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REVIEW: Kindle as Interpreted by SB Sarah aka Kindle-Aid

SB Sarah wrote me and asked if I would think bad thoughts about her if she bought a Kindle. I said yes but if she agreed to write a review for me, I would think less bad thoughts.   Here it is.

***

My introduction to eBooks came largely when I started reviewing romance novels, because damn holy crap there’s a lot of ebookin’ romances out there. Suddenly I was receiving PDFs and PRCs and some other thing with letters and whoa, nelly!

Then Jane started writing about ebook readers in such a seductive fashion that I had to pay attention because I am a complete gadget freak. It says something about the relative competition between the Ja(y)ne(t)(ia)(Jesus(Jehosephat))s and the Bitches that while our sites do all kinds of team building exercises to the point where we’d probably be better served forming some kind of task force or at least doing trust exercises where Jane jumps off a bed and we have to catch her with our toes or something, the ranting, raving, seething, hair pulling, eyes-blazing jealousy comes in when I know that Jane has ebook readers and iPhones and fondles them within my viewing. The raging geek envy, it knows no bounds.

It’s a fact universally established by me that I have a terrible memory and terrible vision. I’ve worn glasses (bifocals, beyotch!) since I was 2 years old. That is the only fact about my toddlerhood that I remember. So imagine my frustration. My present option for ebook reading was my Blackberry screen, which was all of this big –> . My external reader options included hacking an iPhone should I buy one (oh, how I lust for thee, sweet iPhone) or an eBook reader. But like the VHS/Beta debate, eBook reader manufacturers can’t seem to nail a format any better than ebook publishers can nail good cover art that depicts people nailing one another, and I’m left with a six-to-eight step process to get one ebook on my Blackberry. Used to be I was happy to hack my way through multiple steps. Now, I don’t have that kind of time.

This is where the Kindle excels. Yes, I am aware I am tying myself to Amazon and giving them a measure of control over my purchasing, my ebook ownership, and my choice of formats – in that I don’t have a choice of formats. The Amazon integration with the Kindle unit is so fan fucking tastic I am happy to give up that measure of control, just like I’m happy to strip naked and walk through security control at Newark Airport if it’ll just get me there quicker oh, my God, this line is six years long. It’s all about expediency and efficiency; the Kindle drop kicks awesome through the goal posts of life.

First, there’s two ways to load up your Kindle, three if you include book samples. I can purchase a Kindle version of a book (which isn’t much cheaper than the paper copy, and what is up with that?) and it’ll beam-Scotty right over to my Kindle, or I can email a document over to my Kindle email address and for .10 cents thar she be. I can also email documents to my free Kindle conversion email address, then hook up Mr. Kindle to Mr. PowerBook with Mr. USB cable and slingshot that sexy converted eBook over, free of charge. One extra step, really, two if you count double clicking on the Kindle once it’s mounted itself on my computer (hence all the use of “Mr.” No self respecting Ms. would ever mount herself on a hard drive, I think).

The part that fascinates me is the degree of integration with the site – it shows a good bit of forethought in how the Kindle could be used as part of the Amazon browsing experience. It should be noted that I use Amazon for everything – diapers, formula, wipes, groceries, books, gifts… if I could get Amazon to change poop diapers my life would be outstanding in new and unheard of ways. So I browse on Amazon regularly. Since I bought the Kindle (or, as I said when I bought it, “drank the Kindle-Aid”) I’ve noticed that any book title that interests me, if it’s available in Kindle format not only invites me to buy that format but offers to beam-Scotty a sample to the Kindle with one click. So the next time I grab Sir Kindle, there’s a few chapters of any number of books that caught my eye, allowing me to test drive while I read.

And of course, should I like what I buy, the buying elements are integrated into the Kindle itself, so if I want the rest of the book, I can beam-Scotty it to myself within minutes. Verrrry sexy.

