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Thread: Amazon.com removes Macmillan books from site!!

  1. #276
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieB View Post
    I was pondering the discussion about the costs of producing a book. The few ebooks I've bought are works that aren't available any other way. For those of you who buy a lot of ebooks, I'm curious - do you buy many that you don't also buy a print copy of, assuming it exists?
    Not unless I'm traveling. Less so this year, but in the last ten years I spent hours on planes. I've done over 150K miles in a single year more than once.

    A plane trip for me from E to W and back means I read 6 to 8 books. I am not going to carry them around. I can carry a hundred on my Palm (or in the last couple of years, my iPhone), and don't have to carry an extra device I'm not already carrying or all those books.

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  2. #277
    I write stuff and break boards. dragonjax's Avatar
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    As of 11:20 pm Eastern on Feb 5, Amazon still hasn't put back the Kindle buy buttons on any Macmillan titles I could find.
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  3. #278
    Geek Unique LeslieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Not unless I'm traveling. Less so this year, but in the last ten years I spent hours on planes. I've done over 150K miles in a single year more than once.

    A plane trip for me from E to W and back means I read 6 to 8 books. I am not going to carry them around. I can carry a hundred on my Palm (or in the last couple of years, my iPhone), and don't have to carry an extra device I'm not already carrying or all those books.
    The 'carrying around' factor is, at least for me, the only thing ebooks have going for them. I don't begrudge my bookcases. Just the opposite, having overflowing bookshelves has encouraged our kids to read, because they figure if Mom and Dad have so many, they must be cool. Every room in my house has at least one bookcase, except for one tiny bathroom.

    I guess I just have a hard time thinking of ebooks as 'real' books. It's sort of... you know how sometimes they have special promotions where you buy a cookbook and it comes with something like a cookie cutter? My brain thinks of ebooks as the cookie cutter. They're the extra that is secondary to the real product I'm buying. So I'll buy a fifteen dollar book that comes with a cookie cutter, but I won't pay fifteen dollars for just the cookie cutter.

  4. #279
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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  5. #280
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Things will be a lot simpler, I think, when people begin to start thinking about the content rather than the form-factor as what they're buying when they buy electronic products. I don't buy music or movies for the CD's or DVD's, but rather for what's on them. One doesn't (or shouldn't) buy a book or an e-book just for the paper or the electrons, but for the words in them. We're slowly making this transition in how we think about electronic merchandise, but much of the population isn't there yet.
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  6. #281
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieB View Post
    I was pondering the discussion about the costs of producing a book. The few ebooks I've bought are works that aren't available any other way. For those of you who buy a lot of ebooks, I'm curious - do you buy many that you don't also buy a print copy of, assuming it exists?

    The reason I ask is because in reading that an ebook has all the same editing, etc. expenses that a print book has, my inner Luddite pops up thinking that the ebook just piggybacks onto the print book's sales. That's because when I contemplate buying a reader, it's to carry around disposable secondary copies of print books I already have. The idea of buying an ebook and only an ebook when there is a print version available is pretty foreign to me. Am I just really out of step with how most people shop for ebooks?
    I initially bought my e-Reader solely for the purpose of travel. It's so much easier to carry it than to lug a bunch of books around. My back--it appreciates it! Also, as I get older and my eyes get worse, being able to change the typeface size to something larger is really nice. That right there was a big selling point for me.

    Then I discovered unexpected uses. Like trying out new authors with free samples, authors I otherwise wouldn't have tried (and when I like them, I buy the rest of their books in hardcopy). And getting public domain works from the Gutenberg Project.

    But the best unexpected use has been the ability to load my own WIPs so that I can read them like a reader, not a writer. When it's on my e-Reader, I can't fiddle with the words, like I do on screen or on paper. I just read. And I absolutely DO find things to fix that I would've missed otherwise.

    I personally still prefer to do most of my reading on paper. But the fact is that many people who've grown up in the digital era have done so much of their reading online that they don't have the fondness for paper that those of us who grew up with pretty much no alternative seem to have.

    On the topic of ebooks, I swing both ways. I'll always prefer to have hardcopy books of my favourite authors. But I love my e-Reader, too, for some of the advantages it offers.
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  7. #282
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonjax View Post
    Hold the phone. Amazon has returned the buy buttons...on the print editions. Not on the Kindle editions.

