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TTS has increased my purchases by 300-400%

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 20, 2009 3:11:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 20, 2009 3:13:03 PM PDT
Consider this an open letter to all authors and publishers.

Since getting the Kindle 2 I purchase over 3 times as many books, and now actually pay to subscribe to newspapers, because the TTS allows me to consume about 3-4 times as much information over the course of a day.

I used to read about a book per month on E-reader via a netbook and a Windows mobile device. I subscribed to no newspaper and no magazines. Since buying the Kindle 2 I am reading 1-2 books every 1-2 weeks and daily newspapers and weekly magazines. I read when I can... breaks at work, before bed, while waiting somewhere. But now I'm able to listen to text-to-speech on my daily walks, while driving, and sometimes while falling asleep. As a result, I now purchase MANY more books than ever before, and actually pay to subscribe to magazines and newspapers.

Why, as a publisher or author, would you desire to sell me fewer of your works? I've never purchased both the audio and text version of the book, and never will!

In fact, if you disable TTS on your works, I'll not purchase them at all. In fact, your work is probably available for free as both a text and audio torrent file, and if I really want to read it and you make it difficult for me to purchase it, I'll likely seek out those "free" sources and encourage others to do the same.

Don't bite the hands that feed you. You need consumers more than we need you.



A customer that wants to buy your books but won't if you cripple them.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 3:43:48 PM PDT
Wow Jim. Its not very often people will admit to planning on breaking the law in a public forum. Kudos to you.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2009 3:45:11 PM PDT
I said "likely."

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 7:39:44 PM PDT
Idaly X says:
Help, please help somebody, I bought a book and it is the first one on the home page. How do I get tothe next item on the home page, that is the Kindle user's guide. If I can get to the guide maybe I can learn a little how to use this Kindle 2. ij

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2009 6:21:54 AM PDT
What is TTS?

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 6:38:29 AM PDT
text to speech

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 7:00:40 AM PDT
E. Folger says:
I totally agree. I got the Kindle 2 so I could actually do a newspaper. Now it reads the newspaper to me while I commute at least, which is 2.5 hours a weekday. And I've just had it two days!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2009 7:17:41 AM PDT
Barb says:
Your paper user guide that came with the kindle would be a great source for you. Remeber that magic raised square button can perform a variety of uses.

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 7:27:35 AM PDT
Thanks Michael Kaufman.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2009 7:55:02 AM PDT
Well said, Mr. Henderson. As an educator, I was impressed by the TTS feature for reaching special needs students and those students with reading skills in need of improvement. Shouldn't book publishers be thinking in terms of universal design?

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 8:29:53 AM PDT
Kindle2V says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 9:58:56 AM PDT
Paul Biba says:
Great post! Since you said it was an open letter I've taken the liberty of re-publishing it on the TeleRead site. We're the largest website around dealing the the ebook industry.

Paul Biba
Co-Editor, TeleRead

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2009 10:24:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2009 10:26:59 AM PDT
To Kindle2-vbspurs: Huh? I do it one hour every day. (Walk with the Kindle/headphones in a small sling bag.) Some of us can't sit around all day reading without turning into giant lard buckets. Your post is perplexing.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2009 10:30:51 AM PDT
Aux Arcs Man says:
yea I listen in the car and walking and my wife falls to sleep with it as well. Don't know what his problem is. Maybe he is affiliated with Random House.

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 11:40:26 AM PDT
mamasunset says:
Great post! I use TTS every day, too.

Posted on Mar 22, 2009 6:21:27 PM PDT
Is threatening (likely or otherwise) to get content from illegal file sharing sites the best argument you can come up with to keep TTS enabled for all books? The attempt to persuade using threats is a logical fallacy, the Appeal to Force. Its Latin name, "argumentum ad baculum" literally means "argument with a cudgel." In other words, you are telling the content providers you'll punish them unless they cave to your suggestions.

Calling them "Luddites" is an other logical fallacy, the Ad Hominem attack. Not needed at all.

