Guest Post: The Danger in Bohemia by HE Kollef

Thanks to It’s About the Book!

It's About The Book

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Hello! My name is H. E. Kollef and I’m here to tell you a little bit about my new book, The Danger in Bohemia, which came out from Dreamspinner Press on March 23rd. I’d also like to say thank you to It’s About the Book for having me on!

The Danger in Bohemia was written in two countries (The Czech Republic and South Korea), neither of which I live in anymore. Most of the story takes place in Prague, where I lived for almost two years as an English teacher. Prague holds a very special place in my heart. It was my first time living abroad for so long, the first phase of my independent, grown-up life. I fell in love with the city and all its gothic romance. The Danger in Bohemia is almost as much a love letter to Czech culture, food, and Prague itself…

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Book Launch Day! Announcing…The Danger in Bohemia

So let me start off by saying: NEVER plan to be traveling on the day your book gets launched! Big mistake.

That out of the way…

TODAY IS THE DAY!

 DangerInBohemia[The]FS

 

The Danger in Bohemia has been published!

Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe

 

I can’t believe it’s here already. It has been a really crazy year–moving yet AGAIN from South Korea to the UK, starting an intense Master’s program, and seeing my first officially published novel! I’ve been running for so long that this has really smacked me in the face. If that makes sense.

Thank you to everyone at Dreamspinner Press who has been supportive of me, and to my friends and family who made this possible. I can’t say how much I appreciate everything you’ve all done for me.

I’ve had a few advanced reviews already. Here’s a small sampling!

At a Glance: Very well written, with a good pace, some surprises, and is a definite page turner.”  -http://www.thenovelapproachreviews.com/review-the-danger-in-bohemia-by-h-e-kollef/

“…the story has good bones, an interesting premise with likable characters, and a suitable bad guy. I’ll look forward to checking out something else from the author.” -https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29247246-the-danger-in-bohemia

 

 

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Introducing the new editor at the #CityLis Blog!

#CityLis has a new editor, James Atkinson (@jamesatkinson81)! He’s fantastic, and I’m looking forward to what he’ll do with the blog. Get in contact if you have any ideas for the blog–here’s an excerpt of what James is looking for:

Students!  Have you visited another library or an LIS exhibition that you would like to tell us about?  Have you been to a conference?  Or read an interesting book or article?  Get in touch and share your reviews and reports.

Alumni!  Let us know what you have been up to since you left – current and future students would love to hear about the profession that awaits them.

Academics!  Lecturers and PhD students – you won’t get let off the hook!  Let us know what you’re up to and we’ll add it to the Reflections and Research section.

– See more, including how to contact #CityLis, at: https://blogs.city.ac.uk/citylis/2016/02/25/citylis-news-blog-an-introduction-to-the-editor/#.VtDBWZOLSRu

Dear Commander 9, 10, 11

Hey y’all,

I’ve got three new Dear Commander poems up, for those of you who enjoy outsider prose from the perspective of an alien observer.

Here’s an excerpt from 11. If you’re digging it, click here and it’ll take you to the rest.

11.

Dear Commander:

Earth is stronger in faiths and powers

than most other Z* class planets

with their scientific development.

Religion influences too many of their decisions

and hampers their progress in all things.

It is irrational. Dangerous.

I know this

and I am glad we abolished it in our home

and yet

today I saw a dark-haired girl

kneeling in the grass behind

a building with broken windows

she knelt and stretched her arms to the ground

for some time

and when she rose there was

a beauty in her face I’ve never seen before

as if the trees were breathing through her

and the sky was soaking up her light

and even the building was…was…

An author/middle school teacher was just detained because of a book he wrote.

Y’all need to please go read this right now:

In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment for a Novelist

“A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Maryland, middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—”taken in for an emergency medical evaluation” for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting.”

The Thought Police are arresting writers now. Great reaction. Rather than focusing on gun control, let’s target the people who write fiction. Fiction! Do writers need to be afraid, now? Do we need to censor ourselves for fear of our own government? I can think of a few countries where that’s happened before, and a few regimes. 

“He is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere.”

Has he even been arrested? Are they just unlawfully detaining him? For all that our politicians enjoy protecting our 2nd Amendment rights, there seems to be no concern for the First Amendment any more. 

Anyone have more information about this?

 

EDIT: Just found this article at the LA Times. It seems there might have been some faulty reporting around this issue–or not. We’ll see in the next few days, hopefully. 

Hatchette vs. Amazon

So I’m not sure where I stand on this issue–as an Amazon ebook author, I probably should have more of an opinion. And the things I’ve been reading about Amazon.com as a company have, of late, been making me slightly uncomfortable. Evil? No. Little more shady than I anticipated? Definitely, but then who isn’t?

Anyways, today I got an email from Amazon that shows exactly where they’d like me to stand! Essentially they are pleading their case with this email. What do y’all think? Other ebook authors?

 

Here it is, reprinted in full:

 

“Dear KDP Author,

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.

With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.

Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.

Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.

The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.

Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.

Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.

But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell’s interest to suppress paperback books – he was wrong about that.

And despite what some would have you believe, authors are not united on this issue. When the Authors Guild recently wrote on this, they titled their post: “Amazon-Hachette Debate Yields Diverse Opinions Among Authors” (the comments to this post are worth a read).  A petition started by another group of authors and aimed at Hachette, titled “Stop Fighting Low Prices and Fair Wages,” garnered over 7,600 signatures.  And there are myriad articles and posts, by authors and readers alike, supporting us in our effort to keep prices low and build a healthy reading culture. Author David Gaughran’s recent interview is another piece worth reading.

We recognize that writers reasonably want to be left out of a dispute between large companies. Some have suggested that we “just talk.” We tried that. Hachette spent three months stonewalling and only grudgingly began to even acknowledge our concerns when we took action to reduce sales of their titles in our store. Since then Amazon has made three separate offers to Hachette to take authors out of the middle. We first suggested that we (Amazon and Hachette) jointly make author royalties whole during the term of the dispute. Then we suggested that authors receive 100% of all sales of their titles until this dispute is resolved. Then we suggested that we would return to normal business operations if Amazon and Hachette’s normal share of revenue went to a literacy charity. But Hachette, and their parent company Lagardere, have quickly and repeatedly dismissed these offers even though e-books represent 1% of their revenues and they could easily agree to do so. They believe they get leverage from keeping their authors in the middle.

We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture. We’d like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us.

Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch: Michael.Pietsch@hbgusa.com

Copy us at: readers-united@amazon.com

Please consider including these points:

– We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive.
– Lowering e-book prices will help – not hurt – the reading culture, just like paperbacks did.
– Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle.
– Especially if you’re an author yourself: Remind them that authors are not united on this issue.

Thanks for your support.

The Amazon Books Team

P.S. You can also find this letter at www.readersunited.com

I Don’t Even Lift Bruh.

Man I agree 100%. Frickin gym shaming!

MickeyONWAX

im not sure whether it’s because im trying to become mobile again or it’s just that im nostalgic about moving back to my hometown, but recently ive been going on 5 miles walks on my days off this summer. Im not doing high knees the entire time, walking at any steady pace, or wearing under armor with no armor…im just playing tourist and trying to enjoy the weather before it’s winter again and I have to become everyone’s arch nemesis again.

the other day I decided to stop and buy a hot dog around mile #2, why i decided to do this is none of your business, but as soon as I get my chili dog (yes I got a chili dog, get over it…i didnt feel it wasnt important to the story) i turn and see this BEAUTIFUL woman walking across the street from me.

Her hair was up…

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