Wherever You Go, Take Bob Bly, Joe Sugarman, Michael Masterson and Joe Vitale With You

It’s a copywriter’s dream.

Having access to hundreds of copywriting and marketing books by the likes of Bob Bly, Michael Masterson, Joe Sugarman, Joe Vitale and others at your fingertips – no matter where you are.

Thanks to advancements in technology and wireless communications, living a “never stop learning” lifestyle is easier and more convenient than ever before.

Recently I was lucky enough to receive a “Kindle” as a gift. Kindle is the new portable reading device developed and marketed by Amazon.com. It’s not the first product released of its type, but after using it and doing some additional research, I can safely say – it’s the best.

What makes it so special?

Of course, storage and access capabilities are nice, but for any device to successfully replace the book-reading experience, its screen resolution has to be nearly perfect.

Amazon has succeeded brilliantly in this area.

Kindle’s screen uses a new technology called “electronic ink.” It’s not backlit, so there’s no glare like you get from a regular computer screen. It’s remarkably similar to reading a printed page.

And, in a way, it’s even better than reading a book, because with a couple of clicks you can adjust the text size to a level you’re most comfortable with.

Plus, Kindle itself is the perfect size.

Holding some books can be quite cumbersome, especially if you’re reading while lying on the couch or in bed. Kindle is lighter and smaller than a typical paperback and weighs only 10.3 ounces, making it easy to hold and position. To turn a page, you merely press a button on the side of the device.

As a copywriter, one of the keys to the success of some promotions is tying them into the latest events and trends.

Kindle will help you in this area, too.

While you’re sleeping, Kindle (using its free wireless Sprint Internet access) will automatically download the latest issues of the major U.S. and international newspapers of your choice – no more putting on your slippers and bathrobe and walking out to the end of your drive or even turning on your computer to get access to the latest headlines.

Plus, if you’ve ever “battled” a newspaper while eating breakfast at your local diner, I’m sure this comes as welcome news.

But that’s not all …

No matter what copywriting niche you write for or where your interests lie, chances are there’s someone blogging about it.

You can subscribe to your choice of 368 of the world’s most popular blogs (covering topics from science and politics to entertainment and investing). When a blog is updated, you’ll instantly receive the update – making you one of the first to know when something newsworthy happens in an area that’s important to you.

Here are some other reasons you might want to consider making Kindle part of your daily routine:

  • It’s simple to set up – Just plug it in (to charge up the battery), and it’s ready to use. It couldn’t be easier. Plus, the guide book is stored in the device and is easily accessible with a few clicks.
  • Read for a week or more without AC power – If you turn the wireless switch off, you’ll be able to use Kindle for a week or more. If you leave the wireless on, you’ll have to recharge it every other day. (Kindle will completely recharge itself in about two hours.)
  • You’ll save money on books, newspapers and magazine subscriptions – As we all know, the prices for regular (non-Kindle) books are all over the map. So your savings will vary. Generally, though, you can expect to pay less than $10.00 for a Kindle-compatible book from Amazon, while a hardcover or paperback version can run you a lot more. For instance, the number-one-selling Kindle book right now on Amazon is The Shack, which you can download to your Kindle for only $8.24. (From Amazon, the hardcover version of this title would cost you $16.40.) The Kindle version of Bob Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook would cost you only $9.99; while the paperback version would cost you $12.24 (plus any applicable delivery charges).

You’ll save money on newspapers and magazine subscriptions, too. For example, a Kindle subscription to The New York Times is only $13.99 per month (a savings of 70% or more off the home delivery price, depending upon where you live) … and a Kindle subscription to Time magazine is only about $18.00 (a savings of over 50% off the regular home delivery rate of $39.90 per year).

  • Browse before you buy – If you’re not ready to buy a particular item, you can download a sample of it for free. Plus, you have the option of testing out newspapers and magazine subscriptions for 14 days before you’re charged a monthly fee.
  • Read computer files on it – You’re set up with a special Kindle email address you can use to send certain computer files (txt, doc, html, htm, jpeg, jpg, gif, png and bmp files) to your Kindle to convert them to the Kindle (azw) format. The process takes less than two minutes. There’s a small charge of $0.10 per attachment, which can be easily avoided by doing the conversion on your computer and then transferring the files to your Kindle using a USB cable.

