OR Books Interview, Computer and Technology News
Broadcasting. Live it's, America's, longest-running, talk, show on computers, its computer, America, bringing, you the biggest names in technology with. Gifts interviews, we products your. Emails listen, live at computer, america.com. On, any device around the world email. The show at live at computer america.com, or, find, us on social media be, sure to check out our website for contests, giveaways, show. Notes live, video stream, podcasts. And more you're, listening to computer. America. Hello. And welcome, it's at the computer America show we are the nation's longest-running nationally. Syndicated radio talk show on computers. And technology thank you for joining us I'll both of you were having a great day and yeah, we have a great show planned for you as well because, well. Later on in the program we will be doing computer, and technology, news and that, is a segment dedicated, to all things well, news and you. Know a there's a lot of fun things to talk about including. A some new distributions, of of course windows and. More. Interesting, things I promise but yeah I know there's, many lots of good stuff but, the second part the first part of the show though is dedicated, to our guest who, is the one the only or, publishing, if you haven't heard of them well you, are in luck because we're, gonna learn all about what they do and how they do it for well publishers, so. A, couple, things to mention though right before we get started including computer, America comm that's where you'll find everything, including, the show notes for today's show so if, you want to link to our guest website or if you want links. To any articles news videos things like that everything. Will be in one place for you ready to go also. Be sure to check out, the. Social media contest brought to you by Logitech and check, out the live video stream which, of course is, just another way to experience, what we do here so, all that said we are just going to jump right into this and. As I said before or, books you, know we're gonna find out just what they do but just. From a quick little, glance it's all about publishing and how to get yourself published in a, world where, you. Know it's it's complicated you have to talk to a lot of different people and well. It's mainly, dominated by, a single source so if you don't happen to like well, Amazon, then, you are a little out of luck well that's where or where, or books comes in so, with that being said welcome onto the program at mr. Cullen, Robinson, and he is the, co publisher for the company and Colin. How are you doing I'm. Very good thanks then it's. Good to be here yeah happy to have you happy to have you so, I think why. Don't we start, off before. We you, know get into our conversation about you know the state of book, publishing, tell, us about the company and you know how it was founded and you know kind of what is the mission of our books. So. We, set up all books it's our books, the. Idea of the, name is. That. It suggests an, alternative. Approach to book publishing, either or, it. Also happens to be the initials.
Of The surnames, of the two founders John Oaks, and. Myself, Colin Robinson, but. We wanted to be wanted, you to set up something which was different from conventional publishing. Companies, we. Both worked for a long time in, publishing, and we, could see that it was getting increasingly, difficult, to, publish, the sort of books that we were interested in and those. Are really midlist. Books they, are not. Big, blockbuster. Bestsellers, but, they're not very specialist, books either they're, not textbooks. They're. Not monographs, they. Are. Middle. Of the range books books. By authors. Who are just, starting out books. By authors who have something, of a reputation. But. You know haven't hit the big time yet, books. Where writers. Can take a bit of a risk on a new idea or a new. Way of writing, we. Think that's the most interesting area, of publishing and, latterly. With conventional, publishing, methods it's, been very poorly served, and, I'd. Be happy to explain why. We, think that is. Sure. Yeah I mean. You know just right off the bat the first thing that comes to mind is that you, know hey we're on the Internet as well we are at a traditional radio program but. The spread of information and, media has. Gotten so, simplified. In a lot of areas, thanks. To the internet that it's, a little surprising, to me that you know for people who want to ie. Publish, you know the idea of sending, documents. And getting them you, know to the, right people at the right times and like it seems like the entire, process. Of publishing should, have gotten easier with, the rise of the Internet but I mean hey I guess you you wouldn't have founded, this company if, if. That were the case, well. The company is very internet-based and, we, certainly are using the Internet, in, an, effective. Way but. I think, my. Argument would be that. A. Few. Decades. Ago a couple of decades ago. You. Would see maybe. A. Hundred, thousand titles need published in, the United. States, each. Year. Last. Year that figure if you take into. Account books that were self-published. That. Figure would be more like three million new titles, published in a year and, you, might think well okay that's great that's just more choice for everyone. But. Paradoxically, very. Wide choice. Can. Actually narrow. What's. Read. And. Let, me just explain that sure. When. People are faced with overwhelming choice. They tend to do one of two things, they either. Pick. The same thing that everyone else does. Or, they retreat, into a very narrow specialism. Because. They can't cope with the amount of stuff which is available to them I think. There was an experiment, done once where they. Looked. At the sales of jam, in a supermarket, and if you put out. Ten. Different, flavors, of jam, people. Would, buy pretty. Evenly across. The different flavors, but. If you put out a hundred different flavors, of jam then.
