Kindle/ eReader Thoughts

I was asked by Cynthia Reeser, a little while ago, if I’d like to contribute to a book she’s writing on how to publish for the Kindle. Of course I said yes, and I wrote a little something about what I thought about eBooks and, mostly, what I thought the publishers and manufacturers need to do to make the whole thing work.

I received the PDF of the whole book last week and decided to read it on my iPhone (getting into the spirit and all that – plus – it’s a 150 page ms and I didn’t want to carry it around with me).

Now, the book aside (which is EXCELLENT and I’m thrilled to be in it) it was a disappointing experience, and one that’s reaffirmed my doubts about the iPad as an electronic reader.

My main problems were:

The screen.

People developed E-ink for a reason. Reading anything of any length on a backlit screen is a chore and it’s painful.

Usability. The iPhone is intuitive and clever. It’s excellent for web browsing and for emailing and whatnot. 

What it isn’t good at (and to be fair, it wasn’t designed as such) is being anything like a notebook. I thank all that’s holy (and you all so know I don’t go in for any of that malarkey) that I was able to find the GoodReader app – because it’s the only one I did find that didn’t take me back to the beginning of the ms every time I came out of it (to email, to use the phone etc).

Two little problems that made a really big difference. And, as I said earlier (and even earlier here) makes me really wonder how useful the iPad will be as something to read books on. If I was going to get one (an eReader) it would HAVE to have E-ink.

That’s it for now. I’ll talk about the book at some point soon.

6 Comments on “Kindle/ eReader Thoughts

  1.  by  L-Plate Author

    I love my sony pocket ereader, Nik. I did if and ah about getting one and it was brought as a present (after I'd gone on and on about it) but I've used it so much. You're right, the grey screen is a godsend. Apparently it has a little glare compared to the earlier model, but it hasn't bothered me yet. The ultimate test will be in the sun as The Gadget Show reported. And I can load my manuscripts straight up from Word. And it's pink! x

  2.  by  Rachel Fenton

    I barely own any gadgets so cannot see myself ever buying an e-reader iPad (snicker) of any kind. It's really interesting to know what first reactions to these things are though – and especially details such as the screen colour. I reckon if I got one it would only be yet another means of deferring the actual job of writing!

  3.  by  Nik Perring

    God – I know what you mean, Rachel! But I do feel I ought to know at least a bit about it because this, whether we like it or not, is going to be a considerable part of the industry. I think it's a 'time will tell' situation!Nik

  4.  by  dan rogy

    http://kindle2000.comNot All E Ink is the Same – Kindle Uses "Pearl", the Latest Generation E Ink for 50% Better ContrastWhen considering an ereader, you should ensure that you are getting a device with the latest generation E Ink technology, referred to as "Pearl". Our all-new Kindle uses Pearl, resulting in the best reading experience possible with 50% better contrast and the sharpest named our Pearl display a "Best of What's New 2010" winner stating, "The newest Kindle's most impressive achievement (among others, including a reduced size and a slashed price) is its E Ink Pearl screen, which is just an absolute pleasure to behold."How Electronic Ink WorksElectronic ink screens work using ink, just like books and newspapers, but display the ink particles electronically. People who see the display for the first time do a double take because the screen looks like real paper.No Eye Strain – Reads Like Real Paper, Not a Computer ScreenKindle's electronic ink display is ideal for reading because it does not create the same eyestrain as reading on traditional backlit LCD tablets or laptops.Clearer Text and the Sharpest DisplayElectronic ink uses actual ink to create crisp, print-like text similar to what you see in a physical book. Kindle's proprietary, hand-built fonts take advantage of the special characteristics of the ink to make letters clear and sharp.No Glare, Even in Bright SunlightKindle's screen reflects light like ordinary paper, eliminating the glare created by backlit LCD displays on tablets or smart phones. Kindle can be read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room.Longer Battery LifeElectronic ink screens require no power to maintain a page of text, allowing you to read for up to a month on a single charge versus hours on a tablet or smart phone. This low power consumption also means that Kindle, unlike a laptop, never gets warm so you can comfortably read as long as you like.

  5.  by  Nik Perring

    Dan, that's very lovely of you to have spent so much time commenting (or pasting). And I am a Kindle fan. But. This is my personal blog, where I talk about being an author, and other such things. What it ISN'T is free advertising space. Got it? I hope so. I wouldn't want to have to tell you to fuck off. I hope we understand each other. Best wishes.

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