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Publetariat Dispatch: The iPad And The Kindle Compared

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!

In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, indie author and publishing consultant Joanna Penn compares the iPad to the Kindle.

I’ve had the Kindle for over a year and the iPad for a few months now. Here’s how I am using both devices.

In the video below, I explain:

Reading fiction. Pretty much only on the Kindle device or on the Kindle app on the iPad/iPhone. I am quite loyal to the Amazon.com brand and experience as I have been buying physical books from overseas for years. It is a natural extension to move to the Kindle store, buy books there and read over multiple devices. The iBookstore is not very well populated as yet, and the Kindle app on the iPad is preferable.

Reading blogs. I use the iPad to relax and browse my Google Reader feeds as well as my social networks. I love using Flipboard, a fantastic app that formats the feeds into a magazine style layout with different sizes and pictures. It is addictive to read on Flipboard so that is how I find all the interesting articles that I tweet @thecreativepenn

Reading non-fiction/online course materials generally in PDF format. I do a lot of online courses and learning. Much of that material is formatted in PDF. I use GoodReader app on the iPad for this and love to be in the hammock with the iPad, a notebook and a cup of tea.

Multi-media. I am watching more videos on YouTube on the iPad as part of my surfing. I have also read some ebooks with embedded links to video that are great on the iPad specifically.

Traveling. When I was in Bali, I used the iPad for email, skype phone calls and twitter/facebook while I was away. I didn’t take the Kindle device as it is specialized but I did sync the same books and read them on the Kindle app. Using the iPad for skype saved me lots of money on international phone calls as well as being easy for email so I could work seamlessly while traveling. It’s definitely the device I will use in the future for travel.

Email/social networking/news on a casual basis. This may freak some people out but I often read email/twitter/FB/news while having breakfast! My husband also has an iPad and consumes different media to me. I often read UK and European news and he reads information from New Zealand (our respective countries of origin). Sitting at breakfast with a newspaper is not unusual for many couples, and for us, it is sitting with iPads. I don’t feel like it is work when I can just check a few things on email, reply to a few tweets and catch up on the news.

Overall, the iPad replaces laptop usage rather than Kindle usage. I am shifting consumption of blogs/video/learning onto the iPad whereas I did that with my laptop before. It is much more relaxing to sit with the iPad on the couch than to sit with a laptop. I still use the Kindle device for reading fiction primarily as their are no distractions when using it. The iPad has multiple distractions!

Do you have an iPad? How do you use yours?


This is a reprint from Joanna Penn‘s The Creative Penn.

Here’s Something That You Can Do on the iPad That You Can’t Do on the Kindle: Shop at Amazon

Irony of ironies.

I had an on-air conversation with Jeff Bezos in June 2008 where he told me that it was only “an engineering issue” that kept Amazon from offering Kindle owners the ability to use their Kindles to synch up with the rest of the Amazon store so that we could order other products from music to maple syrup.

Windwalker: Are you trying not to overdo it commercially or is that an engineering issue?

Bezos: Yeah, it’s an engineering issue. Those are the kinds of things we’re working on. We want complete integration between Kindle the device and Amazon.com the website.

Well, I know those Amazon engineers have a lot on their plates, but thaty was nearly two years ago! Today the company announced that it has unleashed an iPad-optimized Amazon Shopping App that will allow iPad owners to do any of the following:

  • Purchase using Amazon’s 1-Click ordering and Amazon Prime
  • Track packages or modify orders using the Your Account feature
  • Receive personalized recommendations
  • View editorial and customer reviews
  • Browse Amazon’s Bestsellers, Gold Box Deal of the Day and Lightning Deals
  • Access Wish List and Universal Wish List
  • Watch movie trailers and listen to song samples

Very cool, of course. But what are Kindle owners? Chopped liver?

Here’s the guts of Amazon’s press release this morning:

Amazon.com Announces Shopping App for iPad
 SEATTLE, May 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) –Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced its Amazon App for iPad is now available on the App Store. Optimized for the iPad, the app lets users search and discover products offered by Amazon and thousands of other retailers and includes popular features customers have come to know and trust including bestsellers, daily deals, robust product information, recommendations and customer reviews.