With my abysmal eyesight, I was hesitant about the screen quality, and while there is this weird black flicker when you click to the next page, I got used to it to the point where I barely see it now. Reading the Kindle doesn’t interrupt my reading such that I notice I’m reading not-a-book. I read just as fast and somewhat more comfortably because the Kindle is a lot lighter than most mass markets, and a good deal lighter than a lot of ARCs, which seem to be printed on much heavier paper.

The downsides? There are a few, and hell yeah I wanna mention. First, the real estate of the unit’s design is absurd. There are precious few places to hold, pick up, or otherwise touch the Kindle where you aren’t accidentally hitting the Next-Page button. I saw a blog entry on the design of the unit that illustrated this perfectly: 90% or something like that of the perimeter of the device DOES something when you touch it.

Add to that a case that doesn’t really “hold” the device so much as “puts a strap across a good portion of the critical moveable parts of the unit, including the scroll button and cursor bar” and there’s some design flaws that I wonder about. The keyboard received some criticism from CNet and others, but it doesn’t bother me. But the lack of good case options – and the question of how one will design a case that doesn’t somehow interfere with the actual use of the Kindle – is a major drawback. I’m using the case it came with, and it’s fine, but I want a better case, because caseless is not an option for me, only because I carry so much crap in my purse that something will hurt the Kindle at some point.

I don’t get why there isn’t more variety in “how to hold the Kindle” options for people, and while it’s not so heavy that holding it in one hand is uncomfortable, I am constantly bumping into the “Next Page” bar on the right side and having to page-back to where I was.

However, despite the immense squickitude of job opportunities titled Kindle Evangelist (official motto: “Drink the Kindle-Aid. DRINK IT NOW, OR SEAL YOUR DOOM!”), and some of Amazon’s recent decisions regarding their ownership of the Mobi format, I’m impressed with the degree of consideration that went into designing a book reader that would seamlessly bond and do the tango with the web site and offer various ways to secure material. In fact, that forethought makes the design oddity so much more irritating.

I received an email today touting “updates to the Kindle store” which I also appreciated – new books to read? Woot! – but there were some titles listed that absolutely gave me the giggles. Am I ever going to read or use a cookbook on the Kindle? Oh, hell no. Nor, for that matter, the Joy of Sex. And while I’m not the target audience for the news subscription services, and I like magazines in color, thanks, the ebook reading and beam-Scotty features make me a happy Kindle user indeed. Pass the Kindle-Aid. Gulp gulp.

The Kindle can be purchased only from Amazon at currently retails for $399.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

34 Comments

  1. Jayne
    May 25, 2008 @ 05:23:04

    The ‘beam me Scotty’ elements of the Kindle do make me salivate when I consider all the hoops and backflips needed to get ebooks onto the current reader I have. And yes, I break the law with it but it almost makes me do it. Honest Ms. Police Officer!

    But the design is just so ‘only a mother could love this and even then I think she’s lying’ ugly. Be-utt ugly. Then when you add the problem of accidentally flipping a page forward or doing something else just because you ‘bad touch’ it….then I will valiantly refuse to drink the Kindle-aid.

    I will, however, try to catch Jane with my toes if need be. And then can I spin her like a seal with a ball?

  2. Peggy Pennell
    May 25, 2008 @ 06:22:51

    I debated with myself for a month before placing my Kindle order and then waited 5 weeks for delivery which gave me more time to debate and consider canceling my order. But I really do love the damn thing and use it daily. I am addicted to sample chapters – some of them are so long I’m way into the book and have to read the rest…which I can get instantly, which is way cool!

    I don’t resent being tied to Amazon this way – I got over that by being so impressed at the wonder of the Kindle, it is beyond simple to use, no set-up required and does exactly what I need it to do – let me read wherever, whatever(nearly) and whenever I want. Also, I still buy from Fictionwise as some books are in kindle-format. Yes, I have drunk the kindle-aid but it’s OK, it’s made me happy! If only all gadgets & gidgets in my life worked so perfectly.

