Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kindle Webinar Questions

Book Business Magazine hosted my Kindle webinar last Thursday and I had a lot of fun with the presentation. If you missed it you can still watch it via this archive link which also lets you download my slide deck.

We received quite a few questions from attendees and I wasn't able to address them all during the session so I thought I'd try to tackle a few via a blog post. Here are some of the ones I didn't get to during the webinar:

Do you think Sony has lost?
Wow, what a loaded question! I think the Kindle's wireless connectivity is a game-changing feature and represents a huge disadvantage for Sony. Amazon's stellar reputation as a bookseller means more challenges for Sony as well. That said, Sony could easily introduce their own wireless model down the road and it's unclear how much they might benefit from their recent announcement to support EPUB format. It's still way too early in this game to say who's won and who's lost, but the fact that I bought a Kindle and not a Sony Reader says something about who I think is best positioned for the future.

Doesn't Amazon have to convert Mobi files for the Kindle, or can you upload them directly to the Kindle from your computer?
You can load Mobi files directly from your computer to your Kindle. There's no need to go through Amazon for this.

Do you think people will start to read on the iPhone?
Absolutely. If someone already owns an iPhone there's less of an incentive for them to buy a Kindle. The key will be seeing how much content will be made available for the iPhone reader app. If Amazon can maintain a solid lead in the number of titles available the Kindle will always be a tempting consideration, even for iPhone owners.

Do you see self-published authors being able to use the Kindle?
Yes, in fact it's already happening. My favorite example is Stephen Windwalker and his Complete User's Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle. Btw, Stephen has also set up a 2-Books-in-1 deal with this book and his Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing for the Kindle. This link takes you to the 2-Books-in-1 deal where you can get both for only $9.99.

You mentioned your belief that Amazon has established a psychological pricing ceiling of $9.99 for e-books. Do you see any exceptions to this?
See this post that I wrote earlier today on my Publishing 2020 blog. The short answer is, "yes."

Is it possible to send Kindle-ready files directly to reviewers without having to go through Amazon?
Definitely. The easist way is to convert your content to Mobi format. It's unprotected, so you'll need to be comfortable sending it out without DRM, but it's an effective way of getting it into the hands of Kindle reviewers directly.

Isn't the fact that the Kindle relies on having Sprint service a major problem?
I'm assuming the question has to do with areas of the country where Sprint service is unavailable. If so, yes, that's a problem for anyone living or visiting these locations. I've been on the road quite a bit with my Kindle though and have had zero connectivity issues to date.

I'm running out of time today and I see I still have quite a few questions to answer. Let's consider this "Part One" of the webinar Q&A follow-up and I'll work on a Part Two over the next few days.


Anonymous said...

I am traveling all summer in an RV. The ease of carrying my Kindle rather than a "book bag" is immense. We went into Montana several weeks ago and I lost connectivity with Sprint. We are now in Anchorage and have had no wireless in well over a month. The point I want to make is that it's a bit of a PITA to have to load purchases over the computer but it's doable. The thing I have to remember is that the difficulty is in buying new books, not reading. I remain devoted to my bag of books in my Kindle.