On Tuesday, Feb 24, Amazon will release the Kindle 2, the second version of its Kindle ebook reader, and the media are already full of stories about ebooks. The time has never been better to release your content digitally and, to capitalize on the news, to release your content in a Kindle-ready format.
What Is The Kindle?
The Kindle is an ebook reader, a stand-alone gadget, that allows readers to download content wirelessly (via Amazon’s free Whispernet wireless network) to the gadget, and begin reading within minutes.
The important things about Kindle are that a, the screen uses eInk technology and really looks as good as paper, and b, that Amazon makes it so easy for readers to buy content. Hear about a book? Whip out your Kindle, look it up in the Amazon store, download a free sample chapter, finish the chapter and, if you liked it, click on the ‘buy the book’ button. The content is on the Kindle in minutes, and stored in the reader’s Amazon digital ‘locker’ forever, for easy access.
The novelty of the device makes this a great time to get your content into the marketplace. Amazon is converting content and adding to the catalogue, but it is still incomplete. By making your content available to a hungry audience before the store is fully stocked, you stand a greater chance than ever of being noticed.
While Amazon hasn’t disclosed how many Kindles have sold, analysts estimate that half a million Kindles sold in 2008. The launch of the Kindle 2 should see another boom, as buyers who were holding off for the next version scramble for their Kindle. So, while it’s not a huge market yet, it is high profile.
Amazon has said that Kindle readers tend to buy 1.76 Kindle titles for every print book they buy, with no decrease as yet in the number of print books they buy. Also, crucially, the Kindle costs $359, so Kindle owners are readers with discretionary income to spend. Shouldn’t they be spending it on your content?
There are two ways to get your content onto a Kindle. One is through the Amazon Digital Publishing Program. You set the price and receive 35% of that price every time someone downloads a copy through the Amazon store.
If you like to keep more control over your content, and don’t mind inconveneiencing your customers a little, you can convert your files to Kindle format and offer them at your website. Kindle owners will then have to plug their Kindles into their computers and drag and drop the file onto the gadget. (You should be very sure that your content is irresistible to chose this option, because one of the things Kindle owners love is the freedom from the tyranny of their computer).