Yesterday M-Edge slashed prices on their Kindle 2 covers — but later that day, they delivered some even bigger news. Tuesday they launched a new service that lets you design your own custom jacket for
your Kindle 2 or 3!
A web interface lets you upload an image from your computer, then position it and crop it in an online simulation of your Kindle’s jacket. Within two weeks, you’ll be holding an actual Kindle jacket with your
image printed on it, according to Tuesday’s announcement. And you can also print your own text on the jacket, select a background pattern, and even choose the jacket’s color. “MyEdge turns you into the designer,” the new web site promises.
You can choose from either the black or mocha-colored leather spine and stitching, and the final jacket is given a coat of protective Scotchgard. Best of all, it all costs just $40. “Our goal is to offer high-quality and unique accessories at affordable prices,” the company’s CFO said in a press release, “and we’re proud that MyEdge will give our customers another option to convey their one-of-a-kind style to the world.”
There’s also a “style library” where you can choose from existing designs, and even browse through the jackets that were designed by other users. It’s already offering over 313 different styles to choose from, including what looks like photos of pet cats and dogs, and one design that apparently even features a couple’s wedding photo. The Style Library also features the official NCAA-licensed logos for several colleges, including the Universities of Virginia, Washington, Maryland, “for students and alumni looking to showcase their school spirit.” But there’s also some fascinating Kindle jackets that are displaying the covers from vintage print editions of classic books (like Slaughterhouse 5, Naked Lunch, and even The Lord of the Flies).
It’s the result of a unique partnership with a clothing company called “Out of Print,” which has also been printing the classic covers on a line of t-shirts. “For each shirt we sell,” they explain on their web site, “one book is donated to a community in need through our partner Books For Africa…” The web site describes how they’re ultimately motivated by a deep love of books. “It’s unclear what the role of the book cover will be in this new era, but we feel it’s more important than ever to reflect on our own individual experiences with great literary art before it’s forever changed.”
I’ve always said that the Kindle’s huge popularity could be a moment of history that’s happening right before our eyes. But it’s refreshing that the two companies are having fun with it, using cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to reproduce some very old-fashioned printed book covers. It’s like they’re successfully standing in both eras, acknowledging a heritage while creating something new for Kindle owners. “For those who love the new reading technology but miss the feeling of holding a traditional hardcover in their hands,” the jacket-maker explained in their press release, “MyEdge is the ultimate opportunity to put a little of the book back into the e-reader.”