SmallNews and the new Amazon Kindle

Despite it’s dominance of the US eBook market, I’ve always been rather cool towards the Amazon Kindle. Several reasons for this:

  • Amazon never did a “proper” international launch – you had to order direct from the US, which seemed bizarre given the size of Amazon’s operations in UK and Europe. There was also no UK/European book store.
  • I felt it was too much of a closed platform, only capable of reading books from Amazon in their own format, whereas other readers had much better format capability (this has improved over time though). There was also that fiasco with books being deleted from users’ devices without their approval.
  • I always thought they were rather ugly – much less attractive than the Sony Reader.
  • It always felt a bit too expensive.

The recent launch of the new model has gone a long way to addressing many of my reservations. The new model is significantly cheaper, sold direct from the UK, with an new UK store imminent. And the addition of Wifi support means there appears to be a simple and free way of getting “personal documents” onto the Kindle. So it seems to me that a SmallNews PDF ought to work quite well as a “personal document”. So I think I’m going to buy one, and add a feature to SmallNews that allows the created PDF to be emailed to specified address. It’s my understanding that this is the easiest way to get a PDF to a Kindle without plugging it in to your computer – email it to your address.

It will be September before I get a Kindle to test it on, so I’ll release an update then.

UPDATE: I notice that the new UK Kindle book store is now open, somewhat ahead of schedule. But I’m appalled at how small the price difference between paperback books and eBooks is – typically about just 40p, which is less than the cost of the (free) postage. However, a part of this is the (equally surprising) fact that you have to pay VAT on eBooks, but not printed books. Where is the sense in that?


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