Friday, March 28, 2008

The Kindle, Vulture Capital and Me

I'm as big a fan of physical books as the next guy, as you can tell from this section on my website where I've posted scans of some of the inscribed first editions I've collected, including Hammett from Joe Gores, A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane and The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais.

However, I'm also in the software industry, which makes me kind of geeky and gives me an appreciation for electronic gadgets, including ebook readers. I'd previously used my Palm Treo to read books like Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith, The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke and Red Cat by Peter Spiegelman.

But the Treo's small (back lit) screen does leave something to be desired for book reading, so I was intrigued when Amazon announced their Kindle ebook reader late last year. I bought one of the first ones (before they sold out) and have really taken to it. The size is ideal, the "electronic paper" technology used for the screen is a lot easier on the eyes, and I appreciate the fact that I can be lounging in bed at night with nothing to read one minute and have downloaded a copy of say, Charlatan by Pope Brock in another.

And to paraphrase Victor Kiam ("I liked it so much, I bought the company"), I liked the Kindle so much I arranged to have my second novel, Vulture Capital, published on it. Here's a shot of the cover:

And the first page:

A special shout out to Joshua Tallent for doing the conversion of Vulture to the Kindle format. He did an excellent job, mixing in the hard-to-format quotes and photos that start each chapter with aplomb. If you're an author or a publisher looking to format books of your own, I'd highly recommend him.


At 9:30 PM, Blogger Mystery Dawg said...

Hey Mark,

I want one of these too but I'm going to wait until version 2 or 3 is out. I think that this is the wave of the future and how can you beat the price of the books.

I also think that this will allow authors more avenues to publishing as they wil probably be able to upload their material directly to Amazon and gain a wider audience.


At 9:57 AM, Blogger Mark Coggins said...


I agree--I think they will catch on and "level the playing field" for authors in the future.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Picks By Pat said...

Perhaps it is too early to tell, but how have sales of your book been through Kindle?

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Mark Coggins said...


It's early days ... the paper edition of the book definitely still sells more at this point.


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