Category: Amazon bestseller list

My Buying Community; Marilyn Nelson Poet; Russell Brand Kid’s Stories; E-book sales;

My Buying Community

I came across an interesting piece the other day at The Digital Reader where strong allegations about publishers and authors gaming Amazon bestseller lists was discussed. There’s a web site (I think) called My Buying Community that allegedly acts (I think) in much the same way as services that sell reviews. (I think I got that right, but don’t quote me because I’m not forming any opinions here). It claims to have over 10,000 users.

The only problem here is that when I click the link at DR I’m sent to nothing more than a login page. There’s no homepage, nothing. And DR has not updated the post with any further information.

When I did a simple search for My Buying Community I found nothing but the same link above. Do they even exist? Are they an exclusive private community?

If I’m missing something please feel free to comment. This is partly why I hesitate to blog about these things.

Marilyn Nelson Poet

April is national poetry month, and national award winning Marilyn Nelson isn’t thrilled when she hears performance poets yelling.

There’s a question and answer and this is what she said about yelling:

Q: Any tips for reading poetry out loud?

Many performance poets seem to believe that yelling a poem makes it comprehensible. They are wrong.

I agree to a certain extent. But it’s fun sometimes to listen to the right poem with exaggerated drama.

You can read more here.

Russell Brand Kid’s Stories

Talented actor Russell Brand has a new kid’s book out. He announced the book in a youtube you can view at the link below. I know nothing about kids or kid’s stories, however I do think it’s interesting the way actors like Brand and James Franco are taking to video to self-promote books. It’s putting the pressure on the rest of us, especially those of us who don’t feel comfortable on video and don’t like doing it. It’s something I’ve been forcing myself to do for a while. Sometimes I miss the good old days when all you had to do was write the book, not act it out or hock it all over the universe.

Actor Russell Brand has written his first children’s book. The book is called The Pied Piper of Hamlet, and is the first of a series of fairy stories and folk tales called Russell Brand’s Trickster Tales. Chris Riddell, a contributor to The Observer and National Book Award nominee, created the drawings.

You can read more here.

E-book Sales

This is another one of those articles that talk about e-book sales. I’ve been seeing a lot of them lately and most don’t support each other. In other words, the information varies from place to place and no one knows that to believe anymore.

The “good” news for ebook publishers is that adult ebooks were up 3.8% in 2013 to $1.3 billion. It’s positive growth but represents major deceleration of growth in the ebook market. In 2012, ebook growth hit an inflection point. It had ceased accelerating and was up “only” 41%. In 2013, it slowed further.

You can read more here at DBW.

It’s only natural that e-book sales would even out. First, I have always believed that most people are not readers and don’t care one way or the other, because if the evidence they all claim they have about e-books was accurate brick and mortar bookshops would still be thriving. Second, there’s still a generation that has to grow up, and one that has to die off, before everything’s digital. I know a generation of people who still buy cars because they want knobs and buttons, not touch screens and mouse-like controls. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just going to take time.