Last Christmas the Kindle became the most gifted item in Amazon's history. This year Amazon hopes to boost sales by letting any customer, whether or not they are a registered Kindle user, purchase a Kindle book as a gift for someone else.
On Christmas Day 2009 Amazon customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books - and those sales were made only by owners of Kindle devices.
Kindle books have become more accessible with the introduction of free Kindle Apps for smartphones as well as for the PC and Mac and Amazon's latest initiative is to let customers give Kindle Books as gifts to anyone with an e-mail address- no Kindle required on the part of either the purchaser or the recipient.
"We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "We're making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping option for anyone - not just Kindle owners."
To give a Kindle Book as a gift, customers simply choose a book in the Kindle Store, select "Give as a Gift" and send their gift to anyone with an email address. Notifications of Kindle Books gifts are delivered instantly via e-mail and the recipient redeems the gift in the Kindle Store to read on any Kindle or free Kindle app.
From Amazon's point of view the move is likely to boost sales of Kindle devices as well as Kindle books. After all if your Aunt Emily gets half a dozen Kindle books sent to her and she isn't already a Kindle owner or in possession of an iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android or other device with a Kindle app, she may be persuaded to buy herself a Kindle in order to be able to thank all the friends and family who have sent her gifts.
This "instant gift" idea also sounds a boon to anyone who leaves present shopping until the very last minute.
But what do you do if you get multiple copies of the same Kindle book as a gift or copies of a book you have already read or never want to read? While Amazon allows a 7 day return of any ebook you buy yourself your only option for an unwanted gift is to exchange it for an Amazon gift voucher.
Well - that's my xmas problems all solved.
Why Kindle is the answer