Amazon Tricks Customers with New Kindle Paperwhite Surprise

Amazon video of Kindle Paperwhite sneak preview

Amazon hasn’t shipped out their new Kindle Paperwhite devices yet — but they did play a fun trick on some of their customers. Amazon invited them in for interviews about their current Kindles, in a new video they posted to YouTube. “Then we distracted them…” Amazon’s video explains, “and swapped their Kindles for all-new devices!”

“You guys are sneaky that way,” laughed one of the interview subjects… But it’s really fun to watch their first reaction to the Kindle Paperwhite.

“That’s incredible.”

“The screen. Higher resolution. Clearer. Not that the old one was bad, by any means.”

“But it’s really so much sharper. It’s pretty obvious. “

You can find the whole two-and-a-half minute video on the Kindle web page at YouTube (at ) And it’s fun to think that these are some of the first people to see the built-in “glow” of Amazon’s newest Kindle. The video cuts from one amazed Kindle owner to the next, but their words merge into one unified reaction.

“I love the light.”

“Oh, god. That is amazing. I never even knew I needed it. But I love it.”

“That is going to revolutionize everything.”

“I mean, it looks fantastic…”

I wondered whether I’d like the shiny effect of the Kindle Paperwhite, or whether I’d find the extra brightness to be distracting. But one of Amazon’s “sneak previewers” seemed to find the new technology both subtle and pleasing. “It doesn’t jump out at you,” says an aircraft fueler named Thornin. “It doesn’t cause any eye strain. It doesn’t even leave the screen…”

“I can’t stop smiling.”

“It’s a big step up…”

“This is exactly what Star Trek promised me would happen.”

It’s a very effective ad –featuring seven different customers. There’s a homemaker, two retirees, a career coach, plus a software developer and a production designer. (Besides the aircraft fueler). While gentle music plays in the background, the ad shows all these intrigued people giving Amazon’s newest device their intense scrutiny. And then they’re shown with a calm, intense delight — along with big smiles and excited laughter. And the ad closes with one last word for people who’ve already ordered their Kindle Paperwhites.

“It’ll be fun. I’m excited.”

And remember: You can pre-order the new touchscreen devices — with their new built-in lights — at !

More Video from the Woman in Amazon’s Kindle Ad

Watch actress Amy Rutberg from Amazon Kindle commercial video

I’ve become a fan of Amy Rutberg — the blonde actress who appears in Amazon’s newest Kindle ads. But I was curious to see what she’s done besides those 30-second Kindle commercials. And then I discovered a surprisingly candid video she’d filmed of herself backstage during a performance in a New York theatre! (Point your web browser to ). Watching it, I felt a little like the Kindle ad paparazzi. But I guess it’s all part of the job…

When she was chosen for Amazon’s Kindle ad, Amy Rutberg was a stage actress. (Though according to the Los Angeles Times, years ago she’d considered going to law school after college…) And even before the Kindle ad, she’d already had an interesting career. She appeared in an L.A. theatre production of “Man of La Mancha” which started Robert Goulet, as well as a Los Angeles production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and she once did a scene with Jeff Goldblum on an episode of Law and Order. And once she even played Helen Keller in a parody of bad Broadway musicals!

Amy Rutberg plays Helen Keller

But this fall, Amy appeared in a New York stage play billed as a “holy outrageous new comedy” called “The Divine Sister.” One site described it as an “outrageous comic homage to nearly every Hollywood film involving nuns: The Song of Bernadette, The Bells of St. Mary’s, The Singing Nun and Agnes of God.” A convent’s Mother Superior was played in drag by Charles Busch — who also wrote the play’s script. His other plays include “Psycho Beach Party” and “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom” — and Amy Rutberg played a character named “postulant Agnes”.

