“1. There are thousands of free Kindle books on Amazon, but it’s hard to find them.
2. Use this Google search instead to limit clutter and find most relevant results….”
“Scholars at a British university have condemned “unlawful” attempts to sell their Ph.D. theses without permission on Amazon’s Kindle service.
The outcry follows the discovery by academics who did their doctoral studies at Durham University that their Ph.D. dissertations had been scraped from the university’s online thesis repository, where they are freely available, and were being sold as individual titles for as much as 9.99 pounds ($13.68).
Around 2,000 Ph.D. theses — many of which appeared under the authorship of “Durham Philosophy” — had been made available as Kindle ebooks, according to Sarah Hughes, vice chancellor’s research fellow in human geography at Northumbria University….”
“Amazon has generally been reluctant to allow libraries to have access to its ebooks, preferring instead to make those available via its own Kindle ebook store. Public advocacy groups and libraries however have taken strong exception to this and are demanding easy availability of the Amazon titles via libraries to allow the public to have easy access to the information contained therein.
Fortunately for book lovers, Amazon indicated it is deliberating licensing its digital titles to libraries though any concrete development on this is yet to be seen on the ground. The Hill however did confirm the Digital Public Library of America is discussing with Amazon Publishing on this though no one knows for sure how soon we can see the content being available in public libraries.
Michele Kimpton, director of business development and senior strategist for the Digital Public Library of America also confirmed to Publisher’s Weekly they have been discussing this with Amazon Publishing and that the talks have been going on since spring. Kimpton however said they have made good progress on this so far so that the Amazon titles can well be seen in libraries on the DPLA exchange by early 2021 itself. That said, some outstanding issues still remain and are being worked upon….”
“Amazon’s refusal to sell e-books published in-house to libraries is sparking backlash as demand for digital content spikes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Librarians and advocacy groups are pushing for the tech giant to license its published e-books to libraries for distribution, arguing the company’s self-imposed ban significantly decreases public access to information.
“You shouldn’t have to have a credit card in order to be an informed citizen,” Michael Blackwell, director of St. Mary’s County Library in Maryland, told The Hill. “It’s vital that books continue to be a source of information and that those books should be democratically discovered through libraries.”
A petition launched last week by Fight for the Future, a tech advocacy group, calls for Congress to pursue an antitrust investigation and legislative action against Amazon for its ban on selling e-books to libraries. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had nearly 13,000 signatures….
Amazon has indicated it is in discussions to allow its e-books to be licensed by libraries, but so far the public institutions are unable to access Amazon’s digital titles.
Issues surrounding library e-books go beyond Amazon. Traditional publishers have become increasingly restrictive regarding e-books, Blackwell said, but they at least offer options for libraries to license and distribute those books.
The crux of the issue is how e-books are sold. Whereas libraries can lend out physical copies of purchased books for as long as they hold up, libraries must adhere to licensing agreements that constrain how long they can keep e-books in circulation.
The top publishing firms typically have two-year licensing contacts for library e-books, with options to extend for another two years, said Alan S. Inouye, senior director of public policy and government relations at the American Library Association.
But unlike their traditional publishing peers, Amazon does not allow libraries to purchase the e-books it publishes, leaving no option for libraries to access what Amazon says is “over 1 million digital titles” that consumers “won’t find anywhere else.”…”
” In a memo to authors and agents last month, Macmillan CEO John Sargent all but blamed libraries for depressing book sales and author earnings. “Historically, we have been able to balance the great importance of libraries with the value of your work,” Sargent claimed. “The current e-lending system does not do that.”
I’m far from the first to observe this, but the claims in Sargent’s memo are questionable at best….
Do publishers and authors see the library’s relationship to them as more symbiotic, or parasitic?…”
There are dark hints that the hand of Amazon is at work in the current tensions over library e-book lending, including reports that Amazon reps have been showing publishers data to portray library e-book lending in a negative light….”
“Why go through all the trouble of writing a book, only to give it away?
Answer: To build an audience.
As we’ve seen in case study after case study, doing business online becomes much easier and much more profitable if you have a built-in audience who loves your work.
I made the case that having a “permafree” book on Amazon is the equivalent of guest blogging on steroids. It’s one of the most highly-trafficked sites in the world, which means the potential to get tens of thousands of eyeballs on your book. You’ll never find a bigger “guest posting” opportunity.
And like a good guest post, your free book can lead people back to your site to learn more about you and opt-in for additional useful content….”