“Following the launch of the Amazon App for iPhone and iPod touch, we’ve used our customers’ feedback to help us build a fun and intuitive shopping destination on the iPad,” said Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile. “This application offers customers a unique, interactive experience that takes full advantage of the visual and tactile nature of the iPad.”
Key features of the Amazon App for iPad include:

  • Purchase using Amazon’s 1-Click ordering and Amazon Prime
  • Track packages or modify orders using the Your Account feature
  • Receive personalized recommendations
  • View editorial and customer reviews
  • Browse Amazon’s Bestsellers, Gold Box Deal of the Day and Lightning Deals
  • Access Wish List and Universal Wish List
  • Watch movie trailers and listen to song samples

The Amazon App for iPad is available for free on the iPad App Store or at www.itunes.com/appstore.

From the Kindle Nation Mailbag: Legacies (eBook, Literary, and Political), eBook Architecture, and Free Book Alerts

Thanks to Kindle Nation citizen Kenno for  his thoughtful comment on my RIP Alan Sillitoe post from last night. I commented back with some of this, but here I will take it a step further:

Your comment: “I didn’t much like the turns that Sillitoe’s personal politics took after his success as a novelist, but that never kept me from seeing his fiction as, in a number of ways, heroic and inspirational.”

I would have liked for you to have fleshed this one out a little. I did a small amount of research and saw that he identified with the poor working class and was in favor of the Iraq War, when few authors were. What did you mean?

Here’s another minor thought that may have no merit at all, but your daily long lists of freebies for the Kindle may be overdone. After acquiring “must have” classics, I may not have a life left long enough to read all that’s already on my Kindle. But please don’t stop listing them, since I acquired the freebie last week “90 Minutes in Heaven”, which was a very worthwhile read. I’m just hinting that more of your own thoughts would also be interesting.


Thanks for the comment, Kenno, but I’ll demure from further engagement on Sillitoe’s politics (other than to say that my relatively mild distaste was based more on Sillitoe’s Tory affinities of the 60s and 70s rather than of the past couple of decades): while I occasionally feel the need for a brief self-tagging, I would never want Kindle Nation Daily to become a political blog, or even a politics-of-the-literati blog. (Believe me, it’s not so much that I’m naturally reticent about politics and culture but that the opposite is true, so that I know enough not to allow myself to get started!)

Your point regarding KND Free Book Alerts is certainly taken, but here’s my thinking:

  1. Given the fact that there are thousands of new Kindle readers every day (via Kindles themselves or the many other Kindle-compatible devices), it’s important for me to continue organize content not only for those who have been here in the Kindlesphere for a year or more but also for the newly Kindelized.
  2. I always try to list the newest freebie listings first, so that those who like yourself are familiar with my patterns can easily ignore the balance of the post or, for that matter, the entire post.
  3. I appreciate the invitation to share more of my own thoughts about the books that I post, and I do believe that I have worthwhile things to say from time to time, but I’m also a great believer in the wisdom of crowds, and I know that most Kindle owners are pretty capable, once they reach the product page for a Kindle book on Amazon’s website, of gleaning a great deal from the combination of editorial and marketing content, categories and keywords, and Amazon customer reviews. (By the way, my belief that the Amazon and Kindle Store browse-search-sort-buy architecture amounts to book- and information-browsing Nirvana for most visitors is central to my belief that the Kindle environment is likely to continue to dominate ebook content market share compared with what may well be much cooler hardware, with perfectly fine reading environments, attached to “Chart Toppers” shopping environments that are about as inviting and search-the-long-tail-friendly as the CD department at Target or Best Buy.)
  4. Finally, let me push back a bit on what may have been a throwaway line from your comment: the notion that you “may not have a life left long enough to read all that’s already on” your Kindle. First, of course, there’s the fact that any and all of may well have a lot more time left than might be indicated by an actuarial table, and isn’t it great to know we’ll be able to keep reading on our Kindles throughout those many years? Second, from the converse assessment that we Kindle owners by and large are not a bunch of 12-year-olds, I encourage you — and all of us frankly — to think about our Kindles as an important part of our estates. Even if we do not finish reading everything on our Kindles at the time of our earthly departure, some child or grandchild or local library ought to be pleased to have us pass on our Kindle content when we pass on.

