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Links I’ve stumbled across this week

Do you own an e-reader?

If so, there are still a few weeks left for you to fill in my short survey. Thank you to everyone who has already answered my questions – I hope to compile the results soon.

Elsewhere on the Internet

David Mitchell explains why he likes anonymity and talks about his new novel.

The secret of savage book reviews on Amazon – the wife did it!

Penguin books make a costly typo.

Will a blog ever win the Pulitzer prize for journalism?

Do you know who the wealthiest fictional characters are?

Are book covers an endangered art?

46% of Amazon Marketplace sellers are considering quitting

This has nothing to do with books, but I was amazed by this new train design from China. This bullet train will never stop, saving lots of time on each journey. My two little boys watched this over and over again, so if you don’t enjoy it you can always use it to entertain some small children!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

20 replies on “Links I’ve stumbled across this week”

The video on the train is fascinating! I’d been thinking and thinking how those poor people were to hop on a moving vehicle, but this seems an intriguing solution. I wonder how it’d feel like if you were to go from the static state of the little thing on top of the train to moving at high speed.

The train clip is an elegant solution seemingly – presumably the piggy-back carriage will pick up speed over the length of the train so not too fast acceleration – but what if more than one piggyback carriage full need to get off? ;)

I’ve long wondered how online booksellers can turn a profit on Amazon when they sell books at 1p. I sell my personal discards – but unless they can be posted as a large letter, can’t make any money on them at that price with Amazon’s large fees, VAT on P&P and the P&P itself. I know the pros get cheaper fees but they must only make pence per book at that price.

Annabel, Yes, The number of people needing to get off at each stop would have to be carefully considered – not sure if they are able to have more than one piggy-back carriage on each train?

Selling books for 1p doesn’t make much profit for the big sellers, but I’ll try to explain it below:

If someone posts a large number of packages each day then they are charged a flat rate to post them, based on the average weight of each parcel. This will mean that the really heavy ones will be balanced out by the light ones, leading to an average weight, normally less than 500g. A 500g parcel normally costs £1.95 to post, but the bulk sellers will get a discount, meaning they probably only pay about £1.40 to post. They will recieve £2.36 from each 1p sale on amazon so will make about 80p per item sold (assuming the stock cost them nothing)
When buying books in bulk some will sell for 1p, some for much more, so the big sellers are better off selling the 1p items than disposing of them. If they sell 100 1p books a day that is £80, so soon adds up.
I don’t think it is worth the effort of selling books for that little, although I do have a few that reduced to that price over time. I prefer to sell fewer items for more money as it is much less work!

I saw the article about the wealthiest fictional characters, and I had a hard time buying it. Number one is Cullen? I just shake my head. I think maybe the publicist for the Twilight books must have had a hand in it somewhere!

Thanks for the links. The Orlando Figes anonymous reviews scandal is both interesting and sad. I’d already read about it elsewhere, but there were some new details in the item you linked to, most notably the reason why Kate Summerscale also incurred his venom – because she won a prize and he didn’t! Those of us who have read many novels set in academia will not be surprised by this episode, except to discover that reality is sometimes even more bitter than fiction.

I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on so many links from a blog post before! Reading book blogs definitely agrees with me! I love the idea of a blog winning a prize. I read about the Penguin error, I’d gues someone wasn’t checking their computer’s advice for errors because it’s a pretty bad mistake for any human to make.

some great links jackie ,the train seems a bit mad but suprised japanese haven’t had it as an idea before now ,book covers are a newish thing i mean in 1700 and 1800 hundreds you’d buy the book just paper and then take it to a bookbinder ,sad if they go remember hearing chip kidd talking about the changes in recent times to make somne covers easier to see on e books with bolder covers and less detail on them .all the best stu

Stujallen, I suspect that it wouldn’t work in Japan as the stations are closer together and more people need to get in/out at each stop.

I hadn’t noticed covers getting simpler recently – I’ll have to see if I can spot any designed to work better on ereaders!

Lots of fun links there. The amazon policy debate was enlightening, and I enjoyed the list of rich fictional characters.

Oh, and couldn’t believe the snarky attitude of Penguin publishers calling anyone who complains about the typo “small minded.”

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