The Passive Voice

Michael Kozlowski: Traditional publishers are the true price predators

By Chris Meadows
September 29, 2015 // 3 Comments

If someone mentions “predatory pricing” in an e-book context, your first thought is probably Amazon’s $9.99 new-release e-books. Publishers complained that Amazon was using “predatory pricing” to drive competitors out of the market and put pressure on the publishers to lower their asking [...]

Why hasn’t piracy killed artists’ incomes?

By Chris Meadows
August 22, 2015 // 1 Comment

15 years ago, during the height of the Napster hearings, Lars Ulrich testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee of his concerns that Napster was going to set off a “creative apocalypse.” How were people going to afford to be able to continue making art, he asked, if people just wanted to [...]

Will the ‘big dogs’ ever leave the big publishers?

By Chris Meadows
August 11, 2015 // 1 Comment

Most of the the time, The Passive Voice just excerpts and reposts interesting articles, but every so often Passive Guy adds commentary of his own. Recently, he had some interesting things to say about a story on Thought Catalog in which Porter Anderson discusses the pieces by Mike Shatzkin and [...]

$1.99 add-on Audible audiobooks cause headaches for Amazon authors

By Chris Meadows
August 7, 2015 // 5 Comments

On The Passive Voice, Passive Guy posted a question about Amazon/Audible audiobook rates and payouts on behalf of his wife, an author herself. She had heard from a friend that their audiobook narrator no longer wanted to work with Audible on a royalty basis because the $1.99 Amazon Whispersync [...]

‘Author’ organizations make noise on behalf of publishers

By Chris Meadows
August 3, 2015 // 1 Comment

Self-publishing advocate Barry Eisler has an opinion piece on Techdirt discussing the way that so many organizations with “authors” in the name (Authors Guild, Authors United, etc.) seem to be arguing on behalf of publishers rather than authors. Now look, there’s nothing wrong with lobbying [...]

New York Times public editor finds bias in its Amazon/Hachette coverage

By Chris Meadows
October 5, 2014 // 0 Comments

Wow, this is pretty big. For quite some time, indie publishing bloggers such as Hugh Howey, Joe Konrath, and David Gaughran have been complaining about the slanted nature of the New York Times’s coverage of the Amazon/Hachette squabble. Now New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has taken [...]

11 Publishing Shakers to follow, besides us

By Chris Meadows
August 13, 2014 // 2 Comments

I’ll admit this is blowing my own horn a little, but today I was alerted to an article on The Independent Publishing Magazine listing “The 12 Publishing Shakers You Should Be Following.” After a bit of puzzlement—are the Shakers even still around, and didn’t they make furniture rather [...]

Webcomic ‘Help Desk’ takes on e-book DRM

By Chris Meadows
July 23, 2014 // 0 Comments

If you could use a good chuckle, webcomic “Help Desk” has just started a storyline focusing on e-book DRM. (The storyline then continues here.) It seems to have been inspired by the letter that Cory Doctorow received from Hachette about DRM. Since some authors publish with Tor in the USA but [...]

New York Public Library panel: ‘Amazon: threat or menace?’

By Chris Meadows
July 2, 2014 // 3 Comments

Well, the New York Public Library panel discussion on Amazon was a big disappointment. I suppose I should have expected it, given how the panel was stacked with some of Amazon’s harshest critics and others from the old-guard publishing industry, but I had harbored some hope they might be willing [...]

New York Public Library Amazon panel discussion takes place tonight

By Chris Meadows
July 1, 2014 // 0 Comments

Just a friendly little reminder to block out 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern tonight to watch the panel discussion that the New York Public Library is hosting on Amazon’s business tactics, featuring James Patterson, Bob Kohn, and Passive Guy. It will be livestreamed, and promises to be rather entertaining. [...]

What is NOT in doubt about Hugh Howey’s Author Earnings report

By Chris Meadows
February 17, 2014 // 6 Comments

So, self-publishing and traditional-publishing author Hugh Howey published a report on some data he pulled from Amazon and crunched (Paul covered it here), purporting to show some things about the number of self-published books compared to those from traditional publishers. This has touched off a [...]

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