It’s almost exactly ten years to the day that the first Kindle was launched, along with the accompanying Kindle Store—as I write these words, at least, on a cold November morning in 2017.
There are a lot of interesting articles circulating about the launch on 19 November 2007 and it’s funny looking back at that first device, which resembled a slimmed-down fax machine. I remember thinking no one would ever use such a clunky thing to read a book, and they certainly wouldn’t pay $399 for it!
The future makes fools of us all.
But maybe Jeff Bezos isn’t quite as visionary as popularly depicted because that first Kindle sold out in five-and-a-half hours. And it didn’t just sell out, it sold its entire Christmas stock. Amazon wasn’t able to put it back on sale until April 2008—five months later. It’s amazing now to think that even Amazon didn’t realize how much latent hunger there was for digital reading. Read More…
Amazon infamously takes a very light touch approach to policing the Kindle Store, except when it comes to KDP Select exclusivity, even when the author is not at fault, as I found out to my cost.
On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, causing myself and several other authors to inadvertently breach the KDP Select exclusivity rule.
Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so. Read More…
I’ve been around for long enough to know that authors can be a skittish bunch. Probably something to do with our over-active imaginations, with an assist from that old writers’ favorite: the whiskey brunch.
More seriously, we are going through a period of unprecedented change so it’s perfectly normal for people to be a little fearful. I think the disruption we are all experiencing is greater than that which has been faced by similar industries. In fact, I think the transition from print book to e-book is akin to going straight from vinyl to MP3, with all that entails.
So, change. Lots of it. And change can be scary – even if you seem to be benefitting from the changes that are happening. I get that. However, at this point, we should all know enough to treat media reports on Amazon (and publishing in general) with the requisite amount of skepticism. As in 100% skepticism. Read More…