Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kindle News: Harry Potter now at Prime Kindle Lending Library. State Dept postpones Kindle press conference, New study indicates Android tablet adoption is even with iPad, thanks to Kindle Fire.

All 7 of the Harry Potter books are now in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library

I'll repeat some information from an earlier announcement borrowing via Amazon Prime Lending, on who's eligible and whats involved.

Here's the listing for the Prime Kindle Lending Library Harry Potter books (Link: http://amzn.to/primepotter )

  The Potter eBooks had already been part of an exclusive worldwide e-book and digital audiobook distribution agreement with Overdrive for public and school libraries.

  However, waiting lists at libraries are notoriously long, and books are due within 2 weeks in some.  So, the PRIME Kindle Lending Library will be a boon for many.

  There are no waiting lists and no due dates.

  Remember that you can borrow only ONE Kindle book per calendar month though.  For more info on the PRIME lending program, which now includes 145,000+ books, "including over 100 current and former New York Times Best Sellers," see:

  Prime's Lending Library:
    How to Browse List

  Also remember that you can borrow a Prime-eligible Kindle-book ONLY on a Kindle Device and NOT via a web page on a computer.

 Amazon purchased an exclusive license from Pottermore to make these titles available on the Kindle Owners Lending program. From the BusinessWire for June 19, 2012:
' Nowhere else can customers borrow any of the seven Harry Potter books for free, with an unlimited supply of each title and no waiting list," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content. "A $79 Prime membership was already the best deal in retail, and now it's become even more valuable. '

  PRIME was originally created to offer Free Shipping of Amazon products in two days, for $79/yr, or essentially, $6.58/mo.

  It now also includes unlimited free streaming of over 18,000 movies and TV episodes.   Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, pointed out that "Over a year, borrowing the Harry Potter books, plus a handful of additional titles, can alone be worth more than the $79 cost of Prime or a Kindle. "

As with Kindle books, your annotations and bookmarks will be saved for you (unless you don't want them backed up) in case you want to borrow the book again or buy it later.

To buy them, rather than borrow them, though, see the normal Pottermore page process.

State Department postpones Kindle press conference
paidContent's Laura Hazard Owen is being kept busy on this particular news topic.  She reports that spokesman Philippe Reines says the event had to be postponed due to Clinton’s schedule at the G-20 Mexico Summit and Rio+20 conference this week.

Owen adds that "...on Monday, Marc Maurer, the president of the National Federation for the Blind, sent a letter to Hillary Clinton stating that because e-readers are not accessible to the blind, “any agreement by the United States to procure inaccessible Kindle, or other, e-readers is a violation of the law, including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.”  Infodocket has the full letter.  It’s unclear whether the letter is the reason the event was postponed." (I thought this issue had been settled at some point.)

Now Android tablet adoption is even with iPad?
betanews' Joe Wilcox asks if we would believe this, then reports that Online Publishers Association, "a reasonably reliable source, puts US iPad adoption at 52 percent and Android at 51 percent." (He explains the addition results.)

  OPA's study found, he said, that "Android gains largely come from Kindle Fire" with a share of 32 percent.
  He's skeptical.  You can read why and see the detail for the findings at the link.

  (E-Ink Kindle users receiving the Kindle-edition of this blog can follow links and click on Menu/Article Mode when reaching the linked page, to read a nicely-formatted version of the article without side-columns or ads.

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. Marc Mauer of the National Federation of the Blind is out of touch. The Kindle 3 had the "Voice Guide" feature from its introduction. This is independent of the text-to-speech feature, and is actually quite useful. My mother-in-law, with macular degeneration, can read the larger fonts on her DX (Kindle 2), but has a hard time with the menus because they are all small print. Mr. Mauer should get a K3!

  2. cdt, the Voice Guide comes with Kindle 3 Keyboard, but I think that since the Kindle Touch model relies on precise touch of a given very small text link area, Amazon doesn't seem to have put the Voice Guide on this model. At least I can't find it on my Kindle Touch nor anything in the manual saying it's there.

    NFB won't find it on other 7" inexpensive touch models either. The quite expensive iPad seems to have technology along these lines for their larger tablet but I've no idea how effective it is for textbooks and tablet navigation in general.

    1. Reading a bit more about NFB I am not surprised at their objections. It is not clear at all to me how a TOUCH SCREEN device can accommodate people with serious sight impairment. But it would be trivial to provide DIFFERENT models of Kindle for use by impaired people. But I've seen a review of the K3 by a blind guy who made the valid point that the TTS function doesn't allow skipping around in content. (On the snarky side, I'm wondering why NFB doesn't demand accommodation from car manufacturers!) I guess I need to read up on the iPad approach.

      Thanks for your interesting and useful blog.

    2. cdt,
      Thanks for your thoughts on all this. I wondered about providing K3 keyboard models, but the contract currently demands a front-lighted e-reader. The functioning is so different that they probably want to provide only one model to minimize class confusion in how the device is used and to simplify costly device support, but maybe a revised contract can make exceptions for those who need the audio menu guides. It'll always be true that TTS functions will be much more limited, but even if you could use audio search, you'd still need to choose from the results, which would probably take too long to read out loud.

      If you find out anything interesting about the iPad's navigational aids, let us know. I'm curious because of the reliance on touch with the iPad and seeing results of pinch-zooms etc. I think Apple has apps from technologically-advanced companies that produce them for special needs.


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