Who Wants a Kindle?

Guys, I’ve had a Kindle since 2010 or 2011. I took a friend of mine to Six Flags for her birthday (four hours away) and she reciprocated by buying me a Kindle for my next birthday. And we stopped talking completely the following year. Eh. Friendships.

Anyway, I wouldn’t have a Kindle device if one wasn’t given to me as a gift. Just because I always prefer print over eBook. And now I think it’s time to give it to someone who will actually put it to good use.

I have a Kindle Keyboard with free wireless. You don’t need to connect it to your WiFi to download books. Just turn wireless on on the device and you can download books instantly. I also have the original charger and two cases. One case is leather and straps the Kindle inside, and the other is really just an additional later of protection should you drop it. I’ve never dropped it. And you can use both cases at once. The reasoning behind this is that I never liked reading with the Kindle hooked into the leather case. So I use the leather case when the Kindle is not in use and the rubber one when I’m reading.

The Kindle Keyboard does NOT have a browser or touchscreen. It doesn’t have a backlight. But it does get the job done for someone who only needs it for reading purposes. And who has adequate light around them.

I’ve never once had any issue with it. No charging failures. No display problems. No button issues.

I’m asking $50 for the Kindle and the two cases that I think work well together. I’ll pay shipping.

If you decide you don’t want it after buying you can send it back to me within 30 days. YOU cover the shipping charge. Guys, I can sell it back to Amazon just as easily as I’m selling it to you. Payment would be made through PayPal.

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So, does anyone need a Kindle to be used strictly for reading?

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Is the Battle Between Print and Digital Officially Over?

As you may or may not know, the battle between print and ebooks may be over. And the winner is print.

Pew Research Center just released the results of their survey taken earlier this year that puts the market share of ebooks even lower than the generally accepted 30%. It’s in the twenties. And it’s not rising.

Print also isn’t rising, but the world of publishing would be perfectly fine with print making up anywhere from 65%-75% of the market. Publishers might even be ecstatic. A few years ago it looked as though the Kindle and ebooks would send print books to their ultimate demise. But that looks about as likely as me becoming president.

What do you think of the results of this survey? It’s not something that surprises me one bit.

Wrong Again

Not me, of course. But many others. How many times have you heard about the decline of the book? Or that people aren’t reading anymore? Or that eBooks will put an end to print books?

New sales numbers just released prove otherwise. EBook sales are down year over year roughly 10 percent. Paperback sales are up more than 5 percent. The Kindle hasn’t killed anything. And Amazon hasn’t killed or taken anything over. People are still reading. And it appears that the ridiculous prices of eBooks are turning people off of buying eBooks when the paperback version is almost certainly cheaper, and the hardcover version is just about the same price.

What do you think about eBook sales now stalling for multiple years in a row and a relative resurgence happening with print books?

Is Amazon Good For Books?

Exactly one year ago today I wrote this post asking the exact same question. But if you happen to click the link you’ll find that there was no discussion at the time. One Like and no comments. Which is funny because the post I published just two days later currently has 109 Likes and 189 comments. Just how these things go sometimes. And honestly, I’ve wanted to revisit this particular topic for a long time now. Partly because last year’s post went unnoticed and because a lot has changed in the last 365 days.

Let me also say something very important. I know some of you will read this question as “Is Amazon good for publishing?” Don’t. I’m looking big picture here. Writers. Readers. Publishers. All of it.

First, I’d like for you to simply answer the question. A simple yes or no will suffice for now.

Got your answer? Great. Let me begin.

Now I’m going to list out all of the programs and things that Amazon has done related to books. If I feel a particular topic requires more information, then I’ll say what I want to say.

I’ll reveal my overall take at the end.

Amazon Kindle

The premier eReader. Period. I have the super old Kindle Keyboard and it works like new. The Kindle Paperwhite was a major step in the right direction and then it was followed by the Kindle Voyage. It’s hard to keep making these better, but they do.

And let’s not forget that the Kindle changed publishing and how books are accessed.

CreateSpace

Yes I used CreateSpace for my first book, but ask anyone and you’ll find that it is the most used and the easiest to use self publishing platform.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Want to publish your book on Kindle and see what happens? This is what you’ll likely use.

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon’s eBook subscription service. You’ve likely read somewhere about how it’s taking money out of authors’ pockets and how all these authors are having to go back to their day job. Come on. The titles in Kindle Unlimited are self published or Amazon Publishing titles. These aren’t your super authors. The authors in the program are probably not making seven figures from their book sales. So let’s give it a rest.

Kindle First

Gives you access to four titles a month before their release date for a discounted price on Kindle. Or free if you’re a Prime member.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA)

The annual contest is no longer run, but it was the single most lucrative publishing contest in America during its time. The grand prize winner would receive a $50,000 publishing contract. And oh by the way, I’ve looked into some of the past winners and they’re very high in the Kindle store and have thousands of reviews.

