Archive for the ‘Globalization’ Category

Non-English books in the USA Kindle store

January 29, 2014

Non-English books in the USA Kindle store

Amazon has more sites than just Amazon.com:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

However, you can’t just buy e-books from those other sites if you want to do that.

A lot of people complain about that in the Amazon Kindle forums, but there is a good reason behind it (at least, with laws set up the way they are now).

Authors traditionally license the rights to sell their books to publishers. They normally license them by format (someone who licenses the rights for the hardback doesn’t automatically get the e-book rights or the audiobook rights) and by territory. The latter might be an individual country, but it could be a lot more than that (all of Africa, perhaps)…just depends on what is worked out.

If the publisher who licensed the right to sell a book in France sells it to somebody in the USA, they could be in serious trouble. That’s particularly true if a different publisher licensed the USA.

A lot of people counter that with the ability to buy paperbooks from other Amazon sites, but that’s quite different. With a paperbook, the store buys it from the publisher first, then sells it to the customer. If the store is able to export it, that’s fine…that’s not where the publisher sold it.

With an e-book, the sale doesn’t happen until the customer buys it…the store didn’t buy it first. The sale is basically considered to have taken place where the customer is (although it’s a tad trickier than that).

So, while the German site has over two and a half million books (many of which, I am guessing, are in German), that doesn’t mean all those same books are available to customers using Amazon.com.

I checked the state of foreign language books at Amazon.com back in November of 2009.

Kindle spoken here

These were some figures I got then:

I got those results by searching for the language followed by the word “Edition”. For example, I would have searched for “French Edition”.

Amazon has since expanded the way it lists foreign language books. This is what it says now:

  • Spanish (80,230)
  • German (142,958)
  • French (40,986)
  • Italian (31,324)
  • Japanese (17,538)
  • Portuguese (19,382)
  • Chinese (2,895)
  • Afrikaans (1,716)
  • Russian (260)
  • Other Languages (5,722)

Now, just to give a more consistent comparison, I’ll search for “German Edition”. Doing it that way, I got 143,043…not that far off, and it might have some false positives.

So, honestly, we can say that the numbers have exploded! There are about seventy-five times as many German books, just to stick with one language!

If we compare that to the overall growth rate of the USA Kindle store, this is much, much higher. I recorded the titles in store count on December 1, 2009 as 385,484. On January 1 of 2014, I recorded 2,351,290. While that is a lot of growth (there are about six times as many books…more than doubling every year), it’s not even a tenth the rate of German book growth.

My search for “Swahili Edition” gives me 104 versus 5…more than twenty times as many.

I think that the number of books where companies get global licenses has also greatly increased, and that may have something to do with it. It costs the company more initially, or at least I would assume that’s the case, but can certainly be worth it.

Here’s a link to

Foreign Languages in the USA Kindle Store (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

  • Genießen Sie!
  • Disfrute!
  • Kufurahia!
  • Amusez-vous!
  • Enjoy!

Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle.

* 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. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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.

Aussie awesomeness! Amazon opens a localized Kindle site

November 12, 2013

Aussie awesomeness! Amazon opens a localized Kindle site

Good on ya, Amazon!

I’ve seen many threads in the Amazon Kindle forums complaining about Kindle e-book prices and availability in Australia.

Well, according to this

press release

Amazon has just opened a localized Australian Kindle store at

http://www.amazon.com.au/

You’ll now have your own Kindle Daily Deal, local authors, and local curation.

Hm…looking at it, though, the prices for some books are still a lot higher than they are in the USA.

Other books, though, are reasonably priced.

The Paperwhite is available in Australia, and Amazon says:

“All new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX now on sale in Australia
Amazon also announced that the new Kindle Fire HD is available starting today at a suggested retail price of AU$189 at Dick Smith and Big W stores. The 7” Kindle Fire HDX will be available starting November 26 at a suggested retail price of AU$329 and the 8.9” Kindle Fire HDX will be available starting December 10 at a suggested retail price of AU$479. Read the press release about the new Kindle Fire HDX at amazon.com.au/hdx-press-release.”

You are opening with over two million titles…by contrast, when the USA store opened in 2007, we didn’t have 100,00.

Australians have enjoyed having shorter copyright terms (which meant that some books are legally available free because they are in the public domain in Australia, when they aren’t in the public domain in the USA), and now you have your own Kindle store, too. :)

I know I have Australian readers…enjoy!

By the way, I don’t see any mention yet of which countries’ residents can use this site (localized sites sometimes cover more than one country). No mention of New Zealand that I’ve seen, but I haven’t dug very deep yet.

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

Round up #210: KPW search tip, France’s stance

October 5, 2013

Round up #210: KPW search tip, France’s stance

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later. 

Dans votre visage, Amazon!*

While Amazon has  benefited from some legal actions in the USA (notably the Department of Justice action against five publishers and Apple, and the State Attorneys General suit against the publishers), that’s not the case everywhere…notably in France.

This

The Guardian article by Angelique Chrisafis

gives you a pretty good rundown on a recent action by one house of government there that limits the discounting that Amazon (and hypothetically other online booksellers…but we know who they mean) can do…and they sort of count free shipping as a discount.

It’s intended to help brick-and-mortar bookstores compete, and is part of France’s long tradition of trying to provide cultural support within its borders.

I think you are going to know how I feel about this. You don’t protect your culture by making books more difficult to afford and obtain. That’s especially true if you think  your culture goes back more than five years or so…brick-and-mortars have a much harder time stocking the backlist than Amazon does.

While it isn’t an excuse, less affordable and available books do, I think, lead to more piracy (in the world of paperbooks, that includes counterfeits, which are surprisingly common in some places).

Today: “8-year-old flags ‘sexist’ children’s books; bookstore takes notice”

Personally, I’d like to see Amazon carry anything that’s legal, in terms of books.

I don’t really want them making editorial choices about what options I have.

However, there are some people complaining about the book mentioned in this

Today.com article by Morgan Brasfield

It sounded really ridiculous…and an 8-year was moved to tears by seeing them in a store.

They are two “survival guides”…one for boys, and one for girls.

I’m going to briefly quote the article:

“In the boy version, the chapters covered topics such as “How to Survive a Shark Attack,” “How to Survive in a Desert,” and “How to Survive Whitewater Rapids.”

