Seth Godin on Kindle

It’s a shame that Seth doesn’t support direct comments on his blog, but maybe that’s because he wants us to read what he writes rather than the huge numbers of people who would want to comment on his blog.

I won’t paraphrase his blog about the Kindle because I think it’s worthy of your time to pop over to his blog and read it for yourself.

I have promoted eBooks for a number of years including writing one myself, Unleashing the Road Warrior, which you can buy from many sites including the new eBook site ReadingIt which I am involved with.

I also wrote a FREE Whitepaper which might add to the story called Are eBooks Ready to Come of Age, which has been used as readings in a number of universities.

The key things that I totally agree with Seth on are:

  1. eBook prices are crazy. Why should you pay a similar price to a hardcopy book? The cost of publishing is tiny in comparison to printing on paper. It is more sustainable as trees don’t need chopping, retailers don’t need huge margins, so someone is being greedy. is a startup founded on the concept that the writer should enjoy the majority of the revenue from their professionally edited book.
  2. The Kindle is easy to use, you don’t need to be a technology buff and with good internet access downloading new books is easy. It’s about reading not about technology.
  3. The Kindle display is more like paper and therefore doesn’t give you the eye strain that I have suffered from on many longhaul flights because of the backlighting, just the same as when you are at your computer too long at a tme.
  4. The Kindle doesn’t give you the same fuctionality that I wrote about in Are eBooks Ready to come of age. In Palm and Windows Mobile devices and others, you can highlight, annotate, bookmark, draw and other features which mean that you can readily access information you want to revisit and you don’t ruin the book with lots of scribbles and ear tagged pages. Like Seth I have several thousand books and it isn’t easy in a hurry to find the book you wanted and which of the many post it flagged pages you wanted.
  5. While this blog is starting to get a good following, I would love to get more readers and encouraging me to keep writing. If you feel that my blog is interesting I would be very grateful if you would vote for me in the category of best blog at the NetGuide Web Awards. Note that the form starts each site with www whereas my blog doesn’t and is of course

    Thanks so much for your support:)


3 thoughts on “Seth Godin on Kindle

  1. Thanks for your comments Karen, I totally agree and understand the costs of publishing printed books. While I love eBooks and own plenty of them, it’s only the business books that I generally want to annotate or in other ways edit. I still own somewhere around 4,000 printed books much to my wife’s frustration. The books, just like music, have memories attached to them, where I bought them, what I was doing in my life at the time I bought them and so on. I love the concept of Kindle and will own one eventually. In the meantime, I am also exploring alternatives including digital paper etc.

  2. Sorry, looks like my quoted sections were edited out when I hit submit. The first was

    “eBook prices are crazy. Why should you pay a similar price to a hardcopy book?”

    The second:

    “The Kindle doesn’t give you the same fuctionality that I wrote about in Are eBooks Ready to come of age. In Palm and Windows Mobile devices and others, you can highlight, annotate, bookmark, draw and other features”

  3. Glad to see you do allow comments.


    I have to agree (with the major exception of Kindle pricing). Sure, the physical paper isn’t much, but that isn’t the only cost involved in a paper book. Layout on paper is actually more involved that on the Kindle (other than graphics, all you need is reflowable text and decent html links to set up your TOC). Once you have a paper book, though, you get to pack it and ship it (often several times) and have methods of dealing with returns, etc. If a book doesn’t sell well, you have to dispose of the extras, if it does, redo all the printing costs to set up another run (of course, for a huge seller, the volume definitely justfies the cost), pay for author tours (ebooks are probably more easily promoted via web tours and if bookstores cease that’ll just leave libraries and universities or “book” fairs). Don’t forget the positive environmental impact from less fuel use (and tires, etc), as well as less bleach from whitening all that paper, not just the trees themselves (which technically are sustainably grown, although hemp would be a better source as far as environmental impact and paper quality).


    You can do some of these with the Kindle. No drawing, but you can highlight, annotate and bookmark. You can search across all the books loaded (if slowly, it’s still faster than a manual search) and upload the clippings or notes to your desktop for easier search.


    As do I – and several thousands more that I’ve let go, due to lack of space over the years. With the Kindle (and many other digital formats), that is no longer a concern. A couple of DVD’s will hold many, many thousands of books. One shelf of my bookshelf no doubt would hold a digital edition of every book ever written, if it were available (not that I’d ever get around to reading them all).

    For those who are still searching for an Amazon Kindle for Christmas (and who were not lucky enough to be at today’s taping of Ellen, where the entire audience received a free Kindle and basket of other goodies from Amazon), the refurbished Kindles keep coming back in stock at Amazon. There were several up this morning at 11 am EST (this isn’t the first time this was a good time to check – remember that 11 am EST is 8 am PST) and didn’t sell out until after 11:30. From the comments on who grabbed one, there must have been at least dozen in stock today:

    Note that if the refurbished units are sold out, that page will also display “used” Kindles being sold by third parties, not Amazon. Generally these are new or only slightly used units, sold at a premium due to the shortage. I know that dozens of the refurbished Kindles have been sold and shipped since Dec 1, but they go in an out of stock quickly. They don’t last on the site very long, so if you want one, you must order it immediately if you find one in stock. If you they are out of stock when you check, be sure to read my blog for tips on getting one:

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