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The True Cost of Publishing On the Amazon Kindle 236

Posted by samzenpus
from the cost-analysis dept.
Barence writes "Ever wondered why Kindle newspapers and magazines don't have many photos? PC Pro has done an analysis of the costs of publishing on the Kindle and discovered that Amazon effectively taxes newspapers and magazines for including more images. Amazon applies 'delivery charges' to publishers at the cost of $0.15 per MB/10p per MB. At those prices, PC Pro claims it's cheaper to mail out a physical magazine than have it delivered electronically on the Kindle. What's more, publishers have no control over the price of their newspaper or magazine: Amazon sets the prices itself, leading to huge customer complaints for titles such as The Economist."
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The True Cost of Publishing On the Amazon Kindle

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  • Now you know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @02:45PM (#35223472) Journal

    An now you know how they can make the 3G whispernet free. They get somebody else to pay for the connection.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Well, duh. How many people really thought it was an altruistic contribution from the bottom of Amazon's heart?

    • Really? Who pays when I use it to access Wikipedia? Not that it matters... the Kindle web browser crashes if you use it to access anything more than short text files.

      Eventually I'm sure competition with Nook will drive publishing costs down to insignificant levels. BN should be jumping at the opportunity to sign up The Economist and other rags amazon pushes out with their prices.

      • by ArhcAngel (247594)

        Well they are doing a fairly decent job already [barnesandnoble.com]. In fact on the Nook Color the magazines are amazing and do not lack for photographic content. Of course I have to tether it to my phone when I'm not near a hotspot but I don't mind.

      • Not that it matters... the Kindle web browser crashes if you use it to access anything more than short text files.

        You must have an older Kindle. I've got the current generation, and unlike the older versions its browser is based on Webkit. In my experience it works extremely well.

      • The Economist and other rags amazon pushes out with their prices.

        B&N does. B&N sells yearly subscriptions to the "Economist" for $100. That includes the weekly and web editions. When I first saw it on display I wanted to buy a subscription, I didn't because I didn't have the money.

        Falcon

    • Well it makes sense. I am a international Kindle user (from South Africa) and whispernet works like a charm here. As far as I understand Amazon uses the AT&T network and the reason why it works is because Amazon actually uses pays roaming data charges - and data roaming is expense in most countries ( I think it is in the region of $0.01/KB, e.g. approx $10/MB). So they might have a better deal than consumers get, but $0.15/MB does not look so bad if you have to compare it to other data roaming charges..
  • No surprise there (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) <afacini&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @02:46PM (#35223480)
    Too many precedents have been set lately by allowing manufacturers/distributors to control content. And not just in publishing, either.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @03:05PM (#35223692)

      Too many precedents have been set lately by allowing manufacturers/distributors to control content.

      Amazon (and Apple) are not being "allowed" to control content. They have managed to build something desirable to put content on.

      They have figured out how to make devices on which people enjoy reading content. A great part of the reason WHY people enjoy reading content on those devices is because of the way the systems have been set up - in Apple's case extreme ease of purchase for applications or content you wish to buy, in Amazon's case that plus free always-connected status.

      Neither of those things is free to provide, and content PRODUCERS are welcome to sell content elsewhere or even make competing devices if they so choose. But the truth is there is great value in the path to readers that Apple and Amazon provide, and there's nothing wrong with paying for that.

      • Actually they're being allowed to control the content. We have laws preventing certain uses of content owned by another (Copyright) and we need laws preventing the control of content beyond legal limits (restrictive DRM). It should be illegal for a company to sell me a digital file that ceases working on its own unless that was the exact feature I paid for.

        • Actually they're being allowed to control the content.

          No, the content providers choose what to give the Apple or the Kindle. Now they might reject some content, but they are not controlling the content - if they were, Apple and Amazon would be re-writing articles or otherwise changing content without consent.

          At all time the content provider has the choice to walk.

          It should be illegal for a company to sell me a digital file that ceases working on its own

          Again, talk to the content providers. Apple and Amazo

      • Amazon (and Apple) are not being "allowed" to control content.

        HAHA!!! Slashdot has had a number of articles about Apple censoring apps, books, and software. It's a mystery how Apple decides whether something submitted meets Apples standards.

