Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion)

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-16-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
ATDrake
Wizzard
ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 6,342
Karma: 15799950
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Roundworld
Device: Kindle 2 International & Sony PRS-T1
Exclamation Free (Kindle KDP) Changing Fate by Elisabeth Waters [Shapeshifter High Fantasy]

So, today's KDP Select exclusive-or-else sf/fantasy backlist title feature falls into the category of Not Sure If Want, which, actually, is something that applies to the entire slushpile, for several reasons.

This is a book I've actually read and mildly enjoyed and own in a paperback acquired some time ago and had on my wishlist to buy to support the author at some point when there was a good sale and I had a bit of extra money to spend, which was possibly going to be this week since there's a 60% off coupon which might be good until Friday morning and I was thinking of "rewarding" the MZB Literary Works Trust for offering their other book free yesterday with a tie-in sale boost that would benefit one of their actual living authors.

Only, this was on my Fictionwise wishlist and now it's been yanked from catalogue for at least 90 days and who knows how long beyond that, possibly permanently.

While I'm not ungrateful for the freebie offer, I am also not happy, as this illustrates one of the many problems that pervade the entire exclusive-or-else setup.And it makes me paranoid about the contents of my FW intended purchase wishlist, though I suppose if an author's works all disappear, I save money because I'm probably going to completely forget about possibly wanting to buy them anyway without that reminder.

I have few qualms with authors choosing to KDP Select their new e-book releases as an Amazon exclusive. It's their prerogative if they want to see if they get better sales that way.

But I really don't like it when authors yank existing releases from other stores to go with the KDP experiment. It's still their prerogative and perhaps they only have a tiny pittance of sales from those outlets compared to Amazon, but if they have any at all, they're doing a distinct disservice to their readers in those other stores, who may not be able to pick up the rest of a series they've grown to enjoy if their reader happens not to be a Kindle or even if it is, be charged a premium for each title if they happen to live in certain regions of the world.

Here's a fun bit of empirical testing for you to try:
  1. Open a browser which is not logged into your Amazon account (or just log out)
  2. Go to the main "Kindle Store" tab in the navbar (it might be under Kindle eBooks) and from the dropdown menu at the top-left under the navbar, select "Africa" or "Middle East" as your region and click Go.
  3. Search for any indie/KDP book you already know the price of which shouldn't be affected by geographic publisher differences
  4. Notice the sudden hike in per-book purchasing cost?
  5. For bonus fun, hit up Wikipedia for a comparison of the monthly average wages and living costs for someone in a random country in one of those regions compared to say, Canada

Anecdotally, Amazon also inflate the costs for selected individual countries in Europe/Asia Pacific, but you can't see those under the generic setting any more and would have to entire a full fake address into your account to check.

I don't consider it a good thing when a book that used to be available worldwide at the same point-of-purchase pricing to all in multiple formats that could be openly loaded or converted onto the reader of one's choice goes to only becoming available to a relatively select few at differential pricing in a proprietary closed format that may well also be DRM-restricted, with no longer any way to tell for sure until after purchase.

And I think it's going to backfire on authors in terms of useful exposure. A book I could once point people at and say "you might like to read this, and it's readily available to you in your obscure locale and can be easily put on your niche gadget" is now not only missing the two latter parts of something that might be an added-value attraction, but now I'd also have to hedge a potential recommendation with "you might pay $2 extra for it if you're overseas and here's a pointer to a tutorial on learning how to strip DRM and convert, the former of which may be considered illegal where you live and the latter of which may be beyond your limited tech skillz".

At that point, I'm probably just going to skip the recommend if I can think of something else which fits.

And seriously for serious, how many of you people reading this (assuming you've gotten this far and haven't just skipped to the freebie listings) would actually, if the books of an author you kind of mildly liked to read suddenly disappeared from the store you were used to buying them, would really and truly follow the author to another store just to get their books in a different and possibly incompatible-with-your-reader format?

I'm not talking about your favourites whom you'd even resort to reading in paper, but for someone new you thought was nice light fun and you might buy another if it looked good and was on sale.

Chances probably are, if a Kindle book was no longer available on Amazon and one could only get it through Sony's horrible Reader Library software app which they force you to install and use to shop at their store, only the most persistently stubborn would bother and most people would just shrug and move onto something else that looked interesting and could be more readily and conveniently gotten.

Going KDP Select with an established book cuts out the author's previously established audience, and while they may get many more eyeballs seeing that their work exists, the lock-in of the exclusivity automatically limits the potential audience for that work again.

