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Acclaimed Books Ltd. / TheBookAwards.com (formerly AmazonClicks.com)

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GuernseyPete

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AmazonClicks.com has run as an Awards site for several months and I'm presently assessing whether or not to sell eBooks on the site.

The site needs a revamp and I will have to spend a lot of money and time entering this market but from the research done so far, it looks like I will be going ahead.

The aim is to provide a new or additional 'route to market' for a wide range of authors and publications from short stories or poetry to full length novels. I intend to accept a range of pricing from 'free of charge' to £18 Sterling or equivalent which is the maximum without charging sales tax/VAT.

I believe this is a complimentary market that will never replace the demand for traditional books but will satisfy another audience. From an author's perspective, I am told eBooks can boost the sales of existing published works and provide an additional income stream.

I would welcome any comments, good or bad before I finally commit to the venture and if any authors or publishers are interested in listing on the site, just let me know at;

[email protected]

I will be happy to provide commercial details whether or not you currently have your titles in an eBook format.

GuernseyPete
 

GuernseyPete

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Amazon connection

I have thought about this and appreciate the entirely reasonable observation.

When my site began it was part of the Amazon Associates Program and sold exclusively through an aStore that was approved by Amazon. I was unashamedly promoting Amazon products with their knowledge and the name was appropriate.

However, it carried (and still does carry) disclaimers prominently on every page stating their is no connection the businesses.

After several months of accepting orders and communicating about a variety of subjects, Amazon objected to the name and ended the associate status, in their usual offhand manner.

Having invested in promoting the name, I see no reason to write off that investment as long as I continue to make it clear their is no connection. I don't infringe their trademark as this doesn't cover the title AmazonClicks.com and I'm careful to avoid any similarities of brand graphics etc. I have no intention of 'trading off' their reputation or infringing their copyright but they don't own every permuation of the word 'Amazon' which was afterall in common use well before they existed.

Some large organisations are currently attempting to dominate the literary market by imposing unreasonable commercial terms on authors and publishers or by forcing the use of their own subsidiaries across the supply chain.

When this happens, they try to keep within the letter of the law so they cannot be opposed. As a tiny minnow in the scheme of things, I will do my best to keep within the letter of the law but my main concerns aren't for the big boys in the playground, they are for the ordinary authors and readers. I will always make it plain to them there is no connection with Amazon but I don't see why I should write off my investment or loose the thousands of people who have supported my site.

Pete
 
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qwerty

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AmazonClicks.com has run as an Awards site for several months and I'm presently assessing whether or not to sell eBooks on the site.

Hi Pete. As a high percentage of books winning an "award" on AmazonClicks.com are published by Libros International (who published your own book) I'm wondering if there could be a conflict of business interests here.

Or maybe your proposed scheme is connected with LI as part of their ebook scheme announced in January?
 

GuernseyPete

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Hi Qwerty
Thanks for spending the time 'on-site' :) and following our winners in such detail. I don't choose the winners, the voters do and whilst I'm aware that some come from my publisher (Libros) I don't know all their titles so you are ahead of me if you know how many come from them.

There's no connection with the Libros announcement although I have asked them if they want to list their books (including mine) and am waiting for a reply.

What conflict of interest are you suggesting please?
 

GuernseyPete

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Just checked briefly, the last two winners were not from my publisher nor were a number of others and the highest voted book in the competition so far 'One Lump or Two' by Darren Couchman wasn't either.

For the record, one of Libros' fiercest critics from this forum has also been doing rather well in our ranking for sometime !

If this is the conflict you are referring to, I assure you there isn't one. (or I'm doing rather badly at exploiting it!):)

I hope other authors from this site, from any publisher or self-publishers, will have a go.
 
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ResearchGuy

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. . .
However, it carried (and still does carry) disclaimers prominently on every page stating their is no connection the businesses. . . .
Maybe. But a book-selling site using the word Amazon is, from this layman's point of view, likely to be viewed dimly by Amazon.com.

