People amuse me, gladden me, sadden me and perplex me. Sometimes all at once.
You’ll see that in screenshot on the right, the reader is depicted as selecting books by cover. When most of us (including me) saw this, we were delighted. Kindle Apps on colour devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad, PCs, Macs) have long had the cover-view selection and it’s actually a nice way to choose your book, despite what old wives tell you. So when the Kindle got here and I had been reading it for a few hours I suddenly remembered that screenshot and spent a few minutes trying to play around with the settings to configure my home page to look like that.
Alas, there is no way to see the pretty grayscale pictures. Unless you are shopping in the Kindle Store. See, they can work a Cover Photo Display into the software for the selling portion, but not for the “this is the stuff you’re reading” portion. That kind of bums me out a little bit, because there’s just something more satisfying about seeing your books symbolised by something that looks more like the type of books you grew up with. The biggest objection people have with ebooks is that they don’t own the book.
See how clearly one of those things is not like the other? And Amazon must realise that this is a shortcoming because none of their marketing material shows the actual homescreen unless you are taking the “tour”. The splash images either show cover art (from the store) a single cover (from within the book itself) or a full page of text. They KNOW their home screen looks like cold asscakes.
But I love in spite of appearances, and I’m sticking with my snazzy new Kindle Touch. Especially since I now have hundreds of dollars committed to Kindle ebooks.
There are, though, quite a few people sounding off in the Kindle Forum over at Amazon about how they bought the Touch for the Cover display and cannot read their books without it and are returning the machine forthwith. This, I admit, is a headscratcher for me. I like the pictures, yes, but it doesn’t kill me to look at list of titles instead. If I want to see cover display I can always resort to checking in on my iPhone.
Yes, Amazon screwed up on this one. That much is plainly (ha!) obvious. But is not having little pictures really a dealbreaker?
Then again, since that’s how Amazon is choosing to market the product, they must know deep down that for many people it is. Now why they can’t just MAKE the product they’re trying to sell…that’s another question.
Marketing Something That Doesn’t Exist In Three Easy Steps: