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When the Kindle first came out, my reaction was, “meh” yet another e-reader. Another expensive e-reader. I do read e-books, but I just read them on my laptop. But I keep hearing about this Kindle thing. I see reviews–all of them good. I started thinking about how cool it would be to have a Kindle for travel–instead of taking two to five books..I’d just need the Kindle, preloaded. But then there’s the whole price–not only of the Kindle itself, but the books. 9.99 may be cheap compared to a hardback, but I don’t buy hardbacks, unless they are used and cost somewhere in the 5 dollar neighborhood (including shipping.)

Then lately I noticed there were a number of Kindle books for…2 dollars. 3 dollars and 5 dollars. My price range. And the price of the Kindle came down too. Oh, not enough to make me rush out and buy one–but it got my attention.

Then I found this Blog that is All About Kindle. Hmm, interesting stuff.

I’m watching. I admit it. I’m interested.

Update: August 2009 — I made two of my books available on Kindle.

thief_med Catch an Honest Thief (A Haven Mystery) is available for download to Kindles, iPhone or iPOD touch.

If you enjoy cozy mysteries, check it out:

Alexia is determined to protect her city, and if that means wearing the cloak of thievery, well, who better than she–a practiced observer of human behavior and a pretty good sneak thief as well?

Alexia steals the crystals that power Haven to prove that it can be done. Her plan to improve security works perfectly–until a real thief goes after the crystals. Unfortunately, if she admits what she knows, she’ll be blamed for all the attempts at the crystals. With no easy choices, she enters a dangerous game of cat and mouse against both the security chief and the real thieves.

The competition is likely to cost her everything she holds dear—but she’ll do what she has to in order to stop the insiders that are determined to take the crystals and end the game for good.

Young adults may also enjoy this cozy mystery with a romantic subplot.

Pages: ~260 or 3900 locations (Kindle terminology).
Price: $1.99.

grannylessbusy2 Sage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom – Now available for download to your Kindle, iPhone or iPod-touch via Amazon.

Sword and Sorcery meets Agatha Christie. Three novellas introduce the Kingdom of Sage and those who protect its boundaries. Join Demetria and her husband Ward in their adventures as they protect Sage from evil: Rats, Snakes and perpetrators from within.

Sometimes it takes a more experienced hand to save an entire Kingdom.

The first of these stories, Toil, Trouble and Rot, was published in Coyote Wild Magazine; the other two are all new, original stories. In Dungeons and Decay find out just how far a mother will go when her child is in danger–and how much magic it takes to keep him safe. In Call to Arms, its a family affair; every hand is needed when a ghost invades the kingdom demanding old wrongs be righted.

Kindle Locations: 1312
Pages: 150
Price: $1.00

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Posted: July 11, 2009


  1. To me it still just seems too expensive. There are so many phones out their now i.e. iphone that can do a similar job and you get more functionality out of it.

    Yes books that cost $2,3,4 or 5 dollars are great but you still have to fork out $300 and that doesn’t include any books! Often the books you want (new books) would be more expensive say $9-10. I don’t see how they can justify the costs of ebooks when they don’t have to pay shipping, storage, staff for that storage, they don’t have to go through a 3rd person to get you that book etc etc.

    As for the advertising. I’m all for it if it allows for cheaper books and as long as it doesn’t flood your ebook.

    Comment by Enchante — July 11, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

  2. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. Here’s a few things that I’ve heard in defense of the price:(not because I agree or disagree)

    1. With iPhone and other devices, you pay 30 to 60 dollars per month to access the internet. With Kindle–you pay one fee upfront and then the wireless connect is no charge. It plays audio books and mp3 files from what I read–apparently a lot of people don’t know about that functionality.

    2. Let’s see…oh–the publishers set the book prices. I’ve read that Amazon is actually losing money on most of the books because the publisher refuses to create an ebook price. For this I really do blame the publishers. They don’t really want to sell ebooks or change any of the status quo.

    I hate the idea of ads. I think they can provide the books without the advertising–they’re doing it today and I don’t want to pay for a book so that I have wonderful ads staring me in the face. Meh!