        Falcon

    • by hedwards (940851)

      If you don't like it just stay out of the ebook market or go with one of the ebooks that supports the epub standard. Personally I've got my Nook and I haven't had any trouble loading it up with free content, books checked out from the library or other stores than the official B&N store. It is a bit of a hassle buying elsewhere, but it's not really that hard, most of them support Adobe Editions. My main complaint is that it isn't supported by Linux or anything outside the Mac/Windows world.

      • My main complaint is that it isn't supported by Linux or anything outside the Mac/Windows world.

        ADE runs fine in Wine, and even though it's definitely not an ideal solution, it is a solution. At least, I'm assuming that you're referring to ADE when you say "it", as the Nook is pretty much OS-neutral, acting as a mass-storage device. Calibre has been my Nook's best friend since I got it.

      • What's the problem with Nook and Linux? Calibre runs nicely on Linux, and Linux does nicely for getting books into and out of the Nook. Linux doesn't have a Nook client, but I'd much rather read on my Nook or even my iPhone than my laptop.

  • Smallest Violin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @02:46PM (#35223484)

    Between EVIL Amazon and EVIL Apple, I'm running out of tears for the publishing industry.

    </sarcasm>

    • by Machtyn (759119)
      I thought eBay was bad when they took 20% of every video game sales made on their site. Then I saw that Amazon.com was no better (and maybe slightly worse). And I thought, where is the competing online auction sites!
      • Re:Smallest Violin (Score:4, Informative)

        by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @03:23PM (#35223904)
        The usefulness of an auction site depends upon the number of users - thus it's almost impossible for a small site to succeed, just because it's small. A similar situation applies in places like social networking or IM services: People won't join unless their friends already have. It's not impossible to break into such a market, but it requires a great deal of luck, excellent management and a lot of capital.

        This doesn't apply so much to publishing, but you still have the traditional barriers to entry there: Publishers arn't going to be interested in your distribution system until they consider you a serious contender, which means you need either a ton of money to spend on marketing or the backing of an established and respected player.
      • I recommend kijiji [kijiji.com] to sell video games.

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      Amazingly, it's interesting how publishers need to pay amazon, yet music and movies get money being in distribution content such as Netflix or Hulu. Would there be a flip of things soon where streaming becomes so large that movie studios would be also charged? Nah, I don't think so because ISPs are merging with TV networks, not publishers, right?
  • Why can't users just connect to their home network at download the content from the publishers' websites? This has the stink of bullshit all over it.
    • by cdrguru (88047)

      Connect with what? The Kindle 1 and 2 do not have WiFi hardware.

      The Kindle 3 has WiFi and this could make a difference in charges. But until Amazon wants to start having different pricing based on the device type they are going to have to support the millions of Kindle 2 units out there.

      It is possible to load a Kindle with content through the USB connection, but this isn't very popular and requires a computer. I doubt many publishers want to set things up to be that manually operated.

      • Download to computer->transfer to kindle via USB. I believe Calibre has 'recipes' to facilitate doing this for free newspapers and magazine articles.

        I would think images are more frequently not on the kindle because color images don't look good in greyscale at a lower resolution.

        And pricing concerns? As a consumer I trust Amazon to be slightly less evil than the magazine publishers. The major book publishers got together and forced Amazon to let them set kindle book prices, to a near hardcover price, upo

      • by steveo777 (183629)

        Any file transfer done with the Kindle's Wifi connection is free. It's just the 3G data that you'll have to pay for. You get free 3G for browsing, etc. But all the Whispernet services have chareges associated with them. IE, if you email a document to get converted and have it delivered over 3G, you'll have to pay for it. But if you email it and have it delivered by Wifi, no charge. Same with books. The only time you pay a delivery fee is over 3G.

        I email documents that I have to review for work to Ama

      • by morari (1080535)

        Connect with what?

        Their B&N Nook. ;)

    • Users can do that, in theory. But Amazon won't go out of their way to make it easy on you. Putting things on your Kindle without Amazon's help involves a USB cable and copying files to the right place on the Kindle's filesystem using Windows Explorer. Letting Amazon do this for you is just far more convenient--hence Amazon's ability to charge a substantial fee for the service.

      • by Evtim (1022085)

        "Putting things on your Kindle without Amazon's help involves a USB cable and copying files to the right place on the Kindle's filesystem using Windows Explorer"

        This sounds easy enough. The time needed is way shorter than the time needed to read the book anyway. And, since when using Explorer is considered difficult?