The Vast majority of people just. Went for strawberry, because they couldn't they couldn't deal with the amount. Of choice that they were faced with and. You're seeing something similar now in. Book. Readership, what's. Happening, in in in. The. Way books purchased. Is that more. And more people are reading, the, same few, big blockbusters. At the top, of the bestseller lists, you know whether it's Harry, Potter or Fifty, Shades of Grey or. Stephanie. Mayo or whatever, it is it happens to be big in that season and then. Huge. Numbers, of books are being read by very, very small audiences. And. The. Middle. Ground between those two categories is being completely, hollowed out that's. What I was referring to earlier is, the mid list and. There's. A problem with that because. That's. Generally the area of publishing where risks. Are taken where, new ideas can be presented and can become established. Ideas, where. There's a kind of mobility. In. Writers. And, what they're writing about and, if, that is slowly, being winnowed, away as well, not even slowly, but rapidly being winnowed away. By. The structure. Of the industry now that, that I think is a real problem and that was it, was precisely that that we've tried to address with, the model, of publishing that we've said have books, yeah. And we're gonna talk about that, method and you know just one more example I I know this the study was speaking, more towards, childhood, development, but I think it kind of also applies here where, University, of Toledo happened, just a month or two ago and they. Were looking at when, you give kids. You. Know like dozens, of toys versus. Like, three or four toys, you, know and the dozens, and dozens of choices actually. Found that the kids were distracted. Never, really got the amount of enjoyment that you, know that other kids. Did I mean it really seems that the, idea of just, distraction, and you know having. That huge, huge choice really. Does money the water and you can see why people pull back and only look at the top 100 because. That's much easier to digest then, you know three million self-published. Books so, I I completely, understand and very. Very interesting because I've, been. An avid reader my whole life I've you. Know I've browsed the bookshelves, but it never really occurred to me that probably. The books on the. Bookshelf at your local Barnes Noble or what-have-you those. Are, probably already successes. In a lot of cases it's that, yeah and you know and you probably speak to this better than I could but books. Aren't, just what's at the local, library or in a Barnes & Noble like they're you, know that's not books nowadays books are digital. They are on Kindles, there's. A lot more choice than I think people can even search right. Yeah. Definitely, I mean if you go into a Barnes & Noble. Which. By the way I think are, a. Shadow. Of what Barnes & Noble stores used to be unfortunately. And. I think that isn't result largely. Of competition, from Amazon. So. Barnes. & Noble have really been, put through the wringer as a result of that competition. And. Of course the other big chain, which. Was borders in the u.s. went. Out of business altogether a few years ago. So. Those those, bookstore. Chains have really been suffering but. The there. Are a number of areas. Of growth in book selling. You. Know Amazon obviously, being the main one but, also perhaps as a reaction to that independent. Booksellers. Quality. Independent, booksellers, have, actually been going through a bit of a renaissance and I. Think one, of the reasons for that is that actually, a smart. Independent, bookseller, plays, a really, vital function. In saying. Well we, kind of know who our customers, are we.
Know What they're interested in and, we're going to make a selection for, them so that when you come into our store, a, good. Number of the books that we are putting out on the table so you look at we, have, a strong, fear that you're going to be interested in those and. I think people really appreciate, that, you. Know in. The situation, where basically. Production. Of books. Actually. Many, things has. Absolutely. Burgeoned. You know where there were huge numbers of things coming out there they're, all of gatekeepers, is really. Increasingly. Important. And. Where we were going to talk about Amazon in a bit but Jeff gives us quite famously, said you know that it was time to get rid of the. Elitist. Gatekeepers. Of publishing who were deciding, what, it is, you shouldn't, shouldn't be reading I mean he kind of made that statement he's. Very proud that Amazon, will, sell, anything. At all I mean perhaps with a few categories of you. Know books that are obscene. Or that. Sort of thing but but outside of that they will just sell anything, at all on their platform, and he sees this as a. Unqualified. Good. Thing I doubt. I don't I, think you. Know publishers. Booksellers. They. They, should they. Should help you make choices in a situation. Where there's. An overwhelming. Amount. To choose from it's, it's, a very, because. You know we're seeing it even in our industry, and radio where you, know we talked to program directors who curate their own you. Know programming, for each radio station and that's, a pretty big deal but then at the same time you. Have podcasts. You know this idea that you can get on make. Something of similar you. Know format, and you. Have tons, and tons of choices but you know having that curation, I think you're absolutely correct to a point that's, it's, you. Know having having. Someone already do the legwork and say this is what you'll you know this is what you'll probably enjoy but. Then also I, guess having another forum for. The, spread of you. Know all the other ideas that's also important as well you, know we're, being we're beating around the bush here Colin. If you would like to talk about Amazon. And why let's. Start with the culture of inside, Amazon, towards. Book publishing. Well. Amazon, started. In. 94. And they, came into the industry really like a train, for.
