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Amazon Now Lets You Gift Kindle Books

Coming just in time for the holidays, Amazon is now letting you gift Kindle e-books. Starting today you can send anyone with an email address an e-book as a gift instead of sending them an Amazon gift card.

When you gift an e-book, the person on the receiving end will be able to read their book on a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, or Windows 7 device. Of course, if they own a Kindle reader they will be able to read the book on that, too.

“We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle.  “We’re making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping option for anyone – not just Kindle owners.”

To give a Kindle Book as a gift, you simply need to choose a book in the Kindle Store, then select the “Give as a Gift” option. Notifications of Kindle Books gifts are delivered instantly via e-mail and the recipient redeems the gift in the Kindle Store to read on any Kindle or free Kindle app.

You can read more about giving Kindle books on the Amazon website.

 

Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.

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Amazon Kindle Invasion Continues Onto the Web

Kindle for the Web

You’ve probably already got Amazon’s Kindle app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, or maybe your Android or Blackberry device or even your Mac or Windows computer. Heck, maybe you even have a real, live hardware Kindle! But Amazon isn’t content with stopping there, and now they’ve introduced (drum roll, please) Kindle for the Web — well, sort of.

TechCrunch is reporting that Amazon has debuted Kindle for the Web on Tuesday, which makes the leap from a dedicated hardware device or software app and attempts to push Kindle e-book purchases to your web browser as well, by way of “the first one’s free” e-book samples.

The idea behind Kindle for the Web is a pretty smart one: Website publishers and bloggers who utilize the Amazon Associates Program can use Kindle for the Web to embed e-book samples on their websites and earn referral fees from Amazon when customers actually purchase the e-book using their links.

Amazon has long offered the ability to read the first chapter of most any book for free, but that required pushing the sample to your Kindle or software app — now you have the option to read the sample right inside your web browser, complete with the ability to change the font size, line spacing or background color, and of course, to click that “Buy Now” button to seal the deal. If you think your friends or family might be interested as well, you can click a button to share the sample with them or easily embed it right into your own website.

Like most anything that sounds too good to be true, there’s a catch: Kindle for the Web currently only works with book samples and not full e-books, meaning you won’t want to delete that Kindle software from your Mac or iOS device just yet. However, this should go a long way toward helping folks quickly find the book they want and snare a new purchase.

Below is a sample of how a Kindle for the Web sample looks.

Kindle for the Web sample page

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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U.S. Kindle Store Offers 700,000 E-books

Amazon just hit the Android digital shelves with an update to the app for that platform. Apart from adding voice search and Wikipedia, there was also a nice big fat number hidden in their release documents. 700,000 to be exact.

Straight from TechCrunch, we find that Amazon has been cranking out the ebook titles, adding 30,000 in the last three weeks alone. The current figure is 200,000 more titles than than the Kindle store sported in April, with no end to growth in sight.

kindle

If there is any edge that Amazon has over its competitors (apart from the easy reading in direct sunlight that it has over the iPad), it’s numbers. As in a deep well of titles and how many Kindles are out there in the market. Sure, Barnes & Noble claims over 1 million titles, but Nooks aren’t in as many hands. iPads are flying off the shelves, but it’s almost de rigeur to add the Kindle app to your device. Kindle also shows up on Mac and Windows laptops and desktops.

If there’s any long-term hope for Amazon’s Kindle, it’s to keep itself on as many platforms as possible and to keep up this kind of growth. The device itself may eventually die, but as we all know, the device isn’t where the ebook profits are; it’s the title sales. Especially with e-books overtaking paper book sales.

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iBooks is coming to the iPhone and iPod Touch

iBooks is coming to the iPhoneAfter the big unveiling of the next version of the iPhone OS (4.0), Apple have announced that iBooks (an eBook reader originally designed for the iPad) will be available on iPhone OS 4.0 later this year.

The iPhone version will allow iPhone an iPod Touch users to purchase eBooks (much in the way they can purchase songs and apps) on the device itself.

The iBooks store will only work within the United States, but Apple will extend access internationally as the release date for the next iPhone creeps closer.

From a business perspective, the iBooks application will directly compete with the Amazon Kindle, which already offers 450,000 books.  The recent launch if the iPad in the United States has already produced iBook sales of up to 600,000 downloads.