Kindle

New Kindle Feature

30 July 2014


New Kindle Helps Readers Show Off By Shouting Title Of Book Loudly And Repeatedly

I’ve a shameful confession to make – I’ve joined the cult of the Kindle

13 July 2014

From The Guardian;

On the day Independent Booksellers Week begins, I feel I should confess: I’ve become a Kindle owner. Look, sometimes these things just happen, OK? It’s not as if I planned it. I started research for a book about the history of children’s literature and was soon faced with a stark choice: disburse money and time I do not have acquiring dozens of early 19th-century tales with titles such as The History Of The Crumbshaw Family and How God Smote Them All, Starting With The Baby, As Painfully As He Could For Bogglingly Minor Transgressions; or download free versions in seconds on to a portable device that would obviate both.

So I bought it for work. But there’s been mission creep. I discovered that because you don’t need to hold it open, you can easily read during meals (no more wedging of book under plate and destabilising your dinner), while drying your hair/dishes and through many other tediously necessary parts of life. You can read in bed even after your other half has demanded lights out, because it provides its own illumination.

. . . .

Of course, you don’t want to be reading stuff for work all the time, so I started downloading other books, too. Plus shelving space is at a premium in this already bibliographically-overstuffed house, so saving a few inches – well, a few feet now – is A Good Thing, too.

. . . .

The smooth affectlessness of the screen is pervasive. The ticker in the corner that tells you what percentage of the book you have left, and how long it will – could? should? – take to finish, turns reading into a race against the clock, while the value of being able to look up words and other people’s notes must be set against the way their presence divides the mind against itself and pitches the reader perennially out of the moment.

Link to the rest at The Guardian and thanks to Robert for the tip.

A U.S. ambassador was just sworn in on a Kindle

3 June 2014

From The Washington Post:

Paper books are on the decline. In 2008, the market for consumer print books was north of $15 billion. Now it’s more like $10 billion — and that number is expected to continue falling until it reaches parity with e-book sales at about  $8 billion in 2017.

It’s no surprise that with e-books on the rise, more and more public officials will be sworn in on them. On Monday, Suzi LeVine became the first U.S. ambassador to be sworn in on an e-reader:

LeVine took the oath on a digital copy of the U.S. Constitution stored on a Kindle Touch. But that’s not the only time a digital device has replaced its dead-tree predecessor.

Link to the rest at The Washington Post and thanks to William for the tip.

PG has no idea what effect this will have on those who suffer from Amazon Derangement Syndrome.

Whither the Kindle Killer?

30 May 2014

From Chris Meadows at TeleRead:

Larry Press plaintively wonders why nobody’s come up with a “Kindle Killer” yet. He notes a whole host of ways the Kindle falls short of perfection—lack of voice recognition or full interface capability with a computer, for example—and thinks such a device really should be a “low-hanging fruit” for one of the big device makers.

I’ll tell you why, Larry. The demand isn’t there. Maybe folks like you who like to get the most out of their devices would want such a thing, but the vast majority of the lowest-common-denominator general public—the ones who actually buy the devices in bulk—are happy as hogs in a trough with their Kindles the way they are, or else they wouldn’t be as popular as they are.

I don’t think Amazon gets nearly enough credit for the amazing thing it did with the Kindle. It’s one of those things that looks easy, because it made e-reading easy. But how many of you remember what e-reading used to be like before Amazon came along? You had to piddle around with side-loading stuff onto PDAs or e-ink readers, hooking them up to the computer, using conduit software to pipe the stuff on, and so on and so forth.

. . . .

Amazon came along, built cellular connectivity into its Kindles so you didn’t even have to figure out how to connect them to wi-fi, and made it so you click a button, you get a book. Boom. Dead simple. Anyone can do it. And Amazon was the first to make that possible. Anybody elsecould have done it, if they’d thought of it, but they didn’t think of it. Jeff Bezos did, and the first-mover advantage was enormous.

. . . .

So, no, it’s not DRM that keeps users locked into the Kindle store. It’s a contributing factor, but it’s not the only factor. If all the publishers stopped using DRM tomorrow and set up stores of their own to bypass Amazon, I’ll bet the vast majority of Kindle-owning customers would still buy from Amazon anyway. And if a given publisher dropped Amazon in favor of its own DRM-free store (or for that matter Amazon dropped them), they would complain to the publisher that they’re “not on Kindle” and just wouldn’t buy those e-books.

Link to the rest at TeleRead

Proofing for Kindle

9 March 2014

From Aaron Shepard’s Publishing Page:

If you’re publishing on Kindle, chances are you want your book to look good on it. But that may require a task not usually performed by Kindle authors: testing your ebook thoroughly.

No, it’s not always enough to check your Kindle book in Amazon’s online previewer—and even if you pay someone to convert it, they may miss a problem your readers won’t.

. . . .

Originally, the chief difficulty of formatting for the Kindle came from its substandard, deficient ebook format. Nowadays, the chief problem is that there is no one Kindle. There are several families of Kindle, both hardware and software, with a variety of members in each family, and more than one basic format spread across them.

Families include e-ink Kindles (Kindle, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle DX, Kindle Touch, Kindle Paperwhite), tablets (Fire, Fire HD, Fire HDX), mobile apps (for iOS, Android, Windows 8, Blackberry), desktop apps (for PC and Mac), and even a “Cloud Reader” for browsers. The Kindle also has two completely different formats for its books: the older Mobipocket format (MOBI) and the newer Kindle Format 8 (KF8).

