Amazon and the Kindle have been changing and evolving so fast, lately, that I've decided to focus this week's edition of the Top Ten eBook Articles for Authors exclusively on... AMAZON! The Kindle has new features and formats, and will soon have a new color tablet reader that rivals the iPad. On top of that Amazon is redesigning their entire website, launching in Spain, and partnering with 7-Eleven to find new ways to deliver their Kindle e-readers, books, and other products to you.
As usual, these articles are culled from my daily paper, Join The eBook Revolution, as well as from top media websites, my favorite writing blogs, and whatever pages my web surfing muse leads me to. If, in my insatiable quest for eBook info, I stumble across an article or two that look helpful but are older than "this week," I'll include them, here, as well.
The New Kindle Color Tablet & e-Reader
1. Amazon’s Kindle Tablet Is Very Real. I’ve Seen It, Played With It.
It’s called simply the “Amazon Kindle.” But it’s not like any Kindle you’ve seen before. It displays content in full color. It has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen. And it runs Android. How do I know all of this? Well, not only have I heard about the device, I’ve seen it and used it. And I’m happy to report that it’s going to be a big deal. Huge, potentially. So here’s what I know and what I saw: (...read more)
2. Amazon's New Look May Offer Clues About Tablet
Amazon.com is testing a redesigned version of its website, a development that’s noteworthy given that the new look could be a roadmap of what Amazon is building into its upcoming tablet, and a glimpse at how the company is fortifying its own Apple-esque ecosystem. The remodeling started last week, but so far only a handful of users can see it live. (...read more)
3. Why Amazon's tablet will challenge Apple in a way that Google cannot
The rumours are unstoppable: Amazon is going to unveil a tablet in the next few weeks. The expectation around Amazon and its entry to the tablet market has been building, partly because it is the first – and possibly the only – company that people think could pose a serious threat to Apple in the tablet space.
Why? Two simple reasons: Amazon is a conduit to lots of content; and, just as importantly, it already has a way for you to buy content from it. Like Apple, it is one of the 10 biggest merchant holders of credit card numbers in the world. (...read more)
New Kindle Format
4. Kindle's answer to PDFs - Print Replica eBooks
Amazon has just announced a new kindle format, Print Replica ebooks. Resembling PDFs, the new ebooks have fixed pages that preserve the page numbers and formatting of the original print edition. Although their pages are stationary, Print Replica ebooks will retain other Kindle features such as annotations, highlights, and the ability to sync your last page read across multiple Kindle applications. However, they can only be read with Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac. (...read more)
New Kindle Features
5. Amazon's New Kindle Social Media Feature: Making Authors' Lives Harder?
HuffingtonPost.com (This is Kindle's new @author feature that lets you
ask an author questions from INSIDE their ebook
or on their author central page.)
If you're an author toiling away on your next opus, how would you feel about coming to a screeching halt to field a question like this:
"I'm on Chapter 6 of 'Stuff Happens' and am confused about what you just said about stuff. I know you published the book back in 2007 but I wondered if you could explain to me what you meant?"
Most authors have been dutifully tending their blogs, their Facebook page(s), LinkedIn profiles and Twitter feeds. Maybe they've even dived into Google+ where they can participate in different social circles without having to leave their comfortable chairs (a writer's dream). It's simply what's expected of authors these days -- both by their publishers and their readers. But the launch of Amazon's new Kindle social media feature @author (now in beta) might just be the straw that breaks the author's back. (...read more)
6. “Look Inside” for Kindle Books – 3 Tips for Authors
Recently Amazon added to Kindle Store a new, very useful feature – Look Inside. It is the same feature as Look Inside for printed editions but it’s showing the content of the relevant Kindle book. I’d like to focus on how writers can benefit from it.
First of all, Look Inside is conveying for Kindle books the same task as a free sample. In fact it is a free sample. It’s much easier to read the first paragraphs of the books immediately rather than send a free sample to a device and clutter it.
There are three areas at the beginning of your book you can improve to maximize the impact of the Look Inside feature – which could help you sell more ebooks. They are: the description, links and formatting. (...read more)
7. Do Authors Dream of Electric Book Signings? Kindlegraph Hopes So
As ebook sales continue to trounce those of print books, and now with the demise of Borders, surely it’s only a matter of days until someone — probably a guest poster on this very blog — declares the death of the physical book. They’d be wrong, of course. Still, the fact remains that there are certain aspects of physical books that ebooks will struggle to replicate. The buzz of starting a conversation with an attractive stranger who’s reading your favorite book. The joy of a beautifully designed cover. The voyeuristic thrill of examining a friend’s bookshelves. Paper cuts.
For authors — and for readers, too, I suspect — another significant pleasure afforded by physical books is the book signing; an opportunity for writers to meet (and thank) the people who let them keep doing the job they love, and for readers to interact with their favorite authors, and complain about the unsatisfactory endings of their best-known books. Yes, Charlotte Brontë, I’m talking to you.
All of those joys might be lost if ebooks really do succeed in replacing their dead tree counterparts. Imagine my delight, then, at discovering “Kindlegraph“, a service which aims — with at least modest success – to recreate the experience of book signing, on the Kindle. (...read more)
Other Amazon News
8. New lower-price Kindle with ads arrives
Beginning today (August 21, 2011), prospective Kindle purchasers have another option: a lower-price, ad-sponsored Kindle 3G model. Now available at AT&T stores and priced at $50 below the standard model, AT&T's $139 Kindle 3G with Special Offers comes with built-in Wi-Fi and 3G without monthly fees, data plans or annual contracts. For the discounted price, buyers will see advertisements from AT&T and other companies. (…read more)
9. Amazon to launch in Spain on September 15th
Amazon, the world’s most popular online store, comes to Spain before the end of the year, after 16 years of global success, it was confirmed to EFE this week. Business will commence with the sale of paper-based products, with E-books taking a little longer. Amazon's vice president for Europe, Greg Greeley, will visit Spain on 14th September to make “an important announcement,” expected to be related to the release date. The Amazon online store is the World’s largest and most diverse since its 1995 launch. (This was the full report.)
10. Amazon Testing 7-Eleven Package Pickup Lockers
Online retail giant Amazon is about to try out a locker-based delivery system at select 7-Eleven stores, according to multiple reports. The new system will allow a customer to select at checkout a nearby 7-Eleven store for package pickup. The customer would then enter a PIN to retrieve the package from an Amazon locker — akin to a P.O box — inside the designated store. (...read more)