I sent Neil Gaiman the following question:
I see that you're featured on Amazon's Kindle page, providing a favorable review of the technology. Criticism (regarding DRM) is popping up:
What's your take? DRM aside, I feel the device is too expensive. They're competing with tradition, here -- and to do so, they need to offer a compelling product. (I liken digital books to screw-cap wine bottles vs. corks.) People love the feel of paper as they read, and an expensive, proprietary device isn't the answer, is it? Better to sell the device for next to nothing -- if they're going to charge for books, or build a year subscription into the price of the device and charge little or nothing for the books. I also like John Gruber's idea of giving away a Kindle digital book with every print book bought from Amazon.With the current pricing structure (and the DRM issue), I fear the device is destined to flop. There's no compelling reason (that I can see) to own a Kindle device. I'd rather just buy an actual book.
A portion of his response:
For me it's closer to CDs and iPods. If I'm at home, my iPod tends to sit, half-forgotten, in a pocket or a bag. It's easier to grab a CD and put it on, and I like looking at the packaging, the audio quality is (or feels) better, and the listening experience is different and probably closer to what the artist hoped for. The iPod is, for me, for the road, and I couldn't survive without it.
I'm a big fan of Gaiman's blog -- and I think he's offering a genuine opinion of the device. I'm pretty interested in Kindle and after I stumbled across his video pitch for the device I decided to send an email (via his website) and hope for the best.
Less than 8 hours later, this response was posted to his online journal.