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Amazon

Amazon May Have an eBook Subscription Service in the Works

amazon304Amazon may be joining the likes of Scribd and Oyster to offer readers unlimited access to eBooks in exchange for a monthly subscription fee, in the same way that Netflix offers access to movies for paying members.

Community members have been discussing the potential service on the Kindle Boards. It is supposedly called Kindle Unlimited and will allow readers to pay $9.99 a month for unlimited access to Prime books. Posters shared links for the new service on the discussion board, but there is no longer any evidence live on these links. However, there appears to be a “KU” feature in the search menu indicating that perhaps this feature will go live soon.

Amazon already gives free access to streaming movies to Amazon Prime members. In addition, Prime members can borrow one book a month through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to be read on a Kindle device. (Via The Digital Reader.)

Authors Guild Calls Amazon eBook Offer in Hachette Dispute “Highly Disingenuous”

authors_guildWhile Amazon’s latest offer in its ongoing dispute with the Hachette Book Group may look like they are trying to be more friendly towards authors, the Authors Guild isn’t buying it.

Essentially on Tuesday, Amazon told Hachette that they would restock their author’s books if the publishers promised to give the authors 100 percent of the revenues on eBooks sold until the dispute between the companies is resolved.

Richard Russo, novelist and co-Vice President of the Authors Guild, published an open letter to Amazon responding to the offer and calling the offer “highly disingenuous.” Read more

Amazon Makes Author-Friendly Offer to Hachette

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Amazon has made a controversial new offer to Hachette in its ongoing battle with the publisher. The retailer says that it will restock Hachette’s books and pay writers all revenues from the digital sales of their books.

However, there is a catch for the publisher. The Washington Post has the scoop:

“If Hachette agrees, for as long as this dispute lasts, Hachette authors would get 100 percent of the sales price of every Hachette e-book we sell,” Amazon said in a letter sent to authors and literary agents. “Both Amazon and Hachette would forego all revenue and profit from the sale of every e-book until an agreement is reached.”

Hachette has not agreed to this offer. The author-friendly proposal comes after Amazon has faced a huge backlash from authors and readers, including the “I Didn’t Buy It on Amazon” campaign launched by Hachette author Stephen Colbert.

Amazon Adds New Romance Titles to Fan Fiction Worlds

kindleworldsFans of Barbara FreethyBella AndreH.M. Ward and Lucy Kevin can sell fan fiction on Amazon based on selected books from these writers’ work.

Writers can visit this page to start writing for the Kindle Worlds program. Amazon revealed the program earlier last year, allowing authors to write fan fiction based on someone else’s work and share royalties with the rights holders. Here is more about how royalties are paid: ”Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to the rights holder for the World (we call them World Licensors) and to you. Your standard royalty rate for works of at least 10,000 words will be 35% of net revenue.”

Other content included in the Kindle Worlds program include: Ravenswood, G.I. Joe, The World of Kurt Vonnegut, Gossip GirlPretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries; Valiant Entertainment for Archer & ArmstrongBloodshotHarbingerShadowman and X-O Manowar.

 

Amazon Names Top 10 Books of the Year So Far

updikeAmazon’s editors have put together a list of the “Best Books of the Year So Far,” a list of titles that have come out over the year so far that Amazon claims is a must-read.

Adam Begley’s Updike took the No. 1 position on the list. We have the entire list with links and descriptions of the books after the jump.

“It’s never easy to narrow down our favorites, but after much debate and discussion, we’ve arrived at a list that will fit every customer’s summer reading agenda—whether you’re headed to the beach, traveling the world or enjoying a stay cation,” stated Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Print and Kindle Books at Amazon.com. “Updike may seem like an unusual choice for our number one pick, but it’s poised to be one of the best biographies of 2014. It’s a candid, enthralling book that readers won’t be able to put down.”  Read more

Amazon Makes ‘The Silkworm’ Available For Sale

silkwormAmazon has listed J.K. Rowling’s new book for sale on its website. The Associated Press reports that The Silkworm “quickly climbed up the best-seller lists now that it’s finally available for purchase on Amazon.com.”

Hachette Book Group published the new Robert Galbraith book on June 19, 2014. Prior to this date, the giant online retailer did not allow customers to place pre-orders due to its ongoing dispute with the publishing house.

According to The Globe and Mail, several Amazon competitors have been playing this situation to their advantage. The Silkworm currently occupies the number one spot on the Barnes & Noble’s fiction bestseller list.

Amazon Launches Smartphone

unnamedAmazon has gotten into the smartphone business with the launch of the Fire, Amazon’s first smartphone.

Like other smartphones, the Fire acts as a camera/phone and supports apps, email, texting and the like. Amazon App Store apps are available on the device. The Fire boasts two technical capabilities Dynamic Perspective and Firefly Technology. Firefly technology  is designed to recognize digital information in the physical world, making it ideal for for scanning QR codes, for instance. Dynamic Perspective is a feature that lets the phone interact based on how it is held, which is designed for thing alike video games and map reading. The phone has a 2.2 GHz processor and a 4.7″ HD screen and runs the Fire OS 3.5.0 system.

The phones are currently available for presale. The 32GB version is available for $199 and the 64GB version is available for $299. Both require contracts with AT&T. They ship July 25th. Shoppers that buy the phone will also get a free year of Amazon Prime.

Stephen Colbert Challenges Fans to Make ‘California’ a ‘New York Times’ Bestseller

Due to the ongoing dispute between Amazon and Hachette, consumers cannot pre-order Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, on Amazon. When comedian Stephen Colbert first launched his war against Amazon, he asked his followers to buy a copy from Powell’s Books online shop.

We’ve embedded a clip from The Colbert Report TV show where Colbert announced that 6,400 purchases have been made and Lepucki’s book currently occupies the #1 spot on the Powell’s bestseller list. Now, he has issued a new challenge for his fans; purchase California from your local bookstore and help it become a New York Times bestseller.

In addition to Colbert, several members of the literary community have publicly shared their opinions about Amazon vs. Hachette feud including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian author Sherman Alexie, The Fault in Our Stars author John Green and The Ocean at the End of the Lane author Neil Gaiman. Where do you stand on this matter? (via Latin Post)

Worker Deaths at Amazon Facility Prompt Federal Investigation

amazon304The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating the deaths of two temporary workers at Amazon warehouses since December 2013. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited five companies for violations including: the contractor responsible for operating the facility and four temporary staffing agencies.

One man died after he was crushed when he got caught in a conveyor system while sorting items at an Amazon fulfillment center in New Jersey.  Another person died this month at an Amazon Fulfillment Center in Pennsylvania.

“Temporary staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for the safety and health of temporary employees. These employers must assess the work site to ensure that workers are adequately protected from potential hazards,” stated Patricia Jones, director of OSHA’s Avenel Area Office in a press release. “It is essential that employers protect all workers from job hazards — both temporary and permanent workers.”

Kindles on Sale For Father’s Day

kt-slate-01-sm-hoverAmazon is running a Father’s Day sale on Kindle Fire HDX devices and Amazon Fire TV devices.

The retailer is offering up to $40 off of Kindle Fire tablets and $79 off of Amazon Fire TV with Kindle Fire HDX 7″ 16GB Bundle.

Amazon is offering Saturday and Sunday delivery to get it there on time for the holiday.

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