Amazon or B&N should offer free e-reader versions with book purchases

By Raswan
Mar 8, 2011
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  1. This thought comes out of three things: Amazon's latest acquisition of Lovefilm in an attempt to diversify, expand its customer base, and bring in more money, the Nook's continuing ***-kicking by the Kindle, and Apple's recent move to persuade the music industry to allow unlimited redownloads of songs already purchased.

    So here's my thought: wouldn't you love to see Amazon or Barnes & Noble give you free access to the Kindle/Nook version of books when you buy directly from them, or offer it for .99 or something when you go through a Fulfilled-by-Amazon vendor (more the first than the second)?

    It would do a few things:

    1) Get people like me, wary of making the switch from good old-fashioned paperbacks and hardcovers to the e-reader, to finally pick up the Kindle or Nook. I bet this is a larger percentage of the population than one initially thinks, and would erase any restraint except cost to purchasing an e-reader.

    2) Give B & N a competitive edge to get back some of the market share.

    3) Along with the second thing, recently the Nook Color has been hacked to run as a slower, but apparently full-option version of the Xoom. Think if they added this draw--who WOULDN'T pick up a NC for $249, jailbreak it, and have a wi-fi tablet, internet browser, pdf reader, and e-reader that ALSO holds your entire current library?

    4) Kindle (and Nook too?) already allow you to whispersync all of your e-reader devices, so they are clearly aiming for user-friendliness. This is just the next step. You've already bought the book, and it would encourage buying through Amazon rather than the used/like new copy from a lesser vendor. Cmon, if you have a Prime account you know their prices are already geared to get you to buy from them, rather than or whomever. Mo-money, less problems.

    Now I don't know how much overhead is involved in running the distribution/conversion of traditional texts to Kindle or Nook versions (they've demonstrated the viability of the e-reader in the market, and it's only a matter of time before tablets with e-reader apps start to put pressure on Amazon and B & N, right?), but if it's not prohibitive, wouldn't this be an AWESOME capability? Or am I just high on paint fumes?

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