back to article Amazon may plug in-book advertising into Kindle

Amazon may embed advertising in e-books for the Kindle as well as paperbacks sold through its on-demand book publishing service. A pair of US patent applications point to the online retailer's vision of plugging modern tat through classic lit with advertisements custom-tailored to the content. The patents are titled "On- …


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  1. jim 45
    Thumb Down

    deal me out

    How unbelieveably lame. I don't own a Kinkle and f I ever had any interest in one, this just killed it.

  2. gollux

    Urpiness fealt already...

    No thanks Amazon. Bye bye!

  3. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    All righty, then

    There's another reason not to buy a Kindle.

    Also, Paxil would be more likely to sponsor Brave New World than 1984.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Lets see here

    Ads printed on my books. Humm let me just say no. Umm no, no.... mmm No no and well no not at all. On the other hand though No, hell no, fuck no, get bent and take your patent and shove it up your collective asses Amazon.

    Oh and did I mention no? Oh well just for good measure, No.

  5. Mike Flugennock
    Thumb Down

    Why am I not surprised?

    Never mind that it's butt-ugly, and I that can't take it to the beach with me without my worrying about my entire book collection being wiped out with a single wave. Now I've got one more reason not to own one of these clunky-assed things.

    Sorry, but for me, still...nothing quite beats paper.

  6. Charlie Stross

    Breach of contract

    Speaking as a novelist, there are clauses in all my book contracts that <em>explicitly</em> forbid in-book advertising of any kind (with the exception of specific ads for related books in the same imprint by the same publisher, at the back of the text).

    This is hard-won stuff that followed a whole series of lawsuits in the 1920s and 1930s.

    Obviously different publishing fields may work differently, but in mass-market fiction (the primary target of the smaller regular Kindle) it'd be a flat-out breach of contract between authors and publishers if the publishers permit it to happen, and things could get very ugly.

  7. fluffy

    Really nothing new

    As a kid I loved Arthur Clarke's novels, and I recall that many of the older editions would have full-page ads scattered about - not just for other novels, but for things like subscriptions to TIME Magazine.

  8. Christoph
    Thumb Down

    Prior Art

    I think it was Pterry who withdrew his books from a German publisher because they were printing adverts in the middle of the text. And US paperbacks used to have advert pages bound in the middle (usually for cancer sticks). I really can't see how the idea can be patentable.

  9. ZM


    No. Just ... no...

  10. Adrian Esdaile

    Nice patent

    Shame it's USELESS.

    Except for gaining negative market share.

  11. Efros

    You can get a patent

    for this shit!?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Piracy will fix it

    Well, if we have to PAY for adverts then the solution is simple: get the ad-free version off bittorrent sites. If the greedy bastards are going to rip off those who do the right thing by paying, by forcing ads down their throats, then they don't deserve to survive.

    These fuckers have got to learn that we will NOT pay to be advertised to. Advertising is for the free stuff. If I pay, I expect no adverts. Otherwise I won't pay, and I'll get the ad-free version for nothing. I refuse to get cable TV for this reason - you pay for it and they have adverts. I'd rather get my shows ad-free from the torrents.

  13. Additives

    For the love of god

    No. If they go through with this, I will never buy a book from amazon again (I allready avoid it as much as possible). Books I buy sit in my personal library indefinantly, and i cirtainly sont want to be flicking through a novel or text and see an ad to amke my co*k bigger.

    And you all know thats where all advertising ends ;)

  14. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Oh christ

    The answer to

    "Why can I still not buy a well designed, highly usable XYZ"

    Is always

    "They put marketing in charge"

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Jeremy 2

    Prior Art

    That would be a magazine then, you know, where articles are just occasionally interspersed with adverts?

  17. The Original Ash

    @Charlie Stross

    Two things. Firstly, the Writers' Strike in Hollywood did nothing but cause me to wait a little longer for the latest series of Heroes to be finished. I didn't notice an appreciative dip in the quality, or quantity, of fluff that it produces, but maybe fiction authors are significantly more important than Hollywood screen writers. I just don't know.