Many Years it was pretty uninterested. In making a profit it was interested, in. Developing. A customer, database. Increasing. Sales and. Brilliantly. Successful outage. I mean. It. Really, did take over the industry. At. The retail end and he did it by. Concentrating. On a couple, of things really. One. Was choice, which we've been talking about anything. Is, available, easily available. Another. Was. Customer. Service, I mean they were really. Excellent. Looking. After people, who were buying things from them, and. Arguably still are on a kind, of at least on a narrow level. But. Probably the main thing which when them customers. More, than anything else was. Price as, they. As. They. Grew they. Came to the publishers, and basically. Said well if, we, are, going to sell your books, we need steeper. Discounts. So. What had been discounts, in the book trade of maybe. 40. Percent. Of price 45, percent of price. Gradually. Under. The influence of Amazon, using. Their muscle, in, a really quite aggressive, way. Because. It is an aggressive company, I. Think. These. Are once said. You. Know we. Wanted Amazon, to be intense. And we want to be nice but if we have to choose between being. Nice, and and intense. Well, we'll, choose intense, and and. They brought that kind, of very very tough. Attitude, to their negotiations. With publishers, and they, began to push the discounter till they got up to what they are now which is you, know north of sixty percent of the price of the book, so. If you think about it I mean if you're producing a book you're, giving the retailer sixty percent out. Of, the 40 percent which remains, you've. Got to pay for the production of the book usually. That's about 20. Percent of prize and. Then you've got to pay the author. You've. Got to pay the overheads. Of your publishing company. There's. Almost no money in it there's very very little money for promotion, and. In a situation, where there are hundreds. And hundreds millions in books coming out each year if, you can't promote it's very hard for your voice to be heard above, the kind of general background noise I. Guess. And. I'm sorry out there but I I guess that leads us into our next question which is why it's bad for the book business, you. Know you're, right when the profit margins that are raised are thin start. To be pushed and pushed and pushed I guess, then it's not even about you. Know making different book deals, it's, just that authors, would, probably. Head off to other. Formats. Or just you know stop being authors because it, doesn't, pay the bills right. That's exactly right I. Mean, what, happened is. The. Publishers. In the face of this, increased. Discount that they were having to give the retailer largely, as a result of Amazon of course I mean what happened when Amazon. Pushed the discounts, up was that Barnes. And Noble followed, suit I mean they wanted to surveys had, to stay competitive so they say well alright if they're getting higher discounts, we want them. But. Then we'll so what then what, happened was that publishers, had to cut costs, and. You. Know because profit margins in publishing have never been very high I mean there's not a lot of fat to curt, so. They had to find ways of saving money and the ways in which they save money were by. Cutting. The advances, that they paid to waters I think, if you talk to literary, agents, you know they, would say that in the last decade. Probably. For those midlist, books that I was talking about earlier not, for the big blockbusters. Those advances, of if anything increased. Because. You, know that's where profit is being made in the industry, but for, the Middle East books, I think. Agents would say that those advances, have been cut maybe by 50, or 60 percent, well. If you pay authors, half of what you were paying them previously to, write their books then. You're. Either gonna get books that are written. Faster. You. Know probably. Less good. Or, you're going to get books that are written by people who don't really earn have to earn a living from from, writing I mean the, books will then we all be written by people who are well-off already, you know doing.
It As a hobby maybe or. Our. Academics. You I, mean. There's, nothing wrong with academics, writing books in fact it's important that they do but it changes, the kind of publishing. Which is occurring and it means that really. The. Criteria, for what's published, less and less becomes who is good at writing, and more and more about, who, can afford to write there's. Something wrong with it, so. I mean, the picture, that you're painting here is an industry, that is you. Know kind of dying because of oddly, enough the largest, player. In the industry is pushing. Everyone out of it and you, know even even the the, customers were you know at least the, suppliers the authors find. Themselves in a position to, either you, know have a day job something, that actually, earns. You money and then, in their off time write, books which you, know I guess, that. Hasn't, been the case before if you were a decent author even if you were a middle-of-the-road, author you. Could still you, know hey pay. The bills if you had at least a decent followership. So I mean all this, comes together I mean. We've. Been talking about the, death, of the publishing industry for, a while thanks. To Amazon and the like but. I mean if you could you give us a you, know an accurate read on the health of publishing, either self-publishing, Amazon, publishing, or you. Know just just if someone, went to publish a book. Was the industry for, them. Well. I think. It. Would certainly be an overstatement to say that publishing, is dying. Book. Sales have actually, proved. Can be quite, resilient overall, I mean, it's particularly, compared, with say the music industry, which I mean you know what happened to the music industry as. A result of, the. Digital. Revolution was. Kind of quiz mate I mean I think tales. Of music absolutely, plummeted, over, all thousand, books have not fallen. Very much they've gone down a little. And. Publishing, companies, have. Consolidated, you. Know there's only 5 really, big publishing, companies. Which. Dominate, the industry now and, probably. Further consolidation. Is just, around. The corner. They're. Not hugely, profitable these, companies but they are still making a profit, but. I think the issue is. You. Know what I've been talking about it is these midlist, books because. It's not just that they're cutting the advances, to these midlist books but, they're also cutting the amount of money that they spend to market them. And, the amount of money they spend on editing them, that. Accountants. Are telling them that. Where, the money is coming from in their companies, is the. Big books. At the top. Of the list you know the blockbusters. That they, should concentrate evermore on those I mean some of them work some of them down but overall that category, of publishing is what's making money for them and the Middle East is just basically a draining. That profit, away and, so they should they, should cut what they're spending in that area, well. You, know that, is I think it's it's, bad for readers it's bad for ideas. You. Know really if everyone is just retreating, into either very, very specialist. Little niches you know books. On how you you, know renovate, a motorcycle. Seat or, you. Know Harry. Potter at the other end. It's. Not a very healthy intellectual, society, it's there's. Something there that there's a problem there. And. So. You. Know I it's, not that the business is. Collapsing. It isn't. But. There's something I'm very very unhealthy, about it and I think I, think, Amazon. Has. Played a large, part in that so. I guess my next question would be you know I. Definitely. Agree but. I think a lot of people out there now have more choice when, it comes to the, type of media that they consume and you. Know we. Have many authors on the show they write admittedly. More technical, books you know how to use your Mac OS 10 operating, system what-have-you, but, they, have shown. Something. That they definitely enjoy about maybe, publishing. An. Audiobook that they can go back and you know kind of reupload, to their site and kind of edit that kind of thing or maybe, even a, blog, that they can you, know kind of as things change again.
