Gone With the Electronic Wind

I seem to be changing, whether I realize it on a daily basis or not. For the most part, I am more patient than I used to be. I have a greater ability to wait because there’s no reason to be one place rather than another. I am also aware the future will come whether I will it or not. But . . . I have a lot less patience for disrespect. And I am not as I nice as I once was.

Take today, for example. I got a friend request from someone on LinkedIn. I accepted the request, then she sent me an invitation to join her crime writers group. After I did so, she sent a message suggesting I post a bit about one of my books in the group’s discussion boards. Which I did. Then she said to post a link to the book (though I had already done so) and after I posted the second link, she left a comment on the very public post saying the book sounded interesting, but she wasn’t going to buy it. Huh? Why not just say it sounded interesting and leave it at that? Even worse, she went on a rant about ebook pricing. Apparently, J. Konrath has decided that $2.99 is the perfect ebook price (who made him king, anyway?) so the LinkedIn woman decided that any book priced more than that is overpriced. Her reasoning? Some of the major publishers were selling ebooks at almost the same price as a print book, and since there was nothing changing hands — no actual printed book — she figured that the publishers were cheating her.

My publisher prices my ebooks at less than a third of the print price, so why was she griping about my book? Aren’t publishers (and authors!!) allowed to make money anymore? Amazon skims 30% right off the top of all books (70% off $.99 books), and for this skim, they don’t do anything except offer the book as a download. There is no human involvement, so no payroll, no expenses except for a few cents worth of computer time. Apparently the woman has no objection to a huge near monopoly like Amazon raking in the dough. But a small publishing house? Oh, no. They aren’t allowed to make a profit! Sure the ebook is only a few electrons, and no physical product is exchanging hands, but what about the hundreds of hours that goes into publishing a book? (I’m not even counting the hours it takes to write the book.) It takes time and money to format, edit, create a cover, copyedit it, proof it. And yet she complains the publishers are selling nothing.

Perhaps her rant would have made sense if I had been the one to ask to be connected, if I had been the one to ask to join her group, if I had posted the book link without permission. But she instigated the whole situation, and then she was unbearably rude.

So I got even. I deleted her from my online world. Poof! Gone with the electronic wind.