I’m sure many of you have been hearing about the “recent” changes with Amazon. With their decision to change the royalty pay out for books borrowed through their Kindle Unlimited program from a flat (but subject to change) rate per borrow to a percentage of the KU pot based on pages read, Amazon has set off a firestorm of anger from authors who had been happy to sing the praises of Amazon exclusivity.
Hate to say we told you so but…
Amazon is a business. They will do anything and everything to maintain their
stranglehold dominance of the electronic publishing retail market. Up to this point they’ve done their best to fool convince authors they had the best shot at getting to more readers if they stayed exclusive to them. Authors could not offer their books up ANYWHERE else other than Amazon, even on their own websites. If you were one of the authors who did that, you were dumped from Kindle Select and given thinly veiled threats that if you dared to price you books lower on any other site you would be banned from publishing to Amazon. Oh but try to tell them you want out of Kindle Select before the 90 days and you’ll be either ignored, or told by automated reply that you have to wait the full 90 days—no exceptions!
The last few months have seen an upswing of readers blocked by Amazon from posting reviews for books they’ve purchased. Why? Amazon, from their Publishing God Throne on High has snooped into their personal online connections and determined these readers KNOW the author of the book they’re trying to review. These readers have appealed and explained they are sort of connected because they may have liked the same post on something or retweeted something from the author on Twitter, but in no way do they know them in real life.
Amazon. Does. Not. Care.
Their computers have found a connection and as such this reader is now unable to leave reviews for this particular author ever and in some cases they are banned from leaving ANY reviews for ANY product even if the purchase is verified. One of my author friends had all 1700 of the reviews he has written over the last 5 years deleted without warning and little to no explanation. No word from them whether or not he will be allowed to post reviews again in the future if ever. No appeal process. Nothing. Just deleted.
Don’t you think it’s funny that Amazon will allow mean spirited, troll type ratings and reviews to stay up because they are verified purchases, but will remove anything else no matter what the rating because their computer algorithms picked up “suspicious” connections? In this day and age, ALL of us are connected in one way or another on the Web. How can they put these rules in place and when questioned as to why they give a bunch of mambo jambo that basically says “because we say so?”
The unfortunate reality here is that WE caused this. We as consumers, authors and publishers allowed Amazon to get away with this crap for far too long because they put on a good show as being the only game in town. Truth is, they never were the only vendor to go to for publishing or for the books we want to read. As a whole we became lazy and instead of working to get our books up on other sites, we went with the ease of uploading two files and then let Amazon do the rest. An author in one of the support groups I’m in stated she didn’t get any sales on iTunes at all and she’d been on there for six months. I asked her if she’d promoted the links for iTunes at all. She flat out said no. I asked her how she expected people to know she was there if she did nothing to promote them? She couldn’t answer because she’d been so ingrained with posting and promoting the Amazon links, she had thought people would simply “find” her books anywhere else if they only looked for them.
That’s not the way it works people! You have to let readers know where you are. Why should they go searching for you anywhere? If someone asks you when you’re going to put your books out for the Nook, you need to take that as a sign there are at least ten others thinking the same. Get your books out there!
As readers we’ve become lazy too. We fell for the fun of the one click option that sends the book directly to our reading devices instead of simply taking one additional step.
That additional step for readers is what I’m talking about today. Two years ago I posted the following article when I had my site up on Blogger. So many people had no clue they could get ebooks for their kindle on other sites. Those who have Nooks and other ereaders have known this for years and have used these other sites without a problem. Now it’s time we as readers and authors take back the power we’ve given to Amazon. Hit them where it hurts them the most. If enough of the book customers go to other sites, Amazon may listen. They may not because as you all know by now they don’t give a rat’s behind about authors, publishers or readers. The books are only there to get you on their site to purchase the bigger items.
But you love the ability to borrow books from Amazon? Well, go for it. There are other sites that offer that too such as Scribd and Oyster. Unfortunately, both are hitting the romance and erotica genres hard and are beginning to dump large numbers of these books from their listings for now. Readers of these genres are costing these companies more money than they can pay out in royalties. With this pay per page thing Amazon came up with, you know it’s the same for them too.
So instead of threatening them you will go elsewhere unless they release how much they will pay the authors in the KU program for each page you read of the books you’ve borrowed, why not head over to some of the other sites listed below as well as the author’s own websites to get the formats you need. I’ve read several of posts about it over the last two days and there are tons of readers who refuse to borrow books anyway. They want to have their own copy to keep forever and not have to delete it/return it in order to get more. Those are the readers this post is aimed at today, but it’s a good tutorial for all who are unsure how to use other sites.
This week I decided to touch on a subject that many Kindle users need a lesson on how to send ebook files to their Kindle or Kindle app without the “one click” purchase from the Amazon site.
I know some of you are staring at the screen and shaking your head. “How the hell can you do that?” It’s really easy and will enable you to be able to purchase your ebooks from sites other than Amazon if you wish. Yes, there are more sites out there that sell mobi format ebooks. Here are a few:
Not only can you get ebooks at fabulous prices from these sites, you can also win them during blog hops and other giveaways. Authors and other groups routinely giveaway free copies of their work to promote themselves and to introduce new readers to their stories. You can even take one file type and convert it to a Mobi file for your Kindle…that’s a topic for another post, but you get my point.
If you know how to send files to your ereader, you won’t be tied down to just using Amazon for everything. You do need the Kindle email address assigned to you when you registered with Amazon for an account. You have one even if you only have the Kindle App for your phone or iPad. It should look something like firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that’s not my actual kindle addy but you get the picture. This is the email address you have to send all files TO. Now what email account or accounts are accepted by your Kindle is up to you as well. These will be where the files are sent FROM.
Go into your Amazon account and choose the tab that says: Manage Your Kindle. In there you’ll find a spot where you can add all the sites that are allowed to send you material. In mine, I have my gmail account, All Romance/Omnilit and Bookstrand’s email. By allowing All Romance and Bookstrand to send me stuff, I get an INSTANT upload to ereader. That’s about as close to a “one click” shopping you can get! Where do you find the email addresses from these vendors? They’ll be on each website. In fact, with All Romance, they have you set it all up when you register for your account.
Now if someone were to send me a ebook file, in MOBI or PRC format…or even PDF format, I can download the file to my computer. I don’t open the file yet. Instead, I send it as an attachment from my gmail account to my kindle address.
That’s it. Within five minutes I have the file on my ereader. If you are like me, you may have multiple kindle reading devices. Each one has a separate address. You can send files to each one, or leave them in your Amazon storage account and download to each device when you sync them up.
If you’d like more detailed instructions, here’s a step by step on how to do it straight from Amazon.
So go on and get used to sending files to your Kindle. You’ll be able to receive ARCs from your favorite authors, become beta readers for others, read the ebooks you’ve won in contests, read PDF files for your job…anything you can think of, you’ll eventually be able to do it. Go on. Give it a go!
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