The girl version addressed such issues as “How to Survive a BFF Fight,” “How to Survive a Fashion Disaster,” and “How to Survive a Breakout.””

Yes, these are recent books (not available in Kindle editions). I wanted to see what people were saying on Amazon…

Girls Only: How to Survive Anything
by Martin Oliver (illustrated by Daniela Geremia)

had the lowest possible rating a solid 1 star out of 5. That was with eleven reviews.

This one

Boys Only: How to Survive Anything
again by Martin Oliver, although illustrated by Simon Ecob

had 2.3 out of 5 with three reviews.

Ban the book (ironic given the timing around Banned Books Week)?

I think most of you would say no. I could see how it could be absolutely instructive to sit down with your kids (of both genders) and discuss this book…

Kindle Paperwhite tip: searching

I’m still exploring my new Kindle Paperwhite, which is the second generation. I did a complete menu map (linked above), but that doesn’t mean I tested everything at that point.

Both the first generation and second generation Paperwhites (I have mine open side-by-side right now) have a magnifying glass at the top of the home screen that you can use to search.

They also both have dropdowns where you can choose what to search.

Here’s the difference, though:

Gen 1:

  • My Items
  • Kindle Store
  • Dictionary
  • Wikipedia

Gen 2:

  • My Items
  • All Text
  • Kindle Store
  • Dictionary
  • Wikipedia

Notice that in both of them, you can search for a word in the dictionary. That’s something people had wanted earlier, and it works pretty well.

The Gen 2 adds All Text…which means you can test to see if all of your books are  indexed.

Let me just explain indexing on the Kindles briefly. When you put a book on a Kindle, the device “reads” the book to figure out where the words are in it. It might make a note that “cat” appears at location 200, 355, 1420, that sort of thing.

That’s how it can find those words when you search for them.

As you can imagine, reading the book and building that index is energy intensive. If  you put a bunch of books on your Kindle in short order, you might want to leave it plugged in overnight…it can index while it sleeps.

How do you know if an e-book on your device hasn’t been indexed yet?

Search for a nonsense word (I use something like “xxy”).  When it gives you the result, it will tell you if there are any unindexed books yet…and which ones they are.

On the KPW2, switch to All Text when you do that search.

ON the KPW1, you can have it search My Items.

That’s likely to make the searches faster on the KPW2 when you search under My Items, since it only searches titles and authors.

Cutting the cable?

We used to get cable TV channels on a TV in our bedroom without a cable box. We weren’t stealing them…I think we paid something like $5 a month for some time, and we always let the cable company know that we had that TV.

Now, though, due to regulation changes (as I understand it), we suddenly don’t get any cable TV channels on that set (we do get some radio channels).

So, we are considering using the Fire in that room to provide content, and cutting way back on which cable channels we get (and perhaps dropping cable altogether).

We’ll look at that carefully. I watch a lot of cable news. One solution to that is

US TV Free

which I’m using now. I can get some interesting news channels, including Russia Today (which is in English and intended for American audiences) and the BBC.

It’s not perfect: it ends up buffering sometimes. Still, it’s a good choice.

I also use

DroidTV – Free Trial

I pay about $3 a month for it.

That has a lot of current shows. You have to wait for downloads…sometimes for hours before it happens, but you can do “season passes”.

I do believe both of these are legal: I wouldn’t use them otherwise.

I’m watching right now by running an HDMI cable from my Kindle Fire 8.9″.

I think it’s very likely that Amazon will release some TV device before the end of the year, that will use the Miracast that will be available on my Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi. Mine is scheduled to come October 18th…they’ve been pushing back the date for people ordering now. Order one today (at time of writing), and they now think October 21st. This is the one I think will be the most popular model, and may be really popular.

I’m speculating that Amazon might release two TV devices: an inexpensive Miracast stick that works with the Kindle Fire (it would probably plug into your HDMI port on your TV, and then you could wirelessly mirror from your Kindle Fire HDX), and a somewhat more expensive set-top box that has a lot of content options.

Here is a

Wall Street Journal article by Greg Bensinger

that speculates on the box, but doesn’t mention a stick. If you can’t see it from the above link, try searching for “Amazon Readies Set-Top Box for Holidays”.

We’ll see what happens…

Scribd responds to my questions

I want to thank Scribd for responding to my questions about their new subscription (“all you can read”) e-book service.

It’s $8.99 a month, and HarperCollins has signed up with it, meaning that you can get well-known content…although it will be backlist, not the absolutely current bestsellers, you would be likely to find things to read.

I’m not signing up for it myself, for two reasons.

I asked this:

===

Bufo Calvin
Oct 03 04:48 pm (PDT)

I have one of the most popular blogs of any kind in the Kindle store (I Love My Kindle) and had just started a write-up on your subscription service, but I have two key questions before I complete that.

1. You indicate it is compatible with the Kindle Fire, but the user is directed to Google Play (which does not recognize a Kindle Fire) for the Android app. The app is available on 1Mobile, but do you also make it available directly on your site?

2. When I tried a sample, I did not see an option to use text-to-speech. That’s important to my readers: is it available through your app?

Thank you for your attention to these questions.

===

They responded (quickly and courteously) with this:

===

Hello Bufo,

Thank you for reaching out to us. I spoke to our engineering team and we currently do not support Kindle through our app, because Google Play Store is required as you said. We have submitted an application to Amazon, but it’s still being reviewed by Amazon. The app will not work with Kindle e-ink, but will work with the Fires if/when it’s approved.

Regarding your second question, we do not support text-to-speech, unfortunately. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best regards,
Kay Jong
Scribd, Inc.

Questions? http://scribd.com/faq

===

That shouldn’t stop you. This isn’t a case of someone blocking text-to-speech access, but simply not providing it. I use TTS too often myself to ignore the lack of it, but I have no moral objection to not including it. While I’d like every device to be accessible to everyone, I don’t think that’s a requirement for every app and every device in every circumstance.

As to not being in the Amazon Appstore…well, it may be later. Contrary to what some people say, Amazon does not “wall you into their garden”. You can get the Netflix app, for example: a direct competitor.