Posters on MR tend to be incredibly blase about using the tools. "Oh, don't worry be happy, you can strip and convert just about anything from Amazon; easy as reciting the first 3 digits of pi with Calibre and a little apprenticeship lesson."

Leaving people's individual levels of tech-savviness and the ensuing issues of just how "easy" it really is for the general public aside, it so happens that Amazon breaks the tools every so often and there may not always be people around who are ready, willing, and able to fix what they break.

I have an older Kindle 2 model. It's old enough that once upon a time, when Amazon broke the old serial number=PID scheme which allowed one to strip the DRM from files directly downloaded for one's Kindle (the new method took some time to figure out), I'd have been completely out of luck as back then, Kindle for Mac had been released for the better part of the year but still in DRM-stripping limbo as far as the tools were concerned because no one had yet figured out how to decrypt books downloaded to it. And back then, I didn't have a hand-me-down netbook to run K4PC upon, and the current version of WINE simply did not work at all with K4PC even for opening pre-existing book files, much less registering and downloading new ones.

I'd have been completely out of luck if I'd had to switch to a different reader because my original K2 had a screen problem that ended up with its being replaced.

Since then, Amazon has broken the K4PC/Mac tools twice in various ways, and also messed with the actual Topaz and Mobi formats so that merely altering certain metadata will thwart any future attempts to remove DRM on the very same files.

These things did get fixed, but at the moment, there are perhaps 2-3 people actually actively working on maintaining the tools and all of them are following over from the work of other people who used to work on the tools and have since lost interest and "retired", as the apprentice himself did. There's no guarantee whatsoever that anyone will be maintaining them in the future, much less be willing to try and reverse-engineer whatever Amazon changes the next few times around.

And as for the convertibility of their various proprietary formats, right now there's a multi-thread, multi-page discussion over in the Mobi/PRC forum which has been going on for well over a month, just trying to figure out by trial and error the new file structure and metadata arrangement for the non-DRM versions of what gets generated by Amazon's newly-provided official KindleGen and get stuff to output in a file that's readable by actual Kindles.

Despite that cozy suburbian safe-and-conveniently-applianced everything-within-driving-distance neighbourhood feel that Amazon likes to promote, the virtual arms race going on behind the scenes is considerably more one sided when it comes to the balance of power than Mutually Assured Destruction.

I've been saying for months now that while I'm pleased enough to pick up interesting freebies from it, I don't think that in the long term the KDP Select exclusive-or-else thing will ultimately prove beneficial to customers, authors, or the general e-book market overall.

Already, people have been yanking their stuff from other outlets not only to exclusively enroll it on Amazon, with all the non-Amazon-customer liabilities already mentioned whith the Amazon ones probably don't care much about, but also to noticeably raise the asking prices, possibly in the hopes of making their wares more attractive as a "borrow" instead of a purchase and better their chances of hitting that Kindle Lending Library monthly jackpot.

It's one thing if an author thinks their work is regularly priced too low and thinks the reading audience will accept an increase more commensurate with what they want to sell at. It's quite another if they end up artificially inflating the base cost in the hopes of it paying off in the KLL lottery.

Like many of the things associated with the obligatory exclusivity, it may help individual authors benefit in the short term, but in the long run, I think it's going to worsen things for the customer and the reading audience, and finally, the authors themselves. And I really don't think this trend is something I want to continue, even though I've been benefitting from and enabling it for several weeks now.

Anyway, you probably just skipped a whole bunch of TL;DR because you likely don't care about much besides grabbing books which seem to be free with no immediately apparent visible costs to you, so on with the show.

Changing Fate by Elisabeth Waters was originally published by DAW books in paperback in 1994.

Waters was a long-time Marion Zimmer Bradley writing protegee, as well as her personal secretary, and this is a high fantasy adventure with a bit of romance, originally based on a short story she wrote for the long-running Sword & Sorceress anthologies which MZB edited when she was alive, and Waters edits now.

As I've mentioned, I own and have read this, having gotten it during my secondary MZB-discovery phase when after having read the works available in the library, I went and hunted down related stuff in the new and used bookshops.

It's not particularly memorable, but I do kind of recall it being a nice, light, medium-quality read that was pleasant enough that I don't regret the time spent. Mind you, since it's not that memorable I could be totally misrecalling it and maybe three chapters in you'll start screaming "My eyes!! They BUUUUURN!!!!!"

But as H.P. Lovecraft reminds us, "the most merciful thing, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate its contents" and if that proves the case, in time you'll forget like I did.

