If you’ve been living under an Internet-proof, lead-lined rock the last 24 hours, you may have missed the big story of the day, perhaps season. Amazon announced a whopping SIX new Kindles, including FOUR named Kindle Fire. Yep, a veritable conflagration of tablets they rolled out, and I can think of only two words to describe the announcement:
BRAVO and BOFFO
Admittedly, I’ve never actually used that second word, but it somewhat rhymes, plays on a little alliteration (and allowed me to say “little alliteration”), and I think it sums it up quite nicely.
Yes, four Fires can be confusing (the original and now updated at $159, the new and improved Fire HD at $199, the HD 8.9″ at $299, and the HD 8.9″ 4G at $499…and call me jealous of the last one’s $50 per YEAR 4G/LTE data plan), but what it all boils down to for me, a self-published author, is this
This will be one hell of a Christmas.
As if Amazon’s market share of ebooks wasn’t already great enough (I run around 65-70% Kindle sales versus others, though many authors I know exceed 90% regularly), they’ve shaken up the e-reader world once again with six very nice pieces of technology that will (a) cause some Kindle users to upgrade, get all happy at their new device, and buy some new books to put on it; but maybe more importantly (b) cause some market shift* from Nook/Kobo/Sony/squint-at-Blackberry-screen/stone-tablet-with-chisel users.
*Of course this is where Kindle’s proprietary mobi files cause some issues, but rest assured all of my books are DRM free, so with a little tinkering in Calibre they can easily be moved over to a new Kindle. Just sayin’…
My personal feeling is that the two biggest Kindles to come out of yesterday’s announcement are the $69 base model and the updated and price-reduced $159 Fire. Yes, the Fire HDs stole the show, and the Paperwhite (really Amazon, a name that close to paperweight??) looks like an even better version of the excellent Nook Glow. But in our still struggling economy, with plenty of eager readers still yet to move to an e-reader, I get the feeling that a whole heap o’ low end Kindles will be boxed, wrapped, and stuck under the tree in a few months.
Personally, it doesn’t matter to me which model, or even which brand, readers choose. But with this announcement, Amazon has once again vaulted to the forefront of both e-reader technology and readers’ minds. I would anticipate Kindle sales percentages for all authors will rise.
Disclaimer: Once the iPad mini is announced in October, ALL BETS ARE OFF.