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Old 07-12-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Is Amazon holding back ebooks growth around the world?

Amazon Holds Back The Growth Of Ebooks Around The World (posted to The Passive Voice).

Any comments, especially from non-US authors?
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:58 PM   #2
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This surcharge also comes up every year during the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contests -- the excerpts posted to Amazon as Kindle books are supposed to be free, but non-US readers would have to pay the surcharge EACH TIME for EACH EXCERPT to read them. There are hundreds of excerpts published -- it would be over $1,000 to download them all. Pricey.

Amazon refuses to waive the fee that *seems* to be instituted in error. (The excerpts are merely a few pages each, and are only available for a few months as part of the contest.)

It is terribly frustrating for the non-US author entrants, as they cannot recommend their excerpt to their framily.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:48 AM   #3
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The first thing that comes to mind would be the VAT tax, which I don't see mentioned in that article. It ought to be, if nothing else to say that "this surcharge is not related to the VAT".

I hesitate to say it too loud, not wanting to jinx myself, but if your Kindle is set up with a US address, even if you're abroad, you don't pay the surcharge.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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VAT doesn't make sense in something that's supposed to be free. Remember it's a percentage of the item value. How do you charge 20 to 23% of $0 or 0€?

Other thing is most books that are free at US have a value of $3.44, where the hell that comes from? I'm gonna pretend I'm from US, I don't care, this doesn't make sense with a digital item. Does the other e-book retailers do the same thing? I mean the ones that sell internationally.

Well I was talking about this before reading the article. But now it seems that the 3.44 books are in fact 0.99 ones, but the stupid thing is that I have many other 0.99 books available to me, as for 1.99 or 2.99 ones too and even free ones. But randomly some supposedly free books aren't free here or the price is not the same.

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Old 07-14-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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It's also worth remembering that not everyone who buys the free Kindle books HAS a Kindle. The ABNA people would love to be able to "buy" the free excerpts to read them on their PCs.

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Old 07-17-2011, 04:27 AM   #6
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It's effing frustrating. Particularly when people on a German forum called me a liar for mentioning the surcharge (when it was still in effect) as a reason against buying a Kindle, because for some unfathomable reason they didn't see it.

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Old 07-17-2011, 07:25 AM   #7
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I just don't understand why some books have supercharging and other don't. But even tho you guys have DE amazon you are still supercharged?
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:38 AM   #8
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I really hope Amazon opens an Australian store. There's a huge market there.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:54 PM   #9
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I'm not an author but perhaps I may add my 2c all the same.

From a customer perspective ebook growth is rather held back by geo-restrictions. It is highly annoying to find an English language ebook at some shop just to be told that you cannot buy it because of some geo-restrictions.
For some inexplicable reasons Amazon seems not to be afflicted to such an extent by these geo-restrictions but it is hampered by the fact that it basically has no content in other languages than English and German.
I don't believe that many customers are willing to pay more than 100 € for an electronic device that offers no content in their own languages.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:05 PM   #10
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What we need to do is end the buying and selling paradigm, so in a sense Amazon is holding back the growth of ebooks, although thinking in terms of essences, the essence of an ebook is an idea and so we can say Amazon is holding back the growth of ideas. Unless you mean by holding back, to be some accounting something or other, coins and what not?? Money changers?

Is a world where nothing is either bought or sold really so terrible as to be inconceivable?
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AkumaTakeshi View Post
I just don't understand why some books have supercharging and other don't. But even tho you guys have DE amazon you are still supercharged?
I think they dropped it when they opened the shop, but that was a while before.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonReader View Post
From a customer perspective ebook growth is rather held back by geo-restrictions. It is highly annoying to find an English language ebook at some shop just to be told that you cannot buy it because of some geo-restrictions.
For some inexplicable reasons Amazon seems not to be afflicted to such an extent by these geo-restrictions[...]
I think the thing is that a lot of shops decided that a blanket ban of customers from other countries was easier to do than tracking which customer can buy which book. The latter is possible - both Amazon and Kobobooks do it - but I imagine it does need money and time to get the systems set up for it.

So, a book that due to contract terms may not be sold where you are, you can't buy at either Amazon or B&N. A book that may be sold worldwide you can buy at Amazon, but not B&N.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:54 AM   #12
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You can buy lots of products cheaper in the US, but that in no way holds back their spread to other countries. Bad article.
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