Anyway, this is free (apparently with DRM, but who can tell anymore) probably just through today, courtesy of the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust @ Amazon main UK DE ES FR IT Additional charges may apply in certain areas.

The MZB Literary Works Trust also has a large portion of works by MZB, Waters, and other related authors available in DRM-free MultiFormat at a low cost worldwide over at Fictionwise using the 60% off discount coupon mentioned above.

Description
Akila uses her wits and her shape-changing abilities to save her brother Briam when their home is besieged. But that leaves them both on the run, with Akila trying to keep them safe, while Briam finds more trouble to get into. When he is chosen as year-king in the city of Diadem, Akila struggles to save his life, finding help in the most unexpected places.

The rest of the slushpile yield, sorted for the first time in ages:

Bram Stoker/World Fantasy award-winner David B. Silva finally offers the story mentioned in every blurb, which won him said 1st award: The Calling He also offers another non-award-winning short: Brothers

Previously-included ISFDBed Jane Toombs returns with the 2nd part of supernatural thriller, for which we've gotten the first one free: Hallow House - Part Two

Adam Pepper has minor ISFDB credits for horror. He offers: Skin Games: A brutal crime drama

ISFDBed Ruth Nestvold returns with another mini-collection of previously-published fantasy shorts: If Tears Were Wishes And Other Short Stories

Helen Smith returns with a 2001-Victor Gollancz satiric mystery about (maybe) alien abduction: Being Light

Fellow MR member author Ruth Francisco offers her 2004 Grand Central Publishing paperbacked debut novel, a crime suspense with supernatural elements: Confessions of a Deathmaiden Her self-pub speculative thriller about an extremist religious fundamentalist takeover of Europe is also free: Amsterdam 2012

Previously-featured fellow MR member author Paul Levine returns with another in his Jake Lassiter legal thriller series, this one 1996 William Morrow-published: Fool Me Twice

MIRA-published Rick Mofina offers another mystery/thriller short (maybe repeat): Lightning Rider (Dangerous Women & Desperate Men)

Tyrus-published Seth Harwood returns with a short about street crime: Jordan in the Time of Cold War

Don Pendleton is the writer of those popular Mack Bolan Executioner paperback action/adventure novels. Linda Pendleton is some kind of relation of his. Together, they fight crime! offers some kind of self-pub mystery/thriller: Roulette (The Search for the Sunrise Killer)

Previously-included small-pressed Barbara Taylor Sissel returns with another suspense thriller: The Volunteer

Karen Cantwell has had a story published in a mystery anthology by Wildside Press, who do a lot of sf/fantasy reprints and new releases and are one of the recommended publishers to look at if you are browsing for such at Fictionwise. She offers the cozy/comedic-looking: Citizen Insane (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #2)

Shirley Kennedy is a California-born Canadian resident who wrote quite a few Regency romances for Signet. This is not one of them: Who Killed Rudy Rio? (A Holly Keene Mystery)

Jessica Barksdale Inclan returns with another literary/women's fiction/maybe-romance novel published by New American Library in 2006: The Instant When Everything is Perfect

Ginger Simpson's western romantic maybe-suspense was originally released by Fictionwise-available small press Lachesis in 2009 and picked by small press BWLPP later: Embezzled Love Books We Love/BWLPP also have some more assorted freebies today.

Ellora's Cave non-erotic Blush-line-published Sam Cheever, from whom we had an official freebie a while ago, offers a paranormal fantasy romance with fae and Olympians in it. From one of the supplied blurb review quotes, this is apparently moderately lengthy and has an actual backstabbing intrigue/adventure plot: Guardian (The Monad Chronicles)

Mona Risk is another Ellora/Blush writer. She offers a contemporary romance: Babies in the Bargain

I bought two of Diana Bold's books from small specialty Cobblestone Press via Fictionwise last year out of curiosity when they were in the new releases section with the extra 15% off and there was a 50%+ discount coupon to stack with it. I've since read them both and they were fairly decent, and good enough that I'd read another of hers, which is good, since she offers for free the following self-pub medieval historical romance: Halycon Rising This, from the looks of it, seems to tie into another medieval romance of hers which has been Cobblestoned.

