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Gutenberg the Geek: A Kindle Single

I’ve just published Gutenberg the Geek, arguing that the inventor of printing was our first geek, the original technology entrepreneur. I find wonderful parallels in the challenges and opportunities he faced and those that face Silicon Valley (or entrepreneurial journalism) startups today. So I retell his story from an entrepreneurial perspective, examining how he overcame technology hurdles, how he operated with the secrecy of a Steve Jobs but then shifted to openness, how he raised capital and mitigated risk, and how, in the end, his cash flow and equity structure did him in. This is also the inspiring story of a great disruptor. That is why I say Gutenberg is the patron saint of entrepreneurs.

The Kindle Single came out of my obsession with Gutenberg that developed while I researched Public Parts. I also wanted to learn how Kindle Singles work (more on that later) -… and prove that I have nothing against charging for content! But I’m not charging much, only 99 cents (free in the Amazon lending library).

Tomorrow, I’ll link to an excerpt from the piece. I’d be honored if you bought the piece and said what you think here or at the Amazon page.
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34 comments
 
Downloaded. Will read as soon as I've finished Guy Kawasaki's Enchantment and Seth Godin's Stop Stealing Dreams. (Why do you guys have to release all the good stuff all at the same time?)
 
Purchased. It's #6 in my kindle reading queue! But it is a single... Should this get priority?
 
Bought it... will read later.
 
I heard it's actually about vampires
 
Hello +Jeff Jarvis that sounds like an interesting read. I am from Mainz the home town of Gutenberg so seeing this published makes me happy. Gutenberg was really a great guy. Do you have any plans to release it as an Epub too? I like the freedom of Epub and being able to read it outside of the Kindle universe.
 
Just bought it. Sounds very interesting. Thanks Jeff.
 
bummer I appear to have reached my limit on prime borrowing for the month. So I plunked down the 0.99 cents. I hope you spend it wisely.
 
Just bought it. Looking forward to reading through it tonight.
 
+Amanda Marie Pingel Ramsay Maybe the pricing is different for non US residents? I bought it off amazon.com, but with a Spanish billing address. Not that I care about the $2.61, but I'm curious as to whether Jeff will see any of it, or it's all for amazon. So much for pricing transparency! (BTW, my receipt has no sales tax on it, and no Spanish VAT either).
 
Reading it now on my Samsung Galaxy Note (perfect): it's a fascinating story, thanks!
 
Curiously, there is no indication of the length of this (or any other Kindle Singles) in the product description. The idea of "page count" may not be appropriate in a world of digital publishing, but size in kB or word count don't necessarily translate into something most readers have a natural feel for. How should we judge the length of a digital book, and how long is this one in those units?
 
jeff can you say something here about how you prepared the manuscript for Amazon?
 
I was looking for your eBook on the german Amazon page. It's listed there but can you inquire how an eBook which sells at 99 cent in the US gets a price of 2.68€ (US$3.61) over here? Taking the current exchange rate it should cost no more than 0.75 euro. And I don't believe that the reason for this is only because of taxes or an additional handling fee. This more than threefold price increase is quite incomprehensible in these digital times.
http://www.amazon.de/dp/B007EI62I0
 
Hi Jeff, the same issue as +Marcus Schommler -Amazon charges me 3.44$ for your book. Even if the VAT in the Czech republic was included it should cost 1,14$.
Not that I mean the price is high, but I still don't get where or to whom the additional 2,30$ goes to (the Amazon page states that free international wireless delivery is included).
 
I have passed on the international issue to amazon. Will update when I hear. Thanks for letting me know.

Yes, I'll write about the Kindle Single experience. This hiccup aside, it has been very fast and pleasant. 
 
Consider it purchased. There's no resistance to buying a great piece at such a price - I'm still hesitating, I'm ashamed to say, to pull the trigger on Public Parts :-P
 
International friends, Amazon tells me they are fixing the pricing issue.
 
and the gutenberg drinking game on twig is now rigged
 
+Christian Mörsch  I am SO frustrated with Amazon on this. I have asked a dozen times for them to fix this and they never did. It is supposed to be 99 cents US everywhere. Watch my feed and I'll do another free day upcoming. 
 
Oh, and (a) it doesn't have DRM, at my instruction, and (b) it's still not wildly expensive... 
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