(Now all that Amazon needs to do is to establish a straightforward, easily understandable set of policies and practices that ease and streamline such bequests, including an enhancement of the Kindle environment to allow it to read EPUB-formatted books and documents.  Between the value of a Kindle and its owner’s lifetime ebook library, we could often be talking about value in the low four figures or more.

Is there an app for that?)

10% Off Kindle Prices on Amazon Marketplace — Are Kindle Owners Jumping Ship?

There probably aren’t enough Kindles available at these discounts for the prices to last for long, but it seems worth mentioning here that it’s a pretty good time to pick up a new or used Kindle at a discount price through Amazon Marketplace.

Are some Kindle owners jumping ship for the iPad or other devices? It’s possible, and we are seeing some offerings of the latest generation global wireless 6″ Kindle at prices in the $230 to $240 range, alongside Amazon’s own $259 direct retail price. With Amazon Marketplace quantities extremely limited, further price fluctuations are very likely, but I’ll post the applicable links below so that you can check for yourself.

As always, special care is necessary on the front end of such transactions to make sure that you are buying the Kindle you want, in the condition you want, from a seller who inspires your trust. That being said, Amazon offers considerable support to buyers in its Amazon Marketplace program.

One thing that may be keeping some Kindle owners from jumping ship, ironically, is that there is some misleading information being passed around about the hardware requirements for buying and reading Kindle content with the free Kindle for iPad app. “Unless you have a Kindle, you cannot send yourself books so you are limited to the Amazon Kindle store content and any previously purchased content can’t be read using the Kindle App,” says the usually reliable Dear Author website in a purported review of the free Kindle for iPad app and other iPad-compatible reading venues that is also referenced at Teleread.

The fact of the matter, of course, is that all of the Kindle apps (for the iPad, the iPhone, the iPod Touch, the PC, the Mac, and the Blackberry) are “No Kindle Required” apps that work just fine whether you have a Kindle — or have ever had a Kindle — or not.

Meanwhile, it’s also worth following up on our earlier mention of the fact that, with continued shipping delays (currently 5 to 7 days) of the the wifi iPad at the Apple Store and postponement of the 3G iPad’s ship date from “late April” to “May 7,” there are brisk sales of those models — at premium prices — among Amazon Marketplace sellers. As of the afternoon of Monday, April 19, the iPad family is represented at the top of Amazon’s bestseller lists for Tablet Computers:

Around the Kindlesphere, April 19, 2010: Participate in The New Yorker’s Live "Ask the Author" Session with Ken Auletta on Jeff Bezos, the Kindle, and Amazon

This week’s New Yorker magazine has a fascinating piece by author Ken Auletta on the Kindle and the iPad, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, and Amazon and Apple.

The magazine is also holding what’s sure to be an interesting “Ask the Author” session to follow up the piece this Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 3 p.m. EDT. You can participate by navigating to http://bit.ly/AulettaQAKindle. Kind of makes me wonder which Thursday afternoon session will be more interesting, the New Yorker’s or Amazon’s live quarterly earnings conference call that’s scheduled to be webcast the same afternoon at 5 p.m.

U.S. Kindle Store Surpasses Half a Million Book Titles

The ebook catalog in Amazon’s Kindle Store for U.S. customers has just passed half a million titles. Here’s a link to the Kindle Store’s book listings, which numbered 500,461 as of 10 p.m. EDT Sunday, April 18, 2010. There were fewer than 90,000 Kindle books when Amazon launched the Kindle on November 19, 2007.

Adjust free public domain titles out of the titles listed for both venues, and this leaves the Kindle Store with, roughly, a 16-to-1 advantage over the commercial title listings of what is now seen as its leading ebook retailing rival, Apple’s iBooks Store. (This extrapolation is based on the fact that Apple launched its iBooks Store with 60,000 titles, half of them free public domain titles; the figure may have grown since but the iBooks Store is not available for the kinds of search, browse, and sort functions that would make it easy to check).

Although some might use that temporary metrics gap as a basis for concluding that this much-hyped rivalry is rather like the rivalry between the hammer and the nail, that’s not how I see it.

