The Mighty Kindle

As of June, Kindle had 55% of the ebook market according to Publisher's Weekly. In case you're keeping score, that was a 10% increase. The article goes on to give the percentages of other ebook reader devices, including the iPad -- 15% which was a 2% increase.

There's no denying that the Kindle fulfills one of the 22 immutable laws of marketing: It pays to be first.

Although Kindle wasn't the first ebook reader ever made, it was the one that made it super easy to not only read but also purchase ebooks anytime and anywhere. That makes Amazon a giant among ebook sellers. So far, they're a big winner in the ebook race.

We're a 2 Kindle household, and I'd love to add a Paperwhite Kindle to my collection. I'd also like a Nook Color. Every time I see it advertized on TV, I have to restrain myself. Same for the Kobo Reader and an iPad. Yikes, I'm as bad about gadgets as my hubby is about cars.

The One That Brung You

Like a girl once said, I'm going home from the dance with the boy who brung me. Amazon needs to give some loyalty to those who helped them get to where they are. They need to show some love to indie authors because the ebook selling giant grew in large part because of the indie authors who self-published and made free and cheap books available to the masses. That ready supply of books fueled their growth.

Have they sent a thank you note? Not yet. In fact, they seem to go out of their way to squeeze the authors who helped put them on the map. They won't give the top royalty to authors who sell in India unless the author's book is in the Select program. For the last month, they've undertaken a program of removing reviews written by other authors and posted to an author's book. Here's yet another article on what's happening with Amazon reviews from the Los Angeles Times Book section.

Hey, We Read Too

Long before authors write books, they read books. We're all voracious readers. We have opinions and should have the right to express our opinions. I mean, this is a country of free speech. I've never posted a review that I didn't believe in, and that goes for books and anything else I buy online.

I read a lot, and I review a lot here on SlingWords. I post reviews only if I can in good conscience give a 4 or 5 star review. All the books I read that fall below that standard do not get reviewed because I'm not going to slam any author when I know that it may affect their ability to earn a living.

Maybe part of it is my mother's teaching. She always said, "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all." So if you see all my reviews are 4 and 5 stars, that just means that you get to see only the books I liked, not every book I read.

Amazon sells more of my books than any ebook seller, and I love the ease with which I buy books for my Kindle, but I wish they'd give some thought to improving their business practices where authors are concerned. Reviews are just the tip of the unfairness iceberg. Don't even get me started on their refund policy that allows readers to get a book, keep it for 7 days in which time they probably read it, and then request a refund.

Takeaway Truth

Since it's the season to give thanks, I give thanks that the Kindle, Nook, Kobo Reader, et al were invented. Those wonderful devices made my indie career possible.

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