Hello all, Thrall here, escaping from the dungeons with a few notes that might be of interest to our author and book blogger friends.
Below are two examples of the new Kindle for the Web feature Amazon.com just rolled out. Basically, you can read the first full chapter from any supported book in a web browser with no plug-ins required. Better still, you can embed this widget in a webpage or blog entry, like I’ve done below, in just a few clicks. This allows people to sample a nicely formatted excerpt of a book (with things like font size adjustment and full-screen mode to enhance the reading experience), share it via email/Facebook/Twitter, embed it in their own site and, of course, navigate to Amazon to purchase the whole eBook.
Here’s the excerpt for In Dreams Begin and and Falling, Fly. Below that, I’ve included steps to add Kindle for the Web content to your own site, since this could be a cool way for authors and book bloggers to share rich, interactive samples:
Here’s how to add this content to your site:
1) Navigate to Amazon.com and find the product page for the print copy of the book you wish to share. (Note it must be the print copy; this doesn’t work for eBooks.) Here’s the page for and Falling, Fly.
2) In the right column, in the green ‘Kindle Edition’ box, you’ll find a new button that says ‘Read first chapter FREE’. (Amazon says this button only appears for ’select books’, so it may or may not be there for the title you wish to promote.) Click this button.
3) The Kindle for the Web reader will appear. When you’re done checking out the cool features, click the ‘Embed’ button in the upper right.
4) The ‘Embed’ pop-up window will appear. Click ‘Customize’.
5) Here, you can change the widget width and height (it defaults to 1220px wide; I changed it to 620 to fit the column width of this blog and left the height alone). You can also enter your Associate Tag if you participate in the Amazon affiliates program.
6) As you edit these things, the embed code will automatically update (you don’t have to click ‘done’ or anything).
7) When you’ve made the modifications you wish, copy the code from the field labeled ‘Copy and paste the text below’. Paste the text into your website. (See notes specific to WordPress.org below.)
Test and publish. That’s it!
(In WordPress.org, this code won’t work if you paste it in using the ‘Visual’ tab in the blog entry editor. You have to paste it in using the HTML tab. I’ve found that if I paste in the code and then switch back-and-forth between the Visual and HTML tabs, the code will get screwed up again. Thus, write your post, format it using the Visual tab, switch to the HTML tab, and paste in the embed code.)
I’ve checked out the result in Chrome and Opera on a PC, and a friend tells me it works fine on Safari on Mac, too. The only hiccup I’ve run into is in Safari on an iPad, where the Kindle pages appear out-of-order. I’ve sent this feedback to Amazon and maybe they’ll correct it.
Enjoy and feel free to ask questions in the ‘Comments’ section.