Round up #57: 1M Ks per week, new ad, booming bookstores

Round up #57: 1M Ks per week, new ad, booming bookstores

New Kindle ad…um, that seems an odd choice for a kid

Amazon just released a new Kindle ad, called

Kindle Fire (Dad and daughter)

The basic idea of the ad is fine. A little girl sees a package delivery truck pull up, and is very excited about it. It’s a Kindle Fire, and she clearly knows it is coming.

Dad and daughter share a moment with the Fire. Very sweet, lots of fun kid’s things on the device.

However…

I was looking at the Carousel carefully, and at about 18 seconds into the ad, Dad flips past the Green Lantern movie…and moves past an issue of Esquire magazine.

While the rest of the ad seems to suggest the Kindle is for the little girl, Esquire is a “men’s magazine”. They have features like “Sexiest Women on Earth” and “WOMEN WE LOVE VIDEOS”. If you want to, take a look at the site and see if that seems like a good thing to go along with Dora the Explorer to you.

http://www.esquire.com/

I think it’s ironic, with all the talk about the Carousel and the appropriateness of the Fire for kids, that Amazon features a questionable magazine in the ad.

Now, to be clear, this isn’t Playboy…but I wouldn’t use this to sell the device to parents’ watchdog groups.

Kindles selling millions…and heating up

Amazon doesn’t usually release sales figures, but in this

press release

Amazon announced that people have bought a million Kindles each week for the last three weeks. The Fire has sold more units week over week. That suggests that people are satisfied with it. In my blog, The Measured Circle, I track the movie box office pretty closely. If you want to know if people actually like a movie, you look at the box office drop from the first week to the second (assuming the number of theatres doesn’t change significantly). If the drop is unusually large, that means the word of mouth is bad…and people aren’t going back to see it a second time.

I suppose that as we get closer to the holidays, it’s possible that the sales are going up for everything. If the Kindle Fire was really a dog, though, I wouldn’t expect the sales to increase.

The press release doesn’t talk just about the Fire…I think the Mindle (which is what I call the $79/$109 basic model)  is also doing very well, especially since it is available outside the USA.

I do think one thing in the press release is going to confuse people:

“With an Amazon Prime membership, all of the new Kindles offer access to the new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Prime Instant Video. “

Um…wouldn’t that tend to make you think you can watch videos on the Mindle and the Touch?

You don’t have to have Prime to have a Fire (although you get a free month with it), but there really is basically no connection between the reflective screen Kindles (the Mindle, the Touch, the Keyboard) and Prime videos. Yes, there is a connection to Prime…you can borrow up to a book a month from a specific set with an RSK (reflective screen Kindle), but you can’t watch videos on those devices.

Bookstores doing well, thank you very much

One of my regular readers and commenters, Kathy, of the A Year of Actually Reading My Own Books blog, alerted me to this

New York Times article

The basic upshot?

Brick-and-mortar bookstores are doing well this year. That’s both Barnes & Noble and independents.

Sales are partially up because of the redistribution of the purchases that would have gone to Borders if they hadn’t gone bankrupt.

However, this observation may be important:

“…customers who seem undeterred by pricier titles”

That ties into one scenario I’ve been suggesting (and which seems to be getting more confirmation) that printed books would go up in price (and quality of manufacture), and be seen as a luxury item.  Fewer buyers, maybe buying fewer books…but paying more for each one (proudly).

That might be the future of the brick-and-mortar bookstore business (I’m a former manager of one). I also think used bookstores may see a bump…some people will still want paperbooks, and there will be fewer places to get them. Yes, they’ll still have to compete with the internet…but there will be people who like into a used bookstore. Again, there may be fewer, bigger stores…destination shops.

Computerworld: in-depth comparison of Fire, NOOK Tablet, and Kobo Vox

Thanks to my regular reader and commenter John Tobison for the heads-up on this

Computerworld article

It is the most in-depth article I’ve seen comparing the three…seven pages (webpages, but still). I haven’t had a chance to read it all yet, but I’d say Preston Gralla should be commended on doing a thorough comparison. I recommend you read it.

What do you think? Did Amazon include Esquire on purpose…maybe to show the Fire isn’t just a kid’s device? Is Esquire appropriate for a little kid? If it was an accident…how would that happen? Does it bother you that nobody seems to protect their wireless networks in the Fire ads? 😉 Will Kindle sales continue to increase? Are bookstores going to be around for the long haul, or is this just a temporary bump? Will people pay $50 for a novel? Feel free to let me know what you think.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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6 Responses to “Round up #57: 1M Ks per week, new ad, booming bookstores”

  1. Pam Says:

    Bufo, I agree – they didn’t proofread the press release closely as it does sound like any of the Kindles will show movies! Oops!

  2. Pam Says:

    Bufo, I agree – they didn’t proofread the press release closely as it does sound like any of the Kindles will show movies! Oops! Also, how did you catch the Esquire magazine? I had to run the video twice see it and I barely caught it! Agree, not appropriate for kids!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Pam!

      I’ll admit, i was looking pretty carefully at the Carousel. I recognized the Esquire logo…no, I’m not a regular reader, but I’ve seen at least one “dubious achievements” issue in the past…I think in a doctor’s office. 🙂

      I wasn’t quite sure at first if it might be Jeff Bezos on the cover. 😉 It’s actually Mark Kelly, Gabby Gifford’s astronaut husband. You can see the cover here:

      https://subscribe.hearstmags.com/subscribe/splits/esquire/esq_sub_nav_link

      However, you’d also see an NSFW (Not Safe For Work) picture…

  3. Edward Boyhan Says:

    In response to Amazon’s PR on kindle volumes, at least once Wall Street analyst is wondering if his 4Q KF estimate of 5 million units might not be low. Read about it here:
    http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2011/12/15/kindle-fire-estimates-may-be-low-analyst-says/

  4. A Year of Reading My Own Books Blog Says:

    Hi Bufo: Thanks for the plug and happy holidays! Kathy

  5. Edward Boyhan Says:

    http://allthingsd.com/20111213/6-million-kindle-fires-sold-in-2011-it-could-happen/
    The above “all things d” article reports that Goldman Sachs thinks Amazon will sell 6 million KFs in 4Q 2011, and 15-20 million in full year 2012.

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