Recently I purchased a second Amazon Fire, after my first one and a couple of 8" Android tablets all suffered from cracked screens. It seems to me that my first Fire was able to run any Android App that I wanted to run. But this new Fire 8" tablet will not come close. I can run CamScanner, because that is available from the Amazon App Store. But while I was able to get Mobisle notes to download the .apk file, it will not install. And while it will run Microsoft One Drive, it will not load or run One Note or MS WORD. I am an author and publisher and tee shirt designer (I have not even tried to load any version of the GIMP yet) and I am dead in the water without at least those few programs or apps.... You should sell this solely as a Kindle reader, unless you can tell me how to load Google Play apps into this thing. I bought the 8" Fire Version 7 with 32 gigs of memory, which ought to be adequate to run ANY Android app.
But no. Amazon wants to control every aspect of their customers' lives, it seems. I have no knowledge of who is buying either my published work, OR my tee shirts from Amazon. I get all of that information from my Shopify store.
Oh, and by the way, I have purchased two shirts from the Merch by Amazon shop, and the image quality is TERRIBLE! I will be buying shirts with the same image from Printful later this month, so I can shoot side-by-side photos and post them to the various sales groups I belong to on Facebook. I believe that the problem originates with the white mask you put behind the image. Either that, or you are raising the contrast and/or brightness of the images. I have a photo of my dog Blackie from the 70s. It was scanned from an 8 x 10 photographic print. You have the image showing white on the dog's back, fading to a reddish brown. Then I have a photo of Bernie Sanders, which is fairly good. It shows the wrinkles in his forehead, for instance, which do not show at all in the tee shirt. It IS possible that I downloaded a thumbnail instead of the full image, but your image is too light and not at all sharp, and bears little resemblance to the original photo. I will be comparing this to the same shirt from Printful. If there is a significant difference in their favor, I will have to suggest to my customers that they not buy anything from Amazon.
And now, I read that you are selling technology that does not work--facial recognition technology--to police departments and private citizens, which could result in police being autodialed because the facial recognition failed to recognize someone, especially women and people of color, and could result in police harassment of those people. Yet more evidence that Amazon wants to meddle in people's private lives. I switched to eBay for most of my purchasing, when you stopped accepting PayPal payments for your merchandise, because it was originated by your competitor. I now use PayPal exclusively for both purchasing, and accepting payments for my merchandise, both at book signings, like the one I will be holding this coming Saturday, and anything sold through my Shopify store. If you won't accept PayPal, then I will not be making many purchases through you. You need to realize that you are just a supplier, and people have the right to buy, or to NOT buy from you, and that they have other sources for the same material. You need to stop thinking that you can control other peoples' lives.
I am beginning to believe that you have, quite simply, grown too big for your britches....
John H. Waaser, Owner, Crossroads Publishing of Florida
We are a new publisher with Amazon and CreateSpace. We were under the impression that when a Kindle Unlimited member downloaded our book, we would get somewhere around half of what we would get if we sold the book. Now we hear that our book, which is 92 pages as a paperback, and only 59 pages on Kindle, will pay us no more than about $.30 per read. This non-fiction book imparts much more value than most novels, to the reader. It also sells for more money than most novels, when people buy the book. Yet, by now paying per page read, when all the information we have suggests you can't even tell how many pages have actually been read, you have created a system which is severely prejudiced against non-fiction authors, who frequently put years and even decades of experience into our work. This is extremely discriminatory. Apparently our only alternative is to pull the plug on the KU availability, and force KU members to actually buy our book, which then will make membership in KU less desirable for your customers. I will wait until I see actual numbers before I pull the plug, but if I make much less than half of what I would make from actual sales, you can expect Crossroads Publishing of Florida to no longer offer any titles through the KU program, and to inform our readers of our reasons for pulling that plug, and that Amazon's actions have curtailed the value of membership in KU. I will be sharing this letter with various writers' groups, and asking their members to either cosign with us, or send a similar letter to Amazon. We abhor your discriminatory new policies in this regard, and will not put up with them. This would also free us up to sell our works through other distributors, since the main reason for enrolling in KDP Select was to be paid when KU members download our work. Without a healthy income from that source, we see no reason to be a part of the KDP Select program.
John H. Waaser
Owner, Crossroads Publishing of Florida