Back in the Saddle: Expanded distribution of Kindle Fire, Barefoot Books leaving Amazon, and more…

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They say time flies when you’re having fun!  Based on that, I’ve been having a TON of fun – and in actuality, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.  I took a little time off to acclimate myself to my new business (Check out my store on Amazon.com) and to take a cruise!  No, there were no fires, emergencies, capsizings, or other disasters.  Just a big group of friends that get together once a year and treat ourselves to some good food and even better company.  Now it’s time for me to get back in the saddle, though, and talk about one of my favorite subjects:  Amazon.com!

Looks like Google is working toward copying certain aspects of Amazon’s successful sales practices. Business-to-business sales is the latest forum, but Google is jumping in quietly and only in a limited way.  They are additionally working to compete with Amazon in three other important areas:  corporate computing, same-day delivery and offering lockers for consumers to receive e-commerce orders.  Of course, it’s also true that Amazon copies Google – witness the Amazon smartphone that will soon hit the market, as well as other audio and video streaming devices and even a set-top box.

Amazon has recently announced that it is going to begin selling its popular Kindle Fire in 170 countries, starting mid-June (thanks to my friend Wendy L. for the heads up!). Until now the Kindles were only available in a handful of countries, including the U.S., the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Japan. Although the iPad remains the strong market leader, with some luck, Amazon will be able to put a little Fire into the competition. (pun intended).  This is also good news for Amazon’s independent authors, because every book sold, no matter where, generates royalties for the writer.  As a independent author and recipient of some of those royalties, distribution in additional markets can only be a great thing for writers.

Barefoot Books has decided to leave Amazon. Why? An article in DigitalBookWorld explains nine reasons, including that they are not dependent on Amazon for their sales (that can only be a good thing for them, I suppose) and they have alternative outlets that perform well for them. Apparently Barefoot Books sells their children’s books mostly through party plans, similar to Tupperware. DigitalBookWorlds thinks they will do quite well.

Ok, so, while I wish Barefoot Books all the luck, would someone please remind me who the heck Barefoot Books is?  I really can’t see this as a business-killer for Amazon.  And in all honesty, I don’t think many Amazon customers are going to lose sleep over it.

And in the meantime, Amazon has just launched Kindle Worlds, a self-publishing platform that is intended specifically for fan fiction. There are several wins in this deal: authors make more money, rights holders are able to monetize further their own intellectual property, and Amazon (big surprise) gets the best of both! Unfortunately for some authors, sexual content is not allowed and the licensors of the material will be able to create – and enforce – guidelines for the fiction written for their property.

Since I have no cruise plans in the very near future, I won’t be able to use that as an excuse to neglect my blogging duties!   See you again soon!

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