' In an earlier posting, we said that we are working on improving the customer experience in the Kindle store for public domain titles like “Pride and Prejudice.” Kindle customers often find it difficult to choose from the many different versions of the most popular titles. As a first step, we stopped accepting additional public domain titles. Later this week, we will be removing many of the duplicate copies of the best selling public domain titles.
Some of you may disagree with the choice of titles we will be removing. If you feel that your version of a public domain title has significantly more value to customers compared to the ones we have chosen to keep for sale, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will review your title. Thanks for your patience as we continue to improve the Kindle Store.
The Kindle Team '
Scott Douglas drew our attention to this. he also worried about 'big brother' possibilities with this and interprets the message as saying only one edition will be allowed, although Amazon says that if you prefer your version "compared to the oneS we have chosen to keep..." they will review the title if the file-uploader contacts them. They are talking here to those who want to upload to Amazon their own versions of public domain books.
I wrote to Scott on his post because I had first seen, courtesy of Kindlezen on Twitter that Librarian And Information Science News was reporting on Scott's post and a commenter there has a concern (as a UK observer) that Amazon might consider one's public domain books from other sources on our Kindles (many of us have lots of them from other sources) possibly bit-torrent material. But, really, they have shown no interest in all the things we can put on our Kindles, learned from their own sanctioned Amazon forums, thanks to customers helping one another.
To Scott, I repeated what I wrote to the Librarian news site, thinking I was responding to him there. Here is the text of what I wrote, which Scott and Librarian news site allowed to be posted right away. I'm reposting it here so that Kindleworld blog readers can read the info also but with links to what I mentioned.
' Let's not get carried away.
The Project Gutenberg books are directly downloadable to the Kindle and have been for some time. That's 30,000 books. The steps for doing this are on my site and others'.
Those who Kindle can get books direct to the Kindle from feedbooks.com, manybooks.net (use (mnybks.net to actually download the books to Kindle) and even fictionwise.com now owned by Barnes & Noble.
Amazon will not - after '1984gate' - be deleting any books you've purchased which were uploaded to Amazon... mainly because they'd lose their entire Kindle crowd if they did that again and they know it.
And they certainly won't be deleting material you got elsewhere.
On the Amazon forums there is a popular and humongous thread of about 1200+ posts from which many learn about how to get books from everywhere else, and how to quickly convert them, as needed, for the Kindle.
And I've written a piece on how to quickly convert any of the million free Google books so you can read them on the Kindle.
As for the public domain books, we can get them from just about anywhere. What customers have complained about is the never-ending proliferation of public domain books on Amazon, some of which have no table of contents, are badly formatted, have all kinds of errors, because Amazon had let everything up in the digital-publishing upload area, within a day.
They are now, from what I read on Amazon forums, doing 5-day reviews of uploaded material. Harry Potter books were uploaded almost daily - but the author refuses to make them available for the Kindle and those are then obviously illegal uploads. Amazon customers reported lots of occurrences of such things.
If Amazon will have only one version of a public domain, maybe they'll choose only those with working Table of Contents hyperlinks and correctly formatted etc. My guess is they'd have two or three Amazon-chosen ones for the free-option. IF it were only one* and the best in their minds, for free, then that's their prerogative and we have less work to do when trying to get a book [from Amazon]. I had to download and check out samples for about 12 versions of the Devil's Dictionary and most were missing essential things like working Table of Contents.
As it turns out, the best one I found came from an individual posting at Mobileread forums and was free. So that's what I'm using.
Remember, we can read MOBI or PRC files on the Kindle and rights-unprotected documents will be converted by Amazon (for free if you send it to [you]@free.kindle.com] and then move the converted copy to the Kindle yourself. Many of us just run it through a free converter ourselves.
* As you can see -- in Amazon Kindle Team's note to those who want to upload, or have uploaded in the past, a new version of a public domain book, they mention "ones" to which the uploader's version is felt, by the uploader, to be superior. So, I don't believe they're thinking of limiting public domain offerings of a book to only one edition but are choosing just a few from the many duplicates they already have and are now finally reviewing for quality of layout, etc. as requested by Amazon customers for some time.
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