Hello, and welcome to my little corner of quirkiness. The purpose of this blog is to make it easier to connect with my readers. It's really that simple. The name of the blog, "Quirky Dreams," is relevant only in that my dreams are often quirky, unusual ones, and they are also where I get many of my writing ideas from. I dream in full-length, color, high-def story lines, and if they are remembered, I write them down. Parts or all of these dreams may enter a story. A story might be based around a single dream or an idea from a dream. Regardless of which it is, this is my writing blog, so kick back in your chair, bed, recliner, or airport terminal, and enjoy the blog.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

If I Only Had a Brain...


Lately, I've been reading more and more about blunders or problems caused by those algorithms that automatically set book prices based on competitor prices. In one case, this actually caused the price of a book to soar to over $23 million! While this is great publicity for the book, I doubt the author is making many sales, which is a problem. The issue was that two competing vendors were automatically adjusting their prices to each other according to a programmed algorithm. The result was a rapid increase in the price of the book.

Machines, and software algorithms, are brainless. The algorithm was doing what it had been programmed to do. It can't sit back, look at the price, and think, "Hmm. I might be going just a little overboard here. No one is going to buy at that price."

This is why I'm not a big fan of these algorithms.

Another issue I read about a little while back was where Kobo was having some kind of problem with bugs in its software. Book prices were getting unintentionally slashed. Not a big problem in itself. Simply contact Kobo and get the book price fixed, right? Well, kind of. The problem was that when Kobo slashed prices, Amazon's automatic pricing picked up on it, and slashed that book's prices to be slightly cheaper than Kobo. This meant that some authors lost money. In one case I read about, quite a bit.

It's a little messy. Overall, I would guess the system works as intended, given that I haven't seen a massive outcry against it, but it's good to know what risks you're taking when you put your books up for sale. Like the Scarecrow, if it only had a brain...

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