The Amazon ‘Buy Button’ – why you should be very afraid if you’re an author or publisher…

 

On March 1, Amazon enacted a policy change that allows third-party sellers to compete for the Buy Box for books in “new condition.”

When you go to a product page on Amazon, the ADD TO CART Buy Box is the default offer. Other used options fall below the Buy Box. Where books are concerned, the default Buy Box has always belonged to the publisher. When you buy a book, Amazon pays the publisher 45% of the list price. This means your purchase is supporting the entity that published the book, namely the publisher, and authors are making a profit (albeit small) every time you buy because the publisher is paying an author royalty for each sale.

Now Amazon is giving that priority spot to third-party sellers… [go to source for more]

Source: http://www.ibpa-online.org/news/344366/Amazons-Buy-Button-Policy-Change-Hurts-Publishers-and-Authors.htm

Amazon made a small change to the way it sells books. Publishers are terrified. – Vox

It used to be that when you were shopping for a new copy of a book and clicked “Add to Cart,” you were buying the book from Amazon itself. Amazon, in turn, had bought the book from its publisher or its publisher’s wholesalers, just like if you went to any other bookstore selling new copies of books. There was a clear supply chain that sent your money directly into the pockets of the people who wrote and published the book you were buying.

But now, reports the Huffington Post, that’s no longer the default scenario. Now you might be buying the book from Amazon, or you might be buying it from a third-party seller. And there’s no guarantee that if the latter is true, said third-party seller bought the book from the publisher. In fact, it’s most likely they didn’t. [Visit source for more]

Source: Amazon made a small change to the way it sells books. Publishers are terrified. – Vox

Amazon Launches the Kindle Reading Fund – Digital Book World

Amazon announced in a blog post today that it is launching the Kindle Reading Fund, a program that will work to make books “more easily available to communities around the world through digital reading.” The Fund will include donations of Kindle e-readers and ebooks.

As part of the new program, Amazon is partnering with Worldreader, a non-profit that aims to bring digital books to children and families who cannot access them, to donate thousands of Kindle e-readers.

Amazon is also donating devices to…[more]

Source: Amazon Launches the Kindle Reading Fund – Digital Book World

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Amazon Readies New Kindle E-Reader That Puts Battery in External Case

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In a first for the Seattle online retailer, Amazon will soon sell a higher-end Kindle with a rechargeable protective case for extended battery life, according to a person familiar with the matter. This removable cover will allow the Kindle to be thinner than earlier devices.

Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, said Monday on Twitter that an “all-new, top of the line Kindle” is almost ready, and promised the company would reveal details next week.

Pricing for the latest devices couldn’t be learned. A spokeswoman declined to elaborate on Mr. Bezos’s tweet.

The new Kindle and case are code-named “Whiskey” and “Soda,” respectively, and the solar-powered case is known internally as…

 

Source: Amazon Readies Kindle E-Reader That Puts Battery in External Case — WSJ – NASDAQ.com

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Amazon Takes Aim At Kindle Unlimited Scammers But Hits Authors | David Gaughran

Turns out there is a lot more to this story, all of it worrying and none of it reflecting well on Amazon. I have a contact at KDP who I emailed two days ago and didn’t get any response. Which is poor, but exactly fits with how Amazon has handled this issue.

The problem is much more serious than outlined already. And Amazon is fully aware of what is happening and is doing very little about it. The only conclusion I can draw is that Amazon doesn’t care.

So here’s what I’ve been hearing over the last 24 hours: the scammer examples I linked to are actually quite tame. The serious guys aren’t just using TOCs to inflate their page reads, but, as I speculated in the post, links to the back of the book, footnotes, and all sorts of other wheezes (like filling books with page breaks, filling books with the same text in 10 different languages – done by Google Translate – and then having a link go to the English version at the back, etc. etc.).”

NOTE: There are numerous updates at the bottom of this article, including responses from Amazon – the latest update being from March 31 as this story continues to develop. The short version i…

Source: Amazon Takes Aim At Scammers But Hits Authors | David Gaughran

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Kindle older than 2013? Update NOW – Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday 23rd Mar 2016

Kindle owners will be unable to download their purchased books or buy new ones without a computer handy if they fail to update their Amazon Kindles by Wednesday 23rd Mar 2016.

