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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Inflation, Supply and Demand for a Title

I've made a few changes to the book titled Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma. A few long sentences have been shortened or broken up, my uncle Adam's name was mistyped as Abe and has now been restored, and a better description of those brownstones in Brookline has been added. And the beginning of summer has been corrected to the end.

Pulling a book to correct a few punctuation glitches would seem less than humble; the ancients would tell us that the gods expect and admire humility from man. A quilt often has a small mistake known only to the quilter ... and a book of 40,000 words might have one or two errors within.

But errors in content must be admitted and amended, and so I pulled the book from publication for a few weeks, in order to have time to go through it with the fine tooth comb one more time and fix what I could. As a self-published "indie" author who has print on demand, it is possible to do this without abandoning hundreds of printed books. The book is simply not available to the sellers until the new edited version is printed as a proof, and approved by the author again for distribution.

I wondered how Amazon would handle that ... would they remove my book from their online catalog? Would they leave on site and simply delay shipments? Curious, I went to the site, and saw the image above. Some brave bookseller in Florida had evidently requested a copy "on spec," without a buyer lined up. And so, the bookseller offered this one copy at the incredible price seen above - $93.46! Amazon, on the other hand, offers to buy back the earlier versions four people had purchased ... and are offering a remarkably small amount in return - $1.08.

I'm expecting the new proof in tomorrow's mail, and if after again going through it with a sharp eye, I find it acceptable, it will again be listed at $12.00. But that bookseller in Florida has a first print edition, and so I'm guessing his price will hold ... we'll see.

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