Round up #44: the end of lit, 2 more Kindle Million Clubbers, Amazon boycott
Microsoft discontinues LIT, Microsoft reader
To wildly paraphrase Jack Benny, “There will be a pause for people to say, ‘Microsoft had a reader app?;”
Yep…and since twenty-ought-ought (the year 2000, Y2K…well, you get the idea). I hear people mention it sometimes, but it was never a huge hit. You could read e-books in the .lit extension (which may have had DRM…Digital Rights Management), and (with options), convert Word documents into it and do text-to-speech.
You can still download it through August 30, 2012. .lit e-books for purchase will be discontinued November 8 of this year.
The free e-book management app
can already convert non-DRM .lit books into mobi for use on a Kindle. After the format is no longer commercially supported, it’s possible they’ll convert those as well…my understanding is that it may become legal to strip the DRM in that situation.
“Re-entitled (and it feels so good)”
I’m sure you were on tenterhooks that the ten days I was given to change the title of one of my works in the Kindle store was about to expire.
Actually, some of you may remember when I wrote earlier about it.
Well, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do, and I let you know because it was clearly affecting other people. I guess we could say Amazon is funding an “untitlement program”.
I got a second e-mail.
They’ve reconsidered, and I can keep the title
Now, on the other hand, they didn’t answer my questions…I’m hoping they have or will post something on the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) site with the guidelines, to benefit other people. Honestly, though, there are some questions of mine they seem to just not answer…never, by the way, if it’s something actually pertaining to my own Kindle account, just those general things I ask. I let them know I’m going to share those with the public, and sometimes they answer them, sometimes they don’t. I don’t blame them for that…although I’d prefer to have the answers, they aren’t under any obligation to answer me on them.
Evanovich, Stockett join the Kindle Million Club
Amazon announces that Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum, among other things), and Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, have each had a million sales in the Kindle store. Stockett’s feat seems more amazing, given that it’s one book. The other Kindle Million Club members (Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Charlaine Harris, Lee Child, Suzanne Collins, Michael Connelly and John Locke) have more (sometimes a lot more) titles than one.
Congratulations to them both!
This can also give us some insight into the number of possible people to join the class action suit against Apple and five publishers for the Agency Model (which impacts e-book pricing). For more information on that, see this earlier post.
Stockett’s book is published by Penguin, which is part of the suit. However, it is currently priced at $9.99. I think it may have been more than that during the period following the institution of the Agency Model.
Evanovich’s current Stephanie Plum is the first one in the new deal with Random House, so it doesn’t count. RH joined the Agency Model in March of this year (it started for everybody else in April of 2010), but isn’t included in the suit.
The previous one, Sizzling Sixteen, was published by Macmillan in June of 2010. We paid $12.99 for it back then (qualifying us to join the class action, but we haven’t yet). It’s $8.99 now, but I would certainly guess that tens of thousands bought it at $12.99…
Amazon cracks down on PLR duplicate titles
On June 18, I wrote about the issue of PLR (Private Label Rights) books in the Kindle store. What happens there is that people buy the rights to publish a book, and then do so…with the hope of making money when people buy it. That sounds like a traditional publisher, but the big difference is that the same book is sold to (as far as I know) as many people who want to buy it. If 100 people buy it, there could be 100 identical books in the Kindle store…and that’s just tacky.
I also wrote about 40,000 books books disappearing from the USA Kindle store on August 7, and speculated that it might be related to the PLR books.
Thanks to my reader, Colleen E, for the heads-up on this
It suggests that is what happened. It quotes an alleged e-mail from Amazon to a PLR publisher in which the publisher is informed that the book is being removed because it duplicates or nearly duplicates another title.
Interestingly, they also quote someone who says that since Amazon caught them, maybe they should try Barnes & Noble or iBooks…
As usual, I’d suggest you read the original article….it again seems to me to conflate infringing titles with Private Label Rights books, but it is interesting.
Free subscription to Fantasy & Science Fiction (exclusive to the Kindle store)
You can get a lot of free things from Amazon, but I thought this one was pretty cool:
This exclusive to the Kindle store (but it available to the iDevices through the Kindle store). For those of you who don’t know, F&SF has been published since1949, and is one of the most significant of the science fiction magazines.
This is a special digest…it’s not the full magazine, but it’s free, right? Right. Honestly, I just looked at an issue…it’s really just a sampler of the current issue, and they give you a choice to buy the “extended version”. You do get a novelette and some article, though.
“Advocacy groups urge Amazon boycott”
They present this as a “…coalition of groups that advocate for the poor and the elderly…” who have created this website:
to urge a boycott of Amazon until it collects sales tax in California.
How about a boycott until Amazon supports a national sales tax bill?
Oh, wait...they already do that!
The website really looks political to me…it’s certainly advocatory.
The site has a copyright notice from the “HHS Network of California”. I assume that’s this:
It appears to have some real groups in it: I’ve heard of the Western Center on Law and Poverty, for example.
It could be all be legitimate, although I didn’t find much on the organization.
Their site certainly uses emotionally charged terms (Amazon is “cheating” California, “loophole”).
I think they’ll get some support, but couldn’t they just back the Main Street Fairness Act? Do they need to be this negative? Maybe they do…I’ll be interested to hear your opinions.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.