Poll Party #4

Poll Party #4

My regular readers know that I really like to hear your opinion. I often ask for it at the end of posts (and I try to give you conversation starters), and I love reading (and responding to) the comments.

I know not everybody wants to, or has the time and energy to, write something like that.

That’s one reason I love the polls we do here. It gives people another way to be heard. Even though we certainly aren’t a scientific sample of the mainstream, I find it interesting to see what we are saying. I suspect we might even be predictive as a group, as far as e-books are concerned, but I don’t really know that.

Kindle MatchBook

Amazon recently announced Kindle MatchBook, a service (starting in October) that will allow you to buy an e-book at a reduced price if you have bought the p-book (paperbook) from Amazon. Not all books will be eligible, but eligible purchases will go back to the beginning of Amazon.

There has been some interesting responses to this, in particular, I’ve seen articles that question whether or not this is even something people will want.

Idle Kindles

recently wrote about the many kinds of Kindleers, and it was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me.

I tend to keep all my Kindles, partially to have them as reference for questions.

However, I can honestly say I haven’t tried to turn on my Kindle 1 (the kind released in 2007) in over a year.

That got me thinking…there must by now be a lot of Kindles sitting unused in drawers and such.

Amazon’s Publishing Efforts

A lot is riding on Amazon’s publishing efforts, both as a traditional publisher and as a publishing platform (Kindle Direct Publishing).

In the past, pretty much every time Amazon has gone up against the publishers, they’ve lost (text-to-speech, the Agency Model…the latter wasn’t fixed until the Department of Justice intervened). It’s pretty simple: in terms of books, Amazon has needed the tradpubs (traditional publishers).

As Amazon continues to produce their own books, though, they need the publisher less…potentially shifting that balance.

That only really works if we buy the books, though…

I realize many people may not know (or care) who published their books, so here are some links to the options in the poll, in case you want to check:

Your Reading Profile

I’m just curious about this one…I always assume the readers of this blog tend to be “serious readers”, but I like to get more data.

Comfort Level with Your E-reading Device

When I started this blog over four years ago, I was doing a lot of basic “how tos” and tips and tricks.

Over time, my sense has been that the devices have gotten easier to use, and people come into them knowing more about them. That doesn’t mean that I don’t go back to the basics…I know that you always should do that in every endeavor, and that you are far more likely to overestimate people’s knowledge of a topic you know than underestimate it in most cases.

So, I’ll ask…

Used to Uses

Bookstore sales continue to drop this year (down 6.3% in July, according to this Publishers Weekly article). That’s leading some people to say that p-books are going away. I don’t think that myself, although I do think that how they are going to be used may change dramatically. For example, I’ve been suggesting that we may see $50 as a common price for a hardback novel by a brand name author (with better materials and manufacturing, and more of a luxury feel).

Another factor that got made me want to do this poll was that it is the 50th anniversary of the audiocassette (depending on how you measure it, of course). I remember when something came up with my now adult kid about an audiocassette, and my kid had no idea what they were…despite having frequently used an audiocassette player at maybe five years old (and something like ten years before the question about them).

That doesn’t mean they aren’t still around…somewhere…but they seem to be not much in the public consciousness of New Millenials.

I was also amused to a reference recently to an animal having a “…nose like Jimmy Durante“. I wondered how many people reading that story online got anything out of that line!

Glass Check

I’m often described as an optimist, and I wouldn’t argue with that. It sometimes suggests that I’m living in a fantasy world and am deluded about reality…I might want to refute that point. 😉

How about you?

I certainly expect the fewest answers on that last question, because most people aren’t gong to want to define themselves that completely…they are going to see themselves as a mix, or undefined. We’ll see, though. 😉

Polls are certainly just one way to express your opinion. I know some of you will have more to say on these, and may question my wording and options (which is fine, of course). Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

I’ll be interested to see what results we get!

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

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12 Responses to “Poll Party #4”

  1. Edward Foster Says:

    Bufo, I couldn’t vote in the first poll because there wasn’t an option for, “I don’t think it will affect me.” I don’t anticipate making use of the program very much at all.

    For everything but technical reading I have completely made the transition to e-books. I can’t imagine wanting to have 2 copies now of anything. It would be nice if text books were a part of Matchbooks, I can imagine where having both the electronic version and the DTB would have been nice.

