bookstores have refused to carry Amazon’s works, banning these titles from a large sector of the marketplace. For many of us, this is bullying far more severe than removing pre-order buttons.
Of course they are! Amazon has created a major conflict of interest by moving into the publishing business. Amazon's direct sales model wiped out Borders, all the mid-sized book chains, and thousands of independent bookstores. Only on Planet Howey would you expect anyone to hand over a gun to an entity that's already cutting your throat.
When it comes to size, the publishing divisions at Amazon represent a tiny sliver of Amazon’s overall revenue.
It’s quite possible that all of these divisions combined earn less than each of the Big 5 publishers do individually. The David from this point of view — not only in earnings but also in marketplace challenges that are either illegal or a result of book banning at retail — would seem obvious.
What does this have to do with anything? Why is Howey flacking Amazon's publishing imprints? After all, just like Evil Hachette, they don't accept unagented submissions.
Compound this with the fact that Amazon pays authors more than publishers (anywhere from double at their imprints to nearly six times as much with their self-publishing platforms).
At this point, you realize that Hugh has breathed in the noxious fumes of Planet Howey and his brain, like Halston in "Wool," is dying from the toxins being released into his system.
Amazon does not "pay" indies anything. Amazon takes a fat fee from indies in return for the use of its downloading system. It takes a ruinous fee if you attempt to escape the $7 roach motel. (Don't forget that 65% margin grab on international sales.) If you enroll in its Select program, it takes a fee via exclusivity.
Or perhaps you're the type of person who believes that after the taxman has removed X% of your salary to fund government operations, it's "paid" you? You do believe that? Really? Before that high speed power drill reamed out your frontal lobes, how did you lose your grip on the tool?
Or the fact that they charge less to the consumer, where publishers have banded together to artificially raise prices, and the David is not only clear, but so is the side who is fighting for the little people. At least, from one perspective.
Earth to Planet Howey. Amazon just signed a deal with the publishers that preserves agency pricing for publishers. Which, BTW, is perfectly legal in the US. And Amazon is attempting to price rig the market via the $7 roach motel. And who are the "little people?" Are leprechauns being under served in today's society? Time to bring in some diversity councilors!
Publishers, meanwhile, are fighting for the health of large bookstore chains and for the top 1% of writers who benefit from massive distribution. They also benefit from a system that bars 99% of applicants from even entering. Again, this is the way those who support Amazon and other digital disruptors see these parties as David and the combined might of the Big 5 as Goliath.
A new transmission has just been sent to Planet Howey. Will it be received as the EM waves traverse the toxic smog covering the place? Who knows? Message below:
Wow. So I go to Barnes & Noble, our local branch, to ask them about what process they have for local authors to be featured in their local author section. With in 10 minutes, it was 'OK, you're in our system, let's order a few copies of all your books, here's the e-mail and phone for our community rep and he can help you set up a book signing'. THAT is service.
James Garner, author, Indomitable (reviewed on this site).
But this view is just as wrong as the view that sees Amazon as Goliath and the publishing division of NewsCorp as David. Simon & Schuster proved this view to be false last month, when they agreed to a multi-year distribution deal with Amazon for both ebooks and print works. The major publishers have operated lockstep in some ways (from boilerplate contracts to digital royalties), but they aren’t the cartel we accuse them of. They enter subscription services variably. Some of them work out terms with their distributors while others don’t. Some have dabbled in print-only deals and have embraced genre publishing and lower ebook prices to a greater degree.
And at this point, we see Hugh attempting to walk back dozens of misstatements of fact, importuning indies to ride to Amazon's rescue in its battle with the publishers, and saying nothing when indies were thrown under the bus while simultaneously repeating again multiple ridiculous and just plain wrong assertions.
If you read his blog in an attempt to understand what goes on in the endless struggle between suppliers and channels, I have one piece of advice for you.
Escape from Planet Howey.
What Hugh Howey Won't Talk About (but Should). The Publishers and Amazon, Part VIII (the Next to Last Part. No Really)
What is Happening to the Publishers?
I've worked extensively in software and high technology since the mid-70s and have become comfortable with disruption. In high tech, nothing is stable and tried and true business models, empires, and technologies are constantly being overthrown. Here are just a few choice examples:
By contrast, the book publishing has seen one major technology disruption in the last 100 years. The introduction of the Kindle, in 2008. As I've written before, an earlier effort to kickstart E-book adoption in the 1999-2001 timeframe failed. (I document the attempt in the second edition of In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters and predicted the effort would restart in 2010. It's not the first instance I've misjudged the speed of change.) At the time, the publishers relaxed and assured themselves all was well. The book industry seemed to be immune to all the bits and bytes whizzing around and reshaping other businesses.
Yes, Amazon had disrupted book distribution via its online purchasing and delivery model. Borders had collapsed and the independent bookstores massacred and this was disturbing. Still, this was primarily a channel problem. The publishers still controlled the critical part of the industry, content creation. And there was an upside to all this channel fuss! The less places you needed to ship books to, the more you saved on that aspect of the business. But paper books would never die.
But those of us in high tech knew they were wrong. Technology doesn't give up. Technology keeps coming at you. In 2008, it arrived.
The success of the Kindle shook the publisher's control over content. As the device took off and a massive infrastructure began to form around the system, more and more people took advantage of its downloading service to independently sell their books directly to readers. Competitors to Kindle appeared and more outlets for independent publishing appeared. The success of authors such as Hugh Howey helped remove the traditional stigmata associated with self-publishing.
