Wednesday, July 29, 2009

THE BOOK THIEF

So how would you feel if the seller of your car came to pick it up with his own set of keys, because the person that sold it to him sold it illegally? He left you money in your mailbox. But just didn't tell you. You found out when you decided to make a late night White Castle run.

Not feeling that? Well what if the local bookstore just came to your house and picked two books off your bookself and left money in their place? You realized it when you saw two empty spaces on your shelf. Okay, now you want to kill somebody, right? That's apparently how a lot of readers felt who downloaded two books on their Kindle reader, only to have them erased and their money refunded. Apparently, Amazon explained later that the seller of the e-books had no rights to sell them. That's understandable. But the matter of how Amazon handled it got readers in an uproar. It was the after-the-fact approach that seemed to tick some readers off. Perhaps if Amazon had explained the situation beforehand and what they needed to do to resolve it, and what the readers options were, there would not have been an issue. But to snatch up a purchased product and not provide explanation until readers emailed questions, well, not such a good thing to do.

Now their method brings to light the "big brother" type of capability Amazon has with its Kindle reader. This may not have been thought of if this incident didn't happen. Once a reader purchases an e-book, Amazon has the power at any time to delete any book from anybody's Kindle without warning or notification. If we go far off the deep end, we can imagine scenarios of book banning, censorship, etc., etc. Do I think it's that serious? No. Amazon is very regretful after the backlash they've received from it. Especially at a time when Barnes & Noble is opening it's e-book store and Apple is coming out with a tablet with e-book reading capability. Now is not the time to anger readers. Amazon is taking steps to ensure that this will never happen again. But still, the thought of another entity being able to come into my domain and take something that I've purchased without warning or explanation leaves me with that not so fresh feeling.

2 comments:

ptbertram Sat Aug 01, 01:13:00 AM EDT  

That really is spooky. I wonder how many people were reading one of the books at the time? Going along fine, and then . . . nothing. On the other hand, I suppose it's a good thing that Amazpn removes books that sellers have no business selling, but still, the tactics were a bit high-handed.

Cherlyn Michaels Sat Aug 01, 05:50:00 PM EDT  

That's a very good question. Who knows how that worked. Was someone reading, and then it was snatched? I'm in agreement with what they did too. As an author, I would want them to delete any unlawfully sold copies of my book. As a reader though, I'd appreciate heads up when you're putting your hand in my cookie jar. LOL