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How Amazon is Winning the eBook Wars

Submitted by Jason Griffey on October 7, 2010 - 9:15am


Amazon announced a new piece of their eBook strategy this past week, with the launch of Kindle for the Web. This allows you to:

  • Read a book sample from Amazon.com without leaving your browser. No download or installation required.
  • Share book samples with your friends via email or social networks.
  • Embed a book sample in your personal blog or website and earn referral fees on sales.

This is the first step in what I think will be the logical progression of their “read your books anywhere” strategy, which will probably end with the ability to access your library directly in the browser. They haven’t announced this, but it seems like the natural endgame for accessing your Kindle books: you can already buy an ebook from Amazon and read it on your:

  • Windows PC
  • Macintosh
  • Android phone
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • iPod touch
  • Blackberry
  • and, of course, Kindle

There is also a rumor floating around the tech world that Amazon may be working on a tablet of their own, to compete with the iPad. This is bolstered by the fact that Amazon announced that they would be opening their own Android app store for mobile devices, that would allow for a curated store on the model of the Apple App store.

With their current footprint, as well as the potential above, has Amazon already won the eBook battle in the eyes of the public? What does that mean for libraries, if so? I think it’s going to be very, very hard for another provider to compete with the mindshare that Amazon has managed to garner...Kindle is quickly becoming a generic term for eReader, even. I think that libraries and the ALA should really be working with Amazon to try and find a way for us to fit into their ecosystem, because that’s clearly where the patrons are going.

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Comments (5)

Nellie S. C. Moffitt, at the

Nellie S. C. Moffitt, at the US Navy General Library

A comment from "If you think Amazon is interested in working w/ libraries, you have not been paying attention. Amazon does not work w/any of the ebook aggregators libraries use to purchase ebooks. Amazon wants to sell to you and your friends not libraries. Amazon has demonstrated that they are not Library friendly. Amazon will soon become a publisher (Wiley Agency deal) and at that point libraries may be totally locked out of providing these ebooks to their customers. Libraries/Librarians/our professional associations need to put pressure on Amazon to make their ebook sales and their devices Library friendly. "

I'm going to guess this will

I'm going to guess this will be an area where first to market fails, like search engines. Alta Vista, and all the others (maybe not Yahoo) are all gone, and the late comer has won. I'll predict the same with ebooks.

I sort of thought Amazon's

I sort of thought Amazon's strategy of using a proprietary file type would be their downfall, but that hasn't been the case. While some free eBooks come Kindle-ready (e.g. Gutenberg usually provides .mobi files) many do not (Google Books). And though it's always possible to convert .epub to .mobi, it's an extra step users may not want to take. I personally would rather use a variety of iOS or Android apps as my e-readers than shackle myself to Kindle's accepted files.

I'm going to guess this will

I'm going to guess this will be an area where first to market fails, like search engines. Alta Vista, and all the others (maybe not Yahoo) are all gone, and the late comer has won. I'll predict the same with ebooks.

I sort of thought Amazon's

I sort of thought Amazon's strategy of using a proprietary file type would be their downfall, but that hasn't been the case. While some free eBooks come Kindle-ready (e.g. Gutenberg usually provides .mobi files) many do not (Google Books). And though it's always possible to convert .epub to .mobi, it's an extra step users may not want to take. I personally would rather use a variety of iOS or Android apps as my e-readers than shackle myself to Kindle's accepted files.