Amazon's Kindle Unlimited: Netflix for Books? - Comments Page 2

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Posted by:

Jim Kniskern
25 Jul 2014

Yesterday our computer club at the Newark Senior Center was enlightened by the state's association of public libraries on the expanding use of ebooks and emagazines online throughout Delaware.

This free service to all using their local library card online is provided through the firm named "Overdrive", who manages checkouts and usage in order to protect the rights of publishers. This has become a popular alternative to paying for digital copies, and is expanding rapidly.

You may wish inform your readers of this trend; start by viewing "lib.de.us".

Posted by:

RichF
25 Jul 2014

Rather than spend $120 a year or more, I download books from my library for $0.

Posted by:

MJ
25 Jul 2014

I have a Nook and between the Public Library, Book Bub, Kobo and B & N's Free Book Fridays, I have enough avenues to avoid paying any subscription fees for books.

Posted by:

Michele
25 Jul 2014

Another great editorial! I want to support authors and other artists. It is good to know how we can support them. Public libraries make selections and read reviews and are excellent supporters of the creative people. Publishers and amazon and the like are burning and pillaging - to what end? Thank you again Bob. I am a fan.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I have no problem with public libraries, but it's a fallacy to think that they are free. Taxpayer dollars are used to build and maintain the library, and to pay the staff that works there.

And as for supporting authors, I'm not sure how they do that. Seems you could make a stronger case that they undercut authors because they give away a product for free, that would otherwise have to be purchased at a bookstore.

Posted by:

Mary S.
25 Jul 2014

I read 4 - 6 books a month, more if I can get audiobooks to "read" in the car, or while on the computer.

Since I started with Amazon Prime, I've been annoyed/angry that you can watch as many movies as you want, but only read one free book per month only if you own a Kindle. Another Prime user can watch 3 or more videos in the time it takes me to read a book. Because of that, among other things, I will continue to buy the books from my favorite authors and get other books from the library instead of giving Amazon more money.

Posted by:

Mary S.
26 Jul 2014

I read 4 - 6 books a month, more if I can get audiobooks to "read" in the car, or while on the computer.

Since I started with Amazon Prime, I've been annoyed/angry that you can watch as many movies as you want, but only read one free book per month only if you own a Kindle. Another Prime user can watch 3 or more videos in the time it takes me to read a book. Because of that, among other things, I will continue to buy the books from my favorite authors and get other books from the library instead of giving Amazon more money.

Posted by:

IanG
26 Jul 2014

Free Lending Libraries on the High Street are supposed to pay royalties to the authors whose books are lent out.

By the way, it's interesting to note the high standard of English contained within these comments by the book-reading section of your subscribers, Bob.

Posted by:

William Chamberlin
26 Jul 2014

Amazon.com in my opinion, is playing a risky business. I had a book published 1991 and its still in print. Amazon.com sells it for $285 a book. I, being the copyright owner, receive a royalty for every hard copy of the book they sell. My royalty comes from my publisher. However, Amazon.com took it on their own to digitize my book and now sells it for their Kindle for $235 per copy. They did this without written permission or any other kind of permission from me, the copyright owner, and they do not pay a royalty on it's sale. They probably do this on a wide scale knowing that most authors do not have the money to heir a copyright lawyer or they are not willing to go through all the trouble. When I wrote amazon.com about all of this, all they did was send me their lawyers phone number. Every Kindle sale of my book at $235 is pure profit to them and all they invested in was one scan of my book. What can a poor author do to protect themselves? Evidently, copyright laws don't do anything to protect an author. Amazon.com has all the money they need to protect themselves. I live only on Social Security and need any extra money I can earn which isn't much being handicap.

Posted by:

Judyth
26 Jul 2014

First of all, a comment on an Editor's Note above: publishers and authors do get their share on library purchases, which are generally hardcover editions and cost more than people pay in bookstores. E-book lending programs also often make the library pay again after a certain number of loans, Finally, most people who borrow from a library would otherwise not read the book, let alone pay the full price, and neither publishers nor authors like it when people don't read their books. Few books do better than break even over time, and publishing is a gamble that one book will earn enough to make all the effort put into the others worthwhile. (Yes, I work in publishing and it's no way to get rich but we do it anyway.)

As for Amazon, I have no love for them or their business practices. Their attitude is that any money a publisher now makes can be taken over by fair means or foul. Their attitude towards authors is to exploit the naive and reserve the right to cut their earnings unilaterally at any time: just ask anyone whose book is on Audible.com and now co-opted into KU as well.

Anyway, most of the "over 600,000" books in KU simply aren't worth reading unless you're fond of badly-written and/or short formulaic works written hastily and published unedited. If you love books in e-format, you'd do better to look at the 2,000,000 or so available from Project Gutenberg at no cost. Few are new ones (unless an author chooses to release them to the public domain) but you can find almost any subject or genre and I suspect there's a much higher proportion of good ones. (I've got about 100 of them on my little Kobo, along with a few newer ones worth paying for.)

Posted by:

Sharon H
26 Jul 2014

I don't read ebooks. I stare at screens enough (PC, TV). I love the feel of a solid tome in my hands, physically turning pages and that wonderful scent of paper and ink. Oh yes, and the pictures, which never, ever look as good on one of these reading devices as they do on a physical page. In fact, almost every Kindle ebook I've read from Amazon has unforgivable grammatical and/or spelling errors. And a lot don't even have the illustrations that appear in the "real thing".

Sorry, but tackling something like Tuchman's 720 page "A Distant Mirror" on an ebook reading device will assure that my next prescription for glasses will require a higher power.

P.S. Libraries work fine for me. They are free, and that price is unbeatable. Debate on, my digital friends!

Posted by:

fillst
26 Jul 2014

Canadian. Libraries and Kindles are at odds. Read a lot. Will try anything. Thanks

Posted by:

Susanna Perkins
26 Jul 2014

I've signed up for the trial, and been very disappointed.. I read 4-5 books a week, and there's no way it's worth it for me because they just don't have the books I'm looking for.

OTOH, I've been happy with Scribd, and decided to stick with them after the trial period was over. While I prefer reading on my Kindle, reading on the tablet is fine and they have a much better selection.

Posted by:

bb
27 Jul 2014

I always found it interesting the lawsuit brought by Apple and a bunch of publishers against Amazon was because they called Amazon a monopoly that "set prices *too* low." (Apple & co. lost and had to pay Amazon a nominal {at least for Apple} fine.)
I guess someone has to suffer if prices are "too low" but it isn't the consumer.
Personally, I think prices for e-books are still too high compared to physical books. No paper, no printing, no shipping, no storage, no handling, no mailing, and no returns. All the things that publishers claim that make books expensive.

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