Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Amazon, you ol' dog you.

I've said it once, I'll say it again - I don't particularly care for ebooks. Due to my lack of one, and lack of being organised in the slightest, all of the following pictures have been borrowed from the internet and the caption will send you to the original link. 
I'm going to look at the Kindle, I've got pictures from the touchscreen, keypad, and the other one that's not either of those two. I'm not looking at the Fire, as I just want to focus on the ink display. Kindle, as we know, was created by Amazon, who is taking over the world. I don't want to get in to it, mainly because I'm super tired but also because that's not what I'm here to talk about. Instead, design. Let's start with a cover. Naturally.

Left -; right -
Here we have One Summer, published in 2011 by Grand Central Publishing. However, on the left, the 6" E Ink display Kindle, retailing for $109.00 on right now. On the right, a book, or at least the cover of a real book, most likely hardback. The colours in the cover are fantastic, the subtle tones of summer make you want to pick up this book and find out what this one summer was all about. The author's name is first, due to the fact he's established and written enough novels to have his name known. The typeface is a classic serif, making him look even more important. The typeface for the title feels nice and flowy, giving the impression this book's going to be full of fun and drama. But to the Kindle. My main issue with the Kindle is there's no ink technology to make the screen colour yet. Maybe you look in to every ebook you purchase, but with this one, I wouldn't buy it based on the cover on a Kindle. Does that makes sense? Anyway, I've been told Kindle's don't automatically go to the cover on an ebook, you have to choose to. I buy books because I love the physical object with a pretty cover you can hold - ebooks just don't appeal. 
To the body text!
The Paris Wife prologue.
Here's a sample page on the same Kindle as above. The original printed page looks the same as this - same typeface, same capital T, and roughly the same space between PROLOGUE and the beginning of the body copy. The typeface is a nice serif, easy to read and attractive looking. The margins around the text is also great, a nice amount of space so the page doesn't look or feel cramped while reading alone. I assume this is probably the preset size typeface, since it's easy to change the size on a Kindle, as you can see.
Apologies, this isn't from the same book.
You can even sneakily choose a sans-serif typeface - blasphemy! This is one cool feature I'll give the Kindle. I know when I get tired or my eyes are just feeling lazy for no reason, I'd love to be able to make the typeface of my book bigger. The other great thing about this feature is that it opens it up to a whole other market of readers, older people. I mean no offence when saying this, but it's true! I've heard people buying ereaders for parents and grandparents so they don't lose reading. I'm aware that libraries often stock large print books, I'm just not sure how much of a market there still is for this. 
One more picture, and it's pretty awesome.
At least I think it's awesome. I'm not a huge fan of manga or graphic novels, but I've dabbled. You can purchase graphic novels and manga for Kindle, but this one I've found was using a programme called Mangle. I think it's come out great considering it's not made for the reader. The images have come out really well, although I'm sure it would look better in colour. They're really clear and easy to read, which is probably due to the converter too. The only issue is the pages don't totally cover the whole screen, so they overlap a bit like on the right hand side. Because you can adjust the typeface size and manga is in panels, it wouldn't be too difficult to create a setting that's perfect for this genre. This is the Kindle keyboard with 3G and wifi, which is currently $189.00 on Amazon. They're managing to do pretty well for themselves, are Amazon.

A few more to come,

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