Kindle With Special Offers... Wait, What?

Ok, I know I'm way late to the game on this one. Amazon's Kindle with Special Offers has been on the market for several weeks (months?) but as any of my regular followers will note, I've been living under a rock made of work lately and have been missing out on all the bookish conversation surrounding such things as the release of the Kindle with Special Offers.

And let me tell you, from what Amazon is saying, this thing is a real gem. Now you can get a Kindle for less money and receive special offers shipped directly to your device! It's like, win-win, right? Totally... for Amazon.

First off, these aren't "special offers." They are ads. Sure, ads often include "special offers" (i.e. Click here for 10% coupon! or Find out how to make thousands as a stay-at-home mom!), but those are merely hooks to get customers to click through. So. Special offer = ad. Sponsored screensaver = ad.

Hell, we're already smacking advertising on school lockers, state license plates, and yes, even sheep... why not books, too, right? But maybe there's a side to this I'm not seeing, in my stubborn refusal to a) like the Kindle and b) like the concept of putting ads anywhere near my reading materials (this from someone who works in advertising, too). Let me know what you think. I'm sure there's flip side here.


  1. Oh, dear. That doesn't sound very positive to me - especially when I don't like the idea of eReading anyway! But surely ads are just a distraction!

  2. The only flip side I can see is a cheaper price, but that's not cheap enough to get me to settle for special offers!

  3. Well, as another reader who doesn't like the Kindle (as a product I think it's not bad but I truly despise Amazon's business model, so...) I think that this also smells quite badly. I doubt very many people don't see through the "special offers" branding (which is so obviously advertising that it's somewhat pathetic), but I've also encountered a lot of readers who don't care. "So they're advertising... whatever, I got a cheaper Kindle!"

    In my mind, a large inspiration for this new Kindle was probably the desire to get another product out on the market, get more buzz... suddenly, it doesn't seem so bad to splurge another fifty dollars to get the Kindle without ads. You have to hand it to Amazon, they're doing pretty clever marketing.

    Anyways, books used to have advertisements. Perhaps this is just an homage to days past...? (answer: nah, it's just silly)


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