Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Who Controls Your Amazon E-book Price?

Recently, on the SFWA website, Jim Hines posted an excellent article on how Amazon changes the price of an e-book an author sells directly to them. Here's an excerpt:

On Saturday (2/11), I noticed that Amazon had marked Goblin Tales down to $.99. I don’t know why, and I don’t know when exactly this change was made.

This wasn't the first time I’d had trouble controlling the price of my own e-book. I put Goblin Tales on sale over the holidays, then returned it to $2.99 in early January. Rather, I tried to do so. Only Kobo was slow to raise their price, and since Amazon’s Terms of Service allow them to match any competing price, Goblin Tales stayed at $.99 with its reduced royalty rate for several more weeks, earning me about 1/6 of what I normally made for each sale (35% royalties based on the $.99 price-matched price).

He concludes:

Bottom line? They make the rules, they can change the rules whenever they feel like it, and they aren’t liable when they break the rules.


We're so appreciative of the honestly, clarity, and specificity of Jim's article - there's precious little data about publishing, and maybe the real numbers will help clear up the misconceptions and inaccuracies.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

EDC just says no

We'd like to thank - and admire - the folks over at Educational Development Corporation for their support of IPG in pulling their entire catalog from Amazon:

Educational Development Corporation, publisher of Usborne and Kane Miller books in the U.S., has announced that, effective immediately, the company will no longer sell any of its books on Amazon or to any entities that resell to Amazon. This follows a 2009 decision to stop selling the Kane Miller list via Amazon and now, by adding the Usborne line, it will include a full list of more than 1,500 titles. Total online revenue amounts to about 13% of EDC's annual sales.

According to EDC president Randall White, the decision comes in response to moves by Amazon to "gain control of publishing and other industries by making it impossible for other retailers to compete effectively," and he cited last week's decision by Amazon to stop selling e-books from IPG after the distributor refused to up its sales discount as the impetus for his decision to leave Amazon.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Future Media selected as a Pop Matters Best Non-Fiction book of 2011

It's true - Rick Wilber's groundbreaking tribute to the future of communications is a top Pop Matters pick:

"Ultimately, this book links the past and present and perhaps gives us some hints to the future—that is if current writings about mass media are going to be as eerily accurate as some their classic counterparts. All are terrific stories and essays, and all contribute to the success of the book."

When you put Aldous Huxley, Marshall McLuhan, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, Cory Doctorow, Kate Wilhelm, James Patrick Kelly (twice!), Kit Reed, and James Tiptree, Jr. in the same book, well, the future will never be the same.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good news (de Lint), Bad News (Amazon)

It's never boring here at Tachyon HQ, which is mostly a good thing. Here's what we're up to:

To celebrate the release of Charles de Lint's epic fantasy novel, Eyes Like Leaves, we're having a special giveaway Join the Eyes Like Leaves Facebook page and you could win one of several sets of the novel *and* a signed CD of Charles and MaryAnn's music. Great stuff! The giveaway will be a random drawing on March 7th, so don't forget to drop by.

The news that Amazon has refused to renew their e-book contract with our distributor, IPG, has sent shockwaves throughout the publishing community. Because IPG would not accept yet another increase in Amazon's already steep discount, Amazon has chosen to remove the Kindle books of all of IPG's publishers. You cannot buy our e-books, or any of the more than 4000 e-books from IPG's publishers, on Amazon. Period.

All of our titles remain widely available in both print and electronic editions (EPUB and PDF formats). You can find them at your local independent bookshop and through Indiebound, Barnes and Noble, Apple’s iTunes, Google Books, the Sony store, and elsewhere. We'll keep you posted on how things shake out.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SF in SF Movie Night: Dream Double Feature

Don't miss tonight's special movie night:

SF in SF
Science fiction. San Francisco. A Perfect Fit.

Impossible Dreams
Harlan Ellison - Dreams with Sharp Teeth

Impossible Dreams (approx 20mins) is a short film based on Tim Pratt's Hugo Award-winning short story, "Impossible Dreams."

Author appearance! Tim Pratt will be present to introduce the film himself!

Harlan Ellison - Dreams with Sharp Teeth - (96mins.) an amazing documentary on speculative fiction writer and essayist Harlan Ellison.

There will be no intermission between films.

Doors and cash bar open at 6:00PM
Film begins at 7:00PM
Refreshments and candy are sold at the bar - as always FREE POPCORN!!
Suggested $5-$10 donation at the door benefits Variety Children's Charity of Northern California!

No need to RSVP - seating is limited, and first come, first seated. Cash bar will be open for the reception hour before the films.

The Variety Preview Room Theatre
The Hobart Bldg., 1st Floor; entrance between Quiznos & Citibank
582 Market St., 2nd at Montgomery
Phone night of event: 415.572.1015

All proceeds from bar, door, and tips benefit Variety Children's Charity of Northern California

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Final Countdoooooown!

The Battle of the Books is still raging. Eyes Like Leaves has defeated Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card, and now it's on to the championship round! Who will come out on top? There can be only one!

Eyes Like Leaves
will face either And Blue Skies from Pain by Stina Leicht or Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear.