If you don't want to buy with TTS disabled, that is fine; if enough people agree with you, then it might sway minds, but threats and name calling isn't the way to go.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2009 12:50:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 23, 2009 12:57:27 AM PDT
Sophistry may work in logic 101, Gregory, but Luddites always loose, Ad Hominem or not. Game theory would be a better model than your logic 101 and Mensa word-of-the-month club arguments. Ask yourself, should authors do their best to augment consumption, or control? Aspiring to control the consumer's use of a product by limiting progress eventually produces diminishing returns. The Author's Guild is using a slippery slope "logical fallacy" by assuming TTS will diminish their profits... when in fact I have provided a valid counter-argument. The music industry is getting crushed, largely as a result of their Luddite mentality, and I cannot think of a more apt description of the powers that be at the Author's Guild and any publisher that believes their nonsense.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 4:41:10 AM PDT
L. says:
I read a post on a CNET page by MagnoliaSouth that compared what is happening with Amazon, Author's Guild, Random House, and T2S (Text to Speech) to the film industry:

"Let us compare their claims, with the film industry. When a viewer watches a movie on DVD, as a general standard these days, they are given the opportunity to hear audio AND read subtitles. Most even offer audio and subtitles in foreign languages too!

...In the film industry, anyone (despite their disabilities) can either watch or listen to a DVD without any cost difference. This means that they cater to disabilities at all levels, unlike the book industry."

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2009 8:20:16 AM PDT
> And the completely ridiculous overeach above, of taking walks whilst listening to TTS, is the clincher.

Really? I don't use the TTS because of the quality of the voice, but when do you think people who do use it are going to do so? Walking and commuting seem to be the most likely use-cases.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2009 8:21:15 AM PDT
>...and my wife falls to sleep with it as well...

How does she get it to go off. I fall to sleep with my iphone, but there is no timer on the Kindle.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 11:54:24 AM PDT
KindlePad says:
Hmm well there are some illegit free sources to get commercial ebooks, but in the words of Steve Jobs talking about pirated music, "you're working for minimum wage." Tracking down scanned books, cleaning them up, or putting up with bad formatting & OCR errors - meh. Or worse, trolling IRC. With this stuff you only read what you can scavenge. That's no fun. There are a lot of legit free books out there, but again you won't be getting any new or bestselling books that way.

I hope they allow TTS on all books, its a great feature. I think the only reason Amazon caved is that didn't want to do anything to discourage publishers & authors from releasing their books on the Kindle, and the author's guild issue could certainly have done that. From my other posts, I think Amazon should make amends to those customers who bought the K2 before they announced the TTS nerf.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2009 12:15:44 PM PDT
> Hmm well there are some illegit free sources to get commercial ebooks, but in the words of Steve Jobs talking about pirated music, "you're working for minimum wage."
> Tracking down scanned books, cleaning them up, or putting up with bad formatting & OCR errors - meh. Or worse, trolling IRC. With this stuff you only read what you can scavenge.

No offense, and this is really off the subject, but this is simply not true. there is a ton of new and obscure stuff out there to be had with minimal or no work. I don't know why, but there are lots of folks out there scanning and proofing on their own time. You can get perfect copies of more stuff then you can imagine.

I am not encouraging anyone to do this, but the argument that people will not want pirated books because the quality is just not there is a red herring.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2009 1:21:16 AM PDT
RomaJ says:
Lolz...James I couldn't agree more about 'Kindle2-vbspurs'. I was just wondering if I was the only one lost on that one. I totally get what your post entails but I didn't get the blurb there with Kindle2. How is walking while listening to TTS an overreach? Different people in different situations with various circumstances will find a need and also see the value of TTS in ways that may not be of benefit or necessary for some but that doesn't make it any less valid or desirable for those people. I get the concern and you are right to voice your opinion and also to point out the negative way that the authors and publishers and all concerned could be affected by this, if they're not careful and considerate of how they approach and handle this matter. I mean it is getting ridiculous how greedy and uncompromising the industries that provide entertainment and leisure are becoming. Why? Because we as customers place a high value on being entertained and have become so obsessed that we just take it and not make a stance and remind them that they are providing a service and need us to patronize them. Sure you deserve to be compensated for your works, whatever they may be but the way things are going is ridiculous.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2009 1:31:37 AM PDT
RomaJ says:
Gregory,....threatening to do something illegal, I can concur but he can still point out that they could inadvertently cause that very thing to increase negative and undesired behavior and consequences in being so unreasonably greedy and proprietary. How unreasonable are they being? Well that is really subjective and for the consumers to decide for themselves and since they are spending their money, that entitles them to rights and concerns to an extinct. Threatening to not support the product because one do not like the actions of the Publishers surely makes logical sense to me and could be rather affective. Especially, since, most Publishers and all the power players are in it for the profits, obviously. Be that monetarily or otherwise.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  Mar 20, 2009
Latest post:  Mar 24, 2009

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