Amazon.com

Rights? You have no right to your eBooks.

Further to our previous story on a Kindle reader's library being wiped by Amazon, Stephen K. has posted an update (as comment), which deserves to be its own story.

From Computer World UK Simon Phipps continues the saga of Linn, the Norwegian individual who purchased a Kindle in the UK.

The story first emerged on a friend's blog, where a sequence of e-mails from Michael Murphy, a customer support representative at Amazon.co.uk were posted. These painted a picture some interpreted as Amazon remotely erasing a customer's Kindle, but in conversation with Linn I discovered that was not what had happened - something just as bad did, though.

Linn lives in Norway, where Amazon does not operate (Amazon.no redirects to the Amazon Europe page). She bought a Kindle in the UK, liked it and read a number of books on it. She then gave that Kindle to her mother, and bought a used Kindle on a Danish classifieds site to which she transferred her account. She has been happily reading on it for some time, purchasing her books with a Norwegian address and credit card. She told me she'd read 30 or 40 books on it.

Sadly, the device developed a fault (actually a second time, it was also replaced in 2011 for the same reason) and started to display black lines on the screen (something I've heard from other friends as it happens). She called Amazon customer service, and they agreed to replace it if she returned it, although they insisted on shipping the replacement to a UK address rather to her in Norway.

More from Computer World UK.

Kindle User Claims Amazon Deleted Entire Library

Cory Doctorow, Canadian journalist, blogger, sci-fi author in addition to being a former bookseller reports at Boing Boing on Amazon's deletion of one customers library.

According to Martin Bekkelund, a Norwegian Amazon customer identified only as Linn had her Kindle access revoked without warning or explanation. Her account was closed, and her Kindle was remotely wiped. Bekkelund has posted a string of emails that he says were sent to Linn by the company. They are a sort of Kafkaesque dumbshow of bureaucratic non-answering, culminating in the customer service version of "Die in a fire," to whit, "We wish you luck in locating a retailer better able to meet your needs and will not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters," a comment signed by "Michael Murphy, Executive Customer Relations, Amazon.co.uk."

As previously advised, your Amazon.co.uk account has been closed, as it has come to our attention that this account is related to a previously blocked account. While we are unable to provide detailed information on how we link related accounts, please know that we have reviewed your account on the basis of the information provided and regret to inform you that it will not be reopened. Please understand that the closure of an account is a permanent action. Any subsequent accounts that are opened will be closed as well. Thank you for your understanding with our decision.
I appreciate this is not the outcome you hoped for and apologise for any disappointment this may cause. -- Read More

Anxiety Ahoy: Amazon Now Ranks Author Popularity

What is the point of the best-seller list? Depends who you are. If you're a reader, it's a guide to what's popular — what's new, what your neighbors are buying, and what you might like to read next. If you're a publisher, it's a source of feedback and a sales tool: It tells you how your books compete, and gives you triumphs to crow about on paperback covers.

If you're an author, however, the best-seller list can feel awfully personal. It tells you how much the world values your work. It may be a sign of your economic future — say, whether you're going to be able to buy an apartment. It speaks to your professional future as well: whether your career is working out, and whether you're going to be able to sell your next book. And, unlike the private sales data reported to publishers or tracked by Nielsen through their BookScan service, the best-seller list lives in public. Your mom will see it; so will your high school nemesis. If your book makes the list, you can forever after be accurately described as a "best-selling author."

Full piece on NPR

Kindle Book Credit

Amazon has been sending out this email as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states.

Dear Kindle Customer,

We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories, including yours. You do not need to do anything to receive this credit. We will contact you when the credit is applied to your Amazon.com account if the Court approves the settlements in February 2013.

Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices. Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account. If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. While we will not know the amount of your credit until the Court approves the settlements, the Attorneys General estimate that it will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book that you purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. Alternatively, you may request a check in the amount of your credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements, set forth below. You can learn more about the settlements here:
www.amazon.com/help/agencyebooksettlements

In addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers’ ability to set e-book prices. We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.

Thank you for being a Kindle customer.

The Amazon Kindle Team

Amazon, Forced to Collect a Tax, Is Adding Roots

By building warehouses across the country, the retailer hopes to cut as much as a day off its two-day shipping times.

Booksellers concede that Amazon, which offers a flat annual rate for fast shipping to encourage frequent orders, is still likely to be cheaper even when it collects taxes. The most Mr. Barnard can hope is that Amazon’s notoriously low margins — it makes little more than a penny for every dollar in sales — will eventually catch up with it. “Same-day delivery is very, very expensive,” he said.

States began aggressively asserting that Amazon should collect taxes in 2008, when New York passed a law compelling the company to do so. Amazon is challenging the law in court but is collecting the tax for now.

Full article

Hats off to Amazon

When the story of how Amazon came to dominate the consumer book business is written ten years from now, there will need to be a chapter entitled “September 6, 2012?.

Commentary by publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin.

Amazon to Allow Kindle Fire Users to Pay to Block Ads

In an apparent switch in its pricing policy, Amazon said over the weekend that it would allow users of its new Kindle Fire tablet to pay to turn off ads as it had done with earlier devices.

Full article

Amazon announces new Kindles

Amazon announced three new Kindle Fire tablets and three new e-ink Kindles today.
Two of the e-ink models have a built in screen light.

Here are some articles:

1) Kindle Paperwhite Hands On: What a Beautiful Screen (Gizmodo)

2) Amazon Showcases New Kindle Tablets; Shares Hit All-Time Highs (WSJ)

3) Amazon answers glowing Nook with Kindle Paperwhite (dvice)

4) Amazon introduces larger, cheaper Kindle tablets (USA Today)

Amazon Glacier Cheap Data Archiving and Backup

A newish service from Amazon that might be useful to more than a few folks around here: Amazon Glacier

Amazon Glacier is an extremely low-cost storage service that provides secure and durable storage for data archiving and backup. In order to keep costs low, Amazon Glacier is optimized for data that is infrequently accessed and for which retrieval times of several hours are suitable. With Amazon Glacier, customers can reliably store large or small amounts of data for as little as $0.01 per gigabyte per month, a significant savings compared to on-premises solutions. -- Read More

Amazon forces Unglue.it to Suspend Crowdfunding for Creative Commons eBooks

Amazon forces Unglue.it to Suspend Crowdfunding for Creative Commons eBooks
Amazon Payments has informed us that they will no longer process pledge payments for Unglue.it, forcing us to suspend all active ungluing campaigns. According to a Senior Account Manager at Amazon, Amazon has decided against “boarding fresh crowdfunding accounts at this time”. Amazon has been providing payment services for Unglue.it, as it does for the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

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