Amy Rutberg plays a nun named Agnes in the play The Divine Sister

The play had caught the attention of Playbill — an influential monthly magazine that’s passed out at most major theatre productions (with a special inset providing the cast of each play). And last November, they gave Amy a flip camera just so that she could film a backstage tour of the production for their web site! “Hi Playbill!” she says, sounding exactly like her character in the Kindle commercial. Talking fast and enthusiastically, Amy holds the camera just a little too close to her face, and announces “Welcome to The Divine Sister! I’m Amy Rutberg, and I play Agnes. So come on in! I’m going to show you what it’s like to have a typical Thursday…”

Four months later, in March, the play closed after 253 performances and an eight-month run in a 199-seat theatre. But The New York Times had called Amy’s performance in the play “delightful”, and Backstage magazine said she gave her character “an appropriately off-kilter spin.” In an apparent parody of Meg Tilly’s role in “Agnes of God,” Amy played a postulant “possessed by visions and voices,” and Curtain Up magazine hinted that her character ultimately “develops something of a Jeckyll and Hyde persona…” And in this video, Amy’s preserved that magical moment in time when the play was in the middle of its run — and at least part of the video was shot backstage during an actual performance! (To watch part 2 of the video, point your web browser to ).

It all feels very authentic, especially before the production when Amy carries the camera to show the view that the actors are seeing from the stage. “I mean, we can’t really see people in the audience because it is, um, pretty dark, but we can see these lucky audience members who are in our pews,” she says — though as part of the production, the first row of comfortable theatre seats were actually replaced with authentic wooden pews. “I don’t know if you can tell, but they’re only a foot and a half in front of us. So the good news is, you know, they get to see it all up close and personal,” Amy jokes. “But the bad news is, I bet they get spit on quite a bit!”

Amy Rutberg, the blond woman actress in the Kindle book commercial

I don’t know if Amazon discovered Amy through this play — or even because of this video. But it’s fun to watch the actress just months before she appeared in a major TV ad campaign. The cast greets Tyler Furgeon (from the TV show “Modern Family”) who’d been out in the audience that night. And at the end of the video, Amy tells the camera at the end that it was “A special night because it was my birthday. We’re just having a great time.”

And then she’s seen blowing out candles and making a wish…

Funny Stories About That Woman in Amazon’s Newest Kindle Commercial

Amy Rutberg, the blonde girl actress in the Kindle commercial

I just got a message from the woman in Amazon’s Kindle commercial! I’d told her that I finally saw her third Kindle commercial for the first time on Friday night – and it almost made me want to buy a second Kindle! She wrote back, “happy to hear that, and next time buy that second kindle.

“You can keep it in your other pocket!”

It all started with a simple question. “Who’s that woman in Amazon’s newest Kindle commercial?” I’ve been asked this a few times, so I finally searched the web for an answer. The name of “that blonde woman” is Amy Rutberg, and it turns out there’s some surprising and funny stories online about her life before the Kindle ad.

Plus as far as I can tell, in real life she’s already using a Kindle!

On March 18th — before Amazon’s first ad even aired — Amy mentioned her Kindle in a status update on Twitter. (“It’s so nice outside, taking my kindle and playing hooky! Will return from my staycation by 7:30. #nicetobeanactress #springfever”) More than a month later, on April 25th, she tweeted nervously while waiting for the broadcast of that first Kindle commercial. “1st person to let me know what channel they see it on wins a prize…not a knidle sadly…”

Amy is 29 years old, a professional actress who recently moved back to Los Angeles from New York. (And two weeks from this Wednesday, she’s leaving on her honeymoon in Rome!) She may seem a bit ditzy on that Kindle ad, but in real life, she’s surprisingly intelligent. Amy actually started college at the age of 13, according to one online profile, and by the age of 15 she’d transferred to UCLA as a junior, making her one of the youngest students ever accepted to the college!

“When not performing on stage I can be found playing poker, not finishing a screenplay, shopping for the perfect pair of boots or reading my Kindle ;-)” she jokes on her Twitter feed. But when that famous Kindle ad finally aired, her mother stumbled across a blog post where her daughter was described as “hot but 2 skinny”. According to another funny Twitter update, Amy remembers that her mother said “they must have u mistaken 4 tmobile girl”. Amy then added a very special Twitter tag at the end of her post — #thanksmom.

Amy was a little ditzy when she was a little girl back in the early 1980s — at least according to a funny profile in the Los Angeles Times. They remember that “At 3, she said, she had to be carried away screaming after a production of ‘Peter Pan’ because she was certain Peter would be back to fly her to Neverland.” At the age of 16, she was cast as Eliza Doolittle in a production of “My Fair Lady” at L.A.’s prestigious Pacific Coast Civic Light Opera. But at the age of 6, “she directed her classmates in playground vignettes and broke an ankle while ‘flying,’ Pan-like, from a second-story landing…”

If you’d like to see more of “that Kindle girl’s” work, you can check out her professional blog at, which features a “reel” of short clips from her appearances on different TV shows. Last year Amy appeared on an episode of “Law and Order,” and she did another episode just two years earlier (plus an episode of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”.) In 2006 she played a nurse on an episode of “As The World Turns”, and she even starred in an episode of the TLC reality show about shopping for a wedding gown — “Say Yes to the Dress”.

