google-site-verification: google65e716d80989ba07.html What the New Kindle Means to Genealogists | The Armchair Genealogist

What the New Kindle Means to Genealogists

Yesterday, Amazon introduced its new line up of Kindles. They range from the introductory Kindle at  $79.00, which I suspect will be in numerous Christmas stockings in a few months time, thru to the Kindle Touch at $99.00, the Kindle Touch 3G at $149.00 and the new Kindle Fire, their tablet model at $199.00 .

What does the launch of the new Kindle line-up mean for family historians?

What once was a specialty item has now gone mainstream. The price point has made e-readers incredibly affordable. In a short time, every family will have an e-reader and before long there will be multiple e-readers in every family. Christmas will be exploding with e-readers in stockings across North America.
With the Kindle becoming mainstream, the ebook industry is about to explode, because those new Kindle owners will be looking for books to download on their new devices.

This provides great opportunity for family history writers, whether you are a new writer breaking in or a writer with a backlist that you haven’t taken digital yet there is no time like the present to get the job done. There will be more demand than ever for well written how to genealogy based ebooks, along with solid family history stories.

Let’s take myself as an example. I am avid reader and an owner of a Kindle. I am the market. I have had a Kindle for 1 year now, and I will never go back. First, let’s look at the sheer convenience of carrying around your entire library, the amount of money I have saved in the cost of books.  I have downloaded some 50 books this past year. I can say without a doubt, in the old days, when I bought books in a bookstore that probably would have resembled more like a dozen books in a year. The cost of the books limited the amount of I read, now I have no limits, well other then time, and that bodes well for writers.

For family history writers, this is pure opportunity knocking on your door. Write those books and get them out there, whether they are how to genealogy research, your family history, or your family history turned fiction, I read it all.  The last great read on my kindle was the family history narrative Oh, Beautiful by John Paul Godges.

If you’re not a family history writer, but  a researcher and reader of family history, this means there will be more digital books for you to choose, at great prices and convenience.

 I’m sure I am not the exception. I think e-readers are really going to have an impact how much people read.  I can see the day in the not to distance future when the e-reader will be free and if you would like a lovely collector’s edition print book it will cost you $99.00. 

This is not a bad thing. Books and reading will still be valued more than ever, ebooks for their ability to reach wide markets cheaply and print books for adding value back to the printed word and making them collector’s items, a win-win for the reader and the author. Not to mention the opportunity to self-publish without the middle man. 

 I know some of you still love the look, feel and smell of a book and that’s ok, but consider those as your collector books,  turn to your Kindle for all the rest, you can’t help but be a part of this revolution. It’s happening, and there is no turning back. 


Linda Gartz said...

I'm very excited about the explosion of affordable e-readers. I bought the Nook Color this summer so I could take email and internet with me on trips (Not cell technology -- but at $500 cheaper than an i-Pad, a good value).

As you said, e-book writers will have a much bigger audience and people will be willing to take a chance at the better price point of ebooks to read our family histories/memoirs. Now the trick is to get eyeballs onto our work so readers know it's out there.

Lynn Palermo said...

yes, Linda, eyeballs on our work is critical and I plan to discuss more about that in future posts.

Rachel Dilley said...

I'm in a 2 e-reader household. My husband has a Kindle and I have a Nook. I've found the e-reader useful in doing family history research. Google Books carries a lot of county histories that you can download to your e-reader for free. Then, your e-reader allows you to search for a term or name and will take you to the exact spot in the book containig your research topic. Love it!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that I will eventually have a Kindle, but I do have a comment re "the cost of books". I read 2 or 3 books a week and I get them all for free at the library. I can't see myself paying for 100 to 150 downloads a year!
Just my opinion.

Lynn Palermo said...

@Jackie, it wouldn't be long before you can borrow from the library via your kindle. Presently you can borrow a book from another Kindle user.
@Rachel, thanks for the tip on Google Books.

Dawn said...

I would like to hear more discussion about publishing e-books. I've done several books (the old-fashioned way) and I'm interesting in exploring the methods out there to make these more accessible...