Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

First of all, a big hello to the latest subscriber. I’ll do my best to keep you entertained and informed.

*** I haven’t mentioned Ebay for a while, despite a plethora of news about that failing company. As of this writing the stock is trading around $11.65. It’s 52 wk high is about $34. In other words, the stock has lost 2/3 of its value.

Now, John Donohoe can spin that any way he wants, he can blame the economy, he can blame the site itself, but the stock market has NOT lost 2/3 of its value in the last year. Ebay should be gaining strength in a bad economy as people sell stuff to makes ends meet, but instead it is sinking into the west. As in turns out Donohoe’s strategy of insulting loyal customers and overcharging the ones who stay did not result in more people using the site. Who’d a thunk it?

Anyway, I’ll post some nice general analysis articles as they appear, but none right now. Most of them are from financial talking heads who haven’t really got a clue what’s going on with ebay, but are reading press reports and financial statements, as if that says what people will do in the future. Ebay’s problem is really very simple: the site thought that it could abuse its best customers and found out that it couldn’t.

Okay, okay, I’ll post ONE informed article from the financial sector. This one is from the Motley Fool, who have consistently shown a better understanding of the forces at work in ebay’s demise.

What’s that smell, ebay?

*** Live in Florida and love mysteries? If so, do yourself a favor and check out Mystery Florida in Sarasota, June of this year. Looks like great fun, some A-list authors are already on board, even your friendly neighborhood bookseller would like to be there for this one, if he did not already have a commitment for that time.

Having attended a great number of cons in my life, I can tell you that if you’ve never been to one you don’t know what you’re missing. Very often you can sit with a favorite author and just shoot the breeze for hours on end, preferably over drinks in a bar. This would be an excellent in-country vacation for those living in the southeast.

*** Keeping with the con theme, another really nice looking book festival is the Southern Kentucky Festival of Books in April. Every year I think I would like to go, and every year I cannot, for one reason or another. This year’s author lineup is really impressive.

*** With brothers like this, who needs enemies? Mark McGwire’s younger brother, Jay, is shopping a book about his brother’s alleged steroid use. A 58 page proposal, no less. How hard up for money is this guy, anyway? Jeez. Supposedly he claims that he shot Mark up with the drugs, which, of course, makes him equally liable in terms of criminality. (Not that either would ever be prosecuted.)

Jay McGwire willing to betray his brother for the right price