Round up #159: cats vs. dogs, Welsh words

Round up #159: cats vs. dogs, Welsh words

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

nownovel: “Is there money in e-books?” infographic

This is an interesting


I’m going to try embedding this here, which I don’t usually do:

Let me know if embedding it caused you any problems in display, and if so, on which type of device you were reading it.

While the trends are interesting, I think many of you will spot right away what I did, and what makes me call the whole infographic into question.

In the Author Revenue section, the split for Amazon for books $2.99 to $9.99 is listed as 75% for authors, 30% for Amazon.

Um…that’s 105%…talk about turning it up to 11! 😉

If the publishing industry can figure out how to make more items produce 105% revenue, their problems are over! 🙂

The correct figure should be 70%, not 75%.

That makes me question the infographic not because of something that could be a simple typographical mistake, but because it suggests that accuracy may not be the primary goal. I would think that the may simply be trying to encourage people to sign up with them.

They also list the number of e-book titles in the USA at 950,000. There are 1,928,615 in the USA Kindle store thi smorning…unless this is due to a difference in what is being counted (active content, for example), the information is at best outdated.

Nid Amazon yn cefnogi llyfrau Cymraeg*

I think I’ve mentioned before that my adult kid is a linguist, and I do have some interest in languages.

Wales Online article

has an interesting perspective on Amazon not allowing books in Welsh.

Right away, you might think that’s because of character sets, but I don’t think that’s an issue with Welsh.

You might think it’s because Amazon doesn’t have Welsh-reading employees who can review the material before publication (we’re talking about books going through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing).

That doesn’t appear to be it…because they did allow them for a while.

There’s actually a petition to get Amazon to change the policy:

My guess is that they will get this worked out…I think they did get concerned about perhaps not being able to determine the content. For example, let’s say that somebody translated Harry Potter into Welsh and published it through the KDP. A translation is considered a “derivative work” (at least in the USA), and it would infringe on the copyrights. Allowing publication in a language that they perhaps can’t read opens them up to more liability.

While I’ll admit that my closest personal connection to Wales is probably through watching Torchwood 😉 I still find this interesting.

The ability to deal with local languages is a challenge for Amazon…it certainly gave the Infibeam Pi reader an advantage over the Kindle in India.

Bookish dogs, webby cats

There has been some interesting response to this

Slate article

by Daniel Engber.

It’s a great piece, that actually does the research to show that cats are favored as web subjects over dogs, and dogs are favored as book subjects over cats.

As an animal lover, book lover, and a person interested in the human mind, I do find that fascinating.

The question is, “Why?”

You can go a lot of ways with this. The first thing is to think about the difference between reading a book and seeing something on the web.

I suspect that’s the key factor…although one could argue that cats may have become more popular in recent decades due to declining living space, and the web is a more recent invention than books, so there is a logical correlation.

I’ll start with this:

The web shows things in short pieces, books are long pieces.

Cats do more interesting things in a short time span than dogs.

A cat is a pounce predator, and as such, can have very fast (and sometimes, very bizarre) actions. Domestic dogs are really more omnivorous scavengers…it may simply take them longer to do something interesting than the few seconds we watch web videos.

I might also argue that dogs think more like people do than cats do. I should say, I’ve typically had both dogs and cats, like them both, and think I understand them both pretty well. That said, all cats are crazy. 😉 No, that’s not really true, but one of the great joys of having cats is that you are dealing with an alien intelligence.

Dogs have evolved to interact with humans. You can point with your finger, and a domesticated dog knows what you mean…not even wolves do that. Point with your finger with a cat, and they are likely to swat your finger. 🙂

So, when a writer needs to sustain the inner life of an animal for a hundred pages, it’s easier to write a dog than a cat.

Quick! Name five famous cats from literature.

Now, how many of them were anthropomorphized? How many of them spoke to humans, wore clothes, and so on? I’m guessing you might have named the Cat in the Hat, the Cheshire Cat, and so on.

