New on Kindle: Catherine, Caffeinated

Months and months and months ago – possibly as long as a year ago – I heard that you could publish your blog to Kindle. This would mean that people could subscribe to your feed for 99c, $1.99 or $2.99 or however much a month, and then every new post would be delivered in full wirelessly to their Kindle devices. I signed up for an account and did everything I was supposed to do, and then never heard anything about it again. The blog never appeared.

Then, this past weekend, I was searching Amazon for signs of my Self-Printed listing when this suddenly popped up:

The publication date on it is only last week, so it’s not like it’s been hiding here for the last year or anything: it just got published. I have no idea why now and why not months ago, when I actually submitted it, but hey – better late than never and all that.

To publish your blog on Kindle, you need to have a UK or US postal address. (This is where your cheques, should you ever get enough subscribers to reach the payment threshold, will be sent.) Go to Kindle Publishing (https://kindlepublishing.amazon.com), sign up for an account and follow the instructions – it’s pretty straightforward.

If you want to subscribe to Catherine, Caffeinated on your Kindle, it’s $1.99 a month with a free 14-day trial and you can subscribe to it here on Amazon.com’s Kindle store and here on Amazon.co.uk’s Kindle store.

17 thoughts on “New on Kindle: Catherine, Caffeinated

  1. Marcus says:

    Maybe the service only went live in the past few weeks?
    I only heard about it in the past month in a forum. Doesn’t seem like they advertise it much yet.

    How do you manage to take part if you’re in Ireland, but need a US or UK address? (Or did you move and I missed your post about it?)

  2. Tahir says:

    This is interesting – thanks for the announcement. I would be interested in seeing graphs of subscription numbers etc. over time if you are willing to share that info. Presumably then, if one get enough subscribers and maintain a good retention rate, one could make a living (in principle) just from blogging, with book writing being an added benefit. Some questions come to mind though:
    1. Does the blog subscriber have access to everything on the blogger’s website, not just the blog posts?
    2. Any outbound links in the blog will presumably be inactive because the kindle only allows access to wikipedia and a few others? This may be critical for blog articles which rely on outbound links for reference or supplementary information.
    3. What does amazon allow you to do to woo a subscriber who is in a place where he/she cannot see your website on a regular browser (i.e. someone on train with only kindle in hand and no laptop)?
    Thanks.

  3. dirtywhitecandy says:

    Hi Catherine! I was really excited to read this, and delighted you’d blazed a trail for the rest of us (as usual). I did most of the sign-up and decided I’d read the T&Cs. After that, I cancelled the whole thing. Did you see there was a clause that means you give permission for any subscriber to use the material on your blog to make derivative works? So someone could, theoretically, make a book out of your blog posts and sell it as their own.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      No I did not see that!!! WTF?! Will go back and investigate. But what kind of crap is that…?! Are they even serious??! That seems utterly ridiculous. Thanks for the heads up!

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      So I’ll admit I didn’t even read the T&Cs first time round (I know – terrible!) but here’s what I found this morning:

      (i) (under “Grant of Rights”) You hereby grant to each Amazon party, throughout the term of this Agreement, a nonexclusive, worldwide right and license to distribute Publications as described herein, directly and through third-party distributors, in all digital formats by all digital distribution means available, such right to include, without limitation, the right to: use, reproduce, adapt, modify, and create derivative works of and use and distribute, as we determine appropriate, in our sole discretion, any metadata that you provide in connection with Publications

      (ii) (under “Ownership and Control…”) Subject to the authorizations granted to us hereunder, as between us and you, you retain all ownership rights in and to the copyrights and all other rights and interest in and to your Publications.

      I take this to mean that “derivative works” refers to what Amazon can do with the metadata you’ve provided about your blog, and not the blog content itself. It’s a load of jargon though and difficult to understand. What do you think?

      • dirtywhitecandy says:

        I don’t think it’s just metadata. I found this:

        ‘If you do post content or submit material, and unless we indicate otherwise, you grant Amazon a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media. You grant Amazon and sublicensees the right to use the name that you submit in connection with such content, if they choose.’

        Reading it more carefully, it doesn’t seem to grant those rights to subscribers, although ‘Amazon and its sublicensees’ seems pretty vague and all encompassing to me. Personally, I don’t like it.

        • catherineryanhoward says:

          That just seems like overkill on their part. Because of course you can unpublish your blog, so how is it perpetual and irrevocable?! I think I only read one of the two T&Cs as well. Will have another look. To be honest I’m not overly concerned as long as its Amazon and not the subscribers (because I’ve already had trouble with people pasting into e-books they’re charging for and I don’t want to go down THAT road again) but I’d be interested to find out how the “you retain the rights” line works with “we basically own your first born” stuff? And why this has to be so complicated! 😦

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      To say the least! This is exactly the kind of thing that turns people off self-publishing, taking free ISBNs, etc. – they think they are giving away their rights. And with T&Cs like these, who could blame them.

      • dirtywhitecandy says:

        I had an even closer look and it looks like they’ve pasted in those T&Cs from the overall T&Cs they’ve used for anyone posting Amazon reviews. In that context, they make sense – ie they could legitimately and reasonably make a book of Amazon reviews (if they really could find nothing better to do). But by including it in the T&Cs you click on to agree to publish your blog, it’s confusing – and certainly sent me screaming for the hills. So maybe it’s not as sinister as it seems – just incompetent. However, incompetent contracts cause immense trouble…

        • Tahir says:

          This is fascinating, from the point of view of devious marketing by Amazon. Imagine a scenario whereby at some future time Amazon offers customers a choice of 10 blogs for a monthly fee of 5.99, less than any individual is allowed to charge for 10 blogs. Amazon is not obliged to pay you a penny if your blog is in that new package because you would have signed away your rights. Effectively, they have bought the rights to your blog for free. On the other hand, in such a program you would get free exposure and advertising for your books. So I have no idea of the overall benefit/loss, but it sounds well dodgy!

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      It’s purely for convenience sake from the customer point of view, ie. getting the content delivered to their Kindle just as with newspapers which presumably they can also read online for free. For me, it’s more exposure than anything: if someone likes my book and goes looking for more by me on Amazon, they discover I have a blog. It’s a 14 day free trial (and I haven’t checked!) so no idea if there’s subscribes, but it hasn’t cost me anything and my blog has an Amazon listing so it can’t hurt! 🙂

Ah, go on. Tell me what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s