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Amazon

Amazon to Give Out Scholarships to Students

amazonstudentAmazon has introduced a scholarship program to help American college students fund their way through school. The Amazon Student Scholarship is a merit-based contribution that will supply 50 undergrads with $5,000 in tuition money and $500 for textbooks.

Applicants must be members of Amazon Student and be enrolled in an accredited, nonprofit two- or four-year university in the U.S. Students can apply for the award now through November 20 for a Fall 2015 scholarship. Follow this link to apply.

Here is more about what the company is looking for: “Finalists will be selected based on GPA, community involvement, and leadership experience, and then invited to complete an essay to advance to the final round. Winners will be notified in April 2015 and the scholarship awarded in July 2015.”

 

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Amazon’s eBook Collection Gets a New Book Every 5 Minutes

amazon304Feel like your novel is getting lost in a sea of other titles in Amazon’s Kindle store? It’s not surprising, as the store’s inventory is growing at an incredibly  rapid pace.

Just how fast? Author Claude Nougat has pegged it at 12 books an hour or about one new book every five minutes. He watched the collection grow from 3,376,174 results to 3,376,186 in an hour, in order to come to this conclusion. Here is more from his blog:

In 24 hours, the number had climbed to 3,378,960, that’s 2786 more books – let’s say, 2,800 a day, that’s over one million books per year – and probably growing at an exponential rate that I cannot calculate for the moment; I haven’t got the data though Amazon does (I wonder whether they are as scared as I am).

German Authors Unite Against Amazon

amazon304German-language writers have joined their English-language counterparts and organized a protest against Amazon.

More than 1,000 authors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have come together to challenge Amazon for hurting authors in its negotiations with the Bonnier Group. In a letter addressed to readers and Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, writers have accused Amazon of not carrying popular books as a result of dispute. In addition, they claim that Amazon has manipulated recommendation lists at the expense of their books.

“We authors are of the opinion that no book seller hinder or even customers should discourage the purchase of books selling books,” reads the letter (translated in Google). “Amazon has no right,  to take ‘into jail,’ a group of authors, which is not involved in the conflict. On top of that a book seller should not inform its own clients incorrectly or hinder their purchases by artificially extended delivery times.” (Via The New York Times).

Amazon’s Russ Grandinetti Says Only Writers & Readers Are Necessary

amazon304Russ Grandinetti, senior vice president at Amazon & head of Kindle, thinks that the publishing industry is experiencing a major shift.

The Guardian published quote from Grandinetti over the weekend, in which the Amazon exec said: ”The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader. Everyone who stands between those two has both risk and opportunity.”

Last week, more than 900 authors ran a letter to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos as a full page ad in The New York Times yesterday. The letter, which included signatures from bestselling authors Stephen KingMalcolm Gladwell and Suzanne Collins, asked Bezos to end the company’s dispute with Hachette. Amazon responded with an email to readers, calling readers to email the president of Hachette and demand lower eBook prices.

EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED SINCE IT WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED.

Amazon & Purdue University Team on Textbook Selling

purdueuniversityAmazon has teamed up with Purdue University in Indiana to sell discounted textbooks to college students.The Purdue Student Store on Amazon will offer textbooks for up to 30 percent off.

students can use the site to rent or  buy new and used print textbooks, as well as to purchase and rent digital textbooks from Kindle. Students can order books online and pick them up at locations on Purdue’s campus. They can also have the books shipped to them directly.

“This relationship is another step in Purdue’s efforts to make a college education more affordable for our students,” explained Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, in a statement. “With the pressure on college campuses to reduce costs, this new way of doing business has the potential to change the book-buying landscape for students and their families.”

Executor of Orwell’s Estate Calls Amazon Out on Misquoting the Author

amazon304Earlier this week, Amazon sent out a letter to Kindle readers defending the low price of its eBooks, quoting George Orwell’s perception of paperbacks in its defense.

However, as The New York Times pointed out, the company took Orwell’s ironic comments out of context and failed to share his true point of view on the subject.

Bill Hamilton, the literary executor for the Orwell estate, responded to the story with a letter to the editor published in The New York Times. Check it out:

I’m both appalled and wryly amused that Amazon’s tactics should come straight out of Orwell’s own nightmare dystopia, “1984.” It doesn’t say much for Amazon’s regard for truth, or its powers of literary understanding. Or perhaps Amazon just doesn’t care about the authors it is selling. If that’s the case, why should we listen to a word it says about the value of books?

Amazon Misinterprets George Orwell in Push Against Hachette

amazon304In response to an author campaign against Amazon in the Hachette battle, the online giant sent out a letter to Kindle readers defending the low price of eBooks. In the letter, the Seattle-based company talks about how the literary establishment has a history of not supporting new formats.

“The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if ‘publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.’ Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion,” reads the letter, which challenges publishers on eBook price collusion and defends low eBook prices.

However, as The New York Times points out, this Orwell quote was taken out of context. Check it out:

When Orwell wrote that line, he was celebrating paperbacks published by Penguin, not urging suppression or collusion. Here is what the writer actually said in The New English Weekly on March 5, 1936: “The Penguin Books are splendid value for sixpence, so splendid that if the other publishers had any sense they would combine against them and suppress them.”

Kensington Publishing Spent 1.5 Years Negotiating 1 Year Amazon Contract

kensington 200Hachette and Amazon have spent months trying to negotiate a deal, which still seems to be miles away. How long will the negotiations be going on? It could be a while yet.

The Wall Street Journal revealed that the small publishing house Kensington Publishing spent 18 months battling Amazon to forge a one-year deal.

Check it out: “Steven Zacharius, president and chief executive of Kensington, said the deal took so long to resolve partly because ‘each person got entrenched and didn’t want to budge. But at a certain point there has to be compromise.’ Both sides gradually made concessions, he said, enabling them to reach agreement. Mr. Zacharius declined to discuss specifics of why it took so long to negotiate a new pact. Such contracts typically include the size of the discount that the publisher allows the retailer off its list prices, payment terms, and promotional funding. However, he characterized the final agreement as ‘a fair deal for both parties.’”

Amazon Defends eBook Pricing in Hachette Fight

amazon304Amazon has come out and defended its eBook pricing model arguing that a $14.99 or $19.99 is “unjustifiably high for an e-book.”

In a post on the Amazon Forums, the company argues that since eBooks don’t require printing, warehousing or  transportation costs, they should be less expensive than print books. Here is more from the post:

It’s also important to understand that e-books are highly price-elastic. This means that when the price goes up, customers buy much less. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000.

The Onion Parodies The Kindle


New Kindle Helps Readers Show Off By Shouting Title Of Book Loudly And Repeatedly

The Onion has created a video report about a fake new Kindle that supposedly shouts out the name of the book that you are reading so that you can brag about your reading list to those around you.

“With one click downloads, you can see a title you want online, press a button and within minutes let everyone around you know that you are reading that big fancy book by Joan Didion,” explains an executive in the video.

We’ve embedded the video above for you to enjoy.

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