July 1, 2010: The Abominable Kindle Wins?
If Amazon gets public libraries on board, it would be the death of ePub.
Well, if there was any doubt Amazon has totally vanquished everyone else, there’s no doubt now.
A user will be able to browse for titles on any desktop or mobile operating system, check out a title with a library card, and then select Kindle as the delivery destination. The borrowed title will then be able to be enjoyed using any Kindle device and all of Amazon’s free Kindle Reading Apps.
Let me spell out what that means:
- NO Adobe Digital Editions
- NO Sony Library or other desktop software
- NO cable syncing
- NO wire hangers ever!
OK, so I got a bit carried away with that last bit.
And the atomic bomb from Amazon that slays everyone:
“We’re doing a little something extra here,” Marine continued. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
That just kills everybody. Period.
That’s just not possible with a Sony Reader, a Kobo Reader, a Nook — or any of their desktop or mobile programs.
Let me also tell you other implications:
1) There is absolutely no reason for anyone to now buy a Sony Reader, a Kobo Reader, or a Nook. None. The public library edge they all had has now been wiped out — and not just replaced, but replaced with note-taking extras.
2) All those reading clubs that hold meetings in public libraries are all going to buy a Kindle now. Or use something that uses that Kindle software. This is a huge stake in the heart of print. That format called print is now dead.
3) Self-published writers now have a shot at being in public libraries. Because Amazon has about 99% of those writers. That is massive advertising and whole book sampling that’s just not otherwise possible short of piracy. Word of mouth for good self-published books will soar.
4) Self-published writers in their right mind won’t give a damn about whether their book is available at the Sony Reader Store, Kobo Bookstore, or Barnes & Noble bookstore. They’re all just dead. While Kobo still has an international edge, as Amazon rolls out into other countries, they’ll just crush them.
5) No one cares what the hell the eBook format is. People just want to read. Only geeks care about whether the file format is Kindle or “universal” ePub (which isn’t universal since Barnes & Noble broke it!). ePub has now become a niche eBook format. The IDPF can take as long as they want with the ePub 3.0 spec. No one cares anymore. Except maybe Apple — who can now hijack the spec until they discard it.
6) Amazon now has more power than any other book company on earth. And yes, you damn well better be afraid of this.
Two more things Amazon should do:
1) Release a tablet.
2) Give public libraries an affiliate cut. To slay this nonsense: LibraryBIN: Buy An Overpriced eBook To Help A Public Library
And one thing public libraries must do: Stock Amazon Gift Cards!
Previously at The iPad Test: