Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Kindle Goes Open Source and other news

Coming on the heels of speculation that Kindle might be   considering some kind of epub participation either by offering epubs or opening the Kindle up is the release of source code for the Kindle, Kindle 2, and the Kindle Dx.   I think this points toward Kindle opening up its platform to accept other formats (and maybe not just epub).   The source code can also lead to improvements like folders or some type of category management system that the Kindle currently lacks. (According to Courtney Milan in the comments, this is not the true developer code, only code that is released for GPL purposes)

In other Kindle news, Forner is estimating that Amazon is selling 600,000 Kindle books a week which translates, roughly, into a Kindle owner buying, on average, 1 book a week.   Times has an article about Amazon taking over publishing which is something we’ve discussed here at Dear Author.   (self pat on the back).

All articles via

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Courtney Milan
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 09:45:07

    You know, I just went to that link and downloaded the Kindle source code.

    Now, I admit I am extremely tired as I’m working on about 4 hours of sleep in 2 days. So maybe I’m missing something here. But this is not something Amazon should be bragging about, I don’t think. The source code they released was of some software packages. And lo, those software packages are GPL derivatives.

    Um. If the Kindle OS was incorporating code released under the GPL, should it not have been releasing this stuff like, over a year ago, as soon as they started distributing it?

    How is this not an underhanded admission that they’ve been violating the GPL?

  2. Courtney Milan
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 09:47:31

    Okay, now I read the comments and get a little context.

    It turns out, they *have* been releasing this code since the beginning. And this isn’t the Kindle OS, it’s just the stuff they are obligated to release under the GPL.

    I don’t think Amazon gets any kudos at all for this. They aren’t releasing any new source code, and they’re not doing it out of the goodness of their heart. They’re doing it because of the obligation imposed by the license from whence they took the software.

  3. Jane
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 11:26:07

    I’ll have to update the post. I got the sense from the original post that it was like API or something, but I guess it would say API or dev kit.

  4. Colleen
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 13:15:38

    I for one will be thrilled if they open up their platform. I have a ton of ebooks on my laptop that I have downloaded and read the two years prior to buying a kindle. It’s annoying that I can’t transfer them over.

    I’m also not surprised to read the stat about the number of books purchased. Since I purchased my kindle I have found myself buying and reading more books. Is it the convenience of the kindle or escapism? Who knows.

  5. Betty Jo
    Jul 11, 2009 @ 20:26:54

    I just gotta say I love my kindle and the cheap books.

    My taste is a bit rough but I enjoyed “The Misogynist” by Emily Downs. It’s only a dollar for a new artist with great talent.

    It can be a bit vulgar at times. Be warned. But it’s cheap.

    She is the bestselling author of “Lisa Loves Girls”

    2 books for under 2 bucks. THe kindle will own publishing.

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