    Round 2!
    That's almost reasonable: Can't reach an agreement on price for Widget X? Don't sell it until you reach an agreement. And if that's what they'd done to start with, I wouldn't have had a problem with it.

    Still, too little, too late.

    My Amazon links are still coming down and won't come back. Ever.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 02-06-2010 at 05:09 PM.

  8. #283
    I write stuff and break boards. dragonjax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    That's almost reasonable: Can't reach an agreement on price for Widget X? Don't sell it until you reach an agreement. And if that's what they'd done to start with, I wouldn't have had a problem with it.

    Still, too little, too late.

    My Amazon links are still coming down and won't come back. Ever.
    Exactly, and ditto.
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  9. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieB View Post
    The 'carrying around' factor is, at least for me, the only thing ebooks have going for them...
    I live in Chile and while I love solid paper, for me there are two major points going on for e-books.

    1.- Availability. My local libraries/bookstores carry what a kind soul would call a pitiful amount of English titles.

    2.- Price. I usually pay almost double. Example: Last week I saw Twilight (S. Meyers) going for 25 USD compared to 10.99USD at BN.

    So for me e-books offer the possibility of reading the latest titles at a reasonable price whenever I fancy.



    Regards,
    JM

  10. #285
    Geek Unique LeslieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terie View Post
    But the best unexpected use has been the ability to load my own WIPs so that I can read them like a reader, not a writer. When it's on my e-Reader, I can't fiddle with the words, like I do on screen or on paper. I just read. And I absolutely DO find things to fix that I would've missed otherwise.
    You can put your own stuff on ereaders? Hmm. I was under the impression that you could only put certain (i.e. commercially produced) things on them. If I could schlep around the nine zillion homemade files I have, that might make getting one worthwhile. I don't suppose you can put spreadsheets on them, too?

  11. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieB View Post
    You can put your own stuff on ereaders?
    My editor uses her Sony eReader to read mss. from her authors. She can make notations, too, iirc.

  12. #287
    Spec Fic Writer Sevvy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    Things will be a lot simpler, I think, when people begin to start thinking about the content rather than the form-factor as what they're buying when they buy electronic products. I don't buy music or movies for the CD's or DVD's, but rather for what's on them. One doesn't (or shouldn't) buy a book or an e-book just for the paper or the electrons, but for the words in them. We're slowly making this transition in how we think about electronic merchandise, but much of the population isn't there yet.
    Unless you still listen to vinyl, of course.

    Anyways, I do agree with the argument overall that we should be paying for the words, not the format, but human beings are all about the physical. Even when discussing abstract theories, we try to using physical, concrete examples to illustrate it, or apply it to something concrete that we can wrap our hands around. It wouldn't surprise me if liking physical books had something to do with our memory being grounded in our physical senses. When I pick up a book I read when I was a kid, smell the musty old pages again, I remember what it was like to read that book the first time.
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  13. #288
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevvy View Post
    Unless you still listen to vinyl, of course.

    Anyways, I do agree with the argument overall that we should be paying for the words, not the format, but human beings are all about the physical. Even when discussing abstract theories, we try to using physical, concrete examples to illustrate it, or apply it to something concrete that we can wrap our hands around. It wouldn't surprise me if liking physical books had something to do with our memory being grounded in our physical senses. When I pick up a book I read when I was a kid, smell the musty old pages again, I remember what it was like to read that book the first time.
    I do listen to vinyl. I haven't bought a single e-book yet, either, because I like the paper as well.

    You're more talking about switching in the first place—I'm not talking about someone who is wedded to the love of turning a page or the fuzzy scratch of a record. We're less likely to get an e-book in the first place. I've gladly paid more for physical copies of both music and books.

    The point I was making was about the people who are already happy to buy e-books. Or the people who have already gladly switched the mp3s. It's the same with software as well—trying to get someone to buy an operating system when there's no physical product they can directly relate it to is a lot harder than selling him a computer.

    When I do buy mp3s or internet software or if I buy an e-book, I'm not under the delusion it must necessarily be much cheaper just because the product isn't in a physical, tangible form, because I know it's not the form I'm paying for.
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  14. #289
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    With the big midatlantic snow storm hitting, this was perfect opportunity for me to pick up an ebook I have been meaning to download for a while now. I need a new book to help pass the time and since Amazon screwed with the buy buttons of the two books I wanted...I went directly to the publishers site. Two minutes later I had my books. Had it not been for the storm, I would have gone directly to my local B&N. Had it not been for Amazon screwing around, I would have gone to them.