Specialty romance/erotica imprint Siren-published Dee Dawning is back with some apparently-comedic erotic shorts: Linkage

Previously-included Wiley-published business text writer James D. Best is offering a number of his historical and political thriller novels, including at least one new tale about his shopkeeper-turned-wild-western-gunslinging amateur sleuth if you've been following them: Linkage for the lot

Previously-included minor ISFDB credited Dave Jeffery offers a children's/YA spooky adventure tale: Beatrice Beecham's Houseful of Horrors

Paul Moxham is an expat Australian screenplay writer who says he has won a particular specified prize for a particular specified screenplay and Google backs him up. This is his children's/YA adveture tale set in 1950s Britain: The Mystery of Smugglers Cove

Not only does this author's staidly-titled book have an entertainingly cracktastic synopsis, but he's also got what I rate as the 3rd-best set of brazen author lies I've yet come across in his bio. I therefore include for the lulz: The Mike Murphy Files and Other Stories

Chris McMullen says he's a Ph.D and a physics and astronomy instructor at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. He encourages you to use his book for education, and given that apparently there was a survey done not too long ago which showed that 55% of adult Americans polled were unaware that the earth revolved around the sun and last year's poll indicated that MR had 31% responding US resident membership, chances are good that 17% of you either could benefit from this or know someone who might: Basic Astronomy Concepts Everyone Should Know (With Space Photos)

And now if you'll excuse me, I think I need to head over to Fictionwise and see what else on my wishlist I should buy while the 60% is still good which may well be in danger of disappearing from catalogue on terms and prices that I like and reappearing in one venue only at possibly greatly-inflated price and in a format I've developed a pathological aversion to and with a bonus round of DRM-or-Not Roulette.

If you have anything you'd rather not see undergo the same, I advise you to do so as well.
ATDrake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 07:39 PM   #2
Dr. Drib
Grand Sorcerer
Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dr. Drib ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Dr. Drib's Avatar
 
Posts: 28,212
Karma: 12265902
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Borja (Lima), Peru
Device: Kindle PW2(WiFi) / FireHD; Kindle DX-G; Kobo-AuraHD,Glo,Mini; Ipad Air
Got quite a few this time.

Thank you!



Don
Dr. Drib is online now   Reply With Quote
 
Enthusiast
Old 02-16-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
cromag
Surfing the alpha waves ~
cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.cromag ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
cromag's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,596
Karma: 12482200
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New Jersey
Device: Jetbook Lite, Jetbook Mini, Netbook, and two Androids
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
...
Chris McMullen says he's a Ph.D and a physics and astronomy instructor at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. He encourages you to use his book for education, and given that apparently there was a survey done not too long ago which showed that 55% of adult Americans polled were unaware that the earth revolved around the sun and last year's poll indicated that MR had 31% responding US resident membership, chances are good that 17% of you either could benefit from this or know someone who might: Basic Astronomy Concepts Everyone Should Know (With Space Photos)
...
Yeah, but even in the States, MR membership skews to the brighter half. I'd bet more than half of us know about that whole Earth-Sun thing.

cromag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
Venus
Country girl
Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Venus ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 309
Karma: 1536686
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New York
Device: Too many
The books...a treat, your opinions.....priceless.
Venus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
scrapking
Evangelist
scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
scrapking's Avatar
 
Posts: 467
Karma: 1073260
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Victoria, BC
Device: Kobo Vox, Kobo Glo
"And seriously for serious, how many of you people reading this (assuming you've gotten this far and haven't just skipped to the freebie listings) would actually, if the books of an author you kind of mildly liked to read suddenly disappeared from the store you were used to buying them, would really and truly follow the author to another store just to get their books in a different and possibly incompatible-with-your-reader format?"

To the first point, I read every word with rapt attention. Thank you, some of that was new to me and all of it was illuminating.

To the second, I first bought e-books from Amazon. I actually switched to Kobo over Amazon's business practices which too often I find myself disagreeing with.
scrapking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 09:46 PM   #6
MMHaven
Member
MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.MMHaven is at one with the great books of the world.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 143468
Join Date: Jul 2011
Device: Kindle Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
And seriously for serious, how many of you people reading this (assuming you've gotten this far and haven't just skipped to the freebie listings) would actually, if the books of an author you kind of mildly liked to read suddenly disappeared from the store you were used to buying them, would really and truly follow the author to another store just to get their books in a different and possibly incompatible-with-your-reader format?

I'm not talking about your favourites whom you'd even resort to reading in paper, but for someone new you thought was nice light fun and you might buy another if it looked good and was on sale.
Yeah, I forget about most books if they aren't right in front of me. There's no way I would follow an author around. I'm probably crippling my library in the long run by buying exclusively from Amazon; if they go under or change their format/my reader goes out of date, I'll be SOL.