This Is the more technical side as things, change they can go back and change them as well. If. You could you know and I'm completely asking, for your opinion here, why, are ebooks still a medium worth exploring, because, you, know they're not, they're, not up to date in a lot of cases if they're technical otherwise. You, know you have other ways of getting different kinds of media. What. Wire books especially, those middle, books still. Worth investing, in. We. Mets a very good question you know it's a complicated question. You. Know I, it. Seems to me. Quite. Difficult to say that, a knowledge. Set which is put together by. Hyperlinked. Pieces. On the, internet. Is. Less. Useful. Lesson. Richen than, a knowledge. Set which is put together by, reading. A single book, you, know I'm. Not sure that I would, be able to answer that question I, mean, it. Sort of, begs. The question well what is a book you know books. I suppose, would be defined, primarily. By, their, by. Their length actually, I mean a book, is something that came out of. History. Us what. The amount of paper that a binding, machine could hold together in a, single binding, so you. Know it would need to be you. Know more than a few pages, but. It would need to be less than say a thousand, pages because. You, can't bind that so. The book takes a physical, has, a physical form which, is a length. Which is kind of determined, materially. And. Of. Course. With. Electronic media that that distinction completely. Disappears, I mean you hope you then you just have a continuum, between a tweet on the one hand you know 140. Characters on the one hand and the. Largest library, in the world on the, other I mean there's no there's, no. Qualit. Quality of, difference, between those things there's only a quantity of one so. But. I think I would argue that the, book is the longest. Form of. Intellectual. Or. Aesthetic, experience. That. We. Have in the written word. And. It. Allows you a book allows a, single. Voice, to. Go into. An idea. Or. A. Piece, of art in. A way that, shorter. Things simply can't do I mean you, know I think.
One. Of the online, retailers. Measured, how. Long it took people on average to, read The Hunger Games. Can. They could they could they. Could tell, by the way people, were using their device, how long it took we would have read it it, was seven hours to read The Hunger Game so that was the average amount of time someone's, been reading, it and, that's a significant. Period. Of time and, I. Think, you get something, out, of. Something. Unique out. Of that kind of investment. That. You thought that you can't get just by sticking. Around for one thing to another. So, you. Know I'm not sure that in terms of knowledge sets. You. Know it's a superior form but, I certainly think that it's got, a car there's a value, to. Being. Able to explain ideas at, that sort of length and, also being able to absorb. Absorb. Yourself, in ideas and that sort of length I think it's um I think, there's something very valuable in both directions, right and, and again, I ask I ask you this question I wanted your opinion on it and I, say this with dozens. And hundreds, of books in my library sitting, there you. Know that I some, of them were my parents that's I have read just. The same material that they read you, know dozens, of years ago and I. Have my own book series that I'll probably hand down to my kids that. You know it'll be the same book, and ideas and words that I read it's a it's. That to. The experience point you're right books, I think that's one reason why you know we're seeing a resurgence in. In. Records, you know an actual physical medium is that, you know having, that tactile, sensation. It's in a digital world it's, hard to come by and it's and, it's, a pleasure so all, right so there's books. So. And I will say this Colin that we're about to head into a break but we can start on, this. Next, question which is you, know again we've been talking about Amazon and, I kind, of wanted to, wrap. Up Amazon and you, know some of the other topics there and then we'll talk about or books, or, books and we'll talk about you know kind of where you come in and how I'm guessing. You're trying to fix this system so, we, have about a minute left why don't you go ahead and get started talking, about how. About. Amazon and taxes. Because Amazon, really seems very. Adept at, squeezing. Every, little penny out of the, book publishing process, so, could. You talk about you know kind of that, aspect, of it, sure. Yeah well when Amazon was set up. They. Originally. They were I think gonna set up on an Indian Reservation outside. San Francisco, because they could avoid taxes, altogether but, they couldn't they weren't there were problems were there so. They set up in Seattle, and the reason they did that was because you. Only, have to pay taxes, I'm. Talking about sales tax now, in, the. In. The state. In which you. Are located, and as. Washington. State is quite a small state and, not. Very much of Amazon's business was going to be there that, was that was a, substantial. Tax benefit, to them and and, they really have avoided. Meg's or the sales tax very, effectively, you know they're really really good at using. Legal. Loopholes, to avoid, paying sales taxes. You. Know which gives them an uncompetitive, edge. Against. Sorry. An improved competitive, edge against regular, retailers, yeah, yeah and. I'm, sorry to separate their calling but music, means we're gonna take a break everyone. We're talking to mr. Colin Robinson, he is the cup I'll be sure for or books Oh our, books calm if you want to check it out folks, we'll be right back with more computer America and more.
