Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Madrid Writer's Group

I've been meaning to go to the Madrid Writer's Critique Group for about two months, ever since I found out about it via Abha Malpani, who left a comment on one of my posts.

Last week, MamaDuck and I finally got around to going, and we met some very interesting people. We went again last night, met some more interesting folks, and I suspect that our Tuesday evenings henceforth will be taken up with this. I've added a new section to my sidebar that links to some of the writers I met. The list will no doubt expand as I get to know more of the members.

On the topic of POD (Print-On-Demand), I found out this morning that has turned evil. Apparently they have a new policy of not selling POD books unless they are produced by BookSurge (which Amazon owns). They will still list POD books from other sources, but will no longer sell them direct. Which strikes me as a form of blackmail. They are using their market strength to force people to use BookSurge. Now, that might be ok, if it wasn't for the terrible reputation that BookSurge has. There are stories all over the internet about BS producing books with upside-down pages, or back-to-front page order, or just generally poor quality. Whereas Lightning Source products are extremely good, and very hard to distinguish from traditional offset-printed books. Add to that the higher costs of BookSurge production coupled with the deep discount now being required by Amazon, and you have a situation where POD books will become significantly more expensive than previously, and POD publisher's margins will be squeezed to the bone. Not a happy scenario, and I hope that Amazon will wake up one morning and see sense. Yeah, right.

This will run and run, and I don't think it will ultimately benefit Amazon. This looks a lot like a monopolization of a market sector. Sadly the remedy for that is legal action, and we all know how long that can take.


Macthomson said...

Here's a suggestion for next Thursday.

This is a talented girl whose blogging and Flickring I have been following for as long as I've been reading your posts.

I used to manage photographers so I think I can spot promise. And she is also a perfect example of a creative person for whom the web has been the magic key opening many doors.

Johanna said...

Hi there,

I'm a writer who is new to Madrid. I'd love to check out the writing group you mention- can you send me the details of where and when you meet?