Archive for the ‘General’ Category

A question for you on the Freebie Flashes

August 27, 2011

A question for you on the Freebie Flashes

One of my readers, Rick, reasonably pointed out that it would be helpful in the Freebie Flashes (where I link people to free promotional titles from the Kindle store) if I provided a short description of each one.

I agree. :)

I know that would make it easier for people, particularly in the case of people reading this blog on a Kindle (thank you, subscribers!).

As long time subscribers know, I used to describe each one, link to the author’s web page (where possible), link to the publisher, briefly describe the publisher, and so on.

What changed?

The main thing is that there are so many more freebies now. Take a look at how the numbers have changed:

Free books (without public domain)  

August 1, 2011: 1,046
July 1, 2011: 883
June 1, 2011: 707
May 1, 2011: 20,984
April 1, 2011: 17,832
March 1, 2011: 241
February 1, 2011: 240
January 1, 2011: 230
December 1, 2010: 183
November 1, 2010: 171
October 1, 2010: 161
September 1, 2010: 143
August 1, 2010: 621 (125 without Amazon Breakthrough nominees)
July 1, 2010: 599 (102 without Amazon Breakthrough nominees)
June 1, 2010: 559 (63 without Amazon Breakthrough nominees)
May 1, 2010: 556 (57 without Amazon Breakthrough nominees)
April 1, 2010: 560 (59 without Amazon Breakthrough nominees)
March 1, 2010: 67
February 1, 2010: 52
January 1, 2010: 53
December 1, 2009: 84
November 1, 2009: 64
October 1, 2009: 67

That makes it tough just to keep up!

Also, many of the freebies now are independently published stories, often shorts. That matters because I don’t know the book, much less the author…I often did know that with the tradpub (traditional publishers), which made it easier to write a summary.

Third, when Amazon dropped me (and everybody else in California) as an Associate, that took away a tool I was using to make the links. Without it, I think it has increased how much time it takes me to do each link. It isn’t really a factor that when you click on the freebie, I don’t get anything from Amazon for it any more. It used to help me get to another tier of referral fee (that was based on total items, and it included freebies), but that was never a huge driving factor for me….the money I do get this is from subscriptions, and I feel better about that.

So, those are three reasons that putting in more description is much harder and time consuming than it used to be for me.

I have had people tell me the like the Freebie Flashes, and honestly, there are a couple of reasons that I like doing them myself. One thing is that I order the books for our account at that time..I’d be going through them all anyway. The other one is, well, they require less intellectual effort. Not less time, necessarily, but it can be done without as much thought. I had a situation recently where I had some dental pain (I’ve been to the dentist…seems to be okay), and couldn’t concentrate all that well. The Freebie Flash let me get a fresh post out to you, even when I was somewhat distracted. :)

I see three main ways to proceed:

  1. Continue the way I’m going…basically, just link to the books, including the author and the publisher (or telling you it is independent)
  2. List fewer books, but with more information
  3. Stop doing the Freebie Flashes
The last one might seem drastic, but if it’s not valuable enough the way it is, I want to know that. I know there are alternative ways to get the information. I know that some people copy the descriptions from the Amazon product page (personally, I don’t think that’s appropriate without getting permission…although my guess is the publishers wouldn’t mind).
I always like to know you think, so I’m going to ask you:
Oh, and full disclosure, but I think you all know this. I don’t list every single free promotional title from the Kindle store…the big thing is that I don’t list them if they block text-to-speech. That’s become much rarer, though…that’s for another post. :)
Feel free to tell me what you think…it will help me decide what to do, and I appreciate that.

Today’s Kindle Daily Deal: Food, Inc. by Karl Weber for $1.49.

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

Do you read Portuguese?

May 11, 2011

Do you read Portuguese?

One of my readers asked my permission and has translated my story,

A Trip to the Bookstore

into Portuguese.

This was a little tricky for me.  I don’t read Portuguese, so I can’t really judge the translation before approving the publication.

We’ve worked out the permissions between us.

Here’s how we are going to do it:

If you speak Portuguese and would like to read the translation and let me know what you think, please comment this article (or otherwise contact me).  If you’d like your comment to be private, please indicate that.

I’ll then e-mail you the translation (your e-mail address will not be made public).

