What with the Kindle being the super number 1 product on Amazon, it initially appears that the clamour of preferring ebooks over their physical counterpart is slightly a bit disingenuous or at least misguided. After all, it appears that of the titles bought for the Kindle, more often than naught are, shall we say, priceless:
And how much money is Amazon making? How much money are authors and publishers making? When GalleyCat examined the Kindle Store bestsellers, they found that 64 of the 100 bestselling eBooks, the majority, were, in fact, free, including the number one bestseller, “Midnight in Madrid”, by Noel Hynd.
It’s question of cost, and the chilly reception from publishers who probably never thought the iTunes effect would be superimposed at great length upon their industry:
But publishers have ignored this demand. In response, several conglomerates have aggressively moved to protect their legacy. Macmillan recently announced a plan to delay the publication of e-books and offer enhancements that will justify a higher price. This tactic is aimed at Amazon’s policy of trying to set $9.99 as the expected price for an e-book. Most are priced much higher — but that’s beside the point. Amazon and publishers are fighting over this fiction, not the reality. Because Amazon’s customers have made it clear that $9.99 is still too high for their taste. Most titles in the company’s list of top 100 Kindle bestsellers are priced below $9.99, and the most popular price point is $0.00. But publishers can’t hear this, because they’re a little distracted right now.
All this is coinciding with imminent launch of the super secret Apple Tablet so achingly soon. And it’s no coincidence, since I feel that while Amazon has successfully developed and marketed its own niche in the book industry with the Kindle, consciously or not, they are following the Apple iTunes model of providing a platform for cheaper, more widely disseminated content. That is what consumers want. That is what authors, especially new aspiring authors, want.
Wishing LibraryThing had one.
Here’s the word from the man (message 23):
So, there’s some back story here.
According to Amazon, iPhone applications that use Amazon data are forbidden by their terms of service. They have told us we can’t develop one. Meanwhile, a number of other companies have developed them, and… Amazon has done nothing about it.
You can imagine how I feel about all this, particularly as Amazon is, through Abebooks, a minority investor of LibraryThing. It’s no fun to have your minority owner directly competing with you, through Shelfari, and stopping you from doing what even even companies they don’t own are doing. I hope they either enforce their rules and cut off the iPhone apps., or allow us to build one.
We will be debuting an Amazon app soon, but it will not be a cataloging app. For that, we need to develop an iPhone-optimized web version
Amazon remotely deletes purchases from Kindles. Removes 1984, causing Orwell to promptly pop a 360 underground.
Amazon CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos has apologized to Kindle customers for remotely removing copies of the George Orwell novels “1984″ and “Animal Farm” from their e-reader devices. The company did so after learning the electronic editions were pirated, and it gave buyers automatic refunds. But Amazon did it without prior notice.
Of all the titles it was 1984. Sweet.
Perhaps Apple’s subtle emergence into the ebook market will drive Amazon’s incentive to make a more functional, and less expensive reader.
The talks come as Apple is separately racing to offer a portable, full-featured, tablet-sized computer in time for the Christmas shopping season, in what the entertainment industry hopes will be a new revolution. The device could be launched alongside the new content deals, including those aimed at stimulating sales of CD-length music, according to people briefed on the project.
Book publishers have been in talks with Apple and are optimistic about their services being offered with the new computer, which could provide an alternative to Amazon’s Kindle.