“Amazon could pay for Kindle sales coyness.” That’s the Reuters headline about Amazon’s refusal so far to disclosure unit numbers despite the feverish hype.
Kindle sales are just just a fraction of Amazon’s revenue, far from a material percentage. But Amazon boosters are certainly talking as as if it could reach that level—one reason why, for ethical reasons if nothing else, I hope that CEO Jeff Bezos will share numbers.
In other news:
–New copyright laws in France will provide not just for fines but also possible suspension of access to the Internet (via Gary Price). So what happens at the household level? Will some children be unable to download books from home because their parents ran afoul of the laws?
–CNN reviews the e-book piracy issue and wisely notes that “some evidence suggests that authors’ and publishers’ claims of damage from illegal piracy may be overstated.” Yes, e-reader owners tend to buy more books.
–But are they always buying? CNet notes that some of the biggest “bestsellers” on the Kindle lists are free. You can find your own freebies there easily enough. As I’m writing this, the top half dozen books on the Kindle list cost zero dollars. Public domain sites like freekindlebooks.org are another source of Kindle freebies.
–The debate continues among Apple-ologists about whether the expected miracle tablet from Apple will be a multiple-use machine or a dedicated e-book reader. A related issue is whether Apple will promote subscriptions for text or video?