Tuesday, September 03, 2013

I'm Rich

It pays to read. In a way. Not that it's a lucrative activity, but when you add up all the e-books and divide byseventy-three cents and, well, actually, I'm not rich. I don't fit the class for which a settlement has been reached.

American readers who bought e-books for their Kindle from Amazon have been notified that they are in line for refunds from certain publishers, such as Hachette or Penguin. The publishers are being punished for going along with the agency model that was put into place when Apple was getting ready to open the iBookstore, an arrangement that the U.S. court decided was in violation of anti-trust legislation.

So you, the lucky Amazon Kindle book purchaser, will get a reward for the suffering that you endured because Apple and the major publishing houses tried to set e-book prices, sometimes lower than the price set by Amazon.

How will you spend your windfall?

You have few options. In fact, you have a single option.

The amount that the court decreed was a just punishment to the publishers will appear as a credit on your account when next you buy from Amazon.

Who is being punished?

The agency model was designed to counter Amazon's attempt to monopolize the e-book market, and the behemoth stands to gain as the publishers pay the price of collusion. Book buyers get nothing if they do not buy from Amazon, but if you're disgusted with Amazon, you have no choice but to forgo the bonus or swallow your pride and boost Amazon's bottom line.

Maybe you'd rather have a cheque to use as you'd like, but that is not the court's decision. Instead, Amazon stands to gain even more. Why buy the latest best-seller from some other source when you're going to get the book cheaper at Amazon by cashing in your credit?

It doesn't make sense, does it? But that's how these settlements often work out.

If you're determined to use the credit because who can pass up free money these days, why not use it for some fine Irish historical fiction? There are no less than four novels that are well worth reading, and you can easily download them to your Kindle from the Smashwords website. If Amazon is going to get rich, at least you can get richer through fiction that is both enlightening and intriguing.

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