Amazon takes one more step toward in-book advertisements for the Kindle

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Comment by Dana King on July 8, 2009 at 11:56pm
If Amazon does decide to go down this road, then John McFetridge's scenario is prbably the best we can hope for. There is no way Amazon is going to walk away from a proven revenue stream. If they can use ads to bring down the price of a Kindle, thus getting more people to use them, the next logical step for any self-respecting MBA (assuming "self-respecting MBA" is not an oxymoron) is to turn it into a profit center.

As for the comparison to magazines, I read very few magazines, and subscribe to none, largely because I got tired of fishing through the ads to find something worth reading. I read books to be taken into a fictional world; cluttering the experience with ads will break the connection with that world.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on July 8, 2009 at 2:30pm
New money streams; that's what we are talking here. Think of untapped veins of gold that will soon be mined by every greedy little hand that can pick up an axe or shovel.

I used to love cable's ScyFy channel. Now I hate it. Those bastards shove seven to eight commericals at every commercial break. They seem to go on and on and on. . .

Enough already. Forget Kindle. Just buy the cheapest paperback you can find. (and if the day ever comes that some publishing house can actually cut in half the price of a book and still make a profit, they're setting on the biggest gold mine ever!)
Comment by Benjamin Sobieck on July 8, 2009 at 1:54pm
That's the key: make it affordable. More consumers equals more options. Some could have ads, some could not. Some could use DRM, some could not. The market would determine which choices are the best, and audiences would be better served for it.

Look at the motor vehicle. It started with the Model T. Now there are thousands of choices.
Comment by John McFetridge on July 8, 2009 at 10:49am
Back in the 70's many mass market paperbacks had a page of advertising in them. It was easy to tear it out.

Ads would certainly change the experience of reading a book. Maybe it'll be like TV - you buy the cheap version (network) it's got ads, you pay extra (cable) there's no ads.

As for the Kindle, there are many other e-readers available. This article is about the Ditto and the CoolER and there's the Sony. The main difference is that with these you have to download books to your computer and then load them onto the reader, but they read lots of different file types.

I don't mind buying a license for an e-book as long as I know the arrangement ahead of the purchase so I can make my choice. My dream would be for e-books to be so cheap that DRM wouldn't matter, there'd be no need to lend something that costs less than a cup of coffee.
Comment by Benjamin Sobieck on July 8, 2009 at 10:43am
I'm seeing this a different way, John. If the Kindle is popular enough, it doesn't need ads to sustain the product. The ads are supplementary, not elementary. The original Kindle included no ads, so they were not part of the business plan at start. With a high price and low(ish) demand, ads were needed to justify its existence financially.

Maybe there's a middle ground. One version has ads, one doesn't. The price reflects both. Sounds too complicated to work, though.
Comment by Eric Christopherson on July 8, 2009 at 9:18am
In the 1840's Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about how irritating the new fangled railroad trains were, disrupting his perfect peace and contentment from out of the blue; he thought it an abomination. That's how I'd feel if while using a Kindle my next Lee Child cliffhanger got interrupted by some inane ad to help with my PMS or dishwater hands.
Comment by John Dishon on July 8, 2009 at 8:19am
it's not about sales, it's about the quality of the reading experience. How would you like to be reading page 52 of a novel, then on page 53 see an ad for something, and then the chapter continues on page 54?

Now if they do it like they do in mmp, where there is a page or two at the end advertising books, usually related somehow to the book it is in, then there would be no problem.
Comment by I. J. Parker on July 8, 2009 at 8:09am
You buy magazines all the time that are 50 to 60 % advertising. As far as I can see, that hasn't hurt sales at all. Now authors writing books to illustrate a product (as was done by Bulgari a few years ago) goes beyond the pale.
Comment by Dana King on July 8, 2009 at 4:50am
I'm with John on this one. I can't even pump gas anymore without seeing ads on the pump; the last place I want them is in a book I'm reading. Like Eric, this will keep me off the Kindle.

Giving away the book if you'll accept the advertising is one way that might promote sales, though I fail to see why they would eventually do away with ads once they sold enough to bring down the price of the Kindle. Seems to me the advertising would then be part of a proven business model.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on July 8, 2009 at 4:49am
Hey, if there's a way for a corporation to make a buck or two, they're gonna tap into it. Another reason to not buy a Kindle.

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