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Amazon Breakthough Novel Award (ABNA) quarterfinalists announced
April 22, 2014 | 10:25 am

abnaThe quarterfinalists for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) were recently announced. One hundred books were selected in five categories: General Fiction; Mystery & Thriller, Romance; Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror; and Young Adult. Based on message board posts, many writers had been anxiously waiting for this day, which is just one of many steps to go through for ABNA. Writers have to go through various rounds until the books were whittled to the 500 listed now. The ones who made it are thrilled, but there are many more of whom did not make the cut. Those who didn’t make it shouldn’t look at...

Suing e-book reviewers and being a public jerk: Two bad ideas in one
April 19, 2014 | 3:10 pm

withoutruleoflawA friend pointed out to me a slightly older blog post that is rather interesting. In fact, it’s interesting not just for the article, but for the comments. It’s kind of a gift that keeps on giving. The blog post, by writer Greg Strandberg, quotes (and screencaps) a post by self-publishing writer Joe Nobody on KBoards, a semi-private forum for people who self-publish through Amazon. Nobody is a highly-successful pseudonymous self-publishing author, who Strandberg estimates has made over a million dollars from his e-book sales. Nobody writes in the post-apocalyptic SF genre, in the footsteps of mens-adventure writers like...

Germany sees mixed feelings on Amazon Publishing market entry
April 15, 2014 | 6:25 pm

amazon publishingThe launch of Amazon Publishing in Germany, already covered in TeleRead, has elicited some mixed feedback from German publishers, booksellers, and other book market players. As reported in Stuttgarter Nachrichten, some, like Klett-Cotta editorial CEO Michael Zöllner, "do not see any impact on the German book market," while others, like Mirjam Berle, spokeswoman of Germany's largest bookstore chain Thalia, say: "the publishers have to fear the market power of Amazon." Bookstores are apparently some of the most negative respondents about taking Amazon Publishing titles on board. Stuttgarter Nachrichten quotes one local book vendor as saying she would not "let the Devil...

Photos of Amazon 3D, 6-camera smartphone prototype surface
April 15, 2014 | 2:44 pm

bgr-a-phone-1-500x231There goes Amazon, changing the game again. I’ve noticed that when Amazon introduces its own spin on an already-established device, it likes to add some new and different feature from right out of left field to distinguish itself from the competition. With e-readers, it was the free 3G service to let people buy e-books and check their mail from anywhere. With the Fire TV it was the extensive gaming focus and voice search. Now, with Amazon’s impending smartphone, it appears to be six cameras and a 3D display. The Boy Genius Report has exclusive photos and more information about...

Kindle Direct Publishing adds new reports
April 15, 2014 | 10:25 am

kindle direct publishingI received an email yesterday from Kindle Direct Publishing about the new reports they've added. Gotta say, I like them. They've added basically three. The first is a graph showing real time sales. You can filter by date, title and marketplace. This one addresses a long-standing need. I don't actually care where my books are selling. I just like to see that they are selling and how many are selling. Previously, you had to select each marketplace separately to get an idea of sales during the current month. The new graph adds them all together, although with the filters, you can...

Amazon goes into Sweden – but without Amazon.se?
April 14, 2014 | 12:34 pm

Amazon SEAs previously reported in TeleRead, Amazon has been in discussions for some time with Swedish publishing data clearing house Bokrondellen for some months regarding its plans to enter the Swedish market. Now, according to The Bookseller, Amazon may have concluded the deal and be about to roll out in Sweden. However, this might have to happen without the Amazon.se domain. Local Swedish news sources \ suggest that a buyer who picked up the domain name in 1997 may be hanging on to it, despite negotiations with Amazon. Whether Amazon AB, the entity that currently owns the domain name, is actually cybersquatting...

Customers use Amazon Mayday button in unique ways
April 13, 2014 | 1:11 pm

Amazon MayDay Kindle Fire HDX owners may have used the Amazon Mayday button for assistance with their gadget, but not everyone is looking for technical help with their devices. In a letter from Jeff Bezos to shareholders on Thursday, Bezos recounted some of the more interesting ways customers have used the ‘Mayday’ button. - Mayday Tech Advisors have had 35 marriage proposals - 475 customers have asked to talk to ‘Amy,’ the Mayday television personality - 109 customers asked for help in ordering a pizza (Pizza Hut was the slim favorite over Domino’s) - 44 Mayday advisors have sung happy birthday to customers - There were 648 instances...

In Google Books appeal, Authors Guild decries Google’s impact on Amazon sales
April 12, 2014 | 6:12 am

The Authors Guild is appealing Google’s November fair use win in its Google Book scanning case. The Guild says that Google is “yanking readers out of online bookstores” and stifling online bookstore competition with its digitized books. "Google emptied the shelves of libraries and delivered truckloads of printed books to scanning centers, where the books were converted into digital format," the Guild's lawyers said. They wrote that the library project was designed to lure potential book purchasers away from online retailers like Amazon.com and drive them to Google. Wait, what? ...

That’s show biz: The value propositions of bookstores and movies
April 12, 2014 | 5:35 am

Sometimes when I’m trawling through the news, I run across unrelated posts that form an interesting juxtaposition. Here’s one concerning the very similar way that technological change has affected two entirely different industries. First, Dan Meadows (not a close relation as far as I know) has an interesting pair of posts relating to bookstores, publishers, and their respective value propositions. In the first one, he talks about bookstores and publishers in general. The services these institutions offer hasn’t changed—bookstores still have about the same number of books, publishers still offer the same services—but because people suddenly have even better...

Amazon to purchase ComiXology e-comic-book store
April 10, 2014 | 6:24 pm

Looks like the Big Bad Amazon Wolf has just gulped down another hefty meal. Two weeks after rumors started going around (as noticed by Nate Hoffelder at the Digital Reader), Amazon has announced it will be acquiring ComiXology, the e-comic-book store that carries titles from Marvel, DC, Image, and a number of others. Although the various comic book publishers are trying to push their own stores, ComiXology has nonetheless become the best known source for e-books of popular comics. Now, like Audible and so many other brands, it is going to find a new home at Amazon. News is...

Amazon sees case for flood defenses in self-publishing tsunami
April 8, 2014 | 2:00 pm

LBF ogo_tues_weds_thurs_330x200You can add one more name to the list of all the companies bemused or overwhelmed by the proliferation of self-publishing: Amazon. Apparently the chief exponent and beneficiary of the trend is feeling a little swamped too - at least according to feedback from the Publishing for Digital Minds conference in London, as reported by Digital Book World, and in Twitter streams from attendees at the event, including Porter Anderson. Amazon is starting to query the use of the term "self-publishing," for one thing. The London Book Fair Twitter feed quoted Jon Fine, director of author and publisher relations at Amazon,...

Anthony Horowitz: Amazon are evil, their middle name is miseree …
April 7, 2014 | 2:25 pm

10980020-devil-heart-danger-love-symbol-total-red-with-horns-and-a-tail-demon-passion-abstract-lover-cheater-Evil stalks the land. Evil. Badness. Wrong. Sin. Naughtiness. And its (their?) name is (are?) not legion, but Amazon. Thus the opening keynote speech by Anthony Horowitz at the London Book Fair’s Publishing for Digital Minds event, as relayed by Digital Book World and a hail of Tweets. What Horowitz actually said, apparently, was "Amazon are evil bastards – I loathe them, I fear them ... but I use them all the time because they’re wonderful and that’s part of the problem." Specifically, he highlighted the demise of physical bookstores, Amazon's corporate tax policies, and the woes of publishers, especially smaller...