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Is showrooming the same as shoplifting?
May 31, 2015 | 10:23 am

Shoppers_on_Dundas,_near_YongeI have always respected the work of my fellow bloggers at Good eReader, but a post I saw has me wondering what is in the water over there, right now. First, there was Mercy Pilkington's failure to grasp the basic economics of product sales. And now, Michael Koslowski weights in by asserting that 'showrooming'---aka, the practice of browsing in a store and then buying online---is 'a genteel form of shoplifting.'* Um, no. No, it's not. Shoplifting is illegal. It is theft. Showrooming is commerce, a natural part of shopping. And in some ways, commerce is just the same as it has...

Baen e-book store to drop ‘mail to Kindle’ function
May 27, 2015 | 2:55 pm

Baen has just sent an email to its customers noting a change to one method of Baen e-book downloads. At the moment, Baen has a form on its web site where you can fill in your Kindle’s Personal Document Service e-mail address and have the e-book emailed to your Kindle with the click of a button. However, that feature is soon going away. Baen writes: Starting on or about June 10, 2015, Baen Ebooks will no longer be able to provide automatic delivery of the .mobi format to a Kindle device via the "Email book...

Exactly how waterproof is the Kobo H2O e-reader? Find out before you hit the beach
May 24, 2015 | 8:02 pm

AuraH2O_lifestyle_largeSeveral decades ago Arthur C. Clarke reminded a friend and me that e-book devices might develop amnesia if dropped in the bathtub. Well, time passes. I myself own a dandy waterpoof case for my Kindle Paperwhite. And I keep up with the Kobo world through a waterproof Aura H20. But wait! Exactly how waterproof is the H2O itself? The issue isn’t as simple as giving the H2O a quick dunk. How long will it be underwater? At what depth? I’ll leave such questions to braver souls in regard to the $180 Kobo. I was fine with dropping a $90...

Parsing the Amazon Best-Seller Lists
May 22, 2015 | 10:25 am

amazon best seller listNow that my first book  is up at the Kindle store, I have been reading a ton about Amazon rankings, trying to tweak the category listing for my title to give it broader exposure. I knew the book was not going to be a best-seller. It is a niche category, and I knew that. But it was a book I wanted to read myself, so I figured it would be a good test project for me to learn the ins and outs of the Kindle process. The good news: I am beating out my chief competitor. Normally, I am...

Latest Author Earnings Report shows Big Five cutting their own, authors’ throats to get Amazon
May 7, 2015 | 12:25 pm

The May 2015 Author Earnings Report, Hugh Howey and team's "sixth quarterly look at Amazon’s ebook sales," has just hit the web, and I'm going to precis some of its most important conclusions, while recommending that any writer in particular digest the whole thing. And as in the past, this carries the caveat that it is a biased report from a crew with an agenda, and that there will be a grab-bag of by now customary criticisms of its methodology, conclusions, etc. All the same, it's an important milestone document, not least as it's the first Author Earnings Report to...

Why own media when you can rent the library?
April 30, 2015 | 2:51 pm

eatIs ownership of media passé? Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an interesting trend develop. It started with music, as “all-you-can-eat” services like Pandora and Spotify popped up to offer users a chance to listen to as much music as they wanted either free with advertising, or for a small monthly fee. Amazon, Google, and Apple soon followed suit. Then came video, as the holy trinity of Netflix, Hulu, and (again) Amazon launched streaming video services for television and movies. Next, it moved into e-books, with Oyster, Scribd, and, yes, Amazon launching services. (Amazon doesn’t seem...

Kindle Unlimited, Two Weeks Later: The Netflix-ization of Books (For Me)
April 15, 2015 | 12:25 pm

kindle unlimitedI am two weeks into my Kindle Unlimited free trial, and already, I am noticing that this service is having the same effect on me that Netflix had on my TV and movie viewing---I am caring less about consuming media that isn't there. Let me give you an example. When I moved in with the Beloved, I convinced him to give up cable. And, aside from the live sports issue (which he has just corrected by buying himself an MLB.com subscription for his birthday) he hasn't missed it. At the time, there were two cable shows we did watch (The Big...

Amazon debuts Lei Crime Kindle World; what do you want to see next?
April 13, 2015 | 12:25 pm

LeiCrimeThe latest Kindle World popped up last week with the Lei Crime Series. The Lei Crime Series, written by Toby Neal, debuted on April 7. Kindle Worlds allow anyone to write stories within specific universes using characters already developed by the respective authors. The Lei Crime Kindle World kicked off with eight new stories. Kindle Worlds helps writers (please read all the conditions first) earn money for their fan fiction by selling the stories through Amazon. Amazon currently has nearly 40 Kindle Worlds, including G.I. Joe, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, The World of Kurt Vonnegut, and J.A. Konrath’s Jack Daniels and...

Goodreads: A Casualty of the .Ca Upgrade
April 6, 2015 | 2:25 pm

goodreadsI wrote earlier about converting my Amazon.com account over to the .ca portal. Amazon seems to be strongly preferring that people shop at their 'correct' country portal these days---they let me keep using the .com site for my Kindle purchases, but had annoying banners and pop-ups regularly encouraging me to switch over. More recently, they started offering enticements such as a month of free service from Kindle Unlimited. So I bit the bullet, and switched. All my books transferred over just fine. I understood that some people had problems with subscription content such as magazines, but I had no such content...

The Great Canadian Amazon.ca Upgrade
March 31, 2015 | 10:25 am

amazon.caI did something a little momentous today---I finally caved to Amazon's repeated suggestions that I move my account over to Amazon.ca. I did it in part because the Canadian dollar isn't so strong right now and I didn't want to get dinged on the exchange rate, and in part because I want to sell on the Kindle store and figured that a .ca account may simplify that process for me. But mostly, I did it because I wanted to try out Kindle Unlimited. There is a 30-day free trial option, and I wanted to look. And...how did it go? Smooth, very smooth....

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...

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