But she’s been doing lots of live theatre, so Amazon’s TV ad was a big moment. Amy’s Twitter feed captures a fun moment in the life of a rising actress — seeing you’re own work while you’re casually watching TV. “Kindle commercial on @snl… Love it!” she tweeted on April 30th). And by May 13th, she’d sent a shout-out to some friends on Twitter who’d spotted her in the ad. “Thanks for all the kindle love peeps!

“Proud 2 b peddling it!”

More Surprising Lyrics From Kindle Ads

I’m fascinated by all the surprises packed away in Amazon’s Kindle ads. Remember the instrumental guitar song in the background of Amazon’s previous Kindle ad. (The “zest” ad, where the Kindle appears in a bicycle basket, and even gets licked by a dog?) For the ad, Amazon selected the part of the song where the vocalist is just singing “la la la” over a steady rhythm from clapping hands and maracas. But it turns out the longer version of the song actually has lyrics to it!

You can hear the lyrics when you download the full version of the song from (It’s free! And I even made an easy-to-remember URL for your web browser — ) The song is by Bibio, a British music producer who (according to Wikipedia) has had his songs appear in commercials for Toyota, L. L. Bean, and even Adult Swim.

And this time, they’re a perfect fit — almost like a poem about the Kindle itself. It reminds me of faces of the famous authors that appear as the Kindle’s screensavers.

Lovers’ names, carved in walls,
overlap, start to merge.

Some of them underneath.
(Maybe) they appear, in graveyards.
(Maybe they) fade away, weathered and
overgrown. Time has told.

Meaningful hidden words,
(Sudden)ly appear, from the murk.
(Maybe they’re) telling us, that the end
never was, Never will.

Words have gone. Meaning will
(never) disappear, from the wall.

James Joyce screensaver from Amazon Kindle

Those are some pretty heavy lyrics for a Kindle ad. If you’re looking for something lighter, remember that the earlier Kindle ads also had some lyrics, and in a romantic twist, the second ad’s lyrics were written by the song’s two singers — Annie Little and her real-life fiance, Marcus Ashley!

“Once upon
a time, I saw you walk along
a moonbeam. What a lovely girl.
I followed you around the world. (Uh-uh oh…)

I love you. Don’t you see?
You stole my heart in one, two, three.
I love you. Yes it’s true.
You stole my heart, and I’m gonna steal yours too.

But Annie wrote all the lyrics herself for the Kindle’s first ad.

Silver moons and paper dreams
Faded maps and shiny things
You’re my favorite one-man show
A million different ways to go…

Both these songs also include more lyrics than what Amazon aired in their commercials, so click here for the complete lyrics for Fly Me Away, Stole My Heart, and the other two songs that appeared on their first EP album! (Or click here to read the lyrics from “Sweet Talk,” the song from Amazon’s new ad, “The Book Lives On.”)

I’ve really enjoyed Amazon’s Kindle ad campaigns. And remember, you can watch all of Amazon’s Kindle ads by pointing your web browser to!

What are the Books in Amazon’s Newest Kindle Commercials?

I love Amazon’s Kindle ads. (I’ll be watching TV — muting every single commercial with my remote — when I’ll suddenly shout out “Kindle!”) It’s exciting to see digital readers making the “big time” of network television. But I’ve always been really curious about what kind of message they’re sending…

I always wonder if there’s a clue hidden in the ebooks that Amazon’s displaying on the Kindle’s screen. Or if it’s just Amazon’s way of recommending some good books…

“The Book Lives On”

Screencap of ebook in the Amazon Kindle coffee shop TV ad

In this ad, good-looking young people read their Kindles in the sunlight — in a park, a restaurant — and enjoy lepaing in the sun and walking on fences. But just two seconds in — as one thoughtful youngster strokes his chin — there’s a shot of the Kindle he’s holding over the restaurant’s red tablecloth. And what ebook is it displaying?