The thing is, I can't really afford to buy books. Even with coupons, I would still be spending actual money if I bought from Fictionwise or elsewhere. Amazon offers gift cards that I can get through various programs, which no other site does except Barnes & Noble, and theirs cost more.

I forget sometimes that I live in a privileged little bubble where I don't really pay for anything, compared to most other readers, especially international ones. Unfortunately I think the only way things will change is if Amazon does go out of business.

Thanks for a thought-provoking post.
MMHaven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 10:12 PM   #7
Indio777
Groupie
Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 178
Karma: 1503568
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Washington, DC
Device: K3, Nook ST Glow, Nook HD, Nook HD+, Galaxy S4
I quite liked the first part of your post. It brought up some points I did not know and made me think again about some of the other issues you raised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
I have few qualms with authors choosing to KDP Select their new e-book releases as an Amazon exclusive. It's their prerogative if they want to see if they get better sales that way.

But I really don't like it when authors yank existing releases from other stores to go with the KDP experiment. It's still their prerogative and perhaps they only have a tiny pittance of sales from those outlets compared to Amazon, but if they have any at all, they're doing a distinct disservice to their readers in those other stores, who may not be able to pick up the rest of a series they've grown to enjoy if their reader happens not to be a Kindle or even if it is, be charged a premium for each title if they happen to live in certain regions of the world.
I wasn't aware that some authors were pulling all their releases from other stores. I can understand why they might initially try KDP select, but I agree, they are locking out readers who don't have a Kindle reader. Of course there are currently workarounds using K4PC, although evidently not if one runs Linux (as far as I can tell). That is, if one is aware of the workarounds and has the desire/skills to do so.

As far as pricing based on region, has Amazon offered any logical reason for doing this?

Quote:
I don't consider it a good thing when a book that used to be available worldwide at the same point-of-purchase pricing to all in multiple formats that could be openly loaded or converted onto the reader of one's choice goes to only becoming available to a relatively select few at differential pricing in a proprietary closed format that may well also be DRM-restricted, with no longer any way to tell for sure until after purchase.
I agree.

Quote:
And I think it's going to backfire on authors in terms of useful exposure. A book I could once point people at and say "you might like to read this, and it's readily available to you in your obscure locale and can be easily put on your niche gadget" is now not only missing the two latter parts of something that might be an added-value attraction, but now I'd also have to hedge a potential recommendation with "you might pay $2 extra for it if you're overseas and here's a pointer to a tutorial on learning how to strip DRM and convert, the former of which may be considered illegal where you live and the latter of which may be beyond your limited tech skillz".
Well, I can see one potential outcome--increased piracy. People who know of the workarounds and want to recommend a book to a friend who reads on a different platform might be tempted to strip the DRM, convert the title to a format that works for their friend and just "give" it to the friend.

Quote:
And seriously for serious, how many of you people reading this (assuming you've gotten this far and haven't just skipped to the freebie listings) would actually, if the books of an author you kind of mildly liked to read suddenly disappeared from the store you were used to buying them, would really and truly follow the author to another store just to get their books in a different and possibly incompatible-with-your-reader format?
I suspect many people would say "oh well" and move on to another author.

Quote:
Going KDP Select with an established book cuts out the author's previously established audience, and while they may get many more eyeballs seeing that their work exists, the lock-in of the exclusivity automatically limits the potential audience for that work again.
Yes, in the long run, authors may be doing themselves a disservice.

Quote:
Since then, Amazon has broken the K4PC/Mac tools twice in various ways, and also messed with the actual Topaz and Mobi formats so that merely altering certain metadata will thwart any future attempts to remove DRM on the very same files.

These things did get fixed, but at the moment, there are perhaps 2-3 people actually actively working on maintaining the tools and all of them are following over from the work of other people who used to work on the tools and have since lost interest and "retired", as the apprentice himself did. There's no guarantee whatsoever that anyone will be maintaining them in the future, much less be willing to try and reverse-engineer whatever Amazon changes the next few times around.
Yes, I have been a bit concerned about this. Who will "step up" the next time current tools no longer work?

Quote:
Despite that cozy suburbian safe-and-conveniently-applianced everything-within-driving-distance neighbourhood feel that Amazon likes to promote, the virtual arms race going on behind the scenes is considerably more one sided when it comes to the balance of power than Mutually Assured Destruction.
I have been an Amazon customer for a long time now. I do like the convenience of being able to buy nearly anything I want from them. But at the same time, I recognize that Amazon basically would like nothing more than to lock everyone into an exclusive Amazon-only ecosystem. Despite the convenience, I would still like to have other options.

