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Four Shades of Gray: The Amazon Kindle Platform by Dr. Simon Rowberry

Dr Simon Rowberry, Lecturer in Publishing was recently interviewed by Dr Miranda Melcher on the New Books Network to celebrate the release of his new book, Four Shades of Gray: The Amazon Kindle Platform (MIT Press). The monograph offers the first book-length analysis of Amazon's Kindle and its impact on publishing. Dr Rowberry recounts how Amazon built the infrastructure for a new generation of digital publications, then considers the consequences of having a single company control the direction of the publishing industry. Exploring the platform from the perspectives of technology, texts, and uses, he shows how the Kindle challenges traditional notions of platforms as discrete entities. He argues that Amazon's influence extends beyond “disruptive technology” to embed itself in all aspects of the publishing trade; yet despite industry pushback, he says, the Kindle has had a positive influence on publishing.

In the podcast, Dr Rowberry and Dr Melcher discuss how the Kindle has changed the publishing industry over the last fifteen years and the challenges that remain for the ebook.

The book is available for a free, open access download via MIT Press’s Direct to Open programme: https://direct.mit.edu/books/oa-monograph/5298/Four-Shades-of-GrayThe-Amazon-Kindle-Platform

The podcast can be found here: https://newbooksnetwork.com/four-shades-of-gray