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Old 07-21-2014, 03:53 PM   #1
6charlong
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What is it with Amazon’s Kindle love affair?

The thing is, Kindle Unlimited is anything but unlimited because they refuse to do business with those of us with ePub eReaders, and that makes no business sense at all, not when they can easily make it truly unlimited to the benefit of readers, authors and Amazon.

The thing is, an increasing number of indie authors are publishing in Kindle Direct Publishing without DRM. So why not give authors an option on the book’s page to list their books, DRM free, that is, in both Kindle and ePub? Something like the old “Multiformat” listing, to tell reader that this one is on loan for their Kindle, Kobo, nook or Sony eReader.

How would it hurt anyone? Sure, Kobo, Google, Barnes and Noble and maybe Apple would lose some book sales but that’s just ordinary competition between rival shops, and don’t forget, those KU books are all exclusive imprints of Amazon anyway, so as it stands, those of us without a Kindle can’t read them. Audible authors have have always had the choice to forgo DRM, this idea offers the chance to reach a wider audience. People like me, with a different eReader (and love what they have) would be able to subscribe to KU and have the chance to discover new works and new authors that are otherwise not available.

Okay, Amazon would probably lose a few Kindle eReader sales too, but they would more than make it up in book sales. So why not?
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:58 PM   #2
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Amazon would lose a lot. Kindle is about keeping customers in Amazon services, not about DRM.

Amazon Music, Audible, Prime Videos... It is about a whole system. Kindle is just one of the doors, as the others are.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:21 PM   #3
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Amazon would lose a lot. Kindle is about keeping customers in Amazon services, not about DRM.

Amazon Music, Audible, Prime Videos... It is about a whole system. Kindle is just one of the doors, as the others are.
I think there's a different sensibility behind Amazon's behavior. They do not seem to me to be playing a zero-sum game as evidenced by the Amazon Marketplace, where they threw open access to their web presence to their competitors, allowing everyone to sell through Amazon.com, much to the benefit of all.

As to the DRM-free provision, it simply keeps the cost of the Kindle book the same as the cost (to Amazon) of the ePub version since they don't have to pay Adobe for using Adept DRM.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:28 PM   #4
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The thing is, Kindle Unlimited is anything but unlimited because they refuse to do business with those of us with ePub eReaders, and that makes no business sense at all, not when they can easily make it truly unlimited to the benefit of readers, authors and Amazon.
Given the Amazon have the lion's share of the eBook market, it's clearly a strategy that has worked extremely well for them. I'm a little unclear about why you believe it "makes no business sense at all".
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:37 PM   #5
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Given the Amazon have the lion's share of the eBook market,...".
Which makes epub a minority format.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:50 PM   #6
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Given the Amazon have the lion's share of the eBook market, it's clearly a strategy that has worked extremely well for them. I'm a little unclear about why you believe it "makes no business sense at all".
It seems to me that the point of booksellers is to sell books, more books equals more profit. The development of eReaders and ebooks has gone far enough now that Kindle is no long an exclusive product. That market has settled in and sales are increasingly to mobile devices. There is no longer an advantage to keeping the Kindle bookstore entirely exclusive.

Besides, Kindle Unlimited is one service, not the entire bookstore. Better to tempt customers with the Amazon experience than simply lock them out of the store. Mobileread members have no trouble owning multiple eReaders but we are not typical. They are missing a market by shutting ePub out.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6charlong View Post
It seems to me that the point of booksellers is to sell books, more books equals more profit. The development of eReaders and ebooks has gone far enough now that Kindle is no long an exclusive product. That market has settled in and sales are increasingly to mobile devices. There is no longer an advantage to keeping the Kindle bookstore entirely exclusive.

Besides, Kindle Unlimited is one service, not the entire bookstore. Better to tempt customers with the Amazon experience than simply lock them out of the store. Mobileread members have no trouble owning multiple eReaders but we are not typical. They are missing a market by shutting ePub out.
Exactly! Most people are using tablets! As in Android or iOS! As in the ones that have Amazon's app available for FREE! Along with other apps for epub! WOW!
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:04 PM   #8
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To me it seems senseless for Amazon to start lending epubs unless they are also selling epubs.
I can imagine the accusations that would fly.
Lots of reasons have been speculated upon as to why they don't sell epubs and many make sense.

One very good one in my opinion is because kindle is synonymous to ereader to a great many people already and they want to keep it that way.

Helen
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:14 PM   #9
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Which makes epub a minority format.
Uh, 5 minority formats.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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To me it seems senseless for Amazon to start lending epubs unless they are also selling epubs.
I can imagine the accusations that would fly.
Lots of reasons have been speculated upon as to why they don't sell epubs and many make sense.