Quote:
And I really don't think this trend is something I want to continue, even though I've been benefitting from and enabling it for several weeks now.
Hmmm, does this mean that you are considering stopping your listings? If so, I will most certainly miss them, but will also completely understand and respect your decision.
Indio777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 02:42 AM   #8
ATDrake
Wizzard
ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 6,342
Karma: 15799950
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Roundworld
Device: Kindle 2 International & Sony PRS-T1
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMHaven View Post
The thing is, I can't really afford to buy books. Even with coupons, I would still be spending actual money if I bought from Fictionwise or elsewhere. Amazon offers gift cards that I can get through various programs, which no other site does except Barnes & Noble, and theirs cost more.
Up until that recent sale of the 35 Ed McBain books for 99 cents each, I'd "paid" for all my (few) Amazon e-book purchases using gift cards earned via Swagbucks.

For some people, Amazon really is the best store which suits their needs and wants and there's no problem with that. They've found something that works for them and that's great.

The problem arises when people who consider Amazon the best for them to also be more-or-less as good for just about everyone else, and there's a noticeable amount of complacency on MR about just how much "less" it might turn out to be, as well as a tendency to gloss over and handwave issues as being easily bypassed or totally trivial in comparison to the perceived benefits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indio777 View Post
As far as pricing based on region, has Amazon offered any logical reason for doing this?
Back when all Kindle models were 3G only (pre-K3) and the apps were in very primitive stages and the WiFi didn't exist, so it was reasonable to assume that anyone getting a Kindle book outside the US had a very high likelihood of owning an actual hardware Kindle and using the 3G to download their books, according to what I've read on the Amazon discussion boards back when I was still reading them, their CS used to quasi-officially admit that the $2 extra was a surcharge to pay for the cost of the 3G.

This was before Amazon had gotten into place a number of the carrier agreements it currently has and thus had to pay the delivery costs piecemeal at a much higher price. US-registered Kindlers who for whatever reason used the 3G book download function outside the States (travelling overseas, lying about actual address, etc.) had a corresponding $1.99 per book downloaded via 3G fee which would be automatically charged to their account, which was noted in the official help literature. I think they've since ended the overseas "roaming" fee.

Of course, with the advent of the WiFi-only models and the proliferation of the various Kindle for Apps to the point where a mild majority of the respondents in this actual post have no actual Kindle hardware listed in the Device section of their profile blurb-box, the entire idea of it being a surcharge for the previously 3G-only Whispernet insta-delivery service became quietly pushed to the background and now there's no actual official-ish reason admitted to for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indio777 View Post
Hmmm, does this mean that you are considering stopping your listings?
I've been considering practically since I began and first said that I think the entire KDP Select exclusive-or-else thing was a bad idea, but at least we get some occasionally nice sf/fantasy backlist freebies and that was the one and only upside I saw to the program.

I will say that Amazon's recent Product Info change so that one can no longer determine the DRM status of a book is pushing things nearer to the event horizon of untenably diminishing returns. If the feature titles can no longer be seen or reliably stated to be DRM-free and thus readily available to all MR members who would like to get them, then it's not so much "sharing" as "taunting people with what they might not be able to enjoy without significant hoop-jumping, assuming they're limber enough to jump through the hoops".

And the vast majority of the posts in here and the blogs out there are exclusionarily Amazon-centric enough that I don't really feel like adding to that. It's probably bad karma, anyway.
ATDrake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 03:12 AM   #9
mikaelalind
Fanatic
mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mikaelalind ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
mikaelalind's Avatar
 
Posts: 580
Karma: 781168
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sweden
Device: Sony PRS 505, Cybook Odessey
I can understand why an author decides to do a new release as a KDP exclusivity, but pulling an existing title is just stupid. That said, I have downloaded freebies from authors that have been on my to check out list. ( Some of them for a long time.)

Also, that Amazon fee? Is why I get free e-books from Amazon, but I very rarely buy any. Amazon adds 2.50. Booksonboard gives a discount. *g* Which means that a book costs 9.67 on Amazon costs between 6-5 dollar on BoB for me. Which is a big difference.
mikaelalind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 06:46 AM   #10
Blue Tyson
Blue Captain
Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Blue Tyson ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Blue Tyson's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,596
Karma: 5000236
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Australia
Device: Kindle Keyboard 3G,Huawei Ideos X3,Kobo Mini
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaelalind View Post
I can understand why an author decides to do a new release as a KDP exclusivity, but pulling an existing title is just stupid. That said, I have downloaded freebies from authors that have been on my to check out list. ( Some of them for a long time.)

