Tag Archives: kindle

kindling

So our library’s decided to investigate the e-reader, in earnest or otherwise. We’ve acquired some kindles and have begun the examination. Will post more detail later, but it seems that indeed, one can read stuff on these devices. So that’s an initial plus.

free stuff sells best

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.

why the e-book orgasm is not mutual

Or, why e-books are so “popular”. Random House shrieks “all mine”:

On Friday, Markus Dohle, chief executive of Random House, sent a letter to dozens of literary agents, writing that the company’s older agreements gave it “the exclusive right to publish in electronic book publishing formats.”

Backlist titles, which continue to be reprinted long after their initial release, are crucial to publishing houses because of their promise of lucrative revenue year after year. But authors and agents are particularly concerned that traditional publishers are not offering sufficient royalties on e-book editions, which they point out are cheaper for publishers to produce. Some are considering taking their digital rights elsewhere, which could deal a financial blow to the hobbled publishing industry.

It would seem that e-books are the literary equivalent to reality TV shows: cheap to produce, and therefore generating higher stream of revenues to distribute. But for whom is the question worth asking. Never mind if the reader prefers the physical book.  This is why amazon and such are promoting the hell out of their devices.

amazonian irony

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.

Apple setting sights on kindle

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.

Exciting times.