Where the magic happens: on an 11-year-old, pre-Intel PowerBook G4 with no distracting Internet connection.

Broos's books


4 of 5 stars

So moving and insightful that I had to remind myself it wasn't autobiographical. The clinical bits get so personal, though, that reading the book aloud can get kind of disconcerting.

A Sailor of Austria: In Which, Without Really Intending to, Otto Prohaska Becomes Official War Hero No. 27 of the Habsburg Empire

4 of 5 stars

A beautifully written, quietly humorous tale of an Austro-Hungarian U-boat commander during World War I. I was sorry to finish it. But then I remembered I've got three more of them to read.

Red Seas Under Red Skies

4 of 5 stars

Starts out with a bang--which leads to another bang, which leads to another ... Lightweight, but funny and inventive.


Selected Works

The Matty Graves novels
Midshipman Matty Graves must choose between family and duty.

“Refreshingly cynical.”
—Jonathan Lunn

Acting-Lieutenant Matty Graves gets caught up in the Haitian Revolution in 1800. Mayhem ensues!

"[N]ever dull . . ."
—Madison Smartt Bell

Matty seizes the opportunity to make a name and fortune for himself—even if it means destroying those closest to him.

"[U]nusual, if somewhat jaundiced . . ."
Library Journal

Errors after the fact
Seamen's terms in landsmen's language
Haitian Timeline
Nautical info bits
How far it is from here to there, by sea, in English statute miles.
Public domain stuff—I didn't write this.
Yep, still maps

Beyond the Graves

Amazon vs. Macmillian = Goliath meets Goliath

February 1, 2010

Tags: Amazon, Kindle, ebooks, MacMillan

Is it a good thing that Amazon backed down in its pricing war with Macmillian this weekend? I think—or feel is probably more accurate—that it costs less to produce an ebook than a print book. There's the payroll for editors and proofers to be met, and despite rumors to the contrary some print editors still have jobs. And there are sales and promotions people, which rumor has it are employed to sell books to retailers or at least get them into the stores. But ebooks take up a little less warehouse space and don't need trucks and gas to get to readers' hands.

As a writer, I think prices should be higher all around. As a reader, I think they need to come down.

As an unemployed editor, I think I won't buy any books till I get a job again.

But what I think Amazon is missing—or maybe knows all too well—is that there are an awful lot of consumers out there who want a multiuse platform, not just an ebook reader. The iPhone, for instance, and of course the iPad.

I like my iPhone. Love it. I was reading Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King" on it just last night. I'd downloaded it using the Kindle app. I wanted more. So I went to get me some Mark Twain and Jules Verne, but was blocked because I don't own a Kindle.

That's an interesting marketing ploy, not selling an ebook unless it's carried on a particular device.

Hello, Amazon. I don't want to buy a Kindle, I don't have to buy a Kindle, I'm not going to buy a Kindle. You've got a lot of competition roaring over the horizon at you. I'm perfectly happy to buy books from them.

I'm also happy to help authors maintain something like a living wage. Up those prices! Which might even steer some traffic toward authors who haven't been getting paid so much.

I'd like that.


  1. September 28, 2010 11:17 AM EDT
    I'm a Kindle lover. Ordered mine as soon as they became available on Amazon.

    Kindle books (generally) can't be loaned or re-sold or given away. I think this protection of potential revenue should be worth a lot to authors and publishers, and yet this is clearly not reflected in the pricing. Kindle books deserve to be cheaper.
    - Tom