Author Topic: The E-Book Files  (Read 60140 times)

Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2008, 08:26:05 am »
from the Associated Press:

July 17, 2008
AP Exclusive: A digital Albom through Kindle
By HILLEL ITALIE
AP National Writer

Mitch Albom has a new book out — well, not really a book, but a commencement speech in book form. And not in traditional book form, but as an e-book, published exclusively through Amazon.com's Kindle reader.

"Commencement Speech To His Nephew's Graduating Class: May 30, 2008, Nice France" went on sale Thursday for 99 cents. It won't be a money maker for Albom — proceeds are being donated to a Detroit-based charity for the homeless — but it does offer a test for the digital device that has created a great debate about the future of books and great speculation over how much the Kindle is part of that future.

Amazon.com has declined to offer specific numbers for the Kindle, a vacuum eagerly filled by industry insiders and the media, which has estimated sales as anywhere from a very modest 10,000 to a more encouraging 100,000-plus.

E-books are unquestionably growing although public sightings of the Kindle remain rare enough that one blog, Silicon Alley Insider, announced last month, "Imagine our delight when we got on the subway, sat down, and saw a person reading an Amazon Kindle — right in front of us! — for the first time since it launched last November."

Albom's speech could be a way to measure the Kindle connection. He is a brand-name author whose million sellers include "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven." The text of his speech, less than 4,000 words, is brief for a traditional book, but ideal for a quick read on a portable device.

"We thought doing it through the Kindle would be an exciting way to bring readers to Mitch and to his work," Albom's agent, David Black, told The Associated Press, adding that there were no immediate plans to expand the speech and release it on paper.

Albom, whose speech was delivered at The International School Of Nice, said in a statement Thursday: "The immediacy of the Internet and what Amazon is doing with Kindle is interesting to me, as it is to many authors."

Laura Porco, the Kindle's director of publisher management, said Thursday that Amazon.com has been talking with publishers about bringing readers content that isn't available in book form and expects more releases similar to the Albom speech.

Porco reiterated Amazon.com's claim — a surprise to some publishers — that Kindle downloads from early June through early July made up 12 percent of total sales for the more than 100,000 books available both through the e-book reader and in traditional form. In early June, at the annual booksellers convention, Amazon.com head Jeff Bezos said Kindle sales were 6 percent of the market for books in both formats.

Porco declined to offer sales figures for any individual title. Asked if she had seen many Kindle users, she said that she had been "stopped by more than a few people" who saw her with the Kindle and told her that "they knew somebody with that."

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/D/DIGITAL_ALBOM?SITE=TXDAM&TEMPLATE=ENTERTAINMENT_GL.html
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2008, 11:19:53 am »
Because I was curious, I downloaded the Mitch Albom speech. It was a fairly typical commencement address with a few funny lines. I wonder how many will sell...it should give some idea of the number of Kindles out there "in the wild."

L
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Offline NavyVet

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2008, 10:54:09 am »
I've been thinking about getting a Kindle, since I do 90-something % of my reading on-line.
I had read about them a while back on Amazon and thought it would be cheaper and quicker than ordering paperbacks and easier than lugging laptop around to read fiction.  Price for the unit is a little daunting though.
I've ordered a few novels published by torquerepress and enjoyed them a lot, but 10, 12 dollars is getting up there for a paperback.
Always on the lookout for recs in m/m romance and erotica!   ;)
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2008, 11:15:24 am »
NavyVet,

I have to say, I love my Kindle more than any gadget I have bought in recent memory. When I bought it, I balked at little at the cost but believe me, it has paid for itself ten times over. I am reading more than I have read in years--which I enjoy. I feel like I found my love of reading again.

As for prices of books: there are plenty of free books out there, as well as plenty of stuff for less that $10. The Adrien English stories--which are great--were all around $5, I believe.

I can't tell you how many people on the Kindle forum have said, "I love this thing! I only which I had bought it sooner!"

Go for it, I say!

