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Old 08-03-2009, 15:39   #1
Space Duck
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Question Amazon Kindle - UK Release?

Okay so I've been reading on twitter about the Kindle 2 and although it's not where I want it to be just yet it looks like a nifty way to get your books on the go and what not.

My view is by now the thing should have a colour touch screen so that instead of just having newspapers you can subscribe to, you could have magazines and comics/graphic novels on your download list too.

Anyway I digress... is there any news on the release dates for the UK or EU? I know they're having issues with whispernet because of all the mobile networks over here but I've read that there's a sim card located inside the beast which could mean we get the device sooner rather than later.

What I don't get is the $360 price tag that amazon are putting on the device and people are obviously willing to pay that price but whhhhhhy so expensive? you should get the first 10/20 books free for that price!!!

When? When When? When?
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Old 08-03-2009, 18:47   #2
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Originally Posted by Space Duck View Post
but whhhhhhy so expensive?
Because of this ->>>

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When? When When? When?
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Old 08-03-2009, 19:49   #3
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and people are obviously willing to pay that price
and this.

I read that if the New York Times closed it's printing facilities and instead bought a Kindle 2 for every one of it's subscribers they would save $300m+ in the first year alone!
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Old 08-03-2009, 19:56   #4
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Shame on you people for pointing out my flaws...

I likes me gadgets and the kindle will prolly get me reading more... turning pages is just sooooo energy consuming and puts me to sleep

It'd be nice if Amazon launched the kindle iphone app here as well even if the Kindle has not been released it'd give them a head start to get the kindle catalogue online
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Old 08-03-2009, 21:24   #5
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Shame on you people for pointing out my flaws...

I likes me gadgets and the kindle will prolly get me reading more... turning pages is just sooooo energy consuming and puts me to sleep

It'd be nice if Amazon launched the kindle iphone app here as well even if the Kindle has not been released it'd give them a head start to get the kindle catalogue online
I have the app on my iphone - its ok but not great compared to Stanza (too limited option-wise plus swiping to turn the page is annoying). You can download sample chapters which is quite good though. Syncing with the Kindle will be the killer app for me.

Apparently Kindle 2 has space for a SIM card and given the reason for not launching here is no EVDO network I suspect it will launch this year albeit with some monthly download limit.
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Old 08-03-2009, 21:34   #6
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Is it just me that's not read a paper book since the Palm II came out then?
Once I discovered I could read them as text files and people would think I was doing important work stuff, I've never looked back.
God Bless Project Gutenburg!
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Old 08-03-2009, 22:16   #7
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I don't know about the Kindle, but the PRS-505 (Sony), is a really nice bit of kit, I got one for Christmas and have been busy reading a lot of books on it (it's surprising how many free/cheap legal ones there are out there).

My dad was so impressed with it when he borrowed it to go on Holiday that he had me order another, as was able to read it despite his eyes playing up, and wasn't willing to wait on when the Kindle finally makes it over here (could be another year before they make it here, and even then it could take a long time for them to be readily available).
Apparently most of the people he was on holiday with who saw it were also quite impressed, and they were nearly all oldies
I suspect once the price comes down a bit, and the availability goes up the ebook readers could really take off, especially the likes of the Kindle which is very easy to find books for, and load them on.


As for why they are so expensive, Dedicated Ebook readers in general are currently using a newish type of display that whilst great for contrast and power consumption is still in it's infancy, and I believe is being made by a single relatively small company regardless of whose reader you get, and thus expensive (especially as I beleive the company has a demand that is more than they can supply).
I don't think there are any colour versions available yet due to the relative newness of the tech, and it still being in development.

Add to that the Kindle uses mobile phone tech to load it up with books, in addition to the wired/memory card option and it's expensive.

Personally I suspect the Ereaders could end up doing a lot for the "publishing" industry, although probably not so much for the book shops, I just wish that there was more variety available cheaply here, as whilst there is a lot of variety out there at the moment it can be a pita getting it at a good price (Waterstones have a limited range, and are very expensive compared to the US sony store for example).
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Old 08-03-2009, 22:54   #8
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A friend of mine also has that Sony reader, and I was very impressed. Not £250 impressed, but almost.
You read about e-ink, contrast etc, but never really appreciate how good the technology is until you actually look at one first hand. I could easily imagine using that device to read e-books/"newspapers", etc on.

There's a very good free weekly podcast - "TWiT" (This Week in Tech) that often discuss Kindles, and all other types of e-book readers - well worth a listen.
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Old 08-03-2009, 23:27   #9
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So how is cost and supply of books on these then?

No point in a 300quid gadget if the books cost almost the same. I'd rather have the paperback and be able to reread (anywhere, anytime) or sell on.
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Old 08-03-2009, 23:50   #10
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I would love to have one of these but those prices are outrageous. It can't be much more complex than a pocket calculator.

I think that if these things take off, we will start seeing cheaper models down the line. Just a matter of waiting.
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Old 08-03-2009, 23:55   #11
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The Sony is £200 or £170 with first order discount from additionsdirect.
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Old 09-03-2009, 00:32   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeyserSoze View Post
It can't be much more complex than a pocket calculator.
I could imagine reading a book on a pocket calculator would be a challenge, especialy having to turn it upside down to get half the words right...

Real answer - its all down to the screen, the rest is simple.
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:12   #13
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I could imagine reading a book on a pocket calculator would be a challenge, especialy having to turn it upside down to get half the words right...
Haha. Brilliant!
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:56   #14
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Have to admit, I was pretty surprised at the price of the books on amazon $7 - 10 for a novel but as above, I suppose prices will come down when ereaders become more popular.