Kindle Scout

This is why the ABNA is no longer conducted. It was replaced. Now Amazon has given the power to the readers. All an author has to do is enroll their unreleased book into the program and readers will be able to read a sample for a 30 day period and vote which books they believe should be published. If a book is chosen for publishing the author receives a $1,500 advance and a shortened timeline to publication.

Amazon Publishing

These are traditional publishers under the Amazon umbrella. Thomas & Mercer. AmazonCrossing. AmazonEncore. 47North. Montlake Romance. AmazonPublishing. Grand Harbor Press. Little A. Jet City Comics. Two Lions. Skyscape. Lake Union Publishing. StoryFront. Waterfall Press. Each imprint publishes different genres from the others.

Kindle Convert

You can convert your print books into Kindle books.

Audible

Audiobooks.

AbeBooks

The site on which you can find those rare books you can’t find elsewhere.

Goodreads

Bet you didn’t know Amazon owned this, did ya? Yep.

I think that’s it. I came up with this list off the top of my head, so feel free to tell me if I forgot anything. Now I think you’ve figured out which side of the fence I’m on. I’m Team Amazon. All the way. Let’s just go down the list real quick.

There’s nothing to be said about the Kindle. It’s great and continues to be great.

CreateSpace gives so many writers the opportunity to see their book in print. And who knows, there’s gotta be another Hugh Howey coming along. If you look at the other self-publishing platforms, there really is no match. Even if you think self-publishing as a whole is no good, it’s here to stay…might as well use the best platform.

KDP gives the writers who don’t care to see their book in print the opportunity to sell their book in the Kindle store, and they don’t even have to pay for anything if they’re comfortable with their cover and formatting.

Kindle Unlimited has the potential to be great, but not one of the Big Five has their titles included in the program. I’d say it’s just an eh for now.

Kindle First. I actually really like this. I’ve downloaded four new books for free in the last couple of weeks because I’m a Prime member. I’ll have more info once I read one of the books. But the idea is great and the books chosen for the program shoot to the top of the Kindle store immediately. People seem to like free and discounted books. Surprise, right?

ABNA was the most lucrative publishing contest during its run. Don’t tell me you have something negative to say, especially if you entered every year. And Kindle Scout is one of those programs that many writers dream of. Because let’s face it, there are A LOT of writers out there writing books who will never be published by a traditional publisher. I’m probably one of them. But you could have a blog or nice social media presence or some really cool friends and family members go and nominate your book for publishing. And guess what, there’s a chance that it actually gets published. The Amazon editors have the final say, but anyone who enters their book into this program has absolutely nothing to lose and the chance of a lifetime.

Amazon Publishing has a lot of imprints. For every kind of author. The downside of publishing with one of their imprints is that your books won’t be sold by Barnes and Noble or most other retailers. The plus side is your book will get a significant amount of Amazon marketing. I know because an author I really enjoy went from a Big Five publisher to an Amazon publisher and instead of having 50 reviews as he did on his previous books, he’s in the thousands. So he’s selling a lot of books.

Kindle Convert sucks and it’s stupid.

Audible. There are a few audiobook makers out there, and I haven’t listened to one in more than a decade. So eh.

AbeBooks is great. I once had a handful of books written by a favorite author of mine that I could not find anywhere. I even asked the author! He didn’t know. But then I was referred to AbeBooks and BAM I got my books.

Goodreads is actually Amazon’s second foray into the book social networking realm. Shelfari was their first, and if you’re still using that site….you’re behind the times. Way behind. And yes, I know Amazon didn’t create Goodreads. But they still own it so it belongs on the list.

All in all, if you look at what Amazon has done for readers, at the opportunities they provide authors, and at the newfound competition between traditional publishers that have had a stranglehold on the publishing industry for more than a century….I don’t see how one can conclude they’re bad for books. But I’m certain that this will be a mixed bag of responses.

Unleash your thoughts on the matter!

Print Books Here to Stay

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Photo Credit: Julie Griffin

Okay guys, anyone who reads about books or the publishing industry on any kind of regular basis has read at some point in the last couple of years about the demise of printed books. I know I have. I’ve always been the person to roll my eyes and acknowledge that those writing such pieces had no real information to back up their claims that printed books were a dying product.

I know what you’re thinking. What about Kindle? Or even iBooks or the Nook? Ebooks have certainly changed the publishing industry, there’s no doubt about that, but to say that ebooks have moved printed books toward the brink of extinction has never been close to reality. Obviously when something new comes along everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. Ebooks saw triple digit rates of growth for years, until 2013 saw the rate slip into the single digits. With the first six months of 2014 showing evidence that the growth rates of ebooks may have leveled off with ebooks making up just 23 percent of the market, with hardcovers at 25 percent, and paperbacks at 42 percent. Look at that. People are buying those big, bulky, overly expensive hardcovers more than they are buying ebooks at the moment.

Ebooks aren’t going anywhere, but neither are printed books. So I kindly ask that you stop writing articles that are strictly your opinion with no basis in fact. Thanks.

You can read an article on the topic here.