Leslie
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2008, 11:28:33 am »
From Time Magazine...NB: his comment about how he figured out how to "extend" the battery life is sort of lame. If he had done 5 minutes of reading the Kindle manual, or visiting any of the Kindle forums, he would have known the key to long life is turning the Whispernet off except when downloading content. I keep mine off 99% of the time.



Thursday, Jul. 17, 2008
Warming to the Kindle
By Josh Quittner

Like so many gadget geeks, I am fickle. I fall in love--a sucker for sharp curves that gleam--get bored, then quickly move on to the next new thing.

The Kindle was different. I disliked almost everything about Amazon's handheld digital reader from the moment I saw it. But eight months into our relationship, I've found its hidden charms. My antipathy has flowered into something. Could it be a pure and lasting gadget love?

At first, I hated that the control buttons made it too easy to inadvertently page forward, backward or--if you hit the Back button--somewhere else entirely. I didn't like that it displayed black type on a gray background. (You can't beat black type on a white page.) The battery stank. When I'd put the Kindle in sleep mode and leave it for a few days, it was usually dead on my rearrival. Soon I consigned it to the Quittner Closet Where Old Gadgets Go to Die.

Then one day a few months ago, a friend e-mailed me a manuscript of his first book. It's torture plowing through 350 pages on a computer, and I was too cheap to print it out. So on a lark, I forwarded the document to Amazon, which converts such things into Kindle-book format for free; minutes later, I had a lovely version on the device. And since I like to get something for nothing, I downloaded from other sites a dozen great, free novels, ranging from James Joyce's Ulysses to Cory Doctorow's recent sci-fi novel, Little Brother. The giveaways motivated me to meet the Kindle halfway by figuring out how it wanted to be used rather than how I had expected to use it.

An Amazon exec told me last week that Kindle-ized books now account for 12% of all books sold in digital and print versions on the mega-site. That's up 100% in two months. The company won't say how many electronic readers have been sold, so it's hard to tell how many people out there have learned to live with the device's imperfections. I did so first by eschewing sleep mode in favor of switching it off because booting the device only takes a few seconds anyway. Then I turned off the wireless connection, powering up the free high-speed service only when book-buying. Those two changes gave me nearly endless battery life. I also developed a technique--holding the device gingerly by its edges--to outwit the awkward control buttons. I even came to accept the black text on a gray background: the Kindle turns out to be easier to read in brilliant sunshine than a paperback.

Like Beauty, I found myself carried away by the quiet virtues of the Beast: how the Kindle feels encased in creamy leather, the way the gadget helps me power through a book superfast and how it lets me take my library on a plane.

Best of all is books on demand--delivered in seconds to the kitchen table on Sunday as I read the weekly book reviews. How great is that? With Amazon charging $9.99 a title, often a third the price of a new hardcover, the $359 device pays for itself after you buy about 25 books.

I know that over time, Amazon will fix all the little--insignificant, really--things that initially annoyed me about the Kindle. And when it does? My gadget romance will no doubt be re-Kindled.

LOVE HATE Corner braces hold the device O.K. but look like they were made in a head shop

LOVE The carrying case's creamy leather and suede rival the feel of a well-made book

LOVE Despite the gray background, the screen is easy to read, even in bright sun

LOVE The lengthy page-forward bar works a little too well. It's easy to lose your place

LOVE The cursor is a "smart" navigator that knows what options you need at any given time


    * Find this article at:
    * http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1823955,00.html
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2008, 06:39:36 pm »
Okay! Here's a chance to win a free Kindle and you, too, can join the ereader revolution.

http://www.authorisland.com/index.php?Itemid=510&id=6&option=com_content&task=blogsection

Go to the middle of the page. You need to answer a bunch of questions but apparently all the answers are on the various authors websites. I just went and found the answers to two questions (to get you all started)...

2. Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts
44. Ben

Finding the answers to those questions took less than a minute so you should be able to answer all of them in under an hour. What a great prize!

Good luck, everyone!

Leslie
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 02:52:22 pm »
I just finished another Josh Lanyon book, "I Spy Something Bloody." I think this might be my favorite of all the ones I have read so far. Very evocative and he really sets the mood.

