Wha.., Amazon v ebooks...whuffo?
July 7, 2024 2:46 PM   Subscribe

My Sig Oth has been fuming all day, trying to download an ebook.

Sig Oth has been downloading books on her Kindle for years. She got a new iPad last year, and until recently, everything has been hunky-dory. All of a sudden, she gets the news that because [Amazon sucks], she can get only "sample copies" of specific titles and can't buy the whole book without downloading an app. She has the apps. She uses Chrome.

Explanations offered are useless, as the links return to the same non-productive pages. Many customer complaints are on associated websites. Are any MeFites similarly afflicted? Sig Oth is a voracious reader. Please help me help her.
posted by mule98J to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Is she having issues buying the ebooks or downloading ones she already bought?
posted by drezdn at 2:50 PM on July 7

Has she tried using the Amazon website on a computer? If nothing else she should/may be able to buy books on the website and then download and transfer via USB.

The other vague thing I'm wondering is if somehow her kindle got de-linked from her Amazon account.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:17 PM on July 7

Best answer: Your question is kind of unclear; what app is Amazon trying to make her download? Explanations offered for what are useless?

I think the most common issue with getting Kindle books on an iPad is still that you can't buy them in the Kindle app because Amazon and Apple have been feuding for years over the 30% cut that Apple wants to take from digital sales on their platform. So you have to log into Amazon in a web browser (Chrome on an iPad should be just fine, but if it's being weird try using Safari) and buy the books there. As long as she's using the correct Amazon account they'll just show up in her Kindle app as usual.
posted by bcwinters at 3:18 PM on July 7 [12 favorites]

could she have been caught in the Kindle outage this week?

I think you may have to link one or another of these complaint webpages- one that explains where specifically she read "she can get only "sample copies" of specific titles and can't buy the whole book without downloading an app", screenshots or verbatim copies of error messages, etc.
posted by BungaDunga at 3:36 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]

That sounds kind of like what happens when I try to buy a new kindle book from the kindle app on my iPad. (i can see a sample but I can't buy anything.) If I make the purchase using my laptop, I have it set to automatically download to the iPad and I can read it no problem. Even without the auto-sharing, it should be still be find to find the new book in my Amazon library from within the Kindle app on the iPad.

I think I used to be able to shift to the browser on my iPad to do the purchase but my unreliable memory is telling me that that stopped working recently.
posted by metahawk at 3:39 PM on July 7

You can't buy books in the Kindle app; you have to buy them with a browser at amazon.com, and then it will send them to the Kindle device or Kindle account that you linked to your Amazon account to be downloaded to the Kindle app/device.

What I would check:

-- Is she trying to buy books through the app, or through the website? Only the website will work. You can't buy books in the Kindle app; to the best of my knowledge, you can't buy them in the Amazon app either. It has to be a web browser.

-- Is the Kindle app or device that she is trying to read with linked properly to the Amazon account that bought the books? For example, if I buy a Kindle book with my personal account, it won't go to my wife's Kindle because our accounts are not linked like that. Check the settings for where Kindle books go for the Amazon account she is using.

--Is the iPad OS and Kindle app fully updated?

If that doesn't fix it, I would need to see screenshots of what specifically she is doing.
posted by blnkfrnk at 3:49 PM on July 7

You can't purchase ebooks through Amazon phone/tablet apps anymore because of app store rules about purchasing digital content.

You can still purchase ebooks by going to the Amazon website via a web browser instead of via Amazon's own apps.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:19 PM on July 7

I don't know if this will help, but I have never owned a Kindle, but I have had several Android tablets over the years and I made myself this note to remind myself of the procedure:

Why can't I buy books on Kindle from my new Android tablet?
* The answer is that you must buy them in a Web browser signed-on to Kindle as yourself, and then the book will become available to all Kindle **applications** using that account.
posted by forthright at 8:40 PM on July 7

Gp to https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/mycd/digital-console/contentlist/booksAll/dateDsc. I am in the UK so change this if in the US. It will show you what you have bought and various ways of downloading
posted by TheRaven at 1:29 AM on July 8

Your question is extremely vague but I'm guessing that Amazon has decided to restrict people from purchasing ebooks through Kindle because Apple takes 30% of all revenue generated via apps that come through the app store. By forcing the user to purchase through other means (desktop computer, for example), Amazon keeps that money.
posted by dobbs at 2:02 AM on July 8

Response by poster: Many thanks to all you MeFites for your help. Several of your responses led Sig Oth to a workable solution. My nerdy scion, mulejr suggested Google Play as an option, which also seems to meet her needs.

Sig Oth sends thanks. She says this was the last straw on the camel's back, and she's done with Amazon forever.
posted by mule98J at 7:32 AM on July 8

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