No NOOKs allowed…a very exclusive club
One of the things people worry about with e-books is a single company controlling access to a well-known book.
Unlike some other concerns that get expressed, this is indisputably true.
Amazon even has a special section for
Now, no question, some of those books go through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (mine do), and may be exclusive because they are part of the KDP Select program (which is how books by independent publishers get into the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library…KOLL…from which eligible Prime members can borrow up to a book month at no added cost).
I used the phrase above “well-known”, though.
I started looking at this, and I was surprised at how many of them I actually have in paper.
If I expand that to “well-known authors”, it gets even more interesting.
Let’s say you are a Stephen King fan. You can not have a complete collection unless you buy from Amazon.
That doesn’t mean you need to buy a Kindle…you could have a free Kindle app and still own the book.
I’m sure there are people who don’t like the idea of this.
Of course, it’s commonly been true that you couldn’t own a particular work unless you were willing to buy from a given publisher. If you didn’t like Random House, or Penguin, or Simon & Schuster, you might not be able to have a complete collection of one of your favorite authors, either.
I don’t think people are as aware of the publishers as they are of the stores.
If you didn’t like Barnes & Noble, you could have bought the book from Borders, or Crown, or Walden…you know, when those three all existed.
While Barnes & Noble has had exclusives in the stores, they usually aren’t the frontlist sort of things.
Is it really that different that Amazon has exclusives for e-books?
Well, let’s take a look at some of the ones that caught my eye…that might help you decide.
The Gift of Fear
by Gavin de Becker
This book was a number one bestseller and spent months on the New York Times list.
I have it in paper, read it, and thought it was really interesting.
The basic idea has to do with trusting your instincts in detecting people who may be dangerous.
That may sound like it encourages prejudice, but it isn’t that.
De Becker is a security expert for celebrities, businesses, and governments agencies.
One of the things I remember is the author saying that people commonly feel someone is a threat before they are attacked. It’s that we tend to want to ignore it. De Becker suggests that if you feel like you should cross the street to avoid somebody, do it. Yes, it may be embarrassing, and yes, you could be wrong…but that might be better than being right and not avoiding the situation.
This is a book of practical advice from someone who deals with these actual situations.
by Alice Hoffman
Hoffman is the author of Practical Magic, which became a movie with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. Hoffman has continued to write popular books.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and other Clinical Tales
by Oliver Sacks
A nonfiction classic, I remember how popular this was when I managed a brick-and-mortar store. Sacks is a psychologist and neurologist, and these are case studies, written in a style for a layperson.
by Stephen King
King undoubtedly helped launch the Kindle with another exclusive (a shorter work featuring a Kindle called UR), but later approved of “windowing” a book (releasing the e-book considerably after the paperbook) and has had text-to-speech access blocked on some books.
The Year of the Jackpot (The Galaxy Project)
by Robert Heinlein
Think you’ve read all of this science fiction master’s work? Maybe…
by Evelyn Waugh
That’s right…if you want to read this classic as an e-book, you have to get it from Amazon.
by Louise Erdrich
Erdrich is a beloved American writer, a finalist for Pulitzer, and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner. This book was popular in my bookstore.
The Abominable Snowman (Choose Your Own Adventure #1)
by R.A. Montgomery
These gamebooks were all the rage…and they are still great fun. You read a story and make a choice. Based on your decision, you go to a different part of the book and the story continues. This works really well on the Kindle Fire, by the way…the jump to the next segment is pretty immediate. It works well on an RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle) too.
Bio of a Space Tyrant Vol. 1. Refugee
by Piers Anthony
Anthony may be best known for the pun-filled, whimsical Xanth series, but this is another popular one (and it’s not just this first book in the series that is exclusive to Amazon as an e-book).
The Wingless Bird
by Catherine Cookson
Cookson is one of the most popular writers ever…period.
So, what do you think? Is it bad for society that Amazon has the exclusive e-book deals for these books? Is that just a matter of good business? Amazon presumably pays more to get an exclusive deal on proven book…is that where they should be putting their resources? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.