Amazon has released a free Kindle app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. While the app has some flaws (such as bugs and the inability to subscribe to newspapers), reviews are mostly positive. This is big news for authors and Amazon alike.
First, for Amazon. If you somehow missed it, Amazon’s revolutionary eBook reader, the Kindle allows the owner to read books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and more on a special screen designed to not tired the eyes. The device itself is small and, upon it’s release in November of 2007, was widely praised as an excellent eBook reader. You can see a ton of testimonials, photos and more of the Kindle here.
Fast forward to the release of the latest iPhone and iPod Touch (which is basically an iPhone without the phone part). As people began to buy eBooks to read on their iPhones and iPods, rumors began to spread that iPhone would kill the Kindle.
However, with the free Kindle application, this battle has taken a huge step in Amazon’s direction. Now publishers don’t have to chose between publishing on the iPhone/iPod Touch OR the Amazon Kindle. Instead, by publishing on Kindle alone, they get to be in both locations. This is huge for Amazon, obviously, as it lets them sell more eBooks (of which they get 35% of the sale price) and also lets them sell more Kindles as this allows people to test the content on the iPhone before investing in a Kindle, adds increased advantages to owning a Kindle, and will drive avid readers to buy Kindles as they realize that the Kindle screen is easier to read on. What is especially great is that you need not own a Kindle to read a Kindle book on your iPhone and your Kindle and Kindle app sync together so you will always be at the place you left off reading in both locations.
For publisher and authors, this is even better news because it gives you a wider platform to sell your work on. Instead of having to create an app or sign up for a deal with an app provider to sell your book on the iPhone as well as set your book up with the Kindle, now setting it up in one spot sets you up for both. Less work, more sales, good news all around.
Now, I do not own a iPhone, iPod Touch or a Kindle but, as an author I am excited about the idea of a greater market for my work and the advantage of only publishing in one place instead of two.