Dear David, Jen, Bob and Polly.
I am sorry to say that the travel miseries of other people can seem very funny when they are written down with such class.
Why is that? If I had been you, I would undoubtedly have been in jail by Hong Kong, arraigned before a hanging judge for infanticide shortly thereafter.
Sainthood is yours. Enjoy every sardine (I channel, with a Nordic twist,the dying Warren Zevon here).
PS: the cows of Dunsandel miss you all...
Kia ora David.
Sublime as usual, even when slime figures large - yurk. As for badgers, a little known fact there: dachshunds were used for chasing same, so perhaps there was one in hot pursuit of them critters that did for Emma's garage door? A sausage dog did it.
Stranger things have happened. Enjoy the summer in Norway, it's brief, I hear.
Hi David and all concerned. Wow, this thread has boasted heat, light and not a little testosterone at times.
I've tried to read most of it, but in the end, I think it comes down to the venerable "cake" metaphor as applied to the resources of the country as a whole. There is a certain amount to go around: how will we slice it?
In this case, there are three parties attempting to make money from the item, or multiples thereof: author, publisher and retailer. And of course, those in relationship to these three: the author's whanau, the publisher's employees and contractors, and the retailer's staff.
The discussion here seems to me to be one about sharing what each book produces, and all parties leaving the table reasonably happy. As a writer, I depend on publishers and booksellers and I respect their skills and the risks they take. I have self-published on a very small scale and worked for many years in the book trade.
I am sympathetic to all sides here - after all, don't we need each other?
I don't see that David's post was either ill-considered or excessively partisan. He is just trying to find a way around the pressing problem that the writer cohort has to deal with, in a very small market here in New Zealand (yes, I do understand this limitation applies to publishers and retailers also).
I appreciate the fact that someone with his experience and smarts has raised it. I am not complaining, but rather stating the obvious by saying that in choosing to write both poetry and non-fiction here, I am presently consigning myself to relative penury. That's my choice. But if a better mousetrap can built here, why not take a good hard look at it?
E-books and e-publishing and e-retailing are what is happening to us, like it or not, and the present models are in all respects being challenged and changing. Fair play to all parties, I say.
This kind of lateral thinking is what's needed. Plenty of fish hooks, but hey, what else can we do while we write our hearts out and live on charity?
As a former bookseller, I know how the publishers and the shops wrestle over discounts (often around 40% to the retailer), but big book chains like Waterstones in the UK have made publishers blink at times and hit them for 45-50% of the retail price, meaning somebody back at Publisher A get less money and then they have to trim and pare - read, editorial staff, proof reading, quality of paper used etc etc. Or take the pain, and slowly go out of business.
Publishers operate differently (in my case, from Penguin to Steele Roberts), and I would not be wise to divulge any details. But let's say, what have the big guys got to lose by operating a little more like some of little guys and co-operating in investigating a brilliant scheme like this?
Geoff Walker by the way, has resigned from Penguin, but I can't see him doing nothing...there must be wise heads like him out there who can contribute to this brainstorming. All in the interests of books and survival, of course.
David, larf, I nearly died, as they say in my old Dad's West London manor - but that's OK, I get to come back again anyway. Your Scots Marxist grandad deserves a book on his own.
Kia ora Russell
Thanks, it is a privilege - and thanks also to David Haywood.