Also, that Amazon fee? Is why I get free e-books from Amazon, but I very rarely buy any. Amazon adds 2.50. Booksonboard gives a discount. *g* Which means that a book costs 9.67 on Amazon costs between 6-5 dollar on BoB for me. Which is a big difference.
That's another case when using another country address will be useful, avoiding the surcharges.
Blue Tyson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 07:12 AM   #11
Terisa de morgan
Wizard
Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Terisa de morgan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Terisa de morgan's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,229
Karma: 1958712
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Device: Kobo Mini, iPhone, iPad, Kobo Aura, Galaxy Tab3 8
I want to thank you for your list and your post. It summarize some of my thoughts (and my workaround, I must confess). Every time I listen: Amazon is the cheapest bookstore from a person in my country, I begin to grind my teeth and tkink: the cheapest YOU KNOW. And it's a big problem.

And about authors pulling their books, well, I don't think they're going to get a great benefit.
Terisa de morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 09:51 AM   #12
Joykins
Wizard
Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Joykins ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Joykins's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,488
Karma: 6562978
Join Date: Jan 2010
Device: nook, kindle 4 NT, kindle PW2, iPhone
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
And seriously for serious, how many of you people reading this (assuming you've gotten this far and haven't just skipped to the freebie listings) would actually, if the books of an author you kind of mildly liked to read suddenly disappeared from the store you were used to buying them, would really and truly follow the author to another store just to get their books in a different and possibly incompatible-with-your-reader format?

I'm not talking about your favourites whom you'd even resort to reading in paper, but for someone new you thought was nice light fun and you might buy another if it looked good and was on sale.
[...]
Posters on MR tend to be incredibly blase about using the tools. "Oh, don't worry be happy, you can strip and convert just about anything from Amazon; easy as reciting the first 3 digits of pi with Calibre and a little apprenticeship lesson."

Leaving people's individual levels of tech-savviness and the ensuing issues of just how "easy" it really is for the general public aside, it so happens that Amazon breaks the tools every so often and there may not always be people around who are ready, willing, and able to fix what they break.
I would certainly follow such an author to a new store, if

1) I happened to hear about it,
2) it was free or bargain-priced (I have a price point for authors in that category in general), and
3) there was a free reading app whereby I could read the book OR I had the tools to convert it to be read on my device. I now have the tools and expertise to convert whether there is DRM or not, but before that I was ... I won't say fully satisfied, but *content* to read such books on my phone or PC when I didn't have my e-reader with me.

That said, I think it's healthy for competition and free markets and all that stuff if ebooks were available to be stocked by any willing merchant at prices making sense to that merchant's business plan.
Joykins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 10:58 AM   #13
Indio777
Groupie
Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Indio777 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 178
Karma: 1503568
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Washington, DC
Device: K3, Nook ST Glow, Nook HD, Nook HD+, Galaxy S4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Back when all Kindle models were 3G only (pre-K3) and the apps were in very primitive stages and the WiFi didn't exist, so it was reasonable to assume that anyone getting a Kindle book outside the US had a very high likelihood of owning an actual hardware Kindle and using the 3G to download their books, according to what I've read on the Amazon discussion boards back when I was still reading them, their CS used to quasi-officially admit that the $2 extra was a surcharge to pay for the cost of the 3G.

This was before Amazon had gotten into place a number of the carrier agreements it currently has and thus had to pay the delivery costs piecemeal at a much higher price. US-registered Kindlers who for whatever reason used the 3G book download function outside the States (travelling overseas, lying about actual address, etc.) had a corresponding $1.99 per book downloaded via 3G fee which would be automatically charged to their account, which was noted in the official help literature. I think they've since ended the overseas "roaming" fee.

Of course, with the advent of the WiFi-only models and the proliferation of the various Kindle for Apps to the point where a mild majority of the respondents in this actual post have no actual Kindle hardware listed in the Device section of their profile blurb-box, the entire idea of it being a surcharge for the previously 3G-only Whispernet insta-delivery service became quietly pushed to the background and now there's no actual official-ish reason admitted to for it.
Okay, I wondered if 3G was the reason. So it seems to me as if there is really no longer a legitimate reason to charge customers in certain regions extra if they are not using a 3G Kindle? If so, then Amazon should abolish the fees.

