Thursday, January 28, 2016

At Authors United Event, a Call to Bust Amazon "Monopoly" - Publishers' Weekly (PW)

As soon as Panzer hit the Catosphere today his tender little kitty ears were buffeted by moaning and groaning. He followed the noise over to the Publishers' Weekly site today. It didn't take any digging at all to find the source of all the cries.

A monopoly?
According to a post by Bethanne Patrick, Douglas Preston's Authors United group held an event in Washington, D.C. on January 27 titled Amazon's Book Monopoly - A Threat to Freedom of Expression. Also participating in the event were the American Booksellers Association, the Association of Authors' Representatives, and the Authors Guild. It's not surprising that the event focused on the push to get the Department of Justice (DoJ) to investigate Authors United's antitrust allegations against Amazon. Panels discussed the legal possibilities of the antitrust allegations against Amazon, that Amazon is destroying book publishing and other topics.

Panzer says, "Hmm ... Amazon is a monopoly? ... What about: Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble?"

Note: A cup of tea and cookie for today's reading.

To read the post, tootle over to Amazon

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Updated: Amazon is Testing Title-Specific Kindle Gift Cards at Drug Stores in Washington State | The Digital Reader

Getting up from his after lunch nap, Panzer made a short trip into the Catosphere today. Our little kitty traveler stopped in at The Digital Reader site. There he discovered a post about a new experiment with gift cards by Amazon.

It's an interesting world out there.
According to the post by Nate Hoffelder, has begun selling title-specific book gift cards and Kindle Unlimited subscription gift cards in the Bartell Drugs stores. The Bartell Drugs stores chain is located only in Washington state. The post includes links to Amazon and Bartell Drugs to read about the program. There are also two updates at the end of the post.

Panzer says, " Hmm ... It's been tried before ... Not successful in most cases except in Germany and Canada ... But with Amazon you never know what's going to happen."

Note: A cup of tea will be enough for today's reading at The Digital Reader, but, if you follow all the links, add a muffin.

To read the post, tootle over to Updated: Amazon Title-Specific Gift Cards

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Winter Institute 11: Report Finds $1 Billion Tax Gap Caused by Amazon - PW (Publishers' Weekly)

Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere when he heard crying and the gnashing of teeth. Following all the noise took him to the Publishers' Weekly online site. There our brave kitty explorer found a post by Claire Kirch about the Winter Institute 11 conference.

The post is about a report presented to the attendees at Winter Institute 11. Prepared by the American Booksellers Association and Civic Economics, the report says 23 states and Washington, D.C. do not collect sales tax from It also says because of the sales at and other online retailers an estimated 30,000 retail businesses were not opened and property taxes not collected from them. Also, 136,000 jobs were not created by those non-existent companies. And, finally, the report says all of the sales taxes, non-existent businesses and non-existent jobs add up to $1 Billion dollars Amazon (and the other unnamed online retailers) have cost.
My head hurts just thinking about it.

Panzer says, "I don't understand human math. If the companies don't exist, how can you know what size they would use for their store? And how can you know, if something doesn't exist. how many employees they didn't hire? And ... Sales Tax? If you didn't collect it, how do you know how much it was?  Nothing plus Nothing plus Nothing equals $1 Billion?"

Note: You'll need a cup of tea and two muffins for your reading today.

To read the post, tootle over to Winter Institute 11

Monday, January 25, 2016

A New Panzerism

Panzer on teaching humans:

Everyone says that cats hold grudges.

You know ...

It's true ...

We value the ability a grudge gives us to maintain our contempt of humans.

Here's an example ...

Cute, chubby kitty, huh?
Mom's new neighbor Buddy actually said this out loud the first time he came over to the house last week: "Oh what a cute, chubby kitty."

I'll tell you about grudges ...

He'll never find his house key again. Never. Never. Never.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kindle Counterfeiting - A Growing Threat to Authors

Panzer made a short trip into the Catosphere. Our kitty boy stopped in at John Doppler's Words on Words blog. Digging around he found a post from August of last year that indie authors need to be aware of.

You better watch out.
According to the post, there's a counterfeiting piracy scheme going on. What happened to author Rebecca Merry Murdock is used as an example. A scammer stole her ebook and royalties. They did this by uploading a copy of the ebook and then making a duplicate sales page. The sales page got connected to her author page. Ms. Murdock was able to track down what was happening and contact Amazon. If she hadn't been checking her ebooks, she never would have know what happened.

