November 4, 2014

Chasing Tale [11/4/14]: Not So Swift

Chasing Tale is a regular look at the most recent books to wind up on my to-be-read pile, along with a rant on whatever is on my mind.

Taylor Swift has a new album out, and I'll be damned in that "Shake It Off" song ain't the catchiest damn thing I've heard in a while. If that song was Ebola, we'd all be dead right now.

The thing is, however, that with the release of this new album and her record labels desire to ensure its success in sales, they have pulled her entire music library from streaming services like Spotify. It's a bold move, and some are wondering how she could cut off an income source like that. Well, when you see the pathetic share of royalties an artist receives from those streaming services, it's not like they are missing out on any great fortune. We're talking fractions of a penny for each time a song is played by a user.

Now, the music industry and the book industry are pretty much apples and oranges, but MP3s did serve as the canary in the coalmine for the major record labels, and ignoring the changing technology earned them a big ol' kick in their complacency. As for the book industry, we have seen the age of ebooks take hold, and now we are even seeing Amazon roll out their "Unlimited" service to subscribers that allows them to read a slew of books for free with publishers and authors scrabbling for a mysterious share of the royalties as calculated by how many times a particular book is read.

For now, publishers and authors are not obligated to place their books on the Unlimited service, but what if that changes? And what if that change has an adverse reaction on their revenue streams? It's just something that has me wondering. It's a nagging feeling. Maybe I should try to shake it off.

Ah, see what I did? ... Anyway, more books have found their way onto my shelves. Have a gander and let me know what you've picked up this week.

Bad Mojo by Shane Berryhill - "Southern-fried" supernatural noir? I think I might enjoy that. This came out over the summer via Ragnarok Publications, which is showing a keen eye for cool titles.

Descent by Sandy DeLuca - Published by Uninvited Books, this one involves a painter getting tangled up with a love interest who has some underworld connections. Interesting, and likely a quiet little thriller considering DeLuca penned it.

The Pumpkin Man by John Everson - I won this book last month as part of Everson's launch party for his latest release through Samhain Horror, The Family Tree, which I bought upon its release. I received it a little late for Halloween, but it's never too early to start up for next Halloween.

Eyes Deep: A Clandestine Daze Novella by Tim Marquitz - A new novella with a gritty urban fantasy story. Considering it's coming from Tim Marquitz, I've little doubt it will prove to be a rollicking, and possibly profanity-laden, adventure.

The Big Adios Western Digest (Fall 2014) edited by Ron Earl Phillips - A new periodical kicked off this all, and a western one no less. One Eye Press has gathered up some new names (new to me, anyway) to go along with the likes o David James Keaton and Tom PItts as contributors. I have high hopes for this one.

The Whitechapel Demon by Josh Reynolds - Here's some pulpy fantasy adventure set in 1920s England, and penned by quite the pulp monkey himself, Josh Reynolds. This new series sounds promising as heck with a sequel out earlier this year, too.

Strange Ways by Bryan Smith - I've bought a few of Smith's novels over the last few years and I see his latest features a coven of witches. Somehow I don't think this is going to be quite like The Craft or Bewitched.

That Which Should Not Be by Brett J. Talley - I tend to enjoy my Lovecraftian horror when it is penned by someone other than Lovecraft, so when this book came up on sale a week or two ago, I figured there was no harm in adding it to my Kindle, since I've heard nothing but good things about it.


  1. Hi Gef! I was pretty shocked to see how dismal the royalties are for artists with Spotify and it's definitely a bold move for Taylor Swift's entire catalogue to be taken off the service.

    Re: Bad Mojo, yes!!!! I hope it rocks your world; such a good book! The Whitechapel Demon looks super-cool and I may have to add it to my TBR pile. Re: Brett J. Talley's book, I was very impressed with this title and think you'll enjoy it as well.

  2. I guess they did it with her last album too, so things might go back up in a few months. Who knows? But yeah, those royalties are just abysmal.