Ads on KindleIt had to come sooner or later. Amazon clearly see the future of ebooks and their Kindle devices as yet another lucrative advertising income stream. In this article ‘Amazon Pushes Hard On Ad Supported Kindle Line‘, there can be no doubt as to where Amazon is heading.

For some time I have been sceptical, and from time to time quite grumpy, about Amazon’s $0.99 to $2.99 pricing gap. As a publisher, it makes pricing an ebook very difficult and restrictive. Go for volume at $0.99 and the lower 30% royalty, or jump to $2.99 knowing sales volume will be lower, but return a higher royalty. The mysterious part for me has been why Amazon clearly wanted two tiers of pricing and deterred pricing in the $1.00 to $2.98 range.

Perhaps now the answer is becoming clear. Cheap ebooks, cheap Kindles and profitable advertising.

To be blunt about it, if someone’s ‘buy button’ is purely price, they’ll go for a cheap Kindle no matter what, and will logically use the same ‘cheap as possible’  criteria when downloading ebooks onto the device. Very cheap or very free. But for advertising to be lucrative, Amazon needed a huge base of cheap ebooks onto which they can append their advertising.

So thanks to Amazon’s successful self-publishing platform, KDP, they have achieved this aim. Now Amazon can ‘value add’ to all these thousands upon thousands of self-published titles at $0.99, and is some cases free, and reap the rewards. Just a pity none of the authors will see a share of the spoils.

While Google are certainly the king of online advertising, it is now evident that Amazon see a market that is prime for the picking and in time, and not a very long time I would imagine, Amazon will be raking in millions from Kindle ebook advertising. While all the information so far has been about ads on the Kindle itself, don’t be surprised if this will also mean advertising on the Kindle app that runs on PCs, Macs, iPds and smartphones.

Being one who can adapt though, I have already decided what my next book will be titled.

‘The Ronald MacD Mystery – brought to you by ABC Cleaning, Acme Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Pixie Escorts’
Please click through to our sponsors. You will then be able to read this title once you have registered to receive their campaign newsletters and diatribe. We hope you enjoy your ebook – between advertisements.

Kindle Ebooks And Advertising
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6 thoughts on “Kindle Ebooks And Advertising

  • 05/10/2011 at 4:03 pm

    Alas you are surely correct, Derek, the only question is how far they will push it once they start. Will it be like YouTube, where you have to click the “x” to get rid of the ad, or will it be like the movies, where you’re forced to view the ad before you can start your book? This will get people back to print books in droves if Amazon get it wrong – so all us indies must make sure our print versions are readily available!

  • 05/10/2011 at 4:43 pm

    I would imagine they will continue to offer a more “premium” device that allows for no ad intrusions at all. I would happily pay for that, in order to preserve the experience of book as close to print as it can be digitally. What I’ve heard of their ad kindles seems unobtrusive to reading…if the ads get intrusive I would expect people will start jumping to other ereaders.

    • 05/10/2011 at 5:48 pm

      Oh yes Lily, most Kindle’s are available ad free. The ad supported version is only available in the US at present anyway. But my real concern is how far will ebook advertising go. Not just on Kindle but on numerous platforms.

      There must be a temptation for some ebook providers who see an opportunity for additional income.

  • 05/10/2011 at 4:48 pm

    The advertising is only one of many reasons why I’ll never buy a Kindle, but the idea that it may spread to the apps? The first time an ad shows up in my Mac Kindle app, that’s the day I’ll transfer all my books to Calibre, even if I have to go to the trouble of stripping out DRM on some of them, and then wipe the damned thing off my hard drive. I sometimes buy ebooks from Amazon rather than from the publishers, simply because it’s more convenient. That would stop. I would no longer buy ebooks that aren’t available from some other source. Which might mean trending back towards print.

  • 12/10/2011 at 3:22 pm

    “Now Amazon can ‘value add’ to all these thousands upon thousands of self-published titles at $0.99, and is some cases free, and reap the rewards. Just a pity none of the authors will see a share of the spoils.”

    Exactly what do you mean? It’s thanks to indie authors at stupid 99 cents that Amazon was able to entice buyers towards Kindle. Now these buyers claim they won’t spend more than 99 cents on a self published book. At first I wondered WHY Kindle customers were so set on self published ebooks being 99 cents and free. Then they became enraged at higher priced indie ebooks, stating those authors hadn’t been “vetted” and needed to be 99 cents.

    Then it dawned on me that Amazon has been promising these people dirt cheap & free ebooks, at the expense of indie authors who seem to be LOCKED IN that very, very low price of 99 cents, where they can’t make a living, yet Amazon makes 70% of their earnings.

    But I will say, a LOT of indie authors have broughht this on themselves. They were more than thrilled to earn 35 cent royalties on 400 page books that took them years to write. They have blasted other indies who were against raising prices above 99 cents. That’s the only strategy they have :99 cents. It’s really sad, but they don’t see it.

    Now they will sit back with their 99 cents, sweating to pump out ebooks while Amazon rakes in MILLIONS off of their backs. I say this because without CONTENT, Amazon Kindle is useless. Without books, the devices would’ve been worthless. But indie authors don’t see it like that; it is their station in life to work on 99 cents. They smile & giggle when they give away their life’s work like simpletons.

    Now watch: some of them will even come up here and distpute me on this and defend their 99 cents. They are complete fools.
    Well, at least they know their place on Amazon, though.

    • 12/10/2011 at 3:50 pm

      I believe I have expressed your sentiments often here on my blog. The two tiered pricing model of Amazon KDP has always been in my mind a ploy to create content for not only the Kindle, but also as a platform for future advertising.

      Hence the price gap intentionally created between $0.99 and $2.99.

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