You could get the app now, from 1Mobile, or you could when I checked earlier.

Update: I meant to include the Scribd page…you can get all the info (and see what books are available) from links there:

http://www.scribd.com/subscribe

My guess is that this will succeed, and that we’ll see more subscription e-book services. It’s possible Amazon will do one (and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is not all you can read, of course: it’s up to one book a calendar month).

Some of you might be thinking, “Amazon won’t do that…they want you to buy the books.” Well, yes, they’d prefer that…but they really want you to buy physical goods (“diapers and windshield wipers”) where there is more profit, and tying you into a subscription service (especially if it was linked to Prime) would help with that.

What do you think? Have you already cut the cable? If not, what would be necessary to get you to do it? Do you pay more than $100 a month for cable? Is it okay to sell a sexist book to kids? Do protectionist laws help or hurt book culture? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

* I was using Google translate to try to say, “In your face, Amazon!” Not sure how close it is, given the idiomatic nature of the expression.

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

Round up #201:

August 30, 2013

Round up #201:

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later. 

Special note: I’m away from my normal resources right now, but have been able to jump on a computer for a short time. I hope you are enjoying the posts which I wrote ahead of this period. I may be somewhat less responsive than usual for a few more days, but I’ll do what I can. :) I’m doing most things with my Kindle Fire and a Bluetooth keyboard, but copying and pasting is more difficult there than on a PC, as is working with multiple tabs in the browser.

24 great deals “for students” in Kindle Daily Deal

This is the main reason I trekked (not that far actually) to a computer this morning.

Today’s Kindle Daily Deal includes one ostensibly for students, but I think just about everyone will find something they like.

As always, check prices before you click or tap that “Buy” button…these deals may not be available in your territory, and it’s possible for books to move in and out of the list.

Some that I noticed:

  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt
  • A Fatal Inversion by Ruth Rendell
  • Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

As you can see, it’s quite a mix. I think they picked books they thought (no doubt through datamining, perhaps through Amazon Student) which books they thought would appeal to college students, not just ones that might be specific to college interests.

Hola, Mexico!

Amazon has both opened a Mexican Kindle store and opened up Mexico to Kindle Direct Publishing users.

press release on Kindle Mexico store
press release on Kindle Mexico KDP

Mexican customers will also be able to buy Kindles in Gandhi stores (brick-and-mortar).

Mexico has a rich literary history…their copyright term is longer than ours, last time I checked.

This may also mean more Spanish language books in the US Kindle store.

Headlines:

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

Round up #195: The Howler, kndl.info

August 11, 2013

Round up #195: The Howler, kndl.info

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Problems at Amazon today

There are two big problems being reported at Amazon today.

One is with the

Manage Your Kindle

page.

It’s not loading all of people’s items. I tested it, in addition to seeing the comments in the Amazon Kindle forum, and yes, that’s the result I get as well. One thing that isn’t showing is my recent purchases…even searching for them doesn’t find them.

This could be a problem, if you are looking to return a Kindle store book within seven days of purchase (which is an option with Amazon…last I checked, you can not return e-books at any time for any reason to Barnes & Noble, Sony, or Kobo).

If you need to return one, contact Kindle Support at

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

Go ahead and call them, or have them call you (my favorite option).

Another problem was happening with the Amazon Appstore for me. It wasn’t letting me buy anything…instead, it was giving me this message:

“We’re sorry

We’ve run into a technical error. Please try again later.”

That was shopping from my computer. That seems to have resolved…it’s working again. Whoops! Now it’s not…it seems to be intermittent.

Regular readers know I tend to be optimistic, and my thought here is that these problems might have happened because they are making improvements to the functionality.

I keep hoping for an ability to separate user profiles at Manage Your Kindle…maybe that’s coming.

On the other hand, maybe somebody spilled coffee on a server. ;)

Kndl.info: Information and Guides for International Kindle Users

I just ran across this site:

http://www.kndl.info/

Assuming the information is accurate (and so far, it seems to be), I really like this.

I have readers from around the world (according to my WordPress 2012 annual report, I had readers from 189 countries last year).

Not everybody is served equally with Kindles and Kindle content. That may be due to local laws, necessary infrastructure, making the deals, and so on.

Well, with Kindle.info, you can put in your country, and it will show you one of four levels of service, from No Support to Full Support.

I went there specifically to check Albania (I was checking something to do with the new keyboard language support we can download). It is listed as “Medium Support:”

“Amazon currently ships the Kindle to your country, and you can use the free 3G Whispernet service on the device.

There is a $2 fee on most books over the original cost of the title.”

The site looks pretty good, and the interface works well so far. We might disagree on grammar a bit (“Amazon do not currently” versus “Amazon does not currently”), but outside of that, I found it quite valuable.

Something different for the FAOTD (Free App of the Day)

This is the free app of the day, and it seems truly innovative, while the graphic design is also good.

The Howler

It’s a sort of steampunk puzzle game, where you manipulate a hot air balloon to pass over obstacles, deliver devices, and so on.

Here’s the really cool thing, though: you can control it with your voice!

Not by giving voice commands, like “go up”. You do it with volume…as you get louder, the balloon goes higher.

I’ve been playing today (I waited until my Significant Other left the house) ;), and I find myself doing long sustained notes…sort of like Gregorian chants. :) I haven’t gotten the hang of dropping a package yet, but I can fly the balloon (it gets into wind currents) and land it on something.

The drawing style is also cool. It was all literally drawn on hand, on paper. They say it took a year to create.

Also unusual: the setting is Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

While I do expect some people will find the voice control too difficult (I have pretty good control), you can use touches as well.

In my opinion, you shouldn’t miss this one!  Even at the normal $1.99, I’d say it is worth it, but if you can get it for free (check before you click that Buy button…if it’s there for you today), even better.

1st English language bookstore in Cuba since the revolution

I thought this was a fascinating

AP story by Peter Orsi

The first paragraph really sets it up:

“Cuba’s first English-language bookstore offers a selection that would just about stock the lobby of an average Vermont bed and breakfast. Next to what’s available in English elsewhere in Havana, it might as well be the Library of Congress.”

This is going to be a very tricky enterprise. There are a lot of things you just can’t openly say or sell in Cuba, and I’m sure it will be watched carefully.

