07 Jun '14

Random Musings : Amazon may be known as the bad guy by publishers but, for this UK romance reader, they are a necessity

Posted in Random musings / 5 Comments

This week, my twitter has been awash with people talking about the Hachette-Amazon row (for background, see the article here). I’ve seen authors say they are pulling their books from Amazon, bloggers saying they are never buying from there again and, with this looking to go on for months and months, I can only see this situation getting messier and messier. I’d love to stand by the authors I love, love to take a stand against “the giant” but, for me as an international reader, it really isn’t feasible.

As much as I loved reading before I became a kindle girl, I wasn’t much of a romance reader.The UK market isn’t awash with romance, bookshops offering much smaller selections and favouring other genres. If I wanted to read a wider selection, I had to import them but I had no idea what to choose as no one I knew was reading romance. Then I discovered GoodReads and I had more brains to pick on what to chose but my options were still limited to imports for most of the romance lines (I didn’t actually join until 2009 … I just lurked!)

Until Kindle Keyboard came out in 2009, there was no competitive UK store for purchasing eBooks. This mean’t that I was stuck being able to read anything that wasn’t geo-restricted, purchased at extortionate prices, and believe me, there was a lot that was geo-restricted. Once the amazon.co.uk store started, I began to find the authors that I now love, that I religiously buy because they saw the UK as a market and therefore got the rights to sell these books to us. There are still authors that I can’t read (Molly Harper books are not available in eFormat or in physical stores here) but the list is a lot shorter now. Without Amazon, I’d be stuck with a very limited selection of books to read and my book budget would go very far.

I don’t particularly enjoy that I am so dependent on Amazon for my reading addiction. I really hate that I effectively lease books from them that they can take at anytime but, really, what choice do I have? I objected to the price of Shield of Winter this week on Amazon so I looked around. I used Luzme, I used my own initiative and you know what I found? I can’t buy the eVersion of that book anywhere but on Amazon due to Geo-restrictions. I have to pay their ridiculous price if I want to read it in eFormat and, as a previous post stated, that is all I buy now.

I find myself unwilling to hate Amazon as, without them, I wouldn’t have discovered some of my favourite authors or my love of romance novels. If authors do remove their book from Amazon, there is a chance I, and a lot of international fans around the world, will have great difficulty getting hold of their work.

Nix

5 Responses to “Random Musings : Amazon may be known as the bad guy by publishers but, for this UK romance reader, they are a necessity”

  1. BJ Williams

    I’m in total agreement with you. Another reason for me being an avid reader on a limited budget is their audio books are often either on offer or easier to purchase. I use my Kindle frequently as I have arthritis in both thumbs and find it difficult to hold a paperback or hardback book for any length of time . I would miss out on many of my automatic order Authors.

    • They are pretty much the only audio-publishers in the UK but the market is still very small. Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  2. Andrea M

    I’m not a big fan of Amazon, mainly because when another edition of a book comes out, they wipe mine and it’s no longer available even though I paid for it. That said, it’s also my best source of information on good books. I depend on their top 100.

    • Honestly, I can’t stress enough how much I don’t like what they are doing. I really dislike the fact that books disappear all the time when new editions come out especially as, with the now common practice of reclaiming rights, it is happening all the time!

  3. I understand your point of view, I became an international romance/paranormal because I couldn’t find what I wanted around me. But I’m worried about how Amazon is acting not only against editors, but are planning to act against authors (I think of the way they already change covers to make them look more tame, but also that they record what sentences and passages in books us readers underline and may want authors, in a (near ?) future, to write just that so they can sell books that will all look alike.)
    That means that when my kindle expires, and it will, I will try and purchase another tablet… without much expecting a different behaviour from another provider, alas…

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