Nate has an intriguing bit of gossip which suggests that Amazon may be launching an education-themed portal. He has a good little round-up of what we know and don’t know about this—the title is likely ‘Amazon Inspire’ but beyond that, little detail is available.
I found a few other news articles and blog posts which discussed this rumour. Most of them treat this news as if Amazon is doing something revolutionary. But of course, that’s not true. There already is a market leader in the teacher self-publishing business, and as I said last week they are the only market I’m in which, so far, has actually paid me money. I would hate for them to get swallowed up by Amazon.
There is the potential for this to be a bust, of course. I don’t know any teacher who uses the Apple textbook publishing software. But I know a ton of them who use Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT). One of its genius aspects is that every teacher who sells must offer at least one sample product for free. This means that there is always a ton of new, fresh—and free—content to draw people over to the site. And when it does come to paying, I know some schools (like mine) will reimburse teachers for money they spend. There is no incentive not to buy.
Another feature I love about TpT is that you can sell product in any file format you choose, including printable PDF, and ZIP files. Most of my offerings are several PDFs bundled together—a story booklet, a worksheet bundle, and a teaching guide. It would be hard to convert such a bundle into the Kindle format. You need to be able to print.
And, sad to say, many teachers are not as techie as they should be. I can’t see most of my colleagues converting to special formats or going through any hoops to prepare their stuff specially. If they can’t upload their PDFs, they won’t do it.
So, we’ll see. Maybe this is happening, many it’s not. Maybe it will be a bust, or maybe it won’t. Time will tell.
Publisher’s note: I accidentally hit the “Publish” button ahead of time, and this post was online briefly with the wrong byline. Sorry, Joanna. – D.R.
Photo credit: Amazon.