This Great interview for, after this stay tuned. We. Are all four other wolf ten, years ago a group of locals, banded, together to create positive change, we. Took animals, into our homes held, adoption, events at local retailers, and talk, to the community about our mission, to help build a no-kill Asheville a decade. Later we, have achieved so many victories, for animals in need there's. Been so much progress yet. There's still so much to do as. Part of our year-long celebration we. Encourage, you to become a member of our special, compassionate. Circle program with. A monthly, donation of, $10, or more you'll, have behind-the-scenes. Access, to the work we are doing at, brother wolf our, goal, is to reach 1,000. Members because, we receive, no government, funding working. Together we. Can help build and sustain no-kill. Communities, learn, more a compassionate. Circle, dot BWA. Org. We, are a 501c3. Tax-deductible. Organization. And. Welcome, back to, the computer America show it is 31. Minutes past the hour as we continue on with, or books, and we are talking to mr. Colin Robinson he is a co publisher for, the company and con. I apologize, for having to cut you off there but. You. Know as you were saying you, know and this is a problem that's a lot, of internet-based companies, Amazon, of course included, but we have we see things that. A lot of companies they. The. The. Legislation. On taxation. Has, not kept up with the, age of the internet and we're, seeing a lot of, very. Dangerous ideas, thrown around about how to tax these people you know do you tax the safe that you're selling to this you know do, tax the state that you're selling from do, you double tax on the same thing which I think is illegal in some cases, you. Know or do you have like some kind of weird, flat tax that just goes to everyone and I. Guess you're saying that Amazon, you, know had. Found the, cheapest. Solution to, that problem and, therefore. Was getting an unfair competitive, advantage which. You, know unless every other publisher, in the industry, and even then you said 60% is Amazon so they, don't even have as loud of a voice as one company does you, know it's not like every other publisher, in the industry can come together and go oh we. Need you know we need special taxes. On selling, books, it's just not it's, just not feasible the way we're contained to do it so and. And again you were going to continue on that idea that Amazon, again. Just time, time again it seems like is Banting. The system, to. You. Know either due to its size or just, the way it does business it's, bending the system to its benefit, and almost. Everyone else's detriment. Yeah. I mean it's, not just local. Sales tax but it's also corporation. Tax you. Know tax on on the, company, the. You know the set. Up a corporate, headquarters in. Luxembourg. In. Europe. And. Did. You deal with the Luxembourg government, that they would pay low. Taxes. In, that state. And. Then what they. Do is they, have internal. Trading, arrangements whereby, people. Sections. Of Amazon outside, of Luxembourg, buy. Very, expensive. Services, from Luxembourg, so, many is taken out of Amazon, in, places. Where they would have to pay substantial. Taxes, and channels. Through a place where they have to pay very low levels of Taxation. And. This is really you. Know this is a problem and it at a time when public, services, are being cut to, the, bone right, that. The tax. Base is falling, and. Of. Course it's also because. Of the competitive, advantage. This gives, Amazon. The. Effect of this on the high street is really terrible, you know I mean, look, at look at Main, streets across the United, States they're kind of shadows, of their former selves. You, know empty empty. Stores. You. Know basically. Shopping. Centers that are just you know rundown, and not functioning any, longer, the. Communities. Pay a terrible price for that there's no center to the town yeah, and, you know that is one reason why there was a big story going around we really didn't, cover it here on the show that much it, was where. Is Amazon's. Second, headquarter, going to be in the United States because, a lot of you. Know mayors were saying that hey this is gonna bring hundreds. Of thousands of jobs or tens of thousand I forget the number but. Everyone. Was tripping, over themselves to. Cut you know the corporate tax rate that they would pay to give them land to give them, incentives. To give them worker training, programs and you. Know we see this with Apple, Google many. Of these large companies, they. Fall all over themselves to get those jobs that the.
The Community, really, the city, that they land in they, never recouped the cost like it's all it's it's really, close to a, zero, net. Gain for them as if, they had never shown up I mean sure they look bigger on a map but, as for, the prices, that the people. Had paid in taxes and they lose in tax revenue they, might as well not even have to be there it's, it's. Really frustrating to see. Yeah. I mean I think of. Course Amazon using, it which. They're very skillful, at doing as, a way of attracting. Publicity. To their. Company. It's. It's. You. Know everyone, wants Amazon, you know it makes them look desirable. But. Sure. They're what they're they're playing one city off against, another and. And. When they do move in. The. Working practices, that they impose on their employees, are often just appalling. I, mean, there was a stat that came out just. Recently which, show that. You. Know hire a, quarter. Of Amazon, employees. Are on, food stamps you. Know. This, is their. Working. Practices, all. That. And. And unfortunate, that that's actually fairly common with a number of large companies out there that, yeah. You know they find, the they. Pay very, very smart people smarter, than myself way, smarter than myself to find out how to pay as little, get, the most benefits, and at. The same time take. Those profits and not spread them out among the, communities, that they are based. In or anything like that but. You're, right you know that's a that, usually goes elsewhere and it, speaks. To the book publishing that they do the same thing that you know maybe they have books manufactured, in China sent, over to the US so digitally, blah blah blah and I. Guess, it's, kind of the same thing what you're talking about before with books and also, with communities, you, hollow out the middle you get, either those, who have really no influence and those who continue. Who have the influence to, continue, to enrich, themselves it's. It. Seems like a bad thing in a lot of regards I mean so. Not. To get too depressing because computer America I promise, if we try to keep things light and happy, here. Is there, something people can do to, foster, or. At least is there an alternative, is there another way to do, this because right. Now so far it sounds like am. You know one, of the biggest and soon-to-be, only. Games in town are there, alternatives. Well. I mean the good news is there are and I think all books is an example of what can be done there we, basically, from the get-go said, we, weren't going to sell. Through. Amazon, we were going to try to create a community around, our publishing company, and. So the way. That we operate is that we sell direct, to consumers. You can only buy the book