A Merry Kindle Christmas (update)

by Kendra Bonnett on December 27, 2009

catnav-book-business-active-3Post #14 – Women’s Memoirs, Book Business – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

Put this in your Not-So-Surprising and Food-for-Thought categories. When Amazon announced that this past November was its best month so far for Kindle sales, what do you think thousands of new Kindle recipients did on Christmas Day? They downloaded books, of course. In fact, they downloaded so many digital copies that for the first time digitalkindle outsold print sales for the same day.

What does this mean to us, as authors and publishers and, naturally, as readers? I think the best way to view these milestones is to make a New Year’s resolution to keep a closer eye on the Kindle and to promise to learn more about what is involved in converting your book into a Kindle-compatible ebook. You don’t have to take immediate action. The digital revolution is a journey, and it’s too early to know our final destination. New players will appear; others will fade away. But it is time to acknowledge that ebook publication is a viable option. So to help you start to get up to speed, here’s a link to Amazon’s Digital Text Platform.

And here’s one final bit of perspective. The blog site Mashable has posted its own interesting assessment of the Kindle’s holiday sales milestone. In answer to their question, Has the digital book revolution really arrived? they say, yes…and no. The numbers are certainly creeping up. Reader prices are slowly coming down (good news). More players in the game. But, and here’s the obvious, of course new Kindle owners are going to immediately start downloading books, but how many other readers are going to interrupt their holiday celebrations to place an order for books on Christmas? Probably not so many.

Update:

I want to give you this link to Seth Godin’s blog today (12/28/09) because he makes an excellent point about the power of Amazon and Kindle to kill the independent bookstores. He writes, “Because people who buy 100 or 300 books a year are gone forever,” and he’s absolutely right. This weekend I’ve been reading comments among the Story Circle Network Lifewriters about books piling up (or not since they have a Kindle) and the books they contribute to local libraries. These women are big readers. The Kindles they received for Christmas are certainly going to make a difference to their local bookstores and libraries. The story continues to unfold…

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