Tuesday, December 04, 2007

So what is Kindle?

Kindle is Amazon's attempt to compete with the Sony ebook reader, and is priced in the same category.

Kindle offers wireless access to more than 90,000 downloadable titles at a uniform price of $9.99. The Kindle weighs in at 10.3 ounces with a black & white electronic ink screen that can be read in bright sunlight. It's thin as a pencil and will hold about 200 books, which are also stored in online user accounts and can be redownloaded at any time. Unlike most digital reading devices, Kindle does not require a personal computer. Through an agreement with the Sprint, Amazon has built its own network on the back of Sprint's EVDO wireless cellphone network. There is no separate fee or monthly billing for use of Kindle's wireless access and all titles and services for Kindle can be purchased through the wireless access provided through the device. (Thanks to Maggie at Compulsive Reader).

The ebook market has yet to reach even a mini-peak, in part because there is no standard for ebook files or for the reading device to view them. Most are now available as text files or .PDF and can be viewed right on your computer. They're formatted for very comfortable reading on a laptop.

But a book needs to be portable, so we now have Amazon, world's largest book purveyor offering books readable on their Kindle device. Now, Sony announced they will issue a lower priced reader, and with that sparking the competition, can Microsoft be far behind? Will Google be next? Chances are, now that there's competition, there will be more consumer choices. Until then, Kindle lights my fire, with it's wi-fi access to download books without hassle.

Both of my books, Computer Ease and Release Your Writing are available for download as ebooks if you want to expand your library at half the cost of the softcover books. And, of course, there's no shipping charge.