from us, you. Come onto our site. And. Look around you. Decide, what. You want to buy and then you, buy. The book through. Our. E-commerce. Site. And. The, order then goes to, a. Printer, either, in the UK, or in, the. U.s. our. Printers in Minnesota in the u.s.. They. Get the order and they, print, the book and send it to you, so. All of our books are sold direct, and. All, of them are printed. On demand and. So. We have no stock, we. Don't have. Seasons. Of selling, books we can reduce books really quickly, if we're doing a book which. Is an intervention, into say a political, discussion which, often you, know, the sort of books we do are we. Can turn them around really, fast if, we want to. And. We. Slowly built up a you. Know we've been going for nearly 10 years now we built up a loyal. Customer. Base. Who. Understand. What we're doing we appreciate, our tastes, they, often, buy, multiple, books from us, and. They, provide. The material. Basis for us to operate our publishing company, I. Apologize. If I make you repeat, yourself but, you, know other than this. Is something that I fundamentally. Believe in, as a movement as you. Know just the way of doing business is. There. Any other benefit. Like do. Do, you. Is this is this kind of like you, know Fairtrade, coffee or something like that where, everyone. Gets paid what they should be paid and there's, no exploitation of the system or like. What, other benefits do people get if they, were to shop for their books at or books. Well. I mean I think they've got the the, you know they know that they are supporting, independent. Publishing that you know it's not as though we're, siphoning, off I think, Jeff. Bezos, last. Year made over a hundred. As. A net worth now of over a hundred billion, dollars, he's a rich man Yeah, right, you. Know I can tell you know you know pretty straightforwardly, that. John and I you know the partners in all books are not you know that's. Not what we're interested in we're, interested, in the ideas, in, the books that we're publishing, and most of the books that we publish you. Know we hope are they're. Well edited, they're, beautifully, produced. And. They you know there's they're serious, I mean not that we don't publish you, know light-hearted books sometimes but, they, you, know we are interested.
In Producing books that are gonna try, to make the world a better place as we see it and. I think people appreciate. The, fact that they are in a community around all books with. Those sorts of values. So. You. Know we we. Know people. Come back and buy from us over and over again and, would they in because we're in contact with them you know obviously they're buying over, the Internet that's very easy for them to communicate, with us. You. Know it's very gratifying up, how, many times, we hear from our customers saying that, they really. Appreciate. What we're doing. And. I think it means that we can publish books which. Another. Benefit, I think which I hope they understand, we try to communicate this to them we, published the sort of books that often. Wouldn't be able to find a place in conventional. Publishing, because of the types of pressures that I mentioned. To you before and also, we, are able to market, them so. Because. You, know if you sell a book direct you have you get much more money for the sale than you would if you selling it to Amazon or one of the big chains we. Can do we can use some of that money to, help get attention for the book so we're very attentive, to. Putting. Together great. Materials, using, the internet to. Get. The book noticed, and. I think that's good for our authors, and I actually think it's also good for the readers too, so. And you. Know I was thumbing through your. Website and one out there watching the video portion of the show we've been checking, out your website as we've been talking and you. Know it's very interesting, I mean you know this is obviously a. Much different, proposition, than just, simply self-publishing. This is you. Know maybe alternative. Publishing I'm not sure you. Know or just another way to go about it but, you, curate. These things I saw on your website you do not accept, just. Random, manuscript. You, know it's. Being sent to you you how. Do you go about choosing which, books you decide, to publish it you know do you have relationships with the authors on a more personal level is this do. You have another vetting, solution. To get your content. Well. John and I have both been around you know for a while in publishing, I think. Often. We referred, to now as veterans, you. Know we've. Got a model which is very modern. You know very up-to-date. But. We've been around for a while and when you when you have been around for a while you get to know a lot of authors. So. I think, most of the books that we publish her, through come, through contacts. That we've got the, people that we previously published. But. We do try and mix it up a bit you know we take on books, by younger. Writers too you, know we want to give people a break you know if we think that they've got something interesting to say. But. We are you, know we're very selective, we. Every book that we publish, is something that we really care about passionately. We're. Not interested in publishing books simply to make money they, have to be books, that we think are, worthwhile. I mean that are going to add to the sum total of human good in some way, so. We are we're you know we're really selective. And then when we when. We take the book on you. Know it's not like self-publishing. I mean there's some great self-publishing, going on I don't want to knock it all. But. We are editing, the book very carefully. You know we're putting a lot of time into making sure that it's as good as it possibly can, be we're. Designing it you. Know I design, I think has been you know widely, praised it's it's, so, you, know we're. Very fastidious about, that. We. Are paying advances, to the authors. You. Know which doesn't happen yourself publishing. And. Well and we're really marketing, it you know in a way that gets. The book attention, if. The, book takes off. You. Know as some of them have we've had a number of bestsellers, we. Will, often then, go to a conventional. Publisher, and say look this. Is really work for us on our. Director. Customer, model, maybe. You ought to take, it over on a write steel and. Put it out into the book trade and. Actually latterly, we've had an arrangement, with a. Company, called counterpoint. Where. We've. Been Co publishing, books after, we've released them direct, to consumers. And sold them on the Internet we've. Been, Co. Publishing, them with counterpoint, who, are putting them into the bookstores on our behalf and then we lit the revenues from those sales so. Some of them are ending, up in bookstores I mean I you know I do want to emphasize that we. Are not. At all anti bookstore, you. Know in fact I, think. Independent, bookstores, are an incredibly. Important, cultural, resource in this country. But. We but, we know the pressures, that. Going. Straight into the trade going, straight into the bookstores create in terms of margin, and. Our feeling is that if we can promote the book heavily for a period on the internet, so I get direct and get a bit of buzz going around it by, the time it goes into the store that's.
