Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kindle Content

The [lab]oratory blog has an interesting take on this Kindle article in The Washington Times. The Times reporter seems to have a problem with the fact that Amazon would sell public domain content for the Kindle. I'm guessing the reporter hasn't visited one of the larger brick-and-mortar chains to see that they too sell copies of books based on public domain content. So what? If someone decides Amazon or the brick-and-mortar chain is charging too much, well, they could just go ahead and sell the exact same public domain content themselves! Good luck though. Most of the times I've seen these private label literary classics in the store they're dirt cheap already.

Back to the Kindle... Even though Amazon has a lock on Kindle content that can be seamlessly downloaded via Whispernet today, I'm intrigued by what at least one other content provider is up to. Actually, this other provider hasn't launched yet but they did put out this press release a few days ago. The company is called Smashwords and if you read that press release you'll see they've got a very interesting e-content model, both for authors and consumers. If you read it closely you'll see they plan to support a variety of file formats, all without DRM, including .mobi. This could be a great opportunity for Kindle owners since it would give them an alternate content source; although it wouldn't load via Whispernet it would be a simple drag-and-drop operation with the Kindle's USB cable. For more information see this post on my Publishing 2020 blog.