In this corner, we have Mobipocket, a wiry French fighter. He's got a lot of experience but it takes a whole team of folks to get him into the ring.
In the other corner, we have PayPal, a brawny little up and coming American pugilist. He's well financed but the set of his jaw speaks to a hidden agenda.
But wait, sports fans, if we want to get a real handle on this battle, we can't look at the boxers in the ring. We've got to check out the training rooms in the back. Wait a minute, they look a lot alike. Full of skinny businessmen in dark suits with fire and dollar signs in their eyes. Who are these guys?
It's not Mobi vs PayPal at all. Why, it's, it's ............Amazon against Ebay!!
We don't know whose gonna win, but we know whose most likely to lose - the writers who carry as much weight in this battle as the bait at the end of a fishing lure.
Mobi has been having some trouble for a while. Allegedly, it has a long, long list of e-tailers that carry the e-books of authors who offer them for sale through Mobi. But in recent months, sales of writers have been drying up until they disappear altogether. A read of Mobi's chat boards features posts of a number of authors, including yours truly, saying that their sales had been going gangbusters until presto, chango, they came to a dead stop. At that point, some enterprising authors - not me, but I wish it had been - commenced looking for a way to get their royalty money out of Mobi's accounts and into their own. See, Mobi has a policy. It pays no royalties to writers until they total $150.00. Funny, sales seems to stop about the time many writers would reach that threshold.
Anyway, at least one enterprising chap figured out that if he canceled his Mobi account, that Mobi would have to pay him all accumulated royalties, whatever they totaled. Great. Since nobody seems to be selling enough to reach the magic number, why not pull out and wait for Mobi to suffer enough losses that it fixes the royalty structure. Well, there's just one problem with that. It's the little matter of getting the money to the writer.
Mobi has stated on its forum site that PayPal is not processing payments to writers from Mobi. Other comments, from e-tailers, say that PayPal is also not processing payments to Mobi. Why? Mobi says PayPal objects to some of the content carried on Mobi. The Mobi site does carry a large erotic section that goes a lot further than sensual romance description in more mainstream books. Mobi carries erotic tales that are more like a literary version of porn movies. Essentially, Mobi carries what people post and leaves the filtering to the e-tailers and to the public's power of the mouse.