    I have purchased a red leather cover from a separate company that I’m very pleased with that helps with the handling of the Kindle, it’s better than the one that came with it (more padded and fits better) and Kinny likes it too!

  3. Fiordiligi
    May 25, 2008 @ 07:11:25

    There are many reasons that turn me off the Kindle reader.
    First, middle, and last, I am bound to Amazon, and I am quite sure that sooner or later they are going to exploit that relationship, especially in light of their current strategic manoeuvres.
    Secondly, it looks, and apparently also is, according to SB Sarah, a damn awkward device when it comes to flipping pages and simply finding a comfortable holding position (to which I attach great importance).
    Thirdly, the screen is restricted to black and white, and I am way too pampered and expect to see my covers in colour.
    Fourthly, the price is absolutely ridiculous, even when taking into consideration the great rate of exchange from Euro to Dollar.
    Fifthly, the kindle ebook prices don’t look that advantageous to me. I always try to bargain shop, and never would consider buying an ebook that costs nearly as much as the paperback version.

  4. Shiloh Walker
    May 25, 2008 @ 07:31:24

    I still like my Sony better. I fiddled with a friend’s Kindle at RT and it’s too fricking awkward for words.

    And it’s ugly.

    But I’m glad you caved and got something. The e ink readers are so fantastic.

  5. Kimber An
    May 25, 2008 @ 07:32:22

    Thanks so much for this! I’m currently studying my options for an eBook reader because I receive a lot of ARCs as eBooks. I have limited time on my computer and it’s visually irritating to read a book on my computer. I need an eBook reader!

  6. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy
    May 25, 2008 @ 07:43:39

    I’m surprised that you didn’t spend much time talking about the DRM. Amazon is not using Mobipocket…it’s using a proprietary version of Mobipocket! Which means anyone that had previously bought Mobipocket books cannot view them on the Kindle.

    If Amazon wants the Kindle to be the “iPod” of ebooks, they need to do what Apple did:
    – embrace / push for a universal file format (like .mp3) for ebooks
    – make Amazon’s strongpoint breadth of content and ease of ordering (like iTunes) even if it’s DRM’d
    – make the design better of the device (like the iPod)
    – allow other content to be loaded on (in the “universal file format”) even if it’s not from Amazon

    Then the Kindle will become a focalpoint for reading ebooks.

  7. Keishon
    May 25, 2008 @ 09:04:38

    Sounds good but I’m not buying it. Even if they were to come out with a second generation that fixes all those problems you listed, still not buying it. If I had to buy anything, it would a Sony Reader (and I’m not buying that either). I’m content with what I have. Thanks for the review.

  8. Emmy
    May 25, 2008 @ 09:25:13

    I really wanted a Kindle. I’m such a frickin *nerd*, and kewl devices, they call my naaaaame.

    Unfortunately, Kindle turned out to be an expense I just couldn’t justify. At $400, the thing costs a good $125 more than the much sleeker looking Sony PRS-505.

    Under no circumstances will I pay $10 for an ebook, which is the going rate for a Kindle NYT best seller. Not gonna happen. I’ll go back to the good old days of buying a coffee at Borders and spending all day in a comfortable chair reading for free. Or, you know, dusting off the old library card.

    There are limited titles available, and it isn’t possible to upload books in another format. No word on what I’m supposed to do with my 2000 MS Reader .lit books. PDF files can be converted, but they’re formatted to fit the screen. The converted font sizes can’t be changed, so you’re stuck squinting at the screen.

    Many of the books by my fave m/m authors aren’t available in kindle format, which knocks out about 80% of my yearly purchases. I’m stuck either not using a Kindle or finding another hobby to read about.

    You’re charged a dime for every file sent to your Kindle via its Whispernet wireless service email. If you send a lot, whoa buddy, don’t look at the bill. Immediately slaughter all spammers, who will also run your charges up. Kindle also charges to look at magazines, newspapers, and blogs, most of which can be viewed on a regular computer for free.

