Miscellaneous Ramblings by Tony Clegg-Butt

Posted on December 5th, 2011
Categories: News

A Kindle was not on the top of my wish list, but when my nearest and dearest gave me one for my birthday I was mightily impressed. Half the size of an iPad and twice as light – with a battery life that beggars belief. Would you believe two books read and still 25% of battery life left?

Like a book, you need a light to read it; there is no backlighting which partially explains the long battery life.  Downloading books is a doddle either by Wi-Fi or 3G from amazon.com.

There is a downside and an expensive one at that – the actual cost of the e-books. The books I’ve downloaded are not on the Top 100 list so should not attract any premium pricing – but they still averaged out at US$ 10.99 a copy.

Being an international Kindle customer I have to use the USA site; there is no apparent choice – which entails getting the US versions with all the subtle and sometimes not so subtle language differences.

All that aside, what really annoyed me was the grammatical and typo errors – some books worse than others. You’d think the publishers would simply transfer a file and all would be done and dusted. Not so, it appears.

Kindle e-book sales in the USA have surpassed all paperback sales, which says a lot in its favour. Kindle is great to have on trips, especially for road-warriors, loaded with two or three of your must-have books. Leaves a load of space to bring home the better things in life.

I know a few people with great tales to tell and a good number of budding authors who find the whole world of book publishing a quagmire. Kindle Direct Publishing allows you to self-publish an e-book (on Kindle only), and charges between US 99 cents and $200 to upload your book. They pay up to 70% to you in the form of royalties for each sale, subject to certain conditions.

But to get people to read your book, you’ll need to buy advertising space on Kindle. There’s always a catch isn’t there?

As a Christmas present, a Kindle would be brilliant – highly recommend by TCB, all the above said.

Social media is a huge talking point and somewhere, somehow it is going to touch your life whether you like it or not. It is not like a virus or anything like that at all – it is more about you talking to friends and your friends talking about you to all of their friends and you doing the same.

The multiplier effect is staggering.

I spend a considerable time trying to understand how many people read this magazine. I know, for instance, that I send it to 11,000+ email addresses every month.

I know how many of you read it, how many pages you turn, how many clicks you make, how long on average you spend online reading it, how many of you download it, and in which country you are reading it. TMI (too-much-information) I know, but that’s the easy part.

To put your mind at rest – this is no big brother act; we get numbers not names – so rest easy!

We are on a number of social networks – but to illustrate the power of social networking, I’ll use Facebook as an example.

Every month I post our new edition on Facebook – Travel News Kenya. I was under-impressed that only 798 Facebookers liked us. I’ve been a Facebooker for years and never have I ever clicked the like button – while I obviously liked lots, I thought this to be frivolous, patronising and unnecessary. Poor me!

To get a post to go viral on the net you need to have it liked, the more likes the better the rating of the post. I always wondered why people sent me posts and asked me to like it – such as that Hummer bloke in Karen and his Log Jammers post.

Now I do.

Taking this one step further, take a look at this, will you. You’ll remember 798 people liked us – this means they shared us with all their Facebook friends – for a mighty mind-boggling total of 368,944 Travel News Kenya fans all around the world. I wish they all read us but they don’t – but 31,701 in Nairobi do, 298 in Kampala do and 290 in Mombasa do. I could go on but I won’t. I’m simply blown away.

Sorry, sorry I can’t stop myself – listen to this, when you register on Facebook you have to tell them your birth date; therefore, I know the demographics of our Facebook fans. Not surprisingly the majority of our readers are between 18 and 34, and more surprisingly, 62% are male and 37% female.

Social media is not for everyone, but if you are reading this, you are already halfway there.

Then there is blogging, but you’ll be happy to know I’ll leave that for another time.

I’d like to wish you all a very happy holiday season. To my friends who celebrate it, Merry Christmas, and to you and yours, I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

I’ll be back in February. Take care y’all.

To read more Travel News, click here