Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I ♥ Google Alerts

Months back I read an article in The Society of Author’s Magazine, The Author about books being sold as illegal downloads with no payments reaching the author. Google Alerts was recommended as a way of keeping track, as it can be set to monitor the web for any mention of your book(s) or articles as well as your research interests.

It’s a long time since I earned any royalties, as the book I wrote on Chinese cinema is an academic one, published in 2002. Not exactly a text book, it's aimed at undergraduate film students.

Still, the library lending fees come in handy and tracking them is one of the services offered by The SoA. As they say, the fees they recover pay for the membership. I’ve been to a few of the Society’s practical talks and I’d definitely seek their free advice service before I’d sign a contract.

So I occasionally get an alert to say my book is on some reading lists that’s published on the web, or that it’s for sale on a website. The original print run of 2,000, at £12.99 a copy, sold out ages ago. It’s of interest, to me if no-one else, to check occasionally on the current price.

But what’s this? Yesterday I get an alert about a site that’s charging £31.50! Admittedly I have to convert it from Australian dollars, but there it is – what can’t speak can’t lie, as my Camberwell mother-in-law used to say.

If I thought £31.50 was excessive, Amazon is even better. My book's becoming a collectable!

Just a minute though – on the same list you can still get it new for around the original selling price - less if it's 'slightly worn' ! Now why would anybody pay £35.93 ? It doesn’t make sense. Interestingly, the publishing date's being changed, too. It says 2002 in my copy, and it's not the sort of thing'd forget.

All the same, thank-you, Google Alerts, for cheering up one jaded writer.

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