So the big news today is that Amazon.com is launching their new tablet, the Kindle Fire and dropping prices on many of their other products. Here are the actual details: The Kindle Fire tablet with the Amazon Silk web browser = $199. Kindle touch w 3G = $149. Kindle Touch w/ wi-fi = $99. A regular Kindle = $79.
This is huge.
While ebooks have continued to skyrocket in popularity over the past year, the price point of many ereaders was still prohibitive to many potential buyers. But with the realization that customers can now actually get a Kindle for the incredible price of JUST $79 bucks, you can bet that there are going to be even more Kindles under the ol’ Christmas tree than there were last year. What this means is an exponential increase in ereader usage; and it also means an exponential increase in ebook consumption. For authors, this is an absolutely incredible time to be in the writing game. It is now easier than it ever has been before to actually make a living at writing. No longer are writers tied to the sometimes Draconian policies of the Big 6 Traditional Publishing industry. A measly advance? Reserves Against Returns? Royalty statements twice each year?
Try monthly payments (net 60 days) direct deposited into your bank account. Try accurate real-time sales data that allows speedy adaptation in case of a product that languishes in sales. Try speeding up production from eighteen months to under 48 hours. Try the freedom to be truly creative and put out what you want to create as opposed to trying to write something that will “sell” to the establishment based on what “they” think will sell. (And you can’t tell me that any author doesn’t have a boatload of projects that never saw the light of day because an agent or editor said they couldn’t sell it…)
Amazon’s drastic price reductions will mean that more people than ever before will start to embrace ebooks. They’ve been hearing about them for a while. And now they can actually see what the fuss is about. Dropping the Kindle to below $99 bucks is a huge move and psychologically, the purchase of an ereader now becomes an-almost impulse buy. With indie authors pricing their ebooks intelligently between $2.99-$4.99 the lure of ebooks has never been stronger.
It’s going to be one very interesting holiday season, indeed.