Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Apple launches Apple Music in China - Reuters

Whew ... That's a long trip to China.
Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere today when clapping and cheering interrupted the quiet. Following the trail of all the noise took him to the Reuters site.

According to a post he found there, Apple will begin offering iBooks as well as iMovies and iTunes in China this fall. Apple announced the service will be available on Adroid phones. This will be a subscription service with an additional per item charge.

Panzer says, "Hmmm ... China is a huge market for ebooks, movies and music."

To read the post, tootle over to Apple in China

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

After Oyster, What's Next for E-book Subscriptions? - Publishers' Weekly

Where are they going?
Panzer made a trip over to the Publishers' Weekly site today.When he was digging around in the posts there, he found one about Oyster's announcement they'll be closing their doors next year.

The post by Andrew Albanese and Jim Milliot (with help from Calvin Reid) concerns the future of ebook subscription services after the demise of Oyster. The beginning of the post deals with the issues Panzer described in his post last week: Part of the Oyster staff will move to Google and the competition from other subscriber services. The post goes on to explain about traditional publishers' acceptance of the subscription model. In general, the post presents a positive future for ebook subscription services

Panzer says, "Will ebook subscription services survive is the question inquiring cats want to know."

Note: This is a h-u-m-o-n-g-o-u-s post. Bring two gallons of tea and a dozen muffins. Also bring your favorite blanket and pillow to take a nap halfway through the post.

To read the Publishers' Weekly post, tootle over to  Oyster
To read Panzer's post, tootle over to Ebook Subscription Services

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Panzerism

Panzer on the human misconception of their importance:

I went to the vet today.
You know ... I'm still not listening.
She cleaned my ears.
I can hear much better now.

But ...

That doesn't mean I'll do what you say.*

*from Cat Wisdom for humans

Saturday, September 26, 2015

From Book to Ebook and Back

Panzer made a weekend trip over to the Flavorwire site. After some digging around there, our traveling kitty found a post by Jonathan Sturgeon about the return of print books.

Panzer already told you about The New York Times and the Observer's recently carried posts about the return of print books.  Flavorwire poster Jonathon Sturgeon takes a different approach to the resurgence of print books than the other two. While he does mention the new contracts between publishers and Amazon and the subsequent increase in ebook prices, he says it's too early to tell if that has caused the decline in sales. Instead, he approaches print book sales from the "human" standpoint. He quotes a poet who points out poetry can't be read properly on an ereader and another reader who says when reading for pleasure he wants a print book in his hands. So maybe there is more involved in the ebook sales decline than just the price increase.
I'm ready.

Panzer says, "Maybe ... You humans are a tactile species. You want to pet my fur?"

To read the post at Flavorwire, tootle over to back to books
To read Panzer's dead tree books post, tootle over to dead tree books

Friday, September 25, 2015

Would-Be Buyer of B&N Settles Fraud Charges - Publishers' Weekly

You thought you'd get away with it?
Panzer stopped in at the Publishers' Weekly site today.

In a post by Jim Milliot he learned some interesting facts about a purported attempt to purchase a controlling interest in Barnes & Noble last year. In February 2014 Michael A. Glickstein of G Asset Management LLC announced they wished to purchase 51 percent of Barnes & Noble. That turned out to be not only false, but impossible. Glickstein and the firm did not have the money to do the purchase and they had no way to get the money. What they did have was some B&N stock they'd already bought. The possible B&N purchase attempt news raised the stock price so G Asset Management LLC made money selling their stock.

Panzer says, "Barnes & Noble didn't have anything to do with any of this. This was strictly Glickstein and G Asset Management."

To read the full post, tootle over to Barnes & Noble

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dead Tree Books Aren't Dead Yet According To Readers

You just won't listen.
Panzer made a quick trip to The New York Times site. Our speedy kitty boy found some interesting information about the resurrection of print books.

According to a post by Alexandra Alter, publishers' ebook sales are declining and their print book sales are increasing.


Although it's buried halfway into the post, under publishers' new contracts with Amazon they can set their own ebook prices. And ... they're setting them high enough that they almost match print (hardback) prices and they're much higher than paperback prices. So ... of course publishers' ebook sales are declining.

Panzer says, "You humans still aren't listening. I already explained the less is more rule to you."

Note: This is an e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y l-o-n-g post. You better bring a thermos of tea and two days worth of muffins.

To read The New York Times post, tootle over to print books
 To read Panzer's less is more post, tootle over to less is more

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oyster, E-Book Subscription Service, Shutting It's Doors

Whew! I'm tired after all that.
Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere just having a relaxing trip today. Suddenly, the quiet was littered with sniffling and snuffling and raindrops pitter-pattering on the Panzermobile windshield.