More info and purchase details here:

http://www.loose-id.com/detail.aspx?ID=728

Leslie
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Offline louisev

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 07:39:23 pm »
I will second Leslie's vote on 'I Spy Something Bloody.'  It is a marvelous tale of both intrigue and romance.
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2008, 06:53:09 pm »
From the Conde Nast Traveler:

July 31, 2008
The Amazon Kindle: The Best Travel Gadget Since the Neck Pillow

by Tom Loftus

I have to admit that praising an e-Book reader in the middle of iPhone Summer seems so 2005, but I'm starting to lust after my wife's Amazon Kindle. She's in the publishing business and someone at her company--bless him or her--decided that money (and trees) could be saved by loading manuscripts onto the Amazon Kindle. Adios clutter.

On a lark I took a look at the screen. Whoa! The words read so clear. I would later learn that the print came courtesy of E Ink, electronic paper that...well never mind. Look it up. Guaranteed many of you will be reading from some form of E Ink or similar technology in the very near future.

I spent more time with the Kindle. I actually curled up with it, playing with font sizes, creating bookmarks, running word searches, and using the built-in dictionary. I did the kind of stuff I couldn't do with a dead tree.

But here's the thing that makes the Amazon Kindle the most important piece of travel technology since the inflatable neck pillow. Say you're on the road and you suddenly realize that you must have--must have!--Oprah's new book. All you need to do is turn on the Kindle and connect to the store. (The connection is through Sprint's EV-DO network. It's free.) You'll have to pay for the book, but it will be cheaper than the dead-tree version. Or, if you wish, you can download sample chapters for free.

There are some drawbacks to the Kindle's portability. Right now, the wireless download is limited to the U.S. So if you're heading outside the U.S., it makes sense to just pack your Kindle with reading material beforehand. Amazon says that the Kindle can store 200 books. One more drawback: You probably wouldn't want to take this $350+ device to the beach. You don't want sand to get in the works, and besides, placing a Kindle on your head to block out the sun is both ineffectual and rather silly. Stick with dead trees for that. 

http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/blogs/80days/2008/07/the-amazon-kind.html
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The E-Book Files
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2008, 07:04:56 pm »
from the Atlantic, by James Fallows:

I'll try not to become a nerd-bore on this topic too, but: Kindle

23 Jul 2008 05:44 pm
Had resisted buying one because I knew that the spiffy wireless-delivery service wouldn't work outside the US, and anyway I didn't have time for yet another gadget.

I eventually spent enough time to learn (duh!) that I could use it wherever I was in the world, with or without wireless delivery. You just download the e-book files to your computer, over the plain old internet, and then transfer them to Kindle with USB cable.  So as part of the provisioning run on this quick trip to the U.S. I ordered one and received it yesterday.

First impressions are all of the "beating expectations" variety. Screen nicer to read than I expected. Navigation takes about one minute to learn. Instant-gratification feature more satisfying than expected. You think: I'd like to read that book! A minute later, it's literally in your hands. On my last provisioning run, I wanted to get Joseph O'Neill's celebrated and then-new novel Netherland. But it wasn't in any of the book stores that I passed by, and I didn't have time for "legacy" Amazon shipments. Now I have it, for about $10 versus about  $25.

Unexpected and potentially important practical aspect: I'm always getting very long book or article manuscripts to read, usually in .DOC or .PDF files. I don't want to use the paper to print them out, so generally I have to be at a computer to deal with. But I can email them as attachments to a Kindle.com address; then for 10 cents a document, they're resent to my own Kindle in a form I can read and annotate when not at a computer. Have already used this system to queue up a couple of book-length manuscripts I'm supposed to read while on the road in the next week or so.

We'll see how this wears -- in particular how this replicates the intangible satisfactions of reading an actual book. I like holding and reading real books. We'll see how likable these virtual books are on longer exposure.

Main drawback I foresee right now: my wife being distinctly unamused if on our next trip together or next evening at home I end up starting at yet another digital device. This may have to remain a private vice.

http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/07/ill_try_not_to_become_a_geekbo.php
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