Writing on Wednesday: Kindle is Watching You (and Counting Your Pages)
Most of you probably saw Anita Singh’s article in yesterday’s The Telegraph (UK) or other articles on the subject, or at least some posts about it on Facebook:
There are so many things wrong with this that I hardly know where to begin. First—in case you don’t click on the link and read the article—the gist of it is that authors who self-publish with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Select will be paid based on the number of pages read rather than the number of books downloaded.
If warning lights aren’t going off in your head right now you must be taking a noonday nap to escape the heat. My first reaction was, “How do they know how many pages I’ve read?” The whole Big Brother thing just keeps getting creepier. And how does that affect those of us who like to read more than one book at a time? When you stop reading one and don’t pick it up back for several days, does the Kindle-counter think you gave up on the book?
But beyond that, the obvious arguments are being batted about all over social media today, this one being a favorite:
So, at a restaurant I should only pay for the food I eat, not the food I order?
There are endless applications to this argument:
Should the price of clothes be dependent on the number of times we wear them?
Should the price of a CD be determined by how often we listen to it?
Should the mortgage (or rent) on our living spaces be defined by how many hours a day we spend there?
The new system begins on July 1. I wonder how it will affect Kindle users. I don’t have any self-published books on my Kindle, so it won’t affect my reading. (I actually haven’t read a book on my Kindle in many months.)
“Advances” in the world of technology always bring new challenges. This one will be interesting to watch.