Amazon announced a new piece of their eBook strategy this past week, with the launch of Kindle for the Web. This allows you to:
- Read a book sample from Amazon.com without leaving your browser. No download or installation required.
- Share book samples with your friends via email or social networks.
- Embed a book sample in your personal blog or website and earn referral fees on sales.
This is the first step in what I think will be the logical progression of their “read your books anywhere” strategy, which will probably end with the ability to access your library directly in the browser. They haven’t announced this, but it seems like the natural endgame for accessing your Kindle books: you can already buy an ebook from Amazon and read it on your:
- Windows PC
- Android phone
- iPod touch
- and, of course, Kindle
There is also a rumor floating around the tech world that Amazon may be working on a tablet of their own, to compete with the iPad. This is bolstered by the fact that Amazon announced that they would be opening their own Android app store for mobile devices, that would allow for a curated store on the model of the Apple App store.
With their current footprint, as well as the potential above, has Amazon already won the eBook battle in the eyes of the public? What does that mean for libraries, if so? I think it’s going to be very, very hard for another provider to compete with the mindshare that Amazon has managed to garner...Kindle is quickly becoming a generic term for eReader, even. I think that libraries and the ALA should really be working with Amazon to try and find a way for us to fit into their ecosystem, because that’s clearly where the patrons are going.