Category Archives: Amazon

Kindle eBooks: Always Sample Before Buying!

On Twitter, someone clued me into this fiasco. Fire & Ice by Dana Stabenow is available for 99-cents.

But that is a total waste of money.

This is from the free sample:

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There is no agent or publisher on the entire planet that would accept that as a manuscript submission — yet it’s being sold as an eBook! And yes: the entire eBook looks like that, not just the sample.

And get this: It was dropped in price from $4.99!

I’ve heard tales of things like this happening in the past.

And it’s to Amazon’s credit that when people point this out, they will cancel the sale and refund the money.

It’s too bad people wind up getting their hopes up for some books and wasting time in the meanwhile.

And look: I tried one more book in this series and got the same lack of formatting!

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And that one has a price of $4.99!

“Amazon Kindle Inside”?

On Twitter @rilnj pointed me to this interesting item:

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I haven’t paid attention to the Kindle until now, so I don’t know if this has been going on for some time or is a new development.

I know Aldiko has been included on both the Camangi Workstation and the Archos 7 Home Tablet.

Bundling an eBook application like that is very smart — particularly so for Amazon. Just seeing that icon on the home screen, a prospective customer is bound to notice and think, “Ooh, look! I don’t have to buy a Kindle now!”

Amazon’s Monopoly: Selling, But Not Reading

Exclusivity and e-Books: Incompatible?

If a reader owns a Nook or a Sony Reader, or, god forbid, no e-reader at all (gasp)–then that reader is left with the option of reading the book on Amazon’s Kindle for PC application…

Amazon has a selling monopoly (and we’ll see how long the American government permits that!), but not a reading monopoly.

This distinction is important.

The exclusivity deals Amazon has affects only people who invested in eInk devices.

If you bought a Sony Reader, a Nook, or some other device, hey, too bad for you. You’re like the guy who bought CP/M a year before the IBM PC came out.

Such obsolescence happens all the time.

But Kindle format books are available for more devices than the crude eInk Kindle device.

Kindle books can be read on the 100 million iOS devices — iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. And Android devices running 1.6 and higher. And Blackberry. And on the desktop with Windows or Mac OS X.

So, the Kindle device itself is now just a very small part of what has become a huge base of Kindle eBook accessibility.

If anyone should be complaining about lock-in, it’s owners of the Sony Reader. It’s limited to that device and the desktop (Windows/OS X). Want to read a book you bought from Sony on a different non-eInk portable device? There’s no app for that!

As much as everyone else, I don’t like the idea of any one company having a selling monopoly. This is something that will cause Amazon a great deal of pain at some point (especially with its Windows app not having the built-in ability to load in MobiPocket books!). It will be interesting to see what happens.

If you’ve invested in ePub, learn some skills to transfer your eBooks to the Kindle format. Or learn to live with what you have.

Hey, my huge eBook library is entirely in ePub. I know what this will be like.

The Kindle Store UI Is Full Of FAIL

So, now that I’m an ersatz Kindle user, I decided to tool around the Kindle Store for some freebies.

Wow, it’s full of speedbumps.

“Free” doesn’t really list all the free books. Instead “free kindle books” really does. But even then, you have to click on each Category of book, otherwise good bloody luck!

And then I wound up getting this!

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There should be a button for Free. And then within that, another breakdown between actual books and all these damned excerpts that clutter the results.

I hope using the Kindle Store is actually better via the Kindle, because wrestling with the Kindle Store via the web makes me wonder how the hell Amazon managed to win with such a complex and screwball interface.


Try to explain away this one!

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Is anyone awake at The Kindle Store?

Odyssey Editions: No Covers?

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (Kindle Edition)

Oh my god. That is tasteless, ghastly, and cheap.

Give them a proper cover! Even if it’s just a photo of the author!

Previously here:

Get Over It: Kindle Has Won

Get Over It: Kindle Has Won

Andrew Wylie, April 2010:

Andrew Wylie, July 2010:

Literary Agent Plans E-Book Editions

The literary agent Andrew Wylie said on Wednesday that he would begin his own publishing venture, called Odyssey Editions, which will produce e-book editions of titles by some of his clients, including Saul Bellow, John Updike and Philip Roth.

Mr. Wylie said his new company would focus on older titles whose digital rights are not owned by traditional publishers. The books will be available exclusively at Amazon’s Kindle store for two years.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

What does that last line not say?

It does not say:

“The books will be available exclusively at Apple’s iBookstore store for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at the Barnes & Noble’s Nook store for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at the Kobo eBook store for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at Sony’s Reader store for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at Smashwords for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at Scribd for two years.”

So Wylie, one of the most prominent literary agents in the print publishing business, went exclusively with Kindle. Joining the ranks of others who have done so, such as Stephen Covey and J.A. Konrath.

I don’t think there has been a bigger Kindle hater than I have been. I’ve even gone so far as to Block Kindle blogs and websites from Following me on Twitter.

So, if I’m here having to acknowledge that Kindle is now the standard for eBooks, it’s only because it is so.

Previously here:

Why Amazon’s Kindle Won
Amazon’s Numbers: What They Mean, Why They Matter
Why Kindle Is Winning And Nook Will Lose
This Settles It: Kindle eBooks Are The Standard Now

Why Amazon’s Kindle Won

He is so right:

Nobody knows what Android means and nobody cares

You know how you know all about Android and webOS and such because you read awesome tech sites like this one? Well, most people don’t. Most people watch TV and read magazines and see billboards and that’s how they get their info on which new smartphone to buy. And for every ad for any individual Android device that they see, they see at least two for “Droid.” Droid, Droid Incredible, Droid X, it doesn’t matter: It’s all Droid. Droid is catchy, Droid is easy to remember, Droid Does, blah blah blah.

Yes. And this is no less true for people who just want to read books.

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Amazon’s Numbers: What They Mean, Why They Matter

Yesterday Amazon released figures which I covered in a nutshell here. That’s still the bottom line.

But shortly after Amazon’s news spread, people on Twitter began to question the sales figures versus mass-market paperbacks.

I’m here to tell you that mass-market paperback sales do not enter into this equation at all.

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Why Kindle Is Winning And Nook Will Lose

So, after my previous post, I chatted with some people on Twitter a bit then decided I finally had to get the Kindle for PC software.

I’d resisted Amazon from the start, but now it was time to see what it was like. And I particularly wanted to see how it would contrast with my awful experience earlier today with Barnes & Noble.


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So, I hit download and the game was afoot!

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This Settles It: Kindle eBooks Are The Standard Now

Kindle Device Unit Sales Accelerate Each Month in Second Quarter; New $189 Price Results in Tipping Point for Growth

There is just one stat that needs to be called out of that press release:

On July 6, Hachette announced that James Patterson had sold 1.14 million e-books to date. Of those, 867,881 were Kindle books.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

James Patterson is like the McDonald’s or Coca-Cola of mass fiction.

If he sold most of his books in Kindle format, that settles it.

This has implications far beyond one eBook format. This impacts public libraries now too.

Nice try, IDPF and ePub. You lot better start defining the standard for web-based books. Although, given the rotten job you’ve done with books as files, stay the hell out of the next phase of books, OK?

Previously here:

The Abominable Kindle Wins?
Amazon + Public Libraries = Uh-Oh!