Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kindle and Uncertain Inheritance Update

My Kindle (which I've mentioned a few times now) is proving to be better than I ever imagined.

I have not yet finished reading Uncertain Inheritance but I plan to this week and then write my 4th and final installment of my thoughts on the book.

Yesterday I purchased two more books for my Kindle and the previous day I purchased another two. I think all together now I've purchased 8 books and also had several Microsoft Word documents emailed to it. The last two days I bought books that I had no real reason to buy quickly.

I suppose I should explain that last statement. Sometimes I buy books because I am researching something and I want the material quickly because I need to get up to speed on whatever it is right now. If the book is available for the Kindle this is an easy decision because you just can't get the content sooner.

But other times the titles I want to buy are for reading over a longer period of time or just for the sheer enjoyment of reading. And that's what I ordered this week. But they aren't titles I will treasure forever. They are just titles I want to read and I would like to keep them for a while but not because I want to enjoy seeing them on my bookshelves. (Except I don't really have any bookshelves like that anymore.)

So normally that kind of book purchase would be a paperback edition or even a used volume now since it is so easy to buy used online from various sources. I wouldn't try the library for these titles because they probably wouldn't be there for one thing and you have to take them back to the library.

But when I was ready to buy all my titles were available in Kindle editions. One was $.99 and another was $2.99 and, honestly, I wouldn't have bought either in any other edition. The others were $6.78 and $6.39. The regular prices were, respectively, $14.95 and $7.98. So I saved nearly $10 but I spent $4 I wouldn't have otherwise. The other three purchases I've made for my Kindle saved me about $25.

So I've had the thing about a month or a little better now and I've saved at least $35. If this holds up I'll have paid for the thing in less than one year.

The other really cool thing about it though is that all of my purchases are available for me to download again from Amazon. I see the list in my Media Library. So I can read them and then delete them from my Kindle but Amazon still keeps them for me so I can go back and get them again if I need to for some reason. That's a bonus feature I had never considered.

It is a lot easier to find something, too, on line than having to look around the house for a particular book.

I notice there is a "share" checkbox by each title on my media list. I haven't done this so I'm not sure what it does. Plus I don't know anyone that has a Kindle I could share a title with anyway. Although I am thinking about getting Kindles for my children. I "think" if I did that then maybe they could share some of my titles - maybe not. We all read different stuff anyway so it doesn't make that much difference. But if they had Kindles I could "gift" them titles electronically.

But to get back to my main thought here is that I could have bought hard cover or soft cover books and I decided I wouldn't and bought the Kindle version instead. And mainly I did it because I really like having all my stuff to read in this nice little electronic package.

Another thing I've noticed is that I carry this thing around with me and if I have some waiting time - like before a meeting or something or maybe before Church starts or whatever - I get the thing out and read a bit.

Now I keep reading some of the experts saying this Kindle deal isn't going to make it. But I don't think that's true. I've noticed before that if I like something and use it then often there are a bunch of other people that are doing the same thing. I suspect that's true for the Kindle.

The other thing I want to mention is that I'm seriously thinking about writing something and publishing it as a Kindle version myself. And that's because it is so ridiculously easy to do. Basically you just write something (article, book, short stories, poems, whatever) in one of several formats - I will use HTML - and then you upload it to your Amazon account. In my case my Amazon publishing account is the same as my Amazon consumer account. It is in draft mode at that time. And you can view it yourself and if you want to change it then you just make changes locally and then upload again to overwrite. You do this as often as you want. Then, if you decide you want to sell it in the Kindle store, you put a price on it and hit the publish button and that's all there is to it. Now whether or not someone buys it is a totally different thing.

So why would I want to do that?

That's a very good question and I'm not sure I have a very good answer yet.

For me writing has always been something I do for me and not something I do for someone else. This blog is like that. I write it for myself. I admit it makes me happy that people read it sometimes but I think I'd probably be writing something whether anyone else ever looked at it or not.

Another thing though is that I've been thinking about trying to capture some thoughts and memories and stories and maybe preserve them in a way. Maybe my kids or grandkids or some other future generation would enjoy knowing a little about what it was like for me and my generation. I don't want to spend a lot of money doing it though. And let's face it the chances of selling enough copies of a conventional book to pay for the cost of publishing is about zero to less than none. So the Kindle seems like kind of a nice way.

Just musings about it.


nancy said...

terry, you have such a talent for writing and the way you describe things makes me feel like i am right there. i strongly encourage you to pursue your dream and go for it. i'm sure betsy and joanne would support you as well and have words of advice for you.

i had no idea that you could purchase books for a kindle so inexpensive. i may have to consider one. do you find the font to be smaller than a regular book or can you even adjust it? BTW, i have been reading an uncertain inheritance and am liking it a lot. thanks to both you and joanne for your reviews!

good luck to you in whatever you decide. you have much to share.

flintysooner said...

Yes on the font size. You can make it about whatever you want.

It is surprising to me that I enjoy reading on it as much as I have. This is the first e-book thing I have enjoyed.

It isn't perfect but it is a really good first device.

flintysooner said...

Actually I saved more than what I thought because I didn't have to pay any shipping charges.

And there was no sales tax.

The shipping could have been another $10 or $15 I think. I don't usually pay shipping though because I pay Amazon and Barnes and Noble a fee of some kind every year. Except that when I buy used I don't get the free shipping because it usually comes from a third party vendor.

But sales tax would have been nearly $15 I think if I had paid full price for the items and had them all delivered here.

Joanne D. Kiggins said...

This Kindle sounds like it has a lot of wonderful features. You do have a knack for writing and making people "feel" like they are right there beside you seeing what you're seeing. Do follow that urge to capture memories and stories, no matter how you put the thoughts down. I'm sure your family will treasure your stories forever. Good luck. I'm looking forward to your remaining review, too.

Lori1955 said...

Oh my gosh yes!!!! Please do write. You are so good at it. Who knows, maybe someday you will be famous.

~Betsy said...

Your writing is thoughtful and engaging. Go for it. I wouldn't just limit myself to the Kindle - put it on paper, too. Trust me.