I just want my colour screen so I can fiddle about with graphic novels and what not.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:15   #15
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If it will accept basic text files etc. then http://www.gutenberg.org is a superb source of public-domain literature (ie. all those classic books you never got round to reading!)

Personally I can never imagine wanting a Kindle, if only because I doubt if my collection of Hammond Innes or Alistair MacLean novels will ever be available in the format!
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Old 09-03-2009, 13:54   #16
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Personally I suspect the Ereaders could end up doing a lot for the "publishing" industry
Yes, about the same as iPods did for the music business.

If I had shares in any of the publishing houses I'd be offloading them now - there's already a massive library of pirate books out there and once the readers are in everyone's hands then I suspect it's curtains for traditional publishing.

Besides - writers need loads of middle men even less than musicians need the big labels. Once everything's electronic they can write a book and get it to the masses without any help whatsoever.
The big problem, even more so than music, is how you monetize it. Live book tours don't rake in cash like live music.
It won't be long before we're seeing passages like this in books:

Quote:
Bond moved quietly down the hall. Scaramanga was sure to be in one of the rooms to the left. He lifted the Habitat table lamp (cat number 113376, £17.99) and hefted it. Just then he saw a flicker of light from the end of the hall!
You mark my words...
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Old 09-03-2009, 14:06   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Duck View Post
Okay so I've been reading on twitter about the Kindle 2 and although it's not where I want it to be just yet it looks like a nifty way to get your books on the go and what not.

My view is by now the thing should have a colour touch screen so that instead of just having newspapers you can subscribe to, you could have magazines and comics/graphic novels on your download list too.

Anyway I digress... is there any news on the release dates for the UK or EU? I know they're having issues with whispernet because of all the mobile networks over here but I've read that there's a sim card located inside the beast which could mean we get the device sooner rather than later.

What I don't get is the $360 price tag that amazon are putting on the device and people are obviously willing to pay that price but whhhhhhy so expensive? you should get the first 10/20 books free for that price!!!

When? When When? When?
Hmmm so a much hyped gadget, with limited availability and a over the odds price that people are willing to play?

iKindle?
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Old 09-03-2009, 14:25   #18
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Yes, about the same as iPods did for the music business.

If I had shares in any of the publishing houses I'd be offloading them now - there's already a massive library of pirate books out there and once the readers are in everyone's hands then I suspect it's curtains for traditional publishing.

Besides - writers need loads of middle men even less than musicians need the big labels. Once everything's electronic they can write a book and get it to the masses without any help whatsoever.
The big problem, even more so than music, is how you monetize it. Live book tours don't rake in cash like live music.
It won't be long before we're seeing passages like this in books:


You mark my words...
I'd be interested to know what Bollecks thinks about this.

This page:
http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archiv..._true_fans.php
would imply that actually you can make money directly on the internet as an author just as bands are doing now, but it'll obviously take a bit of time for the readers to pick up on this as those who enjoy music have.

Quote:
In 2004 author Lawrence Watt-Evans used this model to publish his newest novel. He asked his True Fans to collectively pay $100 per month. When he got $100 he posted the next chapter of the novel. The entire book was published online for his True Fans, and then later in paper for all his fans. He is now writing a second novel this way. He gets by on an estimated 200 True Fans because he also publishes in the traditional manner -- with advances from a publisher supported by thousands of Lesser Fans. Other authors who use fans to directly support their work are Diane Duane, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and Don Sakers. Game designer Greg Stolze employed a similar True Fan model to launch two pre-financed games. Fifty of his True Fans contributed seed money for his development costs.
However, I'd say readers are more likely to pay donations than those who listen to music are because I think while there are more people who listen to music, people do so without really caring too much who did the music. You can listen to the same song over and over, whereas reading the same book over and over isn't so much fun. So, while there is a lesser catchment maybe for authors, those who do read always value reading highly so are more likely (in my view) to consider it worth paying for the privilege.

Note the companion article:
http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archiv...ase_agains.php

There it's clear that the artist who'll be least able to be ripped off is unsurprisingly the sculptor or painter since clearly you can't make quick and easy electronic copies of their work just now.
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Old 09-03-2009, 14:36   #19
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Maybe e-books and self-publishing will see more people get a bit of the cake?

"A typical writer earns 33% less than the national average wage; the top 10% of writers earn 50% of total income (cf other equally skilled professions where the bottom 50% earn almost 40% of total income); nearly 80% of authors need a second job to survive"

http://www.slainte.org.uk/news/mediacentre/index.htm

I recall a stat from a few years ago where something like 80% of people who describe themselves as writers don't even earn enough from it to pay tax!
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Old 09-03-2009, 15:08   #20
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However, I'd say readers are more likely to pay donations than those who listen to music are because I think while there are more people who listen to music, people do so without really caring too much who did the music. You can listen to the same song over and over, whereas reading the same book over and over isn't so much fun. So, while there is a lesser catchment maybe for authors, those who do read always value reading highly so are more likely (in my view) to consider it worth paying for the privilege.
Interestingly I was just reading about the same thing on a photography website.
Essentially it's going back to the old 'sponsorship' system which used to be popular with artists except now it would be with more than one sponsor.
Makes sense to me, and I'd definitely pay a writer a small amount.
Given the tiny amount that writers appear to get from each book sold then donating a quid for each book you read would actually get them more money than the current publishing methods assuming everyone paid. Which they wouldn't.

I'm sure I waffled on about this before somewhere, but it ought to be possible to set up a Just Giving style site where you can make micropayments to an artist (writer, musician, photographer or whatever) and that writer, once they've established and proven who they are, could then just transfer the money into their own account.
If it was all done at one central site for all artists it would be a lot easier.
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