Amazon has just announced that you can now give Kindle ebooks as gifts to anyone with an email address. This is kind of amazing and represents a huge shift in the ebook ecosystem. Given that kindle ebooks can be read on nearly any platform that allows app downloads (PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Blackberry, etc.) you’ll never have to worry about what platform someone is one, a small download will resolve the issue:
Kindle is the most gifted item in the history of Amazon.com and millions of people around the world are reading Kindle Books on Kindle devices and free Kindle apps. Beginning today, just in time for the holiday season, customers can give Kindle Books as gifts to anyone with an e-mail address–no Kindle required. Kindle Books can be read on Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. For more information or to give a Kindle Book as a gift, go to http://www.amazon.com/givekindlebooks.
“We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “We’re making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping option for anyone – not just Kindle owners.”
To give a Kindle Book as a gift, customers simply choose a book in the Kindle Store, select “Give as a Gift” and send their gift to anyone with an email address. Notifications of Kindle Books gifts are delivered instantly via e-mail and the recipient redeems the gift in the Kindle Store to read on any Kindle or free Kindle app.
via Amazon Media Room: News Release.
This is an interesting perspective. I suppose that like all booms, there will be big winners in small numbers and big losers in much larger numbers!
But if it’s not appropriate to speak of a golden age, there’s certainly some kind of boom going on. Ben Johncock’s recent Guardian blog on contemporary magazines illustrates how vital the print culture remains. Who could have predicted, in the age of the worldwide web, that so many little magazines would be flourishing so vibrantly? This goes to show, I’d say, that we are living through an age of almost unprecedented literary activity. Never before have so many been writing emails; blogs; texts; tweets; novels; poems, etc and never before has so much of this transmission been so widely received – globally, in fact. Never mind the quality that’s a later judgment, feel the width.Consider, too, the explosion of literary activity: from prizes hardly a week goes by without the announcement of yet another shortlist or the fall-out from some literary prize jury, to festivals hardly a town in Britain that’s not involved in, or affiliated to, some kind of literary programme, to ebooks annual sales in the US now soaring close to $1,000m. Audiobooks are booming; writing schools are springing up like mushrooms; any amount of excellent self-publishing is happening. The big book chains are in trouble, but several small independent bookshops are defying both gravity and austerity and doing very nicely, thank you. If this – as some commentators like to predict – is the end of civilisation as we know, bring on the Dark Ages.
via I was wrong about the golden age. But we are in a literary boom | Books | guardian.co.uk.