Cory Doctorow focuses on author Andrew Hyde, who recently “wrote and self-published a great-looking travel book” via the usual ebook retail channels but later experienced “sticker-shock” after learning that Amazon was charging huge fees to deliver the ebook to customers.
Amazon’s total fees ate away almost a third of Hyde’s royalty: The book retails on Amazon for $9.99, and under the 70% percent royalty plan Hyde imagined he would get $7. But Amazon charges $2.58 per download to deliver the ebook, with the author’s royalty being calculated on what’s left after the delivery fee is deducted.
Today another incident casts into relief the contingent nature of electronic books — how readily they are not only deleted or censored, but altered. The Nook version of War and Peace had changed every instance of “kindle” or “kindled” into “Nook” and “Nookd”…
Just remember: editors matter
Rogue self-publishers have been stuffing the comics sections of the Nook and Kindle online stores with an entirely different kind of graphic novel, turning Barnes & Noble’s flagship device briefly into a “Nookie Tablet.”
It’s a rule of the Internet. Stop editing and moderating, just for a minute, and everything will turn to porn and spam. That seems to have happened on the Nook, and, to a lesser extent, the Kindle.
Self-publishing has turned bookstore shelves from “seller cares” to “buyer beware,” with apparently no guarantees of quality or even that the content is what it says it is. With Barnes & Noble and Amazon apparently abdicating any preemptive editorial control, it’s now a free-for-all online.
“Libraries are a critical part of our communities,” Jay Marine, director of Kindle at Amazon, said in a statement. “And we’re excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country.”
The introduction of the Kindle, the biggest-selling e-reader, opens up library e-books to a wider audience, heightening the fears of publishers that many customers will turn to libraries for reading material. If that happens, e-book buyers could become e-book borrowers, leading to a potentially damaging loss of revenue for an industry grappling with a profound shift in consumer reading habits.
What Is @author?
@author is new feature in a limited beta release on Kindle and Amazon Author Pages that connects readers with their favorite writers and their books. It’s easy: Readers can ask AUTHORS questions directly from their Kindles, or post them to Amazon Author Pages.
Anyone who has purchased items from Amazon.com can reply to an existing question or ask a new one, and all visitors to Amazon.com can read any current question or response…
It is in beta, for now.