Amazon tool converts print into e-books

Amazon tool converts print into e-books

Amazon customers in the US can now convert their print titles into Kindle books with a software package called Kindle Convert.

Currently available in the US for computers running Windows 7 and 8, the software helps users to scan in pages of their print books, converting the image into usable Kindle files which will include features such as adjustable font size, dictionary look-ups, and Whispersync text-to-voice conversion.

The files are uploaded to Amazon Cloud, and available across all of a user's Kindle devices and apps. Kindle Convert is priced at $49, but is currently on offer for $19.

Tech sites have pointed out that converting an entire print library would require what Engadget calls "back-breaking labor". It continued: "Judging from the amount of effort that'd be required just to convert a single book, it looks like this platform is really only for die-hards and preservationists." However, Techcrunch said that although "most people will probably not take the time required to convert their entire library to Kindle format using this method… Kindle Convert is still probably useful for a lot of people, because it can help convert special out-of-print books that may not be generally available, as well as documents and books with personal value that may not exist anywhere else."

Amazon has also criticised a recent report by research firm IDC which placed Amazon at the bottom of a list of five tablet producers, with a year-on-year decline in tablet sales of 69.9%, with a market share of only 7.4%. Amazon said that the research, which showed tablet sales declining across the board, did not take into account the release of the six-inch Kindle Fire HD. IDC responded that it did not consider the product as a tablet because of its size and lack of cellular connectivity.

This week also sees the online retailer marking ten years since the launch of Amazon Prime, which gives customers unlimited shipping for a regular subscription fee. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal to mark the occasion, Prime vice president Greg Greeley was tightlipped about the programme and refused to specify Prime's number of members or how much revenue the service generated for the company. However, he said: "Prime members, once they join, become more engaged and they start buying across more categories."