Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kindling Questions

Regular readers of my blog will recall that I've been talking about the long-anticipated release of Amazon's new e-reading device, called the Kindle, for the last eight months.

My first post about the Kindle was on September 13 of last year here.

Although I mentioned the Kindle after that, the next post with any substantive info was this past April 19 here.

Since then, although there have been rumors, there has been no announcement from Amazon.

Yesterday, I realized that I hadn't received my daily edition of Publishers Lunch. I went to the Publishers Marketplace (PM) website where they post their information every day and found a long post on Amazon and the Kindle.

I'm going to quote some relevant sentences here:

Publishers Lunch has discovered metadata streams from Amazon that confirm listings of "Kindle Edition" offerings for a variety of books, newspapers and magazines . . .

Nearly all of the mentions we located are not live on the Amazon site itself, but are found in web services feeds that query the Amazon computers for data that's posted on other sites.

There was at least one live link as of yesterday, for a Kindle Edition of the Wall Street Journal--offered for one dollar, with a "subscribe now with 1-click" button . . .

. . . Other periodicals for which we found listings of Kindle Editions through Amazon data feeds include the NY Times, the Washington Post, Le Monde, the Independent, Forbes, Newsweek, Time, the Boston Globe, FAZ, and the Denver Post.

Publishers Marketplace provided a hyperlink to the Wall Street Journal live link, which I checked out. A few hours later, that link no longer worked. Apparently after Amazon got a phone call from Publishers Marketplace, the link was deactivated.

Two things: First, Amazon is obviously not satisfied with just releasing their e-reader. They are putting all the pieces into place so that, when the Kindle comes on the market, you will not only be able to read books, but also be able to read your favorite newspapers and magazines with the touch of a button.

And, second, Publishers Marketplace found lots of links to books for sale via Kindle. They commented:

Nearly all of the hardcovers and recent releases we found have "list prices" of $16.99 or thereabouts -- already lower than the hardcover prices -- and the site further "discounts" from a variety of list prices to an apparent standardized selling price of $9.99. This will naturally make people wonder if Amazon is trying to establish that price point as a common listing, as the closest they could come to a system akin to iTunes dollar-per-song model.

Could the Kindle be the model that captures the reading public the way the iPod did the music market?

Stay tuned . . . and read on. This is a two-post day.

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