Probably Going to help it sell there rather than hinder, makes. Perfect sense and yeah and oh, and, by the way just a more personal note Colin, I'll be honest with you the, phone number that you gave us has. The right number of numbers but. The, between the accent and everything I mean, why. Did you decide to take on book publishing here here in the US I'm, assuming that you're from overseas. You. Know and I, mean you're. Kind of coming into the lair of the beast where, Amazon, you know kind of first up ended the book publishing, industry. Are. You simply, based in the US and you're trying to get us bookstores, and US publishers, or do, you have operations, overseas as well, yeah. We publish. Probably. Our Amazon would say the same thing that. We. Don't really regard ourselves as, publishers. In a place we. Regard, ourselves as publishers, in a language, you, know we we, are an Internet publisher, in, English, and, anyone who wants to read our books. Wherever. They are in the world, will. Get them through them either as e-books or as paperbacks. You. Know they can buy from us and we'll send into them and. We, publish books you know we publish books by writers, from around the world I spent, quite a lot of time in London, I mean our office the. Office of the company is on 14th, Street in New, York City. That's. Where we happen, to be located, you know and it is true, that a lot of, well. Publishing, is in New York City I think there's a kind of there's definitely, some kind of zeitgeist. That, helps you to be part of you know to. Be part of. Where. We are you know there's a lot. Of reviewers, around and, a lot a lot of publicists, around and, a lot. Of writers around too so I think you know it's, helpful to be here but. We absolutely don't regard ourselves as. Being. Located. Solely. In one place we were completely, global publisher, and. I work both in London and in. And. In. And in New York and I. Really, enjoy that it's great yeah and, again, just those. Personal question but I will say :. I'll go ahead and give you the last word if people, want to find out more you, know again, we have the link, to your website up in the show notes but if. People want to find out more about you and of course all the different books and authors that you have. On your service where, should they go they, should go -. W-w-w-whoa. That's, our book, one. Word.com and, yeah. I hope you. Like what you see when you get there there. You go and yeah and as I said there. Is a link to it and if you've been watching the video portion we've been poking around and, you. Know you it, one, thing that really stands out between you know just general, self-publishing and you know curated, content such as yourself you know everything, has a nice cover it looks very professional you. Have of. Course lots and lots of authors you can pre-order, you, can purchase audio, paperback. I mean, really, this, this is a bookstore there is no question about it so, Colin. I will say thank you so much for coming on and talking about this this was a this, was the side of the book publishing industry because, you, know I've definitely consumed, books but, we. Don't get to talk about this out a lot so I want to thank you for coming on and doing just that. Thanks. Very much better I enjoyed it alright, and yeah, we'll definitely keep in touch but everyone. Once again Colin, Robinson, he is the co publisher, for, or books oh our books and check, them out or books com so Colin until next time have a great day today thank you so much thank. You alright have a good one bye bye alright. So there he goes and yes. That conversation, brought to you by Skype so. Yeah. Thank. You so much Colin if you're if you're checking it out thank you so much for coming on and everyone, we hope that you enjoyed that, interview with, or books, now. Well. We have about 10 minutes left of the show plenty. Of time to get into some things but, before we do well. Hey a word, from one of our sponsors and it's more of a I. Don't. Know the literary term for this more of a freestyle. That's. Hey, we just want to remind, you that o, WC. Is certainly still a thing you can find them at WC. Digital I think that's their, website o WC, digital yes. Calm you took that out and they. Make a lot of great products for the Mac they make a lot of great products for professionals. Prosumers, things like that we. Recently did an a. Review. Of their. Hard drive it was a three terabyte, oh. Mercury. Elite pro I'm actually looking at it still using it and so putting it through his paces but, honestly. For, what we do here on the program we have to save a lot, of data and this. Thing has been invaluable. In doing just that so, I check out our review of that over, at computer America comm and of course be sure to check out their website o WC digital or mac, sales.com and.
