Amazon Rolls Out eBook Gifting

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In an effort to compete with the awkwardness of gift cards and donations to charity made in your name, Amazon has just announced that it’s “the first major bookstore to offer eBook gifting.”

Kindle books will now feature “Give as a Gift” links and will be e-mailed to recipients, who can then read the books on any device that supports the Kindle software. They’ll have to download the software first, of course, which ought to make receiving the gift feel more like a work task to some.

This is actually a smart move by Amazon, though not entirely surprising. I’d be very interested to know if these eBook gifts work similarly to gift cards. If the recipient never opens the book using the Kindle software, does Amazon still have to pay the publisher?

It appears that Amazon wouldn’t pay up until the book is actually opened, since the site’s Give Kindle Books page mentions that gifted books “can be exchanged for gift cards.”

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