What Will a Kindle Tablet Offer to Authors & Designers of Enhanced Ebooks?
The sky is opening up for designers and authors of enhanced books. Some authors will look up at the sky and see clouds. They are quite content to paint the scenes and make the sounds simply but elegantly with words. There should always be a place on our electronic bookshelves for these talented writers. At the same time, other authors will look at emerging technologies and see sunshine. The new book tech allow collaboration among artists of various stripes; writers, filmmakers, designers, illustrators and others. The iPad has allowed some amazing ‘books’ to open up to bibliophiles. Now that the premier ebook device producer, Amazon, will soon release the Kindle tablet, the vista is about to expand to more everyday readers.
Advantages of the Kindle Tablet
- E-reader of choice: Amazon Kindle has been the undisputed champion of e-readers since it came out of the gates in 2007. It wasn’t the ‘iPad Killer’ as some tech journalists had predicted. It soon became clear that Kindle wasn’t even on the hunt for the iPad. It simply established itself as the best lay-back companion for an ebook. With that reputation, the new Kindle tablet must tread carefully into the tablet territory lest other e-reading tablet makers take the crown. The Barns & Nobles ‘Nook‘, the Sony Reader and other also-running devices are certainly going to leap on any type of Kindle stumble.
- Color: I can imagine that most Kindle readers have looked at the cover of their ebook and said to themselves, “I wonder what this looks like in color?” Well, not only will they not have to guess about the cover, but the interior pages will now pop off the page with the coming Kindle Tablet color screen. For authors who add illustrations or multi-media to their texts, this will mean they have one more selling point with their title.
- Cloud Storage: As ebooks add content beyond text (illustrations, audio & video), they are also adding file size. Even with my 32 gigabyte iPad, I will pass on some interesting interactive books simply because I don’t want to add another 200 megabytes or more to my tablet. Although the storage size of the Kindle tablet is reported to be a meager 6 gigabytes, that should not pose much of a limitation because of their cloud storage. Anyone who has used Amazon’s WhisperSync know that they can easily load and delete their books repeatedly from the cloud (assuming you have a wi-fy connection). Therefore, those multi-media-laden books will only be a click away and not permanently eat up the Kindle tablet storage.
- Independent Author Relationship: Amazon is, for the independent writers, author-friendly. CreateSpace, a member of the Amazon group of companies, can help get your book in the Amazon store as a print-on-demand. However, one step I took with my book, ‘Back Lot Talk‘ was to first go to Smashwords for my ebook publication and distribution.
- One-Click: Chances are, if you’ve ever bought anything from Amazon, they have all the information they need about you to deliver any book that catches your fancy with just one click. Given that fact, an author would be wise to pay as much attention or more to their book description as to their book. A well-worded description can lead to increased sales.
- Netflix of Books: Who buys movies anymore? Why buy when you can rent. It appears that Amazon will offer the same service for books that they now offer for movies. Of course that means that the profit margins will be smaller for indie publishers and authors, but the volume of rentals may more than make up for the lack of sales.
Limitations of the Kindle Tablet
- Closed Operating System: The Kindle tablet will run on the Android operating system. Although Android is prevalent on most non-iPad tablets, Amazon is using an older version (v2) which is forked. In other words, Amazon has applied its own flavor to the OS which may prevent other apps from functioning on the Kindle. Currently, the majority of book apps for tablets are being developed for Apple’s iOS operating system. However, other Android tablets are picking up steam. Unfortunately, book apps already developed for Android will not likely be portable to the Kindle tablet. Therefore, developers will have the extra expense of time and money to make it comparable for the Kindle tablet. For those with limited resources, it may be practicable to develop for solely one device.
- Specs: The term ‘specs’ have a double meaning. I’m now doing a little speculation about the specifications, as I’ve not found specifics (hey, that’s three specs!) How much will the Kindle Tablet weigh? That’s an important consideration because the current crop of Kindles is lightweight enough to be comfortable to hold and read for long periods of time. Anyone who has held an iPad in and unsupported position knows that it soon gets heavy. If published accounts are accurate, the Kindle tablet will not use the e-ink screen. If they go with glass, it will add weight to the device. Yet, these accounts also state that the back is rubber. If the Kindle table can remain substantially lighter than the iPad, it will likely remain the reader of choice in a tablet form factor.
The landscape of enhanced ebook publishing is like the dawn. Each sunlit morning reveals a unique surprise for the early risers.
Do you see the coming Kindle tablet as a game-changer or just another electronic gadget?