Audible Offers Many Advantages Including A $14 Kindle

Do you like reading?  Do you like audiobooks?  Would it be useful to combine these two book consumption methods into one convenient package? If you’re answering ‘yes’ a lot here, it’s probably a good time to look at Audible and the Kindle.  While it isn’t precisely a new offer, at the moment you can pick up a new Kindle w/ Special Offers for just $14 when you sign up for a year of Audible.com’s audiobooks at $14.95 per month.

Audible is probably the best place I have found so far to grab audiobooks, at least in terms of selection and reliability.  While on occasion I have found specific books with better readings elsewhere, I have yet to be unhappy with anything I’ve found through the site and in general they provide the best.  Their monthly plans include one or two audiobooks per month, with a small number of rollover opportunities if you want to skip a month or save up for newer books being released at the same time.  Technically they also do have annual bulk options for 12 or 24 books at a time, but that tends to be a bit much to digest all at once.

In addition to getting access to a selection of over 85,000 audiobooks, signing up through the banner in the Kindle Store will provide a coupon code good for $100 off of a selection of devices.  The Kindle w/ Special Offers is probably the best deal of the bunch, but there are others including other Kindles up to the Kindle DX, a range of Apple iProducts, and the occasional GPS device.  I’m going out of my way to specifically push the Kindle connection because the integration of the Kindle Store with Audible.com has made it amazingly simple to get everything working perfectly.  You can also, of course, transfer your Audible purchases to your iPhone, computer, or even burned CD.  The latter option is especially useful for long drives, I’ve found.

What made this at all worth noting right now, besides simply a desire to highlight the advantages that this deal, and Audible in general, provides to Kindle owners new and old, is the recent stir over the pseudo-children’s book, Go The F–k To Sleep by Adam Mansbach.  In addition to being a source of cathartic entertainment to many parents, babysitters, teachers, etc., and of course a source of outrage for the uptight, Go The F–k To Sleep stands as an example of the sort of success that internet fame and word of mouth can bring an otherwise small production.  A few copies of the book found themselves on popular filesharing networks and the buzz that this generated had it a number one spot on the Amazon lists before it was even released.

For now, Audible account-holders can get a copy of this book read quite effectively by Samuel L. Jackson for free as long as the limited time offer holds out. I wouldn’t say that this alone is incentive enough to spend a year paying $14.95/month, but put it together with 12 professional audiobooks and a nearly free Kindle and you’ve got quite the deal.

Will Rowling’s ‘Pottermore’ Change Digital Distribution As We Know It?

J.K Rowling, long term eBook holdout, has decided to finally let the Harry Potter series out for the Kindle and into the eReading marketplace in general.  It’s good news for fans of Harry Potter, fans of eReaders, and basically everybody but the publishers.  You see, Rowling has retained her electronic publishing rights and stands to make pretty much pure profit from every sale these electronic releases bring along.  The only question now is what this will mean, if anything, for how eBooks work in general from this point on when it comes to major publications.

First, I should point out that Rowling has voluntarily agreed to pass along a portion of her eBook profits to her publishers, Bloomsbury Publishing and Scholastic.  No word on precisely how much, to the best of my knowledge, but it shows that this isn’t a cutting of ties to the industry.  We also know that Amazon and Barnes & Noble have stated that they are working with the Pottermore site to make sure that the new Harry Potter publications work with the Kindle, Nook, etc. with0ut much trouble.  This last fact could mean anything from simply optimizing the layout to offering some degree of post-purchase integration with the respective platforms.  It is too soon to tell on that.

I’m going to work on the assumption here that Rowling is putting aside any real integration with the Kindle or Nook platforms to avoid giving either Amazon or Barnes & Noble a cut.  They’re likely simply trying to take advantage of the inevitable popularity of the eBooks to promote themselves by association. That’s about the best they can hope to get from it.  For smaller book retailers, however, this is likely going to come as bad news.  Even more so for children’s booksellers.

Even if Pottermore, the site that Rowling will be selling her material through, takes off, will it change things for either publishers or retailers?  I am of the opinion that it will not.  This is a very unique case.  Most publishers make a point of acquiring the eBook rights at the same time as everything else when they sign a new author.  Especially now that the eBook industry has become such a big thing compared to what it was when Rowling got started.  As such, no way for big names to make a move like this after they become big names.  Newer authors, especially self-publishing authors, will not have the resources to push sales to users of the Kindle and Nook while still maintaining their distance from the respective platforms.  Even if they did, it isn’t like Amazon will jump at the chance to work closely with just any author who wants to circumvent their cut of the profits in a creative way.

Honestly, I would say that the only impact this will have is directly on the Harry Potter series.  There isn’t transfer to the rest of the eBook world.  It is too soon to say if the Pottermore site will do well, and most of that will likely have to do with considerations beyond the eBook availability.  Even if it does, the only people to benefit will be the Kindle-owning fans and Rowling herself.  It isn’t a sign that changes are coming.

Kindlebility

Readability is an app that erases all of the clutter and distraction from your articles on the web so that you can read more comfortably.  It is available as a browser extension, on your smartphone, and can be integrated with the Kindle.  All of those annoying ads that pop up when you’re trying to scroll through an article? Gone.

It is kind of sad that the web has gotten so cluttered that there has to be an app to unclutter it.

Readability recently released a mobile version of its software for the Kindle called Kindlebility.  You can snip your articles and send it to your Kindle for later, on the train or by the pool.  Great for those who don’t want to be chained to the computer all the time.  The Kindle is also a much more comfortable reading experience than the computer is because of lighting.

The Kindle is also good fit for this app because it already is a text driven device, and even though we have the Special Offers Kindles, they don’t interfere with reading directly.  The downside of Readability is that it is a subscription based service.  However, it is a great way to support the writers.  E-readers and online content is certainly changing the face of publishing and writer compensation.

There are a lot of people who don’t enjoy reading a whole book, or enjoy reading in general.  However, they do still read articles and stay up with the latest news.  So, Kindlebility reaches out to the “nonreader” audience.

You can download Kindlebility for your Kindle here.