Smack Down! “The Book vs. The Kindle, Round 1: The Buy Counter”…07.31.09

31 07 2009

Interesting video…but I still want a Kindle!


Kindle 2 Price Drops to $299…07.08.09

8 07 2009

kindle21According to Wired today:

“…Amazon has lowered the price of the Kindle 2 e-book reader by $60. The Kindle 2 will now sell for $300 instead of the $360 it was introduced at earlier this year.

Amazon’s move has put Kindle in a better position to compete with its rivals by bridging the price gap.  Sony’s basic e-book reader costs $280, while lesser known brands such as the Cool-er will set you back by $250…”

An Interesting Theory About Google’s Strategy to Conquer Amazon’s Kindle…07.03.09

3 07 2009


There is an interesting theory in the post Google’s strategy to take out the Kindle on the Kindle 2 Review, Kindle DX Reviews,  Books blog today which is excerpted below.  It is worth reading the whole post, however.

“Update: The DOJ has confirmed an antitrust review of the Google Book Settlement (July 2nd). It sent a letter to the Judge overseeing the settlement stating that it has opened an investigation based on public concerns that some aspects of the settlement may violate the Sherman Act.

Google’s Strategy to fight Amazon and the Kindle.

Google has made some really interesting moves with books, ones that are very unlike Google –

  1. Strike an agreement with Publishers to give them 67% of earnings from Ads and Sales. Given that its other partners don’t even get told what share of revenue they get this is unprecedented in many ways.
  2. The Book Agreement (which includes the above too) that indicates Google will assume ownership of orphaned works and sell them for profit.
  3. Google’s recent announcement that they would let Publishers sell books for whatever price they want in the Google ebooks store…

Google is going to pull a Two Buck Chuck on Amazon

Read the story here on Two Buck Chuck. Google is going to attack the Kindle in three ways (it’ll try these one by one) –

  1. Get publishers to prefer the Google ebooks store to the Kindle Store. This is unlikely to work as Amazon has too much of a customer base for publishers to boycott it. Barnes & Noble going with the $9.99 price for ebooks also weakens the possibility that this approach will work.
  2. Introduce a deluge of very cheap orphaned works (that, if the Book Settlement passes, no other company has rights to) to put pressure on the general book market.
  3. Go with free books or nearly free books for all the books in its arsenal. Offset it via advertising etc.

My 2 predictions for Google vs Kindle

  1. By end 2009, Google will be selling nearly every book in the Kindle Store and also giving away a ton of books.
  2. If Kindle continues to see success and growth, by end 2010 Google will try a free books approach to kill off Kindle growth. It’ll eat up the losses and offset them via ad sales. However, it will be giving away books for free…”

List of Libraries Lending Amazon’s Kindle…06.17.09

17 06 2009


Despite the controversy surrounding libraries lending Kindles to patrons, many are doing so.  This is an excerpt from the post Libraries Lending Kindles from the Kindle 2 Review, Kindle DX Review, Books blog:

“…All these libraries, and the people in charge, deserve kudos for pushing the boundaries. This is based on just 1-2 hrs research so its just the tip of the iceberg –

  1. Mary White, Director of Howe Library in Hanover, NH – The Kindle Library Loaning Page. Lending out Kindles since Jan 14th, 2009.
  2. Sparta Public Library in Sparta, NJ have 2 Kindles for lending.
  3. LaCrosse Public Library lends out 1 Kindle.
  4. Rancho Mirage Public Library lends out Kindles, although its unclear whether its internally or patrons can take them home.
  5. Texas A&M University Libraries have 18 Kindles (add your name to the waiting list here)

[15 Kindle lenders in list as of posting]

    Does your library lend out a kindle? Do leave a comment so we can add your library to the list.

    There is also a Facebook Group of organizations and libraries lending Kindles…”

    Amazon Explains the High Cost of Kindles…06.16.09

    16 06 2009


    In the Wired interview Jeff Bezos: Why Is the Kindle So Expensive?, Mr. Bezos explains:

    “…’We did consider [the cellphone model] for Kindle,’ Bezos said in an interview with Wired’s Steven Levy at Wired’s Disruptive by Design Conference in New York. ‘Instead of driving the cognitive complexity of a two-year commitment, [we] just tell people, “This is the actual cost of the device,” he said.

    ‘We sell a lot of cellphones for a penny, and you know, when you’re buying a cellphone for a penny, there’s got to be a catch — and there is’ in the recurring cost of monthly service which is free with the Kindle’s Whispernet service.

    Still, if customers preferred smaller hardware costs and higher operating fees, he would still consider that approach. Bezos maintains that Amazon could have sold the DX for $99, but only with a required monthly subscription of $60 or more per month, or by forcing Kindle owners buy a certain number of books each month.

    ‘[The Kindle DX] is $489, and that is an unbelievably low price for something that has inside it a sophisticated computer, a completely new kind of display of that size, and a 3G wireless radio,’ Bezos said…

    In addition to offering consumers a simpler value proposition, Bezos says charging a high initial rate without a monthly fee lets Amazon keep its Kindle hardware and eBook businesses separate, selling eBooks to Kindle owners as well as readers who use competing platforms such as the iPhone or competing standalone eBook readers, at the same prices it offers Kindle owners…”

    Kindle DX Comparison…06.10.09

    10 06 2009


    Here is an interesting excerpt from a new post titled Supersized Kindle DX Makes E-Reading Easy for a Supersized Price:

    “Another Kindle? It seems that it was only four months ago that we saw a new version of Amazon’s e-reader. In fact, it was only four months ago the Kindle 2 arrived on February 9. What’s the June release have that the February one doesn’t?

    Size seems to matter to the folks at Amazon. While the Kindle 2 has a 6-inch (measured diagonally) e-ink screen — roughly the area of a mass-market paperback book — the DX’s 9.7-inch screen resembles a page from a typical hardback. Put another way, the DX flaunts 2.5 times more display space. More text on a page means more lines and, if you prefer, a bigger font, without having to turn the page as often. What does that mean for you? It’s easier to read via the DX.

    Best of all, the DX was engineered not to feel big. Virtually the same thickness as the Kindle 2, the 19-ounce heft won’t tax your wrists. Its keyboard is actually a little smaller than the Kindle 2’s, so almost all of the DX’s front surface is covered by the screen. This feels less gadgety, more tablety. It’s very comfortable to hold, and as with the Kindle 2, the DX becomes invisible once you become entranced by an author’s spell

    The most glaring hindrance of the DX is its price. It costs $490…

    By elegantly supersizing the Kindle — and ramping up its ability to read files — Amazon has improved the best all-around e-reader available. But the hefty price tag doesn’t fit Jeff Bezo’s stated philosophy of getting the best value for his customers.”

    University Library Loans Kindles to Faculty…06.05.09

    5 06 2009


    Gerrit van Dyk of Shaping Libraries shared the following today:

    “…Our Interlibrary Loan Office [BYU] was recently approved to officially start a pilot loaning Amazon Kindles to our university faculty.


    We looked at the number of requests facutly requests which we had to cancel, either because they were too new or too popular (no other library would lend them). We found that about 10% of these requests could have been filled by purchasing a Kindle Book. Why not try to fill these in a faster, and often, cheaper way?

    An interesting sidenote: almost half of the requests we could have filled through the Kindle Store were scholarly monographs.


    So far we are limiting the service to faculty only but this is just to keep the demand down. If it takes off we will buy more devices and open it up to other university populations (staff, grad students, etc)…”