Have you used Amazon Auto-Rip? That’s the service where you purchase a CD and get the MP3 version free. This service started in January 2013, and I mentioned it in this post. Now, Amazon has introduced an extension of the popular service to purchases of vinyl records. Any vinyl purchases made dating back to 1998 will now be automatically added to purchasers’ Cloud Player library! Interesting concept, and it’s more fully explained in Amazon’s Media Room.
Back in the olden days (ten years or so ago) there was a saying “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, with ebooks, since you can’t pick them up, thumb through them (though Amazon does a great job of emulating that with a “look inside”), smell, them, or otherwise judge whether this is a book you want, you pretty much have to go by the cover! This can be a problem for many otherwise talented writers because getting their internal vision translated to the cover depiction can be difficult. Now Amazon has come up with a Cover Creating Tool that will help KDP authors design their own ebook covers. Having spent a LOT of money for a lot of ebook covers that didn’t satisfy, I eagerly look forward to kicking the tires on this tool. Read about it at Digital Book World. According to the article, it should be released “soon,” but that can’t be “soon enough” for me. I wonder, however, whether these ebook covers are only usable on the Amazon platform. I wonder whether Amazon will use this tool to keep more ebook publishers from publishing on other platforms. Interesting to ponder….
In more ebook news, two months after publisher MacMillan’s settlement with the Department of Justice was concluded, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iBookstore are finally competing to match each others’ prices. According to the settlement, no longer can MacMillan dictate to any of the online sellers the terms of their pricing. Discounts on books from other publishers, like Penguin, haven’t started yet, though discounts on Hachette, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins began some time ago. Read the rest of the story at Paid Content.
Finally, an interesting article in Good eReader analyzes the demise of independent online bookstores. The question arises: can any independent sales outlet match the mighty Amazon? I don’t think there’s much question that Amazon can run off any independent, but the next question is: what about the other biggies, like Barnes & Noble? How long do you think B&N can hold up to the pressure? From my observations: not long, but clearly longer than the independents. Note: the author of this article doesn’t think the fault is all Amazon’s. Neither do I.
The thought comes to mind: it’s a jungle out there. Hmmmm; the Amazon Jungle. Sounds about right to me!
Thanks to Yurayura for the image.