The Nook: Maybe Not a Huge Disaster for Amazon

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Now we have nooks and vooks, I’m going to go trademark wook and pook just in case.

This thing does look pretty cool. (And by the way, who built it? Can’t be internally developed.) I wonder whether Bezos is jumping up and down on his fedora right now. Or I mean, he is, but how hard? For the obligatory contrarian viewpoint, read on.

Bezos is — it has been definitively established — smart. So he saw this coming. He’s spent a lot of money, I mean a lot, on getting consumers to actually believe that e-books aren’t plastic literature-destroying monstrosities. Any win for the overall viability of e-books is on some level a win for Amazon.

And sure, this thing is a Kindle-killer, but maybe Bezos won’t be sorry to see the Kindle go. It can’t be especially comfortable for Amazon to be in the hardware manufacturing business, which is a whole scary world of distribution chains and FCC compliance and performance testing and whatnot. Why not let other people build the e-books?

Obviously the Nook doesn’t support the Kindle format (I assume). But the Nook has about three months before Amazon leapfrogs past it with the Que.

All hail the Nook-killer.

And now: sexy Indian werewolves!

p.s. I’m stipulating to two publishing-wonk-centric points. One, the better the e-book experience gets, the worse the e-book piracy scene gets. That’s going to be a huge problem, like Ragnarok-huge. Two, there’s a major e-book pricing crisis coming next year, pitting publishers against e-book makers and retailers, who at this point are the same thing. With two viable e-book players on the scene, and more coming, it gets a lot more interesting, and harder for the e-bookers to freeze the publishers out. OK, back to sexy Indian werewolves.

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