Make a wish list and blow out the Kindles

I really like giving gifts.  It’s great fun to come up with a great idea and surprise somebody.

However, it can be tough.  Amazon knows that: they let you set up gift lists so other people can get things for you…and/or get an idea of the kinds of things somebody likes.

Usually on Amazon, it’s easy: there is a little button that says “Add to Wish List”. 

Kindle books, though, don’t have that button.  So, one of the Frequently Asked Kindle Questions has been, “how do you add a Kindle book to your wish list?”

There are three main ways to go…sort of like three wishes, but three ways to a wish list instead.  :)

1. See all X customer reviews…

If a Kindle book has a review, you’ll see a link that says “See all x customer reviews…”  If you click that, you’ll see the normal Add to Wish List button.

Although you can add it to your list, no one else can buy it for you yet.  The good news is that Amazon says:

 While gifting is not yet offered in the Kindle store, we are working to make it available in the near future..

That’s only shown up fairly recently, so hopefully, they are working on it for this holiday gift-giving season.

2. Use the Universal Wish List button

This is a cool feature Amazon has.  You can get add pretty much anything to your wish list…even from sites other than Amazon!  I tested that by adding something from one of my favorite gift sites, Think Geek. It was easy!

What happens is that you get the “button” from here:

http://www.amazon.com/wishlist/get-button/ref=cm_wl-item

What you are really doing is saving it to your browser favorites.  If you are using Internet Explorer and you put it on your Links toolbar (and you have that showing), you’ll see it as a button on that toolbar.

All you have to do then is click it when you are on a product page…a Kindle book, or something else somewhere else.   If you have more than one wish list, it will ask you which one.

Of course, Amazon isn’t going to take the money for those other websites.   The item appears on your wish list with a link people can click on to go to the other website.  If it’s a Kindle book, it’s the same situation as above…they are working on it.

3. Save for later

A lot of people use the wish list just as a way to save something for later.  They’ll buy it themselves…maybe with an Amazon gift card/certificate that is a gift.

When you are shopping in the Kindle store from your Kindle, there is a link to Save for later.    You get back to that list (from your Kindle) by being in the Kindle store and hitting Menu.

That list is not available when you are shopping from your computer.

If other people have access to your account, they can, of course, buy things and send them to your Kindle specifically.

UPDATE: Exporting your gift list

I love it when somebody asks a question I’ve never seen before…and I can answer it.  :)

The question came up in the Amazon Kindle forum about exporting your Amazon wish list, to something like Excel.  The trick is to set your wish list to view to “compact” instead of “normal”.  You’ll see something much more like a spreadsheet…you can also remove several things at once, which is easier.

Next, copy and paste it into Excel.  You’ll get a question about paste options…you probably want to “match destination” so it looks like text and fits nicely in the spreadsheet.  You could then send that to other people.

I was asked about importing the list into reading management software, like Shelfari.  You can do it for that one…not too surprising, since it is owned by Amazon as well.  Go to the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).  Click on Help, choose Adding & Removing books…you’ll see the instructions.

Why isn’t it like paperbooks?

I think there are a couple of reasons it wasn’t set up the same way.  One thing is that not everybody is going to want somebody else sending something to their Kindles.  If gives them access to your account, in a sense…and once something is on your Kindle from the Kindle store, currently, you can’t generally erase it so its as if it never existed.   Of course, if they are only going from your gift list, it should be something you wanted, though.

The other problem is the fact that it is pretty much instantaneous, if the Kindle has Whispernet (the Kindle’s wireless internet) connection.  I’m thinking they may be working on a “deliver on” option.  Otherwise, you have to shop on somebody’s birthday (actually during the party) or they will see it before the big event.

I’m hoping Amazon gets a “give a Kindle book” function working in the next couple of months.  ‘Tis better to give than to receive…and e-giving would be even cooler.  ;)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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2 Responses to “Make a wish list and blow out the Kindles”

  1. John Kousac Says:

    Good article. I already make a wish list @ http://wishlings.com and I find it far more featureful compared to Amazon. Plus I can do stuff like email my wish list to my friends and keep a record of who bought me what. I wish the Kindle was available in the UK :(

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks, John!

      My guess is that a release in the UK will happen before too long. Amazon has said that they would like to sell in other countries, and the UK would be a logical early choice. We share (or are divided by, as George Bernard Shaw reputedly said) the same language, and I think Britons would be tolerant of having the current American-accented text-to-speech (although Nuance, the company that makes the voice of the Kindle, offers three British English accents, one Scottish, and one Irish). Our copyright laws are also similar: we are both Life+70 (although we complicate that). Australia and Canada are both Life+50…well, that’s true in Australia if the author died before 1955.

      So, the main issues would seem to be licensing and technical. I think those can be resolved…especially as other e-readers start staking a larger claim to market share in those countries.

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