Am I smart or What: Amazon

noteToSelfSmallCoverDpurpleAs you know, I’m self-publishing my upcoming book, Note to Self: Stream of Consciousness. Make no mistake, it’s a lot of work. Painstaking, detailed work. Did I ever tell you I’m not so much a left brain kind of guy? I’m better at creativity than I am at the details.

And so it was that I missed a little detail when uploading my book to Amazon Kindle. One of the questions asked is if I want DRM rights attached to my book. I accidentally clicked yes instead of no. Digital Rights Management (DRM), give me the author, more control of my book. A bigger copyright punch if you will. This is both a pro and a con.

On one hand, I prevent someone from buying my eBook and just giving a copy to someone else. Kind of like preventing someone from making digital copies on a copy machine. As you can imagine this can cause consternation, were this to happen. Someone buys a single copy of my book and then gives a copy to all of their friends. Boo hiss!

But the drawback is that I’m making it harder for my customers as they are under such tight restrictions, and I don’t know if I want that. I’m not a big name author. I don’t want to make it hard for my customers. I also don’t worry much if someone shares my book with another. After all, if I buy a paperback book at Barnes & Noble and I read it and then I give it to my friend to read there is no illegal activity occurring. No harm no foul.

I meant to click no for DRM. And upon further review I discovered that Amazon says I am stuck with what I clicked for good. I can’t undo it. Boo hiss!

I tried to simply unpublish it. No good. I contacted them and  asked if I could just delete the book from their system outright, start from scratch, and upload the book again. They said no. The kind Amazon customer service rep explained that once it’s in their system and assigned an ID number it’s in their system for good. No going back. What to do? And then, in a streak of thought, an idea hit me!

In our byte based world Amazon doesn’t distinguish between how many times I upload a new book. As long as it has its own unique Amazon ID number they don’t care. Left brain if I ever saw it. But a loophole for me!

So, I began the process of uploading a brand new book, this book, and when I got to that darn little DRM question I clicked NO damn  it. Amazon assigned a new unique Amazon ID number to my book and whala! Problem solved. Not to worry though, I unpublished the first upload so customers would see only one copy of my book for sale, not two.

I gave my self a pat on the back for this simple, winning solution. Had I outsmarted Amazon? I don’t think so. They designed the system. They built it. Get that Amazon ID and your golden. Each “new” book is treated like it’s different from all the others, no matter the number of uploads. Get that Unique Amazon ID. Golden. That’s all it took. Brilliant, don’t you think?

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