Now Available on Amazon Kindle


Amazon Kindle owners: would you pay $2 per month to read my blog on your Kindle?

It’s not a theoretical question.  Amazon now lets anyone publish their blog to the Kindle, so I submitted my own blog.

Amazon picks the price (free is not an option) and gives the blogger 30% of that.  They set a price based on, uh, I’m not sure what it’s based on, but mine is $1.99 per month.  $2 per month seems a little high given the quality of work that I’m doing (har har har).

We talked about it on Twitter, and my favorite response was from Tjay Belt, who said:

“Like I’m gonna spend $400 for a device to allow me to pay you a monthly fee to not read what I don’t read now for free.”

Amen. So now I put it to you, dear readers: would you pay $2 a month to read my blog – or any blog – on the Kindle?

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Heyhey,

    no I would not pay to read a blog. But I could be in the minority. I think Blogs should be free and stay free tbh. But I think there are a lot of people out there who would pay for that.

  • I would pay if only I have the kindle. But I don’t see myself buying one in the next 3 years. But, hell yeah, your blog is still included in, and will always be part of, my daily blog reading.

  • I would pay $2 but I wouldn’t pay $400 for a kindle. Maybe if it also had a built in browser, rdp and ssh client but if it did, that would make the subscription unneeded. Also 30% sounds like a weak deal.

  • I guess the question really is, “What makes my blog worth $2/month on Kindle?”

    For me, personally, the Kindle has limited utility. I’m not a big reader. Moreover, if I carried around a man-purse it’d be a non-issue, but I travel light so having to find somewhere to stash something not much smaller than a Letter-sized piece of paper is difficult. My iPhone just lives in one of my pockets, and I always have those (pockets).

    The only thing I could see is improved readability compared to say, the iPhone or other smartphones, in conjunction with reasonable portability. However, is that enough? Is that worth $24/year? What am I getting for $24/year? Readability. Is improved readability worth $24 to me? No.

    That’s the issue. What additional value is being added in that $24/year? There are plenty of alternative solutions for being able to get your blog on the go such as smartphones, laptops, netbooks, etc. and they all have their advantages and disadvantages (weight, form factor, display size, battery life, connectivity, etc.). The Kindle excels in many of those areas. You can argue the value is being able to view the content you create on a well-designed device, however that’s very much subjective. Everyone has varying priorities, including cost, and not everyone will find the Kindle as a device provides enough positives to outweigh the fact that anyone who reads a substantial number of blogs will find the cost to be non-trivial. $2/month for one blog doesn’t sound bad, but if you read 10 blogs regularly, it’s a completely different scenario. A fair number of people are going to be selective as to which ones they subscribe to — at least in the US, where consumers have a tendency to make a low price a large factor in their purchasing decisions.

    Granted, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t try. Money is money. See what comes of it. However I’m guessing you’ve asked many of the same questions I just have, and you’re wondering if you might be wrong about your assumptions.

  • Jason – the “weak deal” comment sums the Kindle up for me in just about every angle. The hardware’s too expensive, the books are too expensive relative to their dead-tree counterparts, and the revenue deal is really bad for bloggers. But I could say the same thing about iPods/iPhones, and I’ve bought into that, so I can imagine that the Kindle is just as attractive to hard-core readers. I’m not that hard-core.

    Rob – right, you got it. Readability isn’t worth $24/year to me for one web site. I could see paying $24/year for, say, up to 10 RSS subscriptions combined. But with Amazon, that becomes $20/month!

  • Doesn’t Kindle also forbid you from using non-kindle content as well? I don’t believe you can load pdf’s or other e-book formats on it.

    It’s a very expensive 1 trick pony. Oh, and as was mentioned before the current cost for what amoutns to be temporary electronic versions of books is ridiculous.

  • I own a Kindle and find it very useful (as of the Kindle 2 it does have a built in, but limited web browser). It comes in handy for night time reading and trips to doctors’ offices (I’m a new dad so there are lots of both). So far I have used it primarily to carry around dozens of books (classics from are free) and have yet to subscribe to any newspapers or magazines with it.

    While blog subscriptions seem like a natural extension of that model, I can’t see myself paying to read a blog on the Kindle. It feels like a different mode of reading to me. Blogs are quick ways to fill time with useful content while my code is compiling or when I’m eating my lunch at my desk. I don’t rush off to check the blogs I follow over the weekend or after hours. This could simply be because I mainly read IT and programming related blogs. Perhaps Amazon is looking at a different customer that has to have the latest from a political or social blogger all the time.

  • @David Stein – You can load many different document formats onto a Kindle. They will even convert things for you if you want. You can email documents to your Kindle, but they charge 10 cents to download the document to your Kindle for you. When you plug a Kindle into your computer, it appears as a drive and will hold anything you want – mp3, pdf, e-book, whatever.

  • Even if I wanted to subscribe it’s US only. Bizzare!


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