The fact that the ALA shared this link is so gloriously bitter and angry and I love it.
Is there a portmanteau for that? Angritter? Bangry?
My library card already gets me multiple “real” books, e-books, audiobooks, magazines and movies per month. For free.
Kindle Unlimited offers nothing from big presses, and no guarantee the authors will get paid fairly for their work. Libraries buy the book up front for a higher price (and a better binding). Kindle Unlimited offers the authors a variable percentage of a as-yet-undetermined-and-unannounced amount of money.
While Amazon touts Kindle Unlimited at “Netflix For Books!” the reality is Netflix signed contracts with everyone whose work they offer so that actors, screen writers, best boys, and the rest of those people get paid for the shows and movies you watch. Amazon does not.
That means your favorite author isn’t being compensated for their time or work. If you love a book series and want to see the next one get published: buy the book or hit the library. Starving authors quit writing because they like eating.
Most libraries offer these services for free already - even ebooks and audio books. The fact that Amazon isn’t paying it’s authors is super shady though :/
Please stop. Please do your research.
First, the great majority of books being made available via subscription services (Oyster, Scribd, and yes Amazon) are not available via most libraries, or are difficult to find (long story, OverDrive sucks).
Second, authors/publishers DO get compensated for books read using these subscription services. Yes, we get better compensation if you buy the book, but it’s not any lesser than if you borrow from the library.
Third, when you “buy” an ebook from Amazon or most online retailers, you’re not actually buying it, you’re buying a license to read it — you are essentially “leasing” the book for an unlimited time. So theoretically, this isn’t actually any different.
Fourth, libraries are about a hell of a lot more than borrowing books. I could add 5k words here, but let me tell you, Kindle Unlimited is but a blip in library services. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you haven’t been to a public library lately. You’ll see that movie rentals are still significant despite Blockbuster in the 90s or Netflix today. People who can’t afford Kindle Unlimited will still borrow books. And don’t get me started on the future of libraries as third spaces/community commons. We don’t have all night.
Fifth: Welcome to the future. The simple fact is that book distribution is still changing and will continue to change, and book subscription services have been “on the horizon” for over 10 years now, so no one has a right to bitch about being cut out of the loop. Anyone who is remotely connected to publishing or libraries knew this was coming. It was inevitable, and now it’s here, and there is no putting this back in the bottle.
SO: Yes, the compensation terms Amazon has got for Kindle Unlimited is kind of wonky. Keep in mind that this is a new era for book availability and that most book subscription services have been wrestling with these issues. Publishers and authors are still fighting for better terms, as well as better tracking in order to know what books are popular, etc.
I’m definitely not saying Amazon has my best interests at heart, because it is a company like any other out to make a buck.
But I’m saying this as both a professional librarian and as a published genre author: this does not spell the end of libraries, and using this service isn’t going to financially ruin your favorite author.
tl;dr - These types of subscription services are part of the future of book publishing. They aren’t perfect and there are problems, but they do not represent armageddon for libraries. Please stop with the fear mongering.
Do your research. I do get paid by subscription services and it is comparable to what I’d get for a book sale.
Reblogged from mikes-grrl