The iPad is a lovely and — from the point of view of a competitor — formidable ebook reading environment, and here at Kindle Nation Daily and our sister site iPad Nation Daily we’ll continue to cover and illuminate its reading-friendly features with various applications including the free Kindle apps, iBooks, and other apps. Continued competition is bound to improve both companies’ devices and their reading and listening apps, and we’ll be paying close attention and making plenty of suggestions along the way. From where I sit, each company needs the other, but more on that later.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if Amazon issues a news release on this major benchmark, or lets the news pass quietly in the night.

Could the iPad Already Be the Bestselling Tablet Among Hundreds in Amazon’s Own Store?

Links to order an iPad through Amazon:

Related post: The Partnership Continues: Apple iPad Now Available from Third-Party Sellers on Amazon

By Stephen Windwalker

How great is the loyalty of Amazon customers? Apparently in some cases, it’s enough to justify paying $100 for a rather popular recently released product from a company that’s also reputed to get pretty high marks when it comes to customer loyalty.

When I posted yesterday about the iPad turning up on Amazon, I was a bit skeptical about how many prospective iPad buyers would take such a circuitous and more expensive route to acquisition:

at least for now it’s no “Big Deal.” The lowest third-party price for the base 16GB wifi model, as I post this note, is about $125 higher than the price at which the same model is available in the Apple Store. Even if you add in $6.49 for shipping and subtract sales tax in a back of the envelope comparison with the price you would pay directly to Apple, you would still be out a hundred bucks or so. Nearly all of the third-party sellers offering iPads at prices between $600 and $1,000 are low-volume or “just launched” sellers, and they may be hoping for some arbitrage profit if Apple happens to run out of iPads.

But the effect of the Apple Store’ current delay of “5 to 7 business days” in shipping the iPad is already generating income for Amazon and its third-party sellers. As of this morning, Amazon’s bestseller list for tablet computers shows the iPad ranked #2 and #3 among hundreds of worthy competitors. One explanation I hadn’t factored in yesterday is the possibility that many Amazon customers not only have easy 1-click payment processes set up there but also maintain gift card balances, gift registries, and similar assets with Amazon. In any case, if you take the two models combined it is entirely possible that the iPad is already Amazon’s topselling tablet:

I’m still scratching my head, and it’s tough to say how many sales it might take to generate such a lofty perch, but if Amazon and Apple have yet to finalize arrangements for Amazon to sell the iPad directly on the main Amazon website, this might begin to get their attention. Meanwhile, Amazon’s share of the profit for each iPad sold by a third-party Amazon Marketplace seller is 15%, minus any affiliate fees or commissions.

That’s going to average at least $100 a pop at the prices now listed, which is nothing to sneeze at when you consider that Amazon incurs now warehousing or fulfillment costs for these transactions and, in all likelihood, will also be selling beaucoup Kindle books through the Kindle for iPad App to these Amazon-loyal iPad buyers.

So, I’m just asking here: what’s not to like about Jeff Bezos’ business model?

Meanwhile, as noted yesterday, the Amazon Store may already be the best place to shop for iPad accessories like these:

Targus Hughes Leather Portfolio Slipcase Designed for 9.7 Inch Apple iPad TES00701US (Brown) (left, $59.99)

Apple Wireless Keyboard – $69 – I’ve been using one with the iPad for a couple of days and loving it

13-Item Accessories Bundle for Apple iPad Tablet Wifi / 3G skin case, sleeve, earphone, screen protector, crystal case, FM transmitter, speaker, cable + more


 Be.ez 100884 LA robe Allure Sleeve for New iPad (Red Kiss) (left, $29.99)

Apple iPad Car Charger (White)

Scratch Defense Neoprene Sleeve for the Apple iPad

Belkin F8N277tt Pleated Sleeve for iPad – Black

Marware Sport Grip Pro for iPad Black/Black (left, $34.99)

Macally MSUITPAD Silicon Protective Case for iPad

Shade Anti-glare Film for iPad

Hard Candy Cases Sleek Skin for Apple iPad – Orange

Marware Eco-Vue for iPad