Amazon is missing the boat on the Kindle

amazon-kindle-2-photoWhen the Amazon.com Kindle was unveiled in the Fall of 2007, I, being a gadget guy, was immediately interested. What would it look like? Feel like? How heavy would it be? What would the screen look like? Would the Amazon claim be true that the screen looks like you are reading a printed book?

I like many others, have wondered and been interested in touching, feeling and holding a Kindle. Unfortunately, I have yet to have that experience. In my opinion, this is a major problem for Amazon. If they want people to spend $359 on the Kindle and now $489 on the Kindle DX, a sight unseen business model isn’t going to work for the masses. That’s the first problem.

The second problem with the Kindle is that it doesn’t convert the books that I’ve already bought. At this point, converting my current read and unread library to a digital format isn’t possible, thus requiring a re-purchase of the Kindle version—which is not likely. To be fair, the fine folks at Thomas Nelson have started a new program called NelsonFree that allows anyone who has purchased a printed book to gain access to digital versions, including the Kindle, at no additional cost. While this does allow me to enjoy a book in whatever format I want, it doesn’t solve the prior purchase issue.

If problems are really opportunities, then I see two:

  1. A program that converts paper books into digital files. This would require origination or partnering with the copyright holders; just ask Google
  2. Figure out a way to exchange a paper book for a digital one – Thomas Nelson is testing a similar idea on one of their new releases

Being that I am a gadget guy who reads a lot of books, the Kindle is right up my alley. However, Amazon is mistaken if they think that I will buy one sight unseen.

Come on Amazon. I only want to experience it before I buy it. Is that asking too much?

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  • http://incrementalthought.com Jim Cowart

    I second your opinion! I, too, have been dying to get my hands on a Kindle and have yet to run into someone who owns one. The newer/larger version addressed some of my concerns on screen size….but I seriously doubt I'm going to drop nearly $500 on a product that I can't actually see in person first.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/thewifireports thewifireports

    The key will be digital textbooks…..if and when this happens. California is trying to get this done now but don't know if it will happen in this economy. The price tag has to be lowered…….unless Amazon is counting on the State buy a gazillion of them at this pricepoint………sorry , I don't know what comes after a trillion….better figure that out.