TKC 122 Peter Hildick-Smith

News – 1) Amazon as of today makes it possible to send Kindle books as gifts to anyone who has an e-mail address, whether or not they have a Kindle.  Click here for press release. 2) No one is calling this a Kindle Killer–or an iPad Killer, for that matter. But I’ll tell you what I think of it when my NOOKColor arrives in the next few days. 3) Happy 3rd Anniversary, Kindle. A look back at what Jeff Bezos told Charlie Rose three years ago today, at the dawn of the Kindlesphere.

Tech Tip – Listener Carl Weibgen of Australia passes along a small tip that will save you a keystroke when you’re looking for search terms on your Kindle.

Interview (13:12) – Peter Hildick-Smith, president and founder of CODEX Group, explains why he’s scared to death of the Kindle’s effect on literature, literacy, and the national economy, even. We spoke by Skype and phone on November 17, 2001 2010.

Content – Mark, a listener of the podcast, has prepared a list of 383 great authors that you can use to build your Kindle library. If you’d like a copy, e-mail me at PodChronicles AT Gmail DOT com, and I’ll e-mail you the list back.  Also, Nick Todd of Southampton in the U.K. has posted a helpful video review of Operation Mincemeat, an true spy tale from World War II.

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Comments 6

  1. sara wrote:

    wow, a fearfest! i was chuckling at all the built in assumptions and omissions in mr. hildick-smith’s bookpocalypse. i guess if you are really invested in the current publishing and brick and mortar book-selling industries, change can be scary. i don’t think our society’s very future hangs in the balance, though.

    i for one, never have found barnes and noble to be “unfettered” book browsing. 🙂 rather, it’s highly staged, crowed, and frustratingly difficult to find something of interest. i’ve found much more reading that i like via amazon and other internet outlets, and much more diverse content, as well.

    Posted 20 Nov 2010 at 11:15 am
  2. Randy wrote:

    Peter Hildick-Smith doesn’t have the whole picture. He seems to rely too much on his surveys. He would be well-served to get a Kindle and see what the experience is all about.

    Comparing the marketing of movies to books is weak. If he can’t give better intel to publishers, then his fears may well come true.

    He doesn’t seem to be aware of a new wave of self-published authors with thriving sales. He also doesn’t seem to be aware of word-of-mouth in promoting diversity.

    I commend you, Len, for letting him go on thinking he knows everything. That was very polite. I think we’re smart enough to see that he’s missing something important.

    Posted 21 Nov 2010 at 11:42 pm
  3. Wayne wrote:

    It might have helped expose or clarify Hildick-Smith’s bias had he been asked what his own personal experience has been with e-books. For example, his not realizing that casual readers in the future, even if they don’t have a dedicated device could access anything via any of the Kindle Apps for PC, smart phones, etc. He seemed totally in the dark about that. So I have a hunch for all his data mining he was framing a lot of his inquiries with faulty assumptions like this, that you could only access the content one day by having a dedicated e-reader. A lot of Kindle users are probably around his age, or older, but it seems that in his case, he had a lot of pre-e-book, legacy notions that were going lead him to inaccurate conclusions whether he had 6,000 people in his study or 6,000,000.

    Posted 23 Nov 2010 at 2:03 pm
  4. Nick Meyer wrote:

    What happened to the Nook Color review? Looking forward to your thoughts.

    Posted 09 Dec 2010 at 10:00 pm
  5. Dave wrote:

    Way behind on listening to podcasts and just heard this today. I think his analysis made no sense. In his Clancy example of higher unit sales and lower revenue because of lower retail price on ebook editions, he doesn’t figure in the lower costs of selling digital. If the margins are better and the profits higher, who cares what the gross revenue is?

    Posted 29 Dec 2010 at 6:34 pm
  6. thorn wrote:

    what sara says, re. the ‘stagedness’ of bookstores. that is exactly what mr. hildick-smith was completely ignoring. or was he hoping we wouldn’t notice?

    around 2007 — before the kindle — barnes & noble reduced their in-stores stock by 10% so they could have more books on the shelves facing outward. huh? fewer visible titles aids discovery by consumers? in what universe? in the universe of manipulated shopping — in which the range of choices is carefully controlled to include only materials from the publishers who have paid the most for the display real-estate.

    also: re. ‘high price excluding the low-income’: mr. hildick-smith obviously hasn’t priced bookcases or shelving. even enough bricks & boards to hold a couple thousand books would be expensive. and with a kindle instead of physical bookcases or shelving, one can move to a smaller apartment.

    Posted 03 Mar 2011 at 9:36 pm