You let me know what you think, and based on the feedback, I’ll decide about authorizing it.  If I do, it will first appear in the other blog…and I’ll link to it from this one.  :)

So, if you read Portuguese and you’d like to review the translation, please let me know.

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

Drake Mendocino

November 24, 2010

Drake Mendocino

“Now, Miss Amethyst Heartfire.  You will tell me the location of the Miner’s Sorrow, or my associates will be forced to do something both unpleasant and primitive, and ruin that pretty frock you are wearing.”

“Drop those gats, you mugs!  Now, grab a piece of sky!  Get a good grip…you might want to take a piece with you.  Where you’re going, you aren’t going to see anything above your ugly noggins but the concrete floor of the cell upstairs.”

“Cheese it, boys!  It’s Drake Mendocino!  The jig is up!”

“Scattered back to their mouseholes, huh!  Not you, Rat King!  The cops are outside, they’ll make short work of your stooges.  But I want you to take care of my girl first.  Hold on, Amy!  I’ll be down there faster than a hack can start his taximeter.  But first, your highness, I want you to take her gag off…nice and easy.  I don’t want you messing up that kisser of hers, you got me?”

“Drake, look out!  It’s a trap!”

“What th–“

Wait a minute, that’s not right.  I’m writing this to let you know about our trip to Mendocino.  But gee, Drake Mendocino would make  a great hard-boiled detective name, wouldn’t it?  ;)

 

My Kindle 3, Drake, on the Mendocino coast

We wanted to take a few quiet days, so we went to the Andiron Seaside Inn in Little River on the Mendocino coast.  Just my Significant Other and me…and Drake, my Kindle 3.  :)

Yes, that’s right…I didn’t even take a laptop.  We really needed some quiet time.  I love the time that I spend writing the blog, and my SO is supportive.  Sometimes, though, it’s important to just focus on each other.

The room was perfect for that.  They call it the “Read” room.  It’s all based on reading…there is a photo mural of a library, old books…even some of the furniture is from Stacey’s Books, a late, lamented, local favorite in San Francisco.

We both had our Kindles.  We’d also downloaded the new Autobiography of Mark Twain.  That’s one of the great things about the Kindle service: we can both read the same new release at the same time for one purchase price.   Not that we’re competitive, or anything…but I am ahead.  ;)

Mendocino was wonderful for us!  Wonderful vegetarian restaurants, funky little stores…and just going to that craggy coast, as you can see above. 

I was honestly expecting more books in the room…with their attention to detail, I think there were exactly 100.  I jokingly said, “100 books?  Dude, that’s my bathroom!”  ;) 

The Kindle 3 came in handy, though.  The inn had wi-fi..no problem connecting.  I honestly didn’t use it much…we did use it to find a restaurant or two.  On the way back, we decided to see Harry Potter…so we checked showtimes.  It wasn’t complicated, though, since it was playing every half hour at our local theatre.  ;)

So, that’s where we were.  Oh, and burglars, that doesn’t mean the house was empty…it wasn’t.  :)

Now…tomorow, we’ll see what’s been happening in the e-book world for the past few days…  ;)

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

Have a nice few days

November 20, 2010

Have a nice few days

I’m going to have reduced computer access for a few days.  Just wanted to alert you, because I think I tend to respond pretty quickly to communications, and I didn’t want you to worry.  :)

No cause for concern.  I’m trying to get a few posts written ahead of time, so you’ll still get your three cents a day’s worth.  ;)

To keep up with the breaking Kindle news, I’d recommend checking

http://kindlehomepage.blogspot.com/ 

That’s Stephen Windwalker’s Kindle Nation Daily.

To keep up on the free Kindle releases (and they are sometimes only free for days), you can go to

http://www.ereaderiq.com/free/

The most recent ones are on top, or you can ask to get notification e-mails. 

I still might post or tweet something…but it’s going to be less likely.

So, happy reading!

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

Thanks, Allison!

November 19, 2010

Thanks, Allison!

I just got my first gifted Kindle book!

That was out of the blue, very unexpected, and very much appreciated.  :)

I assume Allison is a reader of the blog, although I realized that you could get to my gift list through my Amazon Author Central page.  There is an Allison who posts on the forum, and it could be from that person.  It seems less appropriate to bring it up in the forum, so I hope Allison sees this.  :)  It’s probably also worth noting that nothing told me who it was.  The e-mail came from Amazon…all I had was the name that Allison had put on it. 

