Round up #204: Over 100 WSV audiobooks for $0.99 each, Amazon won’t phone home
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
“How Google Fights Piracy”
I believe that most people generally want to behave in a way that doesn’t harm others.
I remember talking to my (now adult) kid years ago, explaining why “The good guys always win.” What I said was that the average person wants to help the good guy (oh, I should mention, “guy” has always been a gender neutral term for me). So, if the bad guy is running down the street, the crowd will tend to want to help the good guy intervene or not lose track. If the good guy is running away from the bad guy, the crowd will tend to help the good guy get away.
So, it’s a numbers thing.
There are a lot of things you can say philosophically, of course, and come up with different reasons why good guys tend to come out on top, or give me examples of when that hasn’t happened…but for a little kid, it made sense.
I’ve said here before that the best way to combat piracy (in this case, the distribution of unauthorized copies of a copyrighted book) is to have a legitimate copy of it easily available at a reasonable price.
I’m sure the average Kindle owner looks on Amazon first. If they don’t find the book there, they may Google it…and that’s when they run into pirate copies (perhaps not even realizing that they are pirated).
Well, it’s nice to see that Google agrees with me on that.
they explain how Google fights piracy.
In their first point, they say
“The best way to battle piracy is with better, more convenient, legitimate alternatives to piracy…”
You may be interested in the rest of the “paper”…including how they work to keep pirate sites out of the top results, and how they “…process copyright removal requests for search results at the rate of four million requests per week with an average turnaround time of less than six hours”
Get audiobooks for use with Whispersync for Voice for ninety-nine cents
Update: Thanks to reader and frequent commenter Tom Semple for pointing out that the below promotion has ended (which happened after I wrote the post…some of my readers were able to take advantage of it).
Amazon’s been really, really promoting audio books lately…which might seem a bit counter-intuitive, since the newly announced Kindle Paperwhite 2 (KP2) doesn’t even have audio capability (so it can’t play them). That’s one reason I think there is an audio-enabled frontlit device coming at some point.
They’ve combined the p-book (paperbook) and audiobook sections at Amazon .com, and added audio samples to the books’ product pages.
Now, they are pushing Whispersync for Voice, which enables you to sight read part of a book, switch to an audiobook and pick up where you left off, then switch back. For more on that, see http://www.amazon.com/wsv.
This promotion includes this page:
You buy an e-book, say, The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger. Then, you can buy an audiobook at a typically greatly reduced price. In this case, Amazon’s price for the audiobook is $15.95, so it’s quite a savings.
Do I do this?
No, not really…I prefer text-to-speech to audiobooks, unless I’ve read the book already (I don’t like the narrator interpreting the characters for me…TTS is software, not a recording). I haven’t tested it recently, but when I had gotten an audiobook to use with WSV (Whispersync for Voice) it appeared to prevent me from using TTS.
I think most people prefer audiobooks to TTS, though, so I did want to let you know about this deal.
This offer is for a limited time, and may not apply in your country.
No Amazon phone this year
Thanks to a reader who sent me a heads-up to this
I’ve been referring to statements from Amazon’s Director of Communications, Drew Herdener, for about four years.
Herdener says there won’t be an Amazon phone this year…and that when there is one, it won’t be free.
Take that, internet rumor mill!
I have a Collections follower
No, that doesn’t mean a collection agency is after me…darn these multiple-meaning words!
While Amazon hasn’t announced it yet, I do think this has a lot of potential to be a “big thing”.
I’m having some fun just getting started (things have been super busy lately). I have three Collections there right now: A Fortean Education; Seventies Social Sci-Fi; and 1939: The Best Pop Culture Year Ever.
The trick to making this work for me was installing Amazon’s Collect button in Chrome (it doesn’t work in Internet Explorer). That lets me easily add any item to a Collection.
I would have a lot of fun putting together a Collection at the suggestion of a reader, so feel free to do that.
Don’t worry, I’ll be careful not to let this take up too much of my time. You come first…
If you have your own Collections there and would like me to follow you, please let me know.
One thing that has been taking some of my time is getting used to my new Galaxy S4. It has some great capabilities! I love that I can just say, “Text [a name] I’m on my way home,” and it does it (with an okay from me). You do have to get its attention, and you can choose your “wake up” phrase for that. I’m using, “Old man in the cave.” I’m guessing some of you know why.
Frank Schaeffer: “Why I’m Risking My New Book by Self-Publishing Even Though I’m a Bestselling Author”
Okay, a lot of this
by Frank Schaeffer is plugging a new book, but it does have some good insight on why someone who had been successfully traditionally published would go the indie route. I think you can guess most of them, but one interesting statement is that tradpubs (traditional publishers) are holding on to book rights by keeping the book in print…by making it available in “print on demand”.
In other words, when the author license the rights for a book, the publisher can hold on to those rights (if that’s the deal that was signed) for as long as they keep the book in print (there might be other limitations).
However, it’s expensive to stock a slow selling book, in case a store wants it.
According to this, the work-around is to make it available by “print on demand”. You don’t print the book until somebody wants it.
I suspect literary agents are going to get a clarification on that in future negotiations…but in the meanwhile, other authors will see the same attractions that Schaeffer did to controlling the process, and switch over. I mean, they can sign up with Amazon and do print on demand themselves, if they want.
That doesn’t mean that big brand name authors are going to immediately go indie. I’m sure a lot of them feel loyal to their editors and publishers, and they can get nice advances and significant promotion.
Still, some of those midlist authors are going to become brand names…and will they sign with tradpubs then?
What do you think? Do you want to hear news about phones? I do that partially because for some people, that’s where they read e-books. Why do midlist authors need tradpubs at this point? Do you like audiobooks? If you do, who do you like to have read them? The author? A famous actor? A voice professional? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
Update: thanks to regular reader and commenter Zebras for helping me make this post clearer.
This post by Bufo Calvin first appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.