TKC 313 Andrew Savikas


CEO of Safari Books Online

Interview starts at 20:55

I don’t have any firsthand knowledge about how things have looked on the Kindle Unlimited side, though it’s certainly notable that for now, at least, I don’t think any of the Big Five trade publishers are participating.

Show Notes and Links:


“ComiXology now offers DRM-free comic backups, but only from select publishers” by Sean Buckley at Engadget – July 25, 2014

“Comixology CEO Explains New DRM-Free Backup Program” by Brigid Alverson at – July 24, 2014

Wool: The Graphic Novel by Hugh Howey – at ComiXology

Paperwhite software update – 5.4.5

Read While Your Book Ships feature of new Paperwhite 5.4.5 software update

Amazon Books Team update on Hachette Impasse – July 29, 2014

“The Industry View – Amazon vs. Hachette” Q&A with Irish author David Gaughran

Fire Phone vs. iPhone 5s – Why I made the switch

Todoist list app for Fire

Tech Tip

OtterBox Defender protective case for Paperwhite – $59.99 at – in progress, a potentially very helpful way to access your Kindle annotations

Interview with Andrew Savikas

My interview with Andrew Savikas in February, 2010, for The Reading Edge podcast

“Digital Books and the New Subscription Economy” – Book Industry Study Group


The Painter by Peter Heller – $10.99 on Kindle

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller – $8.26 on Kindle

High as the Horses’ Bridles by Scott Cheshire, noted at Omnivoracious

How You Can Win a Nexus 7

If you have not signed up to receive the free Kindle Chronicles email updates, you might want to do so in time to be eligible for a free, very slightly used Nexus 7 tablet. I plan to draw a winner next week from among the names of everyone who is subscribed to the list. You will see the signup form in the right column of this page.

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

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Comments 6

  1. Eolake Stobblehouse wrote:

    I am always delighted when I hear an new insight, especially when it’s positive, and I really liked Savikas’ comment that it’s true that dedicated ereaders are losing market share to tablets and phones/phablets, but on the other hand, there are now tens of millions of people walking around with a portable bookstore in their pocket or bag, who didn’t have such opportunities before.

    This also supports my campaign to have Apple and Amazon each make a 5.5 or 6-inch “phablet”, which would be far better for reading (and web and video) than a regular-sized phone, and yet far more portable than a tablet.

    Posted 03 Aug 2014 at 5:11 am
  2. George FromTulsa wrote:

    I dropped by ATT to satisfy my FireFone curiosity.

    I’ve not heard any revised yet mention what would overcome my distaste for Amazon’s bizarre Android skin: the Kindle book App offers excellent Text to Speech. I use that function on my Fire HDX all the time. Amazon’s Text to Speech is excellent, and while I much prefer well narrated audio books, T to S is good enough for books that aren’t offered by Audible.

    The FireFone would be such a better form factor for walks than the 7″ tablet.

    It feels good in the hand. The camera worked well in the well lit ATT retail space. The screen was another “good enough”— and the perspective ” tricks” impressive on the example game. With the Qualcomm 800, should be plenty powerful.

    Now the down.

    I don’t play games. I do use my phone for important business email, and that through a Google Apps for Business Account. No way to put that on the FireFone, though I presume I could pick up a “crippled” email only subset. Even Apple “lets” Google provide Apps for iOS. In honesty, maybe Google could submit its Apps to Amazon Store, but the way the FireFone & Amazon’s App Store work, I can’t see it happening, and doing it could violate Google contacts with other phone manufacturers.

    Then there’s the shaking or pivoting the phone thing?

    In my brief ATT trial, I was lost and confused in the interface which changed seemingly at random. I much prefer pushing an onscreen button that will ALWAYS work the same way. (Luddite am I. Maybe it would be possible to adjust to a screen that changes without my specific instruction to the device, but it’s a hard thing to “sell” without helpful sales staff demonstraing the device — instead of obfuscating “plan” costs.

    And this is ATT. ATT only. What’s your plan cost, Len? The FireFone would be a lot more appealing not locked to ATT and sold at a price point similar to the
    $350 Nexus 5 — which has similar hardware.

    Eolake posted above hope for a FirePhablet. I’d buy a WiFi only FirePod, keep the Fone, thank you very much, were it priced competitively like my Fire HDX 7.

    $749 for a 64 GB FireFone when the “No Special Offers” 64 GB LTE HDX is $424 — has the same Qualcomm processor, a bigger higher resolution screen?

    Posted 03 Aug 2014 at 10:33 am
  3. George FromTulsa wrote:

    heard any revised = heard any reviewer

    Drat auto-correction

    Posted 03 Aug 2014 at 10:37 am
  4. George FromTulsa wrote:

    In my comments above I wrote that the “dynamic perspective” User Interface left me “lost and confused.”

    Fortunately Amazon provides a menu to fine tune dynamic perspective and control how much it does. Or even turn it off. Not something I tested on the ATT demo model, but worth knowing g of if you own a FireFone, or are considering purchase.

    Will also, according to this review, speed up the FireFone’s performance.

    Posted 04 Aug 2014 at 7:30 am
  5. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Thanks, George. I look forward to checking this out!

    Posted 04 Aug 2014 at 8:09 am
  6. Eolake Stobblehouse wrote:

    George said:
    “Eolake posted above hope for a FirePhablet. I’d buy a WiFi only FirePod, keep the Fone, thank you very much, were it priced competitively like my Fire HDX 7.”

    I’ll second that.

    It seems to be that phone prices are artificially inflated way above similar tablets’ prices.
    So, unless it’s an iPhone which I’ll probably get anyway, I’d prefer a 5.5-inch “mini-tablet” over a “phablet”.
    (The Nokia 1520 has a wonderful size/form for a pocket ereader: 6-inch screen, but still narrow, fits easily in cargo pants or jacket pockets.)

    Posted 05 Aug 2014 at 12:33 pm