    In this case, the authors won, their publishers won, and Amazon lost out on two buys...
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    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieB View Post
    You can put your own stuff on ereaders? Hmm. I was under the impression that you could only put certain (i.e. commercially produced) things on them. If I could schlep around the nine zillion homemade files I have, that might make getting one worthwhile. I don't suppose you can put spreadsheets on them, too?
    It depends on the device. Many let you read; some let you edit.

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  16. #291
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Booksellers from around the country delivered a standing ovation for a publisher battling against a major online retailer. During a opening remarks at the Fifth Annual America Booksellers Association's Winter Institute Program, a comment about Macmillan's stand against Amazon (AMZN) book prices elicited a standing ovation.
    Standing Ovation for Macmillan at ABA Conference for Amazon Standoff

  17. #292
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieB View Post
    You can put your own stuff on ereaders? Hmm. I was under the impression that you could only put certain (i.e. commercially produced) things on them. If I could schlep around the nine zillion homemade files I have, that might make getting one worthwhile. I don't suppose you can put spreadsheets on them, too?
    It depends on the device, but most read multiple formats. My agent reads my Word manuscripts on his Kindle. He also read PDFs of my books that were published before he took me on.

    I have a Sony e-Reader that takes a variety of formats, including .epub, .pdf, .rtf, and .doc. There are other formats it can read, but those are the only ones I've used . (I'm too lazy to unpack the documentation or Google to find out the other formats.) Googling the various devices ought to provide the info on which formats each one can take.

    It's proprietary formats that can't be read by other companies' devices (for ex, reading a Kindle-specific file on a Sony won't work), though it sounds as if some folks have figured out how to get around that. I'm not techie enough to bother. I try only to acquire ebooks I can get in non-proprietary formats that my device will read.

    My device doesn't have a way to add comments or anything, but others do. For my purposes, I'm not bothered that mine doesn't, because I don't want to use the device that way.

    I think a lot of people don't realise you can read other formats on these puppies. It's like they think Kindles will read only Kindle files, but that's just not true. As I said above, I know that Kindles will read Word and PDF files, and there are probably other format they'll read, too.
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  18. #293
    ideas are floating where they will Stlight's Avatar
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    I have no likns to Amazon, I wish I did have some to unlink and redirect. So I delted my credit card number from their system.

    I believe I read on a blog, head still spinning, that Amazon's contracts with publishers to put the ebooks on Kindle includes the clause that publisher allow no one other than Amazon to sell their ebooks. Is this true, or did I misunderstand? Because that really ups the ante.

  19. #294
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stlight View Post
    I have no likns to Amazon, I wish I did have some to unlink and redirect. So I delted my credit card number from their system.

    I believe I read on a blog, head still spinning, that Amazon's contracts with publishers to put the ebooks on Kindle includes the clause that publisher allow no one other than Amazon to sell their ebooks. Is this true, or did I misunderstand? Because that really ups the ante.
    That's for the people self-publishing their e-books to the Kindle under Amazon's newest program. It's voluntary for the individual. That is, you can still self-publish for the Kindle and those terms don't apply unless you sign up to the specific program.

    No commericial publisher would sign up for that program.
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  20. #295
    Drinking your story's blood... the_Unknown's Avatar
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    Amazon is in a race to build up their kindle user base and the fact that they can't discount them (like a great many readers want them to be) is really going to hurt them.

    I'm not saying that justifies their tactics, but you can see there is a huge uproar in the lack of kindle titles and pricing. Every e-book on sale for $9.99 would have essentially been an advertisement for the kindle, but now they've lost that.

    I think Amazon's only hope to remain on top is for them to start selling (and perhaps even marketing) exclusive content.
    Last edited by the_Unknown; 02-07-2010 at 04:51 PM.

  21. #296
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_Unknown View Post
    I think Amazon's only hope to remain on top is for them to start selling (and perhaps even marketing) exclusive content.
    And the first thing I think of for that ploy is Amazon convincing newbies that self-pubbing through them will turn them into rich and famous writers.