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        I will agree that downloading to a PC and moving with a USB cable is harder and has more steps than most people would like. However, you make it sound like Amazon is locking down the device somehow and that is far from the case.

        It is trivial to visit a web site that offers Mobipocket content for free and download that using the built-in web browser. While www.manybooks.net is somewhat of a pain on the Kindle, it is quite functional and allows downloading of 100% of the books there for free. No charges.

    • They can (Score:4, Informative)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @03:46PM (#35224152)

      Why can't users just connect to their home network at download the content from the publishers' websites?

      They can. Nothing is stopping anyone from doing that, in fact on a Kindle or iPad you can load PDF or ePub files on it yourself if you like.

      But for the same reason I fly instead of walk to New York, people like to get content through automated feeds and directly on a device wherever they are.

  • ... is that images and photos look terrible on a Kindle. Amazon doesn't want you, as the reader, to dwell on that fact.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And they draw slowly - an image the size of the screen ( 600x800, I think ) takes well over a second to render. Not that the kindle was meant to show really show pictures, of course, since it's main selling point seems to be the appearance of the text on the page.

  • Costs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Elder Entropist (788485) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @02:52PM (#35223530)
    "At those prices, PC Pro claims it's cheaper to mail out a physical magazine than have it delivered electronically on the Kindle." But that doesn't include the costs of actually printing the physical magazine. Not to defend Amazon though. They're clearly trying to make a buck before commoditization of the industry drives prices down.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cdrguru (88047)

      The printing costs almost nothing. Today, the mailing of a magazine probably costs more than the printing does.
      Do not believe that physical printing costs much - it doesn't - and doesn't factor into the prices of books and magazines much at all. It is heavily outweighed by the costs of the editorial staff.

      • Judging by the Editorial "work", and I use that term loosely, that I see in many e-books most editorial staffs are drastically overpaid.

    • by Chemicles (771024)

      But that doesn't include the costs of actually printing the physical magazine.

      Which is why the article very clearly states that it's "cheaper to mail out a physical magazine", instead of saying "cheaper to print out a physical magazine and mail it".

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Whether a magazine is pure text, or has a tons of photos, doesn't make much difference in printing costs. It used to, but not anymore.

      And "it costs amazon a lot of to download" is a bit specious. My dialup connection lets me grab 14 gigabytes a month, but still only charges me 7 dollars (basically 0.5 dollars per GB). There's no reason why photos in e-magazines should be charged at $150 per GB.

      • by canajin56 (660655)
        Your "dial-up" connection is using AT&T's 3G network?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          No obviously not.

          I was comparing/contrasting the huge difference in cost. My dialup is 50 cents/GB. ATT is $40 per 5GB cap == $8 per GB. So why is amazon charging $150 per?

    • by tverbeek (457094)
      Amazon is so intent on opposing commoditization, that they stop authors from selling their work at low prices. I'm acquainted with an author who is trying to build some audience by not-quite-giving-away a couple of his novels at impulse-purchase prices on Kindle, but Amazon insists on selling his ebooks for a higher price.
  • by shogarth (668598) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @02:57PM (#35223580)

    There are two things to consider here

    1.) Amazon is handling the distribution. If their formula is unreasonable, that is something to kick around but they do need to cover those costs.

    2.) The publishers probably cannot "pop it in the mail" for less. The article's author is forgetting about or intentionally ignoring the printing costs.

    At the end of the day, the question has to be "Is the publisher getting a better or worse return?" This article (and most others on this subject) neglect that issue entirely. It's easy to bash at Apple's or Amazon's costing formula. It's much harder (and would display a lot of the publishers' proprietary data) to discuss the real fiscal impact on the publishing industry.

    • [...]but they do need to cover those costs.

      $150/GB is inexcusable. If a typical magazine contains 10 MB of pictures (which doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility) then you're talking about $1.50 just to deliver the images to the user for each issue. That's significantly more than it costs to print and deliver a physical copy to the reader, as is evidenced by the number of magazines that can be had for less than $18 per year.