I really don’t think of that list as being public!  I think of it for my family and friends…wow, it does say “geek” all over it.  ;)  I also may need to update it…

Allison suggested I might write about the process of receiving it.  I had sent myself a book to test it, but let me just say, this was a snap!

I got it in my e-mail, just clicked the link, accepted the gift, and that was it.

If I had wanted a gift certificate instead, Amazon says to check with Kindle Customer Service (I presume before accepting the gift, but I would think you could call them afterwards).

Super simple, non-intrusive…worked very well.

Thanks again, Allison…and thanks for the kind words in your message!  The one thing I’ll say is that the message was truncated (cut off).  That’s kind of funny!  I just checked it, and the words inserted by Amazon

(note 300 char limit)

count against the 300 character (including spaces) limit.  :)  You actually get 279 characters because of that…in case you count characters as you type.  :)

For more information on gifting Kindle books, see this

earlier post 

Well, now I’ve really got to get to work on my new book on the Kindle 3!  I won’t get it done by Black Friday, but I do want to finish it soon.  I think it is going to make a good gift both for people who have had the device and for whom it is new. 

I have to reassess all of my titles in the Kindle store.  Finishing the new one comes first, but I’ll go ahead and share my thoughts on the others:

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions ($1.00)

This one concerns me a bit because it is out of date for the K3.  All of these questions may not be so frequently asked, and the answers may have changed somewhat.  I’m loathe to pull it entirely from the store.  I’m either going to have to update it considerably, or make it clear in the description that it may be updated.  I’m going to cover pretty much all of this material in the new book, so I may just go with the out-of-date warning.

Free Books for Your Kindle  ($2.85)

Well, obviously, I should raise that fourteen cents.  :)  I originally set it to that price because, at a 30% royalty, I would get a dollar a copy.  However, with the new 70% royalty at $2.99 (the minimum for that deal), I’d get about $2.09.  The information in there is still useful, but could be updated a bit.  In particular, I need to update it to point out that the K3s can get personal documents wirelessly for free when using wifi.  I’ll probably review this one for updating early next year.

ILMK! (I Love My Kindle!): Being an Appreciation of Amazon’s E-Book Reader, with Tips, Explanations, and Humor (Revised Edition) ($1.00)

Hmm…this one is a little tricky.  It has the fiction (including The Happy Little Bookworm), and I want to keep all that out there.  It could be updated as well.  The tips and explanations have to be examined, though, to see if they are obsolete.  For a buck right now, I’ll leave it.

The Collected I Love My Kindle Blog Volume 1 ($3.95)

I think I’ll probably leave this one as is.  It’s the first 101 posts from this blog.  In fact, I’ll do a volume 2 in the next several months, I’d say.

The Disabled Deserve to Read: The Controversy Over the Amazon Kindle’s Voice (revised) ($1.00)

Unfortunately, this one doesn’t need to be updated too much.  I will add something to it at some point about the audible menus in the K3s, and maybe about the legal action with the DX in colleges.  There is a possibility that this may change quite a bit in the not too distant future, and then I will update this.

I have a couple of other works I may do as well (not exactly Kindle related).  The blog is my main writing focus right now, honestly.  I write the equivalent of a more than a 100 page book every month, for this blog alone.  That slows down the other writing…but this is fun.  :)  I’m especially grateful to those who subscribe through the Kindle store…that justifies the time and energy I spend on this.  You can’t currently gift blogs, by the way, but maybe that wil happen.  I’m also hoping that they include blogs when they enable magazines and newspapers on iDevices later this year…and expand them to other reader apps, later.

Thanks again, Allison…that was really thoughtful!

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

“IMGroup Kindle Blog”: please ask permission first

November 14, 2010

“IMGroup Kindle Blog”: please ask permission first

I would not normally take this sort of thing public, but I don’t see a good way to contact this group.

The IMGroup Kindle Blog has begun reproducing posts from this blog without my permission.

This is defined as copyright infringement, and it is a federal crime. 