“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand (subtitled “a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption.”) It’s only her second book — her first book was Seabiscuit, written 10 years ago, which became the basis for the 2003 film starring Tobey MacQuire. But Unbroken has already received 713 five-star reviews on for its inspiring story of Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic distance runner who joined the Air Force only to become a prisoner of war. The book opens with a description of the day when, as a young boy, he saw an enormous German Zeppelin flying down the California coast.

…typhoon that whisked it over the Pacific at breathtaking speed, toward America. Passengers gazing from the windows saw only the ship’s shadow, following it along the clouds “like a huge shark swimming alongside.” When the clouds parted, the passengers glimpsed giant creatures, turning in the sea, that looked like monsters.

On August 25, the Zeppelin reached San Francisco. After being cheered down the California coast, it slid through sunset, into darkness and silence, and across midnight. As slow as the drifting wind, it passed over Torrance, where its only audience was a scattering of drowsy souls, among them the boy in his pajamas behind the house on Gramercy Avenue.

Standing under the airship, his feet bare in the grass, he was transfixed. It was, he would say, “fearfully beautiful.” He could feel the rumble of the craft’s engines tilling the air but couldn’t make out the silver skin, the sweeping ribs, the finned tail. He could see only the blackness of the space it inhabited. It was not a great presence but a great absence, a geometric ocean of darkness that…

The darkness “seemed to swallow heaven itself,” the next page continues. And that’s the kind of story that’s waiting for you, Amazon seems to be saying, if you buy yourself a Kindle!

Kindle Zest Ad

eBook Screenshot of the Amazon Kindle Zest ad with the Cheerios

This Kindle is everywhere — on a bus, in a jewelry drawer, in your back pocket, getting licked by a dog. But as Cheerios splash across the screen of a Kindle, they’re covering the page of another ebook — this time,
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. It’s the sixth book in a series of funny books about life as a shopaholic — this one was just released in September — and in this one she ponders the next generation of shoppers,
starting with her two-year-old daughter Minnie.

The Kindle in the ad has turned to a poignant page where, as her daughter leaves a card for Santa in a wishing well, the narrator remembers leaving her own greedy Christmas letters.

…long and involved, with illustrations and pictures cut out of catalogs, just in case he got confused.

A pair of pink-faced girls of about ten, all giggly and whispery, are posting their wishes, and just the sight of them gives me a rush of nostalgia. It seems wrong not to join in. I might jinx it or something.

Dear Father Christmas, I find myself writing on a card. It’s Becky here again. I pause and think for a bit, and then quickly scribble down a few things.

I mean, only about three. I’m not greedy or anything.

Minnie is drawing earnestly all over her card and has got felt-tip on her hands and her nose.

“I’m sure Father Christmas will understand what you mean,” I say gently, taking it from her….

By the way, you can download the music from this ad for free from as part of a limited-time promotional offer. It’s the song “Lovers’ Cravings” by Bibio.

“What If You Switch?”

Picture of ebook on the iPhone from Amazon Kindle app television ad

Interestingly, a different part of the same book appears in another Kindle ad. It’s the one where a British narrator tells a story about reading ebooks with different phone apps. (“Once upon a time, a woman was reading a Kindle book on her Android phone… One day she decided to switch to an iPhone. Luckily, she’d been buying Kindle books, so she didn’t need to buy her library all over again. She lived happily ever after.”) On her Android phone, she’s reading page 237.

…and I could have told her exactly where she went wrong with that last boyfriend of hers. (Because I totally disagree with that columnist in Heat magazine — the split was not inevitable.) And then we could have gone shopping and been snapped by paparazzi and started a whole new trend with scarves or something…

But ironically, when she switches to her iPhone, she’s actually reading an entirely different book. It’s one of the all-time best-selling ebooks on the Kindle — The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

…don’t know anything about this particular matter, but I do know beyond and doubt that in other situations Wennerstrom has acted dishonestly. The Wennerstrom case has seriously affected Mikael Bloomkvist’s life, and I have an interest in discerning whether there’s anything in your speculation.”

The conversation had taken an unexpected turn, and Armansky was instantly on the alert. What Frode was asking was for Milton Security to poke around in a case that had…”

Kindle Park Ad

Kindle screen in TV ad by stream reading Ralph Ellison ebook Invisible Man

There’s a close-up of the Kindle’s screen, held in front of the stones and grass by a shimmery green stream. The camera rotates to show it’s being held by a woman (with her blonde hair pulled back) sitting next to a curvy stone bridge, and as the camera rises to the sky, she seems calmly engrossed in her Kindle. But the book that’s she’s reading includes harrowing scenes of racism in American in the 1950s. It’s Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

The page she’s reading in the park is about the eviction of an elderly black couple.

