Mr. Bezos has tricked all the Apple Media into Equating Kindle Fire and iPad

The Kindle Fire HD reviews are out (for the 7″ $199 Kindle Fire HD) and they are very interesting. You really, really, really need to read some of these reviews (my thoughts next to the links).

The Unbiased Reviews

  1. Walt Mossberg (All Things Digital): Kindle Fire HD is Better, but it isn’t The Best Color Tablet. This is an interesting review – it’s hard on the Kindle Fire HD but fair. It’s pretty clear that Mr. Mossberg consider iPad to be much better. Walt Mossberg’s Verdict: Kindle Fire HD is good value for those primarily interested in tapping Amazon’s large collection of content.
  2. Edward Baig (USA Today): Kindle Fire HD gives Nexus 7 Stiff Competition. This (and the other Kindle Fire HD reviews in this section) is what a review looks like when the reviewer doesn’t have an axe to grind. Notice how Mr. Baig declined to compare the $199 Kindle Fire HD model with the iPad – something that the Biased Reviewers did. Why? Because, obviously, waiting for the 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD and comparing that to the iPad would be too accurate a comparison. So let’s compare the $199 Kindle Fire HD with the $499 iPad and trumpet how iPad is better.
  3. LaptopMag: Kindle Fire HD is one of the best 7″ tablets, Best for consuming content on the go. Another very unbiased article and very in-depth and well done. Kudos to Laptop Mag which does a solid, solid job. Laptop Mag’s Verdict: Kindle Fire HD is better for consuming content, Nexus 7 is better in some ways.
  4. Joanna Stern (ABC News): Kindle Fire HD – One of the Best Tablets, Not No. 1. A good review and a very balanced comparison between Kindle Fire HD and Galaxy Nexus 7. The bottom line section is one of the best of any of the Kindle Fire HD reviews. ABC News’ Verdict: Kindle Fire HD is ONE of the best Tablets at any price.

The Axe to Grind, Mind Already Made Up Reviews

  1. David Pogue (NYTimes): More Soot Than Sparks From This Fire. David Pogue lays into Amazon with a ferocity that makes me wonder if Amazon’s Girlfriend kicked David Pogue’s Cat. He literally bad mouths it in every imaginable way, throwing in some weasel phrases to seem less biased. Pogue’s Verdict: Kindle Fire HD is a good tablet but Amazon executives are ‘loopy’ for calling it ‘the best tablet at any price’.
  2. The Verge (Joshua Topolsky): Kindle Fire HD gets a 7.5 Review Score. This site is famous for being hopelessly biased towards Apple. So it’s very interesting to see what ‘reasons and rationale’ it comes up with to justify its innate bias. We get gems like ‘Is the beauty more than skin deep’ (in the subtitle no less) and ‘one longs for the details of the iPad’ and ‘it’s disappointing to me that there’s no 3G or 4G option here’ (for a $199 Tablet?). The absolute most hilarious parts are where they go after the Kindle Fire HD’s software – ‘It’s an odd dichotomy, to have one half of a product be so uninspiring’ and ‘It almost scared me in a way to move too quickly, like I would end up engaging parts of the tablet’. Someone thinks they’re still in Creative Writing Class. Verdict: 7.5 for Kindle Fire HD. Prepare to not be inspired and reminisce about how magical and revolutionary the iPad is.

All this brings us to the main point of this article.

Mr. Bezos has tricked all the Apple Media into Equating Kindle Fire and iPad

What do you do if a market has a dominant player? One that also happens to have most of the main stream media in LOVE with it.

You throw the Media a juicy challenge. One it can’t resist. One it thinks it will win.

That’s what Mr. Bezos did. By throwing up the ‘Best Tablet At Any Price’ mantra he did two things –

  1. The Apple Media were going to compare the $199 Kindle Fire HD with the $499 iPad anyways. He gave them the green light. Absolved them of whatever little guilt they might have felt at picking a lopsided comparison between a $199 Tablet and a $499 one.
  2. He gave them a HUGE INCENTIVE to constantly compare Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ with iPad and talk about how iPad is better because ‘it feels better’ or because the $729 model is better than the $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9″.

The Main Stream Tech Media is now FREE to do unfair comparisons and it is INCENTED to do unfair comparisons. By throwing out ‘The Best Tablet at Any Price’ Mr. Bezos has pretty much FORCED the main stream media into CONSTANTLY talking about how iPad is Better than Kindle Fire.

