TKC 82 Steve Garfield

News – Item 1: Will Random House align with Amazon in the Great eBooks Price War? Bufo Calvin does some sleuthing on a Random House executive who worked for 18 months on the Kindle team, then returned to Random House.  RH’s Madeline McIntosh actually spoke out against the idea of publishers’ setting of retail eBook prices, so maybe there’s hope that the biggest of the Big Six publishers will break ranks with the Apple Five. MobileRead and Gear Diary have more, including links to the Random House Twitter stream and Facebook page, places you might want to add words of encouragement.  Click here for members of the Apple Five.   Item 2: Is Amazon planning to give free Kindles to every Amazon Prime member?  Michael Arrington of TechCrunch thinks so.

Tech Tip – Inkmesh is checking each hour for new non-public-domain eBooks content.  Sweet!

Interview – Steve Garfield of has been videoblogging since January 1, 2004, and as of January he is now a Kindle author.  His new book, Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business, came out in Kindle and other eBook format as well as paper, published by Wiley.  We spoke on February 9, 2010, by Skype (including a video recording I’ll post separately) and discussed how eBooks in the future may succeed in providing what I found myself describing as Engaged Social Reading. Steve’s next event promoting his book will be February 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Fenway Park, Boston.

Content – Amazon and the British Library team up to offer for free 65,000 newly scanned literary gems from the 19th century. Coming this spring to a Kindle near you! Note: I was only off a hundred years in referring to the 18th century on the podcast.

Comments – From anonymous, Jean Remple, Greg Montague, James T. Atkinson, and Sean Adams.

HOW TO WIN A KINDLE AND ACCESSORY – Click here to check out out my new Facebook “Reading Edge” page. If you become a fan, you will automatically be entered to win a brand new 6-inch Kindle and one accessory from Octovo.  The drawing will take place at noon Mountain Time on April 1, 2010. Thanks to Elle Moran and Octovo for sponsoring this contest! And thanks to all 165 of you who have signed up as fans of the podcast.

Note: For a guest blog post I wrote at e-ReaderFeeder, titled “How I Learned to Love the Kindle and Start a Podcast,” click here. Thanks to James Zakaria for the invitation!

Click here to download this episode.

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Comments 6

  1. Rick Askenase wrote:

    I enjoyed your podcast as always. I do NOT want video on my Kindle. If I want that, I think the iPad would be perfect. Their LCD screen should be excellent for videos, and short form reading like newspapers (with imbedded videos or links). But for sustained reading, the reflective screen is better and no video- even with the Mirasol screen.

    Look, I do not believe that the Kindle, even enhanced with a color screen, could really compete with an iPad/iTouch screen for video. As much as I am NOT an Apple fan, I do believe that they lead the field in this regard. BUT, for long form reading, the Kindle is better.

    Posted 13 Feb 2010 at 11:05 am
  2. Flatland wrote:

    I am actually looking forward to sitting next to someone with an IPad, pulling out my Kindle, and wait for the IPad owner to make some remark about my “stone tablet”.

    My talking points are ready….

    (By the way, I like the title of your podcasting post on e-readerfeeder)

    Posted 13 Feb 2010 at 11:53 am
  3. thorn wrote:

    re. inkmesh: do pay attention to what you’re getting. i just clicked ‘nation’ by terry pratchett, and it showed one free listing — at the Internet Archive. which already made me say, “hmm.” that link was to a 19th-century publication called ‘Nation’. which was not written by terry pratchett!

    Posted 15 Feb 2010 at 6:53 pm
  4. thorn wrote:

    whoops. sorry, i meant the 19th-century publication was called *The* Nation.

    Posted 15 Feb 2010 at 6:54 pm
  5. Chris Martin wrote:

    Love your podcasts Len! After hearing this podcast I immediately went and followed Random House on Twitter and became a fan of their Facebook page. I don’t think Random House’s decision to keep the $9.99 ebook price point will affect my paper book purchases, but I will definitely support Random House as much as I can when I buy ebooks.

    Like Mr. Askenase, I do not want video on my Kindle. The only reason I want color eInk is because it will allow books with colorful graphics to be shown in all their glory on my favorite reading device. I fear video available on my Kindle would cause me to fall down the same “rabbit hole” as a fully functional web browser.

    I can’t recall whether you mentioned this on this podcast or #81, but on one of those two podcasts you read an email which stated that Amazon made available the ability for a customer to be notified when a book they’ve requested to be available on Kindle is actually published for our favorite ebook format. That feature does not seem to be wide spread on the site. I’ve requested a few books, both fiction and non-fiction, to be made available in Kindle format within the last few days and I have yet to see anything but the standard “Thank You” screen with the standard “Return to the item you were viewing or Shop in the Kindle store” options available.

    Len could you investigate this and see if it’s publisher specific, or is this feature something being phased in slowly by Amazon and I just haven’t seen it yet?

    Additionally, I’ve heard you read comments from readers concerned about how to cite a Kindle book as a source in a scholarly paper. I’m also very interested in this issue as well. Please try to get someone from the Chicago Manual of Style or MLA to come on your show to discuss this issue?

    As a historian I love my paper books, but as Dr. James Tracy commented, I’d love to be able to walk around some day with the entire holdings of the Library of Congress on an ereader. However, the lack of a citation method that does not at some point require traditional page numbers presents an issue when writing for publication or even just for academic credit at the M.A. or PhD level.

    I’m so thrilled I found this podcast. I think I’ve listened to every show dating back to October 2009 and look forward to this and The Reading Edge each week.

    Posted 16 Feb 2010 at 8:57 pm
  6. Soozzie wrote:

    Aloha, Len. Three topics:

    First, As I understand the rumored Amazon Prime “free” kindle plan, a Prime member will receive the kindle for free to try out for a month or whatever, then if the prime member wants to keep it, s/he must pay for it. If s/he does not want to sign up, then the kindle would simply die. If you received one you might be able to pass it along to a friend, but s/he would have to pay for it to use it. I think; who knows; rumors are rampant. So, more of a free trial offer than free.

    Second, in response to commenter Chris Martin, as an appellate lawyer for 25 years, I got to be pretty good at legal citation of all kinds of sources, and some so new that no style had developed. I even had to defend citations in court a couple of times! In my experience, the point is for folks to be able to find it; an “accepted” manner will develop. So for now, I’d cite the kindle edition as I would a DTB, with the location number. If you really wanted to be helpful you could cite the chapter or closest preceding heading and paragraph number as a guide. The format of the citation would be whatever style you are using in your paper.

    Third, I’ve been watching the prices of ebooks I have on shoppingnotes go UP, not down, for a week or so. One was $9.99 and I just hadn’t gotten to it yet, and today it went up to $14.29. Several others over $9.99 have stayed there even as their paperbacks are released and are less than $9.99. I doubt the timing of the Unpleasantness with MacMillan is unrelated. It occurs to me that we may be entering an era when ebooks will be like plane tickets — prices drifting or shooting up or down for no apparent reason, for moments or months, everyone glued to twitter or whatever for announcements, and wondering if today is the best day to commit or perhaps tomorrow the price will drop, then feeling cheated when they choose badly. I can understand the price of a DTB going up as a result of scarcity or demand, but those should not be issues for ebooks. I have held the line at $9.99 since there is so much good stuff out there at that price point or less, but I resent having to pay more than paper at any time for an ebook, and I don’t want to read paper when I have my kindle.

    Terrific podcast, thanks, fan since almost the start, keep up the good work, etc., etc.!


    Posted 19 Feb 2010 at 2:41 pm