Sunday, February 15, 2009

To get major publisher content for the Kindle ...

... you have to buy from the Kindle store.

Over on, they have a thread entitled "Kindle Myths and Partial Truths," in which the very first claim is this:
Myth: If you buy a Kindle, you are locked into Amazon's Kindle store.

Truth: There are many sources for books that can be read on the Kindle.
And he goes on to site as an alternative.

My reply:

Weeeeelllll, since this thread is about "myth" vs. "truth," the "truth" should be the whole truth, explicitly spelled out.

Yes, it's a myth that you can only acquire content for the Kindle via the Amazon store. However, it's a truth that the only source for a wide range of major-publisher content is the Amazon store: you want a New York Times bestseller -- or even most of the authors you see in a bookstore or library (assuming their work is available as ebooks at all) -- you do have to buy from Amazon.

When someone buys an ebook reader to read novels by James Patterson or Stephen King (or even me) or nonfiction by Malcolm Gladwell or Bill Bryson, to tell them that -- hey, no probs, you can get Jane Austen's Emma over here -- is ducking the question and not really separating myth from truth. :)

Fictionwise's multiformat books available in Mobi format can indeed be used on the Kindle but they are principally titles from small publishers, old and otherwise out-of-print works, or public-domain works.

For a graphic example of the difference, simply go to the main page at The books listed on the left-hand side are the ones you can get there for the Kindle; the ones on the right-hand side are then ones you can't get for the Kindle anywhere but the Amazon store.

Myth vs. truth is useful discourse; obfuscating boosterism isn't. :) It seems "Kindle Myths and Partial Truths" is indeed an apt title for this thread.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site



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