It has to – to justify the image it has in its mind of iPad being the most wonderful thing ever created.

This brings us to Part 2. All this Free Publicity for Kindle Fire HDs and all these comparisons against the $499 iPad wouldn’t be worth much without Part 2 and Part 3.

Part 2: By COMPARING iPad with Kindle Fire HD constantly you have people begin to think they are COMPARABLE

This is a psychological thing. If you tell someone twenty times – X when compared with Y is better. The thing that stays in the person’s mind is – X and Y must be comparable + This person thinks X is better. Perhaps I should find out for myself what is better (because it’s my money I’ll be spending).

If people read ‘iPad is better than Kindle Fire HD’ and ‘iPad and Kindle HD Compared – iPad Ahead’ and ‘$499 iPad ahead of $199 Kindle Fire HD’, then gradually they start thinking –

  1. iPad = iPad vs Kindle Fire HD.
  2. iPad vs Kindle Fire HD = Perhaps I should find out more.

So all these people who ONLY KNEW iPad, suddenly get ‘iPad vs Kindle Fire HD’ in the front of their thoughts.

It makes ZERO SENSE for the Apple loving Media to suddenly give free publicity to Kindle Fire HD and start equating it with iPad (by constantly talking about Kindle Fire HD vs iPad). But they are doing exactly that.

To make things even more amusing they are constantly comparing $199 Kindle Fires with $499 iPads without realizing that REAL PEOPLE HAVE TO BUY THEIR TABLETS THEMSELVES. Press doesn’t care about $300 less but people do.

The ‘Kindle Fire HD is the best Tablet at any price’ comment has lit a fire under the seats of the Slavishly Devoted to Apple Media and now they absolutely MUST demonstrate how much better iPad is.

Even if it means increasing the awareness of Kindle Fire ten-fold and cementing it in people’s minds as an iPad alternative.

Which brings us to Part 3.

Part 3: Amazon has the $199 Kindle Fire HD, the $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, the $499 Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE

Customers who never would have heard about Kindle Fire HDs start hearing about them. Customers who didn’t think there was any option other than iPad suddenly have Kindle Fire HD vs iPad drummed into their heads, and now they set out to find some information on their own.

Then, wonder of wonders, they find out that they have OPTIONS – there’s more than one Kindle Fire HD. The Press only compares the $199 Kindle Fire HD with the iPad (because that’s the easiest way they can rationalize their undying love for iPad). But customers find there are three options –

  1. Kindle Fire HD for $199.
  2. Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ for $299.
  3. Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE for $499.

This is where everything kicks in. They’ve shifted from 2 options to 5 (after iPad Mini comes out it’ll be 5). They are in this new state of awareness where instead of ‘only iPad exists’ they now know that 2 iPads and 3 Kindle Fire HDs exist. The Kindle Fire HDs also seem very reasonably priced. And the screens seem very good (negating the biggest iPad advantage at time of buying).

Where does this new customer reality of ‘2 iPads and 3 Kindle Fire HDs exist as options’ stem from? From Mr. Bezos claiming ‘Kindle Fire HD is the best Tablet … at any price’. That’s ALL it took. For the Apple infatuated press to decide it would MAKE IT ITS MISSION to show EVERY ONE –

  1. Kindle Fire HD exists. Don’t forget it exists.
  2. Kindle Fire HD is an alternative to the iPad. Don’t assume you have just one choice.

What more could Amazon and Mr. Bezos ask for? They certainly weren’t going to get fair comparisons. Might as well get free publicity and also let the Press equate Kindle Fire and iPad so that every user planning on getting a Tablet thinks she should compare both Tablets before buying one.

For Authors: Hard Way to get kindle readers

We’ll call this the ‘Own Your Niche’ strategy. Joshua Talent at Kindle Formatting has already demonstrated it. However, it’s Aileen Harkwood’s Kindling Romance that really shows how powerful it is, and that authors can do this.

Picking the Right Niche

This is pretty simple – pick the niche that your book or kindle related product is in.

Take Kindling Romance – the author writes romance novels so she picked ‘romance ebooks and kindle romance’.

One thing to note is that you should own – However, it has ZERO value until you’re a big author. So there’s no point in making it your main blog.