It’s kind of hard for many of us to imagine in the USA that your reading options can be that limited by your government, so I’m sure it will be a welcome store…if people aren’t afraid to shop there.

In case you’re wondering, Cuba is currently “No Support” at kndl.info (see above).

An illegal option (and for that reason, I’m not linking to it) might be the new Pirate Bay browser, which is specifically designed to get around government blocking of the site (which I would describe as unashamedly streaming infringing materials). They don’t agree with current copyright laws. The reason I’m mentioning it is to show that individuals could get around government “blockades” of e-books. This comes up from time to time, when people are worried about having books only as digital files…that they would be easier to control than paper copies. I’m just not convinced that is the case. If you had to secretly print and distribute one hundred paper copies of The Art of War, or you had to secretly copy and distribute one hundred digital copies, which would be harder to detect? They both have their advantages, but I can certainly see law enforcement finding a house with a copier churning out that many copies (if that was illegal).

EBOOK FRIENDLY cartoons

I’ve mentioned before that I like the blog, EBOOK FRIENDLY, and they have collected some nice cartoons in this post:

http://ebookfriendly.com/funniest-cartoons-about-ebooks-ereaders-and-digital-reading/

I think some of you will appreciate the one on public transit…

What do you think? Having any trouble with Amazon today? Have you tried The Howler? Do you think I shouldn’t even mention Pirate Bay…or that I should have provided a link? Have questions about international availability of Kindles and/or content? 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.

Round up #194: Detroit libraries, Kindle Fire updates now available from Amazon

August 9, 2013

Round up #194: Detroit libraries, Kindle Fire updates now available from Amazon

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels) has died

The mystery novels under the name Elizabeth Peters (including the Amelia Peabody books) have been very popular…as have been the books of Barbara Michaels, including the Georgetown series.  Those were both pennames for Barbara Mertz, who also wrote non-fiction about Egypt under her real name,

Barbara Mertz has reportedly died at the age of 85.

CBS News article

Update for Kindle Fires now available at Amazon

I wrote recently about being worried about my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless 32GB updating to the 8.4.5 version, which was breaking Flash video in non-Amazon browsers.

I updated that post when I had heard that 8.4.6 was out there, and that it didn’t have the same problem.

Well, my Kindle Fire did update last night…and I’m happy to report that Flash video is working fine in Maxthon (my preferred browser). In fact, it seems like it is working better, but it’s too soon to really tell that.

If your Kindle Fire hasn’t updated, it likely will soon now. You can also get the update from

Kindle Software Updates

and install it manually (they have instructions there on it).

Since it’s on that page, we also know what they tell us it does. :)

  • You can now choose Brazilian Portuguese for your device language (Home – swipe down – More – Language & Keyboard – Language…that brings us to eleven languages and variants)
  • You can download new keyboard languages (Home – swipe down – More – Language & Keyboard – Keyboard – Download Keyboard Languages). That’s a fascinating change! There are thirty-seven languages there, and even with a linguist in the family, I can’t tell you what they all are (since they are listed in their languages. They do include Russian and Tagalog, Hinglish and Magyar…quite a few choices. While this will greatly expand the usability of the Kindle Fire, this ability to download the languages is what’s intriguing me. That suggest to me that we could possibly get the same thing with accents and languages for text-to-speech…not that we don’t likeSeptember Day‘s Salli, of course, but more choices there could again expand the language accessibility. Could this also suggest a launch of a Fire in even more countries? Well, last I heard, it was already available for 170 countries, so maybe not
  • Multicolor highlights (highlight something in a book with your finger or stylus, and you’ll now be given four different highlighting colors from which to choose)
  • Share notes & highlights from a Print Replica textbook. The particularly interesting piece here is that you’ll be able to share them via e-mail…that could be the start of something big for Amazon. Not just e-mailing, of course, but texting (in the future). I frequently e-mail stories to family members from my morning Flipboard read. I know e-mail isn’t the choice method of communication for many New Millenials (which is why I’m also thinking texting, in the future), but tweeting and Facebook updates don’t work for everybody either

All in all, I’m happy Amazon fixed the problem with Flash before posting the updates.

Update: here are screenshots of the keyboard languages available for download, and some best guesses (not all mine…my adult kid who is a linguist helped, as did someone else) as to what they are. If you can correct any of them, I’d appreciate it:

Screenshot_2013-08-09-17-13-42

 

Screenshot_2013-08-09-17-13-54

Screenshot_2013-08-09-17-14-06

 

Bahasa Indonesia
Bahasa Malaysia
Catala – Catalan
Cestina – Czech
Dansk – Danish
Eesti – Estonian
Euskara – Basque
Galego – Galician (spoken in Spain and some other countries)
Hinglish – Hindi/English hybrid (although I believe some other languages are involved)
Islanski – Icelandic
Latviesu – Latvian
Lietuviskai – Lithuanian
Magyar – Hungarian
Nederlands – Dutch
Norsk – Norwegian
Polski = Polish
Portugues europeu – European Portuguese
Pу́сски;й – Russian
Romana – Romanian
Shqipe – Albanian
Slovencina – Slovak
Slovenscina – Slovak
Suomi – Finnish
Svenska – Swedish
Tagalog – Phillipino
Tiếng Việt – Vietnamese
Türkçe – Turkish
ελληνικ;ά – Greek
Казаk – Kazak
Україн;ська – Ukranian
Белару;скі – Belorussina or White Russian

Georgian
Armenian
Thai
Korean
Two varieties of Chinese (I’m assuming Cantonese and Mandarin)
I know there can be cultural sensitivities in some of these identifications…if there is something you think should be corrected there, please let me know. No offense is intended, and I freely admit I might be ignorant of some of the issues.

Summer Reading Snapshot: libraries and kids across the nation

This is a great

Publishers Weekly article by Karen Springen

which talks with children’s librarians in

  • Cleveland
  • Orlando
  • Cincinnati
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • New York
  • Boston
  • St. Louis
  • Kansas City, Mo
  • Detroit

about their planned Summer events, and what the “Big Reads” are for the kids this Summer.

