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Why are some books not available on Kindle?

Updated on June 23, 2014
The horror! The horror! They don't have my book :-(
The horror! The horror! They don't have my book :-( | Source

The back story:

As I alluded to in the summary, I love to read. And, if you happen read as a pleasurable hobby like myself, you know the feeling I'm about to describe. You've just finished with your last book, or maybe got bored of it. Either way, you've got that itch for a new adventure. You start exploring this feeling, almost like deciding what you want to eat tonight for dinner. A mystery? Or Romance? You haven't enjoyed a good biography lately. None of them sound satisfying. Then you realize: you want to revisit the world of an old friend, one you haven't shared the adventures of in a while.

But here is where my problem resides- I don't have the copy I so loved the first few times around, and unfortunately, neither does either the local library (I was met with those fated words, "It should be here sometime next week"), nor the small bookstore that has more limits on the availability than a TV ad's specialty product. What to do, what to do? With a resigned sigh, I pull my E-reader from its home and enter the Kindle Store. But, horror of horrors! The book isn't available on the kindle!

This frustration is one of those I've run into more often than I would like.

Ms. McKinley


Getting to the Answer, But with Elaboration

Some of you know Robin McKinley. She is a well-awarded English author, including a Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor, who has a fondness for retelling old stories. She has two versions of Beauty and the Beast, plus one of Robin Hood, all on bookstore shelves. Oddly enough, however, they are ONLY available on bookstore shelves, and not for purchase to be read on a Kindle E-Reader. The book I wanted to read, The Blue Sword by Ms. McKinley, is another of her works unavailable to read on a Kindle

The few of her books available on the Kindle, including Shadows, Chalice, Pegasus, and Spindle's End, are among those I will hopefully soon enjoy.

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Do you have a Kindle?

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The One I've Been Griping Over

The Companion Story to The Blue Crown

One Beauty and The Beast Retelling

The Other Retelling of Beauty and The Beast

As you can see, Ms. McKinley has a penchant for Fantasy novels. And retelling old fairy tales. But no matter what she chooses to explore, her works are always above-par in my opinion. Then again, my imagination isn't something to overlook, same as my love for complete irrelevance to the mundane world around us we are all so obsessed with (AKA reality).

Ms. McKinley's Retelling of Sleeping Beauty

Basically, here's why

  • Lost royalties
  • Time required to convert

Shhh! Tell me your secrets ;-)

How many forms of media (books, songs, movies, videos, pictures) have you owned that you did not pay as much for as you would have if gotten at a store like Best Buy?

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Answer: Why aren't they all on the kindle?

Well, it has to do with a lot of things. Some authors choose not to for fear of getting ripped off. We all know there are illegal ways to get movies, whether downloaded off the internet or bought out of a canvass bag on the subway. Now, these copies are illegal, because it's stolen work. Many of us don't care, since actors and song artists make enough money to spend it as if it's out of style. What's a few cents to someone like that?

But for an author, it's different. Many authors, like Ms. McKinley, for example, have families. Not a husband she married because it's good publicity, but a man she pledged undying love to. She could use a few extra dollars to buy him a tie for his birthday, or to help pay off the car she uses to buy groceries for dinner. Maybe they even have kids, and one of them needs lunch money for school.

And, since it's not likely everyone that's bought an illegal movie or burned a song to a CD for a friend is going to pay the piper, it's impossible to know how many stolen copies of a book are out there. And, for every stolen copy, that's a few extra dollars for Ms. McKinley to put away for a spa day if she chooses to.

Another reason some books are unavailable for Kindle is the effort required. There isn't a magical button you push to turn a paper and glue book into text on a screen. Someone has to physically sit down with the book and type every word. Then they need to go through and check for accuracy. And if there happen to be pictures in the book, they need to be uploaded into the document as well. Think about how long it takes you to read a book. Then think about how long it takes you to type a full page of anything in a word processing program in a computer. You should get the idea, but if not: it takes a long time.

Where, exactly?

Below the related suggestions, to the right of the book specifications.
Below the related suggestions, to the right of the book specifications.

So, now that you know why

There IS a way to speed things along, however. You see, if you go to the page to purchase a book that you want, scroll down past the "Frequently Bought Together" and "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" modules, you'll find an area titled "Product Details". Now, to the right of the screen, there may be a little box, with a picture of a Kindle and the words "Tell the Publisher!". If there is, you have your chance! Click the link "I'd like to read this book on Kindle" and a request will be sent to the publisher.

Now, I've only done this once and haven't seen results, so I don't know how the requests are handled. Maybe they wait until a certain number of requests are collected? Or maybe the publisher has too many things on his plate to begin with? I certainly don't know. All i know when it comes to this subject it- I really wanna read The Blue Sword.

Get a Kindle! They don't have everything, but they have a lot


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