Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oprah blesses the Kindle


The word sent a jolt through the author community:

“Oprah endorses Kindle.”

The Kindle, in case you’ve been marooned on another planet, is Amazon’s much-ballyhooed e-book reader. Oprah’s nod is likely to give the gadget a boost in sales. To quote one industry insider, a blessing by the Queen of Talk TV means that “the sale of Kindles will increase sales by approximately one bazillion percent.”

I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to gadgetry, so I haven’t tried the Kindle yet. But I was gratified recently to learn that my latest book, A KILLER WORKOUT, has been published in a Kindle edition. Now that my book has made its debut in the e-reader world, it feels like my baby has grown up and left home. And forgotten to send a postcard.

I’ve been a “slow adopter” when it comes to e-reader technology. Basically, this is because, 1) my daughter convinced me to buy a very expensive e-book reader years ago, and it broke within a month; and 2) I find it tiring to read text all day on the computer screen.

But I have to admit, there are some real advantages to e-books, particularly the Kindle. For example, when I heard that Kindle lets you increase the text size, I thought—“Okay, this is a winner.” Me and a silent majority of over-40 presbyopic-somethings, we’re yearning for text that is ten feet tall!

Plus, the Kindle promises that its “revolutionary electronic-paper display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper.”

I will definitely give the Kindle a trial run (probably by giving it to someone close as an Xmas present).

Meanwhile, I’m interested to hear from folks who have tried the Kindle. What’s the reading experience like? Authors, have Kindle sales boosted your audience?

6 comments:

  1. I don't have a Kindle yet because I'm waiting for a color model. But I did pre-purchase your ebook from booksonboard.com (which frequently has lower prices than other ebook stores).

    While I love holding a book in my hand and turning the pages, I am running out of room in my house and falling over piles of books by my bed. So to save my toes and shins, I had to start using ebooks.

    I first started using Mobipocket and Ereader for my PDA about three or so years ago, so I could take books with me anywhere...even in my bicycle pouch. Then when the computer programs for the Sony ereader, Adobe pdf & Microsoft Reader became available, I added those too. Now I even subscribe to digital magazines.

    I know...I'm such a geek, but what can I say? I love my computer and I love my books. Now I can have them both together!

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  2. The thing about the Kindle that really got my attention was its wireless capacity to download from anywhere without the use of a PC, cell phone, or any Wi-Fi hotspot connection. Wireless download from just about anywhere is included in the cost of the device. It’s also got a built-in dictionary, wireless access to Wikipedia, and other nifty features.

    If it's not the answer to elevating ebooks to a higher level of awareness, it'll do until the answer comes along.

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  3. Becky, thank you for trying it in an ebook!
    Joe, your description of the Kindle's technical merits sounds worthy of an industry insider (grin).
    jnantz, I'm with ya on fearing change, but I fear more being left behind the technology curve, so I'll take the plunge...

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  4. My brother showed me my last book on his Kindle, and I have to admit I was impressed with the quality, which is remarkably close to the ink-printed paper page. The controls are placed so you can easily screw with the page accidentally, but sure, I'd like to have one. I mean you can travel with a large number of books, and read them anywhere I like, any time I want. I have this favorite saying, "I don't mind change, as long as everything remains the same." That said, it makes for less bookshelf space, and saves paper and that is a good thing ...right?. Ease of downloading is a positive. Sure I love the tactile experience of reading a book, but I can adapt. But I also worry that my favorite book stores may be reduced to kiosks.

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  5. Maybe I am a Luddite, but how am I supposed to get an author's signature on my Kindle?

    I'll pass on e-books, thanks. A real book doesn't need batteries, for one thing. For the other things, see Corey Wilde's post at The Drowning Machine blog on 'Ten Reasons I Love Books.'

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