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caveat emptor, caveat scriptor

i think that we've all done this at certain times: google your name and perhaps a key term related to an accomplishment of yours just to see what the internet is saying about you. i do it periodically, linking my name to various words, but most successfully with the title of my short story anthology, interference, or conversion, the film i've been involved with as a writer, producer and actress. (it would help if all the media coverage for conversion hadn't misspelled my name.) so the other day, i tried googling "kate macdonald interference". i'll just say that the results were a little surprising.

first of all, the book is on sale everywhere in the world (although sadly lacking in reviews), through channels i've never dreamt of. i knew that it was widely distributed through online networks, i guess i hadn't realised just how widely.

second, i was a little surprised to notice that many of these places list the book as being "in stock". as far as i was aware, copies were always ordered to ship, which gives them a long lead time, but means that no one holds any inventory. if i were willing to pay a few dollars extra (prices starting from $10.38cad on amazon, compared to $7.76usd plus shipping, which is what i have to pay if i want to order a copy through lulu), i could have copies of the book shipped to me faster from a retailer than i could from the online publisher i worked with. perplexing and more than a little annoying.



but what truly shocked me was the range of prices for which the book is selling. even on amazon.ca, there are copies advertised at prices that would normally be reserved for handwritten manuscripts of "ulysses" or copies of "the old man and the sea" that hemingway barfed on after a week of binge drinking. i'm exceptionally flattered, but i'd like to point out that i'm neither well-known nor dead, so there's no way the book is worth that sort of money.

of course, you could also buy a used copy, which is normally a way to save money, except that the only used copy on amazon.ca costs about two and a half times the amount of a new copy. if the copy really is used, it would mean that the person selling it is making about three times what i did off the original sale. nice.

perhaps most confusing to me was the fact that i found something called a "collectible" version being sold out of new york. i wish i could call them to find out what made the version collectible. the book is still in print and can still be purchased from major on line retailers or direct from lulu. no version of the book is different than any other and if there's a version floating around that has dirty limericks scribbled in the margins that were purportedly written by the author on a glue sniffing bender, i'd like to burst that imaginative bubble.

i'm a neophyte when it comes to this sort of thing and i know that there's a trick to figuring out each of these incidences. there has to be. i just feel like asking the people behind these pricing shenanigans why they'd bother. the world has many problems that need solving, so surely there are more productive ways for today's corporate wizards to spend their time?

finally, i had a most disturbing revelation when i went to search "kate macdonald interference". google's helpful predictive function leaped into action as soon as i had typed my name. unfortunately, the top suggested search was "kate macdonald naked". i didn't have the courage to try searching that. i'm worried i'll find out what really makes some copies more expensive than others.

interference is available at amazon worldwide, barnes and noble and a wide range of other reputable booksellers. here are some links. to those of you who have already bought it, i thank you and to those of you who are considering it, your support is greatly appreciated.

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