A lot of people believe e-books are the future. To be more accurate, I would say they are in fact part of our present. The famous Kindle seems to be getting adopted by a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in new technology; this is probably because it’s doesn’t feel “technological” to use one. My 10-year-old daughter uses one, and my xx-year-old mother uses one. (Age deleted to protect senior modesty.)
It’s a great device for the Airstream. I like the light weight, slim design and low power requirements. It’s as if they designed it specifically for trailer owners. One thin pad carries hundreds of books for me — or it would, if I had that many loaded into it. In reality it only carries a couple dozen, but that’s still very useful.
So on the theory that if I like it for my Airstream, others will too, I’m playing around with publishing content for the Kindle. My first few attempts were horrible. Airstream Life magazine does not render on Kindle very well at all. I checked a few other major magazines and they are equally bad. It’s just not a good platform for color magazines. I am sure the iPad would be better, but there’s a whole ‘nother set of technological obstacles there and (sorry to iPad owners) I’m not willing to jump through those hoops just yet.
On the other hand, the Kindle works very well for books, so I’ve adapted the Wally Byam books (Fifth Avenue on Wheels, and Trailer Travel Here & Abroad) to Kindle. You can now buy them both in a single combined volume from Amazon. I downloaded the sample last night and it looks good. You can get a free sample at the link above, if you have a Kindle.
This blog is actually available on Kindle too, at the price of $0.99 per month. I put it up there on a whim several months ago and was surprised to find that I got a few subscribers. I just got my first author payment from Amazon last week, for a whopping $10.20. It’s obviously not a living, but getting the payment was like finding a ten dollar bill in the couch cushions. Thanks to those of you who subscribed. Knowing you’re out there inspires me to keep writing even on those days that I really don’t feel like it.
I’m working on some new projects for 2011 (of course, because I can’t stand to leave well enough alone), and all of them will have an electronic publishing component. In fact, from now on I expect just about all new content produced by myself or my company will be published on Kindle. These e-book adaptations probably won’t do much for my bottom line, but if they are useful to people then I think I should make an effort to supply them.