If you named five famous dogs from literature, it might have included Toto, and Buck from Call of the Wild. While they may not act entirely like dogs (Toto changes quite a bit over the course of the Oz series, but I’m talking about the first book), they aren’t walking on two legs.

I suppose one might also argue that the dogs are more likely to be affecting the plot, at least where humans are concerned. A dog may be acting in the human’s interest much of the time…the cat is less likely to be fetching help or performing tasks.

Still, this is the kind of article I love, and I do highly recommend it.

Americans still like the library

Let’s try that infographic embedding experiment again:

The public library: Historic artifact or adaptive success
Courtesy of:

That comes from

I actually reported on the underlying study before, so I won’t say much about it now…but it is interesting how seeing it in an infographic can make it different. There also is more in the infographic than I covered.

So, what do you think? Is it a big deal that Amazon isn’t doing KDP books in Welsh? Do you have a favorite literary cat? Will you admit to watching cat videos online? 😉 Any surprises in the infographics? Does making one (or two) mistakes make you doubt an entire statement? If so, under what circumstances? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

By the way, I’ll check the infographics both on an RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle…probably my Paperwhite) and a Kindle Fire…but I’d still like to hear your experience and opinion about the embedding. Even if it looks good, you might not like, and it would help me to hear that.

*I used Google translate to put this into Welsh…my apologies if it doesn’t make sense. 🙂

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

12 Responses to “Round up #159: cats vs. dogs, Welsh words”

  1. Morgan Says:

    For the first info graphic there is another typo. “There” back pocket…. instead of “their” back pocket…. for me, these typos are a credibility killer. Maybe that is harsh…. however… I often find typos in my writing but I’m not creating content for the public nor is writing my profession.

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    The graphics were totally unreadable on my Kindle Keyboard (aka Kindle 3.) Even when I clicked on them to enlarge them, they just looked like fuzzy bookmarks.

    As for cats, there are lots and lots of mysteries where cats are major players. There’s a whole category of “cat sleuths” in the Kindle store listings. Unfortunately, it’s not a very complete list. My favorites are the Magical Cats series by Sophie Kelly, Cats in Trouble by Leanne Sweeny, Black Cat Bookshop by Ali Brandon, Cats in the Stacks by Miranda James, Joe Grey Mysteries by Shirley Roussea Murphy, The Cat Who … by Lilian Jackson Brown and Mrs. Murphy by Rita Mae Brown. Cats play important roles in several of Robert Heinlein’s books. The ones that come to mind are “The Door Into Summer” and “The Cat who Walks Through Walls.”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Yes, at this point I think I won’t try embedding again for a bit. I think linking will work okay for people who want to see the graphics, and I don’t want it to look bad for people who don’t. Perhaps if RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles) evolve to being able to handle them better.

      Certainly, there are literary cats, and I sold quite a few of The Cat Who series. That’s part of why I thought it was interesting that there was actually an analysis done.

      There are are also canine sleuths. Doing a search for

      Dog Mysteries in the Kindle store

      got me over 1,000 results…and

      Cat Mysteries in the Kindle store

      was a bit lower, at 972.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if cats are more prominent in science fiction and fantasy…as I mentioned, they do think in an alien manner. 🙂 I’d certainly include Cat from

      Red Dwarf

      in that group…and it wouldn’t be the same if Batman tangled with Dogwoman. 😉

  3. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I’m reading your post from a wordpress-sent email in my web-based email client ( I have no issues with either infographic.

    Like Morgan, I noticed the incorrect use of “there” instead of “their”; I did not notice the bad arithmetic. Unlike you and Morgan, I have no issues with credibility as the “sense” of what they were conveying about the business opportunity represented by ebooks seemed roughly right and logical (I’m much more interested in big picture trends — not whether every “I” and “T” is dotted/crossed :grin.