I think I’m pretty generous about giving permission to reprint when people ask me for it (I usually just ask for attribution and a link).  If someone wanted to use significant material from me in a commercial book, though, I might ask for compensation.

It appears to me that this is being done as a promotional tool.  The other posts appear to just be ads with referrer links.  They are using my posts to lend value to their blog so they can sell products.

They do attribute the posts to my blog and me, but that doesn’t make it okay.  I don’t do ads in this blog (although I do use referrer links).  This is not a way I approve of my posts being used.

If I could simply e-mail and ask them to cease and desist, I would do that, but I didn’t see contact information.

Clearly, they read this blog.  The choices appear to be intentional…they aren’t appearing in the same order they are in this blog, which suggests a human selection process (as opposed to software “skimming” every post).

So, this is my cease and desist letter to them:

  I hereby alert IMGroup Kindle Blog (http://imgroupkindle.wordpress.com/ that I do not authorize this copying and distribution of my copyrighted material.  I am asking you to stop adding more of my posts to your blog without obtaining permission first, and to remove those of my posts you have already distributed.  In the event that you do not comply, additional action may be taken.

For all my regular readers…I hope you find this at least interesting.  In this case, there are a few other things I can do…but I’d prefer they just stop.

I do like to take things to the broader issue.  First, works in the US are automatically copyrighted.  Registration of the work is important for certain legal actions, but reproducing copyrighted work on the web, outside of the Fair Use provision, is illegal.  Since this specific use reproduces the entire work for commercial purposes, it would not fall under Fair Use.

The first time I saw that they had done it, they reproduced a post that I had done with public domain material.  I can not control use of that material, so I didn’t say anything then.  The second one I saw was one of my Freebie Flashes, and it happened to be one where I hadn’t written much about the books (that happens most typically when there are many books at once and time is short).  I didn’t try to address them at that point, because it’s difficult to defend that simple information like that establishes a copyright.

However, they have since published a review I wrote, a Round Up, and one of my popular tip posts (the one on Daylight Savings Time and your Kindle).  Since these are original material, copyright is established.

It’s possible they don’t realize what they have done is illegal.  It may be that when they see this post, they’ll stop and remove the earlier posts.  That would be my favorite resolution.  What other actions could I take?  I don’t want to be entirely specific here…I’d like to give them a chance to comply voluntarily.  I know who hosts the blog: that’s one avenue.  Legal authorities are another one, but that’s much more complicated for both of us. 

If you’d like to reproduce something of mine, feel free to ask.  That’s happened a few times…I don’t think I’ve said no so far, even when the reproduction was in a commercial enterprise.  Those requests were reasonable, and even appreciated.

If you have a website (including a blog), I’d suggest you read the appropriate copyright law.  Fair Use can be tricky, but it’s worth reading the copyright office document on Fair Use:

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

There are four elements cited in that document, which actually come from Section 107 of Title 17. 

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

It’s legal for me to reproduce, by the way, because it is a government document.  That’s generally true.

So, when you are considering the use of something, you think about:

  • What is my use of it?  Am I using it to make money or for educational non-profit use?  Using in a classroom is different from including it in a commercially-marketed book
  • What is the copyrighted material?  Is it something which the person would want to protect? 
  • How much of the work am I using?  There isn’t a set number of words.  For example, using a paragraph from a full-length book in a review should be fine.  Using a stanza of the same length from a poem is probably not
  • Will my use potentially hurt the commercial use of the copyrighted material?  That means, in part, that it matters what you reproduce.  If you reproduce the end of a mystery, that can have a bigger commercial impact on the original work than if you reproduce an introductory character description

The copyright office also specifically says, “Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.”

It’s always better to ask for permission first, although that can be difficult.  In many cases, though, it’s not hard to find the copyright holder.  If they say yes, that makes everything much simpler.

UPDATE: The blog has been deleted.  Thanks to one of my regular readers, Dave, for alerting me to this.  When I follow the link, it says,

“imgroupkindle.wordpress.com is no longer available.  The authors have deleted this blog.” 

That’s a reasonable resolution.  If the authors do have something to say, I hope they come back with another blog with original material.  If the blog was only set up to use other people’s work to help them sell items, it’s just as well.  I’m very happy this was resolved without any stronger action than a notification.  That’s better for both parties.

