Book Reviews

5 Ways to Maximize the Amazon Kindle Platform

When the Amazon Kindle originally came out, I was about ready to buy one so I could start reading ebooks on it, but then the iPad was introduced and thus I bought an iPad. Now we bought several at iThemes and gave them out to our team.

For the past 6-8 months I’ve transitioned my entire reading routine over to the Kindle platform. And it has greatly increased my reading efficiency.

The ebook platform and phenomenon is exploding. In April, Amazon announced that ebooks had surprised print book sales.

Here are 5 ways to maximize the Amazon Kindle Platform:

1. It’s WAY more than a device

The Kindle IS a piece of hardware, but it’s also a platform. You don’t have to have the Kindle device to read ebooks. Through their free Kindle reading applications, you can read ebooks on the iPhone, iPad, your desktop and other devices.

This is killer because you can read ebooks any of these devices and it will sync your account, the exact point you stopped reading, along with your highlights and notes.

2. Take your library everywhere

I love, love, love my print books and how they look on my bookshelf. But now I can lug my entire library anywhere. And with my iPhone, I really do take them with me anywhere now, which is awesome as I can redeem the time when I am waiting somewhere.

3. Sharing accounts

You can share your Amazon account with others on your team and thus, your entire ebook library (just make sure you trust them not to make unauthorized purchases). We do this internally and it helps us share ebooks with each other unlike having to buy individual printed books when we wanted to share. For now, you can share the account with any device but you can only have 5 titles downloaded on the devices. That’s really not a hard obstacle to overcome. If someone wants a title, just take it off a device.

4. Using Highlights and Notes

This is one of my favorite feature of the entire Kindle platform (available on any device) – the highlights and notes. In particular I use the highlights feature on every book. When you share accounts with other people on your team, you can also see what others are highlighting and what they find relevant and useful in the content. (It also shows the popular highlights for all Kindle users, which is especially cool – kind of like buying a used textbook in college that someone marked through thoroughly.) Although I haven’t used the Notes much, when collaborating with a team you could use it to share how to apply it in your context with specific ideas relating to the content.

5. See what others see

Another resource often overlooked is the Kindle Social site where you can see what other Kindle users are highlighting and the notes they make. I’ve used this to also see if others like a book and what they are finding useful. It is a great sales feature for Amazon and authors as I use it to find gold and then buy it. (Or not.)

Here is my Amazon Kindle social profile with the books I’ve read (not my entire reading list BTW).

And my Amazon WishList is here so you can see what books I’ve put on my reading agenda (and most of these I’ve bought).

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