    With gas being $4.13/gallon here, I’m going to have to stick with what I’ve got, and not waste money on something so needlessly expensive. If they open the Kindle to other formats, get a real web browser, and maybe offer an ebook download every month for free, I’d be willing to reconsider.

  9. Lisa Hendrix
    May 25, 2008 @ 10:06:16

    You make it sound juicy, and I am sorely tempted but…

    What if I want to keep a book forever? Right now I have books on my shelf that have traveled with me since the 1970s. By 2038, the technology is going to be different (I’ve got books I *wrote* that I can’t open the files for because of technology changes–can anyone say Amiga?–and we’re talking about 15 years). In thirty years, Mr. Kindle will have mounted his last hard drive, and…I’m going to pay again for a book I already bought? I don’t think so.

    Or what if I want to loan a book to a friend? Or pass it on permanently? Or sell it at a yard sale? As I understand it, Amazon says I can’t because I, ahem, didn’t really *buy* it. I just leased it. At full price. But it isn’t mine. Not really. This represents their solution to the above, I guess: Of course I’ll pay again, because I never really owned it. At full price.

    I truly can see the advantage of the Kindle/other ebooks for certain applications, specifically vacations (two weeks worth of beach books in one purse – hooyah!), and college (no 30lb textbooks–tho’ I wonder about the known problems with comprehension/retention when reading from an e-screen). And of course, it’s probably great for the Jaynes, the SBs, and other reviewers who can tote around efiles for all those books without throwing their backs out. Provided, of course, that they can get the books they need.

    I will probably drink the KindleAid eventually, if for no other reason than that I’m a bit of a gadget freak, too, and my suitcase gets heavy on trips. But not until I get to own the books I pay for. Forever. With guaranteed technology upgrades. ‘Til then, I’ll throw $399 at *real* books. And new bookshelves.

  10. MoJo
    May 25, 2008 @ 10:11:25

    eBookWise reader for me. Amongst the DRM, proprietary format, proprietary format prices, surcharges, white plastic (dirty white plastic after a while), and the sticker shock for the device itself, I was completely unimpressed.

    Now, it’s true that I have to manipulate a few things to get all the ebooks I buy into my reader, but there have been very few things I haven’t been able to upload to my reader, including cracking a DRM or two.

  11. Robin
    May 25, 2008 @ 10:23:53

    I’d rather have an iPhone.

  12. GrowlyCub
    May 25, 2008 @ 10:32:47

    The Kindle doesn’t attract me at all for all the reasons already mentioned by others, but especially because of the tying and DRM and yet a new format.

    I read e-books on my Sony Vaio (10.7in, 3lbs) laptop and while it’s not as comfortable as it could be, it can do a bunch of other things which no e-reader is able to.

    Since the most attractive thing about e-books is that you can take 100s of them with you while traveling, I’d rather take my small notebook than having to lug yet another electronic device besides cell and laptop.

  13. Terry
    May 25, 2008 @ 11:04:01

    I’m with MoJo on the eBookwise. I just want a book, not all that connectivity. And I can buy a lot more books with the $300 I saved. I tried the Sony in the store, and the jarring way it turned pages was a total turnoff. I like the one-handed reading and big, easy to find page-turning with my eBookwise, plus the back light.

    But there’s no reason there should be only one way to go. Different strokes and all that. I just wish the formatting wars would get behind us.

    I’m not trying to replace my print library, only looking for another choice. And I discovered some interesting facts:

    “Reducing paper use does more than save trees. Pulp and paper mills are also a major source of pollution. They release into the air CO2, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), carbon monoxide, and particulates, which contribute to global warming, smog, acid rain, and respiratory problems. In addition, bleaching paper with chlorine can produce dioxin, which is known to cause cancer. Paper mills also produce large amounts of solid waste and require a lot of water. The industry is trying to clean up, but anyone who’s driven past a paper mill has smelled the challenge.”

    You can read the entire article here. The article says that we’re probably 50 years away from e-books being widely used, but hey, it’s a start. I’m not looking to replace my entire library with e-books, but having an alternative helps.

