Feeds

Amazon browserizes Kindle book samples

Enlists authors in ebook war

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Amazon is calling upon its army of Kindle-based authors to help it in its battle for the eyeballs of the reading public. Its new weapon: Kindle for the Web.

"Kindle for the Web is ... a great way for bloggers and authors to promote books on their websites by letting visitors read a chapter without leaving their site," said Amazon Kindle director Dorothy Nicholls in a Tuesday announcement of the beta service.

It's also a way for prospective book buyers to read the first chapter of a Kindle for the Webbed book without having to download a sample to their Kindle-Kapable device — a gaggle that now includes the Kindle, Kindle 3G, and Kindle DX, along with the iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, and Android-based handsets.

"With Kindle for the Web, it's easier than ever for customers to sample Kindle books — there's no downloading or installation required," said Nicholls.

Kindle for the Web

You no longer have to download a sample to your device (left); you can now read it in your browser (right)

If a book is part of the beta service — and our cursory investigation showed that few are — you can simply click on a "Read first chapter FREE" button on that book's Amazon page, and a new, smaller browser window opens with that chapter displayed.

Controls then allow you to expand the window; adjust font size, line spacing, and text-area width; and pick from background colors of white, sepia, and black. A pop-up slider at the bottom of the window moves you forward and back through the chapter; arrows move the text page by page.

Kindle for the Web

Big or small, wide or thin, tight or loose — your call

A "Share" button give you the option of emailing the book's Amazon-page URL, send it to your Facebook page along with a description of the book, or tweet it. An "Embed" button provides the HTML needed to paste the reader into a web page, à la YouTube, resizing it if you should so desire.

The beauty part for authors is not only the fact that they can use that Embed button to add Kindle for the Web samples to their websites, but that as members of the Amazon Associates Program they can earn referral fees from Amazon when someone buys their book through that embedded link, provided they have added their Associate Tag to the link.

For your enjoyment, we've embedded the Kindle for the Web reader here for an Amazon demo book, but note that we had to shrink it substantially to get it to fit:

As Amazon races against Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, et al to see who can be first to completely destroy the neighborhood bookstore, Kindle for the Web gives it a leg up: making it easier for authors to promote — and make a bit more cash from — their own books might just prove to be a formidable marketing strategy. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?