5 reasons specialist publishers should experiment with Kindle

Niche publishers are understandably focussed on iPad and tablet opportunities, but it’s worth taking time to explore the Amazon Kindle platform as it provides some interesting and potentially lucrative digital publishing options, all at a much lower development and production cost than apps.  Here’s five reasons you should experiment with Kindle.

1. Extensive reach

Many more consumers own Kindle devices than iPads:  a recent survey in a niche market showed that almost 3 times as many of their readers owned Kindles, and a good proportion had plans to buy them in future.  The Amazon store has phenomenal reach and they are actively promoting Kindles.

2. Simple development

It’s easy for smaller publishers to experiment with the Kindle platform, as the development costs are much lower.  Kindle editions don’t have to be exclusive; some niche publishers promote ebooks using their own email channel as well as publishing them on Kindle.  Amazon take 30% of revenues, but there is no upfront charge.

3. Kindle Singles option for testing specials

Kindle Singles are designed for medium-length content (typically 5-15,000 words) pric ed competitively.  They are edited, minimising spam and plagiarism, and so far have been used for long-form journalism and fiction.  ProPublica published a 13,000 story on “Pakistan and the Mumbai attacks” which sold 1900 copies at $0.99 in its first two weeks.  Read more.  Could be worth experimenting for repackaged c ontent as specials from niche publications.

4. Kindle Periodicals  for reaching new audiences

An alternative is Kindle for Magazines and Periodicals, where the entire publication  is available, and most publishers offer an attractive price for a subscription.  The Spectator have found this a great way to encourage new readers to sample their writing.  By offering a very competitive price they have stayed in the top five  publications by sales, which in turn helps keep sales buoyant.  Their only promotion is simply being in the Kindle Store.  It’s not just for news publications;  niche mountain bike publisher Singletrack has also got an edition of its magazine in the Kindle store.

5. Amazon tablet is coming

Rumours abound that an Amazon tablet will be available by Christmas.  Whether this is e-ink and colour touch screen combined or touch screen only it is sure to be extensively promoted to Amazon customers, so it’s no bad thing to have some awareness among the audience of your own publishing brand.

What are your experiences with Kindle publishing?  Please comment below or join the Specialist Media Network on Linked-in to swap ideas and network with 700 other specialist media professionals.

About the author: Carolyn Morgan works with niche publishers to develop a bespoke digital publishing strategy, across web, mobile and social platforms.  Read more about her consulting business, Penmaen Media.  Carolyn regularly speaks at industry conferences on the challenges of digital publishing, and launched the Specialist Media Show, a conference, exhibition and workshop programme for niche publishers.  If you’d like us to review your plans to take your content onto digital channels, and share experiences of other pioneering publishers, please contact us for an initial discussion.