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Ebooks

New Kindles: Basic Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire

New Kindles: Basic Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire

Kindle Lineup

 

Amazon held its press conference today to launch a new line of Kindles.

Kindle Touch 3G $189/$149

The $149 is with special offers that appear as screensavers.

  • Free 3G wireless, no annual contracts or monthly fees. Learn more
  • Download books anywhere, no hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots
  • 3G wireless works globally
  • Most-advanced E Ink display, now with multi-touch
  • New sleek design – 8% lighter, 11% smaller, holds 3,000 books
  • Text-to-speech, plus audio books and mp3s
  • Massive book selection, over 800,000 titles are $9.99 or less
  • New – Borrow Kindle books from your public library

preorder today, delivery on Nov. 21

Kindle Touch WIFI $139/$99

The $99 is with special offers that appear as screensavers.

  • Most-advanced E Ink display, now with multi-touch
  • New sleek design – 8% lighter, 11% smaller, holds 3,000 books
  • Text-to-speech, plus audio books and mp3s
  • Built in Wi-Fi – Get books in 60 seconds
  • Massive book selection, over 800,000 titles are $9.99 or less
  • New – Borrow Kindle books from your public library

preorder today, delivery on Nov. 21

Kindle Basic $109/$79

The $79 is with special offers that appear as screensavers.

  • The all-new Kindle – Lighter, smaller, faster
  • 30% lighter, less than 6 ounces
  • 18% smaller body, same 6″ screen size – Fits in your pocket
  • Most advanced E Ink display, reads like paper
  • Built in Wi-Fi – Get books in 60 seconds
  • Massive book selection, over 800,000 titles are $9.99 or less
  • New – Borrow Kindle books from your public library

preoder today

Kindle Fire, $199

  • 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
  • Size (in inches) 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).
  • Weight 14.6 ounces (413 grams).
  • On-device Storage 8GB internal. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
  • Cloud Storage Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
  • Battery Life Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.
  • Charge Time Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
  • USB Port USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
  • Audio 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.
  • Supported Formats: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.

preorder today

Dear Author

The Bloated eBook File

In the past, I’ve advocated for various things to be included in the ebook file, mostly in an effort to convince publishers that digital format was something that readers actually did want. (yes, dear readers, we had to fight for books to be digitized in the not so distant past).  Some publishers (and self published authors) have taken this to extremes.

In the past month or so, I’ve fielded several complaints from readers, primarily directed at a couple of publishers, for the bloated nature of the ebook file.  It’s not the file size that is the problem.  Instead, it is the way in which additives to the main content is ruining the reader experience.  If there is one thing that you want to stay away from if you are a publisher, it is messing with the reader experience.

How much is left in a book can affect the reader experience.  Paper readers know how far they are from the end of the book by a glance at the physical pages left.  When a reader is reading a digital book, she usually can tell how far she is, either by page number or percentage, or both.   More and more often, the reader experience is being impinged upon because of additives, mostly excerpts from other books, that are giving a false expectation of when the book is to be completed.

For instance, Lightning That Lingers from Sharon and Tom Curtis ends at the 56% mark.  The remainder of the contents of the file are excerpts from other Loveswept titles.  Legends by Deborah Smith ends at the 60% mark.  The remainder of the contents of the file are excerpts.  Every Loveswept title that is being re-released in digital format has the same problem.  The percentage or page indicator leads the reader to believe that they are only a little more than half way through the book and the end is upon you.

Samhain has this problem, although it is much less dramatic.  Many of its books end around the 80-90% mark due to ebook promotional matter.  Self published authors are also taking this to extremes.  A reader reported that Shoshanna Ever’s self published short story “Overheated” ends at the 38% mark and includes a long preview chapter of her other works.  The reader was indignant that 62% of the book she paid for was advertisement.  The reader shared ” it was the fact that so much of Ms. Evers book was preview material that I paid for that infuriated me.”

Update: Ms. Evers informed me that her story “Overheated” has been re-uploaded without the promotional chapter.

One author mentioned that authors have to put  promotional matter in the end of the books because it is easy marketing that an author would be foolish to pass up.   Another suggested that aftermatter should be clearly marked in the title (ie. with bonus materials and excerpts) such as “Halfway to the Grave with Bonus Material: A Night Huntress Novel

For a limited time, discover Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series with Halfway to the Grave. Plus, as a bonus, you will receive exclusive material, including deleted scenes and excerpts!

These HarperCollins ebook editions end around 90% with 10% being the “bonus” materials.

For the most part, readers did not like promotional material and most admitted to not reading it, although Holly from Bookbinge admitted that she ordinarily didn’t like it but occasionally would be lured into buying a book from an excerpt at the end (which is, of course, why publishers include them). One of the problems is that the inclusion of excerpts is scattershot. Oftentimes you will get 5-6 excerpts with no discernable relation to the book you just read. Another person said that the publishers should only promote 1 or 2 books at the end instead of several by all different authors. The goal is that the promotional items should be targeted rather than scattershot. An “if you like X, you’ll like Y” sort of listing. A small inclusion with links to more excerpts makes sense or even an additional download. Robin shared that with Big Fish Games, you can be invited to download more content as you move through the game. A book should work like that as well, downloading additional content with the reader’s permission.

Most importantly, though, the promotional material should never interfere with a reader’s experience with the main content. If it does, the promotional material works against the publisher by leaving the reader with a negative rather than a positive reading experience.