      • by bark (582535) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @03:38PM (#35224064)

        By the way, the magazines that can be had for less than $18 per year are actually subsidized by advertising. The true cost of printing + mailing a full length (around 100 pages / perfect binding / good paper / good printing) magazine is around $5 - 10 per issue per customer. Add in production/design/content costs, and the actual cost of a single magazine can be anywhere from $20 - 30. If you take a look at the sale prices of unsubsidized (ie magazines with no ads) - you can find that the cheaper magazines use poor quality paper, while the really glossy ones (which are usually high art / high fashion mags) costs around $30 per issue.

        Hope this clears up some things.

        • by bark (582535)
          And yes - this business model makes absolutely no sense in the absence of outrageous advertising prices. Which is why the publishing industry is going down down down.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cdrguru (88047)

          Nobody except the "high art" magazines are using good paper these days. You are thinking of an era that has long passed us by. Good paper can be seen with Architectural Digest and a few (very few) others. The rest are using the cheapest paper and cheapest printing techniques possible.

          No way does it cost Time $5 to print and deliver a copy. Perfect-bound books can be printed in large quantities for $1.25 each, so I would say Time is probably no more than $0.50 to print and maybe $0.75 to bulk mail it.

      • by Bengie (1121981)

        I agree.
        I get 12 copies of Popular Mechanics for $12/year. $1/copy seems pretty good to have a magazine printed and mailed to me.

      • by 517714 (762276)
        That $150 - Amazon marks that up according to the formula, in effect they are charging $195.00.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dorre (1731288)

      At the end of the day, the question has to be "Is the publisher getting a better or worse return?"

      This is not the only question to ask. I am really surprised at Americans (I am not sure you are, but I see this argument a lot) who say 'well if you dont like apple/amazon/evil-megacrop restricting what content they are distributing you can always get it some other way, it's not like they have a monopoly'. In fact, they DO have a monopoly and I am going to explain why:

      A monopoly is when you have 100 % control of the market. While amazon do not control all electronic distribution. They do control the distrib

      • by Ferzerp (83619)

        I don't know about your last point. You can put arbitrary files on your Kindle by default.

      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        A monopoly is when you have 100 % control of the market. While amazon do not control all electronic distribution. They do control the distribution to all Kindles. Basically you can take everybody who owns a kindle and consider them a separate market. And this market they control. To a 100 %.

        The way you're defining a monopoly I could say that McDonald's has a 100% monopoly on Big Macs or that Toyota has a 100% monopoly on Priuses. It's not the Kindle market, it's the ebook reader market, and Amazon just happens to be doing extremely well in that market.

    • 1.) Amazon is handling the distribution. If their formula is unreasonable, that is something to kick around but they do need to cover those costs.

      Of course they need to cover costs. I think the problem/complaint comes from a belief that it should be cheaper, since it's all digital.

      2.) The publishers probably cannot "pop it in the mail" for less. The article's author is forgetting about or intentionally ignoring the printing costs.

      I dunno... How much do you honestly think delivery costs on your average periodical? How much do you think printing actually costs?

      Once you've considered the editorial staff, creative folks, journalists, assorted management... The cost of actually producing and distributing a periodical probably doesn't amount to much.

      Which is what ruins the idea that it should be cheap

  • Define 'cost' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by emagery (914122) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @02:57PM (#35223584)
    Oh, come on... money is not the only resource by which one survives. In fact, it was never meant to have any meaning beyond measuring the value of resources and labor, period. That considered, resources on this planet ARE finite, and I find much more value being able to inhale my entertainment in digits rather than in paper. I can have a single metal and plastic kindle (which, btw, can be powered off a freakin' hand crank (as I did last night when the apartment complex was without power due to a failed upgrade by maintenance.)) replace 10s of thousands of paper items over the course of its useful lifetime. Me, I like to breath oxygen and have the luxury of, you know... EATING FOOD... things that I cannot take for granted in a world that is well beyond sustainable cultivation practices in most every regard. Define 'cost,' because going without a survivable future is too high a price to pay, at least if you ask me.
    • One might argue that new-growth trees take carbon out of the air and put it in paper. But would this carbon sequestration have a measurable impact on greenhouse gases?
    • by lgw (121541)

      Malthus was wrong. I don't know why people continue to believe this "overpopulation: we're all doomed" nonsense. Technology continues to grow faster than population, and alternative resources contiue to be found when any given resource becomes scarce. It's been this way since the industrial revolution, and overall world quality of life just keeps going up as population rises.

