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back to article Amazon launches book gifting service

Amazon has launched a new moneymaker service: you can now send Kindle books as gifts to anyone with an email address, whether or not they own one of Amazon's lightweight e-readers. Kindle book-gifting service There's now no need to leave your computer for holiday book-buying The new program allows you to choose e-gifts from …

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Silver badge

Attached to an email?

Is this sent as an attachment? If so, the recipient gets an unexpected email from an unknown source with a big attachment, and telling them to download some software to open it - what's the most likely thing they're going to do with it?

Even if it's just sent as a link it's going to look highly suspicious, and very likely get dumped as spam. In fact the spammers are going to seize on this and send fake ones.

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Irk
Pirate

Most likely they get a download option

Kindle books are downloaded through the Amazon Whispernet to your computer or Kindle, so it would probably be a download link, a password, maybe a coupon code that goes in your Kindle sorting software. I'd doubt a file would be emailed to anyone, then there's *gasp* DRM to worry over!

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No attachments

In the USA, when you receive the email about a gifted ebook, you get a download link to the Amazon Kindle store and the book. You can download it there for your desired device or exchange the gift book for an Amazon gift card.

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UK?

Can't see this feature on Amazon.co.uk on a few Kindle books I've looked at.

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Thumb Down

unfair

Amazon creates a service that FINALLY enables people to gift Kindlebooks, and The Register posts a negative article about it. Why?

Of course they are trying to make money. They are a business, and that is what businesses do. Did you expect them to create a service to lose money?

This has the potential to give a huge boost to the e-book industry. Yes, the neighborhood bookstores will suffer, but lamenting their fate is like complaining that the MP3 put all of the record stores out of business, or weaping over the loss of rickshaws in other parts of the world with the spread of the automobile. Changes happen. And, this one is not even a sudden one.

The publishing industry and booksellers have known this day would be coming for several decades. They have had opportunities to embrace it. Some have, and some haven't. Why is Amazon getting blamed by The Register for the plight of booksellers, especially when (by many accounts) Amazon is actually making reading more popular?

Fortunately for booksellers, there are problems with Amazon's business model (you don't actually own the books--no resale, reselling, or regifting), and I think people will not be as quick to turn away from traditional books as they might have been. There is still some time left for booksellers to adapt. But, are the booksellers or moneymaking the interesting issues?

I think the author needs to give this another think. Personally, I consider it pretty incredible that we can now send gifts, not just gift certificates, by email. Is this the first time this has happened? I would call that pretty revolutionary and worthy of a bit more positive coverage.

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Where is the love?

I think there is a place for everything, and I'm not pro local bookstore (I never visit mine), but what a terrible gift! It shows no thought or effort whatsoever. If I receive one I'll know the sender doesn't really care for me.

In my eyes it's another way computers aren't really improving things, convenience isn't everything.

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Giving

Here in the civilised world, we give things at Christmas, not "gift" things.

k thx

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Gifting

Is this a good time to wish you a merry December principal gifting period?

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Pint

New verb

To Gift - a sort of virtual giving where you don't have to get of your fat arse or make much of an effort, thus devaluing both the language and the act of giving.

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FAIL

Whinging

"...and another blow to your neighborhood bookseller."

Really? I personally still prefer my local bookseller to Amazon for numerous reasons, and this certainly won't change my mind.

But even if it did, so what? Nobody's forcing neighborhood booksellers to remain as they are; nothing's stopping them from competing with Amazon online. So Amazon is offering another service, one which on the face of it will attract technophiles and the inconsiderate. Big deal.

This would be a non-story if it weren't for your bizarrely negative angle on it.

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FAIL

It's GIVE not gift

Please someone, nuke this defiling of the English language...

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Anonymous Coward

Great!

I can now do christmas without ever going to a shop or seeing any relatives cause everything can be done online.

Glorious

Whats next a mute button for the mother in law?

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WTF?

Gifting E-Books is OK

The word "gift" is a verb and has been for a long time. No problem with the word usage. But, more to the point, why are so many readers opposed to a new option for gifts?

Speaking for myself, I live overseas, my parents are divorced, both families are spread all over the US, and my wife's family doesn't even live in the states. According to the comments here, I am supposed to travel all over the world for Christmas to hand-deliver books to everyone. I suppose that also means I need to visit my friends personally on each birthday and holiday as well. For those of you who are independently wealthy with lots of free time, or live within easy driving distance of all your friends and relatives, this might be an option. It isn't for me.

This service by Amazon has made it possible for me to send gifts to friends and family without incurring massive international shipping costs. Thinking more about the big picture, though, it also has tremendous potential to popularize ebooks. I am thrilled about this e-ink revolution, and I applaud Amazon for pouring so much effort into the technology.

Sorry about the neighborhood bookstores, even though it hasn't got a whole lot to do with Amazon's ebook gifts. And, sorry that a business in these difficult economic times might actually generate profits (and jobs). I guess we should go back to picking up our free copy of the print version of The Register at our local bookstore.

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How is this bad?

I'm planning to ask all my in-laws for kindle books this Xmas. I love having friends choose books for me: it's a very personal gift, and I end up with more varied reading than if I chose them all myself.

With the new Amazon feature, I get the all the advantages of e-books (not the least important being that my spare room doesn't get filled with yet more books that I probably won't re-read, but don't want to throw away). As an extra bonus they are usually a bit cheaper than physical books, so it's better for my relatives too.

As for the neighbourhood bookstores, I don't think this really changes anything since they would probably have bought the physical books on Amazon anyway.

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Great, I think

I still don't know if I'll get one, but this removes one of the few reasons I wasn't going to get a Kindle. I usually ask for books for Xmas, etc (as I'm pretty unimaginative and I never seem to get time to watch DVDs or listen to music). Before this, I was wondering what on earth I'd ask for once I'd got a Kindle.

Still not sure about the "experience" of getting an e-book for Xmas, though. I do like giving/getting actual physical things.

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JDX
Gold badge

re: unfair

Slightly negative maybe, but on the other hand it's a massive big advert for Amazon's new service.

If we're going to be pedantic about "gifting" then what about "xmas"?

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