The Kindle spread continues, and hot on the heels of Amazon's pledge to put a Kindle app on the new BlackBerry PlayBook comes the news that the online retailer now has a web-based version. Kindle for the Web doesn't allow full access to Amazon's ebooks, but you can read a book sample online rather than having to download it to your device, and it means other sites can embed those samples and even earn referral fees on subsequent ebook sales.
There's also social networking integration, with options to share samples via email, Twitter or facebook. As with the free PC and Mac Kindle clients, you can adjust text size and view the ebook full-screen, and there's a choice of line-spacing, words per line and even background color.
Amazon says it's planning versions of Kindle for the Web for mobile browsers, and of course you can click the online viewer to buy the full version instead. It's available to try below.
Amazon Launches Kindle for the Web
Readers can now read the first chapter of Kindle books for free through web browsers – no download or installation required
Bloggers and website owners can embed Kindle book samples and earn referral fees on sales
SEATTLE – Sept. 28, 2010 – Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today introduced the beta version of “Kindle for the Web,” making it even easier for customers to discover new books and authors by sampling Kindle books directly through web browsers—no installation or downloading required. Amazon is also inviting bloggers and website owners who are participants in the Amazon Associates Program to be part of Kindle for the Web by embedding samples of Kindle books on their websites. These website owners will earn referral fees from Amazon when customers complete book purchases using the links on their websites. More information about Kindle for the Web and how to embed Kindle book samples is available at www.amazon.com/kindlefortheweb.
Customers simply click the “Read first chapter FREE” button on a book product page on Amazon or on other websites, and the first chapter will open within the web page. Customers can change the font size and line spacing, adjust the background color, and share their favorite books with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail—all without leaving the book in the browser.
“With Kindle for the Web, it’s easier than ever for customers to sample Kindle books – there’s no downloading or installation required,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Director, Amazon Kindle. “Kindle for the Web is also a great way for bloggers and authors to promote books on their websites by letting visitors read a chapter without leaving their site.”
To see examples of Kindle for the Web on authors’ websites, go to the blog of author Karen McQuestion at www.mcquestionablemusings.blogspot.com and the free sample of her bestselling Kindle book “A Scattered Life,” or the website of author John Miller at www.heymiller.com and the free sample of his book “The First Assassin.”
Kindle offers the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read. The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 700,000 books, including New Releases and 108 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 575,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 80 New York Times Bestsellers. Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle devices. Kindle lets you Buy Once, Read Everywhere—on Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. Amazon's Whispersync technology syncs your place across devices, so you can pick up where you left off. With Kindle Worry-Free Archive, books you purchase from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in your Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.
The all-new Kindle has an electronic-ink screen with 50 percent better contrast, a new sleek design with a 21 percent smaller body while still keeping the same 6-inch-size reading area, 15 percent lighter weight at just 8.5 ounces, 20 percent faster page turns, up to one month of battery life with wireless off, double the storage to 3,500 books, no glare even in bright sunlight and built-in Wi-Fi—all for only $139. The all-new Kindle 3G with all of these new features plus the convenience of free 3G wireless is only $189.
In the future, Kindle for the Web will include optimization for mobile browsers and other features. For more information about Kindle for the Web, including instructions on how to embed Kindle book samples, go to www.amazon.com/kindlefortheweb.