Writing on the Ether | JaneFriedman.com

Ancient Roman Coin Geta
iStock­photo / paul837 | Geta, as depicted on an ancient Roman coin

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

From Decem­ber 15, 2011
Part of my series of columns on pub­lish­ing, Writ­ing on the Ether, appear­ing Thurs­days at JaneFriedman.com


A Christ­mas Nightmare


And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cae­sar Bezo­sius, that all the world should be axed.

Taxed. Did I say axed? How silly of me. We ran out of axes when the Gov­er­nor of Self-Publica ordered his Konwrath-ful fol­low­ers to cut their agents in half.

Where were we? Right. And behold, all Prime mem­bers went each unto his or her own local book­store, tot­ing a price-check scan­ning app.

And there were in the same coun­try tra­di­tional pub­lish­ers abid­ing in the field, keep­ing watch over their hard­backs by night. Because Peter Mey­ers‘ new Break­ing the Page had yet to be pub­lished. And, lo, the Archangel Android came upon them, and the glory of Seat­tle shone ’round about them.

And they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For behold I bring you tid­ings of 99-cent spe­cials, 32 cents of which will go to the author unless she just flat-out gives away her life’s work in our KDP Select pro­gram for Kin­dle Lend­ing. Which shall bring to all read­ers tid­ings of great joy—just as soon as you stop whin­ing about what’s being done to you and start doing what you need to do, as Don Linn hath spake.

“And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find a copy of Christina Katz‘s amply tweeted The Writer’s Work­out wrapped in Ama­zon gift paper and lying in a manger. Not lay­ing. Lying. The Lord wants you to use the lan­guage cor­rectly and so does Porter.”

“What’s with the manger?” the pub­lish­ers asked in six-part harmony.

And the angel said unto them, “Do I look like a wise man to you?”

And sud­denly there was with the angel a Mul­ti­tude of the Self-Published Authors, prais­ing Bezos and singing:

When your backlist’s been sold
But your camel’s too old,
That’s logistics!

Then the book­sellers rejoiced and returned unto their quaint inde­pen­dent cor­ner stores to hand-sell all that they’d seen and heard, open­ing new sec­tions of gaudy fic­tion for Vam­pire Fans Who Don’t Mind Typos because those things were sell­ing like hot­cakes online, right?

When in time the great star had come to stand over the whole busi­ness in Pre­oc­cu­pied Beth­le­hem, there were no more than two or three sen­tences uttered daily that didn’t include the holy word “Amazon.”

And Gin­ger Clark kept all these things and pon­dered them in her heart.


Click to read this week’s full Writ­ing on the Ether col­umn at JaneFriedman.com

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