    Just some thoughts.

    Comment by Maria — July 12, 2009 @ 6:59 am

  3. With the iphone you don’t have to go on the internet on the phone. You can always transfer the data via your computer or wifi your internet and then download. It is great that kindle can play mp3’s but why would you use that function? The only time I can see you do that is if you liked listening to music and read at the same time.

    Without an explanation I don’t see how/why Amazon is losing money. Yes the publishers set the price, but you don’t have to produce paper, you don’t have to make the books, you don’t have to store the books. That is a lot of savings!

    Comment by Enchante — July 12, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

  4. I know I am a bit bias against the Kindle and I am, but I don’t see the benefit. $300 for a kindle, it just seems like -EV to do so.

    Comment by Enchante — July 12, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

  5. Amazon loses money because they have to pay the publisher more than 9.99 for the book. From what I read, they pay something like 13. Amazon is just the reseller; they essentially buy it from the publisher and resell. Amazon hasn’t been able to talk the publisher down in price to allow them to make a profit.

    In general books are sold to a bookstore or an Amazon at 60 percent of the cover price. Then Amazon or the bookseller sells it to you for the cover price. They make the resulting 40 percent (or if they choose to discount it, they make less.)

    So Amazon set the price, but from what I read, in many cases, the publishers won’t play and won’t lower the price. But they want people to buy the kindle so they are trying to encourage buyers.

    The PUBLISHER is not losing money.

    No, you don’t have to hook to the internet with the iPhone–but the point others are making is that even to use the phone part of the iPhone you pay a monthly fee. Really it’s just like the old VCR model versus the Tiva today. With the VCR, you paid for the equipment, but you didn’t pay to use it. With Tiva, you pay a monthly fee to get the content downloaded to watch later.

    I’m not for or against either model specifically. The question boils down to whether or not a person is willing to pay 300 dollars to read books. There are alternatives. With movies, there were alternatives also. You could wait for the movie to be in the theatre. If you missed it, you could hope it replayed on TV. So people began buying VCRs and renting movies.

    I think Amazon is playing on that model. Buy the reader, get the book. OF course more people have always been willing to buy equipment or pay for movies.

    And the way it stands now, buying most books is affordable, portable, etc. The benefits are limited to some ease of use and carrying multiple books on one device while traveling. Yes, you get some whistles and bells–music/audio/internet.

    I think after enough people are interested, Amazon would move to a pay per month–because once you’ve exhausted the people willing to buy the machine, you need a revenue stream. that’s what has happened to all the movie/tv models. Even phone models–sometimes you get a free phone, but really they are after the monthly revenue stream.

    The question is: Will any of these models work for books?

    Comment by Maria — July 12, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

  6. Hmmm…

    Comment by Max Power — July 15, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  7. I knew I could count on you to comment on a gadget! Although I didn’t expect quite this comment…

    I think they’re smokin’ something. These devices aren’t cheap. Maybe someday, but even so…I’m thinking they could just stick with old fashioned books and stop reprinting them so often. I mean, math doesn’t change that much. Hasn’t since I was in school that I know of. Science, yeah, there are a few things. English…not so much.


    Comment by Maria — July 15, 2009 @ 10:21 am

  8. On the other hand, history is revised day-by-day. 😉

    No doubt it’s either a boondoggle or a group of folks hideously out of touch with reality in oh so many aspects – not to mention that it’s well established that there are a significant number of folks out there that simply cannot absorb any kind of signficant information from a screen.

    There was also a knockoff of the Kindle-2 just now making the rounds in Japan that I’d thought about posting a link to, but figured it wasn’t significant enough to mention as it still would have been around $230 in converted currency.

    A quick comment on the content prices: I think we’re seeing a phenomena similar in some ways to what happened during the CD “revolution”. It cost far less to produce and distribute content on a CD than by pressing vinyl – and yet the prices for CDs started out at levels twice that of a new “hot” album (and about 30% over special audiophile pressings). There was, and continues to be, nothing to justify this price premium except that the production channel saw an opportunity to crank up their margins. Though CD prices have drifted a little lower over the past 25 years, I believe they are still at a significant premium over what inflation adjusted prices for vinyl would be today. In my view – this is precident(sp?) alone is sufficient reason to resist the Kindle paradigm.

