Reviving Mary Elizabeth Braddon

The Future of Publishing Is at Third Place Books

Comments

1
Which store is this contraption at?
2
@1: Lake Forest Park, not Ravenna.
3
@1 again: And we just changed the story online to verify that. Thanks for pointing out the possible confusion.
4
Also @1: We changed the story online to reflect that. Thanks for pointing out the problem, and I'm sorry for the confusion.
5
SO EXCITED!
6
That's awesome. I'm going to run out and get the Denny book right after Christmas. Beats $495 for a first edition!

One thing though -- Braddock was Victorian, not Elizabethan. I know you knew that!
7
Glad you appreciate Braddon's work. I have to point out that largely due to the advocacy of feminist and other literary scholars, there has been a steady revival of interest in her work since the 1970s, resulting in reprints of many of her works. A quick check of Amazon reveals that several of her titles (including her second most famous novel, Aurora Floyd) are in print and available as part of the Oxford World's Classics series. Although her early sensation novels were published at the same time as Dickens' later books, she was more than a generation younger and outlived him by many, many years, far exceeding him in quantity of output.
8
I hope they can work something out with Lulu. It seems a natural combination.
9
Pioneer Days on Puget Sound is availble on PDF online.

Think I'll upload it on CreateSpace to sell on Amazon as 'new.'

With Amazon shipping it would cost more than $10, but save folks a trip to Lake Forest.
10
It's interesting to see how the different indie bookstores in the region are coping with the changes to the industry.

Third Place Books - Neighborhood locations underserved by retail, print-on-demand

Powell's - Great online presence, central location

University Bookstore - Textbooks, gift items, school/art supplies, print-on-demand

Smaller indie bookstores - Niche selection and services

Elliott Bay Book Company - NEW MEGA-PARKING LOT!!!! Despite the brand new streetcar and light rail station within blocks in the densest neighborhood in the region!

I wonder which one will fail first? Hint: It's the bad neighbor with the completely godawful idea.
11
@10, you appear to be really stupid. What's it like?
12
That is very very exciting! I totally want that Denny book now, too.
13
so how many times does one read the same page over and over before realizing it?
15
@9 With your amazonian pdf scheme, I assume that calling yourself "bookseller" is ironic, sarcastic or just moronic.
16
Do I have to pay any money to Google or to the publisher, besides the $8 for the printed copy of the book?
17
@16 You shouldn't. As I understand it, "public domain" means that there are no copyrights still in place for that piece of work, so no one has exclusive rights to make money off of it. It's now free for the world to enjoy!
18
Incredible - clearly there's a future in independent publishing and bookselling, for enterprises who are positioned as well as Third Place. And that is a fabulous thing for everyone, because the scariest aspect of the decline of the independents was what it might mean for the future of literary culture, literally.

As far as bookselling goes, here’s the perspective of one independent owner about what it’s like to run a small bricks-and-mortar store today that doesn't have a huge food court and an Espresso machine (or even a coffeemaker): it’s like you've been pushing a large rock up a steep slope and now that rock is coming back down and you’d better remove yourself from beneath it.

You started pushing your rock years ago, with just enough resources to get it rolling. Picked a nice rock, spotted a likely niche in the hillside, had some local helpers and good intelligence from previous expeditions. So you calculated that you could at least get that thing up onto a plateau, if not all the way. And you got as much joy and energy from the trek itself as from the prospect of reaching the summit. So, you got part way up a few times, ran into some downward pressures that were heavier than expected, paused to regroup, started uphill again. Some helpers fell away, but it still seemed worth the effort to keep trying. After a few years, each time you started to push that rock up a few inches again, you had a little less energy, and you were a little less hopeful that there actually might be a plateau up there somewhere.

This year, that blasted rock wouldn’t budge. Bigger rocks higher up were rolling down your little pathway. You’d known they were up there, but couldn’t really tell how big they were, what their trajectory was or how fast they were going until one or two big boulders – “the recession” or “Internet publishing” or “the discount wars” or "the decline of reading" or whatever – crashed into all the others, piling up on top of yours. So, heck - you’ve had a lot of fun and done some good with your adventure along the way, but the bottom line is, your little rock is about to be obliterated, and you’re going to have a nice long nap. Someone else will start another uphill journey - and maybe they'll start out with an Espresso printing machine to help propel their climb!

