There is an excellent and truly startling post by Mark Williams over at “The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing” on just how much an e-book sold for 99 cents on Amazon in the USA costs to readers in the rest of the world.
As an author I would love as many readers as possible to have the opportunity to read my books – and like it or not, Amazon is the biggest book store in the world and the online book retailer of choice for most people in the UK and USA. The idea that this online store actively blocks certain markets or makes books unaffordable by adding surcharges is quite shocking.
Like many authors I grew up with an obsessive love of the public library system – books for all. The freedom to read what we like and write what we like [within the law] is the basis of democracy. For a book seller to be actually making books difficult to obtain just does not make sense economically or ethically to me. I know that they are big enough and rich enough not to care – but the authors and the readers do.
Go HERE to read the full post. Fascinating.
As Mark says:
“We are incredibly lucky to have as our work-tool one of the most widely-used languages on the planet, and there are many lucrative markets out there both in English-speaking countries (India, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc) and in English as Second Language countries (China, Japan, most of Europe) that Amazon deliberately or through surcharging stops buying our books.”
Well move over Amazon. There will other online stores out there who will be happy to supply readers and not penalise them simply because they are outside the USA.