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

A day in the life of a Kindleer

September 7, 2010

A day in the life of a Kindleer

4:35 AM: Cat meows to get me up.  I try to ignore it.

4:40 AM: Cat burrows under my hand and flips it up in the air like a dolphin would do.  Cat walks on me, and starts sandpaper-licking my head.  That’s loud!  Dog comes over to help get me up before they all starve.  Fortunately, I keep my Kindle under a tissue box so the cat can’t sit on it. 

4:45 AM: The alarm goes off.  I slide my Kindle* out from under the tissue box and head for the bathroom.  I turn the Kindle on and read a little bit (we’ll leave out the details about where).  That’s usually short articles, not too involving…right now, it’s Curious Folks Ask, which I got for free).   I turn on the Whispernet so it can pick up my blogs while I feed the animals.

5:00 AM: I turn on my work laptop and check e-mail and such.  I turn the Whispernet back off.  I also watch the 24-hour news (yes, I don’t only read).  ;)  I shower and get ready for work.  I drape my Kindle over the towelbar, securing it in place with my m-edge platform cover (works very nicely for that).  I read while I brush my teeth (that’s probably a novel or something more long form…right now, it’s I Remember Lemuria, which I got free from Sacred-Texts.com ).  It takes me about fifteen minutes to do the whole teeth thing.

6:45 AM I’m all ready to go and get in the car.  I plug my Kindle into my car’s sound system, using my Coby 745 FM transmitter.  During my more than an hour drive, I get a lot of reading done.  Recently, it’s been Autobiography of a Yogi  (which I got for free) or The Classic Mystery Collection (over 100 books and stories for $2.99).  As a change of pace, I may listen to some music I have on my Kindle, or an old time radio show (again, on my Kindle in the Audible folder).   Usually, it’s a book, though.  I really like not having the commercials.

8:00 AM: I’m at work and get my laptop going.  It takes a couple of minutes to boot up…I might read while I’m waiting.  :)  If I need any special information for the day (like how to contact Security to get into the building), I have that on my Kindle…I put it on there in a text file.

8:02 AM to 12:15 PM: I have to stay alert and involved with the people with whom I’m working today.  I do carry my Kindle around with me: I sometimes make notes on it for things I need to remember later.

12:15 PM: lunch-time.  I have my Kindle set up in the Break Room, in the cover’s nice reading easel position.  I get some long-form reading done, but also get to answer some questions about the Kindle.  ;)  While I’m reading, I highlight a passage or two for my collection of quotations.  I could tweet those, but I usually don’t.  I don’t use the dictionary very much, but what’s a clevis?  I use Wikipedia to learn a little more about the author.  If my offspring’s flying in, I might check the flight status.  If we’re going to a movie, I could check Fandango…but that’s mostly on the weekend.

1:00 PM: Back to the laptop.  I check in on the forums and maybe send out a newsflash.  I do those on my laptop…ironically, that works a lot better than on the Kindle itself.  That might be different with the K3. 

1:15 PM: Back to work officially.  If the Kindle needs to be charged (that’s not very often), I’ll plug it into the USB port on the laptop to charge. 

2:30 PM: Take a break.  I might play some games, like Shuffled Row or Gomoku…or Every Word (I got it before it was withdrawn).  I may read a bit, too, but I often get interrupted, so the games can be better.

2:45 PM: Back to work.

5:00 PM: Head back to the car for the drive back.  I hook up the Kindle to the sound system again.  I turn on the local drive time station first…I want to check the traffic (I have more than one choice going back).  I hear about an interesting book when they talk to the author…I figure I’ll download a sample later.  Traffic sounds okay…I switch back to a book.  I like that so much better than hearing all the commercials on the talk radio!

6:30 PM: I greet all the animals.  I put the Kindle down on the end table by the couch and out of the pet zone.  I feed all the pets.  During this time, my Significant Other comes home.  I get a kiss, :) and we talk about our workdays.  I set up the laptop: I mostly write at night.  I check my personal e-mail, and, yes, my work e-mail again.  We watch some TV: I can write while I do that, depending on the topic.  I check the forums again, read a few blogs.  I may do the latter on my Kindle…I’d downloaded them in the morning.  Of course, I could have listened to them in the car, too, but longer form is better for the drive.