Users of Kindle models older than 2013 will need to apply an update over their device’s wireless connection to install a critical fix. Those who do not will be kicked from Amazon online properties, including the book store, and their cloud library of purchased books and documents.

Amazon has sent emails to user account inboxes warning to update. It has not explained what the fix addresses and had not responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.

In a notice posted to the Amazon website marked urgent the book baron says devices that are not updated by March 23 will sport a generic connection error message and must be manually updated using a computer.

Source: Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

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Are Authors Being Ripped Off? – Amazon “Kindle Unlimited” Scammers Netting Millions | Selena Kitt

JZ Comment: If this is true – and Selena Kitt is a very well established author – EVERY author who uses Kindle Select should be reading this and following the subject very closely in the near future.

How are scammers making millions off Amazon? (And off any author enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select program?)

It’s easy. So say digital entrepreneurs scammers like Dave Koziel – who admits to outsourcing his material, he’s not an actual writer or anything. You see, all you have to do it just upload “books” stuffed to the gills with anything, even unrelated material (romance books, cookbooks, South Beach diet books, foreign language texts, any and everything you’ve got at your disposal) then use a click-bait link at the front of the book (something like “Click here to win a Kindle Fire!”) to take the reader directly to the very back. A German blog has detailed these tactics as well, although it seems the German Amazon store (much smaller than the U.S. one) is cracking down on this now…

Source: SCAMAZON – Amazon “Kindle Unlimited” Scammers Netting Millions

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JZ added Comment: On March 14th Amazon posted the following ‘Global Announcement’ in response to this:

Hello,

We have recently received a number of questions on topics such as TOC formatting and our policing of abuse and fraud among KDP publishers.

In many cases, putting a book’s Table of Contents (TOC) at the end of a book can create a poor experience for readers, and in general we suggest authors locate TOCs to the beginning of a book. If the formatting of a book results in a poor experience or genuine reader confusion, or is designed to unnaturally inflate sales or pages read, we will take action to remove titles and protect readers. That said, absent any other issues of quality, locating the TOC at the end of a book is not in itself outside of our guidelines.

Relatedly, some in the community have contacted us about the activities of a small minority of publishers who may attempt to inflate sales or pages read through the use of various techniques, such as adding unnecessary or confusing hyperlinks, misplacing the TOC or adding distracting content. We both actively police for this type of activity on our own as well as investigate when the community points out such abuse (thank you to those of you who have helped us in this regard). Any abuse we find results in the immediate suspension of a title. Some circumstances, including repeat offenses, will result in KDP account suspension. In any abuse cases, we will also remove related pages read from the allocation of the monthly KDP Select Global Fund.

We have updated the Kindle Guidelines to reflect the above. As you might expect, our guidelines – along with our processes to identify abuse — will continue to evolve. Our goal is to most effectively meet the needs of the many authors who so constructively support this community and Kindle readers.

Regards,

The Kindle Direct Publishing Team

Amazon’s Audible introduces shareable audio ‘Clips’ to make audiobooks more social – GeekWire

Sharing your favorite passages from an e-book is pretty easy. Just highlight the text and click to share. But there’s a big difference between reading a passage and hearing it read by a great actor or passionate author. With an update to the Audible app coming out today, Amazon is trying to make it as easy to share audiobooks as it is to share e-books.

Source: Amazon’s Audible introduces shareable audio ‘Clips’ to make audiobooks more social – GeekWire

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Amazon plans to let you pay by selfie

Amazon could soon let you purchase products without a password – instead you will need to take a selfie.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant has filed a patent to use photos or videos of a user’s face as a way to approve their online purchases.

“While many conventional approaches rely on password entry for user authentication, these passwords can be stolen or discovered by other persons who can impersonate the user for any of a variety of tasks,” the patent application reads.

So instead, Amazon wants you to use a fail-safe method to sign in – your own face.

Source: Amazon plans to let you pay by selfie

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How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Are Changing Publishing | Digital Book World

“It’s these guys’ worlds. We just post in it and shop in it,” said New York University Professor Scott Galloway of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google at Digital Book World 2016. During a talk called “The Four Horsemen,” Galloway argued that these four companies are taking over the world and continually disrupting the publishing ecosystem.

Source: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Are Changing Publishing | Digital Book World

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