Alana Joli Abbott (alanajoli) wrote,
Alana Joli Abbott

Oh Amazon

When Amazon first said that the Kindle was going to work with Overdrive back in April, I was excited. As a former library staffer, I thought this could only be a win for library users and libraries in general. Good for libraries how, you say? Circulation statistics help libraries get funding, whether those circs are from print books or e-books. More circs = better library statistics = better chance for grants. So, hurrah Amazon for helping libraries out!

But wait. As of last week, Penguin just pulled all their new books from Overdrive. Why? Apparently the new Kindle/Overdrive platform has increased concerns about security for their digital files. Apparently if you want to borrow a book for your Kindle, your library directs you to Amazon's site, rather than to the Overdrive program (and Adobe Digital Editions), which is how I've always used Overdrive. (This is conjecture on my part, based on news coverage.) According to a recent article in PW, libraries may end up on the losing end of this disagreement, since now only one of the Big Six publishers (Random House) is fully on board with library lending. And they're taking a look at their policy, so who knows, what that will mean for the future?

I hate to sound like I'm always coming down on Amazon. As a resource, I love Amazon. I use them heavily for publication dates and information, and I shop there for all sorts of non-book items. I rent digital-streaming movies from Amazon. I buy music there. I really want Amazon to be the kind of company that I want to shop at. And I don't think that the traditional publishers are automatically in the right. But it seems like there are just too many hijinks where Amazon is concerned to automatically assume that Amazon is the good guy.

Especially, it seems, for independent publishers in international circles. I forget where this link came from (possibly also the PW newsletter), but Mark from The Writer's Guide to E-Publishing breaks down what your book actually costs on Amazon if you're selling it abroad. If you've priced it for free -- or at 99 cents -- that's not what folks in Europe are going to end up paying (and remember, they've got the exchange rate in their favor).

Some day I want to open up the PW newsletter and find some really awesome, feel-good, heart-warming Amazon related news. But I'm not holding my breath.
Tags: amazon, e-books, library
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