A great business idea for Amazon

Written by Ced Kurtz on .

I must confess something.  When I saw the Kindle 2 was launched, I wasn't interested.  I kept telling myself that I would wait until they come out with a color-screened version.  But after getting a chance to tinker with Ced's Kindle, I realized that I was in denial.  Now I'm hooked on the idea, and I really REALLY want a Kindle RIGHT NOW.

My primary reason is the sheer bulk of all the computer programming and web development reference manuals I have on my shelf.  If I could get all of those on a Kindle, I could carry ALL of them with me, which would make my dealings with private clients a lot easier.  My javascript bible would be on hand whenever I needed it, even though it's nearly 1,000 pages thick.  And that's one of about 20 books I would love to have on hand in situations like that.

But while I could justify the $360 price tag for the Kindle unit itself, re-purchasing Kindle copies of all of my books is another matter altogether.  At anywhere from $9.99 to $30 each, I'd be looking at maybe another $500 in books.  Ouch.  Back to the drawing board.

It occurred to me that maybe there's a way out of this mess, and so I'm offering this idea to Jeff Bezos directly since I have no clue how to do it myself.  Jeff, here you go:

Offer a program where you allow people to ship back to Amazon their physical copies of books that also exist in the Kindle book store, and give full or partial credit to the sender so they can get the book on their Kindle.  Then you turn around and sell these books as used on your Amazon web site.

I have no idea what Amazon pays to the publisher/author for each Kindle copy purchased.  Nor do I know what it costs them to maintain the books in their system and/or delivery them via WhisperNet.  I would wager that it's a lot less than the $9.99 price, so even if they gave you 50% credit toward the cost of the Kindle version of the book and then sold your used copy on their site, they're probably still making a profit.

So there you go, Jeff.  Put that plan into action, and I'm sure your Kindle sales will jump dramatically.  Or at least by one, because I'd definitely be on board.


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