breaking away from the pack

Amazon fights back–Kindle for the Web announced

By on December 18, 2010 in Publishing Revolution

Following Google’s release of an e-bookstore and web-based reading app, Amazon announced on Dec. 7th at Google’s Chrome OS launch event that consumers can now read full Kindle books on their web browsers via the new Kindle for Web app.

Previously, users were only able to read the free first chapters of Kindle books on the web.

Independent and third-party booksellers, and self-published authors will now be able to sell and allow readers to read their content via widgets on their own sites, Amazon said in a statement.

Google announced a nearly identical program, although the company has not yet released a widget that enables website publishers to allow e-reading on their own sites.

According to Amazon’s Kindle for the Web website, readers can read the full text of Kindle books in their web browser with no download or installation required. You’ll be able to synchronize your library, last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights with Kindle and Kindle-compatible devices including PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android phones.

So, for you marketers out there, here’s the kicker:

Bookstores, authors, retailers, bloggers and other website owners will be able to offer Kindle books from their own sites and let their readers start enjoying the full text of these books instantly. Sellers can also earn referral fees through Amazon’s Associates Program for sales made on their sites.

This is what I’ve been waiting for–a way to direct visitors to my websites to sample and buy Kindle eBooks that I am publishing (or any others I select). Maybe some will not be crazy about the idea of allowing their site visitors to read their entire book(s) on a Web browser.

Consider this: how many readers will read entire books on their web browser before opting to download those books to their favorite mobile device? It is possible that certain types of non-fiction books that are easily referenced by chapter, for example, will be more accessible and used this way–but novels?

No way. It will only help sales when readers read enough to get hooked and then buy and download the books to their device.

Here’s a big idea.

Let’s say you are a publisher or a self-published author, now you can market this system to other niche and special interest websites that would like to be an Amazon Associate and earn advertising fees for selling your books on their sites. It’s the classic Stephen Covey win-win.

How well and in what ways do you think this idea would work?

Read the Amazon press release.

Will Amazon effectively beat back Google eBookstore app with this move?

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