Video Interview: Amazon’s Russ Grandinetti Talks New Inventions For Media

Russ Grandinetti, the Vice President of Kindle Content Amazon, shares his thoughts on the contributions of Amazon and Kindle to the evolution of media 

By Lillie Mazitova

Q: What is Kindle Direct Publishing and how does it work?

Kindle Direct Publishing is a system that lets you take a Word document on your computer and have it published as an e-book around the world literally in a matter of hours.

Q: The topic of the conversation is ‘New Inventions for Media’. So, which new Amazon and Kindle products can journalists use in their work?

If you read a lot for work, you can carry all the documents in a small e-reader or on the app on your smartphone or tablet. And so you can e-mail documents to yourself – they don’t have to be books – and we store them in the cloud, and you can sync them, make annotations and notes. The system actually works quite well. Millions of customers use it for reading documents other than books.

Q: Do Amazon and Kindle plan to develop new products for journalists in the near future?

Well, I think anything that’s good for reading is good for journalists, both as a professional tool, as well as a tool to reach readers. So, I think the interest that we have for the business overall and I hope what journalists need for their job are very much the same.

Q: What are the advantages of Amazon and Kindle compared to your competitors? 

Instead of giving you a long list of features, I think the fact that we have the largest selection of books in the world, the largest audience. So if you are a journalist, a writer or a publisher, the fact that you can reach the largest group of people selling books or magazines or newspapers is what differentiates us at this point. We also make the best e-reading device on the market, and it’s by far the leading device sold in the world.

Q: You’ve worked at Amazon since 1998. How did the development of the media-related segment change over the years?

When I started at Amazon, books were the only thing we sold. And it was print. Your first question was about Kindle Direct Publishing. In 1998 it would have been difficult to imagine that a writer could finish on his laptop at 9 o’clock at night and it could be published at 9 o’clock the next night. So that’s a very big change. We are very happy to have played a hand in it.