Tag Archives: kindle

Kindle Unlimited: Is it worth it?

This blog has often talked about the advantages of ebooks and ebook devices, like Amazon’s Kindle, and highlighted the disadvantages of such devices, and publishing for such devices, as well.

I’m torn. I love books – all books, including ebooks, because I love to read. Reading a physical copy of a book, for me, is just as good as reading an ebook. But I do see a distinct advantage in ebooks, and that comes in the form of volume. I can carry around a device that gives me access to the 300+ books in my elibrary without having to lug the physical weight around of those 300+ books. I know, I don’t READ 300 books at once, but I like reading multiple books at once and having a Kindle allows me to do that in an easier format than, say, just carrying around 5 books with me everyplace I go.

Image from Amazon.Com

Amazon.Com is offering a services for fans of ebooks called Kindled Unlimited. This service has been available for a few months now, and I thought it was about time to try it out and review it. Here are some of the basics Amazon boasts, if you’re unsure of what the service offers:

* Over 800,00 books for subscribers to choose from.
* Unlimited listening to thousands of audiobooks.
* The ability to read and access these books from any device with the Kindle app installed.
* All for the low, low price of $9.99 a month.

After having Kindle Unlimited for two months, I have to say that some of these claims, outside of the prices, are more true than others.

Kindle Tablet Writing for NaNoWriMo

Right now I’m on my new Kindle Fire tablet, using the Swype keyboard to write this post. The purpose of this post is to see how viable a device such as this is for writers who don’t want to lug a laptop around or write using traditional means such as a pen and notepad.

I even searched for, downloaded, uploaded, inserted and captioned this  picture using my tablet.
I even searched for, downloaded, uploaded, inserted and captioned this picture using my tablet.

Right off the bat I note that my new Kindle doesn’t know my diction very well so I’m having to constantly switch the Swype words that pop up, but that is really just a mild annoyance that will dissipate as I use my device more.

A major plus of the Swype keyboard is definitely its speed. Writing this post is going at about the same speed I type at home. This is great when it comes to getting ideas for writing down. I can see myself using this feature to quickly jot down writing ideas or fleshing out the plot of a story or the history of a character.

Meet The Future of E-Readers

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Kindle and of e-readers in general. I’ve advocated before that each student should have access to a Kindle or e-reader and have listed the various reasons why I’m in support of such technology being made available to students.

Technology is constantly advancing. The e-reader of today isn’t going to be our grandchildren’s e-reader. The future of e-readers lies in creating one that relates more closely to an actual book, sans pages, of course. The next step in the future of e-readers is bendable, foldable technology, and it’s almost here.

 

That looks pretty bent to me.
(Image Source: Slate.com)

Dear Self-Published on Amazon

I love that Kindle and Amazon allow people to publish their own digital books and set their own prices. It’s really a revolutionary thing–to have a wide audience appeal for the story you want to share with the world. The one that you have painstakingly worked on and, of course, love. You are sharing a part of yourself with the world.

There are many best-selling self-published books on Kindle and, indeed, there are a lot of successful self-published books out there.

(Image Source: NPR)
We’re going to pretend that this book doesn’t top the best-seller list.

Now I’m going to share the dark side with you, reader–the grammar. Nothing upsets me more when I’m reading an interesting self-published book and simple grammatical errors get in the way of my enjoyment. I don’t think this is reflective of the author not knowing how to use grammar but rather a reflection that the author didn’t edit as well as they should have or didn’t get outside help for editing.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of science fiction and fantasy and I love to find new, unfamiliar books and immerse myself in their landscape and story. While flipping through the free books on Kindle a few years ago, I found an interesting book called The Book of Deacon. I liked it. I read it while I was traveling abroad in China and I reread it once I was back stateside and I still enjoyed it. There are two books that follow The Book of Deacon and, since I enjoyed the first, I decided to purchase the other two.

I wish I hadn’t of done that. The last two books in the series lacked something significant the first had–editing. I don’t know if he spent extra time self-editing, hired an editor or a person to proof, or had friends or a peer mentoring group help him with the first book, but he lacked whatever he did for the other two books in his series, and I’m not the only reader who was upset by this difference.

Amazon’s Kindle Matchbook Program: The Future of Book Buying?

In October, Amazon launched a new bundling program for e-books and print books called the Kindle Matchbook. The program allows customers who purchase a print book–or have already bought–to buy the e-book for anywhere from $2.99 to free.

1003704_442520989179525_628083315_nI have always felt that e-books and print books do not have to be mortal enemies, one leading to the others death. They can work together. I read print books. The only e-books I read are in the form of PDFs on my computer that a professor generally assigned. I don’t own a Kindle or an iPad. To be honest, i’m not sure my eyes would last long enough for me to read an entire book on a screen anyway (I tend to get migraines fairly easily). But that’s not to say I don’t see the value in e-books.

I buy hardcovers when I buy books, and maybe that’s because I have a romantic vision of what my future house will look like, with a room dedicated to books, but it’s also because I’m a re-reader. If a book’s good, I will re-read it at least once ever couple years, and my paperbacks have suffered from my re-reading. I recently had to dump my high school copy of The Bell Jar because I had highlighted, dog-eared, and tortured the poor thing to the point that it was falling apart. An e-book would be useful to someone like me. Where as some readers feel that you have to choose a side, e-books or print books, i’ve always wondered, why not both? I can read my hardcover from the safety of my own home, and the e-book can come with me everywhere else–I can access it on my iPhone while on a bus or plane, while in the waiting room at my doctor’s office. I can even spare my hardcovers the highlighting and notes in the margins and use my e-book for that instead.

Every Student Should Have a Kindle

Dear parents of students going back to school,

The one thing your kid needs if they are majoring in a liberal arts or social science field is a Kindle or, maybe, a Nook (I don’t have a Nook so I cannot attest to its features as I can a Kindle) and here is why.

1) The Kindle has thousands of free books. After 75 years, books lose their copyright but published versions of these books still cost money to publish, and usually a foreword is added or a special editor is brought in to write notes, and suddenly this material that should be free is no longer free and can have a hefty price tag. When I had to take survey lit courses in the past (British Literature, American Literature, etc.) I would generally skip the giant, expensive anthology and go straight for downloading the original stories that were free and using my Kindle in class. The cost of the Kindle was less than one of the multiple anthologies for class, and all the literature was free because it was over 75 years of age.

Kindle versions of these books are often free or priced much lower than their published counterparts:

Of course I used Shakespeare as an example. What other books would I be buying?
Of course I used Shakespeare as an example. What other books would I be buying?