…false hair, a curling iron, a card with silvery letters against a background of dark red velvet, reading “God Bless Our Home”; and scattered across the top of a chiffonier were nuggets of High John the Conqueror, the lucky stone; and as I watched the white men put down a basket in which I saw a whiskey bottle filled with rock candy and camphor a small Ethiopian flag, a faded tintype of Abraham Lincoln, and the smiling image of a Hollywood star torn from a magazine. And on a pillow several badly cracked pieces of delicate china, a commemorative plate celebrating the St. Louis World’s Fair … I stood in a kind of daze looking at an old folded lace fan studded with jet and mother-of-pearl.

The crowd surged as the white men came back, knocking over a drawer that spilled its contents in the snow at my feet. I stooped and started replacing the articles: a bent Masonic emblem, a set of tarnished cuff links, three brass rings, a dime pierced with a nail hole so as to be worn about the ankle on a string for luck, an ornate greeting card with the message “Grandma, I love…

That Kindle at the Beach

This was the first Kindle ad, where the camera gradually pulls back to reveal that the Kindle at the beach is being read by a short-haired woman in a red-and-orange skirt, sitting silently next to a young man who’s also reading his Kindle. (“Man, that couple must hate each other,” someone once joked.)

I actually tracked down the author of the ebook she’s reading — Amy Bloom, who’s both a novelist and a professor at Yale University. She was once nominated for the National Book Award, and the story that appears on the Kindle was actually written in 1993. It was part of a new collection of her stories that was released in 2010, called Where the God of Love Hangs Out. And it’s probably the saddest pages to ever appear in a Kindle ad.

It’s the story of a 19-year-old boy who has a sexual encounter with his stepmother the day after his father’s funeral, told from the perspective of the grief-stricken widow. She struggles to find a way to make things right again – but first she must confront the fact that her son wants to continue the relationship.

“No, honey…”

I reached across the table but he shrugged me off, grabbing my keys and heading out the door. I sat for a long time, sipping, watching the sunlight move around the kitchen. When it was almost five, I took the keys from [her husband] Lionel’s side of the dresser and drove his van to soccer camp. [Her other, younger son] Buster felt like being quiet, so we just held hands and listened to the radio. I offered to take him to Burger King, hoping the automated monkeys and video games would be a good substitute for a fully present and competent mother. He was happy and we killed an hour and a half there. Three hours to bedtime.

We watched some TV, sitting on the couch, his feet in my lap. Every few minutes, I’d look at the clock on the mantel and then promise myself I wouldn’t look until the next commercial. Every time I started to move, I’d get tears in my eyes, so I concentrated on sitting very still, waiting for time to pass. Finally, I got Buster through his…

Bloom has practiced psychotherapy, and she’s also published her psychologically-insightful short stories in The New Yorker. (When I asked her if she thought that couple in the Kindle ad really hated each other, she replied “Well, or it’s comfortable silences. Other people’s marriages are hard to judge…”) But she said that she hadn’t even known about her story appearing in the Kindle ad until shortly before our interview. After she’d watched the ad on YouTube, she just went on with the rest of her day.

“I had a deadline. I was working on something, and I went back to work…”

But I’ll still always remember how excited I was to talk to her, since for me she was the ultimate celebrity by proxy — the author of the page in the ebook on that Kindle in that Kindle ad!

Amazon’s New Kindle Ad Attacks the iPad

New Kindle vs iPad sun glasses ad

Amazon’s just released a new TV ad that makes fun of Apple’s iPad. At a glamorous pool (surrounded by palm trees), a befuddled young man is shown trying to read his iPad, as the sun’s glare is reflected off his screen. “Excuse me,” he says to the woman next to him, in a bikini. “How are you reading that, in this light?”

“It’s a Kindle,” she replies casually, adding almost as an afterthought: “$139.” She smiles an enormous smile, and then says: “I actually paid more for these sunglasses.”

