08 Dec

More on Kindle Unlimited

When I said half the stuff indie writers are now saying in the comments here about Amazon I was called some heinous names and ‘legacy’ writer, a ‘trad pub house slave’ and many other objectionable things. All I’ve done is note in the past that putting all your eggs in the Amazon basket will one day lead to sorrow.

Porter Anderson has a pretty thorough roundup over at theBookSeller.com:

Odd how those squeals of “this is the best time to be an author!” start to fade when you hear about a major self-publishing author’s struggles to pay a child’s medical bills because 75 percent of her Amazon income evaporated in the advent of KU, isn’t it?

Trial and so much error, obviously by Amazon’s folks — who are good people inventing a new  wheel — as well as by authors.

What comes next? We don’t know. As usual. 

That’s the bottom line: the way, the truth, and the lightheadedness of it all.. We just don’t know.

(Via Is the honeymoon over? KU comes between Amazon and its self-publishers | The Bookseller.)

There’s still a lot of sorting and settling out.

But we are the little insects under conglomerate giant’s feet. It’s not that I’m going to say other corporations are better. Just that I have a cynical eye toward them all! The idea peddled a few years ago that Amazon cared about writers and nothing but writers was silly then, and we’re starting to realize it.

Amazon cares about customers first, and gaining more of them… also first. Giving them free books for signing up to their service is a win for Amazon, even if it’s not a win for writers.

If that means at the writer’s cost, so be it. I warned about this with the cuts that were made in audio royalties, and the cuts made in certain foreign markets if you didn’t go Kindle Select. And even though I sold as a hybrid author, I was consistently attacked for pointing these moves out.

eBooks are a great option. I’m happy to see more arrows in the quiver.

But now we’re seeing the reality set in. There’s lots of work ahead of us. And the gold-rush mentality is fading. Which is a relief.

I’m not giving up on being a hybrid author, but I sure am making sure my books are for sale in multiple areas and in multiple ways.

09 Aug

Kindles in Ghana

Worldchanging has an article about Kindles in Ghana:

“In countries where it can take six months for a donated book to travel from point A to point B, providing children with e-readers seems like the most efficient way to battle low literacy levels. That’s what Worldreader, a nonprofit co-founded by former Amazon.com vice president, David Risher, is determined to try.

“˜There’s a huge difference between being able to read from a selection of the 10 books that you happen to have — or that somebody donated — versus being able to get your hands on a book that you are really interested in,’ Risher told The Wall Street Journal. “˜When you combine that with very very low distribution costs for additional books and falling technology prices, these are ingredients for doing something really special.'”

I was just talking about this not to long ago in the comments of an eBooks post.

A text book costs $50-$150 US, plus shipping overseas. Text books in countries like Ghana are also not updated very often.

Slapping wikipedia in book form on one (vs some twenty year old out of date text book), or searching for cheaper books via Kindles (which with their battery-sipping features, can be recharged even on an irregular electricity supply) has some potential to be very useful for text books.

I’ll be keeping on eye on this program.