Kindle has yet again tried to put itself out there to become the best electronic book reader. As of today, Amazon.com will now allow all Kindle users to rent one book per month. In order for customers to be able to access this free one book per month, they must pay to be on Amazon.com’s premium list. This will cost seventy nine dollars a month and along with the free book rental, they will receive free two day shipping for all things sent from Amazon.com and be able to stream movies online.
To me, this does not seem like it will be successful. Will people really pay seventy nine dollars a year just to be able to rent one book per month on their Kindle? According to the Washington Post, the six biggest book publishers are not participating. This is because the book publishers and Amazon can not agree on whom gets to set the retail price of the books. This means that some of the most popular books out there will not be available for rental. Along with this, the new rental program only works for the Kindle device itself. People who have paid for the Kindle application on their computers, cellular phones, iPads, and other tablet devices will not be able to rent books at all.
To me, this new idea seems like it has too many negatives to work and be successful. Seventy nine dollars a year for the ability to rent only one book per month does not seem worth it, especially when the most popular books won’t be avaiable. When I read the article, the first thought that popped into my mind was, “why don’t people just go and rent their books at their local libraries?” Kindle seems to be charging way too much money for an extremely simple idea. The fact that it doesn’t work for anyone who purchased the Kindle application also seems extremely ridiculous. Someone who owns a tablet will not want to spend the money on a Kindle and this new idea definitely does not push these potential customers in the right direction. Instead, I feel that this new product pushes customers away from Kindle and towards other products. It just seems ridiculous to me that customers have to pay so much only for the ability to purchase average books. I am not persuaded at all by this new offer to buy a Kindle and even if I did have one, I would in no way be persuaded to purchase this new product.
With the economy being as poor as it is, it seems now that Kindle devices are purely a luxery and not a convienence. Yes, the idea is cool. People have the ability to purchase any book and have a personal collection on one single device, like music on your iPod, but everything just seems too expensive. The newest version of the Kindle, the Kindle Fire, costs almost two hundred dollars itself. The normal, middle class citizen will not be willing to purchase the device, and then buy books to read, and then pay another fee in order to rent one book per month. These people will just be driven back to hard copies of books until someone can offer their product for a reasonable price.