Originally Posted by Daithi
Today I broke down and bought two paperback books that were not available in the Kindle format and that I don't expect them to be anytime soon. After I bought my books I found out that Amazon is introducing a new service. One of the books I bought, which remember is not available as a Kindle book, was available for me to read online for an added fee.
Amazon's new service can be seen here http://www.amazon.com/upgrade
For an additional fee this service allows you to view entire books online that you have previously purchased. The book that I was able to read online was The Mathematics of Relativity for the Rest of Us by Dr. Louis Jagerman. The book cost around $33 and the online viewing fee cost an additional $6. Normally I wouldn't have paid this extra fee, but I wanted to see what their e-version looked like.
So what does it look like? It looks exactly like their "Look inside this book" function when you click on a book. In other words, it looks like a PDF version of the book with bars on the left and right side of the book for navigation. There is also a navigation section to the left of the book and options above the book for making highlights or adding bookmarks.
This new service has got me to thinking. On one hand this may be all there is to this new Amazon service. It allows you to pay an extra fee to read a book while you wait for the physical book to arrive in the mail. Or maybe they have future plans to allow users to buy just the e-version of the book. Or maybe there are implications for the next version of the Kindle.
I could easily see the next version of the Kindle supporting these new e-books. If the next version of the Kindle has a big screen like the up coming Plastic Logic device then Amazon could easily make these PDF style versions of their books an option. This would especially apply to books like textbooks that have special formatting not suitable for displaying on the current version of the Kindle.
The above is just a guess. I don't see much of a market for an electronic copy, readable only on a PC, of a physical book you have already purchased, but if this new service is an indication of things to come for a new Kindle then that would be cool.
That's a "new" service?? I remember using that service from Amazon well over a year ago. It may have been even longer. It was a book about 3D modeling ... I really needed it sooner than it would arrive by mail (because I was headed to a meetup with a bunch of other wireframe geeks), so I got a copy for viewing while I was waiting for my hard copy to arrive.
I don't think it has any implications at all for the Kindle .... it seems to be geared towards the "I need the book and I need it in the next five minutes" crowd, who still mostly read pbooks.