Amazon has a new program that allows blog owners to publish their blogs to the Kindle and charge money for it. I wasn’t going to do it, but then I learned that it’s appallingly easy for other people to claim your blog and get the money for it. (How the Kindle Now Lets You Steal This Blog) Because of that, I felt I had to go ahead and claim our blog to make sure this didn’t happen to us.
However, Amazon’s terms for blog owners are frankly appalling. The percentage of revenue that Amazon takes is ridiculous. They set the prices, and they have an inordinate amount of control over what they are allowed to do with your content. I also didn’t see any way to claim a blog but then block Amazon from publishing it via the Kindle—so you can’t say, “that’s mine, don’t touch,” as far as I can tell. And if you want to sign up your blog, you then have to give them 30 days’ notice if you want to back out. So you’re in it for at least a month.
I went ahead and claimed our reviews blog because I felt that, under the circumstances, I needed to keep anyone else from doing so. But I also sent Amazon a message, to kindle-publishing-blogs at amazon.com:
I want to let you know that I’m not at all happy with the terms and conditions for the Kindle Publishing for Blogs program. The only reason I registered my blog right now is because it’s so easy for people to claim each other’s blogs and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to me. Unless the terms, which give Amazon an egregious percentage of sale price and an inordinate amount of control over how content is used, change in the near future, I don’t expect to continue publication of my blog to Kindle, and I will recommend to others that they do the same.