Users of Amazon’s Kindle have rebelled against the policy of delaying sales of digital versions of books, campaigning to lower sales of the books in question.
It seems that, according to the Guardian, Kindle users who have been less than impressed with the timing of ebook releases this year have taken matters into their own hands. The victim in all of this (on the book side) has been Game Change, which details the race for the US presidency in 2008. The Kindle version of Game Change has seen delays, with many citing piracy fears as the reason.
Despite being generally positively received by critics, it seems that Game Change has seen many Kindle users bombarding its Amazon page with negative reviews. Of course, the real question will be whether or not Amazon sees sales of Game Change effected in any way now that it’s seen its average rating drop so violently; though given the publicity that the down-voting has seen, it seems relatively unlikely.
This is the second piece of news in recent weeks in which ebook users have responded negatively to anti-piracy measures. Indeed, according to a recent report, it seems that authors who have content delayed for the ebook market (or even refuse to allow ebooks to be released, as is the case with J.K. Rowling) tend to be those that see the highest numbers of piracy.
Still, this new move is a little different. While previously mass piracy would only really have damaged the sales of digital versions of the book, in this case it seems as though it could very well be the case that the backlash from outraged Kindle owners could cause sales of the physical book to be somewhat diminished… if that’s the case, then the unusual tactic could well succeed in forcing other publishers to release digital versions of books in a more timely fashion, though for now we can’t really know.