A situation blew up at Amazon over the weekend which is ghosting most KDP ebooks (and many Amazon imprint titles) for international readers who use the US Kindle Store — which has also exposed a glaring security problem. Amazon appears to be unaware of either issue.
This issue — which is either a bug or a very badly bungled roll-out — is causing great confusion as its effects are only visible to those outside the USA, which might explain why Amazon has been so slow to address it, or even understand the problem, it seems.
The first reports of this issue were from a few weeks ago when Australian readers who use the US Kindle Store were unable to see a handful of new releases. It seems to have spread significantly since then. This weekend I noticed the issue myself for the first time. Buy buttons had disappeared from a couple of my ebooks and they were no longer appearing in Search results or on my Author Page. It was as if they had been ghosted. Read More…
With the opening of Amazon Spain last month, the French Kindle Store last week, and strong rumors of more to follow, I thought it was a good time for an overview of the European e-book market. While most of the events and companies (and writers) driving change are American, and while the US is far ahead in terms of e-reader adoption rates and e-book sales, the book business is a global trade (which some estimate at $90bn per year), of which America is but one, albeit significant, market. As the situation is less developed than in the US, there is less hard data and quality analysis, so forgive me if this is a little spotty. If anyone has better sources, Read More…
Writers often wonder why the growth of e-books is so much slower in the rest of the world. There are a number of reasons for that, but one big factor is the $2 surcharge that Amazon levies on all e-books in most international countries. This charge is levied by Amazon, and kept by Amazon, and has nothing to do with taxes.
I have been alerted to some inconsistent and unfair e-book pricing policies by Amazon in certain countries. If you read e-books, and live outside the US, this information could drastically affect how much you pay. If you are a writer, and are selling internationally (and you should be, this is a global $80bn business), this is harming your sales right now. When you go to Amazon.com and search for my e-book, you will see a price of $0.99, $1.16 or $3.44, depending on which country you live in. Whichever price you pay, I still get $0.35. Aside from 15 percent in sales taxes, Amazon keep the rest. Let me explain.
I had promised that this blog will have more of an international focus, and that hasn’t been the case to date. My excuse is that most of the companies and events driving change have been American, and the US is far ahead of the world in terms of e-reader and e-book adoption rates. And it’s where the rest of the world is headed at greater or lesser speeds. At this point we have covered a lot of the basics, so it’s time to take a little trip around Europe to see what’s going on in some of the larger book markets.