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The Solution to Cutting the Cost of Review Copies: Buy Reviewers a Kindle!

Jeff Rivera at GalleyCat has the solution for the ever-increasing cost publishers incur sending out tons of paper review copies to reviewers: Buy reviewers a Kindle and send them eBooks.

Says Jeff:

…many reviewers don’t want to read books on their computer screen. They want to curl up in bed and read their books. And not enough reviewers have e-readers like Kindle 2.0, Sony eReader, eSlick, or BeBooks. Why? Because they can’t afford to pay rent, let alone pop out an extra $350 for a Kindle. So publishers, what do you do?

[Number-Crunching ensues…]

…publishers, you’re saving $1.1 million the first year and $1.5 million every year by sending every reviewer a Kindle.

It’s hard to argue with Math. If any publisher would like to test this idea, I’m willing to do my part… 🙂

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

7 Comments on The Solution to Cutting the Cost of Review Copies: Buy Reviewers a Kindle!

  1. As much as I’d like it to, it’ll never happen.  I’d certainly change my reviewing policy to taking electronic copies of anything if I had a Kindle, but I can’t really afford one.  No publisher would ever give me one, though (they might for the really big reviewers, but I’m only a middle-ish sized guy).  It’d still be nice, though.

  2. I’m another one of the those ‘mid-list’ reviewers who’d likely be left out. I hate reading on the screen, so I don’t accept e-books for review and I don’t have plans to purchase and e-reader any time soon. Partially because I’m waiting for publishers to get over DRM ideas and for e-readers (like the Kindle) to get over their propriatary formats, though it’s mostly becuase I’m attached to my old school books.

  3. I’m with Shaun. It would make reviewing much easier for all concerned, but I do not see it happening. I even had some hope back when I first started reviewing that if I promoted Kindle ebooks, that maybe (in a year or three) I could make enough money off links to buy one. One major flaw in my plan. Amazon does not pay commission on Kindle book downloads. So much for that idea.

    Besides not being able to afford one, they are like computers or cell phones. Books basically remain the same but Amazon is still developing the Kindle, releasing new versions for us to buy every so often. This would put publishers (or us if we buy our own) in a position to have to decide if they should buy all new, updated, improved versions to give their reviewers…..sigh.

    Nothing wrong with dreams though right?

  4. I, too doubt it would happen (despite my love for all things free).  I think the logistics of it makes it hard to implement, too.  Would Publisher X be happy with supplying a bunch of reviewers with $400 readers just to have all the other reap the rewards?

    Also, on the off chance that it did come to pass, the only ones getting the goods would be the super-huge venues like the New York Times.  Most of us sf bloggers would be looking on with envy.

    Personal preference: Rather than a dedicated reader (just another device to carry), I’d want a reader in my phone.  My current phone has too small a screen to read anything but short stories.  I do hear folks have good experiences with the iPhone Kindle app.

  5. Chris Franco // April 15, 2009 at 1:37 pm //

    I have been given a kindle, and a sony reader to test to determine if they should be used in classroom (I work for a school district).  They seem like fun little toys, and reading on them seems adequate, but you feel like you are missing something not holding a book.  Jdenardo can agree that I am not an avid reader, but when I do read it brings back a sort of pre-computer, no ipod nostalgia. 

    Maybe one day books will go the way of the laser disk. 

    I bet alot of peoples signifigant others would appreciate tons of ebooks alot more than boxes, and boxes of books all over the house.

  6. Chris Franco // April 15, 2009 at 1:43 pm //

    my fiance has the iphone kindle app, and seems to like it

  7. I’ve been growing more and more interested in the Sony Reader, since I play with a demo model every time I go into my local target. I like the size of it, the feel of it. I like that it takes word files, text files, rich-text-files, PDFs. I could put stories I’m editing in there, or slush piles I’m reading, or just take classic SF novels and stuff off Gutenberg and put it in there.

    The only thing I can’t get past is that long blink betwen page refreshes. I just can’t stop being aware of it. I wonder if it’ll be a generational thing. I see kids about ten years younger than me using them with apparently no concern. And I can’t bring myself to be the creepy shambling hairy guy who comes up to them and quizzes them on their eBook Reader.

    So yeah. Any publisher wants to float me an eBook reader, go for it. You can bury me under books then.

    If it, and the books, were cheaper, it could easily become a huge promotional tool. I could see spending three bucks on a book on my eBook REader and LOVING it and that sending me out to buy the paper copy. That would be more likely to happen with greater frequency than it already does off the computer screen.

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