Panzer says, "We better all check our ebooks just to make sure it's not happening to any of us.!"

Note: A cup of tea and a muffin should do for today's reading session.

To read the post, tootle over to Kindle authors

Saturday, January 23, 2016

From Indie Author to 6 (and 7!) Figure Traditionally Pubbed Book Deal - Indie Reader

After Panzer woke up from his afternoon nap he headed out into the Catosphere. Tootling around he stopped in at the Indie Reader site. There he found a post by Joe Sutton about indie author success stories.

Mr. Sutton's post tells of six indie authors who have gotten traditional publishing contracts and/or movie deals. They come from all genres. Fiction writers Hazel Gaynor and Jasinda Wilder got traditional publishing contracts, Children's fiction writer Cal-Johan Forssen Ehrlin and self-help author Aija Mayrock also got traditional publishing contracts. Fiction writers Andy Weir and A. G. Riddle got traditional publishing contracts as well as movie contracts.

Money or Cat Treats? Which for Me?
Panzer says, "Hmm ... I don't know if I'd want to give up all control over my books just for money. But ... That is a lot of money for kitty treats."

Note You'll need a cup of tea and a muffin for your reading today.

To read the post, tootle over to indie success stories

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Apple Fires Back at DoJ - Publishers' Weekly

Let me out of here.
Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere when he noticed a pungent smell coming through the ventilation system. Following the odor took our fearless kitty pilot to the Publishers' Weekly site. Since a cat's nose can smell things seven times stronger than a human's nose, our kitty boy put on a gas mask before he left the Panzermobile. But even wearing the mask without any digging at all he discovered a post about the ongoing saga of Apple's price-fixing conviction.
According to the post by Andrew Albanese, Apple's attorneys have filed more paperwork (called a brief) with the Supreme Court again rebutting their original conviction of ebook price-fixing. After reviewing Apple's and the DoJ's briefs and the amicus briefs from seven of Apple's supporters, the Supreme Court will decide if they will accept Apple's appeal for consideration. If the Supreme Court does not agree to review the case, Apple's court fight should be over. However, if the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, the Court could rule in favor of Apple (basically "not guilty of price-fixing"), in favor of the DoJ (basically "guilty of price-fixing") or send the case back to the lower courts to re-do (basically "a do-over").

Panzer says, "Note on the legal stuff: Look ... I'm a cat, not an attorney ... So all that human legal mumbo jumbo is just to best of what my kitty brain understands. Don't go into court and quote me ... Unless it's a cat court of course."

Note: One cup of tea for today's reading.

To read the post, tootle over to Apple

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Amazon is Shutting Down Shelfari - GoodeReader

Mine. Leave my book shelf along!
On his trip into the Catosphere today Panzer heard shouting and crying. Following the noise our brave kitty boy found some sad news at the GoodeReader site.

According to a post by Michael Kozlowski, Amazon is shutting down their Shelfari site in two months. Instead of updating the Shelfari site, Amazon has long concentrated their efforts on their Goodreads site. Like Shelfari, Goodreads allows readers to have bookshelves, review books and interact with others. Apparently, now Amazon has decided to shut down Shelfari. Many users of Shelfari are upset and expressing their anger online.

Panzer says, "Hmm ... Amazon could have given members more time and help."

Note: A cup of tea should be enough for today's reading experience.

To read the post, tootle over to Shelfari

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Announcing 2016's Edgar Nominees - Criminal Element

Panzer made a short trip into the Catosphere today. Our sure-footed kitty boy made a quick stop at the site. It took no digging at all to find the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Awards Nominees for 2016 announcement.

The nominees for Best Novel are:

The Stranger Vine - M.J. Carter
The Lady From Zagreb - Philip Kerr
Life or Death - Michael Robotham
Let Me Die in His Footsteps - Lori Roy
Canary - Duane Swierczynski
It doesn't matter to me at all.
Night Life - David C. Taylor

Panzer says, "No ... I didn't make the list in any category again this year. That's not surprising though. They still won't let a cat get membership in their mystery writers group. What do you expect? They're just a bunch of humans. So ... I'm too sophistiCATed for them."

Note: One cup of tea should be all you'll need for today's reading.

To read the post, tootle over to Criminal Element Criminal Element

Monday, January 18, 2016

A New Panzerism

Panzer on an unappreciative human:

Okay, I understand.

Today is a big day for What's His Name.