. . . .

The simplest and most direct methods of converting and previewing your book are provided on the site of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), where you’ll submit your book.

. . . .

You can even set up a book title you never intend to publish, and use it to test any book or to just experiment. At this writing, for example, the titles on my KDP Bookshelf include Test and Test 2. They allow me to test new versions of a book already published without disturbing the finished files I’ve submitted earlier or taking the chance I’ll release a draft by mistake.

. . . .

After conversion, Amazon KDP will also offer the option of downloading your book as well as a previewer to run on either Windows or Mac. Though not perfect, this Kindle Previewer provides the best possible look at your book without seeing it on actual Kindles. The Previewer can also be downloaded here:

www.amazon.com/kindleformat/kindlepreviewer

. . . .

As valuable as the Kindle Previewer is for previewing, it has another, less-known capability worth almost as much: It can be used to convert your HTML file to a Kindle book! Amazon’s Kindle converter is built right into the Previewer. All you need do is open or drag in your HTML file, and the Previewer will handle the rest.

The conversion provided by the Previewer is not quite as good as the one you get at Amazon KDP. Specifically, it will be missing your cover, as well as menu items for the book’s “beginning” and table of contents. Still, combined converting and previewing in the Previewer lets you run quick and mostly accurate tests of formatting without the need to visit Amazon KDP and wait for processing.

Link to the rest at Aaron Shepard’s Publishing Page

$20 off Kindles today

4 March 2014

Amazon is discounting the Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite by $20 today.

PG uses his tablet every day, but prefers reading long-form fiction and non-fiction on a Kindle, which he also uses every day.

The Amazon Kindle Numbers That Jeff Bezos Must Really Care About

14 December 2013

From All Things D:

We all know that Amazon’s annual touting of its new Kindles as the best-selling Kindles ever has become laughable since the company doesn’t provide any sales figures to back up its claims.

But a recent analysis of survey data by research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows that maybe, just maybe, there are other Kindle-related figures that are just as critical to Amazon, if not more so.

First, at a high level, CIRP estimates that 20.5 million Kindles — e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets combined — are currently in use in the U.S., and that 40 percent of Amazon.com’s customers own one of the devices.

. . . .

Based on its research and analysis, CIRP estimates that Kindle owners spend $1,233 per year on Amazon compared to $790 per year for Amazon shoppers who don’t own one of the company’s e-readers or tablets. Kindle owners aren’t necessarily buying more at a shot, but are buying more frequently.

“Another way to look at Kindle Fire and Kindle e-Reader is as a portal to Amazon.com,” CIRP’s Mike Levin said in a statement. “Kindle Fire provides access to everything Amazon sells, while Kindle e-Reader has become the way that Amazon customers buy books, Amazon’s original product line.”

Link to the rest at All Things D

Record Holiday Shopping Weekend for Kindle

4 December 2013

From the Amazon Media Room:

Amazon today announced that this holiday shopping weekend was the best ever for Kindle, with customers purchasing more Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers than ever before. Additionally, Kindle Fire HDX 7” and Kindle Fire HD were the best-selling items on Amazon.com this holiday shopping weekend.

“We’re excited that so many customers have chosen Kindle this holiday season—and it’s just getting started!” said Neil Lindsay, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Our new Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers are the best we’ve ever built, and we can’t wait for customers to unwrap their gifts this holiday.”

Link to the rest at Amazon Media Room

As many of you know, new Kindles tend to result in a big jump in post-Christmas ebook sales.

Kindle First—Exclusive Early Access to New Books

1 November 2013

From The Amazon Media Room:

Amazon.com, Inc. today announced the launch of Kindle First (www.amazon.com/kindlefirst), a new program that offers customers access to Kindle books a month in advance of their official release date.

Here’s how Kindle First works:

  • Each month, Amazon Publishing editors select several titles from Kindle’s most popular categories a month ahead of their official publication date, adding a note of recommendation and a behind-the-scenes look at the stories and the authors.
  • Customers can choose one of the featured books each month for $1.99. Prime members can make their selection for free – adding yet another benefit of Prime membership.
  • Customers can receive a monthly email alerting them of new Kindle First selections. Signup is free and there is no purchase obligation.
  • Customers can visit the Kindle store on amazon.com or their Kindle device to select their book. All Kindle First books become part of your permanent Kindle library and can be read on any Kindle device and Kindle free reading apps.

Link to the rest at Amazon Media Room

Kindle Most Popular Device For Ebooks, Beating Out iPad; Tablets On The Rise

31 October 2013

From Forbes Blogs:

More people who read ebooks own an Amazon Kindle dedicated e-reader than own an Apple  iPad — or any other device for that matter. As more people buy tablets and fewer buy e-readers, however, that fact is set to flip.

According to a new study from the Book Industry Study Group, nearly 40% of U.S. adults who have said they read ebooks own a Kindle e-reader, compared with about 27% who own an iPad.

. . . .

However, according to the data, about 8% of ebook readers intend to purchase an iPad, versus about 3% who intend to purchase a Kindle e-reader.

. . . .

This growth is a double-edged sword for publishers of ebooks. On one hand, more tablets in consumers’ hands means more e-reading devices in the marketplace. However, unlike dedicated ebook reading devices, which are mostly (if not only) built for ebooks, tablets are used for myriad other things, mostly media consumption aside from reading.

Link to the rest at Forbes Blogs

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