  14. Digital fan
    May 25, 2008 @ 11:39:27

    The Kindle (mobi) format is not proprietary to Amazon. Other sites will (and do) have the format available. Check out smashwords.com — digital books in 5 formats (including Kindle) and the author gets 85% of cover price on each sale (Amazon typically gives the author 35% of each Kindle sale). Sampling at smaswords lets the reader ‘sample’ up to half the book before buying.

  15. SB Sarah
    May 25, 2008 @ 13:11:37

    Robin: I still lust in my heart for an iPhone. I’m reading Mac gossip sites all the time to find out when the G-network iPhone is set to appear. And then I shall start saving my pennies again, like I did for the Kindle-Aid. Gulp gulp.

  16. Kerry D.
    May 25, 2008 @ 14:09:36

    As I understand it, doesn’t the wireless download thing only work in the US? That’s a total turn off for me (plus the fact I can’t afford it at this point in my life) as I don’t live in the US.

    In the end I went for a Palm TX and Mobireader. I still don’t like the fact DRMed books mean I have to read the book on that device as I know I won’t have it forever and if the store goes belly up, I can’t update the books to the next device.

    I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which means I’m often very tired and I have serious memory issues among other things, so a device that also lets me make notes, write lists and use other features like the calendar to help me remember all the things I forget is a godsend. Plus the PDA is so much lighter and easier to hold when I need to lie down (which is a lot of the time).

    These days I probably buy half and half paper books and ebooks and I suspect soon I’ll only buy things I expect to be permanent keepers in paper. The problem comes when you don’t know if a new book is going to be a keeper or not.

    So I’m totally sold on ebooks, but not the Kindle for me personally. Besides, I agree it is totally ugly.

  17. Midknyt
    May 25, 2008 @ 15:32:01

    I too have salivated over the Kindle, but being a poor starving college student and all, it’s not going to happen. (Although I was tempted to stimulate the economy, but alas I’ve gotten too responsible lately, and it still wasn’t enough money to buy one). I’ve also read many a review with similar commentary and figured I would wait for the inevitable 2nd generation that hopefully won’t be so hideous.

    Beyond vacations, I dream of taking this with a solar battery charger and going on an extended backpacking trip. It also would have been great when I was studying abroad and had to read the six books I brought over, and over, and over again.

    Question though, since I’m not savvy in the ebook know – I’ve heard of the Sony before when people have been reviewing the Kindle, but never the eBookwise. Is it just not well known, or what’s the difference between them (beyond the sweet price tag?) I don’t need the magically instant downloading feature of the Kindle (although the instant ability to look up words does make me wet myself a little), but I feel like I’m missing something…the price is too good to be true. What’s the deal?

  18. Terry
    May 25, 2008 @ 15:42:46

    Midknyt –

    Try going to http://www.ebookwise.com for more details about the reader. It’s probably considered a dinosaur by now (although I’ve only had mine for a year or so), but it does everything I need, including letting me upload my manuscripts and make notes. Their library might not be as extensive, but I’m old enough that I won’t live long enough to read all the books they have to offer anyway. And I love it for picking up backlisted books when I find a new author (working on J.A. Jance at the moment).

    I get about 12 hours on a charge — more or less depending on the light level I select. I’m not near filling it up, but the books are also stored on the ebookwise server, so I can take them off my device and make room for more without losing them.

  19. Marjorie Liu
    May 25, 2008 @ 18:15:05

    Piping in for a moment (as this is one of the only blogs I can access over here in China) — I love the Kindle. I bought it just for this trip because it was that, or pack a suitcase full of books, and I am so happy with this thing I could do back flips. Holding it is kind of annoying, I admit, but the convenience of having so many books available to me more than makes up for it.

    One thing:

    True, you cannot use the Kindle outside the US — or in those parts of the US that can’t access Amazon’s wireless network. BUT, you can download the books onto your computer, hook the Kindle up via a USB cord, then transfer them manually by dragging the files into the Kindle’s ‘document’ folder. Easy as pie, and that’s the only way I’ve been able to access my book purchases since I bought the device.

