The Supreme Insult to Me From Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos may be a brilliant conceptual thinker, but he is a truly lousy marketer. Clearly if someone with direct marketing savvy had thought through how to sell the Kindle, the following system would be in place:
1. The offer: “YOURS FREE! Choose any title from more than 125,000 Kindle books when you buy a Kindle. When your Kindle arrives and the battery is charged, just as soon as you activate the wireless system, the book you have chosen will be automatically sent to your Kindle and will be downloaded in 60 seconds. This is my welcome gift to you—my thanks for becoming a member of the Kindle family.” Again, the cost is peanuts, a volt of electricity and a $4.99 payment to the publisher, a drop in the $359 bucket and a terrific premium that should tip fence-sitters into the buy column and result in more sales.
2. If the new Kindle owner orders the first book with no 1-Click account in place, Amazon should offer profuse thanks, electronically ship the book anyway and request the new customer to please get the 1-Click account up-to-date so that more books can be ordered.
3. At the very least, make damn sure the new Kindle customer knows in advance that books cannot be ordered without the 1-Click account being activated.
Is Kindle Any Good?
It’s OK. Just OK—the Stanley Steamer of digital readers.
If you want to take a bunch of junk fiction along on a round-the-world cruise, it’s terrific. Text is readable; page turning easy. No lugging 100 pounds of books aboard ship.
But I ordered Korda’s “Ike,” which is heavy stuff—footnotes, etc.
* When an asterisk (*) appeared in the text, I couldn’t figure out how to find what it referred to.
* When a number appeared in the text to reference a footnote, I couldn’t find the footnote.