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Kindle Available for Order

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The Amazon Kindle is available for order. The price is $399 with free shipping. There are some author testimonials from people like James Patterson, Michael Lewis and Neil Gaiman who all extol the marvelous screen which you would think that Amazon invented. It did not. It’s eink technology and the Sony Reader and Bookeen Cybook both have the same screen.

Specs:

  • 6″ screen
  • Size (in inches): 7.5″ x 5.3″ x 0.7″
  • 10.3 oz
  • says that there is no need for a computer so no system requirements
  • Formats supported: Microsoft Word, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC and MOBI files

Because there are no system requirements, I am not sure how you get your existing ebooks to the Kindle unless you email them. There is a USB connection so perhaps it is recognized by Mac and PC computers as a USB storage device.

Pluses:

  • Search feature
  • Email compatibility but only with other Kindle users at a cost of 10 cents per email. (This really isn’t a plus.)
  • Keyboard which allows bookmarks and annotations.
  • $9.99 pricing for all NYT Bestsellers and all new hardcover releases.

You can get newspapers and magazines such as the NYTimes and Forbes downloaded to your device, but there is an additional monthly subscription fee. Popular blogs chosen by Amazon are also downloadable but for a fee of $1.99 per month. Yes, everything that you can possibly get for free on the internet except for magazines cost money with the Kindle.

According to the manual, only UNPROTECTED Mobi pocket files will be readable on the Kindle.

Tip: Mobipocket files must have no Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection applied to be readable on your Kindle. If you purchased a Mobipocket file from a Mobipocket retailer, you will not be able to open the file on your Kindle.

Also, the Amazon format is a mobipocket but it appears to be a mobipocket format read only on the Kindle. No one but Kindle buyers can buy Kindle ebooks. According to the buying information:

1-Click to order your Kindle Edition. Your purchase will be sent automatically and wirelessly to the Kindle via Amazon Whispernet. No cables, no computer, no syncing.

This is an entirely closed system whereby the Kindle practically holds your ebook purchases hostage.

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

7 Comments

  1. Angela James
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 10:30:25

    This is an entirely closed system whereby the Kindle practically holds your ebook purchases hostage.

    And all for the bargain price of $400. Amazon really missed the boat on this one, didn’t they?

  2. SandyW
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 10:55:13

    The sad part is that there are people out there naïve enough to pay the big buck$ for this butt-ugly thing. According to some of the discussions on Amazon, you won't even be able to keep spare books on your own computer. Amazon will maintain your library for you. Riiiiight.

    I love my ebookwise. It isn't the perfect reader, but it was cheap and it does just what I want it to. Without me having to pay Fictionwise for the privilege every time I make a move.

  3. Angel
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 12:06:28

    I may have considered it if it allowed me to read my current Mobipocket books, but of course it doesn’t. It seems sort of ridiculous to lock Mobipocket files even further. I wish these companies would all just get a unified format or make the devices capable of handling more than just a couple of major formats.

    Also what’s with the nickel and diming of charging for blog feeds?

  4. Sarah McCarty
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 13:39:35

    If you can store books on a SD card as it says in the manual, then you can store your books on your computer.

    (I’m currently reading the manual)

    I never had a problem with the ITunes store and ipod situation, (I’m apple across the board) so I’m not so adverse to the library thing, but I really want to be able to back up my own library in case AMAZON has a crash. Still trying to figure out what this export notes thing is.

  5. Jules Jones
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 16:45:47

    For that money I could buy an ebookwise *and* a Palm TX, and have change left over for a book or two. And have something that doesn’t tie me in to a single vendor or charge me for free content. Amazon are eejits…

  6. veinglory
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 20:24:56

    Someof the people of the Amazon forums seem to think Amazon *invented* ebooks. grrr.

  7. Miki
    Nov 20, 2007 @ 00:28:51

    Blech.

    This is just ugly. And from the sound of it, the even-more-draconian-than-usual DRM scheme sucks. The only thing that looks good is the price of the books. And that’s definitely NOT worth the extra hassle and the price of the reader.

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