Are Kindles Greener?

Archived in the category: ebook device
Posted by admin on 09 Dec 10 - 0 Comments

According to a study released by the Cleantech Group last year (and cited by Sam Jordison in The Ecological Case for Books), eReaders are greener than paper books. However, Kindle Stand suspects there may be too many variables to determine if buying a Kindle is really going reduce your carbon footprint. If you live a green lifestyle, your reading habits will determine how green is your Kindle.

The Numbers

Kindle analysts from Cleantech estimate that producing one eReader generates about 168 kilograms of carbon dioxide. (This doesn’t include emissions from reading a book.) The lifecycle of a single print book generates about 7.5 kilograms of carbon dioxide. By these numbers, eReader users would breakeven on carbon emissions after 23 book downloads. This is only 5 books a year for 4 years. Since the average eReader user downloads 3 books a month, the environmental savings seem obvious.

An article in the Washington Post showed that Kindle also comes out on top in water usage – 7 gallons to make a paper book, 2 cups to make an electronic book. Producing a Kindle takes about 79 gallons of water. After 12 books, a Kindle is once again ahead.

Really Greener?

What the Cleantech analysis may not have considered is that most people don’t buy every book they read. The American Library Association reports that the average person checks out 7 or 8 books annually from the public library. And, if you own a printed book, you might pass it to a friend who in turn passes it to friend ad infinitum. People donate books for resale, swap books, and otherwise extend their usefulness for years.

On the technology side, many people upgrade regularly to new versions of electronic devices. As soon as you’ve trashed your old eReader, you’re back to square one in terms of emissions.

Kindle Stand Considers

Overall, there are definite environmental advantages to an eReader. Especially in terms of academics, where printed textbooks become obsolete in a few years, using eTextbooks on a Kindle is obviously a greener choice. As long as you keep your eReader around for a while, and use it as your main source of reading material rather than as a supplement to paper books, Kindle Stand thinks eReaders could help our planet clean.

 

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Kindle in Every Backpack

Archived in the category: ebook device
Posted by admin on 30 Nov 10 - 1 Comment

How can anyone think this is a bad idea? A high school in Clearwater Florida bought Kindles for some 2,000 students. Kindle Stand is thrilled, though we recognize some serious challenges.

Cost Analysis for School Boards

A printed textbook can cost $100 or more. Equipping a child with three or four textbooks is a big investment. While an e-reader may seem crazy expensive, an eTextbook may cost 50% or less of the price of a hardcover. Some math:

4 hardcover textbooks = $400

1 eReader = $140

4 eTextbooks = $200

Savings for eTextbook solution = $60 per student

Of course, these savings arise only if a school is about to replace all the paper textbooks with newer or different versions. In practice, it’s likely to take several years to realize a return on investment in Kindles and eBooks for every student.

eTextbook Management

Loading an eTextbook onto an eReader necessarily carries severe limitations. For example, what is the procedure for passing a ninth grade eTextbook from this year’s class to the incoming class next year? The easy answer from a publisher’s perspective is: collect the eReaders and hand them out next year. So, a high school will need to manage a discreet set of Kindles for each class level.

Kindle Stand suggests that any other method of handing down eTextbooks would actually be more complicated than handing down eReaders. A move to other reader function would require cornering each outgoing student’s Kindle and temporarily pairing it with a new Kindle. Or… an administrator would download an eTextbook from a purchasing account to an incoming student’s eReader. This procedure would have to wipe a copy from an outgoing student’s eReader (for copyright purposes, each purchased copy of an eTextbook can exist on only one Kindle).

Of course, when you collect Kindles from outgoing students to pass along to incoming students, you’ll be passing along annotations, eBooks, and any personal documents students loaded on the devices. This creates a maintenance nightmare in its own right.

eTextbook Support for the Future

The eTextbook publisher who most quickly comes to dominance in this new era will be one who provides a scholastic distribution model that makes handing down eTextbooks smooth and simple. As a publisher, Kindle Stand would work to provide a simple interface with the following features:

Manage eReaders – administrators record a list of eReaders and assign them to specific grade and/or subject groups. Administrators must be able to move eReaders from one group to another easily and without losing license to the books installed on them.

Bulk Load – administrators push new eTextbook titles onto every eReader in a managed group.

Bulk Wipe – administrators reset the contents of all eReaders in a managed group to a factory default configuration.

Group Master – administrators build a master image for a group that may contain all appropriate textbooks for the kids in that group; a single command downloads the master to all eReaders in the group.

Of course, administrators will need to be able to work with a single eReader as well… and none of this should increase the expense of owning and handing down an eTextbook indefinitely.

As easy as it is to maintain a store of aging paper textbooks, eTextbooks will face stiff resistance until it is just as easy to manage them.

For more information and analysis about this topic please visit Need To Know on PBS.

 

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Eyestrain from a Kindle?

