Category Archives: Industry

Toys of the 80s

Remember the 80s? If you’re my age (mid-30s), you grew up with Transformers, GI Joe, My Little Pony, He-Man, and so many more. In particular, though, I’m thinking of Transformers here.

In the last few years, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest in the Transformers. I couldn’t tell you how many toys my husband and I have purchased in the last several years. We are their secondary market, with the primary still being kids of course. We are the first kids they marketed to with their thirty minute commercials with a feel good lesson at the end.

Who could have imagined that marketing done twenty-five to thirty years ago could have been so effective that those same kids, who now have disposable income, are still handing money (fist over fist) for the same things we wanted as children!

And even more interesting; we’ve done this to ourselves! We were so deeply touched by those cartoons and toys back then that we brought them back ourselves! The same kids who watched those cartoons and played with those toys are the same as the adults making the new ones.

We are the first generation to have this kind of echo marketing with mass media showing us what we’re going to become. It’s strangely fabulous!

In case you were wondering, I have several Starscream toys, a whole mess of little My Little Ponies (Friendship is Magic), lots of Barbies, and crapton of Lego. 😀

Here’s my latest Barbie additions, btw:


Reading is Fundamental

I hope everyone knows this phrase: Reading is Fundamental. Back in my day, we had days in the library where we could choose a free book. (Does that even happen anymore?) Anyway, the point is not about free books, even though those are totally awesome. Or about the equally awesome Scholastic book fairs. This is about people (who are of an age to know better) not knowing how to read.

This week, in the internets, a website was killed. It didn’t die, it was flat out murdered, in cold blood by people who write and therefore should be able to read.

First of all, I’m going to leave this link right here. It is the Help page for lending books. OH MY GOD! AMAZON IS HELPING PEOPLE STEAL!?!? (I hope your sarcasm detector pegged there…)

LendInk was a website, much like MeetUp, where people with similar tastes could lend their digital books. It made connections. We should be used to that, what with Facebook being so bloody popular. So, say that Josephine Person wanted to read a book by someone and that book was lendable via Amazon or B&N. This website would find her a person, say Jack Otherperson, who had the book and hadn’t lent it to anyone. Jack and Josephine would be able to contact each other and then Jack could lend the book to Josephine through the website where he purchased the book. If Jack lends his copy to Josephine, he can’t lend it again later to anyone else but after 2 weeks, he gets it back. Is this really that hard to understand?

I’m going to complain about a few specific points here, so if Amazon Direct Publishing doesn’t interest you, here’s some pictures of cats.

My e-book is lendable. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that my paperback version is too. Ha ha. Do you know why it’s lendable? Because that is part of the contract I signed with Amazon to publish the Kindle version. Do you know how I know that? Because I read all of the terms of the agreement.

Why did I read all of the terms? Because this is my book. And I read it again this week, just in case something had changed. Why? Because this is my book. And as a self-published author, it’s my responsibility to read contracts and protect my copyright. No one else does this for me.

Here’s the part that is really ridiculous. This lending could have been making money for the authors, if they had been paying attention. As part of the KDP Select program, authors make money when their books are borrowed through the Amazon Prime program. You have to opt-in (because heavens forbid you might have to opt-out when you sign up for something).

Since this is really getting out of hand, here’s the tl;dr:
Many writers, who we expect to be masters of word and context, are apparently just stupid.
Here’s a list of some of them: LendInk taken down by asshole indie authors.

In conclusion (because you’ve ever heard me speak the last on anything), borrow my book, lend out my book, ask me for a free copy of my book. I just want it read.