Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kindle Redux

I have posted about the Kindle before, but now there is new data, courtesy of the January issue of ASIMOV'S. I have not yet seen this issue since half of my mail goes to Seattle and half comes to Rochester, depending on the vagaries of the Post Office and despite whatever instructions I leave with that august institution. However, a friend sent me this information (thanks, Doug).

Currently, 10% of ASIMOV'S subscriber base is receiving the magazine through Kindle or other electronic delivery. Ten percent! The digital literary revolution is coming faster than anyone expected. Okay, not anyone -- I imagine Cory Doctorow, say, anticipated this. But it certainly surprises me. And ASIMOV'S is negotiating right now for more e- delivery distribution bandwidth with more partners.

I have been spending the last week getting rid of books. Many, many books, in many ways. As I dropped off today's load of donations to my local library, my eye was caught by the perpetual used-book sale in the library lobby. I saw a particular book. This was a book I want. It was calling my name. But I did not buy it -- not even at $1.50 -- because I simply AM NOT going to move any more books to Seattle. But if I had the Kindle...

I may have to break down and buy one. I am not an early adopter of technology. Not even a middle adopter. But then, I never had to move to Seattle before, either.

Ten percent! Already!

12 comments:

Andrew said...

I see a lot of Kindles here, but maybe that's because I live next to Amazon HQ :)

And that's a great early indicator for 'zines!

Brendan said...

Do you have a smart phone? Some of those have very acceptable e-readers.

gary gibson said...

They're great devices (I own a sony reader), but just keep in mind that the DRM on the Kindle books mean you may find it difficult or even impossible to move any books you buy for the Kindle to future devices or even devices made by other companies. It might not bother you now if you get one, but three or five years down the road it has the potential to become an issue.

Nick A said...

Could short-fiction readership increase with e-reading? What a dream to see Asimov subscriptions increase.

Dellaster said...

Yeah, the proprietary DRM format/device war is the biggest question mark when deciding which way to go. Barnes & Noble just entered the fray with the Nook ebook reader and it looks like it'll be a viable contender.

However, Amazon.com has stolen a march on the competition by releasing iPhone and PC reader apps (soon Mac as well). So the same Kindle book purchased on Amazon.com can be read on your phone, home PC, laptop, tablet PC, netbook, etc. Simultaneously, if you wish, and if connected to the 'net your last page read and annotations synchronize between them.

It'll be interesting to see how things shake out. One thing's for sure: ebooks will continue to gain popularity and percentage of books sold. I don't think anyone doubts that now.

annie said...

It's not that big of a surprise. Kindle (or the iPhone app for Kindle) is simple, convenient and portable in a way that stacks of books and magazines aren't.

I can't walk a street and not see dozens of people - mostly young - plugged in to phones or other devices. It seems logical that a person would make use of technology that is literally at fingertip.

mkhouse said...

My favorite thing about my Kindle is the ability to change text size. I can make it bigger and read while walking on the treadmill. An hour goes by and I barely notice!

Douglas said...

Asimov’s flat 2009 print subscriptions + skyrocketing e-subscriptions = net increase in readers. I’m one of them. An earliest adopter, my Kindle love affair led me down the path of distribution channel polyamory. About three weeks ago I gladly caved to the ensuing e-content vs. Big Box Retailer price war: $9.99 and free shipping for 1,100 actual paper pages of hardcover Under the Dome, by Stephen King – sticker retail @ $35.00. With all respect to Gary’s comment, DRM will not hinder the paradigm shift. As Apple changed the way we purchase and experience music, so it will go for all publishable content.

Natasha Fondren said...

I bought my Kindle because I was moving out of a house into a camper. I got rid of a TON of books, and I've never looked back. I love reading on my Kindle. I don't miss the feel of paper. I read more (because my books are always there) and I buy more.

It is, without a doubt, my most favorite "thing" I've ever owned.

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