“Kindle Shipping Almost Caught Up”…01.19.09

19 01 2009

This from the “kindle e reader” blog [http://kindleereader.com] on January 16:

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the Kindle shipping  estimate is now 5 to 7 weeks. Most regular Amazon customers know that when you order something from Amazon, that is, if it’s in stock, it usually winds up on your doorstep right away.

Unfortunately Amazon has been out of stock, and behind with shipping Kindle’s since Oprah made Kindle her favorite gadget in October. The good news is that the Kindle, as of today, will ship in 5 to 7 weeks. Which means that it is just a few weeks before the Kindles will be shipping right away. Which is what we’ve wanted all along.”

Here is a ZDNet video on Kindle unboxing:


Most Frequently Asked Kindle Questions…01.18.09

18 01 2009

Since I am interested in eBooks & e book eeaders, especailly Kindle 2, here is some FAQs from Kindle FAQ:

  1. When is the Kindle 2 coming out?         
    • A: There is no official release date. Mid to late February 2009 seems like a probable release date.  
  2. Should I wait for Kindle 2?                    
    • A: At this point – Yes. At least wait till end Feb to see whether Kindle 2 is available then.
  3. Can I use the Kindle outside the US?   
    • A: Yes, with two important caveats – first, Whispernet will not work; and second, you will need a US address credit card to make purchases.
  4. Can you gift Kindle books?                   
    • A: No, although you can send a gift card. The gift card recipient can then register it to his account and buy kindle books. 
  5. How do I reset my kindle?                    
    • A: There is a reset button at the back. Also, the alt-up arrow-R combination forces a hard reset.
  6. What are the different font sizes?       
    • A: There are 6 font sizes ranging from around 8pt to 20pt. 
  7. On a plane, do I have to turn off the Kindle at take-off and landings?  
    • A: Yes.  
  8. What happens if I damage my Kindle?  
    • A: It varies – sometimes you get a free replacement. Sometimes they charge you $180 for a replacement. You will have to return the defective kindle.
  9. Can I return a Kindle I bought?            
    • A: Yes, you have 30 days to return it.
  10. Can I read pdf documents on the Kindle? 
  11. Where can I find a map of Whispernet Coverage?   
  12. Is Apple released an ebook reader?      
    • A: Not that i know of. They are rumoured to be releasing a larger iTouch in Fall of 2009. 
  13. Where can I find the Kindle shortcuts and experimental features? 

eBooks, Amazon, Kindle & the Future of Publishing…01.17.09

17 01 2009

Here is an excerpt from a post entitled Websites intertwined with the future of publishing  over at AMAZON KINDLE, BOOKS, KINDLE 2.0 – AMAZON KINDLE REVIEW:

“…eBook Shopping Websites

  1. Amazon’s Kindle Store – The biggest range and some of the best prices. 
  2. Google Books – Will add in a link when they open a store. Pretty sure this isn’t going to get cut from Google’s arsenal as it’s potentially a huge revenue generator.
  3. FeedBooks.com – This is a serious contender and a website/software solution that aims to be the universal ereading platform that’s compatible with every mobile device. My take is they’re trying to be the Microsoft of the eReader business and turn the various reading devices into IBM. They were founded in 2007.
  4. Sony’s The eBook Store – Not much to say as it’s pretty decent and wholly unremarkable.
  5. Waterstones – Although Waterstones sell Sony’s Reader they have their owneBook store, with books in ePub format.
  6. Zoomii.com – I really don’t see the point – apparently it took 1.5+ years to code and it does look good. However, it’s not really offering anything other than visual UI improvements. I do think there’s a market for the creator to sell the technology for various niches.
  7. eHarlequin.com – Not my area of speciality so I’m not going to write much. I do love some of the titles though.

Publishing Related Websites

  1. Lulu.com – A really good website focused on self-publishing. If you’re going to self-publish a book or are considering it, definitely visit this site. And they have laser focus on their purpose and direction – helping creators publish their work. They support 7 languages, and now have 1.3 million registered members from 80+ countries. Lulu.com is definitely a great publishing website for the author side. 
  2. Authonomy from Harper Collins aims to flush out the best writing talent. They look remarkably similar to what I had in mind with a self published author rankings site. Actually, if there’s one site on this list that you must check out – it’s Authonomy.
  3. BookSurge – An Amazon owned company (acquired in 2005) and provides a valuable service i.e. publishing books on demand.
  4. SmashWords.com – Probably #2 after Authonomy on the must check out list. I intended to do a full post on them, and will. A really good idea and a good site. If they discovered that there are other colors in the color spectrum besides white and blue their website would look even better. Also, their founder/CEO’s interview is a must-read. He really gets it.
  5. MagCloud – Wow. A site to create on demand magazines. This is probably #3 on the must check-out list, and one of the prettiest sites.

Document Sharing Websites

  1. Scribd.com – This website is a huge hit, and their latest innovation iPaper, which lets you view any document online, is becoming a huge hit – iPaper is to documents what flash is to movies. They seem to be drawing a lot of negative comments – However, I’m very impressed by iPaper and by the service they’re providing i.e. letting you share documents easily with friends and/or strangers.
  2. ISSUU – I like their user interface more than scribe – especially the search pages. Totally clueless on how popular they are, and how long they’ve been in the market.