There’s a secret history to the ad. In July, the New York Times interviewed Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, and he’d demonstrated the Kindle’s low price by telling an almost identical story. (“At $139, if you’re going to read by the pool, some people might spend more than that on a swimsuit and sunglasses.”) I wonder if he phoned the ad agency the same day, demanding that they start working on this commercial!

The ad’s already provoking some interesting reactions on the web. “This is a good ad,” posted one reader at Electronista. “If you just want to read, the Kindle is a far better device. If you want a multipurpose device, the iPad beats it, just not in bright sunlight.” And another viewer spotted another advantage, which they’d posted in the comments at a site called The Next Web.

“Also note that she is using the Kindle one-handed, while the iPad guy has to rest it on his beer gut…”

When the ad ends, Amazon proudly displays its final message on the screen. “The all new Kindle. Only $139.” And the ad drew an enthusiastic response in the Kindle discussion forum at “I have not seen an iPad yet,” posted one user, “and when it showed it I thought, OMG what is that ugly thing? I actually rewound the DVR to see if I could see what it was… Might as well carry around a hippopotamus!”

Over at Electronista, one user didn’t question the attack on the iPad, but did pan the quality of the ad itself. “The acting is forced and the tail music is jarring. Did Amazon really pay for this?”

But in Amazon’s Kindle forum, one viewer applauded the ad for both its valuable message — and for its messenger. “You can not read Apple products outside in the sunlight. I have an iPhone and it is useless in the sunlight.

“Plus the chick is hot!”

Will Amazon put ads in Your eBooks?

A vintage print magazine ad for Campbells soup. Are ads coming to ebooks?

It’s a horrible thought, but the Wall Street Journal suggests that ads in ebooks “are coming soon to a book near you.”

It’s an opinion piece, rather than a piece of technology reporting, so the evidence is a bit skimpy. For example, the article notes Google already displays advertisements beside the results of searches on Google books. (“It’s a small step to imagine Google including advertisements within books.”) But they also note that last year Amazon filed a patent for advertisements on the Kindle. The article is written by a former book editor at Houghton Mifflin (William Vincent), who’s presumably given a lot of thought to the future profitability of the book-publishing industry. And his co-author, Ron Adner, is a professor at the School of Business at Dartmouth College.

They focus on the future, arguing that the ads-in-ebooks model just makes sense. One suggestion is to include ads in an ebook’s free sample chapters. (“Because not every consumer who reads a sample chapter will buy the book, it’s reasonable for the publisher to extract some additional value.”) Another suggestion: offer a book without advertisements — for a price. “Seeing ads in the sample may also convince a reader to pay for a premium, non-ad version of the full-length book.” I’m envisioning a massive boycott of the first book that attempts to include advertising — but there could be one silver lining. If the publishers earn enough money on the advertising in a book, they might consider reducing the book’s price, or even giving away new books for free!

In fact, Amazon used to sell ebooks at a loss, according to one analyst, earning its profits by selling the Kindle. But now Apple’s new iBookstore lets publishers sell their books at a higher mark-up. The competition pressured Amazon into offering offer their own publishers the same leeway, and ironically, Apple “has now forced Amazon to turn an estimated 30 percent profit on each book it sells.” It seems like Amazon prefers selling their ebooks at a much cheaper price, and the publishers are the ones who are resisting. But publishers might be willing to finally lower their ebook prices dramatically — if they could make up the difference on advertising.

Ironically, then publishers then have an interest in whether the reader finishes the book. “[W]ith advertising in the mix, a book downloaded 100,000 times but never read…may be worth less than one downloaded 50,000 times and read cover-to-cover.” Suddenly an author who writes an irresistible page-turner is more valuable than the author of a massive tome that takes forever to finish, the article argues, suggesting that in a future where there’s ads in ebooks, “Unread books suddenly become less profitable to a publisher.”

But it’s not clear to me who earns the profit in this scenario — the publisher of the ebook, or the digital bookstore who sells it. After all, advertisers would be thrilled for a chance to “target” their ads to readers of a specific kind of book — and would probably be willing to pay extra for this. But as a technology company, Amazon seems much more likely to deliver these customized ads than, for example, Houghton Mifflin. And hypothetically, Amazon could keep updating the advertisements displayed in your ebooks whenever you sync to their server. Advertisers would love the idea of delivering same-day announcements — so Amazon could charge a high premium for their in-book advertisements.

It’s may all come down to a single question. Would you accept advertising in your ebooks if it meant that the ebooks were free?