He's meeting with an important client ... Whatever that is.

But ...

I was only trying to help.

And ... those fleas are for you too.
I slept on his shirt to keep it looking nice and pressed.

If he doesn't like it ...

He shouldn't leave a white shirt laying around ...

a considerate cat with beautiful black fur.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Freedom of Expression?

Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere just enjoying the day. Then our kitty's sensitive hearing was bombarded by a bunch of laughing and guffawing. Following all the noise took him to J. A. Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. There he found a post by Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath. The post deals with an upcoming event to demonize Amazon.

Watch them run around like mice.
According to the post, the group New America is holding an event called Amazon's Book Monopoly: A Threat to Freedom of Speech? The group believes Amazon is somehow capable of stopping the dissemination of books and information from reaching the public. The fact that Amazon's KDP service lets anyone publish anything they want seems to have escaped the group's notice. Of course, the group does include in the event Douglas Preston and Scott Turow who are both well known Amazon detractors.

Panzer says, "How can this New America group say Amazon stops the flow of information to them? Amazon let me (a cat) publish my book Cat Wisdom for humans there. Oh ... Wait a minute ... It's a group of humans ... and ... They think Amazon won't let anybody publish there. That explains everything. My book isn't really there."

Note: This is a h-u-m-o-n-g-o-u-s post with lots of links. You'll need two thermoses of tea, a dozen muffins and a sleeping bag for a nap part way through your reading today.

Warning: This post has some bad words and bad actions in it. Not recommended for those under 18 years old or those easily offended.

To read this post, tootle over to A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Freedom of Expression?:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Todd Larson Named CEO of Self-Publishing Specialist Blurb - Dow Jones Business News

Panzer made a short trip into the Catosphere today. Our big bad kitty made a trip to the Nasdaq site. Panzer has never been there before, so he spent a lot of time digging and rummaging around to find a post. Finally, when he was almost ready to throw up his paws and give up, he was successful.

You'd subscribe, right?
According to Jeffrey Trachtenberg, Todd Larson has become the Chief Executive Officer of Blurb Inc. Using Blurb you can indie publish your book or magazine in paperback or digital formats. Then you can sell them on Amazon or in the iBooks stores.

Panzer says, "Hmm ... I didn't know you could do magazines that way. Maybe ... it's time for a Panzer Lovers magazine."

Note: This is a medium size post, so a cup of tea should be what you need for today's reading session.

To read the post, tootle over to Blurb

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Book Promo Sites: How long do they work?

Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere when he heard some strange hemming and hawing noises. Following them took our kitty traveler to the Indies Unlimited blog.

With just a little digging Panzer found a post by Melinda Clayton which  was the source of all the noise. Ms. Clayton's post is about the state of ebook promotion sites. Her post contains information on two things important to indie authors. The first is that there seems to be a smaller return in sales from ebook promotion sites than there was just a year or two ago. The second is that promotion sites are merging. This is evidenced by the recent merging/partnering of BookSends and eReaderIQ followed by the merging/partnering of Pixel Ink and BookSends. This spate of merging suggests that there may no longer be enough members/readers to support as many promotion sites as in the past.
This doesn't look good.

Panzer says, "Maybe it's the ebook subscription services with the all you can read for one fee that's taking the members/readers away."

Note: This is a medium-size post. You'll need a cup of tea for your reading today.

To read the post, tootle over to book promo sites

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Scribd Hires Eric Shoup as COO - Scribd

Panzer made a trip into the Catosphere looking for indie publishing news today.  After the demise of Oyster he's been hearing some murmurings about the health of the other ebook subscription reader services. So, our inquisitive kitty reporter decided to stop in at subscription service Scribd's blog and see what he could find.

It didn't take any digging at all to discover Scribd has hired a new Chief Operating Officer. The new COO Eric Shoup has experience working in membership expansion and product management. Since Scribd is intending to grow their subscriber base and manage their products, his previous work will fit in with Scribd's plans.

Next cut ... Mysteries? Just asking.
Panzer says, "Hmmm ... Scribd dropped romances from their ebook product line and added comics and sheet music last year. Where will the next cuts be?"

Note: This is a short post. A cup of tea should do it for your reading today.

To read the post, tootle over to Scribd

Monday, January 11, 2016

A New Panzerism

Panzer on teaching your human new tricks:

I'm really getting upset with Mom's behavior.

For a long time now I've tried to teach her the basics of catching mice.

