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Buying Books on the Kindle – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Amazon Kindle has completely transformed how people relate to books – For example, I have over 2000 books in my Kindle, which weighs just 205 grams and fits into my pocket! How amazing is that! But Kindle has not just had an impact on how we read books, it has also changed the entire book publishing industry – and for the better.

Writers can no longer be held hostage by publishing companies. It hardly costs anything at all to self-publish a book and to release it to a worldwide audience. Self-publishing has spawned thousands of talented writers, and democratized the book industry in a way nobody could have imagined just 7-8 years ago, which was when the Kindle was first introduced.

So, can you make money from eBooks? Why not! So many have. E.L. James was an unemployed young woman when she self-published the racy “50 Shades of Grey” and released it on Amazon’s Kindle Store – at no cost whatsoever, and the rest is history. She is today believed to have a net worth of $60 million!

Sure, while the Kindle has democratized the publishing industry, it has also meant that the barrier of entry for writers is really quite low. Anybody can write a book these days, and unfortunately, almost everybody does write books, even those with no talent whatsoever.

So, as a reader, it’s hard to know if you will like a book or not, before you actually buy it. Buying books on Amazon is hence a hit and miss experience – you will be pleasantly surprised by some books, for sure, but there will also be a lot of books that put you off, because of how badly written, unoriginal or illogical they are.

But that’s the beauty of buying books for your Kindle. And since most self-published books on Kindle cost between $0.99 and $6.99, you don’t mind buying your share of bad books – as long as you don’t buy too many of them.

The other great thing about the Kindle is that it allows someone like me – who lives in India – to buy the latest bestsellers that are released in the US, weeks or months before the hardcover or paperback versions are released in India.

For example, I have always been a big fan of John Grisham’s legal thrillers and hated that they were released in India at least 3 to 4 weeks after their release in the US. No longer! I can buy Grisham’s books on my Kindle and start reading, within minutes of their release in the US.

With Kindle, authors can now sell to a worldwide audience; their sales are no longer limited by geography. A talented young writer from, say, Malaysia, has the same opportunity to make it big as someone from the US or Canada – all because of the Kindle.

Did you know that even the great Stephen King’s first book Carrie got rejected 27 times before it was finally published? With Kindle, nobody can reject you book. The hard part is to write well, the publishing takes hardly a few minutes and Amazon takes care of the marketing too.

So, is there is an ugly side to buying books for your Kindle? Yes, there is one. According to an estimate by Gartner, around 10% to 15% of all online book reviews are fake. So you never know who to trust. Can you buy a book just because a reviewer says how much they liked it and rates it 5 stars? It’s hard to. That’s the ugly part of buying books for your Kindle. Otherwise, I love my Kindle and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

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Raghav Hegde

I am a freelance ERP consultant based in Bangalore, India, and double up as a freelance writer in my spare time. My specialties include writing on technology, finance and politics. There is nothing I love more than reviewing the hottest tech products, and I hope to share my love of technology with you, the readers of Geekers Magazine, to inform, educate and entertain. I like constructive criticism, so if you guys have any advice or suggestions for me, I really would appreciate that. Ciao!
Raghav Hegde, Bangalore
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