Check out the full bracket! Who's in your Fantasy Book League?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

SF in SF reading series: K. W. Jeter, Rudy Rucker, and Jay Lake

SF in SF
San Francisco - Science Fiction - A Perfect Fit

Saturday, February 11


Three fabulous authors in a rare appearance together in the Bay Area, all with Steampunk in common!

Each author will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by author Terry Bisson. Book signing and schmoozing follows in the lounge, and books will be for sale, courtesy of Borderlands Books.

6:00PM - doors and cash bar open
7:00PM - event starts
Suggested $5-$10 donation at the door benefits Variety Children's Charity of Northern California - to date, we've helped raise over $25,000 for the kids in our community! Learn more here.

The Variety Preview Room Theatre
The Hobart Bldg., 1st Floor — entrance next to Citbank on Market St.
582 Market Street @ 2nd and Montgomery
San Francisco, CA 94104

PLEASE TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TO THIS EVENT -- DON'T DRIVE — Seriously. It happens to also be the evening for the Chinese New Year's Parade, and many streets downtown will be closed, and . Here's a map of the route - so plan your transportation accordingly. If you live in the City, take MUNI or BART, if you live outside the City, drive to a BART station, and BART in. We are directly adjacent to the Montgomery Street BART/MUNI station!

Otherwise, if you can even find street parking ($3.50 per hour) it's metered til 6PM; otherwise, find a parking garage here.

Email, or call 415-572-1015 (night of event only).
K. W. JETER is an American science fiction and horror author known for his literary writing style, dark themes, and paranoid, unsympathetic characters. He's written novels set in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes, and three (to date) sequels to Blade Runner. Jeter attended college at CSU Fullerton, where he became friends with James P. Blaylock and Tim Powers, and through them, Philip K. Dick. Jeter was actually the inspiration for the character named Kevin in Dick's novel, Valis. Many of Jeter's books focus on the subjective nature of reality in a way that is reminiscent of works by Dick.

Jeter wrote an early cyberpunk novel, Dr. Adder, which was enthusiastically recommended by Philip K. Dick. Jeter was also the first to coin the term "Steampunk," in a letter to Locus Magazine in April 1987, to describe the retro-technology, alternate-history works that he published along with Blaylock and Powers. His steampunk novels were Morlock Night and Infernal Devices. In addition, Jeter has written a number of authorized novel sequels to the 1982 film, Blade Runner, which in turn was adapted from Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife, Geri; we are delighted beyond words to welcome him to SF in SF!

JAY LAKE: Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is a science fiction and fantasy writer, born in Taiwan, and grew up there and in Nigeria. In 2003 he was a quarterly first place winner in the Writers of the Future contest. In 2004 he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction. He lives in Portland, Oregon and currently works as a product manager for a voice services company. Jay has appeared in numerous publications, including Postscripts, Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, Strange Horizons, Asimov's Science Fiction, Nemonymous, and the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. He is an editor for the Polyphony anthology series from Wheatland Press, and is also a contributor for the Internet Review of Science Fiction.

His created universes have garnered him a strong following, both as readers, and as followers of his blog, Jay Lake-Writer. The City Imperishable, Mainspring, Green, and Sunspring, and his singular short story collections, such as Greetings from Lake Wu and The River Knows Its Own, all mean that many people follow him around at conventions wearing Hawaiian shirts. Jay has also become an icon in another way by publishing his uncompromisingly honest experiences of living with, and surviving, cancer. A complete list of over 700 posts is available online here. We are delighted to welcome Jay back to SF in SF.

RUDY RUCKER is a writer and a mathematician who worked for twenty years as a Silicon Valley computer science professor, and published a number of software packages. He is regarded as contemporary master of science fiction, twice receiving the Philip K. Dick Award. His thirty published books include both novels and nonfiction books on the fourth dimension, infinity, and the meaning of computation. A founder of the cyberpunk school of science-fiction, Rucker also writes SF in a realistic style known as "transrealism." His 2006 Mathematicians in Love is an example of a transreal novel. His early cyberpunk 4-book series was republished in 2010 as The Ware Tetralogy. Rucker’s 2007 novel, Postsingular, and its sequel, Hylozoic, were both a return to the cyberpunk style.

Rucker's autobiography, Nested Scrolls, was published in 2011, as was his novel of the afterlife, Jim and the Flims. In his spare time, he is also a talented artist, with several exhibitions to his credit, and also is the editor for the science fiction webzine Flurb. It comes as no surprise to learn he is the great-great-great-grandson of the philosopher G. W. F. Hegel.

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Civilian Reader on The Secret History of Fantasy

A very thoughtful review of The Secret History of Fantasy has been posted on the Civilian Reader blog. The reviewer concludes: "This is a very well-done collection: the stories are all, in many different ways, pleasures to read."

However, she has some well-placed concerns about whether sword & sorcery fantasy deserves to be designated "clichéd" in order to privilege more literary forms of fantasy. Hopefully our June release, The Sword and Sorcery Anthology, will show off the actual breadth and strengths of the subgenre.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Bibliophiles love Charles de Lint

We appreciate that the book lovers over at the Bibliophilic Book Blog appreciate Charles de Lint's Eyes Like Leaves, giving it 4.5 stars, summing up:

"Fraught with magic, evil, mages, and warriors, Eyes Like Leaves is a captivating book. A wonderful novel for all fans of Irish mythology and of Charles de Lint’s as well."