There has been some recent interest in bypassing the Kindle Store and selling directly to Kindle owners -
- Some company named PressDisplay sent out a Press Release that hardly anyone picked up on – They say they let Kindle owners access 1,500 newspapers in Kindle format.
- There’s an article at TeleRead talking about Press Display and also about how O’Reilly sells direct to Kindle Owners. The article also wonders why Publishers don’t do it.
Contrasting the Kindle Store Experience with non Kindle Store.
Getting a newspaper via the Kindle Store
You subscribe to a newspaper.
- Everyday around 5/6 am you get your copy of the newspaper sent to your Kindle wirelessly.
Getting a newspaper via PressDisplay
You subscribe to PressDisplay’s newspaper Subscription service.
To download your favorite titles directly from PressDisplay.com, simply connect your Kindle to your pc or laptop via USB cable,
click the “Export to eReader” option (identified below) from the front page of any paper and then
follow the instructions.
install our PressReader application on your computer,
download your favorite titles from PressDisplay.com and then
transfer them to the Kindle via USB cable (although this approach does add an extra step).
the Path of Least Resistance Vs the Path of Most Resistance
Choosing Press Display over a Kindle Store subscription is extremely inconvenient.
First, subscribing -
- You have to figure out what the subscription options are.
- You have register and enter credit card information and subscribe to a separate site.
- You have to figure out how the new site works.
With the Kindle you already know how the site works, there’s 1-click buying, and the subscription options are standard and clearly spelt out.
Next, getting your newspaper -
- Find your PC.
- Navigate to the Press Display Site.
- Navigate to the Newspaper you want.
- Plug in your Kindle into the USB.
- Click on ‘Export to eReader’.
- Follow the Instructions.
There are three huge problems here -
- The first time when a user decides to subscribe – she/he has to figure out how the site works and trust the site with credit card information.
- The first time that a user download a newspaper - she/he has to figure out how the whole process works.
- Every time a user downloads a paper - the kindle must be plugged into the computer plus there are 5 steps to go through (possibly more).
There are lots of decisions and lots of steps.
You just can’t compare with the Kindle experience of – snap the Kindle out of sleep mode and your paper is waiting for you.
Buying a Book outside the Kindle Store is pretty inconvenient
Here are all the steps you have to go through to get a book from a store other than the Kindle Store -
- Navigate to the Store.
- Get familiar with it.
- Find the book you want.
- Enter credit card information.
- Buy the book.
- Pick out the right format.
- If they have crazy DRM then do the crazy DRM stuff.
- Download the book.
- Plug your Kindle into your PC and do a USB transfer.
Contrast that with buying on the Kindle -
- Go to the Kindle Store.
- Find the book.
- 1 click buy – get it in 60 seconds.
Plus it makes things extremely convenient that you can do this from within your Kindle and from anywhere you can get a cellular signal.
‘We can bypass the Kindle Store’ is a pipe dream
There are a few prerequisites before users will even consider going outside the Kindle Store -
- The prices have to be at least 20% cheaper or The book has to be not available in the Kindle Store.
- The user has to be confident enough with tech.
- The user has to value their time less than whatever 10-20% savings they’ll have.
- The user has to be near a PC.
After that point we still have some big stumbling blocks to navigate -
- User should not be in a lazy mood.
- The User should be able to find and understand a new site.
- Getting the user to trust a new site with their credit card information.
- The User making their way through the whole process without help.
And at the end of it the user might feel their 10-20% savings just weren’t worth it. There are very few people for whom 15 minutes of their time is worth less than the 10% savings they’d have on an eBook.
Perhaps the biggest barrier - Kindle Store beats nearly every other store on price.
How the heck is any store going to get a foothold?
Closing Thought – It’s a pipe-dream only tech publishers can indulge in
PressDisplay and O’Reilly are deluding themselves.
- It’s not harmful to O’Reilly since their users understand tech and are very religious about openness.
- It would work for other tech-oriented Publishers.
- It’s not going to work for PressDisplay.
- It’s certainly not going to work for main-stream Publishers.
It’s impossible for any store selling to Kindle owners to be as convenient and painless as the Kindle Store.
If all things are nearly equal, people will always, always prefer the option that is more convenient. It’s madness to take on the Kindle Store in an area of such obvious strength.