Monday, January 23, 2012

In Which Bully Discovers That Having is Not So Pleasing a Thing, After All, As Wanting, v2.0

A couple weeks ago, on January 7, was the centenary birthday of one of my favorite cartoonists, Charles Addams, which as usual, I found out about thanks to a Google Doodle...

...which, since he died in 1988, he didn't draw. (Although, with Charles Addams, you never know.)

Anyway, it inspired me to pull my Chas. Addams books off the shelf and spend a pleasant and spooky afternoon re-reading them.

After I shivered my way through Homebodies and Nightcrawlers and Favorite Haunts and Black Maria I wanted to read even more. Right there, right then! I'm an instant gratification bull. Since I'm a big fan of reading books, and, yes, comics on my Apple iPad (because at my size, it's like seeing an IMAX movie), I dialed up the number for Amazoning Dot Company on the ol' BullyPad and I was pleased to see you could get some of the more recent themed collections for the Kindle. Hey-O! Download instantly? Well, I'm a mite impatient, but I suppose I could wait for instantly if I make a special effort to be patient.

Hey, look, you can download a sample of the book! Great! I've bought cartoon and graphic novels formatted for the Kindle, and the quality of the images often greatly varies. Let me download the free sample so I can see if I want to buy the entire book! (I had to have my pal John help me with that because first, he has the credit card, and second, for some reason it's hard to activate the touch-screen by tapping with a woolen hoof. I'm sure the iPad 3 will remedy that oversight.

An instant later (see?), a sample of Happily Ever After ran in through the door and hopped into my iPad, ready to read. (I think that is the way it works. It's pretty fast and you don't really see it happening, just like when Barry Allen takes the last donut that Hawkman had his eye on at the JLA meeting 22,300 miles above the earth.) Here's the first page of the Kindle sample:

Here's page two. Pugsley!

Page 3 is the second title page. Just in case you forgot what you were reading. On a real book you can just look at the dust jacket, so this is handy on the Kindle.

It's getting exciting now! Here's pages 4 and 5.

And here's page 6. It is the final page of the preview file.

Huh. That was...pointless. Let's try another sample, for Simon & Schuster's Chas Addams Half-Baked Cookbook, shall we? (Yes, let's!)

The sample file for Half-Baked Cookbook

          is four pages long and consists of the title and copyright pages.

Well, ya get what ya pay for, huh? Seriously, I'm not pointing my fingers at Amazon on this one, because I've recently downloaded sample files for several other non-cartoon books and I've gotten sizable previews that let me read just enough to find out if I wanted to buy the book. The free sample of Stephen King's new novel 11/22/63 had so many pages in it that for most authors that woulda been the whole book! (And it did its job: I couldn't stop reading and immediately bought the Kindle ebook.)

Publishers set the limit of what percentage of a book you can see using Amazon's "Click to Look Inside" feature, so I'm wondering if the same is true for Kindle samples. If this is true, then I need to get in touch with Simon & Schuster as soon as possible and tell them they need to include at least a couple pages of cartoons in their sample so we can check out the scan quality of an illustrated book. I shall call my good pals Carly Simon and Wayne & Schuster and ask them to do something about that.

So, I didn't buy the books on Kindle and Simon & Schuster lost out on a sale. Get with the twenty-first century, guys! In this fast-as-the-Flash-but-with-fewer-supervillains technology of today's Y2K12, you have to keep up with the pack or risk being left behind. Charles Addams was pretty clear on that same point.

Play us off, Irish Rovers!


Stergios Botzakis said...

The Unicorn song makes everything better!

Peder said...

Yikes! I hope that as they get more of a feel for epublishing they correct mistakes like this.