    Comment by Max Power — July 15, 2009 @ 11:19 am

  9. You are sooo right about history!

    BMHusband and I have talked a lot about how it is like the music industry in many ways.

    I guess what does intrigue me is the books that are coming out that aren’t 9.99. This has opened a whole can of…possibilities for authors (myself included perhaps.) There’s a few midlist authors that have talked their publishers into offering their books for 3 dollars or so (J.A. Konrath is the main one that has been blogging about it.) The idea for authors is to gain a larger audience. The great part for a kindle reader is that the purchase price is suddenly attractive.

    I just read another small publisher that said they wouldn’t publish in Kindle format because it would compete against their hardback price. The problem with that argument is that the hardback buyer and the kindle owner are likely not the same audience. I don’t buy hardbacks. If I owned a kindle, I still wouldn’t buy a hardback. I’d wait for the kindle version, or like now, I’d wait for the paperback or do without the book entirely. There is so much to read, it’s pretty rare that I just *gotta* have a particular book. Even then, I can usually wait a few weeks and find it used.

    Like I said. I’m not entirely convinced. But I’m interested.

    Comment by Maria — July 15, 2009 @ 11:31 am

  10. I do buy the occasional hardback, but it’s not a habit. The purchase will either be because it’s something I want “right now” and it’s not out in paperback AND the price isn’t outrageous, or if it’s something I plan to keep for a *long* time – like my copy of the Silmarillion, or Poe’s collected works, or something along those lines. Often, I’ll have a paperback copy (if available) as well for “on the go” reading.

    Comment by Max Power — July 15, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

  11. I bought a few hardbacks when I was younger and more impatient. What I found was they weren’t worth 25 dollars. These days, the library gets a lot of them anyway, so I just get on the waiting list for authors that I know will have a book out shortly (if they are popular.)

    But if Kindle ever talks the publishers into real ebook prices (3 bucks) that would make it a sweet deal. I buy ebooks now, but I am sure as hell not paying for the paper that isn’t even there.

    Comment by Maria — July 15, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

  12. Ummm… Wow. Shame on Amazon for including remote control functionality to be able to pull off a feat like this. Stuff like this is why I got into a big argument with a GM Brand-Marketing-Manager a couple of years ago about why I’ll never buy a vehicle that is equipped with OnStar.

    Comment by Max Power — July 22, 2009 @ 8:44 am

  13. Yeah, it’s been all over the discussion boards. Lot of people were pretty disappointed. Amazon has come out and said, “Whoops. We shouldn’t have done that and won’t do that again.” But it opened a lot of eyes that it COULD be done when most people never thought about it.

    Comment by Maria — July 22, 2009 @ 8:48 am

  14. Amazon: “We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances.”

    Ironic that their statement reads a lot like news-speak. They’re not saying (1) that they are going to remove the functionality from the Kindle and (2) they are also not saying that they won’t ever do another remote delete.

    Comment by Max Power — July 22, 2009 @ 9:33 am

  15. I think it’s pretty clear they don’t intend to remove the functionality–in fact, if any of the users thought about it, they would know it was there. Readers can “return” a book (for various reasons). So…in that case, one would think that it has to be deleted from the kindle. Was Amazon just trusting the user to delete the book or has it been understood that they remove it from the archive and the kindle (Amazon keeps a record of what you’ve paid for. That way if you upgrade, delete it or otherwise lose it, you can download it again.)

    I think they have said that they won’t do a remote delete under similar circumstances.

    The good news is that people are now aware. If enough don’t like the function they now know to complain.

    Comment by Maria — July 22, 2009 @ 11:53 am

  16. A lot of people keep asking what formats work on the Kindle, so I thought I’d post a link that has all that information in one place (it’s from the Amazon Kindle forum so if you have additional questions, that would be the place to ask. Those people know their stuff!)

    There’s a pretty complete list of formats that will upload to the kindle–with and without conversion.

    Comment by Maria — August 18, 2009 @ 8:17 am

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