Feeding the Kindle

I’ve spent a couple of days transferring books onto my Kindle and I (still!) have not finished.  It’s partly due to the fact I just have too many books, but also, well, let’s just say I’ve not been too organised and have no single comprehensive list of what’s on my ereader (except of course, by actually going through the books on my ereader).  This is probably the last time I’m changing my ereader.  It’s just too much hassle (until, of course, the next latest ereader comes out and I cave).

But this inspired me to think about my ebook shopping habits, specifically now I have my Kindle – beware, random musings ahead:

I’ve spent so much more at Amazon than before I bought my Kindle.  I can’t swear to it, but I think the selection of books for UK customers has expanded over the past few months.  I was looking up the January releases I wanted to get and all – okay, both – of them were available on the Kindle, which made me very happy (and yes, I’ve pre-ordered them).

The one publisher that really needs to get its books onto Amazon UK would be Tor – the number of Tor books I’ve passed on because they’re not available in e-format…

ETA: I’ve recently signed up to jungle-search.com’s free Kindle books alert (via Teleread) and am finding it very useful.  The link is to Amazon UK, but they also have Kindle alerts for the other Amazon sites Amazon US.

I like that epublishers are releasing their books for Kindle on Amazon UK as it makes it so much easier for me to purchase their books.  The main ones I’ve noticed are Carina Press, Samhain, and Loose ID.  I think the first two do simultaneous releases on their own sites and Amazon, but I’m not sure about Loose ID.

I also love the fact that authors are starting to self-publish their backlists on Amazon – I’ve bought Sherwood Smith and Julie Hyzy‘s out-of-print backlist books at very reasonable prices.

The Amazon shopping experience is scarily user-friendly – I find myself sending samples to my Kindle all the time, using this functionality partly as a wishlist and partly to remind myself that I’m interested in a book.  And then using one-click to purchase directly from the Kindle… I sometimes think I should disable that functionality.

And what price convenience?  That actually isn’t a rhetorical question as I’ve discovered it’s probably around 30p for me – if the price difference between Amazon and other sites (be it publishers’ own sites or Smashwords in the case of self-published backlists) is around that, I just buy from Amazon.  More than that, I become a bit of a cheapskate and spend time pondering whether I should buy from a different site and email the file to my Kindle…

It’s not all Amazon though – I still buy at other ebookstores and the ones I frequent:

Baen’s Webscriptions: Baen makes it almost as easy as shopping on Amazon – you can enter your Kindle email address on their site, and they’ll email the book to your Kindle.  And I am in love with their pricing policy.

Fictionwise: Although their selection has decreased massively and they only have the latest releases in eReader format, I still get ebooks from smaller publishers there when they offer discounts (which are usually publicised on Mobileread).

Kobo: The main drawback is that they only sell books in epub format.  However, I’ve discovered they sometimes sell ebooks not available elsewhere, so it remains on my list and they do offer discounts on non-agency books pretty regularly.

I used to shop at WH Smiths, Waterstones, and BooksonBoard as well – not so much now because I can usually get the same books on Amazon…

Any other ebookstores I should add to my list?

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13 thoughts on “Feeding the Kindle

  1. AllRomance usually has special offers, too – but they often offer ebucks at their own store. They’re pretty good for the smaller independent romance publishers – it’s the same outfit that does the OmniLit store. And they have the best customer service I’ve ever experienced when you have problems with an order.

    I’m NOT going with a Kindle, definitely. I listed the reasons in my reply to Ros’ comment on her happiness with the Kindle.

    Also, I have found Calibre incredibly helpful in keeping track of my ebooks.

    • I’ve downloaded free books from AllRomance when they’ve been offering them, but it’s not a site I check out regularly. I’ll have to keep them in mind – thanks!

      And I have Calibre as well – I’m just not using it to its full potential, I think. I need to be more disciplined about managing my ebook collection. Err… the same way I really should organise my physical bookshelves.

      • I started using Calibre right away (reading up on ebook readers and everything led me to this, dearauthor.com in particular had lots of good explanations), especially since the Sony Software was particularly frustrating for a German (as you weren’t allowed to pay with a German credit card in their webstore even then), so I’m luck this way ^^.

        I used to buy from WH Smith and Waterstones, too, until they decided sometime this year that they didn’t want to sell English ebooks to people outside the UK any more.

      • Geographical restrictions (and DRM) are probably the most frustrating things about ebooks.

        However, I have hope – I remember things being massively US-centric, now it’s expanding to other countries. Totally appreciate non-UK European countries are worse off though, I remember Sarah @ Monkey Bear Reviews having a rant about this as well.

  2. I use all the major ereader apps on my iPad, which has been proving to be my ereader of choice (I have the Kobo ereader, as well, which I’ll be using to read ebooks borrowed from my library – the program launches later this month and I’m very excited, but so far there’s no support for iPad apps, unfortunately). Thanks for the Jungle Search link! I think it will prove useful.

    • You’re welcome!

      I have been lusting over an iPad but haven’t quite convinced myself that I really have a need for one… I hadn’t actually considered using the iPad as an ereading app, but it must give you quite a bit of flexibility.

  3. I haven’t converted yet to ebooks. I do have an ereader, but I still buy the bulk of my books in print. The Wifi function is what scares me the most, which luckily, I don’t have on my ereader. I already spend so much money in print books, imagine if I could just buy the book from my ereader. Ugh, no thanks 😛

    • Nath – If I have to make a guess at my print/ebook ratio, I think I probably buy 10 ebooks for every print book. It’s not just the convenience, it’s the fact that they don’t take up any physical space on my rather crammed bookshelves.

      But yeah, I think the wifi thing is dangerous…

  4. I was reading your comment on organising your ereader. Can I strongly suggest a library program on your PC (eg Calibre is fantastic and free). I’m a massive ebook reader and soon lost track of what I already owned (plus not having a cover and jacket back to read was annoying). Calibre (or something like it ) lets you see everything like it is a bookshelf. you can download all the metadata automatically and even add your own comments/ratings etc. You can also convert formats at the click of a button (although it won’t convert the DRM locked ones). Basically I love my kindle, but without Calibre I’d be lost… (and I just read Estara’s comments and realised it’s already been suggested)..

    • I agree Calibre is genius – it’s just that I need to be more organised about adding my books to it. At the moment, I use it much more for format conversion, so if I buy a book that is already in the correct format, I don’t bother adding it!

  5. I have a general question for you about the Kindle. My teenage daughters and I are all fanatical readers, and tend to read alot of the same books. There are some books, however, that I would like to put on my Kindle and would prefer that my daughters can’t access. Is there a way to have a password protected subfile on the Kindle?

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