The Amazon Fire tablet is now selling for $39.99 at Target. Earlier models cost less. It’s WiFi only and comes with a seven inch screen. That’s roughly the size of a conventional trade paperback. What if an e-book was bundled to a dedicated tablet?
The Fire has 8 gigs of storage, expandable to even more, which could contain an enormous amount of pages and photographs. As the months and years roll by the price will continue to drop. It might be cheaper in quantity and at wholesale. Is it time to think of reference works and other premium titles published on their own dedicated devices?
I was thinking of writing a 200 to 250 page reference book about Nevada. Although I don’t like the small size of the Fire’s screen, the possibilities it presents are kind of awesome. You could make a truly interactive book out of something like this, especially when hooked up to the net. When you needed the title you’d pull the tablet off the shelf, just like you would with a book. New versions could be updated online.
The Kindle Paperwhite is a dedicated book reader but limited in size, color, and displays photographs poorly. The book I would like to produce would be 8″ X 11″, 250 pages, full color, and spiral bound. The cost to self publish something like that would be nearly $35 a copy. Check out the prices below:
I understand the Fire’s screen doesn’t display photographs as well as more expensive tablets but we may be reaching a point where paper could move over for digital. I hardly ever read Kindle e-books on my tablet; they are clunky and inconvenient to access, but a dedicated tablet to a title might offer so many features that it makes it compelling compared to print. Yes, it is still electronic and it still needs to be coddled, and it needs batteries, but most electronics are getting tougher over time.
I continue to be depressed at the cost of paper printing and I continue to look at other choices, even if the screen is poor and small. At the Fire’s low price I might buy one to experiment with and I’ll keep you informed.