  20. Andi
    May 25, 2008 @ 19:55:36

    I like to buy my ebooks from Fictionwise because of the prices and rebates. Unfortunately, the ebookwise site doesn’t offer rebates and has a smaller selction. Can anyone tell me if the eBookwise supports the their Secure eReader format? Also, can I convert lit files to work on it. Right now I’m torn between the ebookwise reader and selling my soul for an iphone.

  21. Terry
    May 25, 2008 @ 20:07:24

    Follow up for Andi –

    Try this link: http://fictionwise.com/help/eBook-Formats-FAQ.htm

  22. Terry
    May 25, 2008 @ 20:09:32

    Andi –
    I buy my books in .rb format if it’s available from non-eBookwise sites. I try to find what I need on eBookwise because I know they’ll slide right into the reader. There’s a section on the Fictionwise/Ebookwise sites about which formats to buy.

    I THINK if it says ‘secure’ on the Fictionwise site it’ll work on the reader, but I know it does explain it. I suppose I should stop and figure it out someday, but so far, I’ve found everything I’ve wanted on eBookwise. I didn’t really consider discounts and rebates. Maybe I should check that out, too.

    Try this

  23. Terry
    May 25, 2008 @ 20:12:04

    To find out more about the formats at Fictionwise, try this link.

    Also, the Fictionwise and eBookwise sites are connected. Although I bought my books at eBookwise, when I log in to Fictionwise, I see my online bookshelf.

  24. Emmy
    May 26, 2008 @ 00:09:22

    Get the iPhone. Kindle is for use with Amazon’s proprietary Kindle (.mobi) ebook format only. It will convert Word or PDF files, but that’s it. If you have LIT books, you’re out of gas, unless you wanna cut and paste the whole book into a PDF or Word file…I’m a nerd, but I don’t want to spend $400 on this butt-ugly thing badly enough to spend *weeks* doing that to my current library.

  25. SandyW
    May 26, 2008 @ 10:11:24

    I think of the eBookwise as the Linux of ebook readers. It's cheap, it's functional, and if you're willing to tinker a little, it will do pretty much anything you want it to. When I bought the eBookwise, I also bought the Librarian program. This lets me load my own content, from my own PC, as well as load converted books onto my own eBookwise.

    Basically, I buy ebooks in HTML if I can, or Microsoft LIT if I have to deal with DRM. HTML books can be dropped straight into the Librarian program and loaded onto the reader. As for Microsoft LIT books, I have one little program that strips the DRM and another that busts up the LIT file into pieces. I sort through the pieces, drop the appropriate file into eBookwise Librarian and load it onto my reader via USB cable. Several steps that take me a minute or two.

    If you don't care for the idea of converting each book, you are limited to HTML, Microsoft Word, TXT, or eBookwise/RB format. Technically speaking, I believe the process of stripping the DRM and converting Microsoft LIT to a different format is illegal. However, since these are books that I have purchased legally and I am not reselling or sharing, I don't feel I am doing anything unethical. This is a personal opinion on my part; I'm sure there are people who would not be comfortable with the idea.

    One of the big draws with the Kindle is the ‘download books instantly, anytime and anywhere' feature. I encourage people to check their coverage. I live in the boonies, so I would be downloading to my PC and transferring via USB cable. The big Kindle advantage does not apply.

    I paid $125 US for my eBookwise (on sale), and it's got a back light. I don't mind a little tinkering. I am a bit compulsive about backups, so I like having all my ebooks archived on my PC. I keep looking at other readers, so far none of them have appealed more than the eBookwise.

  26. Terry
    May 26, 2008 @ 10:20:11

    I think the Kindle works over the Sprint network. If you’re not somewhere with Sprint covereage, you’re out of luck — or so I was told.

