Maybe the ereader is not dying after all

23 September 2014

If you check on the Kindle Voyage page, you’ll discover that you are limited to purchasing two and Amazon is so backlogged with orders, you’ll have to wait until the week of November 23 to receive yours.

Thanks to Nirmala for the tip.

Amazon Introduces All-New Kindles and New Fire Tablets

17 September 2014

From The Amazon Media Room:

Amazon today introduced the 7th generation of Kindle: Kindle Voyage, our most advanced e-reader ever, and the new $79 Kindle, with a 20% faster processor, twice the storage, and now with a touch interface. Meet the new Kindle and Kindle Voyage at

“Our mission with Kindle is to make the device disappear, so you can lose yourself in the author’s world,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. “Kindle Voyage is the next big step in this mission. With the thinnest design, highest resolution and highest contrast display, reimagined page turns, and all of the features that readers love about Kindle—books in seconds, no eyestrain or glare, readability in bright sunlight, and battery life measured in weeks, not hours—Kindle Voyage is crafted from the ground up for readers.”

. . . .

Kindle Voyage uses a brand new Paperwhite display, with the highest resolution, highest contrast, and highest brightness of any Kindle. With 300 pixels per inch, the new Paperwhite display delivers laser-quality text and images. The exclusive flush-front display stack uses specially strengthened glass, which is designed to resist scratches. Since regular glass would create glare, the cover glass on Kindle Voyage is micro-etched in order to diffuse light, ensuring you can read easily in bright light without glare. The etching pattern on the glass also serves to match the feel of paper.

Adaptive Front Light—Our Smartest Front Light

In addition to being our brightest front light ever—39% brighter—the new adaptive front light automatically adjusts the brightness of the display based on the surrounding light. And because not everyone has the same lighting preferences, the adaptive front light can be fine-tuned to your personal preference. Also, since the human eye adjusts to darkness over time, the light you need when you start reading in the dark will seem too bright 30 minutes later—the adaptive front light slowly lowers the display’s brightness over time to match the way the eye responds to darkness.

. . . .

Kindle—Now With Touch, Just $79

The all-new Kindle includes a 20% faster processor, twice the storage, and now features a touch interface and all of the latest features customers love about Kindle, including Kindle FreeTime, Goodreads, and Smart Lookup. The new Kindle is small, light, and portable—toss it in a beach bag or put it in a pocket to always have your reading with you.

Link to the rest at Amazon Media Room

Amazon also announced a $99 Fire HD tablet, an 8.9 inch Fire HDX tablet and a Fire HD Kids Edition

Kindle security flaw can be exploited by hidden codes in e-books

17 September 2014

From Engadget:

Next time you come across a Kindle e-book link somewhere other than Amazon itself, you may want to make sure it’s not some dubious website before you hit download or “Send to Kindle.” A security researcher by the name of Benjamin Daniel Musser hasdiscovered that the “Manage Your Kindle” page contains a security hole — one that hackers can take advantage of with the help of e-books hiding malicious lines of code. Once you load the Kindle Library with a corrupted e-book (typically with a subject that includes <script src=””></script>), a hacker gets access to your cookies, and, hence, your Amazon account credentials.

Based on the updates Musser wrote at the bottom of the report’s web page, he first discovered the flaw in October last year. Amazon patched it up shortly after he reported it, but it made its way back after a “Manage Your Kindle” overhaul. Still, he believes the issue should be easy to avoid, so long as you don’t download e-books (pirated or otherwise) from websites you don’t know.

Link to the rest at Engadget and thanks to Joshua for the tip.

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:

. . . .

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’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,” 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

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