[RANT] WHY IS THIS BOOK $17???

I LOVE to read.  It’s mostly my Mom’s fault, since she always read to me as a child, was a public school teacher, literacy teacher, and ran the literacy department for a public school system.  It’s in my blood.

Now I understand all these book publishers need to make money.  And, of COURSE, the authors deserve to make money.  But WHAT THE F**K.  $17?  For an e-book?  There are no printing costs.  No paper, no shipping to bookstores.  The publishers literally just have to  read, edit, and market.  $17.  I feel like somewhere in this equation greed has really taken over.

20 years ago I was buying paperbacks for $5.99.  Those were the expensive ones.  I remember when they went up to $7.99 for some newer, bigger, more popular books and I thought, “That’s expensive, but, hey, prices go up!”  Then ebooks.  $2.99, $5.99, $7.99.  It was wonderful.  Then the $9.99 books came out and I was like, what?  For a digital copy that I can’t lend to anyone, or sell when I’m done?  And, if you read the Terms and Conditions, YOU DON’T ACTUALLY OWN IT!  Nope, you bought the right to read it, but they reserve the right to yank it right off your digital device for “reasons.”

I started reading the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson a couple years ago.  I bought the Way of Kings ($9) in April 2016 and Words of Radiance ($10) in May 2016.  Then I realized that the series was incomplete… and waited.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that Oathbringer was out and thought I’d read that, but it had been so long I needed to re-read the other two.  Just finished yesterday, and went to buy Oathbringer.  $17.  The local libraries have  about 2 dozen copies but there are 3 dozen people waiting for them.  So, if I want to read it before I begin to forget the other two I’ll have to buy a copy.

$17.  For… a book.  That I won’t actually own, and can’t sell or lend (which also means I can’t borrow it from a friend).  That has no real physical presence.  On a side note: The paperback is listed at $20, and the Hardcover at $22.  What in the hell is going on here?

Anyway, I’ve had enough of this for now.  I’m not buying it.  Sorry Mr. Sanderson.  Pound sand Macmillan.

</rant>

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I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

It’s a weird thing to admit, I know.  But it’s true.  You know the expression, “Fake it ’til you make it?”  That’s me.  Oh sure, I’ve been good at previous jobs.  But I’ve always faked the passion.  Oh, I supposed I might have been a “true believer” for a time, but the more I learned about my chosen profession, the more cynical I become.  That’s why when I was laid off last year I didn’t feel particularly bad about it.  It was an opportunity to make a change!  But to what?

And that’s always been my problem.  I have no idea what I’m doing!  Or more importantly, what I WANT to do.  “What drives me?” is one of the hardest questions I’ve ever had to ask myself.  It’s actually frustrating as hell, because you’re think that would be an easy one!

How do you even answer that question?  I don’t think I’m particularly passionate about anything.  I like to read (Sci-Fi and Fantasy, primarily), watch movies (the entertaining kind, not the educational kind), play with my dog, and surf the web.  I LOVE receiving packages in the mail, and for a while I was reviewing products on Amazon but that recently came to an end.

I like writing and am passing-fair at it, as evidenced by the fact that you’re still reading this wall of text I’m laying down here.  Thanks for that, btw.  But what do I write?  A book?  Short stories?  Random blogs about things and stuff?  Emotionally, I don’t think I’m ready for random stream-of-consciousness writing in such a public forum.  Frankly, I’m not sure the world is ready for me to just dump my brain out on the screen anyway.  It’s a weird place in there!

Irregardlessly (BOOM!  Adverbed an imaginary word.  I like throwing that in there just to upset both the grammar AND spell-check systems.  I think I may have also verbed a noun?), I suppose Forrest Gump had it half-right.  Life IS like a box of chocolates, but you have to bite into a bunch of gross ones like coconut (sorry hon!), and other weird nonsense until you find those sweet sweet buttercream bites of deliciousness incarnate.

So the circle us back around, what am going to do with myself?  I think I’d be awesome at retirement, but I lack both the funds and the funds to make that fantasy a reality right now.  Something in the book industry would be nice.  Would I be a good editor?  Publisher?  Writer?  Some other “er”?  Geez, I can’t even remember if the question mark goes inside or outside the quotation marks.  That’s not a good sign.  Then again, if I’m writing/publishing for Americans (which I would be, I suppose) most people wouldn’t be able to tell anyway.  That’s kind of depressing, actually.

Anyway, I’ll keep looking.  I suppose that’s all any of us can do.  Except for those lucky few who already found their passion and are living their dream.  And who knows?  Maybe someone will read my blog, decide my writing is awesome, and offer me a grant of some kind to keep writing whatever madness pops into my head.  Or someone may read my blog, decide it’s just awful, and pay me to stop?  Ooh!  Or pay me to keep writing this awful nonsense because they find it amusing.  I’m strangely comfortable with that.

So in conclusion, that’s why the Marvel Universe movies are so much better than DC Universe movies.  But it’s sad, really.  How do you screw up Superman and Batman so badly?

Love,
Humble Dave

edit:  I also like craft beer and whiskey.  And I find technology fascinating, although the completely voluntary loss of privacy concerns me.