October 10th, 2013

Grandinetti interview

h/t Nate over at The Digital Reader for the link.

http://publishingperspectives.com/2013/10/candid-facts-from-amazons-russ-grandinetti/

Completely unimportant comment here: I swear Grandinetti looks like he's barely aged at all. He was there before I left. Which was Not Recently.

Entertaining quotes:

"“We have little reason to believe that other countries will have a different track to the US”, he stated." Graphs to back it up. Snarky restatement: they aren't different. They're just behind.

And the real reason I'm posting here, the last paragraph in its entirety:

"The high profile Amazon executive used his last few minutes to promote MatchBook, the program that allows customers to buy digital editions at a fraction of the price if they buy the print edition too. “Only a fraction of 1% buy both print and Kindle editions of the same book,” he stated, suggesting that publishers joining the program would lose few full-price sales. Of course, this also raises a different question: if there is so little overlap in buyers, what’s in it for Amazon?"

You have to ask?

Okay, I'll bite, because I've been realizing lately that my process is so internal that I'm not explaining it to anyone, so the only person who actually understands what has been happening with books around the house is me.

I've had a long-standing rule: I won't own more than 3000 physical books. I decided I needed a rule in my early 20s, when I was hanging out on r.a.b. and r.a.sf.w., and reading stories about how hard it was to move with books, and structural damage to buildings from books and so forth. I had _never_ moved at that point: I was a commuter student in college and didn't move out until I was 24. And there was a point in time where I had to regularly edit my library so I could go buy more books without breaking the rule. But when I started moving back and forth across country, I started drastically reducing, with the goal of 1500-2000. Once I was stable on the East Coast, the numbers crept up again (and I'm _not_ counting my husband's or my kids books). And then R. got me a kindle late in 2007. I went through a few stages of trying to figure out whether I could get enough content to switch over to e-books (I couldn't for the first couple years, even with a concerted attempt to switch to e-pubbed books, reading Eppy winners and self-pubs). I adopted a policy of buying used and/or using the library for books I couldn't get in e-version. It wasn't very successful, either, since a lot of my discovery process at that point involved watching The Daily Show and similar.

For a while, I would buy non-fiction titles that were not available (or windowed) for the kindle, and then donate them to Mayberry's (<-- not its real name) library; the library was working on improving its current non-fiction selection at the time and I talked to the librarian about what they were looking for to coordinate as best I could.

Then I got so irritated about all the showrooming accusations that I quit going to bookstores entirely: I either bought it on the kindle or ordered it used from Amazon (or, in the case of rarer stuff, other used bookstores online). As the kids got older and could reach higher on the bookshelves, I started removing my books from the upper shelves of rooms they had access to, inexorably shrinking the library to the 3rd floor's bookcases. I'm now under 1000 physical books (for me -- again, not counting R.'s or the kids books).

First, I got rid of the books I was never going to read because I'd gotten mad at them. Second, I got rid of books I was never going to reread again. Third, books I was never going to reread. And now I'm going through books that I haven't read but am not mad at: this is the Read or Release program. I'm *this close* to getting rid of a full height bookcase (I've never done this before, except for a move, when I knew there would be different bookcases on the other end of the move to fit the new space).

Two things have made it possible to get rid of books that I really enjoyed and might one day read again -- the current stuff headed out to my sister. First, her family is really enjoying the books. Second, I've noticed that I'm willing to re-buy a book (for the kindle) rather than retrieve it from the shelves, if I have confidence that the quality of the kindle version isn't going to truly suck (rare, but it does happen).

So: "what’s in it for Amazon?" The same thing that Amazon has had a laser focus on, right from the beginning.

A Happy Customer Who Wants to Buy Exclusively from Them.

Today's Activities Include: swimming, cooking and cookbooking

A. had her swimming lesson this morning. Her instructor had her try flippers. That was really fun; I should see if I can get a pair, or two maybe one for each kid.

Both kids made it to their lessons this week, on their half days. This may have been a first; they keep wanting to cancel, and when they are really sick, there's not a lot of choice. There have been a bunch of Saturday make-ups, which is fine, but the idea was to not have them getting too used to spending their half day glued to a screen.

After I dropped A. off at school -- wearing the donkey paper ears and donkey plastic mouth/teeth from her Wendy's kids' meal -- I stopped at the hardware store to get paint for the next room to be painted. It's not a new color; I'm using the Hawthorn Yellow that we used in T.'s room, for the interstitial space that is evolving into an office.

I've been poking more at my online cookbook. This has had some really great side effects on what I've been eating. I realized that my crepes weren't in my cookbook, so I cooked those so I could take a picture for the page I created, and along the way used up the last of the strawberries in the freezer. I finally made a version of chicken cashew nut that had almost all of the relevant ingredients in it (I forgot the cilantro. Oh well.). As I've been updating pictures with pages, it occurred to me I could do a little more cooking ahead, so I made cole slaw with the napa cabbage I bought a few days ago, and cooked the mushrooms. After the first batch of mushrooms, I thought, hey, I should just put all the odds and ends of tomatoes in from this week's BLTs (I got Niman Ranch bacon again) and make marinara sauce. As I have been using up things I've cooked before as leftovers, I now have more things to choose from over the next few days; the time I have to cook is often not right before the time I want to eat, so this is a lot better for me.

Today I decided to track down the HTML tag to put a little icon up in the browser tab. I found it, and then I made a couple of icons: one with my initials for the top level pages (and perhaps as a default for other pages), and one with a knife, fork and spoon for the cookbook. In purple, of course. ;-) [ETA: I made a book icon for the book reviews section; who knows when that will get propagated throughout. I have no mortal clue what to use for repro or the advice book.]

I think yesterday was when I created the Set over at Flickr to organize the cookbook photos.