Monday, April 12, 2010

Blogs on your eReader: Convenient? Yes! Available? Maybe. Free? No.

A good friend of mine and regular reader here, Diane, made a simple request: "Can I subscribe to your blog on my Kindle?" Of course, I said "Yes!" It's been something I've been wanting to do and there's no excuse to delay it any further.

So I went to Amazon and signed on as a publisher. I gave them all my info and it's published! And it will cost you $1.99/month. Excuse me? I'm not looking for income, I'm looking for readers. And I'm certainly not looking to charge those who have been so kind and loyal.

From Amazon's Kindle Publishing for Blogs Overview:

Can I set the price for my blog?
No. Amazon will define the price based on what we deem is a fair value for customers.

Can I make my blog free?
No, Amazon will define the price based on what we deem is a fair value for customers.

So I've added my blog to Amazon but I would only recommend subscribing if the convenience of direct feeds to your Kindle is worth the $1.99/month. That's just for my blog, mind you. At that rate, I'll get 30% (60 cents or $7.20 per year per subscriber). But I'm not looking for subscription money from my readers. And if you want direct feeds of other blogs, each will cost you.

With the iPad frenzy, I thought Amazon would be a bit more customer-friendly and allow blog subscriptions for free. But at least they're trying. I have not found direct self-publishing options for blogs or eBooks for Barnes & Noble's Nook, Sony's Reader or the Apple iPad (although with a web browser and RSS feeds, the iPad has you covered).

There is a third-party service worth checking out that allows independent authors to publish eBooks (but not blogs) for free, and distribute to many of these eReaders: Smashwords.

There are also iPhone and Droid apps available as eReaders on your smartphone.

But please, dear readers, share your thoughts! If you're a blogger/author, please tell us about your experiences with eReaders. And thank you, Diane, for the nudge.


Unapologetically Mundane said...

I was trying to find out how much money bloggers make from Amazon, and Google led me here.

I really wonder who's actually subscribing to these things via Kindle. Maybe if I was someone who worked in a coal mine and didn't have Internet access all day, I'd pay for my best friend's blog just to keep up with her. Otherwise, I can't imagine not using the free basic wireless.

Although maybe statements like that are what will ultimately make Amazon take the wireless away from us.

Mike said...

:-) Nothing would surprise me these days. SmartPhone services allowed unlimited internet access to get people to buy them and lock into 2-year contracts - and now are taking away the unlimited access. I wouldn't pay to have someone's blog on my Kindle, and would certainly not ask someone too pay for mine. I don't see it as a good business venture for bloggers, Amazon or the readers.


I came back and reread this post to make sure I got it right. That's b-o-o-k, book,right? I asked my grandson who graduated from high school this week, and he had never heard of these things although, he finally confessed that his father had a few and he had opened one one time, but could't find the keyboard or the screen. Since he is headed for college next year to become a moderate drinker, I told him nevermind. This is such a brilliant post! My best.

Mike said...

Hi Count! Thank you for your kindness! Again! My nephew graduates tomorrow. I wrote a blog entry two years ago when my daughter graduated: Graduation Day Advice Not that she read it :-). Congratulations to your grandson! My best to you.