Amazon released the Kindle, its first e-reader, ten years ago today, for US$399. It sold out in five and a half hours.
It is now in its 9th generation including some of the versions shown below. I run into them on flights, in malls – people rave they can carry thousands of titles and magazines in such a lightweight package, they can easily adjust font size and even have the device read the book to you.
And the prices have come down nicely with the base unit at around $ 50. There are countless refurbished units circulating. Even more pervasive is the Kindle App which allows you to read the eBooks on a much wider range of devices. You can buy books as singles are increasingly, borrow them from friends or read them on a subscription basis. The Kindle store is estimated to have 7 million titles and the unlimited subscription gives you access to a million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and current magazines
As an author, I can say it has dramatically streamlined the book printing, distribution and royalty reporting process. All 6 of my books are available on the Kindle mobi format. I will be honest though, most of my readers still prefer to read them in hardback or paperback format. Maybe because I cannot autograph a Kindle copy
So, the Kindle still has a lot of white space to capture in the years ahead. It’s been quite a run already.