Baen Books Reveals Amazon’s Byzantine Policies on Kindle Email Delivery
When I first reported a few weeks ago that Baen Books was one of the publishers which was no longer going to email deliver the ebooks you buy from it to your Kindle, I was the one and only news site to report the strange news that Amazon was blocking publishers but not retailers from using this feature.
While it was puzzling that Amazon would discourage one source from emailing your ebooks to you but not another, I have learned today that the real situation is far more complicated than that.
Earlier today one Baen Books customer noted that his kindle account was still getting the ebooks from Baen. After he asked about this on Baen’s Bar, Jenny Cunningham (a member of the Baen ebooks team) responded with:
It will always work for a limited amount of customers each day depending on the size of the files sent. Once we reach the threshold, which Amazon has not disclosed, they will cut it off. They also have the ability to decrease the amount they let through if we keep hitting the cap. This is why we encourage our customers to use other download methods.
So, it’s basically a crapshoot whether it will work for you.
Cunningham’s comment is behind a registration wall so it is not visible to the public. But it has been seem by several people, including my source (Thanks, Fbone!)
I have no explanation for this policy of Amazon, and I am in fact having trouble believing it really is Amazon’s policy. But it is not entirely crazy, and as a matter of fact it points to a reason why two publishers had to give up the feature while a third publisher (O’Reilly) and several retailers did not.
Suppose Amazon has set a daily cap for each company which limits the number of ebooks they can send to customers' Kindle accounts. Pragmatic and Baen could be the two most active emailers of the companies which had been contacted, and once they realized that they would hit the cap everyday they decided to simply announce that the feature was going away.
The other companies either weren’t contacted, or have not been impacted. O’Reilly, for example, won’t admit to any change in the policy. All they said was "We are hoping to continue this service with Amazon."
I don’t know that we can call that a confirmation of the Baen Books statement, but at the very least it does not disprove it.
I have queried Amazon for an explanation, denial, or obfuscation (I’m optimistic that I can get all three in a single email).
image by Sergey Galyonkin