The free kindle book –
- Strength for Service to God and Country by Norman E. Nygaard and Evan Hunberger. Price: $0. Genre: Religious, Christian. Rated 5 stars on 4 reviews.
Strength for Service was originally published in 1942, and over 720,000 copies were distributed to U.S. service men and women. After the events of September 11, 2001 the General Commission on United Methodist Men partnered with Evan Hunsberger, who had a vision to republish the little devotional book as his Eagle Scout service project to honor his grandfather.
Eugene Hunsberger, a Navy corpsman, read it to dying men on the battlefields of the Pacific during World War II. This updated version includes 40 additional entries, with over one million copies purchased by and distributed to deserving service members.
Next, let’s take a look at the main topics being discussed at the Kindle forum and at the UK Kindle forum.
What are Kindle owners in the US and UK interested in?
At the official Kindle forum which gets all US Kindle owners and lots of international Kindle owners the discussions in the last 24 hours revolve around –
- Free Books. Lots and lots of posts.
- Book recommendations. It’s shocking how many people ask for book recommendations. There’s a huge opportunity for a Kindle recommendation engine.
- How do I do X with the Kindle? Can I do Y with my Kindle?
- Authors promoting their books.
- Authors trying to pretend they are not promoting their books.
- How to avoid 3G and use only WiFi?
- Two new Kindle TV ads. One of which is better and far less contrived than the FaceTime emotion overload ads.
- Readers asking for indie author recommendations.
- Top 10 Kindle irritations.
- When is Kindle Color arriving?
- Anne Rice’s Witching Hour available for pre-order.
- Kindle 3 letters rubbing off.
- Please Click on this book to get Publishers to release a Kindle edition.
- Questions about when Book X will be released.
- International Kindle owners asking how they can get US prices or US ebooks or US something.
Meanwhile at the UK Kindle forum the main topics of interest are –
- Free Books
- Kindle book prices.
- Kindle book deals. Lots and lots of threads on deals.
- When is Kindle DX releasing in UK?
- Should I buy a Kindle?
- Kindle accessibility for blind readers.
- Ian McEwan books removed.
- Download charges
- ePub support?
- When will it be in color?
- Various Kindle complaints like defective buttons.
These are in decreasing order of popularity.
The Kindle Grandma-Grandson Ad
It’s interesting to contrast this ad with the FaceTime ads.
They’re similar in a few ways –
- Highlight strong family emotions.
- Highlight a particularly strong bond that many Kindle owners and potential Kindle owners will be able to associate with.
- Are emotional and not logical.
They’re also very different in some ways –
- Apple over-does the emotional aspect i.e. picks a super emotional situation and forces FaceTime into it. Grandfather not being present for his grandkid’s birth. Wife telling husband she’s pregnant over the phone. Neither is very likely.
- In stark contrast, Amazon shows a grandmother who’s asking her grandson what he’d like and she’s spending a ton of time around him. In the mean time she already has bought a Kindle for him and is wrapping it up and keeping it a secret. That’s much more realistic and you have to love a grandmother who spends time with her grandkid – rather than a grandfather who misses his grandson’s birth.
- Apple super-emotionalizes the key moment. Actors who specialize in overacting and such. Amazon under-emphasizes it and loses the opportunity to really strike a chord. The grandkid could at least kiss his grandma thanks or give her a hug. End it right there – the obvious delight at getting the perfect present.
In many ways it’s like George Carlin versus a slapstick comedian. Except in this case George Carlin sets it up perfectly and then doesn’t deliver the killer punchline.
What’s missing is the delight when you get a present just right – We all know the feeling and we’ve all felt it. That was what was missing – There’s no way you can get a kid who loves reading books a Kindle and not get a much stronger reaction than shown in the Kindle ad.
Still, it’s a very, very good try by Amazon and a good use of its marketing budget.
It’d be remiss to not mention the strong, underlying current in both Amazon ads – people giving their loved ones a Kindle. It’s amusing to see advertisers make two videos that do nothing except put it into people’s heads that they should be buying their grandkids and their wives Kindles.
You could throw away everything and just put ‘Buy Your Grandson a Kindle – He’ll love it!’ and ‘Buy your wife a Kindle – She’ll love it!’. That’s what the ads effectively are. However, it’s much more subtle and much more effective to wrap it up in some shiny happy people video. They’re both very well done though – and they’ll definitely fill the ‘What should I get her for Christmas?’ void currently occupying a lot of husbands’ heads.
Amazon’s Kindle advertising is becoming more and more Apple-like – thankfully, it’s still not at the Reality Distortion Field level. It does suggest that Amazon feels it has wrapped up most of the people who read books regularly (people who are mostly unaffected by advertising) and now it needs to sell the Kindle to the TV and advertising loving general population.