kindle scouteBook Publishers May Soon Sue ISP Providers Over Pirate eBooks (GoodeReader)
Rightscorp is trying to establish a precedent with suing Cox Communication.  If a judge finds Cox liable for the actions of users on its network, it will have major implications for the company, the cable industry and any ISP in the future who neglects to punish eBook pirates.

Why Privacy is Like the Frog in the Pot of Boiling Water (GigaOM)
Now is the time to take responsibility for our data prior to the the proverbial boil.

Four Surprising Things I Learned from (Not) Getting a Contract Through Kindle Scout (The Digital Reader)
A few weeks back, I wrote an article for The Digital Reader outlining my reasons for submitting my crime novel, The Invisible Hand, to the new Kindle Scout program from Amazon. Although the campaign received terrific support, in the end the novel was not selected for a contract.

Will Print Unit Sales Rise in 2014? (PW)
With unit sales of print books up about 2% in the first 47 weeks of 2014, year over year, at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan, the industry is poised to post its first increase in print sales since 2008.

Kindle Daily Deal: Popular Thrillers for $1.99 (and others)


  1. Those comments about the Amazon’s Kindle Scout are interesting, but they miss the real factor in the scheme.

    I’ve had dealings with two people in the upper ranks of Amazon. One was even my lawyer for a few months. The company is clever, far more clever than many authors realize, and far more clever than many of its critics are aware.

    The real inner dynamics of the Kindle Scout selection aren’t that important. I suspect that Amazon is intervening enough to make sure that it will recoup its modest $1500 investment in most cases. Amazon’s real agenda lies elsewhere.

    Amazon is using a technique called ‘redirection’ by magicians. Authors who direct their attention at winning or who console themselves with getting a bit of publicity aren’t looking in the right places. They’re being misdirected.

    Amazon’s real goal is getting authors who have books that are likely to do well to sign that terrible Kindle Scout contract, with its many restrictions and a measly 50% royalty rate. Pay too much attention to the selection process or the publicity and you miss that. You get screwed without knowing it.

    From Amazon’s perspective, that 50% Kindle Scout royalty rate is laying the ground work for what it hopes will replace Apple’s 70% royalties at all prices as the industry’s benchmark. That’ll be 50% if you give up a lot of rights, including perhaps the right to distribute through other ebook retailers. And it’ll be about 35% if you don’t go along. Never forget that 35% is already what Amazon pays if you dare to violate its wishes and price your ebook outside its narrowly defined $2.99 to $9.99 price range.

    But that 50%-if-you-give-up-a-lot contract is also a warning to authors who’re more clever than Amazon. It signals Amazon’s long-term agenda. It’s almost certainly to drive all other ebook retailers to the margins, so it can dictate royalty rates and terms to authors and publishers. It intends to create an ebook market that’s extremely lucrative for itself and to do so almost entirely at the expense of authors. I I keep telling authors over and over again, “Amazon is not your friend. Amazon’s only friend is Amazon.”

    Unfortunately, authors need to display more sense than they have thus far. A 70/30 split between creator and a retailer is quite viable. Starting with music, Apple’s been paying that since 2003 and is doing quite well. Costs of web services have declined dramatically since then, so an 80/20 split is easily possible today.

    Authors who want to show good sense should apply two tests to every offer from Amazon or any of its competitors.

    * What’s the royalty rate? It should be 65% (B&N) or better (Apple) and should apply at all price levels (B&N’s range is larger than Amazon’s). Authors should not be punished for attracting readers by offering a book for less ($0.99 or $1.99) or for creating one with such a limited audience that it has to be priced above $9.99. Flat-rate royalties are a must.

    * What are the terms? Any provision that limits what you can do with a book or how you can sell it should be rejected out-of-hand. What Amazon is attempting is to limit authors by demanding the restrictions that a full-service publisher would provide while providing few if any of those services. Refuse to be duped. Amazon is a retailer that can get by quite well on very low profit margins for ebooks—given its economy of scale that means 20% or less. The 50% it wants is sheer robbery.

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