I want her to enjoy life like I do.

And ...

Catching mice is the funnest thing in the world.

But ...

She just refuses to take the mouse from me with her teeth
She just runs away.

And ...

 Toss it into the air so I can catch it again.

I won't give up.  She'll learn sooner or later.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Kobo has created a new e-book section for Wattpad - Good e-Reader

Look what I found.
Panzer stopped in at the Good e-Reader site today. After a little digging around there, our adventurous kitty found a post by Michael Kozlowski about Kobo and Wattpad.

According to Mr. Kozlowski's post, Kobo has created a new section on their site for Wattpad ebook sales. While the Wattpad section is small, it's important to remember they've only been in the publishing business for a short time. Mr. Kozlowski's post includes a link to the Wattpad section at Kobo and a link to a previous post about Wattpad's entrance into the publishing arena.

Panzer says, "I didn't know Wattpad was publishing participant's work."

Note: This is a short post. A cup of tea should be enough for your reading today.

To read the post, tootle over to Kobo and Wattpad

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What Does 2016 Hold for Digital Publishing? - PW

Panzer made a trip into the Catosphere today. Our intrepid kitty traveler doesn't mind spending his time there where he won't become snowbound. He stopped in at the Publishers' Weekly site. Digging around he found a post by Andrew Richard Albanese about what's in the future for ebooks in 2016.

According to Mr. Albanese and the people he quotes in the post, 2016 will be an interesting year. To begin with ebook sales were down 11.1 percent from August 2014 to August 2015 and dead tree (print) book sales were up 2.5 percent. However, the interviewees for the post say there's no need to worry. The market is simply in a state of finding a stabilization point. When new e-reading devices come on the market, owners fill them with ebooks. Since there are currently no new e-reading devices in the pipeline, the market is bound to slow down. Also, the all you can read for one payment subscription services caused the market to slow down too. Many more points and much more information is covered in the post.
Follow me for the answers.

Panzer says, "Hmmm ... So ebook sales are going to remain flat or decline even more in 2016? So ... Maybe it's not a good time to write another ebook? No ... Readers will always look for their favorite author's books."

Note: This is a h-u-g-e post. Bring a thermos of milk, your lunch, and a muffin for dessert.

To read the post, tootle over to 2016 digital

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Smashwords Year in Review 2015 and Plans for 2016 - Smashwords Blog

Panzer took the Panzermobile over to the Smashwords blog today. Our busy kitty boy did a little digging and found a post about how Smashwords' 2015 went and what's planned for 2016.

I can see the future from here.
Panzer always looks forward to Mark Coker's, founder of Smashwords, annual review about how the company has done in the previous year. It's an opportunity for our inquistive kitty to get an overview of the true indie world. In the opening Service Milestones section of Mr. Coker's post he documents Smashwords expanded distribution channels, the added pre-order feature for future ebooks, the added faster shipment, and 8 more improvements to the company. The beginning section is followed by a Business Milestones section and a Miscellaneous Milestones section and ends with a small Smashwords Plans for 2016 section.

Panzer says, "MeWow! The company sure has added a lot of features for indie authors."

Note: The is an e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y l-o-n-g post. You'll need a thermos of tea and half a dozen muffins for your reading today.

To read the post, tootle over to Smashwords: Smashwords Year in Review 2015 and Plans for 2016:

Monday, January 4, 2016

A New Panzerism

Panzer on the Creator's creations:

The Creator only made a certain number of perfect creatures.

Ones ...

with fur ....

with tails ...

See ... No thumbs.
with pointy ears ...

and ...

with the extraordinary ability to purr.

The rest he gave opposable thumbs.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Estate Planning For Copyright Owners - Writer's Fun Zone

It's important to plan ahead.
Panzer took a short trip into the Catosphere today. Our big bad kitty boy is still recuperating from his New Years' Eve catnip party. He went to a site he's never been to before called the Writer's Fun Zone and he's happy he did.

On December 16 Panzer told you about the Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Management to protect your money in case you become incapacitated. After digging around at the Writer's Fun Zone he found a guest post by Kelley Way about estate planning to protect your copyrights after your death. This newest post covers three things you can choose among to do before your death to protect your copyrights. Also included are any problems associated with the three ways. It's never too early to start protecting your assets.

Panzer says, "The beginning of a new year is the time to get all your things in order."

Note: This is a short post so you'll only need a cup of tea for today's reading.

To read the post, tootle over to copyright owners