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I am so unhappy with Amazon today. After three years as a Kindle aficionado, enjoying the etchings of authors—Joyce, Austen, others—on the screen saver, my new Kindle Touch has an advertisement for some sort of health spa. And not only when it’s shut down; advertising banners appear at the bottom of the Home screen which I have to look at when I am selecting a book to read from my library.

I knew nothing about this before I made my purchase. And I have just looked at the Kindle site again and see no mention of advertising in the description of the Kindle Touch. Why did they omit this tidbit of information, or is it in such small print that I missed it?

Amazon has been in the news of late because of lending library practices for their “prime” customers, bypassing authors and publishers consent, and what else? I can hardly keep up with all the issues in discussion and litigation in the emails I get from The Authors Guild regarding Amazon and Google these days. Have these two innovative, sometimes socially conscious companies succumbed to corporate greed?

These were my thoughts when I called customer support this morning, initially to get a helping hand on managing the tablet, but I also hoped that the advertising could be eliminated. Not a chance. I was told, politely, that if I had decided to spend $49 more, I’d have the benefit of no advertising. In other words, Kindle Touch customers who economize are also penalized: we have to endure advertising. Yet the price we pay for Amazon books is the same for everyone. So, frankly, I don’t get this.

Is it the same situation as Pandora? For $36 a year you can subscribe and bypass advertising for their music genome project. It doesn’t seem comparable. And the terms of the contract with Pandora are clear.

I’ve written a letter to Amazon corporate headquarters and I’ll send this blog posting to Kindle Feedback which has always been helpful in the past. A cc will go to the staff at The Authors Guild.
I’ll keep my readers posted on what everyone has to say.  Read More 
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