Deb Evans
Troubadour Books
Boulder, Colorado
19
@16: all the costs and royalty issues are handled by Third Place Books, On Demand Books (the maker of the machine), and the respective publishers (including google, since they scanned the book then added their generic cover to the file). The main hurdle to be faced is existing publishers and their rather uninformed idea of 'cost' for what is essentially a stored file; they don't print the book, warehouse it, or ship it. So unfortunately the EBM's database is filled with higher than normal prices, which is disappointing.

@18: Just because Third Place Books is investing in an EBM doesn't mean that the company is rolling in cash; even the food court aspect doesn't keep people loyal--they want the convenience of Amazon, they'll get it, even if they are sitting feet away from a real store using the free wi-fi to get the book online.

It's a gamble, an investment in a new kind of future for publishing and Indie booksellers; One store having the machine does not exclude another store from forming some kind of collaborative relationship that helps bolster the book options for the smaller stores. There are many possibilities in this technology, we've just barely scrapped the tip of the iceberg.

@9: pay $10 (plus Amazon's shipping) for a cheap, poorly scanned copy, or $10 for a completely *new* edition, laid out from scratch with better quality images?
Quality chump, that's what counts with 'real' books. Have a Snarky day.
20
#19 - Absolutely. Didn't mean to imply that any indie (retailer or publisher) is rolling in cash, or that Third Place was pushing anyone else out. But as you say it's an investment, and anyone who starts up a new store should consider getting in on that new technology from the start, whether solo or in consortium. I wish them all the best, because you're right it is going to be part of the future of indie bookselling. So much more efficient. The publishers will have to figure it out pretty soon.
21
@13: I realized I was reading the same page immediately, but there was a moment there, when I was flipping through the duplicated pages, where I thought that the book wouldn't have an ending because of the skip. Smartass.
22
So can customers at Third Place watch this contraption at work? Is it in public view, or a back room somewhere? It sounds fascinating... I would order a book just to watch it happen. Kind of like the "Krispy Kreme" near where I grew up, where you could watch all the donuts on the conveyor belt, being coated in glaze or injected with jelly.
23
@22: It's in a glass walled office by the stage area of the Commons. You can peer in but there are specific 'public' hours in play right now: Tuesdays & Thursdays 10am-noon; so you can watch a book getting printed (maybe your own), or ask questions); all Self-publishing questions are usually complicated so aside from an introductory sheet, people need to set up appointments.

And I'm running a blog about the press at: thirdplacepress.blogspot.com
stop on by (virtually or physically) and chat sometime. Though you'll need to remind me you were a slog commenter for context.
24
Remember in elementary school when you'd order books via those Weekly Reader type Scholastic handouts? On the form on the back you'd make an X with your #2 pencil, the teacher would collect everyone's forms, and then a few weeks later, LIKE MAGIC, your Star Wars book would arrive in the classroom?

That's what it was like placing my first EBM order (except I had to actually pick up the books in person). I magically and cheaply had some books, one of which I wanted to own for a really long time but never wanted to pay tons for it.

Suggestions: throw in a free offcut notepad (if any are available and the person wants one) for orders over $30. Offer different color covers for the google books (or do they have to all be that blue/white design)?
25
UW bookstore is claiming their machine will be available around the 7th or 10th.
26
THERE we go. I knew this was coming, sooner or later. Welp, better go research this for my books. Or maybe I'll just let Lulu.com get it and put the books I've already put on it up. They usually get on top of this stuff fast, and it means less work -- and NO COST -- to me. I'm at donnabarr.com if anybody's interested and wants to sse booky stuff.
27
I'm not sure you got the Gaddis title precisely right. And do you really live in a place where 'The Semiotic Challenge' isn't much in demand? What's needed is some way to link this to a slight change in copyright law so that people can waive any rights for the first, I dunno, 500 copies produced and then once a title gets noticably in-demand a medium-size publisher can pick up the option. This saves on slush-piles, agents and spec samples for the struggling author and a lot of research and nursing for the publishers.