I'd wager that their lawyers believe they do own all permutations of "Amazon" in connectoin with book-selling (even e-books).

Look into the suit by Encyclopaedia Britannica against PublishAmerica that shut down the latter's "PublishBritannica" site.

One pertinent discussion of trademark infringement is here.

I would not even have raised this had my first thought on seeing the URL been that it was an Amazon.com operation. Maybe the disclaimers at the site would satisfy the lawyers. That is for them to decide.

--Ken
 

Jill

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The sad thing is that these awards are taken seriously by some writer. I agree with qwerty, the majority are LI titles and enough has already been said on that subject on a different thread.
 

Jill

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Every title on our site is award winning - Man Booker, Galaxy, Whitbread, Costa, all the major awards plus our own 'Authors & Readers Choice'. Outstanding and acclaimed works of literature brought together in one place - that's AmazonClicks.com.

This is a quote taken the site. Isn't this rather misleading? How do you justify the sweeping statements you make Guernsey Pete, and how surprising that your own book has pride of place on the front page. Unbiased? I think not.
 

GuernseyPete

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Ken

I'm sure Amazon will be grateful for your vigilance on their behalf.

I will think about whether I should change the name as I don't want to mislead people. Perhaps I'm just being stubborn because I don't like being pushed around by big business types or anyone else for that matter.

Jill

The winners of the Awards may be seem sad to you but they have been delighted to win and used the awards to help and motivate them as writers.

Darren polled over 350 votes for his book about his experience with testicular cancer. He doesn't use my publisher and I've never met him or any of the authors who have won. Please don't denegrate his achievements or that of any of those who have won the monthly awards voted for by thousands of their loyal readers.

I don't get any money for running the awards and have only ever entered books that have been nominated by others. I refused to enter my own despite two nominations so advertising it on the site doesn't seem a big crime to me.

When I last dropped by you seemed to have a bit of a mission about my publisher and I really don't want to get into all that again but whether or not you still harbour those issues, it isn't fair or reasonable to accuse me of creating a bias towards their titles.

When I look at the 'charter' for this forum there seems to be one principle message about treating others with respect and kindness. I'd appreciate a bit of that please Jill.

I'll take it there's no interest in eBooks then!

Thanks anyway
Pete
 

Jill

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Ken

Jill


When I last dropped by you seemed to have a bit of a mission about my publisher and I really don't want to get into all that again but whether or not you still harbour those issues, it isn't fair or reasonable to accuse me of creating a bias towards their titles.

When I look at the 'charter' for this forum there seems to be one principle message about treating others with respect and kindness. I'd appreciate a bit of that please Jill.

I'll take it there's no interest in eBooks then!

Thanks anyway
Pete

Pete, this site is also about warning writers about the dangers out there.

You're right I've said enough and achieved the result I set out to achieve.
I'm sorry that you are unable to take criticism without climbing onto the moral high ground.

And yes you're right, I am not interested in ebooks but I wish you well anyway.
 

petec

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Hi Pete,

Some info please.

Who is the publisher and will hold the publishing rights

How will the books be distributed

What platform will be used

What DRM system will be used.
 

GuernseyPete

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There is a difference between constructive criticism and accusations of bias. ResearchGuy criticised my choice of site name and however much that irks me, he makes a valid point and I intend to take it on board. I have decided to transition to a new name despite the 'sunk' investment made. Reading again from this forum's 'charter', I think the comments made about political correctness also apply to phrases like 'taking the moral high ground' but others will make their own minds up about that.

Petec Hi!

I asked whether people would be interested in publishing in eBook format but I'm not claiming to be a publisher, I was gauging opinions before investing in an eBook store. So whoever your current publisher is, that would stay the same. Books that are created in Ebook format usually have DRM built in so that would remain the case for titles sold through my store. Any of the major formats will be OK but as far as I know PDF is the main 'platform independent' format. There are pros and cons with this and other formats.