Following the trail of the commotion, our big bad kitty went to the Publishers' Weekly site. According to a post there by Calvin Reid, ebook subscription service Oyster is closing. Oyster is a service similar to a buffet dinner in that you can read all the ebooks you want per month for $9.99. Mr. Reid quotes from a post at the Re/code news site that some members of the Oyster staff will be moving to Google Play Books. Included in Mr. Reid's post is a link to the Re/code post.

Panzer followed the trail even farther and went to the Smashwords Blog site. According to a post there by Mark Coker, he (Coker) received direct notification from Oyster about the closing. Since Smashwords is a provider of indie published ebooks to Oyster, Mr. Coker was provided with information about the closing date (sometime in 2016). They both (Oyster and Smashwords) will continue their contract agreement until that time. Mr. Coker also gives his opinion on the current state of the ebook subscription service market, including Scribd and KDP Select.

Panzer says, "Hmmm. Google Play Books?"

Note: Each of these posts is l-o-n-g, but the Smashwords post is the l-o-n-g-e-s-t. Bring a h-u-g-e pot of tea, three muffins and a cushion to sit on.

To read the post at Publishers' Weekly, tootle over to Oyster
To read the post at Smashwords, tootle over to Oyster and KDP Select

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Anne R. Allen's Blog: How to Get Your Indie Book Translated and Reach th...

Whew! Easy as can be.
Panzer was looking for information on getting his ebooks translated today. A quick search in the Catosphere brought our big brave kitty over to Anne R. Allen's Blog. Digging around, he found just what he was looking for in a guest post by indie author Mark Williams.

Although Mr. Williams' post is divided into fifteen sections and sub-sections, there are really only three parts to the information in the post. It begins with some of his publishing history and experiences with traditional publishing's translations of his work. He then moves through Amazon's history including the Kindle and other devices, including the translation market size. To wrap up the post he moves into the ins and outs of getting your work translated for foreign markets when you're an indie author. According to Mr. Williams, getting translations of your work done isn't as expensive or complicated as you might think. He lists (with links) the two services he uses.

Panzer says, "Now that I know how easy getting a translation done is, I'm ready to do it."

 Note: This is a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g post, so bring a a t-h-e-r-m-o-s of tea and a muffin.

To read the post, tootle over to Anne R. Allen's Blog: How to Get Your Indie Book Translated and Reach th...

Monday, September 21, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on the Oops Factor:

Mom and I are having a disagreement.

She says my middle name should be Oops.
I'm definitely not happy about that.

They jumped off by themselves.
It's not my fault her knick knacks keep smashing themselves by jumping off the shelf in the living room.

I say they have a mind of their own.

They're like lemmings. Where one goes they all follow.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Do E-Books Earn More Money at Lower Prices? - Observer

Repeat after me: Less is More.
Panzer made a stop at the Observer site today. Our adventuresome kitty found an informative post by Brady Dale about the correlation between ebook pricing and sales.

Dale did a rather extensive online investigation to determine if there really is a correlation. He has quotes from Amazon on the Kindle Forum, from the Smashwords Blog and from writers/authors on the Kindle Forums. It does appear from his research that price plays a role in the number of ebook sales, however, if the price is too low, that can also negatively impact an ebook's sales.

Panzer says, "I've said it before and I'll say it again, can't you humans add and subtract?"

Note: This is a longer than usual post, so bring a larger cup of tea.

To read the post, tootle over to ebook prices and sales

Friday, September 18, 2015

KDP Select Titles Being Pirated and Distributed to Other Stores

Must reading for authors.
Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere minding his own cat business today. Our laid-back kitty decided to make a trip to indie fantasy author Lindsay Buroker's site. It's been quite a while since Panzer has visited her site and he wanted to know what she's been doing.

According to Ms. Buroker, back in August one of her books in the KDP Select program was pirated. She had no idea that had happened until Amazon sent her an email that they were going to remove her account from KDP because she was published elsewhere. She learned through some digging on her part that the book has been pirated. The post tells the steps she needed to go through to get the book removed from the other stores and what happened subsequently.

Panzer says, "You need to bookmark her post for future reference."

To read the post, tootle over to KDP Select Titles Being Pirated and Distributed to Other Stores

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Writing Mystery Suspects

Hmmm. What. How. When. Why.
Panzer went tootling around in the Catosphere today just enjoying the ride. Our big bad kitty boy stopped in at author Elizabeth Spann Craig's site.

