Amazon announced last week that they’re lowering the price on their basic Kindle ereader device to $114. That’s really not news, because Amazon and its competitors have been in an aggressive ereader price war over the last couple of years. What is interesting, however, is that this Kindle promotion comes with some new caveats that the buyer should think about ahead of time.
The main distinction with this new ereader concerns advertisements–electronic advertisements in the form of “screensavers” that will appear on the display when you’re not reading. Although that’s not terribly intrusive it is something that you’ll have to get used to throughout your ownership of the device, and I leave it to you to decide whether that is worth the $25 price difference compared to the standard Kindle. On the other hand, Amazon’s sweetening the pot with a few other perks such as:
* $10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card
* $6 for 6 Audible Books (normally $68)
* $1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store (choose from over 1 million albums)
* $10 for $30 of products in the Amazon Denim Shop or Amazon Swim Shop
What do you think? In my opinion it comes down to control, and when you buy this particular Kindle you’ll be ceding some control of your reading experience over to Amazon. Of course, having bought over 100 books from Amazon I’ve already done that–so a few more ads won’t bother me. But still, it’s not for everyone.
In addition, my thinking is that this move is the beginning of a new business model. I predict that we’ll see more sponsor-driven programs that will continue to bring down the prices of these devices and which will continue to grow the ebook market as a whole. More lower-priced ebook readers=more ebook consumers, which is a win-win for everyone–especially authors.
Is this a revolution in bringing ebooks to the masses, or a backwards step to Orwell’s 1984? Jump on my Facebook page and let me know.
Till next time, keep publishing!