Round up #107: Prime passes Super Saver, nice words if you can pay for them
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
The New York Times: “The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy”
The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy
Who knew there was so much money in sock puppetry?
In this great article in the New York Times by David Streitfeld, one particular person who wrote reviews for money for authors made up to $28,000 a month!
These are those online reviews you read…not ones like the New York Times publishes.
Todd Rutherford charged $99 for one review, $499 for twenty reviews, $999 for fifty reviews.
Eventually, the business fell through when it was detected.
It’s a good, lengthy article…I recommend it.
This is somewhat of a tricky subject, with a lot of subtlety. If you think it should be illegal to pay for a good review, does it matter to you if the person who wrote it actually thought it was good? Let’s say here that it isn’t the author writing the review under fake names…real names, just good reviews influenced by money.
Is it different if someone is sent a review copy? After all, that has value. Of course, in that case, the reviewer doesn’t usually get a suggestion on what to say…they get the review copy whether the review is good or bad. What happens if the author who sends it says, “Hope you like it!” Is that different?
It’s interesting that we are so influenced by reviews…I do think that’s the case, and yes, I look at reviews on Amazon before I get something. I’m guilty of not writing many reviews myself, outside of the blog.
Prime passes Super Saver Shipping
You know how I keep saying that the Kindle Fire is in part a “Prime primer”? I haven’t used that term before, but I do say that Amazon’s strategy is, to some degree, about “diapers and windshield wipers”.
Prime is clearly growing. In this
Amazon says that more items are now shipped with Prime than with Super Saving Shipper. The latter is free shipping when you get up to $25 worth of specific items in a single order.
People using Prime may be a better thing for Amazon. Certainly, Prime members spend a lot with Amazon…on top of the $79 a year that the typical Prime member pays for the service.
There are quite a few interesting statistics, but this one in particular caught my eye: 96.4% of the Prime Instant Video catalog is viewed every week. That seems astonishing to me…that’s a very broad consumption for over 20,000 items.
What’s the most watched TV series through Prime Instant video?
It was interesting, because I recently ran into a thread with some apparently offended that a movie they ordered was in French with English subtitles…that was described as “old school”. However, the most viewed movie through Amazon Prime is subtitled:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (English subtitled)
That suggests that while the school may be old, it is still well attended.
Amazon Cloud Drive arrives in the UK
they point out that the Cloud Drive has arrived for UK Kindleers. Just as in the US, they get 5GB of storage for free. For you UKindleers, here’s the information:
Amazon.co.uk Help Page
You can buy additional storage, but they don’t apparently let me see the information unless I log into the site.
This is not the Cloud Player…it doesn’t play your music, it’s just storage for your files.
This could certainly partly be prep for a Kindle Fire expansion to the UK, which I think may be announced (along with other things) at the September 6th Amazon presser.
The Book that Won’t Wait
Well, here’s one solution for that ever-growing TBR (To Be Read) pile…
You buy a book. What would motivate you to move that book to the front of the list?
After all, that can make a difference for the author…reading one book may get you to read other books by that author, and there can certainly be timing involved in marketing and such.
How about…a book where the ink disappears two months after you open it?
Believe it or not, that’s what “The Book that Can’t Wait” is.
It’s an anthology, and I can see how it appeals to the authors.
I’m just not sure how it appeals to the readers. As far as paperbooks go, I’ve always kept mine. I certainly wouldn’t want them to disappear.
However, there is a parallel with something I read on my Kindles…magazine subscriptions through the Kindle store.
Unless I choose to “keep” an issue (which means I have to use up my memory to store it), magazines generally have a “rolling seven” philosophy. You have the current issue, and six back issues. When the next issue is downloaded, the oldest one is automatically made not available to you.
I have to say that does get me to prioritize those magazines over books, sometimes.
However, I should also say…I don’t like it. That’s one thing that Zinio (which I use on my Kindle Fire) does better…they store all my back issues for me.
Cool infographic on Mashable
Check this one out:
It’s about reading statistics, and there are some really interesting things in it…I highly recommend it.
I don’t want to take too much away, so I’ll just mention a couple of things:
They make a point about 82% of e-book readers living in cities. Well, I think that’s only slightly above the percentage of people who live in cities in the US…period. I think it tends to run about 80/20, so that’s not that exciting a statistic. Unless I’m missing something, living in a city does not make you more likely to read an e-book than living in a rural area…based on percentage.
It did surprise me that science fiction was a more read genre than romance…the latter was also beaten by Christian fiction.
Anyway, I really recommend you take a look. It will be fine on the Kindle Fire, but I think you’ll be able to see it without all the colors on a reflective screen Kindle (RSK). I’ll test it after I publish this.
Update: no Buy buttons for Kindle Touch
It’s worth noting that you can’t buy a Kindle Touch directly from the USA Kindle store today…it’s not just that they are out of stock, but they don’t even have a button to “add to cart”. It’s not unreasonable to speculate that those buttons may not return before September 6th…when Amazon may announce a successor. I checked all the other current models: they all had “add to cart” buttons.
Any comments on any of these stories? Would you buy a book with disappearing ink? Would you accept $5 to write a review for an online site…if you weren’t told what to write? If you are in the UK, did you notice the arrival of the Cloud Drive? Do you care about it? Oh, and how excited are you about the possibility of a Kindle Fire in the UK? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.