Home Kindle for the Web: Sounds Like…The Web, Only For a Fee

Kindle for the Web: Sounds Like…The Web, Only For a Fee

Amazon’s Kindle books will soon be readable as content embedded on Web pages and Web page publishers will be able to land affiliate fees for Kindle books they sell to their own audiences, the company announced today.

You too can now pay $9.99 to read text on a Web page, in Amazon’s proprietary format, with the graphically limited format of a printed text-only book of yore. Sure, your bookmarks and notes will carry over from the Web pages you’re reading on to other devices – but could that possibly be enough to warrant paying for Web-embedded eBooks? I don’t think so. Once it hits the Web, premium content is only sellable because of scarcity or a superior user experience. I don’t see either of those being true in this case.

Isn’t the best thing about the Kindle the user experience? The form factor, the e-ink, the mobility? None of that seems transferable to the Web browser.

The thing that always bothers me about e-books is their price. I know there is a long chain of people that make up the e-book industry just like there is in the traditional book publishing industry, and those people deserve to be paid well, but I’d buy so many more e-books if they were priced like mobile software apps are.

$9.99 is getting better, but give me a price point of $5 and we’re really talking. I’ll buy three books at $5 a whole lot faster than I’ll buy one book for $10, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Paying for book content makes sense when talking about mobile devices, but as embedded text content on Web pages? I do not feel inclined to pay for that.

As a complete package, give me an open technical standard so the e-books I buy can be read across all platforms, give me a richer experience and give me a lower price point. Then I’ll be excited. This looks like a non-starter.

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