Why Italy is charging higher VAT on ebooks without an ISBN

In their most recent email reminder regarding changes in VAT in the EU, Amazon added a footnote regarding Italy: that also of January 1st, Italy has implemented new legislation that charges a higher rate of VAT on ebooks that do not have an ISBN. eBooks that do not contain an ISBN are charged 22% VAT, while ebooks with an ISBN are charged a rate of only 4%. Before the indie forums light up with declarations that this is a war on ebooks and/or Amazon or Kobo (where ebooks can be Read More …

Changes to EU VAT lead to changes in Kindle contract

ATTENTION KDP authors: As was discussed in the third edition of The Global Indie Author, and in my recent public lectures, on January 1st the whole of the EU changes from a seller-based system to a consumer-based system with regards to VAT on ebooks, with what is known as the destination principle. The destination principle is intended to close the loophole whereby companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, et cetera registered themselves in the EU in Luxembourg where VAT on ebooks is the lowest in the EU, at 3%. This Read More …

How to read ePubs on your Kindle Fire — even DRMed ones!

Today I learned a wonderful trick: a way to put onto a Kindle Fire an ePub ereader that will read PDFs and ePubs — even Adobe DRMed ebooks — purchased from major retailers such as Kobo, Sony, and B&N, and the myriad of smaller ebook retailers worldwide. Apple ebooks, which use a different DRM, are not transferrable. The principle is this: the Kindle Fire works on top of the Android system, and with a simple click in your settings you can tell the Fire to read Android apps purchased outside Read More …

Where does agency pricing go from here?

The Associated Press has reported that the U. S. Justice Department and 15 states filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Apple Inc. and Holtzbrinck Publishers, doing business as Macmillan, and The Penguin Publishing Co. Ltd., doing business as Penguin Group.  The federal government reached a settlement with three of the publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Shuster, but Apple and the other two Big 5 publishers refused to settle. What it most interesting about this is that, as the article states: According to court papers, the settlement agreement reached with three Read More …

Will Amazon lose indie authors to Apple?

Following on my recent post about Apple’s EULA, I thought it might be interesting to look at this latest corporate manoeuvre in light of its origins in the Apple-Amazon fight for dominance that has been going on for some time now, and what these new developments might mean down the road for indie authors. Amazon owns and uses a proprietary format for its ebooks, the azw file. The azw file is a variation of the mobi file, or prc file, first developed by Mobipocket Creator who licensed their code to Read More …

Swimming in Apple’s murky waters

On his blog, venomousporridge, blogger Dan Wineman reveals the audacious contract that users of Apple’s new free ebook software, iBooks Author, are required to agree to if they wish to use the software, and he argues this means Apple will have control over content made with iBooks Author. Specifically, Wiseman points to the end-user license agreement (EULA) for the iBooks Author, accessible via the app’s About box: IMPORTANT NOTE: If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this software (a “Work”), you may only Read More …

Kindle Format 8 – what does it mean for indie authors?

Kindle has announced it has introduced Kindle Format 8, the first step in a progression toward interactive and rich media ebooks. The new format is built on HTML5 and CSS3, rendering previously impossible or not recommended formatting now possible; this includes embedded fonts, drop caps, tables, highlighting, colored text, text-wrap, bulleted lists, and so on. It will also allow for scalable raster graphics, and more complex interactions such as pop-up text windows, paving the way for an improved experience with children’s books, graphic novels and comic books. This move brings Read More …

Is disintermediation possible for the indie author?

Following on the heels of my blog regarding Louis CK’s experiment with producing and selling his own video, the question arises as to whether this is possible for the indie author. “Disintermediation” is the new buzz word, and success stories such as CK’s suggest the only thing standing between the author and their audience is a blog and PayPal. But is it really? The allure of indie publishing is that it provides us with a way past the gatekeepers. But all gatekeepers? Or just the obvious ones? The only true Read More …

Lawsuit and investigations challenge agency pricing

In The Global Indie Author I discuss the history of agency pricing and conclude that in the U.S. a legal challenge to agency pricing is inevitable; it is already under investigation in the UK. Critics maligned this assumption, arguing that what happens in Europe has no bearing on the U.S. This ignores the mechanics of a global economy, and it also ignores how Apple has attempted to circumvent an individual country’s sovereignty to dictate its consumer laws: Apple’s contract forces price parity across international jurisdictions. It comes as no surprise Read More …