    There's another writer's venue I used to visit that has a constant stream of young newbies charging in with their Twi-hard-inspired 100-page epics wanting to get it published now, so they can get lotsa fans and money, too.

    They lunge for CreateSpace faster than I can grab a cup of coffee on a Monday morning.

    I guess the good thing is it won't cost them the same way it would if they went to PubAmerica, but it's hardly the kind of exclusive content that will please Amazon stockholders.

    C.S. is good for established writers to get out of print works out again, but at this point, many of them have been slapped in the snoot by the Macmillan ban and will go elsewhere.

    And anyway, I'm determined to see to it that Amazon does NOT remain on top. Bezos just peed in his own water dish so far as I'm concerned, then slopped it all over the writers.

  22. #297
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    I'm still, since April, removing Amazon links from all my sites, and I want to thank people for mentioning Book Depository. They're a good store, and have a surprising selection of books from the U.S. and U.K. and an understandable affiliate program managed by a Living Human Being.

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  23. #298
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    Since Borders acquired fictionwise they probably have the biggest ebook inventory of anyone, although they haven't imported it all to their own ebook site yet.
    But Barnes & Noble bought Fictionwise. Many of their books are now available on B&N, and B&N has some titles that aren't available on Fictionwise. Borders sells Sony readers in their stores, and it looks like they're selling Sony e-books on their site.

    I've heard that Sony e-books can be read on the nook (sideloaded), but I haven't tried one of them yet. I have enough Fictionwise e-books sideloaded to keep me busy for a while.
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    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Barnes and Noble own both Fictionwise and ereader.com. And yes, they do have the largest ebook catalog.

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  25. #300
    hanging out in near-permanent lurkdom Mags's Avatar
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    I have two ebook readers, the first of which was purchased a little more than two years ago, right around the time the first Kindle came out (neither is a Kindle). I hang out a lot on ebook forums, picking up tips and tricks and finding out places to get ebooks (legally). I've had to start avoiding those places the past few days because they are bad for my blood pressure. The entitlement and the butthurt and the paranoia and the refusal to engage in a reasonable discussion is just getting to me. I know you're all seeing it in comments at Whatever, Making Light, etc.

    I've tried in various fora to explain that the price for ALL ebooks will not be $15 forever, and that Amazon WOULD want to keep the price $9.99 forever, so won't you be better off with eventually being able to pay $5.99 rather than $9.99, if you just wait a year or so like you used to have to wait for paperbacks? To which the response is: but Macmillan is charging $15 now for books available in MMPB. To which I reply, I understand your concern, but perhaps you should wait for the new pricing paradigm to be in place? To which the reply is, but they're not doing it now, so they won't in the future.

    *bangs head on desk*

    Yes, things are screwy now, but they are trying to fix it! I personally see this new paradigm as huge news, and good news for EVERYONE--publishers, retailers, authors, consumers. Everyone except Amazon, which wants to control all the content, and special snowflakes who must have cheap ebooks RIGHT THE HECK NOW. (And I submit that Amazon caused part of this by using access to $9.99 bestsellers as one of its selling points for the Kindle. That's never been a good reason to buy an ebook reader IMO.)

    Communication in these venues is further complicated because a lot of the "commenters" are from the "information wants to be free" crowd, and a lot of the BNFs in the ebook world are self-publishers who have achieved some form of success with their efforts, in that they've sold a few thousand copies of their books (or so they claim). They are anti-"Big Publishing" because of course Big Publishing refused to publish their works of genius, but they are selling them, so Big Publishing is wrong! wrong! wrong! Never realizing if they were willing to accept some constructive criticism and do a little more work on their magnum opii (did I get that plural correct? dunno), Big Publishing would have been delighted to present their works to a much larger potential audience. I've read some of these m.o.s, and yes, they would be publishable with a little work.

    I thought you would like an overview of the opposition. For my own part, these days most of what I'm reading on my ebook reader was originally published in the 18th and 19th centuries, so I'm able to get them in various places legally for free. I actually have about $50 worth of ebooks (about 4 books) sitting in my shopping cart at Books on Board, but haven't pulled the trigger as I know I don't have time to read them right now--piled up with research for WIP and books I have to review for my blog and read for my book club. However, I've paid as much as $20 for an ebook I really wanted to read. I am at the point that I prefer ebooks for most of my reading because I live in a small space and my storage space is finite.
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