Monday, January 11, 2010

Kindle Editions of My Books

Amazon Kindle 2 Wireless Reading Device:

Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless)

Lately, I've been doing a good bit of research into ebooks and ebook reading technology, mainly because of the growing popularity of ebook reading devices.  With better options for making use of such electronic books, such as Amazon's Kindle 2 (above) and the larger Kindle DX, not to mention netbooks, reading apps for smartphones like Mobipocket Reader and others,  more and more readers are purchasing books in electronic format.

Not having purchased a Kindle reader yet, I downloaded the free Kindle for PC application from Amazon to sample the functionality of it and I have to say I am quite impressed.  A quick search through Amazon's Kindle Store led me to quite a selection of great classic literature that is available for free download.  I quickly added such titles as: Heart of Darkness, Two Years Before the Mast (Signet Classics), and Walden to my electronic library and gave them a try on Kindle for PC.   Even on the laptop, the readability with the Kindle program is much easier than trying to read books in PDF format on Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Page turns are simple with a click of the mouse or a push on the space bar, and bookmarks and notations can be made in an instant so that you can quickly find key passages.

In addition to all these free classics available from Amazon, most publishers of "dead tree books" are now offering Kindle Editions to go alongside their traditional hardcover and paperback designs. My own books published by University Press of Mississippi are a good example.  Currently, two of them are available as Kindle Editions, and my forthcoming book to be published by Ulysses Press in May will surely be available for Kindle as well.  Look at the cost savings on these two books:

On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean
Paperback Edition:  List Price $20.00,  Amazon Price $15.60

On Island Time Kayaking the Caribbean (Kindle Edition)
Kindle Edition Price $9.99

Exploring Coastal Mississippi: A Guide to the Marine Waters and Islands
Paperback Edition:  List Price $22.00,  Amazon Price $14.96

Exploring Coastal Mississippi (Kindle Edition)
Kindle Edition Price  $9.99

For some reason Paddling the Pascagoula is not yet available on Kindle, (I'll blame it on my co-author, Ernest Herndon) but hopefully it will be soon.

Seeing the advantages of offering books in Kindle format led me to look into producing a Kindle Edition for Astray of the Herd: Observations, Commentaries and Rants from Outside the Mainstream, as well.  I initially published this book through a independant Print-On-Demand system worked out pretty well, but in order to make even a minimal royalty, I had to price it at $14.00 for the printed version.  Now, with Amazon's digital publishing, I have produced it in ebook format and can offer it for just $2.49.  Here is a link to the Kindle Edition: 

Astray of the Herd (Kindle Edition)

Through Amazon I can also offer the same paperback edition as the original for a lower price of just $10.95.  I 'm in the process of preparing that now.  In another post in the near future, I will write about my adventures of publishing both for Kindle and print through Amazon, and provide some helpful resources for readers who would like to do the same.

Kindle and other forms of ebooks are great for people who are voracious readers, are on the go a lot, or like me, need to carry a lot of reference books, guidebooks and other reading material in a small space, such as on a sailboat.  The space savings, cost savings on books compared to printed books and the availability of many free books makes a Kindle reader high on my list of near-future purchases.  Just as the Ipod allowed me to leave the CDs at home, a Kindle reader will certainly lighten my load. 

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