What SF has Steve been reading lately?

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danlock

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
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USA
Hmm... is that related to the kindle titles (8 simultaneously? 10?) that those of us with the app are allowed to borrow (and return to exchange for another/others) with our Prime memberships?

[Edit: I now own a Kindle and am no longer limited to just the app]
 
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DanR

Dan
Sep 17, 2020
205
52
Hmm... is that related to the kindle titles (8 simultaneously? 10?) that those of us with the app are allowed to borrow (and return to exchange for another/others) with our Prime memberships?
Nope! That is a second lending option that is independent of the monthly Kindle Free lending @ 1 per month. You can borrow up to 10 items at one time and keep them for as long as you like. BUT: If you then find an "11th" item you wish to borrow, you must first return one of the 10.
 
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danlock

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
169
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USA
Thank you. I really appreciate that. I guess I wasn't paying attention to the plethora of Prime additions provided by Amazon. :confused: (I'm usually good with details. Oh well!)
 

Dave New

Active member
Nov 23, 2020
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9
The nicest surprise for me was to discover that for Amazon Prime members, Ryk Brown's Frontiers Saga is in the lending library. For those that don't know, Prime members with a Kindle (the real one, not the Kindle app on a smartphone, etc), can read a free book a month from the lending library list. How do you know which titles are on the list? Ah, Amazon buries that deeply on their site, making it not very clear. But suffice it to say, I've enjoyed almost all of the first 15 books so far for free, at the leisurely pace of one a month, interspersed with other interesting titles I've found. I'm just about to finish "After On", by Rob Reid, which was mentioned recently on TWIT, and I just purchased the 3rd volume of the Salvation trilogy, so I have plenty of reading material on hand.

Past free books I've read include all seven volumes of the Harry Potter series.
Unfortunately, the free ride at Amazon for Kindle owners is at an end:

Kindle Owners' Lending Library​

As of January 4, 2021, we no longer offer Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL). Readers can continue to read books they previously borrowed through KOLL.

I found this out when I had finished Episode 14 of the first series, and when I went to download the 15th, the 'Read Now' button that appears for KOLL titles was no longer there in the store on my Kindle. I did a Google search for 'Kindle Lenders Library' and the first hit was the above announcement, which was in their publishers' information pages.

Foo. Amazon didn't even bother notifying their Kindle users about this change.

On a similar note, I understand that there is a class-action lawsuit being brought against Amazon, for price-fixing their ebook offerings. I recall some number of years ago, that a number of publishers were revolting because Amazon was discounting their ebook titles. They threatened to take their marbles and go home, and Amazon caved, agreeing to raise all their ebook prices to be commensurate with print title prices. The result is that a good many ebooks on Amazon these days cost almost as much as a trade-size paperback. And Amazon now has a 90% share of the ebook market, making them a defacto monopoly.

It will be interesting to see if the consumer in this case is protected, and hopefully the authors will not get hit if the prices fall. They weren't getting diddly when the prices were high. The publishers should not take this as an opportunity to screw the authors if they are forced to lower their ebook prices. Seems I read someplace that Ryk Brown is considering publishing his next cycle with a different (possibly self-)publisher. He was becoming dissatisfied with the financial arrangements with his current publisher and Amazon. His etitles are priced at US$4.99 each on Amazon, which I think is fair for ebooks of that length, but I figure that meant that Ryk was getting maybe US$0.50 a title. Even if the price was doubled, he'd probably end up with only a US$1.00 a book. Not a good way to make a living.
 

danlock

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
169
55
USA
Unfortunately, the free ride at Amazon for Kindle owners is at an end
Oh, no... 😢

...and I had just remembered (and acted on the memory) to seek out and find the Lending Library for use with the Kindle I got for Christmas.

I see a so-called screensaver on my Kindle now that says Discover new books from this week's list with the Amazon lettering spelling "charts" underneath it, with the Amazon "smile/arrow" going from underneath the C to underneath the S. Those words and logo are centered over a blurred background above a V shape made from a cropped photo of part of a woman's body, reclining with legs up, holding a mug in the left hand with the right hand in the lap next to the mug. I wonder if the "weekly list" has replaced the monthly Lending Library? Activating the Kindle made a rectangular button reading LEARN MORE appear below the logo.



It will be interesting to see if the consumer in this case is protected, and hopefully the authors will not get hit if the prices fall.

Indeed. Publishers provide the bindings and the paper and the ink and the cover images (in some cases) and the formatting and the fonts in many cases, right? From what I can tell, these changes are unlikely to affect how an author uses an editor or an agent, unless those are paid employees of the publisher, which still might not change whether the the fees paid to the editor and/or agent will change at all.

The only difference I can see in this is the format, which is either presented electronically (in the aspect ratio provided by the reader, using the font chosen by the owner of the electronic reader (unless "Use Publisher Font" is selected).

Therefore, the main differences are:
  • Cost of layout and verification/paper/ink/cutting the printed sheets/binding and related equipment and materials, including people or machines who/that verify whether the prints were correctly printed by the machines produced. (for paper books)
  • Cost of positioning on the page of graphics/etc., if any, proofreading, placing of cover graphics and metadata such as authors' or celebrities' endorsements (part of most hard- and softcover jackets).
  • distribution... physical vs. virtual costs
Those publisher's cost differences should only affect the publisher, IMO. If a title is sold for a similar amount in both formats, at least some of the extra should go to the author, right?