Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
On the one hand, this sort of thing can be positive. TheRegister- Amazon enrages authors as it switches to 'pay-per-page' model
(actually, before I get started on this, I know the current system is the library system, but if this takes off there is extreme temptation for it to become the norm. Adobe already got caught building pay-per-page code in to their system some time ago. If we don't sort this out now, then it could easily become the norm for e-books.)
Ever spent a few quid on a hyped book that turned out to be a piece of trash? I wonder how this would have affected the sales of something like 50 Shades by the people who picked it up, read a few pages and decided, "Yeuch." If someone ends up getting a refund of 95% of their price, it gives them freedom to pick up another book, because the risk isn't that great.
We're in recession. Wages are tanking and while I'd like to be smug and say, "What's a few quid?" Actually, that few quid is becoming a larger issue for more and more families as things like zero hour contracts and part time work grips the nations purse strings more tightly than ever before.
However, Amazon have always had the, "take a peak," function for you to get a flavour of the book before you start; although it is tied to the live web site for some; others do offer the ability to download a sample to your device.
As an author, do I welcome this? No.
Technologically, it will be a nightmare.
It will start with people downloading a book and then knocking the device off the network so it can't phone home. Then they'll read the book and, "Oops! My device froze and I just had to hard-reset it!"
So they'll start withholding the last 5% of a book until the device phones home, which will then piss off the customer who's on the beach, travelling on a coach, on a ferry, a plane, etc. comes to the end of the book and can't get a signal! Doh!
Technologically speaking, it will be a massive own-goal. On top of that, it will be a sticking plaster over a gaping wound; the wound being that there is no trustworthy way for the average reader to know about new works, trial different things or get a recommendation that they can trust.
Let's face it, no one trusts Amazon or any of the publishing houses, who all have their own wares to punt. GoodReads built up a reasaonable community, until Amazon bought it out and have been driving it in to the floor ever since. Have you tried to get a sales link for a book other than an Amazon affiliate up there lately?!?! They've even got some of the Indie recommendation sites tied up tight in fuding deals.
Word of mouth is still the prefered way for the customer to find a new book. They've already got plenty of pre-read, try-before-you-buy options. They've already got plenty of opportunities and there are still, "returns," mechanisms on their side.
What we need ... all of us ... readers and authors alike ... is to get the hell off Amazon completely.