The Tradition of Speculating About a Free Kindle

free imageEvery so often we hear speculation about a free e-reading device. The thinking is that if the e-reader/tablet/phone were free, then the manufacturer can make money on selling content (assuming the manufacturer sells content).  In fact, that was part of the promise of the original Kindle – that consumers who paid up front for the relatively expensive electronics device would save on the relatively cheap content.
Tablets like the Kindle Fire and the Nook HD might be good candidates for a free or near-free price point. They aren’t as good from a hardware standpoint as other popular tablets (read: iPad) and they run on a closed app ecosystem, making them less attractive to consumers as other, similar devices. (And both have lowered prices recently – Kindle, Nook.)
For schools loading up on tablets, free or cheap devices might help push later-adopting districts to start pilots. That kind of scheme might also alleviate some of the pain of buying huge amounts of content for hundreds and thousands of students.
Related: Five Reasons Why a Free E-Reader Would Be Great for Publishing and Readers

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Google to Launch Ebook Series (Pub Lunch)
Google will be launching an ebook series in conjunction with its alternate reality game, Ingress. The book will go on sale April 2 in the Google Play store and then to other ebook retail platforms shortly thereafter.
Amazon Launches Literary Imprint (Pub Lunch)
The new imprint, Little A, will publish literary fiction, short stories and memoirs. Until now, outside of its Kindle Singles program, Amazon has mostly published genre fiction.
Hyperion’s New Synergy Strategy (PW)
As has been reported, Hyperion is embarking on a new strategy focusing on publishing books that can benefit from Hyperion’s parent company The Disney/ABC Television Group. This includes works like the company’s successful Castle series (tied into the show Castle) as well as repeated appearances and recurring segments on Good Morning America. Related: Hyperion’s CEO Ellen Archer Talks Strategy.
Kickstarting a Book (paidContent)
Surprise! Using Kickstarter to crowd-fund a publishing project is hard work. Book Riot’s Clinton Kabler takes you through his company’s first Kickstarted book project.
HTML5 in Inkling Habitat (DBW)
In case you missed it, Inkling’s Brad Neuberg demonstrates HTML5 in Inkling’s Habitat content creation tool.
Ten Marketing Strategies for Books (Robert Bidinotto)
This list is directed toward indie authors but applies to most authors. Many of the tips are obvious but it’s worth paging through.
Digital Comics Distributor JManga Shutters (The Digital Reader)
Businesses open and close all the time and start-ups in a new field are particularly vulnerable. What’s sad for patrons of JManga, which will cease operations in May, is that users who “bought” content will lose access to it. Of course, they didn’t buy it so much as buy a license to access it.
French Ebook Distributors Join Forces (The Digital Reader)
French ebook distributors Numilog and ePagine have joined forces to create an ebook locker for people who want to keep their library all in one place. In light of the JManga news, perhaps this kind of technology will become more popular among consumers.
Free Ebook Giveaway Live Blog (DBW)
DBW blogger Elle Lothlorien has been giving hour-by-hour updates on how her recent free ebook giveaway is going throughout St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Related: The Free Ebook Giveaway Formula.

How Much Money You Make With an Amazon Best-Seller (Salon)
One author takes you through how much money he made with a book that was at the top of the Amazon best-seller list for a week – and what he did with it. (Spoiler alert: It’s an incredibly small amount of money.)

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