Round up #221: PODBAM!, customizable covers
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Now you can judge a Kindle by its cover
Amazon announces a new ability to customize your Kindle cover. You can upload a picture, and get it printed on an Origami cover (or some other options).
Well, I should say, “…a new to Amazon ability”. It’s been possible to have custom covers/sleeves made at third party sites for some time (I had one years ago that my adult kid had done for me), and these are being done by those other companies from what I’ve seen, and being sold through Amazon. I’ve seen ones both from CafePress and DecalGirl.
It’s pretty simple.
You go to
or, if you want to support a non-profit while shopping*, to
You pick your device (the HDXs, the new HD, the Paperwhite ((both generations use the same cover)), the Touch), the underlying color of the cover (you may be covering only one side), and the type of cover (mostly Origami now, Marware coming in the future, from what I saw).
You pick from existing library images, or upload your own…and that’s about it.
The same as without the personalization!
Why not do this? Here’s a great idea for a gift: buy the cover through AmazonSmile, support your gift recipient’s favorite non-profit (you can switch to it just for that one purchase), and upload an image that says something like, “I support XYZ”. The recipient gets a nice cover, gets to make a statement, and Amazon donates to that non-profit (for a $50 cover, they get twenty-five cents).
I just have one problem with this so far, and I asked Amazon about it when they sent me the press release.
The release says,
“… a library of hundreds of images, logos, designs and patterns—including popular comic, movie and television show graphics from Peanuts, National Geographic, Breaking Bad, Star Trek, and more.”
I haven’t found any of those brand name image options, and I’ve checked quite a few of the choices.
For some people, of course, there will be an irony here: Amazon doesn’t generally let us change the sleep pictures/screensavers/wallpaper on our devices. That’s different, and would be complicated for people who have Special Offers on their devices, but this is a nice option.
Buy a Kindle Fire HD, get a $15 gift card today only
If you buy a
Kindle Fire HD 7″
Kindle Fire HD 7″ and support a non-profit through AmazonSmile
today (Thursday, November 14) only, you get a $15 Amazon gift card for free! Do make sure you see that banner on the page before you click…this certainly might not apply in your country (I know I have readers around the world).
It applies to any of the configurations of this model, so you could get a Kindle Fire with the new Mojito operating system for $124, effectively.
By the way, I’ve also seen a story today that you could get $40 off, but when I’ve tested that links, that doesn’t seem to be working. It might be for only certain people, or it may have been withdrawn.
BAM! goes POD
This one will particularly appeal to my reader, Roger Knights, who has advocated for the idea of Print-On-Demand (POD) in bookstores…we’ve had some lively discussions about that.
Well, Books-A-Million, now the second largest bookstore chain in the USA, has just announced in this
that they are going to start installing the Espresso Book Machines in their stores (two at this time, one in Maine and one in Alabama).
What does that mean?
A customer can select a book from about seven million titles, and a machine prints the book for them right then.
One concern in the past has been the selection of books, but it looks like that has been solved. They say,
“These titles are available through partnerships with Google, Lightning Source, Harper Collins, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan, McGraw Hill, and others, and includes content from publishers like Random House, W.W. Norton, and Simon & Schuster.”
That probably won’t mean every book from those publishers, of course, but it might be a great way to do the backlist.
How long does it take?
It happens “within minutes”, and produces a bookstore quality paperback.
How much does it cost?
Hmm…it says they are priced according to length, but I’m not seeing what the prices would actually be.
Still, this is an exciting option for people who still want p-books. I was really expecting us to see them in other kinds of stores, retailers of more general interest (is that like Rodents of Unusual Size?).
Score one for Roger!
How much is that Penguin in the galley?
You know how Amazon recently introduced Kindle First (Kindle First and support a non-profit), where eligible Prime members can get an Amazon published book before it is released at no additional cost?
Penguin has something similar.
First to Read
You can sign up (through Facebook, if you want, but you can do it without that), and then request upcoming books (just like Kindle First, from a very specific short list)…for free.
Although, I have to say, it’s a bit weird and complicated.
I signed up for it today, and it kept kicking me out (I had to switch to Chrome from Maxthon).
There was a particular book I wanted to get…and it didn’t show up in all the places I could see choices.
There are appear to be a limited number of “copies” available, and there seems to be some sort of lottery for who gets them.
You get points, and you might be able to spend them to guarantee that you get a copy…but none of that was spelled out easily for me.
Overall, I’m happy that a publisher is trying this…but it really shows you what Amazon has figured out about making things simple!
Yes, we pay $79 a year for Prime…but in terms of Kindle First, getting a book is super easy.
This “First to Read” was a bit complicated and frustrating, certainly by comparison.
Still, you know…free books.
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. I recently polled my readers about my linking to AmazonSmile, and while more than two-thirds of the respondents said they would like it or didn’t mind (and about 15% didn’t know), there were enough people who wouldn’t like it that I’m not going to just jump into it and do it for everything. I’m going to try doing both links in this post, and see how hard and/or confusing that is for people. You can let me know how you feel about having both links by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.