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Topics - Ava Glass

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1
Apparently the team that reviews ebooks is called "Content Risk Management." They check to see whether a book complies with Amazon's ToC.

They're hiring a new director. Interesting in light of the recent hubbub over scam books.

https://www.amazon.jobs/en/jobs/387253

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The Kindle ebooks team is looking for an experienced senior leader for our global Content Risk Management team. This team is responsible for reviewing all incoming content for our independent publishing platforms. The team monitors for both content and publisher compliance with our content standards and terms and conditions. This individual will lead a motivated team in diverse locations to enforce existing policies while building new ones and the necessary software to help them all scale.

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∑ They will have an ability to understand technical systems in a complex, automated, content processing environment across multiple businesses in multiple geographies.
∑ They will demonstrate clear written and oral communication with an emotional maturity and grace under pressure.

That part about "grace under pressure".... :o

Curious about what a job listing for an actual reviewer looks like? Check this out:

https://www.amazon.jobs/en/jobs/362566

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The Amazon Kindle team is seeking a Risk Management Specialist for our Kindle Books Self Publishing Operation. This is an exciting opportunity to work on highly visible projects and be part of history in the making!

The Risk Management Specialist will:
∑ Evaluate copyright and appropriateness for content submitted through Amazon.com's Kindle Direct Publishing
∑ Effectively prioritize work time to ensure productivity and fulfill team standards for time spent in order to consistently achieve service levels
∑ Drive Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and expedient resolutions for critical issues
∑ Leverage technology and innovation to bring continuous improvement to the operational processes
∑ Work effectively in a cross-functional environment with legal, technical, and product management teams
∑ Candidates must be willing to view and evaluate content that may be considered religiously sensitive, politically extreme or otherwise offensive
∑ Ability to work one weekend day
∑ 8 hour work day to be during a 7am to 8pm time period


BTW, Amazon is also hiring a new Director of Product for Kindle Direct Publishing and a Director of Kindle Content Support:o

2
With the proliferation of these page read scam books, a lot of people are wondering why Amazon doesn't mind their ebook store better. Why don't they take a closer look at these books?

According to Amazon, they don't have the resources and would have to pass the cost onto authors.

This is from a court filing from June 2015. It's a memorandum in support of a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by a couple whose engagement photo ended up on A Gronking to Remember.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/269072776/Gronking-Amazon

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If Amazon were to be denied summary judgment in the present case, (1) Amazon would be forced to closely examine every aspect of every book an author sought to self-publish through KDP and CreateSpace (and Audiobook Creation Exchange), (2) Amazon's costs would likely increase substantially, (3) the prices Amazon charges to its self-publishing customers could rise significantly, (4) some authors and independent publishers might no longer be able to afford to publish their works, and (5) Amazon would likely be inhibited from allowing authors to selfpublish potentially controversial works. Such "deleterious effect[ s ] on the free dissemination of information" would be avoided by dismissing Amazon from this action.

This doesn't mean Amazon doesn't check books at all. Erotica authors can attest to that. This is what Amazon says they do check for:

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Notwithstanding these express and comprehensive representations and guidelines, Amazon performs two types of checks before a self-published book may be sold on its website.(Watson Decl. ∂ 6; Ex. 1). First, Amazon reviews the book to determine whether it contains pornographic images. (Id. ∂ 6). Second, Amazon runs computer programs that attempt to assess whether part or all of the text of the book might be plagiarized, or whether the text contains offensive material (such as written descriptions of bestiality). (Id. ∂ 6).3

 But because KDP and CreateSpace are truly self-publishing services, and given the representations discussed above, Amazon does not otherwise read, edit, or fact - check self-published books. (Id. ∂ 7).


3 The Content Guidelines for both KDP (Ex. 4) and CreateSpace (Ex. 5) expressly prohibit the self-publishing of pornography or offensive material.