Things to take note of –

  1. By choosing ‘kindling romance’, it still shows up for ‘kindle romance’ on Google. In fact it shows up in the top 5 results.  
  2. Her own book is prominently advertised on the right.  
  3. The site’s general focus is ebooks from various companies, not just Amazon.  
  4. She blogs relatively often and provides good value (see section on value). 
  5. Cater to authors and readers. More on this later, perhaps in another post.
  6. She started on July 11th, 2009. In approximately 1 month she’s #5 on google for kindle romance books.

The last one is crucially important. The two sites running ads are paying hard money and she gets traffic for free.

Things to avoid –

  1. If you must go with a free hosted solution like wordpress, at the minimum buy your own domain name so that all links are to your domain, and not to wordpress. 
  2. If you can, host your own site and use your own domain. Wordpress does not let you run ads, does not allow affiliate links except to Amazon, etc.
  3. Trademarks. Check with a lawyer.

Providing Value and Owning the Channel

At the moment, if you are an independent author, there is no one who has much incentive to promote you.

Readers might – however, the middlemen control everything.

How you change that is by providing value to people, and thus making them use your site (and you) as a resource. Let’s look at Kindling Romance –

  1. Daily features such as Bestsellers in Romance eBooks, New Releases, eBook Stats. 
  2. A blog that provides updates on romance book deals and news. 
  3. A blog that lets authors promote their books.  

Provide a ton of value so that users use you as the channel for books and ebooks in your niche.

Handling Competition – Authors

The biggest point in your favor is that 99% of people want to get value without providing value.  

How many authors do you know that are providing value (apart from the books themselves)?

Even people providing free books and fighting for ‘rights’ and against DRM are just using it as a strategy. The minute you start providing real value you stand out – a lot.

Traffic of Good Intent

Hand in hand with niche is to find people in your niche who actually buy books.

  1. The search keywords that people use are very good indicators (and perhaps the only indicators) of their intent.
  2. Prefer ‘best romance novels’ over ‘free romance novels’.
  3. Prefer ‘new romance novels’ over ‘$1 romance novels’. 

In general, look for people who intend to buy books and services and not for people who’re looking for free.

The best places to find good customers would be search engines and niche focused, very targeted sites (such as the official kindle forum – however don’t go there and promote your book like a spammer).  

Focus on Good Traffic and Build Your Own Site

When you provide good content on your site and use the right strategy i.e.

  1. Good search engine optimization for search engines (that means good content and not trying to game the system – at all).  
  2. Provide a resource so that people from other sites visit your site, and become regular visitors.

Then you start getting customers.

Search Engines are the best resource and Search engines need good content sites.

Take a look at the results for ‘kindle romance books’ which usually has 2 ads (sometimes 3, sometimes 0) –

Its thanks to Amazon selling romance novels, and to eHow, Suite 101 and Kindling Romance providing content that Google is able to sell ads on the right hand side.

Instead of spending money on ‘traffic’ from facebook and wasting time ‘tweeting’ create your own content and your own site.

All the work you do on twitter or facebook or good reads or any other site is free work for them. 

Customers and Mutual Reciprocation

If you provide value, then customers will visit your site again and again and they will reciprocate.

Just don’t be a jerk about it i.e. don’t put up 50 ads. Don’t beg for donations. Don’t ask for help to pay your server costs (for a blog it’s close to zero).

Do it intelligently i.e.

  1. Put up 1 or 2 ads – 1 for your book, 1 from a sponsor.  
  2. Strike up an affiliate partnership (amazon doesn’t give anything for kindle ebooks – however, other companies do).
  3. When you find a good deal, that is of interest to customers, promote it.

An Example Strategy

This is what I’d recommend for Ed Ditto, an independent author whose questions were up on this blog a week ago. Just replace ‘comedy ebooks’ by your niche, and you’re set –

  1. Everything that Kindling Romance is doing.
  2. Your own domain name with keywords i.e.
  3. Your own hosted service or with your own domain name.
  4. Check on trademarks – if you don’t do this you could lose all your work.
  5. Blog regularly and provide value.
  6. Focus on what people searching for comedy ebooks will actually be looking for i.e. the best books, free book offers, new releases, news about authors, etc.
  7. Also buy and put up 3-4 pages on it and links to your blog.
  8. Promote your blog everywhere.

On any site focus on relationships and not on adding value to that site for free i.e. don’t spend 2 hrs a day working for goodreads for no pay. Work on your blog instead.

Feel free to ask questions.