I've a confession to make. Though I love my Kindle dearly and have been in a relationship for almost a year, I've recently been flirting with Kobo.
It's not that I'm unhappy with Kindle - 3G and all that - it's just that it's so black and white. Kobo, on the other hand, is very flash - full luscious colour, touch screen, etc etc, very like the I-Pad. Great for cookery books - the food looks fantastic! And for children's books, and illustrated non-fiction. Book covers even look like book covers. The Kobo seems designed to compete with the I-Pad - Kindle's other big rival. It's Android technology - a small tablet computer rather than just an e-reader.
My infidelity was justified because I need to be aware when I'm writing and formatting a book, how it's going to look on other platforms. A lot of my books are illustrated and I know now that I need to have full colour, not just black and white, and a much more inviting layout. I was also interested to see what books were available on Kobo and whether I could get the range I can on Amazon. The answer was no. If it's only on Amazon then you can't get it on Kobo. The only books of mine I could access were the ones on Smash Words or those that were conventionally E-published. That was interesting, because it made me aware of the need to avoid Amazon exclusivity clauses. The Kobo, I-Pad, and other E-readers (I've also been taking a peek at the Sony) are a growing market. Kobo in particular is being sold everywhere, quite competitively priced and the colour and touch screen functionality make the Kindle look a bit clunky and less attractive to buyers.
It was an interesting experience, but for me, the touch screen didn't work - I was always turning too many pages and having to zoom back. I prefer the mechanical click-over page mechanism of the Kindle. And, as a fast touch typist, I didn't like the on-screen touch keyboard. I also prefer the ink page technology of the Kindle - it's much easier on the eye - computer screens are so tiring - and I can read it outside, which is where I work in the summer.
So, in the end, Kobo isn't for me. But, oh, how I regret the colour. When is Kindle colour going to reach the UK? It can't be soon enough for me. My beloved Kindle is safe for the moment, but it had better get its act together fast, or I might do more than just flirt with the competition!
Visit Kathleen's website and blog at www.kathleenjonesauthor.blogspot.com
Kathleen Jones is talking about her biography of Katherine Mansfield at the Suffolk Book League in Ipswich, on March 14th at 7.30pm.
Kathleen Jones' E-Books
Christina Rossetti: Learning not to be First
A Passionate Sisterhood: the sisters, wives and daughters of the Lake Poets
(Available also on SmashWords)
Margaret Cavendish: A Glorious Fame
Three and Other Stories
(Also available on SmashWords)