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Amazon’s Whispersync Failure

Why does my Kindle Wish List contain so few Whispersync-enabled books?

May 18, 2015
 
Why is Amazon failing so badly at releasing Whispersync-enabled Kindle books? Anyone who has ever tried Whispersync knows how compelling the syncing of e-book and audiobook can be. Switching back and forth between your eyes and your ears brings momentum to your reading. A synced e-book / audiobook creates a virtuous circle of reading.  You want to read more because you are encouraged by how quickly you can read, a desire which causes you to read more still.  
 
So why does Amazon release so few Whispersync-enabled books?  Are the publishers blocking Whispersync? The authors? Is there something wrong with the technology? This seems like a no brainer. The e-book file exists. The audiobook file exists. All Amazon has to do is wrap the appropriate technology and metadata around the two digital files for Whispersync to work. What is going on?
 
Why can’t Amazon quickly show me Whispersync-enabled books from my Kindle Wish List?
 
For the few Kindle books that are Whispersync-enabled, why is the pricing so inconsistent?
 
We need not go any further than my Wish List to see how badly Amazon is doing in getting its Kindle books Whispersync-enabled.
 
Here are my recent Kindle Wish List entried (sorted by date added), with an indication if the book has an audiobook version and is Whispersync-enabled:
 
I put the Whispersync books on top of the list.
 

The Resilience Dividend by Judith Rodin - Yes - Whispersync Enabled!

The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim - Yes - Whispersync Enabled!

Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts - Yes - Whispersync Enabled!

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald  - Yes - Whispersync Enabled!

The Vanishing Neighbor by Marc J. Dunkelman - Yes - Whispersync Enabled!

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor - Yes - Whispersync Enabled!

Behind the Kitchen Door by Saru Jayaraman - Yes - Whispersync Enabled!

Becoming Steve Jobs: by Brent Schlender - Yes - Whispersync Enabled!

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy  - No Whispersync

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler - No Whispersync

The Road to Character by David Brooks - No Whispersync

Designing the New American University by Michael M. Crow - No Audiobook

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni  - No Whispersync

The Misfit Economy by Alexa Clay  - No Audiobook

You Are Now Less Dumb by David McRaney - No Whispersync

You Are Not So Smart: by David McRaney -  No Whispersync

 Shadow Work  by Craig Lambert - No Whispersync

Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler - No Whispersync

BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google by John Palfrey - No Audiobook

Rising to Power: The Journey of Exceptional Executives by Ron A. Carucci - No Audiobook

An Empire of Wealth: Rise of Amer Economy 1607-2000 by John Steele Gordon  - No Audiobook

Smart Cities That Work for Everyone: 7 Keys to Education & Em​ployment by Tom Vander Ark - No Audiobook

Learning by Doing: The Real Connection between Innovation, Wages, and Wealth by James Bessen - No Audiobook

Labor’s Love Lost: The Rise and Fall of the Working-Class Family in America by Andrew J. Cherlin - No Audiobook

Generation Unbound: Drifting into Sex and Parenthood without Marriage by Isabel V. Sawhill - No Audiobook

The Powerhouse by Steve Levine - No Whispersync

Memory Man by David Baldacci - No Whispersync

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado - No Whispersync

The Prime of Life: A History of Modern Adulthood by Steven Mintz - No Audiobook

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones - No Whispersync

Water to the Angels by Les Standiford - No Whispersync

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower - No Whispersync

How The World Was Won: The Americanizatio​n of Everywhere by Peter Conrad - No Audiobook

The Gen Z Effect Tom Koulopoulos - No Whispersync

Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail - No Whispersync

Future Smart by James Canton - No Whispersync

Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels by Ian Morris - No Audiobook

Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust by Darrell M. West - No Audiobook

Inequality: What Can Be Done? by Anthony B. Atkinson - No Audiobook

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford  - No Whispersync

Is the American Century Over (Global Futures) by Joseph S. Nye - No Audiobook

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris - No Audiobook

Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism by Judy Wajcman  - No Audiobook

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer  - No Whispersync

Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman  - No Whispersync

Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier  - No Whispersync

Future Crimes by Marc Goodman  - No Whispersync

The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor  - No Audiobook

Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth by Keith Veronese - No Audiobook

The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future by Levi Tillemann - No Audiobook

Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup by Andrew Zimbalis - No Audiobook

The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth - No Whispersync

America Calling by Claude S. Fischer  - No Audiobook

Boom, Bust, Exodus by Chad Broughton  - No Whispersync

Ninety Percent of Everything by Rose George  - No Audiobook

 

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