Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Report of ebook deletions.

This past week Amazon came under serious criticism involving the removal of purchased books from their customer's Kindle reading devices. Here's an article in case you haven't heard about it.
Many readers and writers were instantly appalled, most believing the copies of books they purchased--no matter the format--belonged to them. It wasn't an issue of money; Amazon did credit customers for deleted books. For others, this is a matter of security or a form of censorship. How dare they delete books from my device? How dare they tell me what books I can own or read?

In lieu of the objections, Amazon has apologized.

The question now remains: what happens to ebooks in general? Potential backlash effects are a loss of reader trust in electronic and digital formats. This could result in fewer sales of both ebook readers and books, which translates into fewer stories accepted for electronic publication. Hopefully people will realize this was one distributor's mistake but already many chatters and bloggers have mentioned reconsidering buying a reader, most often citing the Kindle as the one they will avoid.

Ebook sales have been on the rise pretty consistently throughout this economic downturn. Unfortunately, we may have to work a little harder on the writing and publishing side of this business to overcome hestiations brought on by this mistake.
Maybe I'm being pessimistic by expecting some fall out. I'd love to see this become a minor bump in the road. I suppose time will indeed tell.


At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what surprises me the most about all this hoopla, as hoopla goes, is that everyone is so indignant about Amazon ripping the e-books from their readers, but no one is the least indignant about the copyright rip-off that set the whole wagon rolling.

Sorry I missed the Wednesday chat on this subject. I've GOT to get my wireless set up at my house.

Thanks for letting me vent.

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teresa, that was one of the first things I brought up in the chat Wednesday night. I'm putting a lot of the blame on Amazon for not making sure they were selling a legal product. With some checks in place, none of this would have happened. Amazon just jumped too fast, trying to make a buck.


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