Here’s why Amazon gets all my money and more

I’ve stopped buying books in physical format (can make exception on Terry Pratchett). I only buy books in digital format. And Amazon is doing superb job. Here’s my reason for buying kindle books only from them:

  • I really like Kindle app. It’s hassle free. I can get samples to ipod or ipad or to my computer and sync between devices. I can buy stuff for ipad, read it in ipod and check library in PC. It’s just super cool.
  • Kindle app user interface is good. Has everything I need and more.
  • I don’t need night lamp anymore. Ipod touch is great device with proper backlight, so night time I read my kindle books using this tiny device. It’s convenient.
  • The catalogue is huge: I can get the book I want in 76% of the cases. I do wish people would transform their old books to kindle formats, and have sent authors info on this. Maybe one day I get 100% of the books via kindle store.
  • Ok prices. Sure, the prices could be always lower than paperback versions, which is bit like slapping my face… but I don’t complain. It’s not that big price difference anyway. Convenience is what matters me most.
  • My bookshelf is always with me, even when I’m offline. (As long as I have battery left…)
  • My digital book library takes heckofa less space than my physical lib.
  • I don’t know if there’s DRM. For once, I’m happy to be a customer who can buy stuff without hassling with visible DRM. For example, if Amazon goes down (it doesn’t, just stating an example), I can still access my books. If my network connection goes down, I can access my books.

I simply don’t have any reason not to buy physical books (except for Terry Pratchett, since there’s no kindle digital Finnish version available – and for the fact that the hardcover versions look good on my house, they are decoration too) and thus I’m buying only Kindle books.

They have made pretty close to everything right (small thing with the book prices that should be lower for digital versions compared to physical and second minor thing is that I’d like to fetch & download book samples via kindle app), and totally got my money.

Also, I’ve spent more money on books than ever before (I’ve been a regular book buyer always), for your information. That means not only they get all the money I spend in books… but they’ve actually managed to increase the amount of stuff I spend on books.

The bottom line is that… I feel like I’m treated as a respected customer. I get stuff the way I like in nice format with decent price.

That makes it easy to buy stuff from them.

There’s plenty of lessons here for other industries as well.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. It’s STILL hard to get over that price thing though – I realise there’s the whole customer perception of value thing, but for anyone who realises just what costs are involved in the manufacturer, distribution, storage, shipping etc etc of a physical product (not even mentioning the authors cut after the publishers profit margin is taken into account) AND then comparing that to the 99.999% profit margin on purely digital content – it is a slap in the face.

    Question :
    If a paperback sells at almost the same cost as a digital version – where does all the extra money go?

    If Apple (and it’s app store) has taught us (the consumer) anything, it’s the TRUE value of 99.99% of digital goods, indie developers can still eek out a decent living based on 70% share of sales (no publisher / middle man chain required and the consumer ultimately benefits from lower prices), the sooner authors in the digital age wake up and ditch the publishers and go indie then the sooner prices on purely digital content will start to gravitate to where they aught to be.

    Just my $0.02

  2. That sucks.

    I found another mentioning similar issue:
    http://consumerist.com/2011/11/amazon-puts-your-1000-kindle-library-on-hold-apologizes-shrugs.html (2011)

    Sucks especially as this happened “we won’t ever do this again” statement in 2009.

    I think it could be worth a shot to do a lawsuit about theft “we took your books, here’s money”. I mean… if somebody would come to my yard, take my car and leave money behind – that’s still unacceptable. :)

    I wonder if there’s more horror stories?

    (Luckily my stuff has been going ok, and I’ve very much enjoyed the service so far.)

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