Kindle Kandy: blogs

Some things you read on your Kindle are like a full and satisfying seven course meal.  Depth and emotional range, a life-enriching experience.

Then there are blogs.  :)

Those are more like a candy jar: a quick snack, something you just grab when you want it, enjoy the flavor, and quickly move on.

For those of you who have never read a blog…wait a minute, that can’t be right.  You’re readiing a blog right now!  Oh, you…you’re so contemporary with your Twitter and your ZipCar!  You’re on the cutting hipster edge with your snarkiness!

On the other hand, reading a blog mainly requires one skill…reading.   Usually with full  words, so you don’t even need UrbanDictionary or AcronymFinder.  You’re not hip…you’re deep.  :)

That’s right…reading blogs is a lot like the Kindle itself: appealing to old school readers and techies alike. 

They have a really broad range…after all, it’s a delivery system…a medium, not a genre.   They tend to be short and done often (although not always regularly). 

They may be stream of consciousness wittiness or intellectual and even well-researched.

Shopping in the Kindle blog store is sort like staying in a giant hotel where they are hosting a conference of Nobel prize laureates, a rave, and a sci fi convention at the same time…and you’re just riding up and down in the elevator all day listening to the conversations.

What’s available?

What isn’t?  ;)  As I write this there are 7,328 blogs in the Kindle store.  The top blogs sort of shift around, like the seeded racers in a marathon…with a whole bunch of people behind them.

Interestingly, several Kindle blogs tend to stay in the top ten:

Kindle Nation Daily by Stephen Windwalker

A Kindle World by Andrys Basten

I Love My Kindle by Bufo Calvin (that’s what you are reading now)

A couple of other blogs help you find things to read for your Kindle:

The Kindle Reader (#24 as I write this) by Jan Zlendich

Red Adept’s Kindle Book Review Blog  (#34)

And some are sort of a mix:

iReaderReview  (#27)

That’s just a sampling of Kindle-focused blogs.  But what if you can’t even remember the name of that device you use for reading?  What if your Kindle is the biggest thing in your life (next to family and friends and…fill in the blank)?

Well, there are really well-known names, like The Huffington Post (#11) and Vanity Fair (#25).

There are newsfeeds , like the AP US News (#28) and the New York Times Latest News  (which is usually in the top ten: #5)

You want humor?  How about The Onion (#6) or Are You Friggen’ Kidding Me? (#4)?

Okay, so that’s a few of the big and Kindle blogs. 

How about sports?  The #1 sports blog is ESPN – The Football Playbook.

That’s still pretty mainstream.  Blogs can get into really specialized areas:

Victorian House Blog 

NEQNET: Non-equillibrium Phenomena  (“…about cutting edge theoretical physics, its methods and their application to quantitative analysis of markets.”)

Pacific Northwest Golf Review

Free trial!

Kindle store blogs come with a 14-day free trial.  How much you are going to get is going to depend on how much the blogger writes.  Typically, you’ll get ten posts on your Kindle in one download.  That’s not ten new ones…you’ll get a new one maybe once a day, maybe once a week…hard to say exactly.  Still, the free trial should give you a pretty good sense if its worth the money.

How much money?  Blogs are cheap!  Many of them are ninety-nine cents a month, some are $1.99.  The price is set by Amazon.  I usually post once a day (sometimes more).  At ninety-nine cents a month, that’s about three cents a post.  :)  Okay, it’s more like 3.3, and in February, it’s more like 3.5.  ;)

Still, that’s a pretty good deal.  My posts tend to run over a thousand words…yeah, I talk a lot.  :)

That’s going to make these great little gifts around the holidays!  You can’t actually (at time of writing) buy one for someone who isn’t on your Kindle account…but you could give them a gift certificate or a buck, and let them know what they should get.  Ten bucks could get them a lot of reading…a veritable smorgasWORD!  ;)

A few notes:

* Blogs are currently not available outside the USA.  I’m hoping that changes in the future

* Yes, in many cases you could read the blog for free by going to a website.  You are paying for the convenience of having it delivered, and the Kindle interactivity

* If you don’t cancel the blog subscription, you will get charged for it.  Just go to the Manage Your Kindle page

* Subscriptions can not be shared between Kindles

* “Back issues” of blogs are not kept for you by Amazon.  You’ll have that current issue (which may have ten posts).  You can probably see the back issues at the website

* You can change which device (Kindle, iPhone, iPod touch…) gets future issues

* You can download your blog even if you don’t have wireless connection.  You do that on that Manage Your Kindle page.  You download it to your computer, then transfer it to your Kindle’s documents folder using your included USB cord

So, whatever your interests, there is probably a blog for you.  If there isn’t, you can sell your own at Amazon!

You start here:

kindle publishing for blogs

I don’t know why, but you’ll have to set up a different account than your normal Amazon account to be able to log-in. 

If you don’t already have a blog, you’ll want to set one up.  I use WordPress, but a lot of people use Blogger.com .  Those are both popular, and it was a touch call.  They also are both free for the basic service (which is what I use).

You can get all sorts of fancy, and pay for additional services and special “themes” and such.

Once you have that set up, it gets “fed” to Amazon.

Are you going to make a lot of money at this?  Well, you’ll get 30% of the subscription price…which I mentioned above is something like ninety-nine cents or $1.99, set by Amazon.  I’ve had one report so far from Amazon: I got $33.17 in royalties for September.  That’s not much for something like 30,000 words.  I’m just new, though…that may pick up later.

Clearly, people don’t do this just for the money.  Oh, you can certainly make money other ways with blogs.  I choose not to have ads on my blog website, but that’s one way.  Also, there are the referrer links.  When you click on the Amazon links in the blog, and then buy something (it doesn’t have to be the same thing), I may get a cut (it varies…I don’t get anything for Kindle books, for example).  I think some people may do pretty well with that…if you write a blog recommending laptops, that might get you something.

However, if you’ve got something to say, this is an interesting way to do it.  For me, I debated it for awhile.  If I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to try and do it.   I was a little reluctant to commit to on “on-going relationship” like this.  Writing a “title” for the Kindle store is different: I do go back and update them, but I don’t feel like I have to do it for every day of the week.  I’ve got a family that comes first, and a full-time (and then some) job training medical folks.  This is fun, and I do feel like I’m helping people…those are both important to me.  :)

So, whether you are a reader or writer or both, consider dipping into the Kindle Kandy…you aren’t always in the mood for a meal.  :)

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

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