      Ultimately it won't matter, as world pop is expected to crest at 10B or so, but we've already reached the point where more people a

    • Programmer or unix admin? I saw those matched parenthesis -- so which is it?
    • by friedmud (512466)

      You might have been able to power it off a hand-crank.... but how did you read it in the dark ;-)

      This is what I always think when I hear people say that Kindles are so much easier to read on than iPads.... they're only easier in perfectly lighted places... and there are TONS of others where an iPad is easier to read (in bed with lights off, on a train, on the subway, on an overnight international flight, in the back of a car at night, etc... etc...)

  • Dear Amazon,

    We want pictures on our Kindle subscriptions, even if they are (currently) only black-and-white on the flagship device. They are often important parts of the content. Please stop, or come to a more reasonable (to you, anyway) conclusion--for example, I would gladly wait until a Wi-Fi connection to download the images if it makes you happy. (And others won't, but I say this as someone who rarely reads such publications and won't want to do so right-now-at-an-airport or something.)

    Except you fooli

  • Do what I do.

    Sit back and laugh at the entire e-reader industry until it figures out how to behave like a real business environment.

    • Do what I do.

      Sit back and laugh at the entire e-reader industry until it figures out how to behave like a real business environment.

      You mean like the publishing industry in general? Sounds good. I'll wait for e-publishers to writhe in agony as the impenetrable fiefdom they created and got fat off of dies a slow painful death, occasionally lashing out blindly at concepts they A. don't understand and B. could have used as means of maintaining profitability and relevance had they paid the slightest bit of attention to.

      There are problems with e-readers and e-books. To me, they are offset by the advantages they have over traditional media.

    • by Synn (6288)

      Well, the model is mostly breaking down when it comes to magazines. A normal "novel" 60,000 word type book would run under .25 megs and cost several dollars, so the delivery cost would be quite reasonable.

      Even trade manuals(Linux for dummies) would still be very reasonable, considering they sell for $30 or so in the print world.

      Magazines should be ad supported in some way. The current readers aren't really setup for them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I think the problem is in the 3G carriers pricing...

    • I seriously doubt Amazon is paying $150 per GB in 3G charges, or anything close to it. AT&T currently charges $30 a month for a regular old, low volume of sales, consumer to use 5GB a month (Unlimited if you're grandfathered in), I don't they exponentially increase that for a huge, high volume partner. I see several cost centers involved in what Amazon is doing: The 3G on the device, the Internet pipe for their servers, the storage, the maintenance and coding... I'd be shocked if all of that added up

  • by ljw1004 (764174) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @03:13PM (#35223766)

    I bought my first Kindle book last week -- "Selected Stories by Philip K Dick"
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0027MJTNS [amazon.com]

    I'm very unhappy with the Kindle experience.

    There are typographical errors on 50% of pages (usually missing spaces between punctuation). And most importantly, the Kindle edition simply LACKS those "blank-line paragraph breaks". In the physical copy I can tell that time has jumped forward or we've switched planet by that half an inch of whitespace. But on the Kindle, it all just flows together and I have to slow down, stop, reverse, and figure out that there should have been a break there.

    • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @03:19PM (#35223848) Homepage
      The Kindle doesn't lack these things. The edition of the text that you bought lacks these things. Blame the publisher who converted the text into Kindle format, not the manufacturer of the device.
      • by cruff (171569) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @03:33PM (#35223990)

        Indeed, even recently published material that you would think would be available in digital format to begin with seems to have OCR style errors in the Kindle edition. Either that or editors and proof readers aren't doing a very good job. Oh wait, that's always been the case for a lot of publishers.

        • Indeed, even recently published material that you would think would be available in digital format to begin with seems to have OCR style errors in the Kindle edition. Either that or editors and proof readers aren't doing a very good job. Oh wait, that's always been the case for a lot of publishers.

          Admittedly, this is subjective--but with the current titles I've read on the Kindle (e.g. The Hangman's Daughter; Steig Larsson's trilogy) I haven't noticed a higher frequency of errors than I've been accustomed to finding in recent (last 10-20 years) printed books. I do find a significant number of errors in the older public domain books that mostly seem to trace back to the version on Project Gutenberg.

          Frankly, I've been of the opinion for the last couple decades that most publishers are no longer employi

    • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @03:34PM (#35224000) Journal

      When you read the Note on the Text for the ebook of LoTR, which was excellently done, you see how much effort it takes to get a good copy. "The Victorian Internet", OTOH, is a crappy OCR. Much of the action took place in "Rritain", and sometimes entire words are rendered as "????" when the OCR broke down.

