With the long awaited Kindle Fire now shipping, there is a tremendous incentive for business book authors to create content optimized for tablet computers. The Kindle Fire (as well as the Apple iPad and Barnes & Noble Nook) bring a non-linear experience to reading a book. Readers can instantly jump from one part of the book to another. There can be hyperlinks to external content. And it is in full color.
As an active blogger since 2004, I've found one of the most important aspects of blogging is the interactive component. When readers of content like The Huffington Post want to learn more, the hyperlink and additional headlines are ready. Readers can get lost following the bread crumb trails from one blog post to another and then to a video or Twitter feed and back again. It's content with context. But for those who just want the facts, there's no need to link anywhere. As a content creator, the ability to embed links to appropriate external content to provide additional information or to give a hat-tip to others who have written on the same topic has evolved into an essential currency of the social Web.
Now we can add this interactivity to books! And it is terribly exciting.
A new kind of business book
I specifically wrote my new book Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage to take advantage of these full color interactive components. Newsjacking was conceived, written, and published as an e-book only publication.
Amazon leads the way in this marketplace for one simple reason, content. Amazon is a content company that happens to create technology. The Kindle is built to serve the content, not the other way around. For that reason, I predict it will become very popular.
Most tablets are just technology. The computer is built because every company needs a tablet but it is not purpose-built to drive a content experience. Apple (with the iPad) and Amazon are both pioneers in this new world of optimized electronic content.
As a content creator, it is fantastic to work within these platforms. Readers get a terrific experience.
Incidentally, I'm not advocating that print is going away. Heck I read a daily print newspaper, many print books, and a bunch of print magazines. But strongly believe there is room for both print and optimized e-content.
Another important aspect of the Kindle Fire and iPad is the instant nature of content consumption. I've heard from about 50 people who, in less than a day, saw my new book, downloaded Newsjacking, read the entire thing (which takes about an hour) and wrote reviews, blog posts, or tweets about the book.
Now that's real-time.