Unavailable…Olympics app and some popular books

Unavailable…Olympics app and some popular books

This first one is a definitely causing a bit of a ruckus.

Some very popular books, which have been available in the USA Kindle store, are currently unavailable.

This can happen to any book, and it can just be a temporary situation. Amazon suspended sales of my popular title, Love Your Kindle Fire: The ILMK Guide to Amazon’s Entertablet recently. In some sort of QA (Quality Assurance) review, they noticed that a picture that I had put into the file had not loaded properly to the Kindle store.

All I really had to do was remove the picture and re-upload…it wasn’t really necessary. I had described in words what to do at that point. The picture was just nice.

The Amazon rep even gave me instructions for how to include the picture. I may do that later, but I didn’t want to mess around with the book being off sale…especially with the first of the month coming. Why does the first of the month matter? People who use the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library)

http://www.amazon.com/kindleownerslendiinglibrary

can borrow up to a book a calendar month. If they borrow one on July 5th and finish it on July 10th, they still need to wait until August first to borrow another book. Amazon compensates us for every “borrow”. What happens is that publishers using Kindle Direct Publishing can be part of a program. We divide a pool each month based on how many borrows we have.

Missing the beginning of the month of borrows would have had a negative impact on that.

So, if this had only been one book, I wouldn’t have been worried.

It seems, though, that it is a number of books from Bantam, a well-known publisher and part of Random House.

Here are a few I found:

Update: the Auel and Evanovich books above are now showing as available in the USA. This appears to have been a temporary situation, unless it recurs.

As you can see, these are big name authors and not pre-orders…Random House is losing serious money while these titles aren’t available.

Could it be just an accident?

Maybe…it’s weird to me that it would be on so many books (I found others).

If it’s not, it could have been done by Amazon or by Random House.

Random House is not part of the current DoJ (Department of Justice) action concerning the Agency Model, so I don’t think it’s connected to that.

There could be some other negotiations going on between RH and Amazon, of course.

Amazon has pulled a publisher’s books before, but this is only some of the Bantam books, so that may not be it.

RH may be withholding the books for some negotiating point.

Hopefully, these will be restored soon.

Thanks to TuxGirl for working with this in the Amazon Kindle community.

The second unavailability has to do with the Olympics.

NBC has a couple of apps for their coverage. One of them allows you to watch the events live.

One of my readers nicely let me know about this in a private comment.

The app is available for Android tablets, and you can find it online for use on the Fire…not, however, from NBC.

I wrote to the network asking about that…did they approve of getting it from sites other than Google Play (which is how you get it from their site).

They said no.

For that reason, I’m not connecting to those third-party sites.

It might be fine, but it’s not clear to me that those wouldn’t be considered to be infringements.

I’ve seen a few people asking about it in the Amazon Kindle forums…as usual, it’s along the lines of , “Why doesn’t Amazon…?”

It’s still interesting to me that people seem to think that Amazon can publish whatever it wants.

Let’s say that Amazon wanted to publish…your driver’s license online. They couldn’t do that without your permission, and without access to it, right?

Same idea…a publisher needs to decide that an app/e-book/song/video should be for sale by Amazon.

The publisher sends it to Amazon. Amazon may or may not decide to sell it, but  the rightsholder has to make the first step.

In the case of apps for the Fire, Amazon reviews it first, to check that it is going to work and that it isn’t going to damage the device. My guess is that it can take days.

I think that tends to delay the availability in the Amazon Appstore versus Google Play in some cases.

Where’s My Perry?

a puzzle app variant on Where’s My Water? with a popular character from Phineas and Ferb.

I saw a thread where someone seemed quite upset that it wasn’t in the Amazon Appstore…and a few days later, it was.

I’m hoping that happens with NBC Olympics apps before the Games end.

If you’d like to get the app for other devices, that’s here:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/on-the-go/index.html

Update: I realize this update may be a bit buried, but I didn’t want to do a separate post for it. :) It’s just something that hit me. This issue with the books not being available (but now they at least mostly are), combined with another that people have where they are being asked for a credit card when they weren’t before…that might mean a change in something connected with geography.

When the books weren’t available in the USA, I saw people saying they could get them outside.

A credit card is one way Amazon determines where an e-book sale takes place, in terms of determining rights.

What major geographic change could happen very soon?

The Fire being released in other countries.

Maybe people being asked for their credit cards only have Kindle Fires, not other Kindles, so their residency has to be determined before it happens.

This is only wild speculation…but I did want to get it out there. :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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6 Responses to “Unavailable…Olympics app and some popular books”

  1. Lady Galaxy Says:

    When books that were previously available become unavailable, does that mean that people who have already bought them but deleted can no longer download them again from Amazon? One of the reasons I keep so many books on my Kindle is that I fear I might delete something and not be able to retrieve it again.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Amazon used to explicitly say that you might not be able to download something from the archives again if it was removed from the store for legal reasons.

      That always made sense to me. When you download from Amazon’s archives (called the Cloud on a Kindle Fire), a new copy is made. If a book infringed on a copyright, I would think it would be illegal for Amazon to keep copying it and distributing it.

      If a book is removed when that isn’t the case, I know from personal experience that you can download it again. I have a book where the author just decided not to have it in the store any more, and removed it. I can still download that.

      Recently, I’ve had people telling they could redownload books they believed were removed for legal reasons. It’s possible that changed…but I think it may also be true that the illegality wasn’t sufficiently established.

      I think that you losing the ability to redownload something is going to be rare, but you can certainly back up your Kindle if you like. Those file copies will generally only work on the Kindle for which they were downloaded.

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I still have a Kindle 1 with an SD card, so when I get a new book, I add it to the SD card. Of course, that will only work as long as the Kindle 1 continues to work.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      I still have a Kindle 1…although I don’t use it.

      For most books (I’m guessing), you are correct about the file being keyed to that specific K1. It’s worth noting that Amazon lets publishers who use their Kindle Direct Publishing to choose not to use DRM (Digital Rights Management). I wish they would put that information on the Amazon product page, but because they don’t, it’s hard to get a sense how many books that is.

  3. Rick Askenase Says:

    The George Martin book is still available in kindle format as of right now (Monday.)

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Rick!

      Yes, I think they have all become available again. It appears to have been something temporary. That may have been in transition for something big, but we’ll see.

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