Sunday, April 19, 2009

Too Many Kindle Books

Like any writer, I'm addicted to checking my Amazon page rankings. A page rank is a number that gives you a sloppy guide to your sales, since you don't have any way of checking actual sales. But when I went to Sales Rank Express for a one-click look at all my books, I noticed something strange.

Linked Versions (3): #1 Paperback (0980225361, this listing) • #2 Kindle Edition (B0024NP3GW) • #3 Kindle Edition (B001ULBTX0)

There appeared to be two different Kindle Editions for my recent book Falling Bakward. I looked at the linked pages and they certainly looked the same. The only difference was the 'B'-code. All of my other books have codes that start with 'B001'. What did 'B002' mean? At first, I just chalked it up to a database glitch. They both had my name on it. What was the harm?

However, after reading Joshua Tellent's article on TeleRead, the pieces clicked. I am also selling mobi-format ebooks through the Mobipocket system. Amazon bought Mobipocket. I remember filling out some form that allowed Amazon to pay me for reselling mobi-formatted ebooks. I had thought at the time that somewhere on the huge Amazon site, there might be a Mobi category. I was obviously wrong. Kindle is mobi. Letting Amazon resell Mobipocket submitted books is a shortcut for some publishers, but I had been feeding in my books to the Kindle store through their regular DTP (Digital Text Platform) site. That was my preferred method.

Is this dual entry a problem? Yes. After reading the above article, I realized that my B001 books, having been built with the DTP webpage, were probably DRM-free and the B002 one probably had the mobi DRM on it, since it was slurped into the system from the DRM only mobi system. Most Kindle readers probably won't care, but the anti-DRM users do.

Next stop was to switch over to Windows mode and fire up the MobiPocket Creator,
go to the eBookBase website and locate the Retailers List in the Account Information column. Clicking there, and you'll see dozens and dozens of ebook sellers who use the eBookBase database of mobi titles to sell under their own storefront. Normally, I'd just let it default to everyone, but if I wanted to prevent the DRM encumbered titles from showing up as a Kindle book, I'd have scroll down into the middle of the list and find the Amazon entry and uncheck it.

Well, I did that, and now it's just a waiting game to see if the behemoth reacts to my removal of that permission. It hasn't happened yet.

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