One very good one in my opinion is because kindle is synonymous to ereader to a great many people already and they want to keep it that way.

Helen
Yes, of course you are right, however as long as the Big 5 insist on having Adept on their ePub books, they can lock Amazon out. On the other hand, Kindle Unlimited is a new service, it can be used to bring new customers to the Amazon bookstore. Amazon's ecosystem is its greatest advantage but people have to have a reason to go there or they will never see it.

The big barrier to Amazon selling ePub has always been Adapt DRM--they like the closed garden, no outside services, but since KU is an Amazon imprint the big 5 have no say and restricting ePub offerings to books without DRM keeps KU inside the Amazon ecosystem.

Publishing in both major formats should reassure authors who are reluctant to sign an exclusive contract. They will see advertising for KU on forums that appeal to ePub owners as well where links to KU speak to both formats in venues like Goodreads, Audible and elsewhere. The idea is to move Kindle Unlimited from being a niche for Kindle owners to a service offering ebooks and audiobooks, period.

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Old 07-21-2014, 09:39 PM   #11
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Yes, of course you are right, however as long as the Big 5 insist on having Adept on their ePub books, they can lock Amazon out. On the other hand, Kindle Unlimited is a new service, it can be used to bring new customers to the Amazon bookstore. Amazon's ecosystem is its greatest advantage but people have to have a reason to go there or they will never see it.

The big barrier to Amazon selling ePub has always been Adapt DRM--they like the closed garden, no outside services, but since KU is an Amazon imprint the big 5 have no say and restricting ePub offerings to books without DRM keeps KU inside the Amazon ecosystem.

Publishing in both major formats should reassure authors who are reluctant to sign an exclusive contract. They will see advertising for KU on forums that appeal to ePub owners as well where links to KU speak to both formats in venues like Goodreads, Audible and elsewhere. The idea is to move Kindle Unlimited from being a niche for Kindle owners to a service offering ebooks and audiobooks, period.
That would be your idea and probably a good one in theory. But the backlash would be horrific I think. especially if it was seen as an attempt to gain exclusivity.

Personally I don't think Amazon would cavil at the 22 cent DRM fee or that they harbour animosity towards Adobe. Adobe is a service, not a competitor.

A recent report stated that more than 90% of published books had DRM on Amazon and 50% of Indies. This is a matter of choice by the authors on the Indies at least and by the majority of publishers. Even many the smaller publishers are pro DRM presently.

Sure it would be nice for us epub fans, but I doubt that is the intent behind the service. Amazon wants to have everyone buy Amazon books, and by promoting a value added service exclusively to kindle owners they may very well add more kindle owners.

Not me as I am happy enough where I am but I am sure that is there intent.

It is possible that they are shooting themselves in the foot, by offering a subscription service where people can get books cheaper, but I cannot think that they have not at least thought through all of the angles including those you mention.

Helen.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:57 PM   #12
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If the books have no DRM, they are easily converted to ePub.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:11 PM   #13
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Personally I don't think Amazon would cavil at the 22 cent DRM fee or that they harbour animosity towards Adobe. Adobe is a service, not a competitor.
Of course there's also the thousands per DRM server for the ACS software and the thousands a year in "maintenance" fees that Adobe charges, but I agree it's likely a small hurdle if any if they wanted to offer ePub's with Adobe DRM. The bigger costs would come in with having to train and offer customer support on it.


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Sure it would be nice for us epub fans, but I doubt that is the intent behind the service. Amazon wants to have everyone buy Amazon books, and by promoting a value added service exclusively to kindle owners they may very well add more kindle owners.
Right. If you're a non Kindle owner and sign up for KU and are happy with the experience using their apps you might just buy your next book from them too and they may add you to they're long term customer rolls. Just like having the free apps have led to people becoming Amazon customers for their ebooks.



I honestly think that your average users don't care one way or another what format their books come in and are more interested in if there's a way for them to read the books some how on their device. Sure Kobo, Nook and Sony eInk owners (etc.) are out as far as this service goes, just like they're out when it comes to Scribd and Oyster. It seems that these services are betting on PC's, tablets and smartphones as having enough of the reading market to make a go of things.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:13 PM   #14
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Well they designed the Kindle to work with Mobi format books so how can they not favor that format?
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:25 PM   #15
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Well they designed the Kindle to work with Mobi format books so how can they not favor that format?
Perhaps it lacks sophisticated formatting options? Sony started with LRF and stopped supporting them with the T1 so it is not an unheard of concept.

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