Customers will download from my store and they will only download once per purchase. I'm using a common eCommerce solution with a vault for downloads. I'm also linking with a number of other eBook stores through their affiliate programs so if you are with them you may already be included once we start.

In addition, I'm offering a service to self-publishers or those who want somewhere to offer poems, short stories or even larger works not yet published. I will convert these to PDF and manage the sales process but won't be offering DRM for these and the authors will take full responsibilty for infringement issues of others. This service will be similar to that offered by Lulu.com.

So far, the feedback from other sites I have visited has been generally positive and some of the questions have helped me to finesse the model so it looks like I will be going ahead (once I think of a new name!).

Pete
 

petec

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Ummm Yes!

Good luck to you and your clients
 
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ResearchGuy

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Ken

I'm sure Amazon will be grateful for your vigilance on their behalf.
Pete, my "vigilance" is not on Amazon's behalf, but on yours. They have the deep pockets, the lawyers, and the multi-billion-dollar interest in their name. But you are free to make your choices and take your risks. It is no skin off my nose.

...
I'll take it there's no interest in eBooks then!
Au contraire. FWIW, at the request of an author, I am publishing one myself shortly, albeit with a print option for readers who might want it. The author specifically wanted an e-book version to be available, and I'll accommodate. Had the author known of another easy-to-access option, he might have used that.

Thanks anyway
Pete
No need to get snotty, Pete. Believe it or not, folks here are going out of their way to be helpful, even when that requires telling hard truths.

Good luck with your endeavors.

--Ken
 

AnneMarble

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...Books that are created in Ebook format usually have DRM built in so that would remain the case for titles sold through my store.
It depends on where you buy the ebooks. Fictionwise is one of the biggest ebook distributors, and they offer (at this time) 21496 ebooks without DRM. They also offer 41062 with DRM. The owners would rather sell books without DRM because it's cheaper and requires less technical support, and many authors would rather sell books without DRM. Also, Baen Books (an SF/fantasy print publisher) only sells their ebooks without DRM. They are now selling DRM-books for three respected small presses as well. Both Fictionwise and Baen are doing well in the field. Finally, many (if not most) of the independent e-book publishers avoid DRM as well -- at least the publishers I visit.

Any of the major formats will be OK but as far as I know PDF is the main 'platform independent' format. There are pros and cons with this and other formats.
Meh. Not all fans of ebooks like PDF. I've been buying ebooks for years now, and I try to avoid PDF unless it's the only format available. And if it's the only format available, I usually buy something else instead. ;) Non-secure PDFs are too hard to convert it to a format I can actually use on my ebook reader. (Yes, I can convert them, but I end up having to reformat the whole book.) FWIW I think the Sony Reader does support PDFs, but most people don't use the Sony Reader.

And please please please tell me you're avoiding the secure Adobe Ebook format. :) It's notorious for giving customers trouble.
 

GuernseyPete

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Pete, my "vigilance" is not on Amazon's behalf, but on yours. They have the deep pockets, the lawyers, and the multi-billion-dollar interest in their name. But you are free to make your choices and take your risks. It is no skin off my nose.


Au contraire. FWIW, at the request of an author, I am publishing one myself shortly, albeit with a print option for readers who might want it. The author specifically wanted an e-book version to be available, and I'll accommodate. Had the author known of another easy-to-access option, he might have used that.


No need to get snotty, Pete. Believe it or not, folks here are going out of their way to be helpful, even when that requires telling hard truths.

Good luck with your endeavors.

--Ken

I'm not getting snotty Ken, I meant thanks anyway!