    Secondly, and here's one for the lawyers, Kindle is not a book. Kindle is an electronic device which displays pages of text. Picture a similar issue to Copyright as is occuring now in music; An outdated law / contract term which is not compatible with modern technological advances and becomes unenforceable in any meaningful way apart from suing your customer base. You should renegotiate your contracts to include digital representations of your work to be covered by similar non-advertising terms, if you haven't already. Lawyers will pick through ANY technicality.

  18. Edwin

    Stick with me Sony

    Saw my first Kindle on a plane a few weeks back. Nice screen, and the merkin who owned it waffled on about a quarter-of-a-million books.

    Shame half the real estate is wasted on a keyboard (eBOOK - geddit?). Taking further cm2s away just reinforces my prejudice. I'll stick with Sony, thanks.

  19. David Haworth

    ebook readers

    I must admit, I do like the idea of an ebook reader and I'd be quite happy with the sony device. looks attractive, seems functional etc. but £200 is just a bit too much at the moment. it's a little beyond my "aww, lets just give it a go" territory.

    oh, and why are they never cheap on ebay? they seem to sell for near new prices it seems.


  20. Paw Bokenfohr

    Can anyone say...


  21. Anonymous Coward

    I knew the new, improved, cuddlier Amazon wouldn't last

    Web2.0 ideas such as this survive entirely on the complicity of consumers and providers in pretending that the advertising is entirely incidental to the service or product: once you start breaking that paradigm there's a loss of faith on the part of the consumers, followed by a loss of consumers.

    Further, this shows a fundamental lack of appreciation of the medium with which they're dealing: novels aren't written with ad breaks (well, not i they're written properly, anyway), so as soon as you turn the virtual page to be confronted with an ad for weight loss pills or internet dating you're going to be thrown out of the moment, ruining your enjoyment. And no, carefully-wrought algorithms that seek to place the ads sympathetically according to content aren't going to make the slightest difference to this.

  22. Alice Andretti

    But can we read the *ads* out loud...

    ...without being sued for copyright infringement? ;)

    But seriously, the more I find out about Kindle, the worse it seems.

  23. John Ridley 1

    Free versions of classics are the best

    I bought a Sony reader and got a "free $100 in "classic" books" offer. Everything in the list is PD stuff that's available from Project Gutenberg. I had a peek at a couple of Sony's editions on a friend's reader, and they were totally uninspired. Cruddy formatting, clearly just slurped down and dumped into a LRF file (while adding DRM to a PD work!).

    I went to and found the same collection and hundreds more, all lovingly formatted into various formats by volunteers. All free, and of much better quality than what the commercial places are charging money for.

    My fear is that someday they'll get something written into law giving them "temporary" ownership, or at least format-specific rights to, PD works. Then of course they'll get those rights extended until it's essentially permanent.

    No interest in Kindle, if for no other reason than that Amazon seems to be trying to corner the eBook market, and I'm not interested in helping them. Since they have eBook rights, if they started providing downloads in other formats, they might start getting some of my money, but they're locking everything up in Kindle format.

  24. Jason Bassford

    I'm glad I went with Sony.

    The device is much more elegant looking (it doesn't have that truly awful keyboard that would prevent me from being proud of showing my Kindle to anyone - although that's just my personal opinion), and Sony isn't playing all of these Big Brother games like Amazon is.

  25. disgruntled yank


    I have read that a lot of books in the early 19th century had ads bound in, often for quack medicines. No, I don't have the source of that information.

    @C Stoss: I do have around the house a ca. 1975 printing of Henry James's _The Bostonians_ that came with an advertisement card in the middle. It was for other books by that publisher, and it tore out cleanly.

  26. MsJamie

    This makes my decision easier...

    I was looking to get an e-book reader, and the Kindle DX was on the short list. Not anymore.

  27. Mike Powers

    Makes some degree of sense...

    Amazon has been selling Kindle versions at a loss right from the get-go, trying to corner the market. It makes sense that they'd try to counter that in some way.

    I just wish that, y'know, they CHARGED WHAT THE BOOKS COST instead of doing this make-it-up-with-ads fuckery. I'd be happy to pay fifteen bucks a pop to keep the business sustainable, instead of ten bucks and I have to watch ads.

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