Tag Archives: kindle

Mad genius Bezos strikes again!

Whether Amazon’s new Fire tablet will be the iPad killer some have predicted remains to be seen.  But Jeff Bezos has struck another nail into the coffins of those publishers who continue to believe e-books are a craze that will one day just fade away.  Bezos is betting those naysayers are wrong, just as he has bet that all those who say reading for pleasure is a dying art are wrong.

This morning, Bezos fired multiple shots across the bow of not only Apple, but Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Sony, among others.  His first shot was the announcement of the new Kindle Touch.  With the “most advanced” E-ink display and an extra-long battery life, the Kindle Touch will sell for $99.  That’s right, Bezos has broken what many have long felt to be the magic price point for e-readers, the price most people will be willing to spend.

There’s more.  This Kindle Touch is the wifi version.  For $149, you get a Kindle Touch with free 3G service that will work in 100 countries.  There will be no 3G contract required, no monthly fees, no nothing except for price of the books you download.

But that wasn’t the end of the surprises from Bezos.  If a $99 Kindle Touch isn’t enough to tempt those who have been holding off buying an e-book reader, Bezos announced that the Kindle will now have a $79 model.  This version will have buttons, faster page turns and will weigh in at under six ounces.

The mad genius of Amazon wasn’t done yet.  After discussing some of the latest acquisitions to the Prime video program, he rolled out the device everyone has been talking about and waiting for – the Kindle Fire. The Fire has a 7 inch IPS display, a dual core processor and weighs in at 14.6 ounces.  With the Fire, you have access to 100,000 movies and TV shows, 17 million songs, as well as access to the Android Appstore and Kindle Books.  Whispersync will work on the Fire much as it does on the current generations of the Kindle. Not only will you be able to sync your books and magazines between devices, but also your music and videos.

The price for the Kindle Fire — $199.  That sound you hear is the sound of thousands of virtual feet pounding their way to the virtual line to place their pre-orders for the Fire.  Whether the Fire will come out in a 10-inch version and prove to be a true challenger for the iPad remains to be seen.  In the meantime, however, Bezos has just delivered new devices that will not only have dedicated Kindle customers ordering them but that will, because of their lower prices, have those who have never tried an e-book reader buying one. And why not, when the new Kindle costs less than a night out on the town now?


Thanks to Charlie Martin for posting this at PJ Lifestyle!

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Worst Idea Ever

As those of you who follow my Sunday posts at Mad Genius Club are aware, I usually start my mornings trying to get enough caffeine into my body to function while I read the morning headlines and scan a select group of blogs.  I also skim the topics on the kindle boards over at Amazon.  That’s where the title of today’s blog comes from.  This morning there’s a topic on the boards entitled “Worst Idea Ever” and the original poster goes on to rip the kindle — but doesn’t rip any other e-reader — as being the worst idea ever because it does nothing to improve on books.

Okay, to each his own.  I know a lot of folks who have yet to embrace e-books.  Others have but have yet to make the move to reading them on a dedicated e-book reader or smart phone.  They read them on their laptops or desktop computers.  For them, e-books are a novelty but have yet to become “real” books.  Others lament the fact that e-readers don’t look, feel or smell like a “real” book.

As I said, to each his own.

Usually, threads like this don’t catch my eye.  Or, if they do, I quickly leave them because I get tired of the attack dogs that come out.  Like most unmoderated boards, the kindle boards have a few posters who feel they know it all and must share their exalted opinions.  Others have simply grown tired of newbies asking the same questions over and over again without first searching the forum to see if the question has been answered.  Then there are those like this poster who seem to like stirring the pot by posting something they have to realize will only bring out the dogs.

But it was a comment in response to the original post that caught my eye.  To paraphrase, they said that what’s important are the stories, not the package they are delivered in.

I applaud this poster for cutting right to the heart of the matter.  It is the story that’s important.  It doesn’t matter what the form of delivery, how beautiful the cover art or how reasonable — or unreasonable — the price.  If the story isn’t good, people won’t continue to buy it.  Word-of-mouth will get around, warning readers that this story doesn’t live up to expectations.  Think about that series of novels you used to love.  Now, years into the series, the stories feel flat, stale.  Do you recommend the later books or books earlier in the series and why? More importantly, do you rush out to buy the new book or wait?

To me, the introduction of digital books is far from the worst idea ever.  Our children have been raised in an age when computers are an integral part of their lives.  It will be more so for their children.  E-books are a natural progression, in my opinion.  Like them or not, they are here to stay — at least until the next technological leap.

No, the worst idea ever would be to try to prevent access to books simply because they aren’t available in traditional print.   There are so many good books and short stories coming out in digital format only.  Better, there are a number of books that have long been out-of-print now becoming available because their authors are willing to bring them out on their own.

Like it or not, e-books are here to stay.  No, I don’t think they will bring about the end of “real” books.  But I do think they will help encourage the younger generations to read simply because they are in a format these young men and women, these boys and girls, are comfortable with.  After all, isn’t that really what we ought to be concerned with?

(Steps off soapbox, sees coffee mug is empty and prepares to go in search of more caffeine.  Before I do, let me suggest you check back later today for another announcement of more titles that we will be publishing in both print and digital formats.)



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