OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
I now go to bed with my Kindle! It joined the ranks of much loved technology within about 2 hours of receiving it. I have already bought 3 books and read for a number of hours on it. It's fantastic!
The Kindle might be old news to Americans, but for the rest of us, it is brand spanking new!
If you are not in the US, you can order a Kindle Wireless now – no more waiting, it's finally here.
Why is the Kindle so great?
- Easy win: Availability. I live in Australia and it is the first decent e-reader available here. Sony don't sell the E-Reader here and the others haven't had great reviews. I ordered my Kindle and it arrived in it's beautiful box very quickly. It is easy to set up and very very easy to spend money on!
- It saves me money immediately. I am a fast reader and I love reading. I don't have a TV and buying digital music/movies and now books is essentially my entertainment. I will devour fiction in one (long) sitting but since moving to Australia have not bought much because of the expense. New books are between $30 – $45 here (that's almost equivalent in US $ at the moment). This is utterly ridiculous and I earn a good wage plus have a budget for books, so I wonder how others manage. I will get the book from the library or order print off Amazon.com with shipping rather than pay those prices. Yesterday, I bought Socialnomics for $12 and Trust Agents for $12 on the Kindle, both are around $40 in the print bookshops here. That is a huge saving, even though you might consider it a high price for an ebook! I will have paid the cost of the Kindle off in no time with the number of books I buy.
- Reading plain text is great on the Kindle. There is criticism that the Kindle is not a multi-functional device, it's not colour and doesn't have much functionality. But this is essentially a book! It is very easy on the eyes and great to hold. It's light and slim and beautiful. For reading plain text books, it's perfect. I zipped through some chapters of Socialnomics before starting a James Rollins thriller. You can also save books in your want pile, so you don't have to buy them all at once.
- It's wireless. Gorgeous! I love this feature! This is brilliant for authors and for publishers who embrace this (and of course, for Amazon!) It means I can buy a book and have it in minutes, sitting here in my house. I can be reading the blog of some brilliant new author, and immediately make a purchase of their book on Kindle. I don't have to remember to order it from a store. With the lower prices, it's lower risk so people will buy more. There is evidence that Kindle owners buy more books, and now I can see why.
These are my main reasons, and I definitely recommend buying a Kindle. If you are a devourer of books, then it's definitely worth it!
Incidentally, my books are also available on the Kindle: “From Idea to Book”, “From Book to Market” and “Career Change”.
What are some of the downsides of the Kindle?
- The main criticism is the Amazon behemoth DRM (Digital Rights Management) issue, where the formats are locked and incompatible with other devices. This is a common discussion amongst ebook afficionados but I don't think most users would even notice. If you are an Amazon buyer, you are happy to buy Amazon ebooks on your Amazon device. There are also some hacks to get around the issue of putting other documents on the Kindle if you are tech-minded.
- My main criticism is that non-US authors/publishers can't publish on the Kindle yet. I think they will change this pretty soon with the release of the international Kindle as that is leaving a lot of money on the table. I currently publish using a friend in America.
So I am definitely a fan of the Kindle, although I am also saving for the elusive Apple tablet that may appear in 2010. Technology is so elegant these days, it is hard to resist!
Here's a video I did on my iPod Nano video player – I'll be doing lots of these for #NaNoWriMo as well. I'm embracing video 🙂