Amazon, Apple and Ebooks

    Categories: Ebooks and Technology

OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn

I love the magazine Fast Company and await it eagerly wending its way from the US each month. If are into creativity in business, I highly recommend it!

I finally have the July edition and wanted to share the main feature article on The Evolution of Amazon. Here are the main points that I find interesting.

  • Whatever the criticism of the Kindle, it has managed to bring ebooks to the mainstream public's attention and has enabled a digital publishing platform for all authors (DTP here). The Kindle page says Our vision is to have every book ever printed, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds”. This is truely a brilliant blue sky dream that is rapidly becoming achievable – although I'd like them to add “To any person” because the Kindle is still not available to anyone outside the US.
  • It has a description of the archaic market speculation that publishers have to do, and the ‘fully refundable returns‘ process which enables backlist stock but can cripple the publisher if the print run has been too optimistic. Note to publishers – more print-on-demand people!
  • The reality is that today “books are about distribution and publicity“. This being true, then indie authors can definitely make an impact because POD deals with distribution and we can do our own publicity.
  • There is a brilliant picture of the evolution of digital devices – diverging into different devices for different media and perhaps coalescing back into one multi-media device (will it be the Apple tablet?!). The article discusses how the next step might look – will Apple step in with a new device that will blow the Kindle and other e-readers out the water?
  • Evidence for Apple's possible move into ebook readers: Steve Jobs has denied it and ignored it which apparently means he will do it according to past denials; Apple have filed a trademark application to add books into the iTunes store and a patent for ebook technology. We shall see but I for one am excited about the possibilities!

Here are a couple of other articles on this topic if you are interested:

Joanna Penn :

View Comments (4)

  • Not so sure Apple will kill the Kindle. One of the issues I and many others have with the Kindle is the price. Even at $299 the Kindle is pricy. I suspect the e-book market model should be one of razor / razor blades or in contemporary terms ... printer / ink cartridge.

    Ink jet printers are so cheap because the ink is SO EXPENSIVE. To avoid swooning, never calculate what you are paying for ink in gallons or liters!

    Amazon has used the reverse strategy. The low ball pricing for Kindle e-books may hurt more than help the writers bottom line. Remember Apple is not known for dirt cheap devices. Most speculate the Apple Tablet will sell in the $800US range. No Kindle killer ... especially in this economy.

  • I think the killer is the multi-device. The Kindle is just for ebooks, but the tablet will be for much more - that is why it may well get rid of specific ebook devices.
    Nice analogy re printers and ink - but the horse has bolted with ebook pricing :)

  • Well you have a point re. set price points and expectations but still very skeptical that a super sized iPhone will compete with the Kindle. This is not an economy friendly to $800 widgets when there are lower cost alternatives.

    I could use my $300 netbook to read Barnes and Nobel e-books and may give it a try but suspect a low cost ($195US or less) dedicated e-book reader would be more attractive.

    Will be fun to watch and see what happens ... tis an exciting time. On that we will agree I'm sure!

  • Hi Sam,

    You and Joanna both have a valid point, but we must remember, the future will bring more prosperity, if not there's no point in anything!
    There's a place and a price for everything. Mind you I could be wrong, I know that because I've been wrong before! Have a great day.

    Phil Phoenix.