May 8, 2009

What the Kindle DX Can Teach Scrapbook Retailers

A couple of months ago, I bought my husband the Kindle 2. We love that thing! It's so convenient! The other day, Amazon announced the coming of the Kindle DX - with a screen 2.5 times larger than the Kindle 2.

Welcome to the future of reading. My kids will probably have all their text books on a Kindle-type device at college. No more standing in line to purchase $200 text books you have to lug around and no more standing in a longer line at the end of the semester to sell back your $200 book for $25.

Already, several text book publishers are working with Amazon to digitize their books for the Kindle. Other book publishers should be taking notice. This IS the future of reading. Will regular books ever completely go away? I don't think so. But, the Kindle and the devices that will follow it will do to books what the iPod did to music. It will change the way many of us read and change the way book publishers make their money. My husband has essentially stopped buying physical books. He is now buying his business and political books for his Kindle. We are STILL Amazon customers (okay, we are Amazon junkies), but we are just getting our books differently from them now.

How many book publishers will now just throw in the towel and say, "We're dead"? Probably a few. But, most will look at digitizing their books to work on these devices. A few will ignore the technology believing that there will always be people who buy real books and will slowly, over time, give in to the trend. While others will stick their heads in the sand and say, "we'll never digitize" and then moan and groan about their drop-off in sales.

Kudos to the early adopters of Kindle technology. They aren't acting threatened by it - they are embracing it and figuring out how they can get on board with it.

There is a lesson here for scrapbook stores. Our industry has experienced a large shift to digital scrapbooking. We now have digital photos, custom photo books, digital scrapbook paper and embellishments and large format home printers. The digital age has done to our industry what the Kindle is doing to the book publishing industry.

Most of us have acted threatened by the technology and chosen to ignore it rather than embracing and adapting to it. Many retailers pretend that digital scrapbooking has had NOTHING to do with our decline in sales. We blame drop-outs. We blame the economy. We blame our competitors. Fact of the matter is that many, many traditional scrapbookers are now digital scrapbookers and we didn't even TRY to keep them from leaving us. In fact, most of us were so busy actively ignoring digital scrapbooking that we didn't even see them leave.

A few retailers have jumped on board with digital scrapbooking and have looked for ways to keep those people who have converted to digital coming back into their stores. They are offering custom photo book classes. They are teaching photography classes. They are selling digital scrapbook software and scanning photos or printing out digital pages. They have set up special sections in their store where they offer "Digital Scrapbook Products". They have basically said, "We're not giving you up just because you went digital."

Kudos to those scrapbook retailers who embraced digital in some small way. I believe they will be among the survivors.


Joshua said...


You have it right. I believe that there is even a newer wave on the horizon, Video Scrapbooking! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to point out that the only thing growing faster than Flickr and it's friends is You Tube.

It is certainly in its infancy right now but has great potential for growth over the next 5 to 10 years.

I don't want to hijack your post by leaving a commercial for my business here, but if you are interested in finding out more about what we are doing to usher in the Video Scrapbook ear, please email me at


Anonymous said...

And if you have an Iphone you can download a free application that is simular to the kindle and buy the books from amazon as well. I love this rather than lugging books in and out of an airport or traveling. Just pull out my iPhone that I carry anyway and use it now as my book.