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What Record Sales of the Amazon Kindle Means to Your Church Website

Yesterday , I was attracted by the Wired Magazine Gadget Labs  headline “Amazon: Kindle Books Outsold Real Books This Christmas.” According to a release cited in the article:

“[the] Kindle has become the most gifted item in Amazon’s history …

… On Christmas Day customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books.”

Now unlike my good friend Vincent Flanders, I’m not ready to tweet:

“RT @VincentFlandersThe bookstore is dead says Seth Godin http://bit.ly/8StlpZ

Kindle 2That said, when I look at all the paper my own church consumes on a weekly basis, I have to wonder if we don’t have as a mission initiative keeping the fine folks at Dunder Mifflin employed (let the reader understand).

This all got me to thinking, even though I’m not the type of guy who is going to chain himself to a tree – I do think judicious of resources falls under good stewardship – and that includes both natural resources as well as financial.

Meaning, as we continue to see the emergence of digital media devices, such as the Kindle and/or smart phones, why not consider providing and/or publishing more and more of your organizations information in supported by such devices?

Providing: let’s say you want to study Os Guinness’ “Dining with the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts with Modernity”. The Paperback version is $12.82 not including the cost of shipping. The Kindle price for the same is $9.99. That’s about a 33% difference, again not including the cost of shipping.

Publishing: each Christmas and Easter, I see many churches publish multi-page pamphlets that contain all the bulletins for all the services. These are nice as they provide continuity, but I can also see where they’re going to run the church and/or charity a few bucks – especially as people forget to bring with them their nicely stapled paper pile from the previous week.

Yes, Amazon does get to keep about $0.65 of every dollar, but I do think there is a cost savings and possibly cost recovery even if your organization only charges the minimum $0.99 cents to sell your Advent Season bulletin on the Kindle.

Similarly, what would be the cost of simply pushing out to your organization’s website the average, weekly bulletin out to PDF or HTML for consumption by those in your congregation armed with BlackBerry’s and/or iPhones? Other than setting up the router? Especially since they can then also use the same network to follow-along Scripture readings with the mobile version of the ESV Bible?

Point is, I think it’s time to look around your church and/or charity’s offices and meeting rooms and see just how much paper could be saved by simply publishing the temporal stuff online.

What are your thoughts?


  1. My dad showed off his new Barnes and Noble Nook to me at Christmas time. Seems like people will be moving to digital book readers more so I think this trend will continue. It makes sense for churches to adopt the technology as well.

  2. I was looking at these ereaders last year, but don’t believe the technology is there yet. They alsop cost an arm-an-a-leg. Besides the books available tend to be the popularist books. Try getting IVP background commentary. It wouldn’t be great investment on that basis for me.

    I agree with the reduction of paper and tend to use a paperless office myself, by scanning everything in and tagging the lot.

    How do you deal with the section of the church that doesn’t even have a mobile phone or even a computer! I’m surprised at the quite strong antagonism still present in many churches against computers.