Kindle Edition of Fans, Friends and Followers

It’s “credit where credit is due” time. A few days I blogged about what seemed odd to me, that Scott Kirsner’s book Fans, Friends and Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age was not available in a Kindle edition. I emailed him and asked in so many words “What’s with this, bro?” We had an exchange to the effect that he would work on it. Well, he emailed me today to let me know that the book is now available in a Kindle edition. Even sweeter, that version is only $7.99, a few bucks cheaper than even the direct download from him.

In order to be as good as my word, I bought it immediately. It’s the second book I bought and for this I decided to try out purchasing from the device itself. It was a very easy and satisfying process. It only took a few seconds to find it (the unique last name didn’t hurt), a few seconds to make the purchase and the book was already downloaded as soon as I went to look for it in my shelf. All good. Now I’m looking forward to reading the thing. Thanks, Scott Kirsner and thanks Dave Kellett for originally bringing this to my attention.

Medium, Meet Message; Message, Medium

Yesterday I saw Dave Kellett post about a brand new book he was interviewed for: Fans, Friends and Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age by Scott Kirsner. “Interesting sounding”, I thought to myself. Bearing in mind the subject matter and given that I have a brand new Kindle burning a hole in my backpack, I figured this book would be my first electronic impulse buy for the reader. Guess what, no Kindle edition! I was set to drop $8-$15 on this book right then and there and see the first book magically appear on my device. No dice.

Maybe I’m giving Scott Kirsner too hard of a time. This book seems to be self-published and maybe he didn’t have the resources for doing this. However, he does have a PDF version for sale from his site for $12. I ran his downloadable sample through the Kindle converter and it came out pretty bad. Lines were broken in funny ways that split up words. It was not totally unreadable but it was bad enough to make it tough sledding to read.

I emailed Kirsner about this, and I’ll see if and what he replies. But folks, the Mobipocket Creator program is a free download (if Windows only) and even if you are vending this yourself, you can take your own HTML source and run it through the program to create a .mobi file that is natively readable on the Kindle. If you are writing books about the online world and digital culture, failing to put the hour or two into this process throws your credibility into question on the topic.