(Note: Text (txt) files are readable on your Kindle; however, it’s not always the best, as the spacing tends not to be consistent.)

  • You have thousands and thousands of books to choose from – From Amazon alone, there are 137,000 books available. But you don’t have to get your books exclusively from Amazon. (At the end of this article, I’ve listed other sites that feature Kindle-compatible content.)
  • Listen to books (and music. too) – Kindle has a built-in speaker and jack for headphones (not included). You can listen to audio books purchased from audible.com on your Kindle. Plans at audible.com start at $14.95 per month ($7.95 for the first three months), which gets you one audible download per month. You can also listen to MP3s on your Kindle, but the song selection capabilities are limited, as it only plays the MP3s in a random order.
  • No monthly wireless access charges – There are no monthly charges for access to the Sprint wireless network.
  • Free Internet access – Using it to surf the net is not ideal and a bit cumbersome, as the Kindle screen is too small to show an entire web page all at once, but you can access the Internet free of charge using your Kindle.
  • Easy to do searches – Kindle comes with a QWERTY keyboard, which makes it easy to search your Kindle, Wikipedia, the Dictionary or the Internet.
  • Stores thousands of books – Kindle comes standard with 180MB, which holds well over 200 books. You can expand the memory to 4GB for under $20.00, boosting its capacity to over 7,000 books. (The average book takes up approximately 0.5MB of space.)

So, what are the cons of owning a Kindle? There has to be some, right?

Here are the ones I came up with:

  • Must be activated to use audio books using a Windows-based system – Not a big deal, as I’m sure most Mac users have access to a Windows-based system.
  • Can’t use the wireless feature while flying – You can use your Kindle on a plane (after the pilot indicates electronic devices may be used), but you can’t leave the wireless on. Not really an inconvenience, but worth mentioning, as it’s a question that is bound to come up.
  • The Sprint network is not accessible from everywhere – For instance, if you live in Montana or Alaska, there’s no wireless coverage. You can still use your Kindle, but instead of making wireless purchases, you simply purchase content using your computer and then transfer it to your Kindle using a USB cable.
  • Only available in the U.S. – Kindle is currently being sold only in the United States.
  • It’s a bit pricey – At $359, some may consider it to be a bit pricey.
  • Reading on a Kindle is different – After spending the majority of your life reading books, it might take a bit of time to get used to reading on a Kindle screen.

Once you get your hands on a Kindle, I’m confident you will absolutely love it.

And if you don’t, you can always return it (along with the original package) under Amazon’s 30-day, money-back guarantee. (Plus, they also offer a 7-day, money-back guarantee on any books you purchase.)

For copywriters who recognize the importance of always learning new things, owning a Kindle is pretty much a no-brainer.

The larger question is …

Does Kindle represent the future of books and reading in general?

I vote a resounding “yes.”


Additional Kindle Information:

Order Kindle Here

As mentioned, here are some other sites that offer (in many cases free) content you can download to your Kindle:

Here is some additional information for mobipocket.com users and some information regarding reading PDFs with your Kindle.

Mobi files bought from www.mobipocket.com which are Digital Rights Management (DRM) protected will not work on your Kindle. What’s a non-DMR mobi file? First of all, a mobi file is the standard file format used with “ebook readers.” A non-DRM file is a file whose content is not protected by copyright laws, such as public domain books.

To add a little bit of confusion to the whole deal, Amazon owns mobipocket.com, which has some people wondering how committed they are to mobipocket.com and maintaining and promoting the mobi file format.

Onto PDFs …

Using your Kindle email address, you can convert PDFs to a readable Kindle format. Amazon currently lists the PDF conversion process as “experimental.” The PDF I converted worked fine on my Kindle. (Note: DRM-protected PDFs will not be readable on your Kindle.)

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: July 16, 2008

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