Yahoo! Finance: “Consumers Are Casualties of E-Book Standoff”

Yahoo! Finance: “Consumers Are Casualties of E-Book Standoff”

Yahoo! Finance article

There are some great mainstream writers who cover e-books and EBRs (E-Book Readers). Jeffrey Trachtenberg comes immediately to mind, with insightful, accurate, and informed articles.

Unfortunately, this piece by Diallah Haidar, doesn’t deserve those sorts of accolades.

There are certainly legitimate concerns to be expressed about e-book exclusives. Amazon has made a major move in that direction with its KDP Select program, which requires a ninety-day period of exclusivity.

However, the article, in what comes across to me as an attempt to make things seem dire, makes some statements which are easily challenged.

For example, there is this one:

“While iPad users may not be able to buy Amazon books for their tablets…”

I think the 153,988 people who have rated the Kindle app in the iTunes store would be surprised to read that. 🙂

Kindle App in iTunes store

Sure, a lot of those people may be reading on an iPhone or an iPod touch…or not have ever purchased a book (although they still could). Balancing that, though, is the presumably large number of users who haven’t done a rating.

While anybody can make a mistake when writing (I’ve left out the word “not” at very inopportune moments), this one strikes at the heart of the article and is consistent with the basic thesis.

The premise of the article is that Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple are trying to establish monopolies on e-books, to the detriment of readers and authors.

By ignoring the free readers apps (suggesting that consumers need to “…buy three different e-readers” to get full access), it misses a huge part of the e-book industry.

Jeff Bezos has made a point about separating Kindle store books and Kindles, in terms of markets, and has stayed with that. You can read Kindle store  books on:

  • Kindles
  • iDevices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch)
  • Windows PCs
  • Macs
  • Blackberrys
  • Windows Phone 7
  • Android devices
and through a browser using the Cloud Reader.

Those are just the currently available ones.

I’d be interested to hear a more thorough bolstering of this claim:

“None of these digital giants wants anything to do with its competitors”

That’s while Amazon has apps for Netflix and Kobo in its appstore…two companies that are clearly competitors, the latter a major player for e-books (the focus of the story).

I understand that it is easier to attract people by alarming them…throw in a word like “censorship” (as the article does) and you’ll turn more heads. Imagine somebody standing up in a crowded theatre to  say, “This theatre has fire retardant seat covers and sufficient well-marked exits, as well as a sprinkler system, so we would likely be okay in the improbable event of an incident.” 😉  Someone, it’s easier and more riveting to yell “Fire!” and a lot of writers know that. In the ensuing rush for the exits, though, somebody might get hurt.

Again, I want to emphasize that one could legitimately argue against e-book exclusives. To do so by misrepresenting the current situation, though, would not be my approach.

I think you’ll find the article interesting. If you have a connection to retail (as I do, as a former bookstore manager), I think you’ll find the third sentence particularly…non-shocking. 🙂

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

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3 Responses to “Yahoo! Finance: “Consumers Are Casualties of E-Book Standoff””

  1. Albert Says:

    I’m guessing that the author noticed that there was no link to the Kindle Store in the iOS app (which, of course, was Apple’s fault) and concluded that iPad users couldn’t buy Kindle books…

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Albert!

      I suppose that’s possible…but wouldn’t you then wonder why there was a Kindle app in the first place? It would also take twenty seconds of research to test a hypothesis like that before stating it definitively. I would have guessed that one of the journalistic principles taught nowadays is GIYF (Google Is Your Friend). 😉 Well, okay, a friend who reads your e-mails, but a friend nonetheless. 🙂

  2. Amazon changes the game again: will publish e-books outside the Kindle store « I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] I Love My Kindle Fun and information about the Kindle and the world of e-books « Yahoo! Finance: “Consumers Are Casualties of E-Book Standoff” […]

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