Thursday, May 26, 2011

Further Deceit by

In my previous post, I detailed what is doing wrong with ebooks. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The Lulu response is enlightening--an ebook from Lulu is not, in fact, and ebook. Except, it might be. You, the consumer, have no way of knowing before you buy it, and after you buy it, you're screwed, because if you didn't get what you expected, it's the author's fault. If you're the author, you can't fix it, because of how Lulu runs.

In the publishing wizard, the author selects 'make available as ebook.' The wizard asks nothing further of him, gives no information, and proceeds to complete the book. The author thinks he has made an ebook. No. All he has done is authorize Lulu to let you download the document that was used to make the interior of the book. However, on the website, it is advertised as an 'ebook' and it shows the cover. You, the buyer, believe you are buying an actual ebook, not an ordinary electronic document. You believe you are getting an ebook with a cover. But you aren't.

If the author wants to make it available as an actual ebook, he has to create a second project and set it up differently. Nowhere does Lulu explain this -- expect in response to a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. As a separate project, ebooks won't have the same project number as the print book; therefore they will not be associated with one another when you're shopping. If you see a title, you will only see print, or ebook, and you won't know the other format is available, unless you happen to stumble over it in browsing. This is inconvenient for the buyer, and therefore likely to diminish sales.

If the author does go to the trouble of making an actual ebook, it will look just like a document sale. Therefore, when the consumer is browsing the Lulu catalog they have no way in advance to know if they're buying an actual ebook, or just an electronic document.

Thursday, May 19, 2011, Defective Ebook Publisher

You know what they say, if you can't beat them, humiliate them publicly. publishes defective ebooks and denies all responsibility for doing so, and refuses to investigate the malfunction of their publishing wizard. Specifically, even though the author uploads the cover file and they display it on their website, implying that an ebook does in fact come with a cover, they don't. You get a naked PDF for your money.

The cover for Atlas Poetica 8 was obviously correctly uploaded because the paperback version prints properly and it shows up on the website for both the paperback and the ebook versions. Therefore, the error must be internal to their automated software that churns out the ebooks.

Unfortunately, in spite of two complaints to, they refuse to admit error and won't fix it and won't even offer me a replacement or a refund. Therefore I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina.

It's pathetic that a business that claims it's here to serve authors has no intention of actually doing so.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Still More Twitter Tanka

Trying to blog more of my Twitter poetry, that most ephemeral of literatures.

they can't stand
the silence,
they want
hearts that ring
like bells

what fractions
of a heart were carried,
counted, divided,
summed, until the whole
was zero?

go out in the sun,
a burrowing creature
all winter,
heart cracked open
by beams of light

there was never
a muddy spring that
ran clear,
and this heart
is no exception

burning rubber
across your asphalt heart—
skid marks
lead to the wreck
you've made of me

a harem of books—
he loves each of them
even though he
hasn't spent the night
with them in years

another candle lit
at his grave,
chokecherry trees
bloom as white
as ghosts

i gather them,
the green pine candles,
white chokecherry tapers,
and wild wisteria
for a funeral bouquet

once there were so many
grasses swaying in the sea,
beckoning to traders
who never thought
their pleasures would end

his heart
is a skeleton key
that unlocks doors
that should never
be opened

in retrospect,
it would have been wiser
if we had skipped the sex
and gone straight
to the tearful breakup

my handsome son,
posed so that
his scarred arm
doesn’t show
in the family photograph

I was not lonely
with the snow-capped heron
as my company;
but when my lover returned
the silence was desolate

I am too old and slow
to keep pace with the whirlwind
the world has become.               
Mansei's boat rowed away
without a trace this morning.

the police officer
questions the autistic child
and receives back 
scribbles that mean nothing
in this world of ours

when the rain pelts down
fair weather fishermen leave
the old wooden dock;
an old black man dons his hat
and stays a little longer

he writes poetry
for her birthday,
but fearing
it won't be enough,
he adds a scented candle

full well do I know
that this transient pleasure
is like foam on the sea;
yet even so I want it
to last a thousand years

Langston Hughes
was a sailor
and a lover of men.
I thought I'd see more of that
in his verses

'snake gardens'
the country folk
call them,
full of weeds and
rusting tractors

send a man
shopping for clothes, and
he comes home
with a pair of socks
and nothing more

Pearl Harbor Day . . .
The Japanese-American student
stares at the enemy
who looks like
his father

on the hearth,
the pop, hiss, and crackle
of green wood;
he dreams as he dozes,
the aging housecat