Software + Mobile Software

  1. Sophie – Waiting till Oct 15th, 2009 is going to be hard – this looks to be a huge positive step for publishing and especially self publishing.
  2. FBReader is an ereader software that works on most mobile devices. Its open source and supports more formats than I knew existed. 
  3. Calibre is an eBook library management application written by Kovid Goyal. It’s free, open source, and cross platform. 
  4. Adobe’s Digital Editions – I don’t fully understand it, and all I can tell is that it might be very impressive if it does all that is promised.
  5. Nokia AudioBooks – A beta application from Nokia Beta Labs it’s a software that’s optimized for playing audio books on phones. 
  6. GoSpoken – The website behind Vodafone Books on Mobile. they’ve signed up a lot of major UK publishers for this straight to cell phone audio book service. 

Books Related Websites

  1. DailyLit – I’ve written about them before, and they’re a good site and they seem to be expanding their offerings and adding more features.
  2. KindleFeeder – A feed aggregation service for the Kindle that I’m surprised Amazon hasn’t shut down yet. It looks to be pretty useful.
  3. BookArmy – Getting a lot of buzz even though it hasn’t opened yet.
  4. bkkeepr.com – I don’t know what to say. I’m tempted to offer them one of my domain names so they stop self sabotaging themselves with a ridiculously hard to remember domain name. The service is really interesting and I’m going to try it out for a bit and let you know how it goes…’

Kindle 2 & Beyond–“Top 10 Kindle Predictions for 2009…01.14.09

14 01 2009

Here is an excerpt from the AMAZON KINDLE, BOOKS, KINDLE 2.0 – AMAZON KINDLE REVIEW entitled Top 10 Kindle 2009 Predictions

“…Overall, I feel Amazon will continue to make big mistakes – however, they’ll be the #1 eReader for all of 2009. Here are my Top 10 Kindle Predictions –

  1. There will be millions of Kindles sold – The figure will be close to 3 million
  2. Amazon will have more out of stock disasters – Kindle 2 and Kindle TextBook Edition will both face shortages when released and Amazon will again mess up during the Holiday season…
  3. Amazon’s TextBook Kindle will get really bad critical reviews, and will sell a ton. Its sales will outpace sales of Kindle 2 and Kindle 1 (if that’s still being sold)…
  4. Apple will release a large screen touch in Oct to Nov 2009. The 9″ Apple iTouch will be targeted at netbooks, and not at the Kindle. ‘Experts’ will still try to spin it as a Kindle Killer. In their eyes, Apple’s 9 inch Touch will become the biggest potential eReader i.e. it will have the most people who could potentially buy ebooks …This will however not translate into a high number of actual ebooks sold and the Kindle will remain the #1 ecosystem for ebooks…
  5. Kindle will go international – probably in March, and definitely before Christmas season. International sales will be significant i.e. >10% of total sales (including textbook kindle)…
  6. Sony will release a wireless ereader with a really inelegant wireless feature (this is rumored for March – courtesy a reader). Sony will sell less than 500,000 readers in 2009…
  7. The ereader market will become crowded – with a number of companies trying to wrest the #2 spot from Sony’s Reader… 
  8. More than one kindle self-published author will be offered a book contract. A kindle specific rankings site focusing on self published authors will become very popular. It will not be an amazon site…
  9. A lot of newspapers will die – Kindle subscriptions will hit the 100K+ mark for multiple newspapers. At least 1 kindle specific newspaper will be released (targeting no-one except kindle owners) and will get 10,000+ subscriptions within the first few months.
  10. Google Book Search will start selling out of print and in print books – There are currently approximately 3 million people a month who use Google Book Search…” 

Kindle 2 New Release Date and Ebook Competitors Rising…11.25.08

25 11 2008

Because I am interested in one day purchasing a Kindle, Amazon’s wireless reading device or ebook reader, I have been following its development.  Here is the latest from TechCrunch [http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/25/amazon-kindle-2-slated-for-early-q1/]:

“Update on the Kindle 2: It was scheduled to be released in October in time for this holiday season, but Bezos himself reportedly pulled the plug for last minute changes to the software. Our sources now say it’s tentatively scheduled to go on sale in ‘early next quarter.’

The images that surfaced of the new Kindle in October are real – it’s a longer device but not as thick as the original Kindle, and fixes some of the button issues that plague users (like accidental page turns). larger-screen student version is still scheduled for the first half of 2009.

Amazon is slow to turn new versions of the Kindle, which isn’t surprising given that this is their first foray into actual devices. I still think they’d be better off licensing the platform and letting the factories in China iterate more often on the Kindle – from what we hear a bunch of new ebook products are about to hit the market, and some of them may be real competition to Amazon.”

Kindle–I’m Almost Persuaded…08.12.08

12 08 2008

Although I don’t have the extra cash, I usually don’t buy my reading material, and because I’ve always had an aversion to electronic books on the web or using the various readers available, I have been very curious about Amazon’s Kindle and everything I have read about it and what users have been saying.  Today’s Wired News reported:

“…It was a good day for Amazon.com with shares rising more than 8% after a report by Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney doubling his previous predicted sales for the e-book reader.

Mahoney didn’t disclose any actual sales information, however, but cited a “collection of data points” in his optimistic outlook.

From Reuters:

‘Mahaney estimates Amazon will sell up to 380,000 Kindles in 2008, up from a previous forecast of 190,000, noting that adoption rate would be similar to the first year of sales for Apple’s media-playing iPod. He sees Amazon selling up to 150,000 Kindles in the fourth quarter alone.’

‘Turns out the Kindle is becoming the iPod of the book world,’ he says in the report.

He also says he considers the potential for it to become a hot commodity along with the iPhone 3G this holiday season, based on a ‘earth of “gadget” gifts in Q4.’…”