Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why I'm Cancelling My Kindle Time Magazine Subscription

It only costs me $1.49/month but it bugs me. I'm talking about the Time magazine subscription for my Kindle. I eagerly signed up for it several months ago because I used to have a print subscription and let it lapse. I always enjoyed reading Time but decided it wasn't crucial. But for $1.49/month I figured how could I go wrong?

It's not how I've gone wrong, but rather how Time has gone wrong. Their presentation of the content on the Kindle is embarrassingly poor. Going into it I knew there would be some print content that wouldn't make it into the Kindle edition and I was OK with that. What I wasn't expecting was the awful formatting and complete lack of personality that seems to come through in the Kindle version. It's like trying to read a bad RSS feed. I'm talking about awkward line wraps, figure/image callouts that appear in the wrong place and disrupt the reading experience, etc.

I tried to overlook this at first but I've gotten so tired of it that I haven't even bothered to open the last 4 or 5 issues. I found myself wondering why I should pay anything for something I'm not using and I don't enjoy reading.

This is an important lesson for all magazine publishers considering the Kindle. I want to encourage more Kindle magazine options but please, please, don't force it. Make sure your content ports well to the Kindle format.

Now I'm off to Amazon's site to once again figure out how to cancel a subscription. Could they make it any harder?!


Robert said...

There's nothing Time could do with their content that would convince me to read them, on my Kindle or off. In fact, the subscriptions on offer have no value at all for me. Now if I could find an e-book reader with a filter that would only allow articles that made sense and didn't offend me, I'd have something!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I've subscribed & cancelled many subscriptions for my Kindle at Amazon. I thought the process was very easy to find & easy to do. Much easier than other places that force you to call them on the phone.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with all Joe W. said. I tried the 14-day subscription but have found that too much is missing, articles hard to find, etc. as stated. Maybe if more complaints come in they'll clean it up a little and we'll try to subscribe again.

evbart said...

Yeah, the Kindle is definitely better suited for books, than it is for blogs, magazines, or rss feeds.

Its not quite dynamic enough, and the page might not be big enough to get a nice layout.

It'll be interesting to see where they take it...and whether or not its a big revenue generator for them to do more than books.

Unknown said...

Happy New year all

I too just cancelled my Newsweek subscription on kindle...
I love reading books on kindle
(I've consumed over 20 so far and it is amazing-in fact I believe the device actually redefines reading)
...but the nature of magazine reading (at least for me) is very non linear...I jump in the middle and go backward...or go back cover to front...and with books the kindle rules going page by page...I just couldn't find a good or comfortable way to consume the Newsweek on it...
Looking for kindle to have a HUGE year in 09
Keep up the great work here Joe---I'm a "long time listener, first time caller :) " LOL

Unknown said...

I subscribe to Newsweek, NY Times's Latest News, and Slate.

I use the 'Articles List' and each time I finish an article I press the "back" button which takes me to the articles list again and then I select from that list another article that might interest me.