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An Interesting New Publishing Model

What's This Blog Doing on the Kindle?

Pub2020kindleA reader of my Publishing 2020 blog recently e-mailed me this link to a new product for the Kindle.  This new product is my blog's feed, which Amazon is now selling for 99 cents per month.

I was never asked to participate in the program, so I'm assuming it's the result of a blogging syndication deal I signed a couple of years ago.  Thanks to the world of syndication you never know where your content might appear, and you really don't have much say in the matter.  I'm not complaining, and I certainly don't anticipate many (any?!) subscriptions to materialize via this service; even if they do, I'm getting a slice of a slice of a pretty tiny (99-cent) slice, so it's not changing my world.

The bigger question I have is "why?".  Why is Amazon bothering with adding these blog feeds?  The rankings I'm seeing for most of them is pretty low.  More importantly, I've found that once Kindle owners discover free blog feed services like Kindlefeeder, they feel the paid feeds are a ripoff.

I think Amazon would be better off redirecting their efforts to increase the number of available paid blog feeds.  For example, they still only have 18 magazines for sale on the Kindle and loads of technology and business titles are noticeably absent from the list.  Every minute spent adding another blog to the service is time that should have been spent building up the magazine base, IMHO.


Book Calendar

I'm not sure about this. People seem to be spending more time online looking at blogs where I work than they do looking at magazines.

There has been a real drop in magazine readership at our library. People seem to want to look at websites before they want to look at magazines for information.

I think they are using the classic, if it is there and there first it is easier for me to use than going and looking for some new piece of technology.

Justin Long

They are feeding the "Long Tail" of blog feeds. I might not be interested in some of the other blog feeds while at the same time I might be more interested in this one. And if 1,000 people subscribed to this blog... that's $1,000/mo. Which is probably < 1% of the total number of Kindles out there. Besides, I doubt it takes very much effort to add a blog such as this one to the Kindle service... just a matter of typing in an RSS feed??

Anthony S. Policastro

Hi Joe,
Congrats on the Kindle listing for your blog, but I agree the monthly charge while small is really a ripoff when you can access the blog for free on any PC. I don't believe Amazon is selling many subscriptions to blogs even to people traveling all the time. They could simply access any blog from a PC in a hotel room or through Kindlefeeder.

Michael A. Banks

I thought you knew about that. Perhaps Amazon are grabbing anything and everything (not to denigrate your blog, which is among the best) hoping they'll keep people coming back.

Michael A. Banks

This reminds me that certain magazines that probably cannot survive as Web-only publications alone may benefit from Kindle.

I refer in particular to all-fiction magazines, such as Analog SF, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. These magazines traditionally covered expenses (including paying writers) and made a profit through newsstand and subscription sales. Their advertising pages aren't many.

I found EQ on Kindle and I think the others are, as well. Survival for these is a very good thing; they are often the first showcase for the work of future bestselling novelists.

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