Panzer found a post at Ms. Craig's site about something close to his little crime solving heart: Writing about your crime suspects. Ms. Craig breaks the suspect process into four sections. First is the What Section: The number of suspects. Second is the How Section: How to introduce the suspects. Third is the When Section: The story pacing. And Four is the Why Section: The suspect's motive. Actually, the post is a mini-course in mystery fiction writing and well worth your time.

Panzer says, "You know, I do accept kitty treats for my help."

Note: This is the second post in a series and there is a link to the first post.

To read the post, tootle over to mystery suspects

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' Rocket Company, to Launch From Florida - The New York Times

My rocket is faster than yours.
Today Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere looking for something interesting to report on. Our inquisitive kitty boy stopped in at the New York Times site. It took a lot of digging, but he found a post about Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his rocket company. If you're like Panzer, you didn't know Mr. Bezos had a rocket company or was looking for a launch site.

According to the post by Kenneth Chang, Mr. Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin will have a factory in Florida near their new launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Even though Mr. Bezos made the announcement personally, he didn't elaborate on what the rockets will be carrying.

Panzer says, "When did he go from books to outer space?"

Note: The post is located below the excerpt from Mr. Bezos' announcement. This is a r-e-a-l-l-y l-o-n-g post, so bring an e-n-o-r-m-o-u-s cup of tea.

To read the post, tootle over to Blue Origin

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

George R. R. Martin In Z Nation According To Entertainment Weekly

Don't look. He's scary.
Panzer was just waking up from his late morning nap when he heard some strange shuffling and dragging sounds coming from the Catosphere. Not one to be frightened by unknown noises, our big brave kitty boy headed the Panzermobile toward them.

It took some searching, but finally he found the source of the sounds at the Entertainment Weekly site. James Hibberd says in a post there that Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin is going to do a cameo role on Z Nation.

"What part is he going to play?" you ask.

A Zombie Author, of course.

Panzer says, "The post even has photos of Mr. Martin in Zombie makeup. Yuk!"

Note: Just a warning: You probably don't want any tea with this post, because Panzer is right, "Yuk!"

To read the post, tootle over to George R. R. Martin

Monday, September 14, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on human behavior:

I and my cat friends have spent a lot of time studying humans ...

both mine and other cats' pets.

We've studied human behavior toward themselves,
toward others, and toward their cat owners.

Trust me. You don't want to know.
And ...

We've come to the conclusion

that you don't want to know our conclusion;

it's just too depressing for you to know.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Writers Earn Below The Poverty Level According To Authors Guild

Don't touch my treats!
Panzer was getting the Panzermobile all fueled up when he heard crying and moaning coming from the Catosphere. Our big brave kitty followed the noise to the Publishers' Weekly site. What he discovered there made him sorry he found the source of all the crying.

According to a post by Rachel Deahl, the Authors' Guild did a survey of its members about writing income. What they discovered is very disheartening for new writers entering the writing arena. The survey showed that most authors make less than the Federal Poverty Level of $11,670 annually from their writing. What does the Guild suggest? That publishers pay higher royalties to authors, of course.

Panzer says, "That's barely enough to keep me in kitty treats."

To read the full post, tootle over to Guild survey

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Shocking WSJ Discovery: Higher Prices=Lower Volume...

Are you sure you humans know how to add?
Panzer stopped in at Joe  Konrath's A Newbie's Guide to Publishing blog today. Our big bad kitty boy found a post by Barry Eisler about price and demand in economics.

Mr. Eisler's post addresses an article in the Wall Street Journal about the rising cost of ebooks and consequent lower sales. After the new contracts traditional publishers signed with Amazon, they (the publishers) began charging premium prices for ebooks ... and ... sales plummeted. Mr. Eisler explains the "correlation between higher prices and lower demand" in sometimes snarky and sometimes humorous terms.

Panzer says, "The folly of human stupidity never ceases to amuse me."

Note: This is a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g post, but well worth the gallon of tea you'll need to finish reading it and the Comments Section.

To read the post, tootle over to A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Shocking WSJ Discovery: Higher Prices=Lower Volume...:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Amazon Kindle Scout Program To Expand

I can see you from here.
Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere and decided to visit his friends at GalleyCAT. After doing a little digging around our inquisitive kitty found a post about Amazon's Kindle Scout program.

When the KS program was starting a while back, our adventuresome boy participated in the reader voting for a new author to get a publishing contract. He's pretty excited to learn, that according to Dianna Dilworth's post at the GalleyCAT site, the program is expanding to other countries. It will now be open to international authors.

Panzer says, "As always, read the rules and make sure you understand and agree with them, before you submit or sign anything."