.. and I do appreciate your comments which as you may see I've decided to act on. All the best, Pete
 

GuernseyPete

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It depends on where you buy the ebooks. Fictionwise is one of the biggest ebook distributors, and they offer (at this time) 21496 ebooks without DRM. They also offer 41062 with DRM. The owners would rather sell books without DRM because it's cheaper and requires less technical support, and many authors would rather sell books without DRM. Also, Baen Books (an SF/fantasy print publisher) only sells their ebooks without DRM. They are now selling DRM-books for three respected small presses as well. Both Fictionwise and Baen are doing well in the field. Finally, many (if not most) of the independent e-book publishers avoid DRM as well -- at least the publishers I visit.


Meh. Not all fans of ebooks like PDF. I've been buying ebooks for years now, and I try to avoid PDF unless it's the only format available. And if it's the only format available, I usually buy something else instead. ;) Non-secure PDFs are too hard to convert it to a format I can actually use on my ebook reader. (Yes, I can convert them, but I end up having to reformat the whole book.) FWIW I think the Sony Reader does support PDFs, but most people don't use the Sony Reader.

And please please please tell me you're avoiding the secure Adobe Ebook format. :) It's notorious for giving customers trouble.

My plan is to accept whatever the eBook format a book is in, although I very much appreciate your words of wisdom and I didn't know that so low a proportion had DRM. I could offer DRM for the unpublished manuscripts but the cost to set it up is quite high so I would rather avoid it until the site gets going.

Thanks for the warning about secure Adobe Ebook format, I use a number of Adobe products so may well have gone down that route!

Cheers
Pete
 

petec

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There are people here who can help you
 

Team 2012

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There are LOTS of "shadow sites" that use famous names. YouTube Forums, for example.

Have you ever actually heard of one being sued? Not only would such a thing come at the cost of bad publicity, having as site like that out there augmenting your outreach is actually helpful.

If you had a product, would it bother you that somebody had a site using the product name in a forum aimed at helping people use or access your product?
There are lots of sites out there that are actually antagonistic to the "host name". Microsoft Sucks, eBay Sucks, that sort of thing.

There are always dire warnings for writers everywhere, but in so many cases no actual evidence that there is anything to worry about.
 

GuernseyPete

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Thanks guys

I don't care about upsetting Amazon or the suits but I do care about being honest so if people like those above feel I'm misrepresenting my site others might as well and that doesn't sit comfortably with me.

It's just a name.

Pete
 

victoriastrauss

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Amazon is indeed vigilant about its brand, and is not afraid to sue.

Pete, just to be clear--are you planning on offering publishing services, or just re-selling already published ebooks (a la Fictionwise)? If the first, I think this thread would be more appropriate in Background Check. If the second, I'm not sure that you could actually do that, if the ebook was produced by a publisher (rather than self-epublished). You might (or the author might) have to seek permission from the epublisher before you could list the ebook on your site.

- Victoria
 

GuernseyPete

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Amazon is indeed vigilant about its brand, and is not afraid to sue.

Pete, just to be clear--are you planning on offering publishing services, or just re-selling already published ebooks (a la Fictionwise)? If the first, I think this thread would be more appropriate in Background Check. If the second, I'm not sure that you could actually do that, if the ebook was produced by a publisher (rather than self-epublished). You might (or the author might) have to seek permission from the epublisher before you could list the ebook on your site.

- Victoria

Good luck to Amazee and I hope the publicity boosts their numbers! If Amazon loose they will have shot themselves in the foot - thanks for pointing this one out.

It's the second Victoria and depending upon their publishing contract, authors may have to seek permission from their publisher. Of course, I've also contacted a number of publishers directly to discuss listing their titles & I'm awaiting their replies.

Pete
 

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If you do a blog search it will bring up at least a couple of independent, uninvolved people confused at the inclusion of Amazon in the name; I think it would be wise to replace it with something else. Also, as a person who has sold over 90% of their books in ebook format I strenuously avoid selling DRM files and also do not buy them--they just have too many problems. Best of luck--but in my opinion there are a whole lof of other ebook intermediaries with an established sales record. I think a late entrant in the market would have to offer something extra special to compete.
 

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