Kindle: The Greatest Publishing Business Model Since Gutenberg
I fired up the Kindle and “shopped the Kindle store.” The title was available for $9.80, and I ordered it. Within 30 seconds, it was in my reader. I handed it to Peggy, and she started reading “Gatsby.”
To Tina Brown, $9.80 is a, “paltry, pitiful sum.” I maintain it's more than fair—a hell of a deal for Peggy, for Amazon.com, for the publisher (Scribner) and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s estate. Here’s why:
Great for Peggy:
- She had the text in her hands within four minutes of telling me she wanted it.
- Amazon offers to send a sample of any text for free, so the reader can get a feel for the story and how the author writes.
- The cost: $9.80 billed to my credit card.
- We didn't have to make the rounds of local books stores, racking up time, gas and parking charges at Borders or Barnes & Noble in the hopes one of them had a copy.
- If special ordered, it would have taken several days, and we would've racked up more time, gas and parking charges to retrieve it.
- Had we ordered the printed book from Amazon, the price of the printed book would have been the same, $9.80, but I would have to pay extra for shipping.
- If we wanted a used edition, we could have gotten one from $2.82 to $3.87, but I would have had to spend time shopping, waited a week or more for delivery, and that delivery fee probably would have wiped out the savings.
Great for Amazon.com:
- Zero cost. This “Gatsby” is a smidgeon of electricity—no paper, printing, binding, shipping, warehousing or reserve for returns, no hurt to the environment. The $9.80 (minus a few cents for the wireless transaction, which Amazon.com pays) drops right to Amazon’s bottom line.
Free Money for Scribner: