The Kindle Gets 5,000 More Books

May 30th, 2008 | By | Category: General and Simon & Schuster today announced that Simon & Schuster will make 5,000 additional titles available for Amazon Kindle in 2008. When added to books already available on Kindle, these Simon Schuster titles represent the vast majority of sales from the publisher’s catalog.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo also offered incentive for other publishers for follow Simon & Shuster’s lead.

“After purchasing a Kindle, customers purchase, on average, just as many physical books, and their total book purchases on Amazon increase by 2.6x. Kindle books are also becoming a meaningful portion of Amazon’s overall book sales much sooner than we anticipated – of the 125,000 books available both as a physical book and on Kindle, Kindle books already account for over 6 percent of units sold.”

The selection of titles for the initiative was based on statistical analysis of physical books that have been very popular backlist titles among customers over the past 12 months.

While we’ve seen several positive signs for the Kindle, it’s still a relatively closed system. In order to really take off, Amazon needs to embrace Internet content and allow anyone to publish content for the device. This would vastly increase the content available for the device, dramatically expand its utility and make it more than just a platform for buying content.

Update: Check out RL’s comments – he makes the case that the Kindle already is open and easy to publish for.

If Amazon wants the Kindle to really take off, they should create a WordPress plugin that formats blogs for the device, and make it easy for anybody to publish content to it, and easy for users to load up with free content.

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No Responses to “The Kindle Gets 5,000 More Books”

  1. RL says:

    You wrote, “While we’ve seen several positive signs for the Kindle, it’s still a relatively closed system. In order to really take off, Amazon needs to embrace Internet content and allow anyone to publish content for the device.”

    FYI, anyone can “publish content” for the device. Anyone can self-publish a book for the Kindle.

  2. James Lewin says:

    RL – my understanding is that you can only publish content via their closed system.

    In other words – it has to be commercial content, you can’t realistically distribute it yourself and it has to meet their content guidelines.

  3. RL says:

    Anyone can publish content for the Kindle. Any individual can self-publish their work. Amazon has a link on the left side of their home screen that says, “Publish on Kindle.”

    Anyone can also publish content anywhere else online that can be loaded on the Kindle. There are thousands of books available on sites like Feedbooks, and Manybooks, and Gutenburg that are published and available to be downloaded to the Kindle. The same individual that could self-publish their book on Amazon for the Kindle could also do this from their own web-site, by just selling their material as a text file. They could also sell their book via a CD that would need to be loaded to a computer and then moved to the Kindle. You might need to jump through a hoop first…but that is really an easy hoop to jump through. It is just a matter of doing an email and then getting an email back with the material in the proper format for the Kindle…..and this process is free..

    I have a lot of books on my Kindle. I have only purchased one from Amazon. All of the other books were in Public Domain. So, why couldn’t anyone out there be able to sell content from any website to the Kindle. They just make it available as a text file download after you the customer pays with a credit card.

    Right now, there are books available on CDs on Ebay that are sold for the Kindle. Most of these are books that are in public domain. Yes…you have to have some sort of computer to put the books on prior to moving them to the Kindle….but so what…anyone that is buying on Ebay obviously has a computer.

    Anyone that wants to sell a book that can be read on a Kindle can do that now. Anyone can publish content for the Kindle now. Anyone can do that by using the Amazon system of publishing, or they can do it on their own, by selling that content as a text file download, or by selling it as a text file on a CD.

    There is plenty of content now.

    When I read, your statement, “Amazon needs to embrace Internet content and allow anyone to publish content for the device,”….I already knew that was happening now….that people were publishing their own books on Amazon now…and that there was plenty of content on the Internet that was totally free…that there were people on Ebay selling books on CDs for the Kindle.

    Most of us Kindle owners are taking advantage of the free “Internet Content” now.

    I was reading some books on Gutenburg on my laptop. Reading on the Kindle is a much better experience than that. I didn’t really buy the device for buying content so much, as just the ability to have something better than a laptop to read the free content.

  4. Claude says:


    Don’t you think that’s a lot different than the approach that Apple and Microsoft have taken with podcasting & music? Both companies have made it pretty trivial to rip CDs to your media player or to automatically load it up with free content.

    Can you easily subscribe to any free content with the Kindle? That would get me interested.

  5. RL says:

    I don’t think there is any difference here, between the music on the ipod and the books for the Kindle. Right now, there is a ton of free literary content available. There is also plenty that can be purchased. I don’t think it is any harder to get a book on a Kindle than music on an ipod. I know that people that subscribe to Napster have to go through the step of buring the music to a cd, and then uploading that to the itunes software.

    There is probably a lot more literary content that is free than there is with music. Most of the free music that people download is pirated, and therefore illegal. That is not the case with literary matter. There are some sites that have pirated material available….but most of the literary content available for free is legitimate. There are thousands and thousands of books available that are free, and that are legal. I don’t think there are thousand and thousands of songs that are free and also legal.

    This free content can also be downloaded onto other ereader devices, the other 2 most notable ones being the Sony Reader, and the Irex Illiad. I chose to buy the Kindle because I happen to already like Amazon, and Amazon had the most “new” books available for purchase, and it had the wireless capacity. The Illiad also has a wireless capacity (wifi), and it has a stylus which allows for writing on the screen….but the cost of an Illiad was closer to $700. I chose the Kindle because I thought that as big as Amazon was, that the Kindle had the biggest chance for survival. The free material can be read on any of the devices as well as a laptop or desktop computer….but it is so much better to read it on a device the size of a regular book that can be toted around..

    As far as your question about being able to subscribe to free content…the key word being subscribe….I don’t know…but I do know that any free content that is a text file can be placed on the Kindle. I have not tried to open email on Kindle, but I have read that it can be done. There is some guy named Windwalker that has sold something like 8000 copies of his material, most of which I believe is “how to” do stuff on/with the Kindle. I know about the number of 8000 copies because there was something writen on a blog by his wife stating that they had promised their 11 or 12 year old son his own Kindle when they reached that mark, and she said that it had happened (this was in the discussion area about the age of Kindle users). I think one of his publications is about using Kindle for gmail….so I guess that content that could be subscribed and delivered to a gmail account could be received on the Kindle.

    Amazon has had this device at the top of their site for months. I wanted to have faith that it would last before buying it…so I watched it for a long time remain on their front page. I read reviews. I wanted one. My main concern was that I didn’t want to buy something that would become obsolete any time soon. I think they are putting a lot into this…especially since I have watched it stay top and center on their website.

    I guess I can’t blame anyone for having their doubts….but I studied long and hard prior to buying one. The $400 price tag was not a deterrent at all. My concerns were only about the device “making it” and after all my studying and reading I believed that it would. The average user is not a teenager or adolescent, that has to beg parents for the money to buy this. They are people that can afford to buy themselves one, and then because they love it so much, they want to buy one for someone else.

  6. Betty Jo says:

    I just gotta say I love my kindle and the cheap books.

    My taste is a bit rough but I enjoyed “The Misogynist” by Emily Downs. It’s only a dollar for a new artist with great talent.

    It can be a bit vulgar at times. Be warned. But it’s cheap.

    She is the bestselling author of “Lisa Loves Girls”

    2 books for under 2 bucks. THe kindle will own publishing.

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