Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Round-up of Kindle news

There seems to be quite a number of stories today related to Amazon's Kindle, so I thought a round-up would be in order.

Amazon announced this morning that it would be releasing a Kindle app for Android later this summer. Since everyone it seems is releasing an app this may not seem like a big deal. But the app promises one feature for Android that will be missing from similar Apple iPhone OS apps: in-app purchasing.
It is this kind of differentiation, brought on by some of the limitations imposed by Apple that may spur the sales of Android tablets when they launched.

From the release on Amazon's site:

"Kindle for Android is the perfect companion application for Kindle and Kindle DX owners, and is also a great way for customers to enjoy over 540,000 books in the Kindle Store even if they don't yet have a Kindle," said Jay Marine, director, Amazon Kindle. "We think customers are going to love the convenience and simplicity of having instant access to a massive selection of books from Amazon on their Droid, Nexus, Incredible and many more Android devices."

The New York Times' Bits column speculates that Amazon is actively working to update its Kindle device itself, hiring a slew of engineers for the job. It may be speculation but Amazon is certainly in a situation where they can either begin to deemphasis their reading device, or else work to upgrade it in response to not only Apple's iPad, but also other e-ink devices recently launched.

Another Amazon release this morning touted its Artist Central, a free service that helps musicians, managers and record labels connect with customers on the company's website. The service passed a milestone it seems: the company claims that more than 10,000 musicians are now using the service.

Jason Pinter has a story today on Huffington Post about self-publishing through Amazon. The entire post is worth a read, but here is his conclusion:
If you are savvy, knowledgable, and above all talented, the ebook revolution can help you find readers and build a career. But if you're simply impatient, eager to 'publish' a book because you feel you're ready despite what the skeptics might say, you might be shooting your career in the foot. Yes, there will be some wonderful books published exclusively on Amazon. And hopefully those books and authors will find many eager readers. There are pros to the new technological possibilities, yet just because somebody breaks the mold does not mean the mold is meant to be broken by everybody. As Stephen King once wrote, "You're better off knowing what the rules are before you try to break them." For aspiring authors, harnessing your talents are the rules. Some people write wonderful first novels. Some people take hundreds of rejections to find their voice. And just because you 'can' self-publish does not mean that you 'should' self-publish.