Archived in the category: ebook device
Posted by admin on 17 Nov 10 - 0 Comments

Kindle Stand recently came across an article that discussed at length the likelihood of developing eyestrain from reading ebooks on ereaders. The author weighed electronic ink against back-lit LCDs and concluded that neither technology is likely to cause eyestrain. Rather, he suggests, how you read may have the greatest effect on your eyes.

The Free Dictionary includes “…prolonged reading of small print” among the causes of eyestrain. If that alone is enough to tire your eyes and give you headaches, then the risk of developing eyestrain from ebooks is likely to be equivalent to the risk from reading books or working at a computer. However, the finding that people read more once they acquire Kindles suggests ereaders may increase the incidence of eyestrain among reading enthusiasts after all.

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Kindle Stand Musing: Self-Publishing is In

Archived in the category: ebook device, kindle stand
Posted by admin on 29 Oct 10 - 0 Comments

Kindle Stand doesn’t expect traditionally-published books to disappear any time soon. However, we also recognize that the publishing industry is struggling to adjust to the Internet era.

Consider that ten years ago “self publishing” carried considerable stigma; “real” writers simply wouldn’t self publish, and the expense put self-publishing out of reach for most fake writers. Today, there are many options for “fake” writers to succeed without breaking in to the traditional publishing industry. That’s a big part of why traditional publishers are struggling.

New Publishing Models

If you’re desperate to produce a bound paper & ink book, you can pay a token fee to submit your book to an on-demand publisher. For surprisingly reasonable prices, people can buy copies that are fresh off the press, and there’s no risk of printing more books than customers will buy.

Even before on-demand printing, the ebook had proven a viable alternative to traditional publishing. In fact, there has been a booming online industry in high-priced pdf files—many of them incredibly poorly written, but valuable for the information they contain. Thousands of entrepreneurs write and sell their own ebooks, and thousands more make money selling other people’s ebooks.

Most recently, dedicated ebook readers—the Kindle, for example—have taken the public’s fancy. The success of ereaders lets big publishers mimic the traditional publishing model without overhead of printing and physical distribution. After someone has written a book and laid it out, there is virtually no additional expense to distribute it. In fact, after you write an ebook, the greatest expense is in creating demand for it: marketing.

Publishers having large catalogs don’t have to do much marketing: it costs them almost nothing to store thousands of ebooks… so if only a few dozen sell well, it’s no big deal that several hundred sell poorly.

What this means is that for an ebook to sell well, in most cases the book’s author must promote it. In fact, if you’re planning to publish an ebook some day, you need to start marketing yourself and the book weeks or months before the book is available to buy. Skilled Internet marketers build large lists of followers anxious to buy whatever book is about to “go live” and they sell hundreds or thousands of high-priced pdf files in just a few hours.

The Author as Kindle Stand

Amazon.com is encouraging the growth of this new publishing model. Self-published authors of Kindle ebooks can keep nearly 70% of the proceeds for each sale! The same book published traditionally might generate a 15% royalty. The down side for the author is that the book isn’t going to get any promotion from Amazon (and, of course, there’s no paper and ink version).

So… most authors who publish Amazon Kindle books will need to become Kindle book-selling stands. The author will do all the marketing—or hire someone to do it. This isn’t as onerous as it may seem. It turns out traditional publishers choose new authors in part for the Internet presence they already command, and the promise that the author’s online notoriety will help to sell books. It’s easy to see why ebook readers and self-publishing are putting the hurt on traditional publishers.

Do you enjoy books published only for the Kindle? Will self-publishing eventually attain the status of traditional publishing? Please share your thoughts in a comment.

 

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Kindle Stand Muses: Book-Reading Culture Shift

Archived in the category: kindle stand
Posted by admin on 23 Oct 10 - 0 Comments

Kindle Stand noted Amazon’s announcement about increased portability of periodicals and ebooks. The news is that newspapers and magazines to which you subscribe on your Kindle will be available on all your Kindle apps—on the iPad, the iPhone, and the iPod touch. Eventually, Amazon will extend Kindle for Android and other platforms with the same capabilities.

The intent, Amazon says, is to make your subscriptions available wherever you are, just as Kindle books are: pay just once, and read anywhere.

Lend Your Kindle eBooks

In the same announcement, Amazon said that they will make it possible for you to loan your ebooks to other Kindle users for up to 14 days. While you’ve loaned out a book, you won’t be able to read it yourself.

Kindle Stand feels this is barely a decent start. Making it even less exciting, Amazon will let publishers determine whether you’ll be able to lend **their** books. So… if you buy the print version, you can give it a life of its own without interference… as long as you don’t distribute homemade copies of it. However, if you buy the Kindle version of a book, you can give one person at a time a peek as long as it’s OK with the publisher.

eBook Publishing Culture Shift

Electronic distribution of a book will eventually eliminate the cost of printing and traditional distribution. A publisher’s only costs will be to pay an author, handle promotion, and manage finances.

In fact, some publishers predict that eventually they will become service organizations that help build writer/reader relationships. The actual publishing contract will be between the writer and the readers.