      • by gorzek (647352)

        You mean people actually pay for ebooks with such errors?? What the fuck?

        If I ever bought an ebook with such shoddy presentation I'd demand my money back. That's completely ridiculous, especially considering how many ebooks cost almost as much as the print edition.

    • You've just learned why the free preview feature in Amazon's store is worth a second glance. Click for a free download of a few chapters of material, read through to verify the content styling and presentation before purchasing. Amazon lets you treat each digital book almost as you would the physical store version, flipping through the first bit before buying it.

      Unfortunately I tend to judge books by the middle chapters when browsing at a brick & mortar store, but still, free preview is a great featur

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @03:14PM (#35223778) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure how Barnes and Noble's pricing structure works, but it's no better there for the end user. For example, here's most of a message I posted on B&N's Nook forum [barnesandnoble.com]:

    I was playing with the store on my Nook and was really impressed by the magazine prices. For example, I picked "National Review" at random and saw that it cost $3.95 an issue, or $4.95 for a subscription. "Wow," thought I. "These magazines are early adopters, expanding their readership through cheap subscriptions in a digital form that has approximately zero distribution costs. How clever of them!"

    Looking at the bn.com page for the magazine, I found the catch: that's $4.95 per month.

    Holy cow. First, that's $59.40 a year. I could subscribe to the physical version for $29.50 (and apparently get a free book as a gift). Second, I have never, anywhere, ever seen magazine subscriptions priced monthly. They are universally priced annually. Upon reviewing the Nook screen, sure enough, there it is at the top: "Monthly Subscription: $4.95". I missed that in favor of the large-font, glowing "Subscribe for $4.95" button on the touch screen. Tapping that button gives the prompt, 'Would you like to buy "National Review" for $4.95?", again with no indication that you're buying a monthly subscription.

    I love my Nook, but I'd never pay for a small, electronic, black-and-white version of a magazine when I could get the colorful, ergonomic dead-tree version delivered for half the price. Their subscription model is miles away from making sense for me.

  • And that is why paper books/publishing isn't going away anytime soon.

  • US data plans are on the order of $10 a gigabyte.
  • $.15/MB is cheaper per byte than text messages are. The publishers should be thanking Amazon for that.
    • by NoSig (1919688)
      If you take the (almost zero) mass of the electrons that carry the information for SMS messages, you may even find that SMS messages are more expensive per pound than gold. Anything that comes within orders of magnitude of SMS data prices are beyond the pale.
      • Considering text messages are routed over sub band data that's already being transmitted between your phone and the carrier, there's effectively zero digital data involved too.

  • I believe that Amazon has the fee in place to provide an incentive to publishers to keep their files small, not because of bandwidth or storage costs, but rather because large files degrade the user experience on the Kindle.

    This thread [kindleboards.com] on an end-user bulletin board shows the frustration that users frequently experience because of the device's limited memory. Amazon sells the idea that the Kindle will hold 1500 books despite having only 2 GB or 4 GB of storage, depending on model. Image-rich files, especia

  • It says it's $0.15/MB, but is that per book sent, or for all their books? Because if a book is ~200KB, with one method it costs $0.15 to send 5 copies, and with the other it costs $0.75 to send five copies. This is an important distinction (that might be solved if I RTFA, but)

  • Since I believe the Kindle and other e-readers have built-in browsers, couldn't the magazine embed links to pictures (or thumbnails with links) that would open up in the browser? This would mean the actual number of bytes delivered with the "magazine" would be fairly low.

      That's pretty much how a lot of web sites handle large photos associated with stories.

  • "There's a sucker born every minute". To spot them see if they're using a Apple or Amazon device. LOL
  • And pundits say printed magazines are dead. TFA cites the kindle edition of the Economist [economist.com] as costing more than a subscription which includes the print edition and full access to the website. Of course it gives the costs in the UK. In the US the Kindle edition [amazon.com] costs $10.49. I semi-regularly buy the print edition from Barnes and Noble for a few dollars less. Thing I notice though is that the Kindle edition seems to be monthly whereas the print edition is weekly. And I bet the web edition, which has the

  • Suddenly that 30% bite from apple doesn't sound half bad.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

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