Dying Dinosaurs Of Print Dying Faster

Amazon’s next revolution

Running on Sprint Nextel’s high-speed data network, Kindle bridges the gap between the perpetual connectivity of a mobile phone and the sporadic connectivity – but superior form factor – of a laptop. There’s no need to plug into a computer, the battery will last two weeks, and there are no connection fees. And buying a book is a snap. Freed considered slower connections, like a pager network or 2G, but ultimately determined that 60-second downloads would spur impulse purchases. See an interesting author speak on The Daily Show? You can start reading the book before the interview’s over.

The plan has worked like a charm. For titles where a traditional paper and an electronic Kindle version are available, 35% of sales already come from downloads, Amazon says. That suggests not only that Kindle owners love their devices, but also that they’re buying impetuously. And the wireless connectivity, which Amazon provides free to Kindle owners, has helped Amazon blaze ahead of its main competitor, Sony’s Reader, which requires users to connect to a computer, la the iPod, to download books.

Emphasis added by me.

Impulse purchases. Impulse pricing.

What part of these two things are difficult to understand?

Here is the beginning of the death knell for traditional print publishing:

Two dollars! Two!

And that’s six-hundred and ninety pages!

All of you dying print publishers, I’ve got news for you. Your mandate has never been to cater to an elite. Reading is supposed to be for the masses.

Keep your prices stupidly high and you’ll continue to your stupid demise.

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