Saturday, April 18, 2009
The Kindle Releases
All four of my books have now been released in the new Kindle format. Priced at $4.80 each at Amazon, they are all now more of a bargain than ever before. Although The Last Horizon and Timeline of America have been available in the Kindle format for a while, the releases of Plastic Ozone Daydream and Ker-Splash! are new. Being non-fiction, semi-reference books, my works are somewhat more complicated to convert to the needs of the Kindle reader than are most fictional novels. I know that I still have a bit of work to do to clear out some of the unnecessary page spacing and sharpen up certain title subheadings and such, but this drive for perfection is one of the reasons I have embarked on my extensive research for The Kindle Report over on my PODBRAM blog.
The photo is of the 2008 Malibu Corvette ski boat, the only motorized vehicle on earth that truly splits the difference between The Corvette Chronicles and Recreational Power Boaters Guide, which are, of course, the subtitles of my two new Kindle releases. This particular recreational power boat is the result of a joint venture between Malibu Boats and Chevrolet, and it has functioned as the showroom traffic attraction for the Malibu brand for a number of years. Of course it is featured in Ker-Splash! as one very interesting ski boat.
The Kindle versions of any book will always have a number of qualities that lean heavily on convenience for their appeal at the expense of the quality of the packaging. Plastic Ozone Daydream contains thirty-something photos and graphics, as well as tons of specially formatted back matter that the Kindle version will never be able to match. On the other hand, you can play the audio track to listen to Daydream as a talking book if you own a Kindle 2. One of the better elements of the Kindle phenomenon is that books can be updated quite readily at any time. I know the 2000 date listed on Daydream appears ancient, but the book is about classic Corvettes, not new ones, and it does include all models up through the early years of the C5. Besides that, the book was officially released on December 30th. Like the legendary movie The Graduate that everybody thinks of as a product of 1968, even though Benjamin's Alfa Romeo Duetto Spyder was actually built in only one year, 1967. Like the movie released in NYC-only on December 21st, my first book is a 2000 model in copyright date only.
The main difference between the 2002 release date of Ker-Splash! and now is that a lot of the boat builders discussed in the book are now out of business. Of course that was my point in writing Ker-Splash! in the first place. It was a very special time in America that was about to become extinct, a time when recreational boating, even with brand new boats, was still somewhat affordable as a source of family recreation. I have been contemplating the release of an updated version of Ker-Splash! in the easily modifiable Kindle format only. The reason I have not done this already is that I really don't think it would be worth all the time such an update would require to research and develop. Although Ker-Splash! has been my best-selling book in many venues, I am hesitant to think that it would be as popular as a Kindle book. If I change my mind about any of this in the future, my readers of this blog will be the first to know.
Some of you may have already come across Kindle books that may have been released with current, as opposed to truthful, copyright dates listed. Of course I shall never do such a thing. The four books I have released in this format will remain with their true, original copyright dates unless or until I choose to significantly update one or more of them. If that happens, the newer date will reflect significant updating of the material, not just a cover or title change.
I can assure all my potential readers that if you want to read the most imaginative stories and articles about classic Corvettes available, then Daydream is your book. It is actually a decent deal in the print format due to the completeness of the photos and graphics, as well as the ability to quickly utilize the table of contents. There will never be a later, updated version. Although the electronic audio track in the Kindle version is technically present, the nuance and perfection of the printed version leaves it in the dust.
The most likely of the four books to ever receive an updated version is Timeline of America. Its nature clearly leaves the future open for a continuation of its timelines. As it is, Timeline is the bargain of the bunch in its Kindle version. The Kindle formatting may leave a little to be desired, but the material is all there and the price is less than a quarter as much. As with Ker-Splash!, the biggest drawback to an update would be the enormous amount of work required to complete the project. The reason Timeline was released in 2006 in the first place was that I could so clearly see the upcoming burst of the housing bubble and its subsequent financial crisis. The cover photo is a photographic allegory: we were at the top of the hill of the housing market at that time. There was nowhere to go but down.
The most likely of my books to receive a sequel is The Last Horizon. More than the other releases, it was conceived from the beginning as the introduction to a series. I have a lot more to say on the subject of Feminine Sexuality & The Class System, especially The Class System part. If the national economy in general, and the book business in particular, continues on its current pathway, I can easily envision the follow-up to Horizon as a Kindle-only book.
As a footnote to this post, I want to add that I still have a few printed copies of all four books available for reviewing. If you are seriously interested in reading one of my books for review, either on an official review blog or at Amazon, you can leave a comment on this post and I shall get back to you.