Blogs on the Kindle

I'm extremely torn about Amazon's new service that allows you to sell a subscription to your blog to Kindle users. On the one hand, more readers is good and an extra revenue stream is always welcome (Fun fact: Wet Asphalt doesn't usually even make back its costs in hosting/domain fees). On the other hand, I'm reluctant to ask people to pay for something they can get online for free (even online using the Kindle's own web browser). Furthermore, the terms are like this:

[Q:] Do I get paid for making my blog available on Kindle? [A:]Yes.You will get paid 30% of the monthly blog subscription price for every subscriber to your blog. Please see the terms and conditions for details. [Q:] Can I set the price for my blog? [A:] No. Amazon will define the price based on what we deem is a fair value for customers. [Q:] Can I make my blog free? [A:] No, Amazon will define the price based on what we deem is a fair value for customers.

So 1) only 30% for my content? What a ripoff! 2) Amazon will define the price based on what we deem fair value for customers? What does that mean? It seems like your giving up a little too much control over your content to Amazon, without any input. It would be MUCH better for both bloggers and Kindle users if Amazon allowed you to set your own price including offering blogs for free, like Apple does with the iTunes App Store. (And like the iTunes App Store, this would be more about adding value to sell more products than making money from the service itself.) It's possible that Amazon is just desperate for any way to make more money with whatever they have to pay for always-on 3G service. But whatever the reason, these terms are not great.

So what do you, my faithful readers think? Should we offer Wet Asphalt on the Kindle or not?

We Lose


As has been widely reported, Ed, Sarah, Levi and I lost the fabled Literary Trivia Smackdown against the PEN America center. I blame Ed for not listening to his better half. Even my offer to bribe the judge did us no good. Sigh. Maybe some other year we'll have our revenge!

At least I got a free bottled water out of the deal...

Also, had a lot of fun at the Independent and Small Press Book Fair, bought far too many books (as always), and had a very interesting conversation with Kelly Link, who, in addition to being interviewed in an event, also manned the Small Beer Press table on the floor and was all-in-all an extremely generous and intelligent speaker.