Regarding Divide and Conquer Ebook on Amazon

Because of the nature of Amazon’s business model, it is difficult to publish free books and Creative Commons licensed material directly for the Kindle market. This is one of those unfortunate instances where the business and creative communities are in conflict. I am attempting a work around, but in the interests of full disclosure, I wish to make the following public:

  1. Amazon does not allow aliases, so I will be publishing under my name, i.e. Sean Sandulak.
  2. Amazon does not allow books to be published for free, at least not for independent authors and publishers.
  3. Amazon will usually price match to other retailers such as Apple, Kobo, etc. even if the price is zero.

Therefore I will only release the book on Amazon when the book becomes available at other stores (which may take several more days if not longer). In addition:

  1. The price will be set to US$0.99 (the minimum).
  2. If Amazon does not price match within a reasonable period or sets an amount other than zero, the title will be removed.
  3. We will not provide any links to the Kindle store until the price has been matched.

This will mean that for a period Amazon will be charging for any ebook purchases. In the interval between posting and price matching, if anyone should purchase the title, any monies collected will be put toward charity. Please note however:

  1. The book will remain free at all other venues, including Smashwords and via direct email at foilandphaser(at)gmail(dot)com.
  2. We cannot offer any refunds as we are unable to confirm the identity of purchasers.
  3. Royalties are only paid out on accounts over $100.
  4. We are very unlikely to sell the 286 copies required to reach $100 in such a short time.
  5. Amazon may reject the book based on their own criteria.

Also the following changes have been made to the ebook since it was first published:

  1. The cover was changed to a higher resolution due to image artifacts.
  2. The copyright page has been changed to show the author’s copyrights.

In summary, Divide and Conquer may appear for a short time in the Kindle bookstore for a fee. The ebook will remain free at other venues and you are encouraged to use these instead until Amazon reduces the price. It is not my intention to profit from the work of others; any royalties paid will go toward charity. The only alternative is to not use the largest distribution platform for ebooks.

Should any of the authors appearing in the collection not agree to these terms the title will be removed from Amazon’s catalog. Please contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

EDIT 2014/02/02 – Smashwords does do limited shipping to Amazon, so we are waiting to see if we can ship through them to keep the publishing consolidated in one place.

This is the home of the Foil & Phaser writers workshop, a spin-off community website for fans of the Sword & Laser book club and podcast who want to develop their writing skills.

Posted in Announcements, Publishing
9 comments on “Regarding Divide and Conquer Ebook on Amazon
  1. Jacob says:

    That’s rough. I appreciate you working so hard to get it up there, and, honestly, I don’t think we can avoid using Amazon, so waiting is probably our best bet. I didn’t think it would be this difficult to get it on there for free, but now that I look back, I self-published through them last year, I don’t remember seeing that as an option (sure, you could do a free promotion, but you couldn’t upload the story and allow it to be free).

    When it goes up, I think it would be a good idea to add a disclaimer, before the spiel about what the anthology was about, concerning the fact that it’ll be free on Amazon soon, just waiting for them to price match.

    • Jacob says:

      To clarify, I meant wait for it to hit the other sites before utilizing Amazon, agreeing with Foil and Phaser’s decision…I’m weird and awkward and felt like I needed to clarify….

    • You can’t even do the free promotion unless you sign up for KDP Select, the exclusive listing. Also, mentioning other listings may be a violation of their terms of use and is almost certainly frowned upon.

  2. Jacob says:

    Yeah, I don’t mean go: “Hey, we have it here for free.” I mean say, “This piece will be free in the near future.” Kind of deal. KDP is alright, but it didn’t really work well for me, and the whole exclusivity wasn’t worth it at all for 3 months.

    Still, I find it fairly odd that it isn’t an option, there are a ton of free stories on Amazon, it must be a huge hassle to get them up there.

    I’m pretty tired, so I probably am not explaining myself.

    • It comes down to the fact that Amazon is in business to make money, and giving away books for free doesn’t add to the bottom line. I don’t begrudge them their profits, but I wish they could be a little more forward thinking and flexible.


  3. Jacob says:

    Hey man, just checking in, wondering where we currently stand in terms of releasing it to Amazon. Also, in terms of the release, I was wondering if you were going to list out everyone when you publish it as authors, or will you just keep us on the table of contents?

    • Unfortunately we are at the mercy of Amazon and Smashwords as to when they will ship and list the book. My only advice is to be patient, and hopefully it will be up this week. As to the names, it is not practical to list all the names of the authors for the purpose of listings which is why you always see anthologies under either the publisher’s name or various. I can, however, change the book description to include everyone’s name without too much trouble.

      • Jacob says:

        I understand man, it’s somewhat frustrating, but I can see why Amazon is dragging their feet. It’s just frustrating, since the majority of people I know are waiting for it to hit there before downloading it.

Comments are closed.

Divide and Conquer: A collection of short stories from the workshops of Foil & Phaser for your Kindle or ePub reader.
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January 2014
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