9:00 PM: If I don’t have to get up that early, it’s time to start for bed.  I do shoot for eight hours of sleep a night…if I have to get up at 4:30 AM (which happens), I actually do try to get to sleep by 8:30 PM.  I read my Kindle again while I’m brushing my teeth, and I read it in bed before I go to sleep.  I start to drift off, so I hit the Home button, put the Kindle in sleep mode, and slide it under the tissue box.  I turn off the light, settle into the position the other cat likes, and go to sleep. 

Well, even though I’ve been blogging for over a year now, I never thought I’d write about brushing my teeth!  ;)  I’d like to thank one of my readers, Denise, who suggested this post.  I’d written a post about how an acquaintance of mine with a Kindle didn’t know about the latest (but not that recent) update.  Denise suggested that a “day in the life” post might be a good way to show how experienced Kindleers use the devices in somewhat more sophisticated ways.  This is a reasonable representation of a recent day for me…my commute isn’t always that long.  I left out some of the personal stuff, obviously.  :)  Do you do something different with your Kindle?  I can see somebody using it to check stocks (although maybe not buying them that way).   I’m hoping I can use the forums better from my K3 than I’ve been able to do from the K2…although that might not be a good thing.  ;)

*The link is to the current model, a K3, although this day describes my use of the K2 (a recently retired model).  My K3 is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday.

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

It’s ILMK’s 1st birthday!

August 28, 2010

It’s ILMK’s 1st birthday!

August 28, 2009…the first post in this blog, I Love My Kindle, appeared.  It was just a brief hello.

Wow, so much has happened in that year!  I wanted to take this post to look back a little bit, and to show you where we are now.

I say “we”, and I mean it.  Yes, I write this (although I’ve had a couple of contributions from other people), but it wouldn’t exist without you.  Not just because of the subscribers, although I heartily thank them specifically.  I couldn’t justify the time I spend on this, if it wasn’t for those who subscribe through the Kindle store.

But your contributions are much more than that.  I love, love, love it when people take the time and make the effort to leave me comments.  Some of the most interesting writing in this blog, in  my opinion, has come in the exchange in the comments.  That’s especially true when we don’t see things the same way.  I’ve gotten ideas for articles and re-thought ideas I already had thanks to articulate and well-reasoned comments.  Thanks to each of you as well. 

Another way you contribute is by participating in the polls.  That’s a giving of yourself that’s shown me some very interesting information.  My favorite poll thing?  When I asked, “Do you answer poll questions?” and 17% answered it to say no.  :) 

ILMK has also been mentioned in other places.  The biggest spike it ever got was when EndGadget credited ILMK recently with a story on the two free downloadable word games.  That was funny to me…just because it was pretty simple, just a Flash news post.  Some posts take me a lot of time and work to write, some touch on pretty profound issues, but a little announcement was heard around the world.  I do think it’s cool when ILMK shows up in faraway places, like Japan.

For those of you who buy things (even free things) after clicking on a link in ILMK, my thanks to you as well.  I think many of you know that my family comes first, and that I have a full-time job.  I don’t do advertising and I don’t link to items just to get referral fees.  My subscription royalties (at about thirty cents a month per person) far outweigh my referral fees, and that’s fine with me…I’m proud of and thankful for having the subscribers.  However, the bit of “fun money” we get from the referral fees helps.

A big thank you especially goes to the

Amazon Kindle community

I still learn things and have fun there so often!

The suggestion that I do a blog started there.  I had done things on the internet for a long time…I had an “e-zine”, as we used to call them, starting back in 1996.  But I was surprised and flattered when Amazon Kindle community CarolinaCaw started this

thread

in the community, suggesting I start a blog.  Thanks, CarolinaCaw!  That was back on June 14 of 2009.   Why did it take two months for me to start one after that?

I really had to think about it.  I tend to really commit to things, and I knew if I started one, it would be a big part of my life.  I was already writing a lot on the forum, but if I had paid subscribers, I’d want to give them their money’s worth.  I knew it would take time, I knew it would take effort…and I knew it would take focus.  That’s a responsibility I didn’t take lightly.  There were important family discussions about it.

Then, I had to find out more about blogging.  As I mentioned, I’d never done it.  I got some good advice.

