The book fits right in, between Ian Fleming and John le Carré. Good company.
“Blood Summit” at Shakespeare & Co in Vienna
It gave me pleasure when Shakespeare & Co, the famous Vienna English language booksellers, offered to stock Blood Summit. I am proud of the book and it has received good reviews (NB if you have read the book and enjoyed it, please write a review on Amazon!) But to see it in an actual bookshop was a thrill.
If you live in Vienna, I suggest you go right down to Shakespeare & Co and buy yourself a book from their well-stocked shelves.
No author can fail to be struck by the split between book sales and Kindle downloads. In my case, roughly 80% of people buy the paperback, even though it costs more (£7.74 vs £2.95 on Amazon.co.uk at time of writing – the price varies with the dollar).
I can understand that. Holding a good book in your hand gives you a surge of hard-wired pleasure.
My Hotel Stories, by contrast, are only available so far as a Kindle edition. Should I bring out a paperback? Views welcome!
The pricing of Blood Summit, incidentally, helps explain Amazon’s model. For my 295-page paperback, printing costs mean the minimum price Amazon allows me to charge is around £6.30. At that price I, as author, receive zero commission.
For a Kindle download, by contrast, an author may sell a book for any price down to 99 US cents. Oddly, between 99 cents and $2.99 the author receives 30% commission; above $2.99 the author receives 70% commission. So even at prices lower than the hard copy book, the author can get a better deal from Kindle sales.
Visiting the beautiful book-nest which is Shakespeare & Co I was struck again by another long-running conflict – that between actual bookshops and Amazon. Here in Austria, many people boycott Amazon, hoping to keep local bookshops going. They have a point, as any recent visitor to London’s devastated bookshop scene can attest. On the other hand, Amazon’s model also allows me to put books, including hard copies, on sale worldwide through the Internet.
Shakespeare & Co is at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna (1st District). It has a webpage and a Facebook page, and is worth a visit. A sketch, including of the excellent Guy Perlaki who was in the shop when I called, is on the also rather fine Vienna Würstelstand site, together with more pictures.