Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm a Kindlevangelist -- Are You?

This week I introduced 7 people to the joy of the free Kindle app for iPhone/PC/Mac/Android and -- yes! -- even Ubuntu. These are folks who said they couldn't read my book, Legs, because they didn't own a Kindle.

All have gone on to read my book and to download free and paid eBooks from Amazon, all because I spread the word and taught them how to use the free apps. One person even bought a Kindle (she'd been on the fence and I tipped her over).

This got me thinking about the fear that Amazon will somehow close the doors (or create significant barriers) for self publishing. I don't think it will happen, precisely because of "Kindlevangelism." Whether you publish and sell 10 books a month, or publish and sell 10,000, every single writer who published on Kindle will, at least once, teach a person how to download the free software for Kindle, thus opening Amazon's customer base.

Amazon pays nothing for our marketing their products for them. We do it out of self interest. Even if we don't sell a single eBook, the new customer we introduce to the Kindle technology represents business development. So why would they cut off their own unpaid force of authors who do this for them?

Amazon might add a small fee (a few dollars per title, for instance) or take other measures to weed out true spam books. But the brilliance of making eBook publishing open to all is that Amazon has turned us all into Kindlevangelists, converting non-eReader users one person at a time.

I haven't become a Nookevangelist, however, because somehow that just sound dirty. What's a good word for spreading the good word about the free Nook app? Leave your ideas in the comments. Best name wins a free copy of my book ;)

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