Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Kindle on iPhone -- Big News for Publishers

This morning's news had a single item that made me drop everything. I flipped over to iTunes and downloaded the Kindle on iPhone free app and immediately attempted to download one of my ebooks.

I entered my regular Amazon login, and then found that the 'storefront' capabilities of the reader are very crude. You go to a web browser to find and buy your Kindle books. The builtin Safari will do, but I was too excited to wait and went immediately to my desktop version.

When I located the Kindle version of my Lighter Than Air, I was surprised to find that there was a button named with my phone's name (Obsidian) that I could download to.
I bought, went back to the Kindle App on the iPhone and it immediately began to download the book, just a couple of seconds at 3G speeds.

Finally! I can now see what my ebooks look like on a Kindle! I've been publishing blind, and I can see that in this case, the books reads fine, but the cover art is missing. I'll have to rework that, now that I know it's a problem.

As a reader, it's different from the Stanza version, but roughly equivalent. You swipe to turn the page and tap to get a slider to move to different parts of the book. Changing font size actually works better than Stanza and happens quicker.
My daughter looked at it and said, "Oh, it's just another ebook reader." Yes, that's the point. It'll be familiar and usable.

I expect the bookstore features will give the App some poor reviews and Amazon would be stupid not to push out an update to fix it. But everybody has an Amazon account and people are tired of opening new accounts everywhere.

240,000 titles meet Millions of iPhone owners.


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