As we all know, Detroit has had a lot of issues lately. I liked this quotation from Lurine Carter, coordinator of children’s and teen service at the Detroit Public Library:

“Life is very serious, not only in Detroit but all over. We try to relieve their minds. We want the library and the reading to be a pleasant getaway.”

I recommend the article, particularly if you are looking for books for your own kids to read.

Google play making a big…er, play for textbooks

There are so many clear advantages to e-textbooks that it seems inevitable to be that they become the standard format.

  • The weight of paper textbooks, especially when students can’t get to a locker between classes, is genuinely a health issue
  • The increased ability to be accessible (text-to-speech, increasable text size) is important
  • The ability of them to be updated easily over the years
  • The fact that they don’t wear out…which makes renting a really viable option
  • The relatively lower cost
  • Annotation without degradation
  • Search
  • Sharing supplemental material
  • X-ray

That doesn’t mean that getting them to be adopted is easy, but Google is likely to make it a bit more attractive:

Google Play Textbooks

I don’t see that they are bringing any stand-out features that aren’t available in

Kindle eTextbooks

but just the fact that it is Google may influence some schools.

Hearing in the Apple “penalty phase” today

Judge Cote has been ruling incredibly quickly in the Apple e-book price fixing case. That doesn’t mean we will hear something today…but Judge Cote will.

There is a hearing today for the DoJ’s (Department of Justice’s) proposed penalties for Apple, according to this

The Verge article by Greg Sandoval

and other sources. I’ve written before about how far-reaching the DoJ proposal seems to be. The five Agency Model publishers think it’s too much…but they aren’t exactly uninvolved parties (they settled with the DoJ in the same case). Others think it’s appropriate.

It will be very interesting to see what Judge Cote does. I think it’s possible that part of it is approved and part of it isn’t, but we’ll see. I’m not sure if Judge Cote would then send them back to rethink it or what can happen.

Librarians in the Movies

This site was right up my alley!

Librarians in the Movies: an Annotated Filmography by Martin Raish, Brigham YOung University

It’s a pretty extensive list…given my love of books and movies, I did find it fascinating (and I had seen a number of them). It’s not being maintained anymore, but is still interesting. Let’s see…any movies this Summer with librarians in them? Hm…

Have any thoughts about these stories? 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.

Round up #193: Borders is back, the new journalism

August 1, 2013

Round up #193: Borders is back, the new journalism

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

The New Journalism

Is there anything that has to do with words that Amazon isn’t going to reinvent? ;)

I was sent a press release today about something that seemed truly extraordinary.

The President spoke yesterday at an Amazon facility…it was a speech, and had to do with jobs (and Amazon has recently added 7,000 jobs).

The amazing thing is that the next day, Amazon published

President Barack Obama: The Kindle Singles Interview (Kindle Single)

an interview with the President conducted by David Blum (the journalist who coined the term “The Brat Pack”, and is the head of Amazon’s Kindle Singles program)…the day before.

They made it available for free.

That’s right: Blum interviewed the President at the event, and published the interview for free the next day.

That’s the new written word journalism!

Of course, Amazon doesn’t need to make money on that one…they’ve got their own broad strategy that allows for not making money on some things.

I read the interview at lunch (it was a good length for that), having downloaded it in a Whole Foods.

I think it’s worth reading, with some interesting statements about how the President feels, even if (for obvious reasons), it wasn’t particularly in depth. I thought it was well proofread, by the way.

Zits on brick-and-mortar bookstores

No, no, that doesn’t mean they have pimples on the walls. ;)

Regular reader and commenter Lady Galaxy nicely pointed me to the online version of the comic strip Zits (by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman):

Zits at Arcamax

It’s a series of three days worth (might keep going) of a storyline about visiting a bookstore…I thought it was worth reading.

Thanks, Lady Galaxy!

Just when you thought it was safe not to go into the Borders…

Borders is reopening!

No, really.

Okay, just in Singapore…but still, it is the return of the brand.

Yahoo!News article by Sia Ling Xin

Somebody bought the brand there, and they are going to open Borders bookstores again.

Gee, next time you are in Singapore, maybe you can see if they’ll take those old Borders gift cards. ;)

“Amazon is worse than Walmart”

Sigh.

Salon.com article by Daniel D’Addario

It’s pretty simple…Amazon has been great for books.

More people are reading in more formats.

It is easier for people with print challenges to read.

Authors can get their books out there like never before.

More books are being published.

You can find used paperbacks more easily, often inexpensively.

You can get and read great works of world literature…for free…without leaving your couch.

That’s why a description like this makes me shake my head: “The company’s war on bookstores and book culture…”

War on bookstores? Well, I would say “competition with other bookstores”. After all, Amazon is a bookstore. And, as a former brick-and-mortar manager, I can tell you…they weren’t exactly a united front before Amazon. ;)

“Book culture”?

Perhaps if you want to define book culture as belonging only to the elites (which is arguably how it was before the 1920s or so…not counting penny dreadfuls and dime novels and such), then perhaps.

You want to make it so that you can only buy Dickens in a leather-bound volume for $50…if you have the mobility to get to a bookstore, that is? If that’s book culture, then yes, Amazon is out-competing it.

You want to have it so only a small group of people in New York and London decide what you get to read? If that’s book culture than yes, Amazon is weakening that.

If you define book culture as reading books, Amazon has only been positive, in my opinion.

See? It wasn’t about the money

J.K. Rowling has money, and I really don’t think it’s a driving factor in a lot of the author’s decisions any more.

Not doing books in e-book form for so long? There were these weird conspiracy theories that it was to build up demand, or some such, when what it really did was multiply the amount of piracy…and does anyone really think they sold more books or made more money through Pottermore than they would have having it available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble years earlier?

The more recent thing is this pseudonymous publication, which I’ve written about before:

What’s in a pen name? Jo Rowling and the Monicker of Male

There was this idea that releasing it under a fake name was just a publicity stunt so Rowling could make more money when the story came out.

That didn’t make much sense to me. It’s not like the book wouldn’t have done better being released first as by Rowling…or that it wouldn’t have had publicity.

However, evidence against the hypothesis is presented in this

Los Angeles Times article by Elisabeth Donnelly

First, Rowling sued the law firm that led to the reveal of the pseudonym…not very likely if it was planned from the beginning, in my opinion.