4 Amazon does not read, edit, or fact - check self-published books for a variety of reasons, in addition to those specified above. For example, Amazon does not have the resources to undertake those tasks, and doing so would likely increase costs for Amazon substantially and could lead Amazon to increase the prices charged to its self-publishing customers. (Watson Decl. ∂ 7; Ex. 1).

This is an interesting read. I don't think Amazon has to edit or fact check, but I do think Amazon needs to mind their store better--even if I have to pay a per-listing or subscription fee for them to do it. I know that last bit is an unpopular opinion.

ETA: Kboards keeps changing "fact - check" to "[expletive]." LOL.




Sorry, Ava!  Unintended consequence.  Fixed now. "Fact-check" --Betsy

3
4/24/17 update: Amazon has officially announced it, but it is currently only for website, app, or software subscriptions. No "get the next installment of my e-serial delivered directly to your kindle"  just yet. However, Amazon invites people to sign up for a mailing list to be informed of eligibility changes.

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2264001

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SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 24, 2017-- Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced a self-service subscriptions marketplace that allows digital subscription providers to reach millions of Amazon customers. Subscribe with Amazon is a new way for subscription businesses to sell on Amazon, offering them targeted customer exposure through popular discovery features such as search and recommendations while also providing customers with a simple way to purchase and manage their subscriptions. Selling on Subscribe with Amazon is easy with self-service enrollment.


https://www.subscribewithamazon.com/

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Who Is Eligible

We are currently only accepting applications from digital subscription sellers that meet the following criteria:
1. Your subscription product is a digital app, website, or software.
2. You have a business address in the United States.
3. Your customers pay a recurring fee to access your product or service.

Not all products are supported by the Subscribe with Amazon program at this time. We do not currently support physical subscription products. Offerings in the music or video categories may require additional approvals and applications from sellers seeking to list those products will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If you donít meet the criteria, you can sign up here to keep in touch and be alerted if our criteria change.





9/16 update: It's a third-party marketplace for physical and digital subscriptions.

https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,231359.msg3364189.html#msg3364189

Here is the gist as of 4/15:

--It's a new marketplace for third-party physical and digital subscriptions.
--The job listings are under the "Kindle Content" category
--One listing mentions a "new global platform for Kindle publishers." It is unclear whether it is related to the subscription marketplace listings.



*********



I saw this the other day.

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We are looking for an innovative, results-oriented leader to help launch and grow a new global platform for Kindle publishers.

New global platform for Kindle publishers?

From what I can tell, Amazon is investing a lot of money into some global subscriptions marketplace. It will involve physical and digital products. They are hiring product, marketing, and software people to develop and launch it.

They want to market it to sellers as well as customers. One of the listings even discusses making a forum for sellers.

It might be called "Kindle Subscriptions" or "Subscribe with Amazon".

Will Amazon let indie ebook authors play? Something like "subscribe to your favorite author"?

ETA: My guess: Amazon is developing its own version of Cratejoy.com. Cratejoy allows people to run subscription businesses. People can offer physical and digital goods, including ebooks. There could be some interesting opportunities for KDPers if Amazon allows it.

ETA2: Another idea put forth in the thread is that Amazon will (also? instead?) charge a subscription fee to publish on Kindle, like with their other sellers.



In the meantime...check this out:

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Amazon is seeking an exceptional Data Engineer to join the business analytics team of "Subscribe with Amazon" (SWA). The team is building a new marketplace with a broad category of physical/digital subscriptions and a platform for managing these subscriptions.
https://www.amazon.jobs/jobs/347251/senior-data-engineer


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Kindle Subscriptions Leader
We are looking for a business leader for a new global Subscriptions offering which the division has made large investment in launching.
https://www.amazon.jobs/jobs/344927

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The Kindle Content team is building a platform for managing subscriptions that targets at a broad category of subscriptions.
https://www.amazon.jobs/jobs/368168

