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Amazon return policy: a case for when it’s appropriate
March 21, 2015 | 10:42 am

amazonA article from 2012 on Amazon's return policy seems to continue getting hits here on Teleread! The updated comments came at an opportune time for me because I just returned a Kindle book yesterday. Here is what happened. The book was a re-purchase of an oldie-but-goodie I had in paper. I did a casual glance at the preview just to make sure it wasn't Topaz, and then I bought the book for $4.99. I realized midway through the first chapter that I was in trouble. There seemed to be an issue with the letters E and C; I was seeing words like...

Amazon AutoRip: better than I expected
March 19, 2015 | 2:41 pm

amazon autoripLast week, I got the hankering to buy [easyazon-link asin="B0029LHW68" locale="us"]This Is War[/easyazon-link] by 30 Seconds to Mars, and I hopped over to Amazon to check pricing. I'd previously purchased one track off the album, and I was expecting I'd get a tiny discount to "complete the album." However, I noticed the CD was on sale for $4.99, which was about half the price of the digital album, and the CD was AutoRip eligible. Cool! I'd known about Amazon AutoRip, but because I seldom purchase CDs, I hadn't given it much thought. When the started the service, I think I ended up...

What Should a Canadian Know Before Publishing on the Kindle Store?
March 5, 2015 | 12:25 pm

kindleI have been preparing some of my teaching stuff for possible publication via the Kindle store, but I have been a little overwhelmed by the process. I want to make sure I do everything correctly, from a business standpoint. But it does not seem like there is good information out there about how to set everything up. Here is what I have found so far: 1) This blog post talks about Amazon withholding taxes for all authors, even non-American ones, and suggests that you need a special American tax number to get out of this. 2) My personal tax accountant, who is...

Should I Try Out Kindle Unlimited?
March 4, 2015 | 2:25 pm

kindle unlimitedKindle Unlimited Rolled Out in Canada a short time ago, and I have been contemplating trying it out. There is a free trial option, but this does not make the decision as straightforward as it might seem because in order to avail myself of the free trial, I would have to convert my Amazon.com account over to the Canadian portal, and I'm worried about doing that. So, some pros and cons. Maybe those of you who have tried this service can tell me what you think? 1) Pros - There seems to be a decent selection of books. I know people have complained...

J.A. Konrath added to Kindle Worlds, but with a twist
February 28, 2015 | 2:20 pm

JD_Banner_1._V329978821_ Kindle Worlds just got a little bigger. J.A. Konrath announced that writers can now submit stories for Jack Daniels and Associates. However, Konrath’s world is a little different as he explained on his blog. He loved the idea of Kindle Worlds when it was announced in 2013. Fans of a specific segment can create new stories using already created worlds and characters and make money off of it (as well as the original author). Fan ficcers get a bad rap. We all learn to write (and speak, and walk) by imitation. Copyright does do some good in protecting intellectual property and allowing a writer...

SFWA announces membership qualifications for self-published and small press writers
February 3, 2015 | 9:10 pm

The Science Fiction Writers of America, or SFWA, has finally come through with its long-promised support for self-published and small press authors. A SFWA press release declares that complete details will be posted to the SFWA’s membership requirements page by March 1, 2015. (I have been informed that SFWA’s members refer to it as SFWA, sometimes pronounced “siff-wah,” rather than the SFWA, so I shall do so within this article.) The press release states that the requirements for Active Membership are having earned at least $3,000 via novel (it’s unclear whether that’s from one or several such novels over...

Why Are People Still Surprised by Amazon?
January 23, 2015 | 11:25 am

amazonI saw several articles in my newsfeed this morning about Amazon's new textbook creation software.  Most of them were simply a factual write-up of the situation---people don't seem to care all that much about textbooks, so there was less hand-writing about this than usual---but still, I was surprised by the wounded tone some tech journalists seem to take in Amazon-related stories. Amazon is disrupting the industry. Amazon is taking over the world. This new piece of news, whatever it might be, shows Amazon throwing its might at yet another poor, beleaguered media provider...you know the rhetoric I mean. But here is...

To gain more e-book marketshare, Apple should make iBooks for Android
December 22, 2014 | 2:25 pm

appledroidCan a company give Amazon a run in 2015 when it comes to ebooks? Maybe, but the company with the best footing is Apple. Anecdotally, several authors have mentioned the successes they have had through Apple’s iBooks. This is a good new for authors who are looking for other avenues to sell their books. But keeping iBooks strictly for Apple products may not do it. iBooks has been around since 2010 when it was launched with the iPad. In 2013, iBooks became an integrated app on iOS 8. Since that time, iBooks seems to be taking more of the market share. In October,...

GamerGate Zoe Quinn rape story self-published, pulled from Amazon
December 19, 2014 | 11:46 pm

ethicsgameI can’t say I ever expected to have an excuse to write about GamerGate here on TeleRead. The movement generally hasn’t had anything to do directly with e-books. Until now. TechCrunch carries the story of a 3,000 word e-book posted for sale on Amazon, in which five men rape a “controversial video game designer” named “Zada Quinby”—a very thinly-veiled Zoe Quinn, the game developer who has been the focus of many of GamerGate’s attacks. Lest there be any doubt, the book had “#GamerGape” (sic) in its title. The e-book has since been taken down, but the...

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, John Sargent: Major publishers learning, trying new things with e-books
December 18, 2014 | 6:30 pm

Here are an interesting juxtaposition of posts that just came to light today. In the first, Kristine Kathryn Rusch at last returns to blogging about the publishing industry with an end-of-year post that is both interesting and scary. Last year, I wrote an open letter asking the Big Five publishers if they’d learned anything from the Apple verdict. In her new blog post, Rusch suggests that they have, and it might not be good news for the authors who sign with them. Touching once more on the sales problems inherent in publishers no longer being able to schedule book...

Rick Chapman lays into Amazon advocates, KDP pricing strategy
December 18, 2014 | 10:25 am

AmazonIndie science fiction author and business book writer Rick Chapman has unleashed a long diatribe against Amazon's pricing model for Kindle Direct Publishing, which does make some valid points - although they're buried among a screed against Amazon's defenders (who he charmingly refers to as the Aggregated Amazon Ankle Grabbers, or AAAGs), and also somewhat obscured when he lets the invective get in the way of clear presentation of his argument. Which basically, stripped of all the name-calling and rhetoric, is this: Kindle Direct Publishing's  pricing policy of taking 65 percent of authors' and small publishers' revenues when they price their...

Appeals court judges ask probing questions in Apple e-book anti-trial case
December 16, 2014 | 7:56 pm

Yesterday, the appeals court heard testimony from Apple and the Department of Justice relating to the e-book anti-trust trial appeal. To my surprise, two of the three judges seemed amenable toward Apple’s point of view. They expressed concern over why the publisher collusion was such a bad thing when it was for the sake of stopping monopolist Amazon, and hinted that Judge Cote might have erred when she ruled that Apple’s behavior constituted a pro se anti-trust violation—a violation so obvious that it doesn’t need the “rule of reason” test applied to it. Apple attorney Theodore Boutros asked for...