Second, royalties are going to charity.

That’s the net profits from the book for three years, going to The Soldiers’ Charity.

The settlement Rowling got from the law firm (wow, they move quickly in English courts!) also involves a donation to that charity.

A tip of the sorting hat to J.K. Rowling!

I really do think the use of the name Robert Galbraith for The Cuckoo’s Calling was an artistic choice.

If it hadn’t been for the fraudulent (fraud is a misrepresentation intended to unfairly make you money, and that’s how that bio seemed to me…it has since been removed) character bio, I think I would have been okay with it.

Australian Government may ban geo-blocking

Thanks to MobileRead.com

for the heads up on this

The Age article by Adam Turner

This is absolutely astonishing to me, and could have serious unintended consequences, if actually carried out.

Essentially, a report recommends ways for the Australian government to deal with companies that limit electronic distribution in Australia…and as a last resort, to ban the practice.

Well, to me, the obvious response to that would be, “Then we just can’t deal with Australia, so you get nothing.”

No e-books, no movies, no music.

That would seem extreme, of course, but the consequences for a company not making a good faith effort to stay within their legal agreements can be huge.

If a company (say, Netflix or Amazon) allows the works for which a company has only licensed North American rights to be sold in Australia, the rightsholder (and someone who may have bought the Australian rights) can seriously sue the publisher.

I can tell you right now, I do not think banning geo-blocking is going to happen.

What will happen, and has been increasingly happening, is that rightsholders will sell global rights (even though it may cost them more money) so these issues go away (except for countries where governments block things).

What do you think? Would you like to see the Borders brand return to the USA? How would you solve the geo-blocking issue (and yes, many people’s answer is piracy, which I don’t endorse)? Are instant publications the new journalism? Has Amazon been good or bad for reading? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

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

Round up #178: Screaming Kindle, DecalGirl discount

June 14, 2013

Round up #178: Screaming Kindle, DecalGirl discount

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

DecalGirl: Buy one, get one 50% off

DecalGirl is having a sale (through June 24th) on skins, cases, and more. Skins are essentially very strong decorative stickers, and they have them for Kindles. They can make very nice gifts for someone who already has a device.

Here’s the site for shopping:

http://www.decalgirl.com/?promocode=bogodad&trk_msg=66IQ6I5A39SKV5038DNLCINSC4&trk_contact=2TKDE83GIGKCJGK8UTEQKL4R74&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3a%2f%2fwww.decalgirl.com%2f%3fpromocode%3dbogodad&utm_campaign=fathersday

Note: they list all Kindles, including RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles…anything but a Kindle Fire) under “Tablets”. Select Tablets, then say it is made by Amazon.

Vlad Studio has some nice book-themed ones.

At checkout, you’ll be entering BOGODAD to get the discount…remember that you need to be buying two items, and the discount will be applied to the least expensive one.

Free app finds your Kindle Fire

I’ve tried a Kindle Fire locating app before and it didn’t work well for me, but now I’ve found a free one that does…and has some other interesting capabilities:

Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile

There’s a premium version as well with more capabilities, but I did like what this one did. It could locate my Kindle Fire…I went to a website, enter a passcode (they did something clever with that which didn’t make it harder for me to remember, really, but would make it harder to guess), and showed me the current location of my Fire…within a couple of hundred feet. It actually gave me an address (not the right one), but it was nearby. That could let me know, for example, if I left it at the office or at home (not that I would do either accidentally…knock on virtual wood).

What if it’s just misplaced in the house?

You can send it a command to scream…and yes, it was loud and annoying! :) That’s what you want, though: a thief would likely ditch the device if they were in a public area and it started screaming like a person! That also locks the screen. You can also lock it without the screaming. So, you can locate, lock, and scream…with the premium version of this app (not free), you could send a remote wipe command.

It also scans your device for malware (software that does bad things, basically): it didn’t find any on mine.

Why wouldn’t you get this? Well, if you forget your password, that could be a problem. You might not want other people in your family (if they have access to the Webroot account) tracking you…or pranking you (I wouldn’t want it to scream in the middle of a meeting). You might be concerned about the government or hackers getting information about you through Webroot. Of course, if you don’t have wi-fi on and have misplaced it, it won’t help you much. If a bad guy when it reconnects, though, it will scream at that point (my test showed it wasn’t immediately…took a few minutes).

Generally, though, I would recommend it for most people who are comfortable with having online accounts and creating (and remembering) passwords. It has four stars (out of five) with 124 reviews at the time of writing, so that is somewhat reassuring. :)

Eddy Cue on Steve Jobs and iBooks

The Apple Agency Model trial continues, and I’m feeling more and more like Apple might win. I wonder if that means the publishers are kicking themselves for having gotten out?

There are definitely interesting revelations. This

AllThingsD article by John Paczkowski

relates some interesting insight from Eddy Cue, being painted by the Department of Justice (DoJ) as the driver of the Agency Model for e-publishing, and who worked closely with the late Steve Jobs.

Cue says he approached the CEO in 2009 (the year before the iPad was released) about doing a bookstore, and Jobs wasn’t interested.

The year before (and within six months of the Kindle’s initial release), Jobs was famously quoted in a

New York Times article by John Markoff

as saying, “…people don’t read anymore” in dismissing the Kindle.

By 2009, though, Cue doesn’t mention that overall condemnation and marginalization of serious readers…instead, it was because phones were too small and computers were too big.  That feels like a bit of a whitewash to me, but Jobs did change the position when the iPad was going to be released.

I think we’ll have a verdict by the end of next week…and if Apple loses, they could appeal.

Apple could appeal? I thought only bananas could do that… ;)

Oh, and Apple is mad that Random House isn’t being compelled to testify…

Publishers Weekly article

That could bolster that appeal effort…if it becomes necessary.

Comcast will use your router to provide neighborhood wi-fi

Well, it’s not exactly your router…it’s your wi-fi gateway that you got from them for your broadband. This is a clever idea, and part of their (successful) effort to expand wi-fi for their customers.

The devices won’t use the same signal you use, but will broadcast a second one that can be used for free…by other Xfinity customers. Non-customers can use it for free…twice, and then they’d have to pay.