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We are looking for an outstanding senior software development engineer (Sr. SDE) to shape the future of our subscriptions marketplace platform for new categories. We are looking to build a scalable solution to launch an exciting new multi-billion dollar business to make a huge impact on multiple industries including retail, cosmetics, small-scale, fashion and education industries. The business presents unique technical challenges with fulfillment, order management, payments, customer returns and refunds.
https://www.amazon.jobs/jobs/331959


More listings to look at:

https://www.amazon.jobs/jobs/374258
https://www.amazon.jobs/jobs/368823
https://www.amazon.jobs/jobs/325429
https://www.amazon.jobs/jobs/371598


4
Writers' Cafe / Adobe Stock
« on: June 16, 2015, 12:00:25 am »
https://stock.adobe.com/

It's here.

$9.99 for a single image. Creative Cloud members can get this:

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10 images a month
US $29.99

Annual plan, paid monthly

    Add to a Creative Cloud subscription
    Additional images at US$2.99
    Rollover up to 120 images

Then there's all the stuff with the CC app. The Creative Cloud window now has a new tab called "stock."

https://www.theverge.com/2015/6/16/8785627/adobe-stock-creative-cloud-2015-launch

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That means you won't have to download images to your computer and then import them into an Adobe app, you'll just select the images on Stock and then they'll appear in the little library window within Adobe's apps. You'll also be able to work on low-res versions of an image before committing to purchasing the full version, and Adobe will automatically apply all edits once you upgrade.

5
Writers' Cafe / What is this new Amazon reporting platform about?
« on: June 12, 2015, 01:11:04 am »
ETA 3/2016: I think this had to do with quality feedback. Like those quality notices introduced in early 2016.

Amazon is building a platform "from the ground up" designed to improve either sales data reporting or quality feedback. I can't tell.

https://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/54445783?trk=jserp_job_details_text

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Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is Amazon's flagship service that strives to democratize content creation. KDP has been growing at an unprecedented pace for the last couple of years. With a huge number of Authors providing quality content and wide readership all over the globe, KDP is addressing the challenges of ingesting ever increasing content of the best quality.

One of the drivers of better quality is to provide timely and actionable feedback to content creators and with this intention we are building tools and technologies that address the reporting and analytics needs of the users. We are in the process of building out a platform from ground up that would take reporting offerings to the next level unmatched by off the shelf solutions.

Is Amazon taking aim at Book Report, or will authors get more "you have x issue with your book" emails?

6
ArtArena.com

The default price for a standard license is $.99 and their extended licenses are $1.98. I say "default" because contributors can set their own prices if they wish. A lot of pictures are at the default price though.

They told me that premade book cover designers will need to buy the ELs, but $1.98 is pretty cheap.

They also told me they allow for use on erotica. These are the results for the search "sexy":

http://www.artarena.com/search.php?clearSearch=true&searchPhrase=sexy

7
In case some authors still don't know to be careful using big agency stock on erotica....

Over a year ago, a photographer started a thread at Microstockgroup.com looking for advice. He shot a model in lingerie and put the image on the big stock sites. The picture ended up on stuff the model was not happy with, including Amazon erotica. He was afraid the model was going to sue him.

Fast forward to today. The model is suing him and the story is big enough for the NY Post and the Daily Fail Mail. Some of the books are mentioned in the articles.

Be careful guys. Photographers and models can point to license terms that prohibit using an image "in a way that places any person in the photo in a bad light or depicts them in a way that they may find offensive."

By the way, the photographer had this to say about erotica:

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  Basically I don't think someone looking to find a cover for their erotic novel went to SS and legitimately bought it.

Ugh.  ::)

8
https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=213169

A premade cover artist was DMCA-ed by the creator of an image licensed through Bigstock. Bigstock sees premade book covers as templates even if one cover is sold. Now Bigstock wants the artist to hand over the names of authors and books currently using the artist's covers. The artist has a week. The artist expects to then be charged extended license fees.