Oh, that’s another group I want to thank!  My fellow Kindle bloggers.  Andrys Basten of A Kindle World needs to be singled out.  Andrys has generously given me time, insight, and advice.  We don’t always agree (and when we don’t, it can be sharp), but we respect each other and Andrys has mentored me on the blogging world (and Twitter).  Stephen Windwalker (Kindle Nation Daily), the dean of Kindle bloggers, has helped me as well.  He did me the honor of using a post of mine as a guest post when he was unable to post for a few days.  Len Edgerly (The Kindle Chronicles) and Abhi of (iReader Review ) are also part of my Kindle blogger community circle. 

There are so many people I could thank!  I do want to mention the folks at Jungle-Search.com and their newer site KindleIQ.com …it would be so much harder to do the analysis for this blog without those two great sites!

I hear the orchestra playing me off, so I have to cut this short….um, less long.  :)  Ooh, I can’t forget people who have written reviews of ILMK!  That’s really nice and really important…I definitely take those into account. 

Let’s sum it up this way: if you have touched ILMK in any way, thank you.

What’s happened in one year?

When ILMK started, Kindles were only available in the US.  The NOOK didn’t exist (and when it did, it started out as the nook).  There were something like 350,000 titles in the Kindle store (there are nearly twice that now).  One of the biggest changes has been the Agency Model (and we’ll see where that is a year from now). 

I’ve published 621 posts in ILMK.  I average at least 1,000 words a day…that’s the equivalent of about a 1,500 page book.  I’ve put out 57 Freebie Flashes…I’m sure that’s hundreds of freebies for you.

WordPress says I’ve had 148,201 hits.  My busiest day was August 4, 2010, with 2,609 hits in one day.  There have been 1,614 comments. 

ILMK has been ranked as high as #1 in the US Kindle store.  The day I passed both the Huffington Post and the Onion just blew me away.  The UK Kindleers have been welcoming as well: ILMK is the #18 blog in the UK store right now…ta!

Most importantly, it’s been rewarding.  :)  It’s been fun, and I’ve learned a lot.

I’m sure there are interesting times ahead.  The Kindle 3 (which is just in people’s hands as I write this) makes it feel like the EBR (E-Book Reader) has moved past the early adopter phase.  I think a year from now, we may be at two million titles in the US Kindle store…and the international stores will have grown as well.  I’ll hopefully write things you find interesting and helpful…and I’ll undoubtedly write some things that I like better than you do.  ;)  I’ll make mistakes (and genuinely thank you when you point them out so I can fix them).  The focus on e-reading may move a bit away from the technology and more towards the content…although there are some big technological changes yet to come.

So, happy 1st birthday, ILMK! 

Thanks to you, readers!

Do you want to share something about ILMK?  Was there a post that you especially liked?  Feel free to let me know…

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

A personal note July 28 2010

July 28, 2010

A personal note

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was going to be distracted for a while.  I let you know because I thought it might affect my writing, and I might respond less frequently.  Some of you nicely expressed concern so I wanted to let you know what was happening, now that it’s over.

I do want to warn you that this is not a comfortable topic, and some of you may want to just skip this one.

I was on a jury.  This isn’t my first time on a jury, and I don’t try to avoid them.  It’s inconvenient, but I do think it’s a responsibility and an important duty.  I also figure, if not me, then it will be someone else.  It could certainly be harder for that person than for me.

This particular case was very stressful, though, and stayed with me at night and on the weekends.  It was an extreme case of child sexual abuse.  No such case would be easy to hear, but I think this was particularly difficult.  There’s no reason for me to go into details.  The perpetrator (guilty on all counts) was in the room with us, and the victim testified.

One of the hardest things for me was not being able to talk to my Significant Other about it.  I don’t like being away from my SO, and this was a bit like that in a tiny way.

Well, I just wanted to let you know…I thought some of you might be wondering.  It will take me a while to recover, honestly,  but I am glad to have it behind me.  My participation in this, of course, is nothing compared to the people actually involved.  My heart goes out to all of them.

