Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kindle Now Available in Canada!

If you’ve been following my blogs, you’ll know that I’ve written about e-books and electronic readers a couple of times, based on research from American readers. Well, this week it’s been announced that Kindle is finally available to Canadians for about $259 (U.S.) plus shipping costs. Although my budget prevents me from buying one right away, Kindle’s availability is certainly good news.

A writing colleague ordered one within hours of the announcement and can’t wait to use it. She just returned from a two-week vacation, where half of her suitcase contained books to read. Since Kindles can carry up to about 10,000 books, she won't have to worry about muscle strain in future. Also, Amazon currently has over 300,000 titles available for sale at very reasonable prices, and you can bet that number will grow.

In a recent Globe and Mail article, journalist Virginia Galt reported that while electronic books made up only 1% of the buying market in 2008. That number has doubled in 2009 and Indigo CEO Heather Reisman speculates that this figure could jump to 15% over the next five years. I think she’s right. This is bad news for authors whose works aren’t available on Kindle or Sony Readers, and is why all writers should make sure there’s a clause in their contract providing for electronic publication in a timely manner.

Galt also wrote that a small private school is ordering Sony readers for their students. These readers will be preloaded with textbooks, course outlines, and assignments, under an arrangement with Sony and textbook publisher Pearson Canada. Is this the wave of the future? I can’t picture universities doing this, given the price and size of student enrollment, however, I can see post secondary institutes eventually making textbooks and curriculum materials available on readers and encouraging students to purchase one themselves. They might not be cheaper than the price of a print textbook—in fact, I think they’ll be more expensive—but it sure will be convenient for students to have all of their books and materials in one handheld device...until they lose them and, trust me, that will happen. To read the entire Globe and Mail article go to

To read excerpts of Fatal Encryption and Taxed to Death, visit

Fatal Encryption is available through at and Taxed to Death can be found at

No comments: