Amazon Profiting Incommensurately Off Bloggers?

As I pointed out more than a year ago, Amazon has been offering monthly blog subscriptions to Kindle readers, but, in some cases, it hasn’t been paying the bloggers a reasonable cut of the revenue. And as my investigation revealed, in some cases, Amazon didn’t even bother to ask permission from the bloggers. While the monthly subscription cost has gone down to 99 cents per month, as Rebecca Skloot discovered on Twitter this afternoon, Maud Newton’s site is now for sale on the Kindle. (Maud has since revealed that a nonexclusive contract she signed with Newstex gives them the right to distribute her content through the Kindle.)

But there’s a big question here. If Amazon makes 99 cents per subscription, how much of this goes to the bloggers?

I am now in the early stage of a major investigation to determine, once again, if the bloggers listed on the Kindle store are collecting any commensurate revenue or granting their permission to Amazon to have their blogs distributed. And I will be updating this site with my findings. If your blog is listed on the Kindle Store, please contact me so that we can begin to hold Amazon accountable for seizing content generously offered for free and selling it to others on the open market.

There are currently 1,280 blogs listed at the Amazon Kindle Store.

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2 Comments

  1. You shouldn’t have to license your content in any way if you don’t want Amazon syndicating it. Just ask them to remove it — it’s your own copyrighted work.

    Cognitive Daily is on Kindle, and while I don’t get a cut, my publisher said they did get paid when they signed on, and that if the proceeds ever amounted to anything, they would consider cutting me in on it. I doubt Amazon (or ScienceBlogs.com) is getting rich from subscription fees at the expense of authors. At best, they profit indirectly by being able to say “blogs are on Kindle!”

    I just don’t think many readers are going to pay for blogs they can get for free via their computers and iPhones (and even through Kindle’s own clunky web interface). CogDaily is the #1 science blog on Kindle, 21st overall, and we rank lower than 1,000th in overall sales for the Kindle.

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