To read the GalleyCAT post, tootle over to Kindle Scout
To read the submission rules, tootle over to Amazon

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Amazon Turns 20 Years Old

Wow! 20 years.
Panzer had a long day today. Our tired big bad kitty boy was in the Catosphere on his way home, when he heard laughing and cheering and glasses clinking. Following the sounds took him to the Publishers' Weekly site.

Panzer discovered that according to a post by Jim Milliot, this is's twenty year anniversary. That's twenty years ago they started selling books, then ebooks, then Kindles,

then even more ebooks ...

and then ...

housewares, then electronics, then diapers ... you know all that other stuff they sell now too.

The post includes a history of Amazon from the beginning to now with sales figures from over the years, too.

Panzer says, "This post makes it look like there wouldn't be an ebook market without Amazon."

Note: This post requires a h-u-g-e pot of tea, a h-u-m-o-n-g-o-u-s muffin, and a sleeping bag to take a nap part way through reading the post so you're rested to finish it.

To read the post, tootle over to Amazon

Monday, September 7, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on the perils of protecting Mom:

I heard a bunch of noise in the kitchen.

I sauntered in to see what Mom was squealing about.

There on the floor ...

Was this little black spider  ...

I got into my predator mode ...

I started doing the Cat Wiggle Your Behind Dance ...

Better the spider than me.
Getting ready to pounce ...

Then ...


Mom almost got my nose with that broom!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Jamie McGuire Novel To Be Sold At Wal-Mart

I'm looking for the answers.
Panzer was just tootling around in the Catosphere today, when he heard a bunch of cheering and shouting and general merriment. Following all the noise got him to indie author Jamie McGuire's blog.

According to a post there, Ms. McGuire's indie paperback novel, Beautiful Redemption, will be sold on the shelves of Wal-Mart. This is a first for an indie published book. Unfortunately, the post doesn't explain how she was able to get Wal-Mart to handle the book. Also, there are no details on how Createspace was involved in the agreement. It does, however, seem to be a first step in the door at brick and mortar stores for indie authors.

Panzer says, "I don't want to get anybody's hopes down, but she is a New York Times Bestselling Author. I don't think Wal-Mart will sell paperbacks by you or me anytime soon."

To read the post, tootle over to Jamie Mcguire

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Guardian's Stephen King Crossword Puzzle

Whew! It's really tough.
Panzer found an interesting crosswords puzzle at The Guardian site. You all know he's a big Stephen King fan, so he was happy to find a puzzle about Mr. King's books. Our bad boy kitty admits it's a hard puzzle to solve even for him.

Panzer says, "Pssst ... There are secret instructions for individual words and the solution after the puzzle."

To try the puzzle, tootle over to crosswords puzzle

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Special Panzerism

It takes practice.
Panzer on empathy:

You must open your heart to feel
As you open your eyes to see.

Usually ...

I just jump on anything that moves and rip it apart.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Stephen King On The Value of Productivity

Panzer was flying around in the Catosphere just enjoying himself when he made a little stop at The New York Times site.

Our big bad boy is doing The Happy Kitty Dance, because he found a post there by one of his favorite authors ... Stephan King.

Mr. King's post is an opinion piece on the value, or lack thereof, of productivity in writing. It appears that in his opinion how prolific a writer is does in some cases have an impact on the quality of the work. As examples, he compares Barbara Cartland (700 published novels) and Ursula Bloom (500 published works) with Agatha Christie (91 combined works) and John D. MacDonald (no exact total given) and then he adds to the comparison with Donna Tartt (3 novels) and John Franzen (5 novels).
Am I or aren't I?

Panzer says, "Hmmm ... Let's see ... I have one short story collection and one soon to be released collection of my Cat Intelligence Greatness ... Does that mean I'm a literary giant?"

Note: This is an e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y l-o-n-g post, so bring a l-a-r-g-e p-o-t of tea and a h-u-g-e muffin.

To read the post tootle over to Stephen King

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Amazon Ebooks Deal Cancelled

I'm feeling better now.
Panzer got behind in reporting the news last week because he wasn't feeling well, but today our big bad kitty boy is feeling much better. At the New York Daily News site he found a news item from last week that looks interesting.

According to a post by Lisa Colangelo and Ben Chapman, a $30 million contract between Amazon and the New York City Education Department has been postponed. The contract was to be to setup an ebook marketplace for the city's students. The contract was postponed because the Department received letters protesting that visually impaired students would have problems using the system. Amazon and the Department are in talks to alleviate the problem.

Panzer says, "Hmmm ... $30 million ebook store for students."

To read the post, tootle over to Amazon Ebooks