That's Another place where they sell and vendor. Their, things well and as, well as few other things so, folks, give, it a check tom computer merrick essentia and yeah. Again. Thank you Oh W C for supporting, what, we do here on computer. America, okay. So, why. Don't we go ahead and get into computer. And technology. News and this as I said is a segment dedicated. Pretty. Much entirely to. The. Latest news tech news and the like so here we go computer and technology news brought. To you by computer America. Oh. Right. Now this, one caught, my eye a couple of days ago and I've. Been keeping. Track of it because it, has, everything. It needs to, be a fiasco. And I. Love watching a good Fiasco go down. So. What, do you do when you get a, well. By, many regards, a corrupt government and, it's. Failing. Fantastically. It's, failing its people it's failing in the economy, in a lot of regards and what. Do you do when you mix it with a volatile. Still. Being proven, and a. Lot, of a, lot, of mystery, around it ie the blockchain of cryptocurrency what. Do you do when you put that in a bag and mix it all together, well. Yeah. You get some fun entertainment, so here. We go this coming to us from Ars Technica mr.. Timothy B Lee and Venezuela. Fun. Says. It's cryptocurrency, raised, seven, hundred and thirty five million, dollars. But. As the. Author says it's. A farce. Dun. Dun dun, so. The Venezuelan, president Nicolas. Maduro, claims. A new state-sponsored cryptocurrency, called, the called the petro and again, the cryptocurrency petrol, as in, kind of like petroleum raised. Seven, hundred and thirty five million, dollars, on Tuesday its, first day on sale, but. The, government, has provided anyway, to independently. Verify that. Seven hundred and thirty five million dollar figure, and there's. Reason to doubt almost, everything, the, Venezuelan. Government has, to say about the project. So. And here, we go, so. Initial. Coin offerings, is your chance to buy coins add reduced. Value so that's when, the project actually, goes live, or you know after. It lives for poor but essentially. You get to get in on the ground floor and. Exciting. Coins coins with exciting, technology, behind it, coins with maybe. Celebrity, backing. Whatever it may be certain, coins demand. Higher, value. And the. Initial coin offering is you. Know seen as a lot of ways it's kind of like a gauge for how excited, people are about this it's, rare. That, an initial coin offering, kind of goes off and. You. Know if it's not popular. Unfortunately. It's kind of rare that the coin doesn't succeed. Or I'm sorry it's kind of rare that the coin does succeed you, have to have that initial base the, initial, influx of, you. Know actual, money into. A moneyless. System. So. The, article says this is where it was a disorganized, mess with. Basic, technical details still being worked out after the sale supposedly. Began and, the, petrol network itself, hasn't launched yet allegedly. That will happen next month and the government has, hardly released any information about how it's going to work so, essentially this is a state-sponsored cryptocurrency, that.
By. All means should, be a, viable, currency, within the country, and so. Far they have given no details and no way to actually use, this thing as a currency. Which. Is one of its main selling points. So. Moreover, there's little reason to believe that the petrol will maintain its, value over time the, Venezuelan, government has, betrayed petrol, tokens, as backed, by Venezuelans, vast oil reserves, again. Petro Petroleum. They. Said that the government is merely promising, to accept tax payments, in petros at a history, I'm. Sorry yeah tax, payments in petros, at a government. Determined, exchange rate linked to oil prices given. The Venezuelan, government's history of manipulating exchange. Rates experts. Say that investors. Should be wary of this arrangement. So. One thing about cryptocurrencies and many cryptocurrencies, that, kept it on the market and kept it appealing. For many many people is that, it had an underlying technology, and it was very hands off that, decentralized. Approach. To, currency and to. Money. Was. What drew a lot of people so I guess when you have a cryptocurrency that is. Controlled. By a government, and a government entity that, has a history, of, well. Not playing by the rules all the time. That's. Why you have investors saying be careful yes it's a you know Venezuela, is a huge, huge, country, they do actually, have a very robust. Economy, but. At the same time hey. You. Know they. Will manipulate they will, do. Whatever they can to make sure that this thing works, out in their favor as best it can and. Well. If you're an investor you could be on the wrong side of that so. There, you have that they said that moreover the petrol scheme has been opposed by opposition, legislators. In Venezuela's. I'm. Sorry opposition, controlled legislature. They. Say that the Maduro government is, essentially, issuing, oil back debt, and legally. That can't be done without approval, from the legislature, in short. It's hard to see why anyone would rush to buy petros and, that. Makes a skeptical, that the Venezuelan government has, already sold seven, hundred and thirty five million. Dollars, worth of them because. You. Know or that they'll be worth really, anything in the future. It's. No. Question. That, these countries that, a lot of countries could. Use a massive, influx of money and if. They can fudge the numbers if they can make it look like these things are flying. Off, the virtual shelves then. Hey, they'll, you. Know just by the nature of cryptocurrency and the. Fact that people really don't understand, it and that people are willing to throw money at it in hopes, of being able to recoup their cost I mean.
Really. Thanks Bitcoin who. Went from like a thousand, fifteen, two thousand dollars up to eighteen. Twenty, thousand dollars over the course of a couple months everyone's. Looking for something to buy and something to invest in and. I. Guess, that's why less. Less. Informed, individuals. Would. Really be. Yeah, I'm, sorry would really be for the, idea of a. Government-sanctioned. Backed cryptocurrency. They may feel it safer but. The reality, is it's probably, not safer, in the least so. That's. Why you have that and folks. The music means that we're just about out of time for today once, again I want thank you so much for tuning in to computer America I hope you enjoyed today's show it, was a lot of fun and I know. Book, publishing, sounds. Like the most enjoyable. Part, of the internet that we could talk about between. Cat videos youtubers, and. Everything. Else is going on but hey it was a lot of fun and we. Hope you had fun too so be sure to tune in tomorrow we're, hey, Nathan Evans we're gonna be talking robably. About cat videos and until. Next time folks thank, you so much computer, America 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday and hey be sure to check us out on our n as well as wherever. Podcasts. Are heard be that tuned in I Heart, Radio iTunes. Google Play all, those places and more folks, until next time have, a great day thank, you so much bye-bye.