Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Tiddler Invasion Kindle Color Edition

The Kindle Color Edition of The Tiddler Invasion: Small Motorcycles of the Sixties has just been released at Amazon. It will always be available as an alternative to the print edition at a somewhat lesser price, although the price differential may be minimal. This is not your average Kindle book. It is a substitute for what would have to be a high-priced print book, and a color print version would have to be a severely edited edition! The release of these two particular editions was planned from the inception. The problem is simply that a print version cannot be produced in color without cutting the photo count by a third and at least doubling the price! Although I have not completely ruled out that possibility for a later release, the appeal of such a pricey package would certainly be limited.

The Kindle Color Edition is not a book designed for an actual Kindle display. There are far too many photos and charts. This not only makes the file download to your small device 18 MB, it means that you will either have to read the text in a small font or else scroll around a lot to view each large photo, its caption, and the nearby text. Where I think the Kindle Color Edition will be more effective is in the Kindle for PC software, a free download from Amazon for any desktop or laptop. With this software you could potentially view the book on a much larger screen. The catch is that you would have to read the material on your computer. By far the biggest reason to have the print version is that you can read it anywhere and enjoy the long narratives as well as the charts and photos. The Kindle Edition has one big claim to fame:

About 390 of the 430 photos in the Kindle Edition are in full color!

The only black-and-white photos in the Kindle Edition are those that were B&W in the original prints. The remainder of the 430 photos in the book are in color. This is the one thing the regular 616-page print version cannot duplicate! The photo file sizes are too  large and there are too many of them to fit within a reasonably priced color print edition.

There are a few final notes concerning the Kindle Color Edition. Most of the page layout details of the 7x10 print book have of course been removed. All the photos, no matter how large or small, are centered in the viewing area. There are no page numbers or indexes. The Table of Contents in the front and the Photo Credits in the back of the book have been turned into links. In this version, the reader simply looks up where he wishes to go in either link list and jumps directly to that "page" of the book. You can readily see where the Kindle Color Edition might be handy for viewing the photos in full color or researching particular machines or sections of the book. The print version is still far superior as a fun read with its descriptive narratives and nostalgic stories. For those who really want to see the photos in all their glory or just bounce around the many charts and other reference details, the Kindle Color Edition offers an exciting alternative at an equally reasonable price. No kidding, if someone else had written The Tiddler Invasion, I would want to own both versions!

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