Thursday, 3 February 2011

E- Books Pricing Investigation...

Last year I was blogging about the introduction of the 'Agency Model' for e-book pricing that many of the larger publishers had introduced, or were intending to introduce. For anyone new to buying e-books or the agency model you can read it here.

The OFT (Office of Fair Trading) in the UK has opened an investigation into the arrangements between publishers and suppliers for the sale of e-books. This is the result of a 'significent number of complaints', though there is no detail on whether the complaints were individuals or organisations, or both, nor how many.

"The Competition Act 1998 prohibits agreements, practices and conduct that may have a damaging effect on competition in the UK." (OFT statement) There is more but you get the idea...

Just because these agreements are being looked at, it doesn't mean that the publishers and suppliers are guilty of 'any breach of the law'.

(In fact when publishers announced their intentions last autumn many of the larger suppliers made books unavailable until agreements were reached.)

At the end of the investigation a ruling will be made, so what happens then will depend entirely upon the results.
So meanwhile publishers can continue to tell suppliers how much they can sell that publisher's e-book formats for...

As an e-book buyer I'm looking forward to reading the conclusions.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

It's February...

Well I know that's obvious if you look at today's date, but no sooner is the New Year over than the month is gone.

So what have I achieved in the last 31 days?

More than I expected actually.

I had intended to enter a 250 word competition with a closing date of yesterday, but have to admit I failed. The idea just didn't go anywhere and no matter how many avenues I considered it just wasn't right.

Despite that failure I did enter the Words with Jam competition for the last couple of lines of a story. I was not alone in this, there were 800 entries (it was free to enter). I didn't expect to get anywhere but considered it was good practice. I rewrote the ending of a piece of flash fiction and it did actually assist me in deciding how I could improve the rest of the story- it needs to be longer...

Last month I had a lot of commitments so very little quiet time which I think contributed to my spell of writers block. Glad to say the remedial action is working.

Nor have I read as much as I wanted. I'm working my way through the most recent Woman's Weekly Fiction Special and have the Fireside Reading special from People's Friend to follow.

I've started 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel', but have been in a short story mood, so swapped to 'Loves Me, Loves Me Not' a great mix of stories that can be dipped into when you only have ten minutes to spare.
I bought this last year and have got about half way through and have thoroughly enjoyed the variety.

Last night I bought and downloaded another short story anthology 'Diamonds and Pearls', which has among it's contributors well known writers such as Della Galton and Sue Moorcroft. The great thing about this book is not only does the reader get a wonderful bunch of stories to enjoy, but also a donation from the sale of each book goes to a cancer charity.

I'm certainly learning from these stories how to improve my characterisation.

So now I have a few weeks without interruptions- hopefully-I'm going to get on with some writing. Have a look at competitions I could enter over the next few months and get my brain moving again. And carry on reading.

In the meantime I want your opinions on whether you prefer your novels to be character or plot driven? Perhaps you don't have a preference.
You will find the voting box on the right hand side of your screen under the list of my Followers (thank you all).

If you'd like to share how you fared with your writing and/or reading in January then please add your thoughts to the comments box. I enjoy reading them.