We are the proud owners of two Amazon Kindle readers. My wife has an earlier generation Kindle which works great, even on a bright, sunlit beach. It uses a screen technology that looks much paper pages in a book. You will need a reading light in a dimly lit room. A light is built into the leather cover, and it works well when reading in bed.
The Kindle Fire is mine! It is the new tablet computer that was meant to function primarily as a reader. The screen is the regular tablet computer LCD screen, and it is not readable in bright sunlight, but easily read in bed at night and most other places. It is a great addition to the family of computing devices we own.
The Kindles make buying books easy over WiFi enabled internet. Kindle ebooks are generally inexpensive, and if you have an Amazon account, you can buy your next book and be reading it within a couple of minutes. It is really cool.
Recently, I have discovered a downside to ebooks, especially on Amazon. There is an ongoing war between Amazon and book publishers. Amazon is constantly pushing the publishers to lower prices. The publishers respond by refusing, claiming their margins are too small for economically normal profits.
Amazon has now established a publishing business, and offers authors a bigger share of the book price by eliminating the current middle-men publishing companies. Amazon is certain to gain ground, here, as most books don’t make money, and the authors are left high and dry in the profit picture.
Another blockbuster idea is that anybody can self-publish a book, and list it for sale on Amazon.com. Wow! What an idea.
Thousands of would-be authors are flooding the self-publishing scene with trash, elementary writings, and just plain fraudulent publications. I, stupidly, paid $2.99 one time for a FIVE PAGE e-BOOK!
Shame on me. I should have downloaded the example which Amazon conveniently offers, and not made the transaction. My fault, but it does illustrate the potential for just plain bad stuff.
This morning, I was searching Amazon for science fiction books. I discovered that there are LOTS of them there, and many of them written by authors new to the business. Some have four and five star ratings, and I learned that many times the ratings are not deserved.
With the advent of ebooks and self-publishing, it will become harder and harder to separate the good works from the bad. Right now, if the book does not have at least a paperback in circulation, I will not buy the e-book.
How else should I measure potential quality in such a blizzard of literature?