Tag Archives: short novels

BookShots Come Up Short

Abby Hoffman Said, “Steal This Book.”

Abbie Hoffman, Yippie, New York, September 11, 1968

 

I was interested in the new BookShot eBooks that popular novelist James Patterson was publishing.  My Detective Pat O’Malley Series was also predicated on the fact that readers don’t have the time to read long books, so none of my titles runs much over 40,000 words.  The American Library Association liked my idea so much they published all of my series titles as “highlighted” novels throughout the libraries of the United States.  In most word-counting systems, a novel today comes in at a minimum of 40,000 words, so I wanted my books to be on the lighter side.  Patterson is now coming out with an even shorter eBook, so I wanted to see what he had to offer.

When Abby Hoffman said, “Steal this book,” back in the 1970s, there were no eBooks.  He meant that the reader should literally steal his paperback.  Flash-forward to 2016, and readers can steal eBooks with no trouble as long as publishers allow the DRM of an Amazon or an iBooks.  Anybody right now can do a search for “Cross Kill and torrents” and get a download of the complete BookShot.  This is why publishers are losing three billion dollars per year (and climbing).

I developed my business because publishers and authors were getting ripped-off to the tune of three billion dollars per year with book piracy.  My eReader has an excellent Digital Rights Management system.   If publishers use my system, they can prevent eBook piracy.  However, if the book is poorly written, I can’t help them.  If one reads the negative comments on Amazon, one can see that the major disappointment of these readers is that fact that his BookShot title Cross Kill is not a complete story.  In other words, in his eagerness to lead the reader into the next serial, Patterson forgot that when a reader plunks down money (forget the piracy for a moment), he or she wants a complete drama with no “cliff-hangers.”

I submit that unless and until publishers learn to create stories that can be total experiences for the reader, and still come in at less than 150 pages, they will not win at the BookShot game.  Also, unless and until publishers learn that good DRM helps the publisher and the author make money, then we will eventually not have to worry about the sales of these books being poor because readers will be getting them for free.

Steal this book, indeed!