    I take the second infographic with a grain of salt — of course opinions/polls about libraries are going to be positive — we’ve been taught to have warm and fuzzy feelings about them since we were knee high to a grasshopper. What really would be interesting is the trend line of library visits year over year; or new library cards issued year over year. In the few places where such statistics are kept (NYC being one) the trend is downwards, and they are closing some facilities. Most of the stats in the second infographic come from sources who have a vested interest in libraries hanging around — THAT’s the kind of stuff that diminishes credibility for me :-).

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      The first infographic is also from a group with a vested interest…making you believe that selling a novel through them is a road to riches (or, at least, some bucks). 🙂 Someone with a vested interest can still put out a carefully researched and credible “report” (which is what an infographic is)…it’s just that for me, an advocatory one has a higher standard of proving reliability. That’s why the errors bring this more into question for me.

      A shift away from brick-and-mortar library visits doesn’t necessarily mean less interest in or value of a library system. I would guess the in-person visits are more than offset by borrowing from library websites, but I don’t have the data. Hm…can people borrow library p-books (paperbooks) online yet, and have them delivered? That would be an interesting model, with the borrower paying shipping both ways.

  4. miki Says:

    l subscribe to your blog via Kindle blogs. Pay .99¢ a month for my paperwhite.
    The embedded charts could not be seen. l clicked on it to enlarge it but was too blurry and too light.

    So it doesn’t do any good on the PW for me.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, miki!

      Thanks for being a subscriber! That’s a big part of what makes this possible for me to do. 🙂

      Yes, I think that the RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles) aren’t robust enough for this yet, so I’ll probably not do it again for a while.

  5. Joe Bowers Says:

    Hello, Bufo,
    A tangentially irrelevant question, since Miki mentioned she is a paid subscriber…I get your posts in my e-mail, and I don’t think I pay for it.:) (I buy so many .99 and 1.99 books and apps through amazon, I may be getting billed and don’t know it…stupid me.) How would one go about subscribing, and would this then be delivered to one’s Kindle?

    As for typos, I am pretty sensitive to catching them, being an old English major, (not an English Major, in the Queen’s service.) but I have become forgiving of them on the Internets, as it seems to be such a rapid-fire, informal means of communication…I might point out (with all due respect) that I spot typos in your posts kind of regularly, but, given how much you post, I don’t feel they undercut your cred or reflect badly on you…but as you pointed out, the infographic (which came through fine on my laptop) may have had an agenda.
    G’day, friend!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Joe!

      I always appreciate it when someone points out a typo: I can often then go back and fix it. I fixed one today in something I wrote in this blog years ago…zombies having nothing over the internet’s ability to revive the long dead. 😉

      I’m quite good a proofreading* others’ work, and I can proofread mine if I’m approaching it for that purpose. However, as you point out, this is very rapid fire. I write something like the equivalent of a hundred page book every month, and in my spare time. 🙂 I feel a bit like “Kenneth Robeson” (Lester Dent) and Doc Savage in that way, although I’m not having to be as creative.

      I am heartened, in an odd way, to see the number of typos that make it into traditionally published books. 🙂 I’ve been known to highlight those as I read and send them to the publisher.

      * I prefer “proof-reading”, but have been informed that’s at best old-fashioned and at worst obsolete.

      Edited to add: oh, and you asked about subscribing! People who subscribe get it on their Kindles. If you have one, you can subscribe in the Kindle store at

      I Love My Kindle blog subscription

      You can check to see if you are already subscribed at

      • Joe Bowers Says:

        Thanks for the information on subscribing. I like to support someone as helpful and informative as you, bought several of your books, the quote book and the Kindle tips, etc. I have mentioned before that you have saved me money several times.
        On some of the on-line chats, it is so funny when people mock others for what are obvious typos, like they never make misteaks! (Couldn’t resist.)
        Thanks again, and keep up the great work.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Joe!

        Thank you for subscribing! I really appreciate it. 🙂

        Oh, yes, I certainly see that…you know, when someone corrects someone else for “not writing good”. 😉

  6. Ebook: la catena del valore - Says:

    […] via […]

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