Four things you may not know about Amazon

26 Nov

I wanted to clarify some things about ebooks and Amazon. And hopefully that’s what this post will do. If things get confusing, blame Amazon for using the same words to mean completely different things …

You can share ebooks

The House in the Old Wood

Share my books — please!

I have mentioned this before, but Amazon has recently enhanced this ability to share ebooks.

If you buy an ebook, or get it free, you can often share it. Just like a regular book. Authors get nothing when you do this, but go ahead and share it anyway. Why? If an author is still trying to build an audience, like me, you’re helping our chances in the long run when you share a book. If an author already has an audience, and by that I mean they’re selling a lot of books, they won’t miss a little revenue. In fact, most authors are not in this for the money (which is a very good thing). They’re in this for the reader. So share away. More information from Amazon.

Some authors and publishers do not opt into this system. That’s fine. I think it’s their loss – and I think it demonstrates what they think of readers – but that’s their right.

By the way, Amazon calls this “Lending for Kindle.” Clearly, they were trying to avoid any confusion whatsoever when they allowed Amazon Prime users to borrow books, and named that the “Kindle Owners Lending Library,” right?

Oh, and the recent enhancement? Now you can share books with another person (and up to four “child accounts”) as part of the Kindle Family Library. (Not to be confused with the Kindle Owners Lending Library, because that’s something completely different, or Lending for Kindle, which, despite the completely different name, is similar. Ugh.) This is better than sharing a book by lending it; under Lending for Kindle you lend a book for 14 days, and during that time you can’t read it. But the Family Library is unlimited. Find out more.

Want an ebook? Get a massive discount

Karia's Path

Get the ebook for less

If you buy the paperback version of a book from Amazon, you can usually get the Kindle version for almost nothing – free to $2.99. It’s called Kindle Matchbook. All of my books are eligible for Kindle Matchbook, at 99 cents. So if you bought a paperback, and then you get a Kindle, say, for Christmas, you can make that switch inexpensively.

Look for the Kindle Matchbook note next the book cover, near the pricing information at the top of an Amazon listing. (I should note here that Kindle Matchbook is a clever name, but it seems odd that Amazon did not use the word “lending” or “library” when they named this feature.)

Authors get paid when you “borrow,” too

The Hall of the Prophetess

Borrow away!

Sort of. There’s a healthy caveat with this one, depending on which service you use to borrow a book.

Remember, authors get nothing when you are loaned a book through Lending for Kindle or Kindle Family Library.

But Kindle owners using Amazon Prime get one “free” borrow every month. (That’s called the Kindle Owners Lending Library. And that’s completely different from the Kindle Family Library, and from Lending for Kindle. Gosh, somebody buy Amazon a thesaurus, please.) If you use KOLL for one of my books, I get paid when you download it.

And if you’re using Kindle Unlimited, you get unlimited downloads. Since people could, in theory, download thousands of books, Amazon doesn’t pay authors on download. It pays when people have read 10 percent of the book. So under Kindle Unlimited, authors get paid when you actually start reading the book. (Why they didn’t name it the Kindle Unlimited Library, I don’t know.)

What my “sort of” does not mean is that authors get “sort of” paid. If a Kindle book price is reasonable, the amount authors get from each sale is not far off what they receive for each “borrow.” When Kindle Unlimited resulted in a massive increase in “borrows,” Amazon put more – and then more – money into the pot that authors split for borrows.

You can follow authors

The Dwarf's Legacy

Get notified about what comes next!

Here’s an easy way to be certain you don’t miss out when an author releases a new book. And it has nothing to do with lending or libraries.

  1. Go to their Amazon Author page. Not all authors have one, but if they do, there are at least two ways to get to it. One way is to go to the Amazon listing for one of their books and “hover” your mouse over it. If they have an Author page, you’ll see a popup (eventually) that says, among other things, “Visit Amazon’s [Author Name] page.” Click on that. Or search for their name on Amazon. Usually the second result will be their author page.
  2. Look on the left, just below their photo. There should be a yellow bar that says, “Add Favorite.” Click on it. Now you’ll be notified if they release another book.

With The White-Silver House and The Man with Two Eyes on the way, you may want to do that at my Amazon Author page.

 

One Response to “Four things you may not know about Amazon”

  1. Austen Rodgers November 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on Austen Rodgers, Writer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: