TKC 223 Richard Mason

News – Not much shaking this week. Go directly to Tech Tips.

Tech Tips – How to highlight over multiple pages on a Kindle Paperwhite, and a tip from Jean Remple on buying apps for your Kindle Fire in France.

Interview (starts at 7:33)  Richard Mason, the author of History of a Pleasure Seeker, has made a stunning iTunes Store app out of his book. Titled History of a Pleasure Seeker, Volume I: The Gilded Age, the “e-lumination” features narration by Dan Stevens, who plays the part of Matthew Crawley in the Downton Abbey TV series, as well as specially commissioned music, photos, and video answers to readers’ questions. It is not yet available for Android devices such as the Kindle Fire, but Richard’s exploration of this new medium raises intriguing issues that I enjoyed exploring with him. We spoke by Skype between Denver and New York City on November 5th. Mason’s digital startup, Orson & Co., created the app. He also started an organization named after his late sister, the Kay Mason Foundation, which provides scholarships for disadvantaged South African children to attend some of the country’s best schools.

Next Week’s Guest: Brian Mockenhaupt, author of a new Byliner original, The Living and the Dead: War, Friendship, and the Battles that Never End.

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Comments 9

  1. Brett McNeill wrote:

    Hi Len,

    Thanks for another great show. The eLumination approach sounds great. I just wanted to follow up on your tech question and answer. You were asked if there is a way to get the total number of Location points in the book easily on the Paperwhite. If you just tap the top of the screen to bring up the various icons (Home, Back, Light, etc), at the bottom appears all your current information for the book: minutes left in the chapter, total time left in the book, loc X of Y, Page X of Y and your percentage complete. There is no need to go to the go to menu. I think that is much easier and quicker.

    Thanks and have a great trip to Cambridge.


    Posted 10 Nov 2012 at 11:13 am
  2. Craig Findlay wrote:

    Interested to hear what others think about this. I live in the UK and bought a Paper White from Waterstones, a retail book store, similar to Barnes and Noble. A couple of days ago, the screen saver that you get cycled on the Kindle changed to a Waterstones screensaver. In addition, there appeared a Waterstones blog on my Kindle. Now, I understand getting a cheaper Kindle with special offers, but I paid full price for a Kindle at a retailer, that surely does not give them the right to spam my device? I wanted to remove the screensave (still trying) and in my googling came across this very short article:

    The thing for me is that I bought an Amazon Kindle, I don’t want Waterstones using that as an advertising platform – it is my device and not a ‘with special offers’ one. I mean, when I buy a TV from a retailer, that doesn’t give them the right to advertise on it to me does it? Or Currys (a local electronics store) to advertise on the iPad to me that I happened to buy from them. When I think about mobile phones; when you buy from the carrier and switch on the device you normally get their logo. Understandable as they are subsidising the device. But this is different and annoying!

    Thanks Len for a GREAT podcast.

    Posted 11 Nov 2012 at 2:00 am
  3. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Craig, that’s a fascinating development. I basically agree with your reaction, but when I think about how much I hope independent bookstores survive it makes me think this boost from Kindles might be a potent tool, if customers knew in advance what they were getting into.

    Posted 11 Nov 2012 at 8:35 am
  4. Marie Sotiriou wrote:

    Just a note on the Kindle Paperwhite 3g after using it for about a month. The Kindle DX had been my e-reader of choice (it’s still great for reading PDF documents), so my first reactions on the Paperwhite is how light and portable the device actually is. I have had a Kindle since the first generation and this one is pretty terrific.

    One of the biggest advantages of the new Kindle is definitely the new front lit screen. I live in an area that was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy and was very lucky that the worst thing that impacted me was the loss of electricity (many others were not so fortunate). We were without power for several days and used different ways to conserve battery life for our various gadgets.

    My Kindle’s NY Times subscription was one of my main sources for detailed news and updated information after the storm, but it was also apparent that the Kindle’s battery life is less than advertised. I would only turn on the 3G access to download the paper, but found that at the end of the day I would still use approximately 25% of the battery. 3G coverage was also affected by the hurricane and was very inconsistent. The only cell provider who had reliable coverage was Verizon, so the Kindle was only able to receive a 3G signal sporadically. 3G always utilizes more juice, but the weakness of the signal most likely also impacted the battery life. One comment that I have is that it would also be helpful if the Paperwhite’s battery indicator gave you percentages in addition to the icon’s visual display.

    I really appreciated my Kindle though in the days after the storm, since a lot of time was spent reading. The built-in light was invaluable!

    Here are some things that you can do to extend the battery life of a cell phone or iPad (this info was useful for us and may help others) –

    1) Turn off any unnecessary transmissions (Wifi, Bluetooth, etc.).
    2) Turn off location services (this uses GPS so it’s a big battery drain). On an iPhone/iPad you can find this under settings, privacy, location services.
    3) Put the phone in ‘airplane’ mode and only turn it on periodically to check messages.
    4) Turn down the brightness of the screen.
    5) Restart the phone (there may be things running in the background that are using resources).

    I also had a laptop home that was fully charged before the storm and used it a few times to re-charge my phone, so in effect my laptop became a huge backup battery.

    Bottom line, I thought that I would pass along these battery tips and the Kindle Paperwhite is a great device!


    Posted 11 Nov 2012 at 3:58 pm
  5. Craig Findlay wrote:

    Hi Len, great comment on the independent bookshops finding a way to keep revenue through sales of items like Kindle. In fact, it may even cause me to rethink! I would say 2 things:
    1. Tell me that this is going to happen – don’t just implement it
    2. Have several high quality screen saves, not just one bland one

    If that had/would happen, I would reconsider it based on your comments. I like you am worried about the independents, but the approach that Waterstones has taken has been very poor so far. Guess they can still change that though.


    Posted 12 Nov 2012 at 4:09 am
  6. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Makes sense, Craig. Maybe it should be an opt-in program, so customer gets to choose to participate. I bet most would, if program was presented as you describe.

    Posted 12 Nov 2012 at 7:40 am
  7. Tom Welch wrote:

    Is the book business dead?

    Posted 13 Nov 2012 at 11:43 am
  8. Alan Preston wrote:

    Had this reply from Waterstones and thought i should share it not sure how they find adding their brand to my kindle is not advertising. pondering refund but knidle is now in new zealand and hard to get another one, just want the nice pictures back

    Dear Alan,

    Thank you for your email regarding your Kindle Paperwhite from Waterstones.

    I am sorry you are disappointed by the addition of a Waterstones screensaver after the recent software update to Kindle. It is our view that this screensaver does not constitute advertising and differs substantially to the advertising-supported Kindles available to the US market. The Waterstones screensaver is a non-dynamic, static image that will change infrequently and not advertise any specific product, offer or website.

    It is not possible to remove the Waterstones screensaver to replace it with the former Amazon screensaver. We apologise that this change was made without consultation, and hope it does not detract from or alter your reading experience. However, if you feel it does, please let us know and we will arrange for the return of the device and a full refund.

    I am sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

    Yours sincerely,

    Customer Service Team

    Posted 15 Nov 2012 at 2:49 pm
  9. Craig Findlay wrote:

    Thanks Alan for that comment on Waterstones. I think I will contact them and return mine. The blandness of the screen saver and that fact that it never changes is too much. And hey don’t think it is advertising? Then why put it there? Only one reason.

    They also subscribed me to the Waterstones blog on Kindle – that is a form of spam. Again, without an opt-in or notification to me. Originally I read it, then when the screen saver changed I cancelled he blog subscription. Guess what? It’s back! It was reinstated.

    So, bland advertising screen saver and forced blog subscription. I think that Waterstones just lost me as a customer.


    Posted 17 Nov 2012 at 3:38 am

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From The KND Kindle Chronicles Interview: Reading for, and About, Pleasure ... or "Henry James on Viagra" | Kindle Nation Daily on 10 Nov 2012 at 5:55 pm

    […] Our contributing editor Len Edgerly blogs at The Kindle Chronicles where you can hear his interview with Richard Mason in Episode 223. […]