What Amazon has created is nothing short of extraordinary and as of yet I have heard virtually nothing about it. The new Digital Text Platform site that they have prepared is astounding in that any individual or organization or company can register and receive assistance in the creation of a Kindle version of their work. Registering is easy and somewhat exciting when you realize you are also registering where for them to send the money when someone has purchased your work. Currently the terms under which you would operate once you have published can be seen here and it would appear that as the author you will receive 35% of the cover price. I am looking into the terms and conditions document and will probably see many things I will initially not like, but on first blush it still seems extremely easy to get a work published and into the largest electronic bookstore around.
If you have access to anyone that knows the print industry and can comment on these conditions please send me an email as I would be very interested in interviewing them perhaps for their thoughts on the agreement. Apparently it is a modification of the self publishing that was available for mobipocket books, but it seems to me having your work available at amazon.com would be a much larger incentive to electronically publish than a site that I head never heard of before the Kindle.
If you Hate the terms or Love them pop over to the discussion forums and leave your feedback. I have been toying with a book for almost a year now and can see myself plunging into it with a bit more enthusiasm now that I can really see it getting published. Self publishing is always an option but it was too expensive and I suspect that getting a self published book onto Barnes and Nobles shelves would be quite hard much less having the funds to front the creation of sufficient copies to get any momentum nationally. This format offers a new hope for people that would love to get their work out there, and if it is any good then it may actually prosper and see physical print publishing. For some reason that still seems like my ultimate goal as I am prejudiced to think that an e-Book is somehow less permanent than a true printed one. What do you think? Will that ever change?
I just got off the phone with Kindle support from Amazon. It was amazingly simple, I went to manage my Kindle, the one that won’t arrive until the 11th and clicked the Kindle support Tab. Then clicked Contact Us and selected the phone tab. I entered my number and clicked the call button and the phone just rang. Not like a while for them, I mean instantly next to me. I answered and it said It was amazon Kindle support calling please hold, then less than 10 seconds later I was speaking to a human asking what he could do for me.
My problem was I had just sent an email with an 11 MB word doc attached to it to the free conversion site at amazon. For those of you like me who thought it was .10 cents to convert any document, that is only true if you want it emailed to your Kindle directly. If you happen to be at home with your Mac or PC for that matter you can email it to your kindle name @free.kindle.com it will convert the doc nd send you back an email letting you know it is done. There lies the rub, it was a little to easy. The email says “?????@gmail.com has sent the following files to your Amazon Kindle free conversion account:”NETBible_Noteless.doc”". The email address is a mail link and the doc name is a link as well, but it never occurred to me to click on it. That was why i had called to find out where my mystery doc had gone, I had expected it to be at my Amazon library. But no, it just a link, click on it and your getting the file to your Mac, too easy.
I was amazed at the size of the converted document, it was 11 MB now it is only 3.8MB which makes me think the format is a compressed one. In any event the impressive feat was the ease at which i got a human to talk to me, and they had the answer, albeit a fairly easy one in a snap. Kudos to amazon for creating a non-800 number or toll number support solution that undoubtedly is making use of a voip back end, but who cares I was helped jiffy quick.
Well you need not worry about how hard it might be to return an e-Book to amazon. Same day service in fact. When purchasing a copy of the bible for my Kindle I chose what I thought was the tried and true NIV version. In fact when I received the bill I had indeed selected the “Todays NIV” a newer updated version. Now I have not read the Todays NIV and it may be fine but I did indeed want the other for sure so I used the customer support option again and sent an email this time. The question I posed was “Is it possible to simply switch the books out on their end or did I need to return the original”. Their reply is below.
Hello from Amazon.com.
Thank you for writing about returning “Holy Bible, Today’s New
International Version”, which you recently purchased for your Kindle.
You can return any item purchased from the Kindle Store within seven
days of purchase.
I’ve requested a refund for the purchase and removed the item from
Your Media Library. If the item is still on your Kindle, please delete
that copy. After the refund is issued, you will no longer be able to
access it. I’ve included instructions for removing an item from your
Refunds are issued to the payment method used to make the original
purchase and usually complete within 2 to 3 business days.
You can purchase the correct ASIN # B000FC2KBU at your earliest
Information about making purchases and managing your content is also
available in the Kindle User’s Guide on your Kindle or on our Kindle
Support pages here:
Also, I appreciate that you took the time to include your feedback in
your email to us. It is very important for us to hear about your
experience using Kindle and shopping in the Kindle store. Strong
customer feedback like yours helps us continue to improve the service
we provide, and we appreciate the time you took to write to us. I’ve
passed your feedback along to the Kindle team.
I hope you found this information useful. Our goal is to help you get
the most out of your Kindle experience. If you need further
assistance, please contact customer support at 1-866-321-8851.
Thank you for choosing Kindle.
HOW DO I DELETE AN ITEM FROM MY KINDLE?
To move or remove an item from your Kindle, follow these steps:
1. If you are not already on the Home screen, press the Home key.
2. Scroll the cursor to the Menu selection, and press the Select wheel.
3. Select “Content Manager” from the Home screen menu.
4. Select one or more of the items listed using the check boxes to the
right of each item.
5. Scroll down to the Menu selection, and press the select wheel when
you have finished selecting items.
6. Select “Remove Selected Items” from the Menu.
7. Select “OK” to confirm removal or “Cancel” to abort.
This may seem like a small thing but making it as easy to return a book as buy it was really important to me. If I wander into Barnes and Noble and get a p-Book (Paper Book for those of you like me who didn’t realize there was such an abbreviation, but I was exposed to it recently and thought it funny ) if I get it home and have buyers remorse they will typically take it back the next day with out fuss. Amazons has done the same thing.
The only surprising thing that was said was alluded to in the beginning of their reply… “If the item is still on your Kindle, please delete that copy. After the refund is issued, you will no longer be able to access it.” That would seem to indicate that items that are in the protected .azw format somehow phone home and see that they should not be used. At first blush I was mortified by this apparent phoning home, but upon reflection realize that is the nature of DRM (Digital Rights Management) and really should have expected it.
Since I did return the book it is only fair and correct that they have some way of insuring I do not continue to use it. I think that despite my Orwellian tendency to dislike any type of phoning home that this is exactly why I don’t have to pay for the wireless portion of the device. I can see this type of action occurring in a great number of devices and portends the ability for a MP3 device to truly be a subscription device shutting off access on a timed or tethered function in the future. But more on that perhaps later.
For now buy all the books you want, if you really hate them within the first 7 days you can return them, pretty much hassle free. How long will that policy remain unchanged? With the ability to shut them off by DRM perhaps a while, but there are some pretty fast readers out there. How long before we can simply rent a book?