The elections are coming, and Amazon.com's
A pair of biographies on the potential first ladies -- one on Michelle Obama, and another on Cindy McCain -- are being made available exclusively to Kindle readers over the next few days, months before the books hit retailers.
It's a major marketing coup for Amazon's e-book reader, but it's really just common sense on the publishing side. News-driven biographies need to hit the market quickly to be effective, and the old-school way of printing, shipping, and arranging distribution logistics can take weeks, if not months, to complete. By then, the subject matter may already be stale.
In fact, while Obama's biography won't be out until later this year, the McCain read will come out in book form only if her husband wins come November. In other words, Kindle sales of the online version of McCain's book will actually help eliminate the possibility of the title's investment being a complete loss.
Sure, the Kindle audience -- by most unofficial accounts -- is still quite small. Lower prices and new features will help change that in the coming quarters. However, publishers are now embracing the reinvention of the book distribution process.
That's great news for Amazon and Sony
By the same token, it's also bad news for traditional booksellers. Even as chains like Borders
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hasn't been open about Kindle sales figures, but he's got a hot hand in a hot story right now. So whether Obama or McCain emerges victorious in two months, Bezos can't lose. How's that for a bipartisan victory?
Previous chapters in the Amazon story :
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders whether Amazon is buying Abe to move up higher in the alphabetical book retail listings. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.