I recently came across a self-published book that I was interested in on Amazon. I noticed that it claimed that if I was an Amazon Prime member (I am) that I could get it ‘for free’. I thought, great, a no risk way to satisfy my curiosity about the book. So I sign in so that Amazon can confirm that I am a Prime member. But, now it is telling me that I can get the book for ‘free’ if I buy a Kindle device – WTF? Sounds like good ole bait and switch to me.
So I started looking into magazines that I might be able to download and take on an upcoming trip. My Galaxy Tab 10.1 came pre-loaded with the Kindle viewer, so why not? Besides, I have been looking for a replacement for the brain-dead Zinio application. Many of the magazines that I wanted to buy were only available for the Kindle devices, not for the viewers on the other platforms. Again, WTF? Poking around on the site, I came across a lame excuse that ‘not all of the content is licensed or optimized for all platforms’ – great, so you are admitting that your reader software is a joke and you are really just trying to get people to buy your sub-par reader devices. Outstanding.
Apparently, Barnes & Noble’s Nook doesn’t have this ignorant limitation. If I buy a magazine for the Nook, I can view it on my wife’s Nook, my Samsung S2 phone, my Galaxy Tab 10.1 or on the iPad and have pretty much the same user experience on all of them. So what is your excuse, Amazon? It doesn’t appear to be a technical limitation if you competition can make it work. Just sounds like some ham-handed strong arming to try to push devices. Fix your content model, Amazon. The reality is, you have no motivation to do that at all, do you?