TKC 147 Peter Meyers

News – 1) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with just two words – “stay tuned” – pretty much confirms that Amazon is about to launch its own general-purpose tablet computer, but he also affirms a continuing role for a Kindle-like device devoted to book reading. Click here for video of his conversation at Consumer Reports.  2) Another cute Kindle ad hits the net. 3) A clever invention by Origin Instruments puts the Kindle within reach of those with mobility impairment.  4) Open Road Integrated Media founder Jane Friedman tells NPR why she’s glad she’s not the CEO of a traditional publishing house any more.

Tech Tip – Why I failed to connect my 2012 Ford Focus with MyFord Touch to an Audible book and Text-to-Speech titles on my Kindle. (For more tech adventures related to our new Focus, please check out my new podcast, The Edge of the Road, all about the gadget on wheels formerly known as your car.)

Interview (Starts at 12:55)– Author and digital publisher Peter Meyers, who blogs at A New Kind of Book, has suggested “character notes” as a handy way to keep track of characters in a e-novel. It’s an example of how he brings his deep background as a writer to bear on all things digital.  His Best iPad Apps book, available in Kindle format, is a thorough and witty selection of iPad applications.  He is now working on a new book, titled Breaking the Page, Saving the Reader: A Buyer & Builder’s Guide to Digital Books, due from O’Reilly Media this fall. I spoke with Peter by Skype on May 10, 2011.  Books Peter is reading: Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers and The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr.

Content – John Cog at the Beyond Black Friday blog reminds me of the excellent trove of free audiobooks available at LibriVoxClick here to listen to the first chapter of Moby Dick.


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Comments 8

  1. AO wrote:

    Well, Amazon must be doing something right with their ad based kindle. People feel passionate about it and keep talking about it. mart way to keep the product being discussed.

    For the record, I did buy a special offers kindle and gave my beloved kindle 2 to a friend. If amazon is going to give me discounts on things I’m going to buy anyway, I have no problem benefiting from the deals while ignoring the ads just like I ignored the old screen savers.

    For the people complaining about ads being placed on the kindle, they must not own TVs, radios, or read paper media.

    On the flip side, people on Amazon forums with other kindle models are complaining that they can’t get the special offers.

    I will keep my special offers kindle and eagerly wait for that audible deal to show up.

    Posted 14 May 2011 at 6:56 pm
  2. Joseph Bissot wrote:

    Dear reader,

    By changing to an advertiser based model Amazon has fundamentally changed its relationship with you the customer. In the old pay for play model the end user was the focus and the product was the kindle books. To increase revenue it was necessary for Amazon to attract new users and increase individual sales by providing innovative features and compelling content. Although features and content will continue to be components of a future advertiser driven model they will not be focused on the end user. Why? Because kindle books are no longer the product being sold, you are.

    To attract advertisers and generate revenue Amazon will have to switch its focus from books for end users to end users for Advertisers. You the end user have become the product being offered up on the open market. Amazon will attract advertisers by tailoring their user base to meet the most desired demographics of advertisers. The absolute number of users will be a bigger focus than the number of very active users. And Amazon will have to focus their efforts at increasing the 18-35 demographic.

    This change in focus will have many undesirable effects. Content will no longer be driven by the end users as the end user no longer generates the revenue. Instead a small number of large advertisers will begin to dictate the availability of content. Unpopular or offensive books will necessarily be limited to keep the advertisers key demographic happy.

    Likely the current dedicated reading device will give way to a general tablet as advertisers push the direction of content towards more marketable media heavy graphic novels, TV and movies. The more esoteric you are about your content the more you will find yourself abandoned by Amazon.

    The short term discount and special offers will be overcome by the future trends of an advertiser driven model.

    Posted 15 May 2011 at 5:11 pm
  3. Steven Schwindt wrote:

    Len: I keep you hearing talk about the hack to put your pictures on your Kindle to replace the generic screen savers. Can you either post instuctions or tell us how you did it?

    I enjoy each and every one of your podcasts on the Kindle Chronicles.

    Posted 15 May 2011 at 10:10 pm
  4. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Steven, here is a link to a thorough walk-through of the screensaver hack procedure:

    Posted 15 May 2011 at 10:21 pm
  5. Don wrote:

    I saw the ad-enabled Kindle at a friend’s house. I feel swamped with advertising at every turn. No way would I want it staring at me every time I go to read my book. Perhaps I could be convinced if it reduced the cost by 50%…

    I do covet the smaller size. I didn’t think there was enough change to warrant an upgrade from 2nd Gen, but having held one, I have changed my mind.

    I love Peter Meyers idea of Character Notes. I highlight characters on my Kindle when they are introduced to refer to later. Specific character descriptions provided by the author or publisher would be sweet.

    Posted 16 May 2011 at 10:32 pm
  6. Do wrote:

    I just successfully did the screensaver hack. I love it. But doesn’t it seem obvious that the Kindle should display the covers of the books stored on the device? I would like it to display the current book I’m reading.

    Posted 21 May 2011 at 2:39 pm
  7. Len Edgerly wrote:

    That’s a great idea, and you are the first person I’ve ever seen suggest it. You should email it to .

    Posted 21 May 2011 at 2:49 pm
  8. Sonja Nordstrom wrote:

    I love your “character note” idea. I thought I heard that that there was some kind of feature like that on the kindle. Am I right, or did I dream that?

    Posted 09 Feb 2012 at 11:05 pm

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