I emailed several agencies about premade covers once. I made sure I was clear on one cover/one customer. Only DepositPhotos said they are allowed with a standard license. Then DepositPhotos told someone else they require an extended license. When I asked DP again, they told me a standard license is okay.

This is so confusing to designers. Still, I have only heard of Bigstock telling people they need an EL. This is what they told me.

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When our images are offered up as a pre-made design, even if that pre-made design is only going to be sold to a single purchase, we do still consider this a template usage and require that the images be purchased under the extended license since you are creating a pre-made object for your clients to purchase.

If you were not posting the pre-made covers on your site and were instead creating fully customized covers for your clients, for example they come to you, tell you the type of image or cover they would like and then you come to use and then purchase the images, this would then be covered under our standard usage agreement BUT as you are offering them up for sale, already fully created on your site except for the title and author name, we do consider this a template and it does require an Extended License with us.

I just want to emphasize that if you, an author, hired a designer to custom-make your book cover, then your cover is fine with standard license stock (unless you sell over a certain amount). I think that part is getting lost. Bigstock isn't penalizing solutions52 for making book covers in general. Just premade book covers.

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http://www.solidstockart.com/search?bq=%28and+artist%3A100748%29

They recently brought on an exclusive photographer, and her images are GORGEOUS. Good for fairy tales, fantasy, and historicals.

It's off the beaten microstock path, so I thought I'd let you know. The prices are a bit more expensive, but the licenses are more generous.








10
http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/agenices-views-on-stock-photos-of-people-on-erotica-books/

I think authors and cover artists need to read this. Someone on Microstockgroup.com asked a bunch of agencies about stock images and erotic books.

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Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Envato, Canstockphoto and 123rf all replied that this was not an allowed usage according to their license terms.

Depositphotos, however said that it was totally ok with them, that they did not consider erotica books to be pornography.

Got a reply from Alamy too now, and they are ok with that use just like Depositphotos.

My question to the agencies were simple. "Can i purhase an image and put it on a cover of a e-book in the erotica genre?
I did not say porn, i only asked about erotica. The answer was crystal clear from most of the agencies. No, that is not allowed. Depositphotos and Alamy were the only agencies that allowed it.

I think it's an important reminder that licensing an image comes with restrictions that vary among agencies and aren't always clear on the websites. It's frustrating, but it's always best to ask.

BTW, DepositPhotos is running another deal:
http://www.mightydeals.com/deal/depositphotos.html


ETA: I've heard of photographers and models going straight to Amazon claiming copyright violation. Amazon then removes the book from sale. It can be a headache for authors.

ETA2 (IMPORTANT):Checked on the thread found an important edit. The OP of the Microstockgroup thread escalated his inquiry at DP.

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Edit: After being in contact with Depositphotos again, we have received a different response. After reviewing some examples of covers that we sent them, the management/CEO has informed us that this is not an approved use according to their license terms. Photos from Depositphotos can not be used on erotica.
I am glad that all micro stock agencies share this view, they just need to be better informing the buyers about this now.
[/i]

11
Confirmed 11/26/14, Premade covers OK.

Saw this site discussed on Microstockgroup:

http://www.solidstockart.com/

It's a new agency with different licensing. These bits caught my eye:

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97% of everyone we talked to were blatantly violating stock art licenses they had purchased on other sites.

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Every purchase comes with our extended license. This unique license allows you extended use, unlimited prints, unlimited views and more.


Remember this big thread about stock agencies and premade book covers?

https://www.kboards.com/index.php?topic=155206.0


This is what Solid Stock Art has to say:


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You may use purchased Stock Art in a web, print, blog or other template intended for resale. However, it must be part of the design work for sale. The Stock Art must NOT be the product


I think cover designers might want to look into this. I don't see anything about subscriptions though. However, that makes sense considering the broad license.



ETA: They provide PNGs.

http://www.solidstockart.com/power-of-the-png

ETA2: There was a thread here about this photographer's images:



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