Amazon, Kindle and iPhones! Oh, my!
I was scrolling through my New York Times yesterday morning when lo! Amazon releasing a Kindle application for the iPhone? With alacrity I set about downloading said app — a painfully slow process, what with the wonky Edge in the concrete bunker of an auditorium in which I was sitting.
On the subway ride home, I tested out my Phindle. Although I found it amusing that I could simultaneously enjoy Kanye and Stephanie Meyer on the very same device (and by “simultaneously enjoy” I mean “be equally distracted by” since I can’t quite imagine how Bella swooning over Edward makes us harder, better, faster, stronger), it’s no Kindle killer. For the iPhone users among you, it’s adequate and convenient, but pages must be turned with a flick and you can’t view them horizontally. Plus, the iPhone battery is, well, an iPhone battery. Still, I’m guessing that somewhere at Apple heads are rolling.
As a human being, ebooks interest me because I live and die by my gadgets. As a book publicist, I want to know more because I’m starting to get more requests from journalists for review copies of books in an electronic format. I would love to shoot off PDFs of our books to reviewers — saving time and money — but that of course raises the concern that nefarious deeds could be committed with a PDF easily resaved as text.
Sarah from Soho Press blogged the other week about emailing a book to a reviewer. As Sarah points out, this saves loads of time, money and trees. Not to mention space — some of the massive tomes we publish are simply begging to be categorized under “Weapon, lethal.”
As a book publicist, how do you feel about distributing ebooks to reviewers rather than mailing hard copies? As a journalist, would you want the flexibility of an electronic copy of a book? For those book publicists who have sent out ecopies of books (or for those folks who have provided free downloads of a book in an attempt to promote it), how do you ensure the book — or large parts of it — cannot be easily reproduced? Do you care? Weigh in at will.
Yesterday when I updated my list of freelance book publicists, I did (or didn’t do) something idiotic and a lot of people couldn’t access the document. I’ve made a change so this revised revised list should be viewable whether or not you have a Google account or are signed in. Also, if you haven’t already seen it, Bella Stander maintains a list of freelancers too. Her list is smaller because she only lists people with whom she has worked (and whose work she recommends). I took the other route and listed everyone who submitted information, so I think you get the best of both worlds.