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Tons of Reviews of the Kindle DX

There is no shortage of general news about the Amazon Kindle DX — a large display version of their electronic reader — will be released this summer. Nilay Patel at Engadget weighs in with lots of photos. C.K. Sample III got a hands-on demonstration, and an interview with the Director of Product Management, Jay Marine. At The New York Times, Saul Hansell explains how the Kindle makes money for Amazon. Peter Glaskowsky on Cnet has a three article series, including an overview, specific information on how newspapers can be read on the Kindle, and the market for textbooks.

The potential for comic distribution has already become a hot topic onto itself. Heidi MacDonald states “New, giant Kindle will make you crap your pants in awe”! Some are questioning the price, there are more detailed examinations, and Glenn Hauman at ComicMix is uncertain that it is quite what comic readers are looking for.

Finally, Scott McCloud has taken issue with the design of the display, and The Floating Lightbulb has weighed in with two articles so far suggesting that reading comics on the web is superior to reading them on stand-alone devices.

Community Comments

#1 frank white
May/8/2009
@ 9:04 am

How does an average webcartoonist put his or her cartoons on one of these devices for distribution and monetizing the content?

#2 Bobby Timony
May/8/2009
@ 9:57 am

I’ve got a couple comics available on the Kindle.

You just need to format them for the screen size, and save them as a Greyscale Gif, with 16 or less shades of grey. Crunch them until they’re less than 64K.

The current Kindle is 450X550 pixels, but the new one will be 824×1200, which of course is much nicer for comics.

After you crunch your pages into the proper format, stick them in a folder and make a simple HTML document that lists them in the right order. Compress this, along with your Gif files into a Zip file.

Next, go to Amazon’s Digital Text Platform site (you can Google it), set up a free account and upload your comics. Make sure to check the preview for any errors, and your done.

Amazon will take a 65% cut, so factor that in when you set the price.

#3 peckinpaw
May/8/2009
@ 10:00 am

I think the screen flipping is going to be a problem for comics. The rescaling of the image worries me.

#4 Steve Greenberg
May/8/2009
@ 12:12 pm

I just did a cartoon on Kindle, and newspapers’ hope for it:
http://www.greenberg-art.com/.Toons/.Toons,%20Media/Kindle.html

#5 frank white
May/8/2009
@ 12:31 pm

Thanks Bobby!

#6 Dave Stephens
May/10/2009
@ 2:35 pm

Kindle is cool – it really should be in color, but I know that would kill the profit margin for ’em. Apple will probably have a vastly superior “anti-Kindle” within a year or so, maybe even next month if my ‘spidey-sense’ is correct…

That said, I wonder what the method is of prepping cartoons for the iPhone and iPod Touch would be?

#7 Scott Metzger
May/10/2009
@ 9:55 pm

“Apple will probably have a vastly superior â??anti-Kindleâ? within a year or so”

That’s what I’m waiting for.

#8 Scott Bieser
June/11/2009
@ 2:14 pm

As an experiment, I reformatted a mini-comic I drew up last year (a political satire titled “The Last Sonofabitch of Klepton”) for the Kindle and put it into the Kindle store. Sales have been a bit lackluster, but then I only promoted it minimally, and since it skewers both liberal and conservative sacred cows, the appeal is admittedly narrow.

It looks pretty good, but to get the thing to work in this format I had to cut the original pages down to 1-3 panels per Kindle screen. Or, about a third of the content you can comfortably fit on an ordinary comic-book page.

Also, Amazon sets a lower limit of 99 cents per book. I think something this short (it was originally 16 pages prior to the re-formatting) would do better if I could’ve charged 49 cents. So, my publisher and I are now in the process of reformatting a longer comic (120 pages) which we hope to get up in July and we’ll see how that goes.

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