The publishers were caught flat footed.
While all this was taking place, the publishers also found out something.They were hated by large numbers of writers. It's almost a cliche to note that the publishers have served as the industry's gate keepers. In this article, I'm not going to get into issues of authors being screwed out of royalties a la Harlequin's sleazy ploy or the unending complaints by mid-list authors that the publishers never marketed their books. The reality is that there were and are major physical limitations on how many million pounds of paper the book business can haul around the world. The industry's publishing structure came into existence to manage this reality.
But part of this reality was to reject many books that were indeed very good but couldn't fit into paper's limited carrying capacity, refuse to market others because of a limited ability to address niches and genres, and create a royalty structure that left every writer scratching their head wondering how they ended up with 15% of a book's proceeds. Sometimes.
Now this reality is changed. Permanently. Paper book publishing is being supplanted by digital distribution and about the only thing that will change this is if a big meteor splats down on Earth and civilization collapses. And if that happen, I'm shutting down this blog and won't be following the industry any further.
And another part of this reality is that every writer who feels he or she was snubbed, neglected, or robbed now feels free to express their feelings. It's not a pretty sight to read some of the nastiness I've seen on some AAAG (Aggregated Amazon Ankle Grabbers) sites directed towards people from the publishers who attempt to explain their side of things (Hugh Howey's site has been particularly egregious in this regard). No one is afraid of the publishers anymore. After all, indies have Amazon.
In the initial euphoria that comes with any liberation, a lot of facts are being ignored. Such as while you may be able to write and distribute a book, you just may not be a very good writer. And that marketing and selling a book to the point that you can eat and pay the rent is hard. And that Amazon's deal is not amazingly great for indies.
What matters most is that if you feel you have a book in you, now you can finally take your shot. The hell with anyone who thinks you don't have what it takes (and that means you, publishers). And that's better than never being able to take your shot at all.
What Amazon is Doing to the Publishers
Amazon is innovating and changing the book industry at a rapid pace. It will not stop this process and nothing the publishers do will stop it either.This is fine. The current book publishing model is about two centuries old and that's long enough to keep doing the same thing. If the publishers will not innovate and change, then Amazon will do it for them and the publishers will be disintermediated from book readers and they will have no reason to exist.
In the software industry, SaaS (Software as a Service) permanently disrupted the on-premise software model. Instead of accessing programs on local machines owned by yourself or your business, you subscribed to software and used it via (for the most part) in your browser. (The mobile app market is a somewhat different beast and I won't discuss it now.)
To support this new model, SaaS systems rely on a series of service layers and models that are often invisible to the customer. These can include data integration, privacy and security, and analytics and community management. (And more.) Companies that manage key service layers can exercise a great deal of power and make a great deal of money in SaaS.
Amazon is in the process of creating a similar model in book publishing. It is creating new service layers for book reading and consumption and in the process stripping control of these layers away from the publishers (I tend to think of the process as a form of virtual "delamination.") Layers already stripped away or in the process of being peeled off include:
This is just the start. As Amazon identifies new service layers in E-book publishing, it will attempt to co-opt them and further disintermediate the publishers.
What Can the Publishers Do to Resist Amazon?
The first thing the publishers can do is realize that paper is now a trap. Yes, they still make good money selling print books and I calculate that they can do so for perhaps another ten years. But in the US and other main first world markets, societies are divesting themselves of paper. Fax, physical mail, bill paying, newspapers, magazines, post cards and decks, etc. are examples we are all familiar with. Large business were early adopters of digital reading technology and this trend continues. Every state government has pilot projects to shift from paper to digital storage of records. The green movement dislikes paper mills and printing presses. Schools are wondering how they can save money by replacing paper text books.
As paper consumption decreases, the print industry will descale and need to raise paper and printing prices to make up the revenue lost in volume. This will further drive the abandonment of print books. Eventually, quality book printing will survive primarily as a craft, a means of artistic expression serving small niche and collectibles markets.
But the tide sweeping paper away as a mainstream means of consuming the written word is irresistible. New 3D print on demand (POD) systems that will enable book readers to create paper volumes if they want them and flexible display technology are two additional technologies that will help seal paper's fate. One by one, the major publishers will begin to wind down print operations, possibly by spinning off their E-divisions from their paper counterparts. That is, they will if they hope to survive into the future.
In the last entry in this series, I'll examine what types of services and programs publishers need to consider implementing if they wish to survive the Amazon challenge.
Review Submission Guidellines
Want me to review your book? You must join the Rule-Set mailing list and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do NOT use the contact form for a review request; for press and publishers only. Your book can be a proof but ready for sale within 60 days.
Scifi/-fantasy only at this time. Make sure it's been professionally copyedited. If it's not, I'll know in about five pages and will reject the book. I don't mean to be a hump about it, but approximately 40% to 50% of the books I've received have had far too many typos, comma splices, misuse of dependent clauses, etc. (No, it doesn't have to be perfect. Most books have a few typos, including ones coming out of "traditional" publishing.) Your book cannot succeed in the market with such flaws and it's not fair to ask reviewers to read it in such a state.
I'll take a look at YA, but I'm not the best fit to that audience. PDF, Mobi, print all fine. If you have an author website you wish me to link to, please provide the URL. I don't charge and I also don't guarantee a good review!
Please note comments on blog posts are limited to 5K characters. System limitation.
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