Free Kindle Coming Soon

March 1, 2011 at 7:25 am | Posted in Gadgets and Good Stuff, Publishing | 2 Comments
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Is it true? Will Amazon give away a free Kindle to any and every reader who wants one? That looks like what you can expect by November—just in time for Christmas 2011.

According to Tech Crunch, Kindle prices have been consistently falling for a good reason. It’s all part of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ master plan. The speculation is that every Amazon Prime customer will receive a free Kindle. Of course, Amazon may find a different way to bundle their eReader that will have mass appeal and compel all digital book consumers to flock to Amazon’s cyber shelves.

But what is the fall-out of this master a-Kindle-for-everyone plan? There’s a lot to consider.

As a reader, which would you rather have: tons of print books on your shelves, taking up space and requiring sturdy boxes and strong arms to move? Or a free, small, light-weight device where you can read/store thousands of digital books and take them anywhere you go? $25 for a hardback, $16 for a paperback, or $2.99 for an ebook? No contest, right? But what will happen to traditional publishers? They are still clinging to the print-book publishing model and will soon be sinking like a dinosaur into a tar pit if they don’t embrace digital and POD technology. Evolve or perish. The time is now.

With the increasing accessibility of digital and POD publishing, true self-publishing (not publishing via a subsidy/vanity press) has never been faster, easier, or more affordable. That’s a completely different blog post, but definitely something Amazon’s master plan will support and encourage.

With this free Kindle plan, it will force other manufacturers to also make their readers free, but aside from B&N (with the Nook), no other company has the same volume of digital content available. Easy. It wipes out the companies that can’t compete.

The publishing industry is changing at an exponential rate. Are you on board for Amazon’s wild ride? What are your fears? What changes will you celebrate?

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  1. I’ve been holding off getting an eReader until I saw which one ended up at the top of the “best eReader” list. The thing that bothers me about the Kindle is the fact that you don’t own the books you bought. They can take them back at any time.

    I also like to write in the margins for reference (only in nonfiction/how-to books). So, whichever eReader I end up with, it’ll need to have some sort of notation function along with the bookmarks.

    Dropping/breaking it—yeah, not quite the same worries with a good ol’ fashioned book. =)

  2. I love my Kindle–took 5 books on vacation, which required zero space. On the other hand, there are some books I want “for real.” Book club reads because it’s so much easier to page back through them and find something I might not have bookmarked on kindle; some books I just want to see and hold and even smell–poetry books for example. And some I need on display for lectures I give. Can’t hand around a kindle at those.
    I think it would be wonderful for people to have access to digital readers, but I want books in hand as well. I’m always worrying–what if I drop the kindle in a mud puddle–will it break, stop working. Yuck

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