Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Full Color Book on the Kindle?

I was surprised to see a book like Scott Kelby's The Digital Photography Book, Volume I ranked so highly on the latest Kindle bestseller list (#76 for all products). Kelby's got a fantastic brand name in this space and his print books always do exceptionally well, but what kind of user experience can you expect for a full color book on the black-and-white Kindle, particularly since the book is loaded with lots of rich color photos?

I got curious and downloaded the free sample. Unfortunately, I still have no idea what the user experience is like. The sample showed up but it ended before I even got through the table of contents -- what good is that?! Seriously, Amazon, you guys need to rethink the whole sample process. Don't just take the first x% or x% of the book...give us something meaty that makes us comfortable forking over our ten bucks for the whole book.

I still can't see how customers would be as happy with the Kindle edition of this book as they'd be for the print version. The former is only $2 less than the latter and there's no way the black-and-white rendering of all those color photos brings the usability anywhere near the level of the print book.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe some folks might like to have both versions of a book like this, instead of just the Kindle version. They can mainly enjoy the paper version, and the Kindle version would give them a searchable reference version, and a version they could peruse and read while travelling without lugging the paper book around.

Hopefully soon there'll be a way for people to buy other versions (kindle, audio, paper) of titles they've already bought in one version, at some sort of discount. There are some books I'd love to read on the Kindle while I listen to the audio version.

steven

blah said...

I dont think it makes much sense either. I actually own the book...you would want the photos for sure.

But then again, Artie Lange's "Too Fat To Fish" is number 10 and I cannot imagine wanting this book without being able to see the photography. That would be half the fun.

Tomlin said...

Hi Joe
There are times
when I want the text for reference
I might pay for the Kindle version
especially if the full color pics
were available as an adjunct
on the author's website

Timothy said...

While it might be that a lot of people are buying a Kindle version in addition to the print, somehow I doubt that it's enough to make the jump to the top 100 of all products.

I'm a photography student, so photography books are something that I have to buy all the time. However, Kindle is one format I avoid for my books.

I've downloaded several samples of Photo and Photoshop books and, so far, I have not found one that I would be comfortable buying.

It's not just the black & white screens. Conceivably, a book about B&W photography *could* work within the Kindle environment. However, even those books just don't work.

In photography, we just need way too much attention to detail. The Kindle just doesn't give enough detail even within black & white images for most art & photography books to even be useful.

To date, the only art books I am happy with reading on the kindle are some drawing/sketching books that I had downloaded from Wowio.com a while back. The illustrations in those books are almost as good as the original. Any other kind of picture-heavy books I'll just pass on.

Meanwhile, I'm surprised that the slection of manga and graphic novels is so lacking on the kindle. With the simple lines and black & white of most/many of these books, should be a no-brainer to start offering these kind of titles. And would be one of the few times we can really show off the illustrative capabilities of the Kindle.

andrys said...

Kelby would be selling a lot more probably if they'd lower the price to $9.95 when the color pics will never be done half-justice on the Kindle.

I have two CS3 Photoshop books on the Kindle and they both are very helpful, but I won't pay more than $10 for a Kindle version of any book that is highly dependent on its color photographs as illustrations of what to do (or what not to do)