In the meantime, publishers and Amazon seem to believe that because a book no longer comes on paper the publisher should control each copy’s movement among its readers.

  • Will the ebook publishing model eventually let a buyer resell the “used ebook” to another reader?
  • Will there be hundreds of Kindle stands selling used ebooks the way brick-and-mortar book stands sell paper-and-ink used books?
  • Will our public libraries hold fundraiser ebook sales where patrons can donate used ebooks to cover the libraries’ operating expenses?
  • Will college students be able to sell their used eTextbooks back to the campus bookstore so next year’s students can buy the books at a discount?

Amazon strives with the Kindle to provide a familiar book-reading experience that customers will embrace. However, if Amazon’s publishing model doesn’t change dramatically, the entire culture of book reading is going to look amazingly different really soon.

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Kindle Stand Applauds eReader Adoption

Archived in the category: ebook device
Posted by admin on 15 Oct 10 - 1 Comment

In case you missed the news reported last week at eWeek.com, a recent survey by Harris Interactive found that eight percent of Americans use Kindles or other ebook readers, and of those who don’t, 12 percent plan to buy ereaders within six months. While Kindle Stand finds these numbers compelling, we were even more excited to learn that owning a Kindle increases the number of books you read!

Of course, at this time of year, the push is on by manufacturers to sell more ereaders. Even Amazon has stepped up their game as they’re now selling Kindles at Staples. With impressively low prices, the latest Kindles ereaders have received enthusiastic response, and they continue to set the bar for dedicated book-reading devices.

The Kindle’s tendency to increase book-reading among its users seems like a great trend. It will be interesting to see whether this trend leads to long-term changes in reading habits, or whether other influences—such as streaming video and audio—have a more permanent effect.

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Kindle Borrows from Internet Marketing

Archived in the category: ebook device
Posted by admin on 06 Oct 10 - 0 Comments

Kindle Stand found this story about the rise of Kindleporn… and we weren’t at all surprised by it. However, it was interesting to read about the emergent marketing strategy companies are using to sell ebooks: give them away.

Internet marketers have proven that you can make a lot of money by giving stuff away. Here’s one common approach:

1. Teach a course or give a short how-to seminar at no cost to the students

2. Offer a free subscription to a service or to further training related to the original course

3. Offer a “premium” subscription to more, better information for a fee

If you can get hundreds or thousands of people to take the free course or seminar and you deliver decent material, at least some of the students are likely to pay for the premium service.

Kindle Books for Free

So, James Ledbetter in Slate tells us that Kindle book titles are reaching the Amazon top-sellers list in part because publishers give away books for free. Apparently, many of these books involve erotica, hence the focus of the article.

We at Kindle Stand believe that the willingness to give away books in all genres will increase. It costs virtually nothing to distribute an ebook, so why wouldn’t you give away some limited number to try to hook an audience? Eventually, savvy shoppers will be able to find thousands of great titles for free.

What do you think? Have you found worthwhile free books to read on your Kindle? Do you scout the list of free titles available from Amazon?

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Kindle Stand Would not Have Helped

Archived in the category: kindle accessories, kindle holder, kindle stand
Posted by admin on 04 Oct 10 - 0 Comments

The whole point of a Kindle stand is to let you read with your hands free to do other things. This is a simple idea and it works out great when you’re lying in bed, sitting at the breakfast table, cooking in the kitchen, tinkering in the shop, or otherwise engaged in several activities at once. But we recently read about a guy who should have been nowhere near a Kindle, with or without a Kindle stand.

Turns out the driver of a public transportation bus in Portland set a Kindle on the dashboard to read as he shuttled passengers around the city. Read the article here: Bus Driver Caught Reading Kindle Behind the Wheel.

Get a Kindle Stand; Use it Wisely

A Kindle stand wouldn’t have helped during rush hour traffic, but we’re sure you could come up with several dozen more responsible places to use one. Let us know: in what circumstance would you put a kindle stand to use?

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Accessorize with a Kindle Stand

Posted by admin on 27 Sep 10 - 0 Comments

As does any slick, highly-engaging purchase, a Kindle begs you to accessorize it. The two accessories to consider first are a cover, and a Kindle stand. A cover or case protects your Kindle when you pack it in a briefcase, backpack, purse, or carryon, and it may provide protection from damage should you drop your Kindle.

What’s a Kindle Stand?

You might not even miss a Kindle stand until someone suggests you should try one. A Kindle stand holds your Kindle upright on a table or other surface so you can read with your hands free to do other things. Do you read at the breakfast table? Do so comfortably while you hold a drink in one hand, and work a spoon or fork with the other hand.

With a Kindle stand, you can peruse an instruction manual or a cookbook hands-free while you follow the instructions it contains!

What else can you do more easily with a Kindle stand than you can without one? Leave your suggestions in a comment.

Visit http://www.kradle.com to see our latest line of hands-free ereader stands.


 

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