Are Paperback E-Readers The Future?By Chris Weiss
I’ve long thought that what the e-reader market really needs is a solid selection of cheap, easy-to-use devices that do no more than display book text, and display it well. The likes of the iPad and color touchscreen tablets and dedicated readers can keep the technologically-obsessed market covered, while cheaper devices can appeal to those that actually enjoy simply reading books. People like your mom, grandma and Uncle Walter don’t need all the bells and whistles. They’re used to paying five or ten bucks for a simple paperback book, why would they want to spend $250 or $500 for that privilege?
Well, in a post today, blogger Seth Godin lays out a nice case for the paperback Kindle and some other simple ways that Amazon can compete. He suggests abandoning direct-iPad-competing measures like adding color and touchscreen and working at the other end of the market by offering a barebones “paperback Kindle” for a price of around $50. He also suggest some other great ideas to help Amazon such as a buy-8-get-one-free scheme and a book of the month club. It seems that a cheap reader and more content-focused approach would appeal to the large base of physical book consumers that Amazon already has.