Things to say • 21 April 2007 • The SnowBlog

Things to say


A variety-pack of opinions for you this morning. The bunny pic is just for larks. Firstly a comment on the comedy outrage displayed by our fine industry over Waterstone's putting up their rate card. Publishing News reports: 

'INCREASES IN WATERSTONE'S new promotional rate card have prompted strong criticism from publishers this week... "They're all charging too much - it's a bridge too far, and it means publishers do not have any money left to promote titles elsewhere". [No money left? Yes, 'cos you spent the rest on stupid advances and shocking inefficiencies, durr brain.]
   Publishers accept that if PoS is prepared by the chains, then that has to be paid for. "But if it's just money for the space, it's going too far.  [Uh - why? It's their space, and it's bloody valuable. Why should you have it for free? Go out and buy your own prime branded high footfall real estate if you want.] That's the route that WHSmith has gone down. The solution is for retailers to stop being greedy [Splutter!], but they're always looking over their shoulders and seeing what everyone else is charging and the costs keep being ratcheted up. 
    "I think publishers are disappointed. Waterstone's is supposed to be a range bookseller, but you can't put other titles forward because you don't have the money. If you've paid a lot f or a lead title then you're duty bound [yes, duty bound, I see] to promote it. Waterstone's are charging more, but promoting fewer books."'

I have got too much to do this morning to go into full rant mode about how outdated our industry is. Suffice to say that when I was at Superdrug in 1996, the rate card for a 3.5 week blip promotion (the 3 ft of space half way down the aisle) was £30,000 and a gondola end promotion for 4 weeks was £70,000. Publishers have no idea. 

Secondly, don't take one of the free blue bags available from a couple of the stands at the Second Life Book Fair this weekend. They blue-screened my laptop, which takes some doing. 

Thirdly, a moan about the territorial pricing of the new Adobe CS3 suite. If I were to buy the software in the UK it will cost £1655 from the Adobe store, £1593 from If I were to buy the exact same software in the US it would cost £877 ($1759) from They are taking the proverbial and need to take exchange rates into account unless they really want to incur the wrath of the entire European design community and risk mass-scale piracy. Is my view. 

Right, off to research Indesign CS3's XML capabilities. As you read in my strategy post the other day, I am very keen on automating as much as possible and XML's the way to go. I'm sure to bore you with it quite a lot over the next 12 months so you may as well get used to it. 

(Also, thanks for all the lovely comments! I do like to get them.) 


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