CNET article

I’ve found wi-fi from Xfinity (we are subscribers) available to me before, and I think this will really expand it.

Comcast has to figure out how to get people not to “cut the cord” (and go without cable services). This is one way, as is their app:

XFINITY TV Player

The app would be a lot more attractive if it didn’t stop the video from running when I plugged in my HDMI cable to my Kindle Fire HD to watch it on my TV…I think they’ll work that out eventually.

Still, the expanded wi-fi should be good for wi-fi Kindle owners (Fire or not) who are Comcast subscribers…and others in a pinch.

Kindle hardware in India

The Papewhite, the “Mindle”, and the Kindle Fire HD 7″ and 8.9″ are now available from Amazon.in

http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B007HCFU90/ref=gw_in_c1_ks/275-7716727-1685962?ie=UTF8&nav_sdd=aps&pf_rd_m=A1VBAL9TL5WCBF&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=10MHJXW9MFNNMSKY87JG&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=408409067&pf_rd_i=1320006031

It doesn’t appear to have local language support, though, so that’s a possible serious hindrance.

NPR’s Backseat Book Club

People might not like backseat drivers, but backseat readers? Joy for the reader, quiet for the driver. ;) Actually, we sometimes read out loud to the others in the car, but this is an excellent reading list from National Public Radio

The Complete List: What NPR’s Backseat Book Club Has Read So Far

Reading lists are tricky things, and I haven’t read everything on this one, but it looks solid to me. I mean, once you hit

The Phantom Tollbooth

you’re good :) but this includes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Black Beauty) and more contemporary titles…as a former bookstore manager, I’m impressed. :)

Have comments on any of these stories? Feel free to let me and my readers know.

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

Round up #176: free Superman comic, NOOK loses PC & Mac apps

June 9, 2013

Round up #176: free Superman comic, NOOK loses PC & Mac apps

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

NOOK loses PC & Mac apps

Thanks to “Mooncat” in the Amazon Kindle forum for the heads up on this

TeleRead article

which I have confirmed.

The

Barnes & Noble page for NOOK apps

no longer lists apps for Windows (except Windows 8) or Macs.

Their free apps are now:

  • iPad
  • Android Tablet
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • Windows 8 Tablet
  • iPhone (&iPod touch)
  • Android SmartPhones
  • Windows 8 PC
  • NOOK for Web

Compare that to

Amazon’s free Kindle reading apps:

  • iPad
  • Android Tablet
  • Windows 8 Tablet
  • iPhone (& iPod touch)
  • Android SmartPhones
  • Windows 8 PC
  • Kindle Cloud Reader
  • Windows Phone
  • Blackberry
  • Mac
  • Windows 7, XP, & Vista

This is one of those things where you just want to say, “You did what now?” ;)

It seems like a weird move, especially with Microsoft having put all the money into the NOOK line that it has. Why no Windows phone? Why drop support for the kinds of Windows PCs that are typically running in schools and businesses (I’m guessing most of those haven’t gone to Windows 8 yet)?

It’s just one of those odd moves. Okay, sure, there may be Customer Service costs connected with them, but it may not be much. You’ve moved away from institutional support, which is one place where the money is. Yes, they could use the NOOK for Web support (similar to the Kindle Cloud Reader), but that’s really not the same.

Maybe this is preparatory for some move by Microsoft that provides some alternative to the NOOK reader?

Get a free digital Superman comic by signing up for an Amazon newsletter

With Man of Steel opening June 14th, and getting some buzz, Amazon is giving away the digital version of the recent Superman comic reboot:

Sign Up for the Amazon Comics Newsletter and Get a Free Digital Comic

Actually, DC rebooted a bunch of things with the “New 52″. You can see the details on this deal above, but it goes through July 21st and is just for first time subscribers to the Amazon Delivers Comics newsletter.

Honestly, I have serious doubts about the movie, but as always, hope it’s good. :)

For those of you not familiar with modern comics, this one, by George Pérez, is not really written for younger children.

Oh, and while this will look better on a Fire (partially due to the color), it’s not limited to the tablets. It’s available for these devices:

  • Kindle (what I call the “Mindle”)
  • Kindle Touch
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • Kindle Fire
  • Kindle Fire HD
  • Kindle Cloud Reader
  • Kindle for Windows 8
  • Kindle Keyboard
  • Kindle for iPad
  • Kindle for Android

\S/

No more recently delivered list at MYK

We used to be able to go to

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

and see which items went to which Kindles recently. That appears to have been removed. That will complicate things for some people with many people on their account…and there is no limit to the number of devices which can be registered to an account.

I’m thinking this might be because of

Whispercast

which is Amazon’s relatively new way to manage multiple Kindles. I still intend to sign up for it myself at some point to test it out. They just may be trying to migrate people to that service.

“The Princess has stopped.”

I see (and answer) a lot of the same questions, over and over again, in the Kindle forums. I don’t mind that: I know that even though I’ve seen it a thousand times, the person wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t new to them.

However, it is still fun when I see something that is new to me. ;)

In this

Amazon Kindle forum thread

a poster reported (and even provided a link to) an error message on a Kindle Fire that said

The Princess has stopped.

Somehow, that just seems like a great line…like something destined to become an internet meme. ;)

You could use it when someone complains about something having been taken away from them. It would suggest that providing it was a sort of gift from royalty, and that gift has now ended.

Complaint: “Barnes & Noble took away the NOOK for Mac app!”

Response: “The Princess has stopped.”

Complaint: “I can’t see which device got which Kindle book any more!”

Response: “The Princess has stopped.”

;)

I suggested it might be an app that has failed…the poster doesn’t have the situation resolved at the time of writing.

Kindle hardware now available through Amazon in China

This is a huge (although not unanticipated) move by Amazon!

Kindle hardware (both RSKs…Reflective Screen Kindles, and Fires) are available through

http://www.amazon.cn

I think the key thing here is the presence of the RSKs. There are certainly competitors for tablets in China, and there are EBRs (E-Book Readers), but the Paperwhite may be able to really grab some marketshare.

There are 1,322 reviews for the Paperwhite at the time of writing, with an average of 4.7 out of 5.

It’s interesting to read those reviews, although using Google translate can be challenging. They do seem to be generally positive.