    And I also recommend adding the Librarian program to the eBookwise. It’s inexpensive and really makes a difference in what you can tranfser to the device.

  27. Sarah McCarty
    May 26, 2008 @ 11:32:36

    I’ve had the Kindle since three days after it came out. Am still thrilled with it for all the reasons in the review. I never hit the next page b mistake, but I tend to just balance it in my palm. This is the reason I didn’t buy the Sony Reader because I couldn’t operate it one handed. This kind of personal preference being why I would encourage anyone spending the money to try the devices first) I also find I buy more books because of the sample feature. I don’t mind the DRM. Amazon pretty much gets all my business book and non book anyway. And I love the bookstore in my hand experience. Anytime I want I can just buy a book and a few seconds later it’s ready to read. Doesn’t matter if I’m in a restaurant, the car, the Dr.s office, etc. I have what I want when I want it. Huge plus. Can’t imagine it will be long before the Sony E reader follows suit. Without it, I don’t see the Sony being worth the cost.

    I use the note feature a lot when editing and I also upload a lot of unsecured content. I agree the cover is merely protection and that’s all I use it for. (one handed use is important to me for any e reader). I use it without it, then again, I find most covers annoying and dispose of them so not a down side for me. I’m rather hard on my electronic devices, and so far the Kindle has taken it’s share of abuse and kept on ticking.

    My daughter loves it too. This is a real problem for me, which is why she’ll be getting one for Graduation. *G*

  28. MoJo
    May 26, 2008 @ 11:54:43

    Sandy W, you are a woman after my own heart. The eBookWise Librarian and Convert LIT (aka “clit” in the ebook fandom world–ironic much?) is the next best thing to sliced bread.

  29. Chrissy
    May 26, 2008 @ 16:37:45

    I can afford it, but that’s not the point. It’s way overpriced. I paid 300 bucks for my small mini laptop. Why spend more on something that does nothing else but provide an ebook screen?

    Ridiculous. And counter-intuitive. If ONE decent maker would create a good, cross-platform e-reader for under 150 bucks, the epublishing industry would make a lot more money.

  30. Andi
    May 26, 2008 @ 20:34:24

    Thanks for the help everyone. Since my soul only went for $5 on ebay I’ll probably go with the ebookwise reader.

  31. DS
    May 26, 2008 @ 20:37:36

    I’m rarely without my Kindle– usually only when it’s charging. And I’ve had no problem with converting anything I own from one format to mobi format so I can load it on my Kindle. Mobicreator– free from Mobi will hand HTML, PDF and MS Word files with a few bumps. There’s also a company called ABC Amber that offers freeware converters that will do batch conversions. Therefore, I haven’t felt constrained at all. (I’ve tried the Kindle with audio books but I like my ipod better.)

    The pricing of the books puzzles me. I bought Ann Somerville’s Interstitial as a Kindle download. It’s about 150 Kb. The Kindle download is $2.80. The Samhain digital price is listed as $3.50. Some other books from Linden Bay Romance are $14.99 in hard copy and $5.19 in Kindle.

  32. Marie-Nicole Ryan
    May 27, 2008 @ 20:36:11

    Interstitial is a novella and not a full-length novel. That’s the typical price for a novella at Samhain. Category length are 4.50, novel length 5.50, and plus novels (over 100k words) are 6.50 in digital formats.

    My novel-length books are 4.40 at Amazon in Kindle format. The price of print versions vary according to venue.

    Obviously each publisher will determine their own prices.

  33. Ann Somerville
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 03:58:26

    Marie-Nicole is right. Interstitial is a 26k novella.

    However, Ellora’s Cave are selling 22k stories for $4.45, 57k novels for $5.95. Torquere sell 3.5k stories for $1.29, 10k for $2.49. Just take a look at the first page of Book Utopia’s (highly excellent and wonderful) review site to get some idea of how apparently random the prices are. DS is right – it’s all over the place.

  34. lisabea
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 09:50:43

    Sarah…I should have gotten the damned kindle. DAMN.

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