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

In honor of Mothers’ Day: Literary Mom Trivia

May 9, 2010

In honor of Mothers’ Day: Literary Mom Trivia

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Just for fun, I’m going to describe some literary mothers.  They may not all be the best example of motherhood (although some might be).  I’m going to be careful to try not to do too many spoilers (that’s always a problem with trivia).  I’ll link to at least one book in which the character is featured.  I plan to publish the answers on Monday.  :)

Mystery Mom #1

When her boss harasses her, the young bride’s baby is dropped and dies from injuries sustained in the fall.  Later, after her boss kills the widower father of another baby, she adopts it as her own.  Her husband considered the baby to be inferior, and always resented him.  In time, though, the boy would become a powerful member of the organization.

“Here he recounted the details of his adventure, with swelling chest and so considerable swagger that he quite impressed even his bitterest enemies, while *** fairly danced for joy and pride.”

Mystery book #1

 Mystery mom #2

Although her husband has had the same job for some time, they don’t have a lot of money.  She has six children, one of whom has special needs.  Her oldest daughter also has a job, but it still doesn’t add up to much.  She’s not happy with her husband’s boss, and lets her better half know it when he defends him.

 “I wish I had him here. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he’d have a good appetite for it.”

Mystery book #2

Mystery Mom #3

She performs charity work, while taking care of her four daughters.  She’s also quite the singer, and songs fill the house in the morning.  Her husband, a military chaplain, falls ill in Washington, D.C., and she has to go to visit him, leaving her children at home.

Here, she advises one of her kids:

“”That is perfectly natural, and quite harmless, if the liking does not become a passion and lead one to do foolish or unmaidenly things. Learn to know and value the praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people by being modest as well as pretty…”

Mystery book #3

Mystery Mom #4

Although she already had four children of her own, she welcomed the newcomer.  She sheltered him and leaped to his defense when a killer came to claim him.   At the Council meeting of the Free People, the killer still demanded him…but two who were not of the People spoke for him, and one paid a price for the people to accept him.  She was sure he would accomplish great things, and called him Little “Frog”.  She hoped he would grow up to kill the killer…

 “He came naked, by night, alone and very hungry; yet he was not afraid!” 

Mystery book #4

 Mystery Mom #5

After her husband dies, she marries her brother-in-law.  She worries, though, that her son is suffering from mental illness, and that her second marriage is stressing him further, and may be adding to his instability.  He suggests she may have been involved in murdering his father…but despite what may or may not be paranoia, she does several things to try and help him.  Regardless of what her guilt may have been, she cares about her son.  Here, she hopes his girlfriend can bring him happiness:

“…I do wish
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of [my son's]wildness: so shall I hope your virtues
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
To both your honours.”

Mystery book #5

Mystery Mom #6

Encountered at a sporting event, she is effusive, even to the point of being a bit of a pest.  She doesn’t really respect your personal space, but is cautious before even putting her arm around you.  While unfortunately not very good looking, she is sweet-tempered.  She even says,

“‘Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love, that makes the world go round!”

Unfortunately, encountering her at home is quite a different story.  She endorses corporal punishment for children: in fact, her own child is taken away be someone who fears for its safety.

Mystery Book #6

 Mystery Mom #7

She is a happily married mother of three.  Although they don’t have a lot of money (despite her husband knowing about stocks and bonds), they do have a nanny and one other servant.

She does dance around the house, and brings joy to it.  Still, there is a small part of her she keeps to herself. 

“She was a lovely lady, with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover there is always one more; and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get, though there it was, perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand
corner.”

Mystery Book #7

There you are, seven mystery mothers for Mothers’ Day.  I will reveal the answers later, but for now, let me honor mothers.  There are many kinds of mothers, and many child/mother relationships.  They are not all good, but many are magical.  It has been my opinion that, in family education, people should be told that they are ready to have children when they are ready for someone else to be more important than they are twenty-fours a day.  If that sounds like a bad thing, you aren’t ready.  Most mothers understand that, and many fathers as well.

I think my mother had one of the best lines.  When my offspring was less than two, my Significant Other asked my mother, “When does it get easier?”

My mother replied, “I’ll let you know.”

:)

Happy Mothers’ Day, everyone!

Tip of the day: you can share books with your mother.  Just have two devices registered to the same account.  They don’t both have to be Kindles: one could be a Kindle and one an iPad, or a PC or a Mac…and several other devices. 

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


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