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Kobogeddon & “The Stars Were Right”

So last week The Kernel broke a story about Amazon and other ebook retailers selling selling “barely legal” erotic fiction. While there hasn’t been much of a response from Amazon, ebook retailer Kobo immediately reacted by removing all indie books, not just erotic fiction, from its UK store, pending review.

Now this week many indie titles in the US and CA stores are currently unavailable, and the internet is reacting. As an indie author I had to see if this affected me and yes, even my own title: “The Stars Were Right” is currently listed as unavailable. (Despite having zero erotic content.) Now as I jokingly tweeted last week the good news is some lucky Kobo employee will get to read “The Stars Were Right.” Woohoo! I hope they add it to Goodreads. The bad news is if you were planning on buying Stars for your Kobo device it’s currently unavailable.

It’s frustrating, but fret not, I believe in redundancy and if you want to read “The Stars Were Right” there are still a number of ways you can get it:

You’ll also see both iBooks and Barnes & Noble coming online in the next few weeks, and print copies will be available soon! As always there will be more updates as I have them.

Let’s hope Kobo figures this out and we can all move past the #Kobogeddon and get back to reading some good books.

PwC Projects Consumer eBook Market Surpassing Print by 2017


Laura Hazard Owen posted a fascinating article on paidContent a few days ago that began to generate a lot of buzz. Auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released a report yesterday that projected that the U.S. consumer ebook market will be bigger than the print book market by 2017. Let’s review that again. B-I-G-G-E-R. That’s… er, big news.

2017 isn’t far off and these projections, are in line with other reporting firms. (Laura Hazard Owen gets into it in her article, check it out.) This follows a trend were seeing all over. According to research firm Pew Internet, we’re seeing a huge spike in mobile-only users. (17% of adults) It makes sense that these same users would be consuming all sorts of media—even books—on their mobile devices.

Not that it isn’t already, but if these numbers are even remotely accurate the publishing space is going to get very interesting over the next five years. It’s crazy times we write in.

Amazon poised to sell “used” ebooks

Storm's A Comin'

This article from Publisher’s Weekly has been making the rounds and it should be discussed. As an aspiring novelist and future creator of digital content I am pretty concerned about what it could mean. “Used” digital files means nothing from that files perspective, what this seems to do is essentially hijack the rights away from the creator. It has the potential to be a big mess; I’m not the only one concerned. Let’s hope Amazon is listening.

Amazon’s business model has long been dependent on resellers of used books and other merchandise. But a U.S. patent that Amazon Technologies in Reno, Nev., received last week indicates that the mega-retailer has its sights on digital resale, including used e-books and audio downloads. According to the abstract, Amazon will be able to create a secondary market for used digital objects purchased from an original vendor by a user and stored in a user’s personalized data store.

Boston-based ReDigi opened the first marketplace for pre-owned digital music, which it launched in late 2011, Once a lawsuit that Capitol Records filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan over the way it handles music downloads is behind it, ReDigi plans to expand into e-books and other digital items. In a press release issued yesterday, ReDigi commented that “the Amazon patent is further proof that the secondary market is the future of the digital space and that there is no turning back.”

Barnes & Noble Closing 200+ Stores

Barnes & Noble to shut 200+ stores in the next 10 years

This link has been popping up everywhere, but I wanted to share it here as well. It seems Barnes & Noble will be closing 200+ stores over the next 10 years (Another link HERE in case you’re not a WSJ subscriber.) This is being reported as a strategic move, and they aren’t giving up, etc – still it’s an interesting development.

This isn’t necessarily bad news; book sales are up. What I’m wondering is with the closing of so many big box stores we couldn’t see a resurgence in independent booksellers stepping in to fill the gaps that a big box store has left. A small book shop can operate with significantly less overhead than bloated big box stores, and I’d imagine there is still and will continue to be a market for books sold via foot traffic. (Also, I love indie book shops and hope they never go away.)