Amazon introduces “Look Inside” feature for Kindle ebooks
The cover of the currently top-selling self-published book by Rick Murcer
Recently, somewhere around the launch of Kindle Cloud Reader, I’ve noticed another new functionality for Kindle users – and in my opinion this is big. Now Look Inside, the feature you well know from printed editions of books sold on Amazon, works also for Kindle ebooks!
Already in late May some Kindle authors were reporting at Kindle Boards having this feature on their books’ pages. KDP explained in an email:
“We’re currently testing our Look Inside the Book feature for various Kindle titles.”
I’ve checked several titles and all of them were displaying the Look Inside logo above the cover. It seems that the feature is being currently implemented, also in UK and German Kindle Stores.
When you click on the cover, a window opens with the same interface as in printed edition. You can easily switch between editions (if print is available, otherwise the Print Book tab is dimmed), so that you can compare the content. However, opposite to print version, you can’t search through the content of the Kindle edition.
I’ve checked how the feature works in Safari on an iPad and I don’t recommend to use it. The book’s content box is behaving oddly. The feature is clearly not formatted for mobile browsers yet.
I’ve also compared a couple of free samples downloaded to Kindle for iOS with the content displayed in Look Inside. Both length and formatting are similar. In other words, Look Inside is a free sample of the book you can read in a web browser before downloading it to a device.
When it comes to minimizing the harm from Apple’s new in-app purchase rules, Look Inside is a much smarter solution than Cloud Reader. I’ll hardly use the web-based reader as it never will be as fast as seamless as a native app. The whole Apple-Amazon fight was about Buy Now links at the end of free samples. Instead of creating a possibility of having them at all (Cloud Reader), it’s much better to reduce the number of downloads of free samples to Kindle for iOS (Look Inside).
One more thing. Look Inside is not the same as Kindle for the Web. The second one, described in more detail here, can be found on pages with print edition, is displaying its content – but linking to Kindle version.
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About Piotr Kowalczyk
An ad man who decided to devote his life to books. A founder of Ebook Friendly, ebook enthusiast, and self-published short story author. He reads mostly on an iPhone, but when it comes to history books, he always picks print.
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Instead of comments
A Woman of No Importance:
The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II
by Sonia Purnell
France was falling. Burned-out cars, once strapped high with treasured possessions, were nosed crazily into ditches. Their beloved cargoes of dolls, clocks, and mirrors lay smashed around them and along mile upon mile of unfriendly road. Their owners, young and old, sprawled across the hot dust, were groaning or already silent. Yet the hordes just kept streaming past them, a never-ending line of hunger and exhaustion too fearful to stop for days on end.
Ten million women, children, and old men were on the move, all fleeing Hitler’s tanks pouring across the border from the east and the north. Entire cities had uprooted themselves in a futile bid to escape the Nazi blitzkrieg that threatened to engulf them. The fevered talk was of German soldiers stripped to the waist in jubilation at the ease of their conquest. The air was thick with smoke and the stench of the dead. The babies had no milk, and the aged fell where they stood. The horses drawing overladen old farm carts sagged and snarled in their sweat-drenched agony. The French heat wave of May 1940 was witness to this, the largest refugee exodus of all time.
Day after day a solitary moving vehicle weaved its way through the crowd with a striking young woman at the wheel. Private Virginia Hall often ran low on fuel and medicines but still pressed on in her French army ambulance toward the advancing enemy. She persevered even when the German Stukas came screaming down to drop 110-pound bombs onto the convoys all around her, torching the cars and cratering the roads. Even when fighter planes swept over the treetops to machine-gun the ditches where women and children were trying to take cover from the carnage. Even though French soldiers were deserting their units, abandoning their weapons, and running away, some in their tanks. Even when her left hip was shot with pain from continually pressing down on the clutch with her prosthetic foot.
325 words read…
+ Kindle + Print