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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Carr’

Amazon Customer Reviews Policy Debated by Authors and Readers

a.com_logo_RGB1.jpgA massive debate has erupted between readers and writers after Amazon (AMZN) Kindle critics overwhelmed the reviews section for The Big Short by Michael Lewis–complaining not about substance, but the lack of a Kindle edition.

In a blunt TechCrunch post, author Paul Carr generated hundreds of comments about Amazon’s customer reviews policy: “I speak from pained experience as an author when I say that we have absolutely no say on when our books are released, in what format and at what price. And yet we’re the ones who have the most to lose from negative Amazon reviews. A book’s overall star rating is one of the most prominent pieces of information on an Amazon page and many readers–quite reasonably–equate a low average rating with a poorly written book. This damages sales of the book and also damages our reputations as writers.”

These consumer reviews have changed the book review landscape forever. Via Twitter, Changing Hands Bookstore reminded us that Amazon is one of America’s most trusted brands. What do you think–should they change their book review policy?

Follow this link for more GalleyCat Reviews content.

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Quietly, the Amazon and Macmillan Standoff Ends

a.com_logo_RGB1.jpgAfter a week of speculation, the Macmillan and Amazon (AMZN) standoff has ended the way it began–with a New York Times article on a Friday evening after this GalleyCat editor had went home for the night. It appears that the online bookseller has restored the direct purchase buttons to books by the publisher.

Over the weekend, a number of commentators weighed in on the decision. Author Paul Carr wrote: “Macmillan’s attempt to bring back the NBA though, while it might result in a few more hardback sales in the short term, can only end in disaster for everyone concerned.”

On the other hand, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes speculated that the new price model for eBooks could cripple Amazon: “The Kindle is a single-purpose device in a convergent world. Late last year I gave the Kindle three years. Now, that could be as little as 18 months.”

Here’s an excerpt: “Details of the resolution have not been made public, but the restoration of Macmillan books to Amazon’s site indicates a peaceful settlement was reached. ‘I am delighted to be back in business with Amazon,’ John Sargent, chief executive of Macmillan, said in an e-mail message.”

Last week Amazon removed the direct sale buttons for the publisher’s books, writing: “We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books.” More than 2,000 comments have been posted alongside that controversial letter.

Finally, the Authors Guild has created a site to continuously monitor the status of buy buttons for many different Amazon books–Who Moved My Buy Button?

Journalist Suggsts Amazon Should Not Apologize

paulcarr.jpgIn a recent Telegraph column, journalist Paul Carr praised Amazon.com, Inc. for last week’s digital scandal–proposing that the company had every right to remotely remove two titles from users’ Kindles.

The company incurred the wrath of Kindle users when they remotely deleted unauthorized editions of “1984″ and “Animal Farm” that customers had purchased for the e-reader. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apologized, and the company refunded users. According to Carr (pictured, via), it wasn’t a question of censorship, it was a question of author copyright protection.

Here’s more from the unapologetic essay: “[T]hanks to ebooks and the Kindle and Whispernet, the rights of authors–and their reward for spending their lives creating ideas and entertainment that benefit the world–can be protected and actively enforced. For that reason, Amazon were not just justified but obliged, both morally and legally, to take the action they did.” (Via TeleRead)

That e-Book thing Makes a UK Comeback, Sort of

Technology being what it is, an idea deemed unsuccessful a few years ago can suddenly be brand new once more. So it goes with the e-book as Publishing News reports that the Orion Group is to publish its first e-book next year, WEB 2.0 by Paul Carr – most likely as an exclusive with Waterstones.com – and Macmillan has also taken its first digital steps outside the academic world, quietly making around 40 mass-market titles available in e-book form. Carr’s book, published in advance of the paperback, will be available in 2008. Macmillan titles include Meg Cabot‘s PRINCESS DIARIES series.

“We have the digital rights management software in place to block access from territories where we don’t have rights,” said Orion Key Account Manager Mark Stay. “It seemed a good idea to publish it as an e-book first. It seemed the natural way to do it. I don’t think e-books are going to take off until you have an iPod equivalent and you have students using it for all their books. But we want to be ready and I’m sure we’ll learn from the experience.”

The moves come as the industry at large expects an announcement from Amazon concerning its e-book reading device, allegedly called Amazon Kindle, at any moment. Whether the device proves to be a success remains to be seen, but that name isn’t going to help sales, I suspect…