As if that would ever happen.....
Indio777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 11:29 AM   #14
Britomart
Guru
Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Britomart ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 618
Karma: 1276445
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Germany
Device: Cybook Opus, PC
A few more freebies at Amazon:

Royal Renegade by Alicia Rasley is a Regency romance first published in 1992 by Zebra as A Royal Escapade. The heroine is a Russian princess, and there is some traveling around Europe, as far as I recall.

My Lady's Treasure by Catherine Kean was published in paper format by Medallion in 2007. It's called a medieval adventure and includes elements of the Arthurian legends.
Britomart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 11:40 AM   #15
scrapking
Evangelist
scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.scrapking ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
scrapking's Avatar
 
Posts: 467
Karma: 1073260
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Victoria, BC
Device: Kobo Vox, Kobo Glo
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
I'd "paid" for all my (few) Amazon e-book purchases using gift cards earned via Swagbucks.
What's Swagbucks, IIMA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
If the feature titles can no longer be seen or reliably stated to be DRM-free and thus readily available to all MR members who would like to get them, then it's not so much "sharing" as "taunting people with what they might not be able to enjoy without significant hoop-jumping, assuming they're limber enough to jump through the hoops".
Speaking personally, since the Kobo Vox can download the Kindle app through the web without any need to hack or jailbreak, I just use that for Kindle stuff.

No offence intended to those who love Amazon and are happy having only a Kindle, but I believe in competition. I think it'll be bad for the industry if Amazon becomes the only game in town for e-books. Amazon's moves to try to tempt/force authors to go exclusive with Amazon isn't changing my opinion much. Neither is their war on "bricks and mortar" independents, where they actually have tools for people to scan a book in person and buy it online, while providing pricing info back to Amazon. For those reasons and more, I'm trying to avoid purchasing anything from Amazon. But if someone wants to offer it to me free and legally, who am I to say no? It's a great way to discover an author who, if they ever get out from under Amazon's yoke, I might buy in my e-book marketplace of choice. I'm not one of these people who complains about e-book pricing, if a favoured author rolls out a new e-book at $13.99 I'll fall over myself to buy it.

The hardest apparent Amazon-exclusive for me to resist right now is David Wingrove's forthcoming new re-releases of his "Chung Kuo" series (where he's expanded it from 8 books to 20 books, including two completely new prequel books, a completely new ending, thoroughly added to and edited the remaining volumes, and added a total addition of 500K new words across the 20 volumes. The first new volume's out and I want to read this desperately, and it's even pretty inexpensive, but the only e-book version appears to be for Kindle at the moment. I've contacted the publisher about whether it's coming to other e-book marketplaces, but not yet heard back. I certainly can read it, easily and legally, via the Kindle app, but it's not my preference to do so. It's a dilemma.

I'll tell you this, though, I *won't* pirate it. I watched piracy contribute to killing the Dreamcast game console, I watched piracy kill the Stargate SG-1 direct-to-DVD movie sequels (they were amongst the most popular torrented DVDs around the time of their release), and the message is clear: steal what you love, and you may not be able to enjoy it for much longer. I'm actually happily re-buying e-books that I already own on paper, and taking the opportunity to sell/give away the dead-tree versions so that other people can discover the authors I love.

Anyway, this is getting a little off topic. To bring it home, indie authors who go KDP-exclusive should know that some of us think they're part of the problem, rather than the solution, and that ability the to offer your e-books free might end up with some of us choosing to get them free or not at all as long as they're distributed exclusively by Amazon, even those of us who think nothing of paying over $10 for e-books from the authors we love.

Last edited by scrapking; 02-17-2012 at 11:45 AM.
scrapking is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Free (Kindle DRM-free) Wyvern by A.A. Attanasio [Historical Fantasy] + KDP ATDrake Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion) 11 10-20-2012 08:48 AM
Free (Kindle DRM-free ) Northanger Abbey and Angels by Vera Nazarian [Fantasy] + KDP ATDrake Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion) 9 01-24-2012 06:45 PM
Free (Kindle DRM-free) Demons Hide Their Faces by A.A. Attanasio [SF/Fantasy] +KDP ATDrake Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion) 9 01-13-2012 06:51 PM
Free (Kindle DRM-free) The Wolf and the Crown by A.A. Attanasio [Epic Fantasy] + KDP ATDrake Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion) 12 01-10-2012 03:11 AM
Free (Kindle DRM-free) Eagle and the Sword by A.A. Attanasio [Epic Fantasy] + KDP ATDrake Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion) 8 01-06-2012 04:29 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:19 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.