    I’m not personally comfortable with buying a physical book that I don’t intend to read, either to give it away or sell it, and getting the ebook at a lower price. I don’t see how that could be restricted with out a major overhaul of the first use doctrine for pBooks, but I can’t imagine it is something I would do.

    Nevertheless, this is a very interesting collection of polls.
    As always thanks for you thoughtfulness,
    Ed

    • Maquis Says:

      Ed: I am in your spot, but I do hope that at least a few books that I bought before the kindle might be eligible for the program. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy most of my books from amazon pre-kindle.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Maquis!

        It will be interesting to see how many books it is. I suspect people may be underestimating the gifts they bought for other people…

      • Lady Galaxy Says:

        I’m not sure which paper books I bought from Amazon, either. I bought a lot from Borders and Camelot.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Hm…I thought I had a “it won’t affect me much” choice in there at some point: sorry about that. I’m learning that people do want to participate in every poll. My original thought was that people would simply skip to the next poll if there wasn’t an answer that applied to them, but that’s not very inclusive of me. 🙂

      There are textbook companies now that do bundling, and I could see publishers getting into MatchBook for textbooks…but perhaps not at the maximum prices Amazon is currently setting.

      I don’t see an objection to the “buy to give” idea on p-books and e-books, personally. It doesn’t feel deceptive to me. The publisher makes a p-book sale which otherwise presumably wouldn’t happen, so they are probably happy with that. Yes, they make less on the e-book sale…but I’m guessing that the p-book sale is still more important to them.

      The First Sale Doctrine (which is what allows us to sell used p-books without first getting the publisher’s permission, among other things) may eventually get re-examined. However, current talk suggested it might get applied to digital files, rather than taken away from physical items. I still don’t see how it is going to apply to licenses, which are like contracts, unless they redefine what a license means.

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    If I had known “Match Book” was coming, I would have delayed buying so many Kindle editions of paper books I’d previously purchased. I haven’t used my Kindle 1 in a long time mainly because the jog dial isn’t as responsive as it should be, and it freezes up way too often and I get tired of taking the back off, sticking it with a pin, and waiting while it resets itself. If it wasn’t so quirky, I’d pass it on to a friend. Meanwhile, I’m using it mainly as an archive.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Well, I’m kind of wishing I bought my p-books from Amazon back to 1995. 🙂 I did buy some, certainly, but I was also buying them in brick-and-mortars.

      I should go test my Kindle 1 and see what happens. 🙂 I don’t use mine as an archive, just because I don’t keep that many books on it. I’m curious: have you backed it up as well, in case it fails (knock virtual wood)?

      • Lady Galaxy Says:

        Most of the archive is on the SD card, but I don’t really think there’s a way to back up a Kindle. If that Kindle dies, I doubt the SD card would work in a replacement Kindle 1 if I could find one. At least with the K1, I know that if the battery dies and they stop making replacement batteries for it, I can still use it by plugging it in to a power source. When the battery on my K3 goes, it will be the end. I just have to hope and trust that I will always be able to download previously bought books from Amazon.

  3. alanchurch Says:

    I read mostly e-books but moving some of my p-books around today and looking at and perusing some of my rare and scarce books, especially my dozen different copies of illustrated Tales of Mystery and Imagination from the 19TH and 20 centuries,one as old as 1858-that’s a Redfield Poe, his poetry, I could not imagine being without them. I think you’ll like this article in the New York Times about my favorite bookstore in Lexington, Ky, where I live.
    http://therail.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/the-rail-bookshelf-one-book-at-a-time/
    A most unusual bookstore. The owner is also.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, alanchurch!

      I have some old and rare things myself, which I would love to get preserved in digital format. In my guess, many of them would be considered ephemera, and I’m just not sure how many copies are actually out there.

      I’ll take a look at the article…thanks!

  4. rogerknights Says:

    Does the Matchbook program apply if the p-book was bought used?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Roger!

      It appears that’s not the case. On the Kindle Matchbook site, it says:

      “Available for thousands of great print books purchased new from Amazon, going all the way back to 1995 when Amazon first opened its online bookstore.” (emphasis added)

      Kindle MatchBook

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