The price is ¥ 849.00…about $138.47 at time of writing.

The Kindle Fire HD is ¥ 1499.00…about $244.48.

It didn’t look to me like they had videos, but they had apps, including local apps…there has already been an appstore there.

We’ll see how this goes, but this could be a nice influx of cash (if not profit) for Amazon, which could help Kindle development around the world. It could also mean more Chinese language books in the USA Kindle store, although that doesn’t seem to me to have followed directly with other international expansions.

Three characters walk into a plot…

It’s the second Saturday of the month, and that’s when my post appears in

The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing

a blog specifically for authors.

This time, my post is

Three characters walk into a plot

about using public domain characters in Kindle Worlds works (and I describe three particular ones as examples). Even if you aren’t an author, I think you might enjoy that one. :) There has been a bit of a roiling response in comments over the licensing agreement, and whether or not fanfic authors need be concerned about rightsholders coming after them if they put up free unauthorized works involving copyrighted characters.

Well, I like the mix of stories in today’s round-up! If you have any comments (roiling or not), ;)  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.

Round up #172: Z-Pass, International Fire & Appstore

May 23, 2013

Round up #172: Z-Pass, International Fire & Appstore

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

There’s some good stuff this time…let’s get started!

Wait a minute…I guess I do want to set the world on Fire

Amazon sent me two press releases today, and these are big news (especially for my readers around the world)!

Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9” Now Available for Pre-Order for Customers in over 170 Countries Around the World, Shipping June 13

Amazon Appstore for Android Now Open in Nearly 200 Countries Worldwide

First, it means that the

Kindle Fire HD 7″, Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB
Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB

are available for order in many places around the world (but not all…while Amazon would undoubtedly like to sell everywhere in the world, and beyond if possible, it’s difficult to make the necessary arrangements in some countries, notably the Middle East).

It does not appear to include the 4G model,or the standard definition Kindle  Fire 2nd Generation.

Oh, but you can get the 32 GB versions.

It doesn’t look to me like you’ll be able to do Amazon Instant Video on them…and I’m curious about, say, Netflix.

You can do e-books, music, audiobooks, magazines…and apps.

That last one is the other announcement, and will be welcome to many people.  The Amazon Appstore is opening in even more countries than the Fire will be available. Does that make sense? Sure, the Appstore is limited to just the Fire as a market. Even where Amazon can’t sell their hardware, they can sell apps for Android SmartPhones (for example).

To celebrate this, the Free App of the Day is the very popular

Fruit Ninja

Some of you may remember Jeff Bezos demonstrating the CEO’s own limited Fruit Ninja skills at the Kindle Fire intro event.

As always, check the price before you get the app…

Enjoy!

Oh, and please let me know your experience with the Amazon Appstore if you are outside the USA and notice any significant restrictions…or advantages.

Lud-in-the Mist: a fantasy classic as a KDD

“Ranulph had always been a dreamy, rather delicate child, and backward for his years. Up to the age of seven, or thereabouts, he had caused his mother much annoyance by his habit, when playing in the garden, of shouting out remarks to an imaginary companion. And he was fond of talking nonsense (according to the ideas of Lud-in-the-Mist, slightly obscene nonsense) about golden cups, and snow-white ladies milking azure cows, and the sound of tinkling bridles at midnight. But children are apt, all the world over, to have nasty little minds; and this type of talk was not uncommon among the children of Lud-in-the-Mist, and, as they nearly always grew out of it, little attention was paid to it.”
–Hope Mirrless
writing in Lud-in-the-Mist
collected in Bufo’s The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations
category:literature
decade: 1920s

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deals (KDDs) is

Lud-in-the-Mist

by Helen Mirrlees, originally published in 1926 (and, I believe, not in the public domain).

Neil Gaiman and many others have praised it, and I recommend it to you (you can see above, I included it in my book of quotations). The price today is only ninety-nine cents…the digital list price is $12.95.

Borders hoarder? So sorry…

Have you been holding on to a Borders gift card, figuring you would get the value for it in the bankruptcy pay-outs?

Well, you and close to 18 million people with close to a quarter of a billion dollars worth of gift cards should get nothing for them, according to U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter, as reported in this

NPR article

Other debtors will get money, but not consumers.

This District Court is the last stop before you get to the Supreme Court, which may not happen in this case (this judge was upholding a lower court ruling).

It kind of makes you wonder if Judge Denise Cote, who has been great on so many consumer issues that involve e-books, could rule on everything. ;)

Zinio Z-pass: three magazines for $5 a month

As regular readers know, I prefer Zinio’s arrangement on subscriptions to Amazon’s Kindle Newsstand. One of the key things is that they store as many issues as you’ve had for you…unlike Amazon, which does a “rolling seven” (they store the current edition, and six previous ones: you can save them yourself, but just on the current device. Those saved issues aren’t backed up for you by Amazon).

The Zinio app is not in the Amazon Appstore, but you can “sideload” it entirely within the rules at Amazon…the information is here:

http://imgs.zinio.com/faq/kindlefire.html

They have a new deal, called “Z-Pass”. You can get a free trial for it right now (and you can read Zinio mags on other devices like PCs, for those of you without a Fire).

The basic idea is that you pay $5 a month, and you get three magazines, which  you pick out of a list of over 200 eligible titles (and these are big names).

You can add additional magazines…could be $1.50 a month, might be more if they are “premium titles”.

You can swap up to three a month…I think what this means is that you can change which one you will get the following month, not that it is an “all-you-can-eat program”.  Definitely sounds like you aren’t committed to the magazine for a year…so if yo were going to buy a car, for example,  you might get car magazines that month, and travel magazines before you go on vacation.

I’m going to check with my Significant Other, but I do think we may do this.

One more thing to note: the magazine doesn’t appear in your newsstand on your Fire…you get to it through the Zinio app. Even though you sideload it, it does appear on your apps tab and can be added to your Favorites.

Here are the

Z-Pass FAQs

and here is the main

Z-Pass website

where you can see the magazine options.

What do you think? Should consumers have gotten money for their Borders gift cards? Will you use the Amazon Appstore outside of the USA? Do you have Zinio experiences to share? 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.

 


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