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Posts tagged Amazon

Self-Published Measles Book Target of an Amazon Backlash
February 13, 2015 | 12:25 pm

amazon backlashI have been following the measles outbreak with interest because, as a teacher, I work with kids on a daily basis. I am also pro-vaccination because I live with someone who is immune-compromised due to a lifelong health condition and so depends on herd immunity. We've been told that if the measles comes to our school, any unvaccinated children (including our entire Pre-K class, who are all under 4 years old and so have not received the full course) will be sent home for a month! This is a big deal for schools. We are being pushed, hard, to make...

Cheap blind-friendly E Ink Kindles with read-aloud and audio nav capabilities: A how-to for Amazon
February 9, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Shaun Kane at RobotFestI hope that Amazon’s CEO never becomes a blind visionary. But if Jeff Bezos’s eyes should ever go downhill in a serious way---a risk for millions of aging baby boomers---he could still enjoy e-books on inexpensive E Ink Kindles. All he has to do is follow advice from Shaun K. Kane, the Colorado computer scientist in the photo, who has devoted years to accessibility issues. In the case of dedicated e-reading devices from Amazon, that doesn’t just mean the read-aloud which the earlier E Ink Kindles offered before the company yanked the feature away (despite Jeff’s original ballyhoo of text to speech, introduced...

Morning Links: Author uprising over Kindle Unlimited? My eReader is selling me toilet paper!
February 6, 2015 | 9:49 am

kindle unlimitedKindle Unlimited Update: Author Uprising Afoot? (IndieReader) Do subscription services like KU make it impossible for authors–both traditional and indie–to earn a living wage? *** I Used Dictation and Voice Control for a Week. Here's What Happened (Lifehacker) We like to make fun of how badly it works, but I decided to dive in headfirst to see what it's like to actually use it...for everything. Here's what happened. *** My eReader is Selling Me Toilet Paper (Book Riot) But should I get a Kindle with special offers? Or pay a bit extra for one without? *** Amazon.com Releases the Top 20 Most Romantic U.S. Cities (Amazon) Love is in the...

Morning Links: Amazon Prime celebrates 10 years. We need diverse children’s books
February 4, 2015 | 9:00 am

amazon primeAmazon Celebrates Tenth Anniversary of Amazon Prime With Numbers, But Leaves Out the Most important One (Ink, Bits & Pixels) In recognition of the 10th anniversary of its customer loyalty program, Amazon released an infographic today which shares a few details on Amazon Prime. *** The Most Important Skills You Need to Start a Writing Career (Lifehacker) So you want to get paid for your writing, but you've never been published. You have no formal experience, and no one's ever hired you for a writing-related job. The professional legwork that comes with getting paid to write can be intimidating. Honing a few important skills...

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...

Latest IDC numbers: Another tablet upset?
February 3, 2015 | 4:25 pm

The latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker has brought joy to the hearts of Luddites everywhere with the news that: "worldwide tablet shipments recorded a year-over-year decline for the first time since the market's inception in 2010. Overall shipments for tablets and 2-in-1 devices reached 76.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14) for -3.2 percent growth." This follows from the last quarter's IDC predictions which already forecast that the global market had hit peak tablet. All the same, "although the fourth quarter witnessed a decline in the global market, shipments for the full year 2014 increased 4.4%, totaling 229.6...

Morning Links: Love for Kindle Unlimited. 30% of ebooks sold on Amazon lack ISBN
January 30, 2015 | 9:00 am

kindle unlimitedI Love Kindle Unlimited (Boing Boing) When Kindle Unlimited was announced, I was super-excited. I wanted to give it a few months, however, so I could share a real user's review. The service is wonderful. -- Amazon's Net Sales up 20% in 2014 (GalleyCat) Amazon’s fourth quarter 2014 net sales reached $29.33 billion, a 15 percent increase compared to the $25.59 billion net sales the company reported in the fourth quarter 2013. *** Author Earnings Report Reveals that 30% of eBooks Sold on Amazon Don’t Have ISBNs (Ink, Bits & Pixels) The fifth Author Earnings Report was released this week, and it tells a starkly different tale...

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...

Intelligence Squared audience decide Amazon isn’t the reader’s friend
January 20, 2015 | 4:25 pm

IQ2 As heralded in Teleread earlier, self-publishing poster child Joe Konrath and Matthew Yglesias, Executive Editor of Vox, appeared against Franklin Foer, former editor of The New Republic, and attorney and author Scott Turow, in the Intelligence Squared debate in New York , last weekend, arguing the motion: "Amazon is the reader’s friend." And whatever one thinks of the merits of the arguments on both sides of the fence, the outcome was fairly conclusive: before the debate 41 percent were for the motion, 28 percent against, and 31 percent undecided; afterwards, 42 percent were for, 50 percent were against, and 8 percent undecided....

Morning Links: Amazon enters feature film business. Print subscription content doomed?
January 20, 2015 | 9:05 am

amazonSo Shall You Reap? Success and ‘Investment’ at #DBW15 (Writer Unboxed) What do we expect in return for heavy investment in our work? What do we expect a publisher to invest? *** Why Your Spotify or Netflix for Print Content is Probably Doomed (GigaOM) The latest comes from Magzter, a company that is offering an all-you-can-read subscription to a universe of 2,000 magazines for $9.99 a month. *** Amazon Enters the Feature Film Business (GoodeReader) Post-production takes a fraction of the time it used to. So what does all of this mean? Companies like Amazon have the opportunity and the option of producing their own feature films. *** The...

UK indie bookseller sector not dead yet apparently
January 17, 2015 | 2:49 pm

Despite the best efforts of UK business rates and rent setters, and Big Publishing, British independent booksellers appear not to have been killed off yet, but are in fact thriving, at least if a piece in The Bookseller, reporting the results of its own survey, is anything to go by. The Bookseller's Independents Christmas Trading Survey may not have the largest sample size on record, at just 57 respondents, but with a total of just 987 still in business as of early 2014, according to the Booksellers Association, it is fairly representative. And it indicated that almost 80 percent of the respondents saw...

Cory Doctorow speaks on self-publishing, Amazon, DRM, Hachette, and a whole lot else besides
January 16, 2015 | 10:25 am

IMG_20150115_103208Cory Doctorow came over to Budapest at the invitation of the Center for Media, Data and Society of Central European University to speak on policing computers and other issues. In the course of a fascinating interview with me, he shared a slew of observations on a great many issues, many of which I'll be presenting in subsequent articles. To begin with, though, here are his thoughts on where self-publishing has got to, and what the whole Amazon-Hachette spat reveals about the impact of DRM on the market. The most important thing that self-publishing does isn’t merely enriching the people who succeed in...