Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Books on my Kindles #2 (part 2)

August 25, 2014

Books on my Kindles #2 (part 2)

This is a continuation of a recent post

Books on my Kindles #2 (part 1)

in which I list and talk about the books I currently have downloaded to my Kindles. For more information on this, see that first post linked above.

Wild and Untamed Thing: Richard O’Brien – the LOST interview (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping)
by Phil South
5 stars out of 5, 1 customer review
borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
not yet started

It’s been about forty (!) years since The Rocky Horror Picture Show was first released in the USA. When I first saw it, there was just a handful of people in the audience, and the whole audience immersion part of it hadn’t happened yet. I’d had it recommended to me by someone who knew my fondness for the Universal Horror movies of the 1930s and 1940s (and to which it pays homage). It was fascinating to see the development of the “cult” over the years, as I went back to see it many times. It went from people spontaneously shouting at the screen, to ritualized mass repetition of the same audience-spoken lines…often with the original meaning diluted. My Significant Other, by the way, had never seen it when we met…and in fact, jokingly suggested that as an epitaph: “Here lies — — who never saw Rocky Horror”. ;) When I was looking to get to the maximum ten simultaneous borrows for

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

so I could test something, I happened to stumble across this one. It made sense: it’s a transcription of an interview with the creator (and one of the stars) of Rocky Horror, first as a stage show, then on-screen. I look forward to reading it.

This is a case where the publisher will make a lot more money because I borrowed it through KU than if I had bought it, since it is priced at $0.99. The publisher (which could be just the author) would get about $0.35 if I bought it…and while we don’t have the exact figure yet (it’s based on a pool of money which is divided dependent on the number of borrows there are), it is likely to be upwards of $2.

Flying Saucer to the Center of Your Mind: Selected Writings of John A. Keel (at AmazonSmile*)
by John A. Keel (edited by Andrew Colvin…no relation, and not spelled the same) ;)
4.5 stars, eleven reviews
borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
not yet started

Ah, John Keel…it’s a bit hard to describe this writer, and how big the influence of Keel’s books has been (not just on me, but on many people). Keel was the clear inspiration for Carl Kolchak on The Night Stalker, and of Alva Keel in the lamentably short-lived Miracles TV series (at AmazonSmile*). Keel brings this odd synergy of ordinariness in the midst of “high strangeness”. Just as in the Darren McGavin performance, Keel comes across as no superhero, or Sherlock Holmesian genius, yet encounters Mothman and the Men-in-Black (and popularized both). Keel’s greatest book (which became a New York Times bestseller) The Mothman Prophecies (at AmazonSmile*), and several others, are available in the Kindle store…but the classics aren’t available through Kindle Unlimited. This book collects articles by Keel: I suspect I will have read some of them, however, many of the magazines which would have carried Keel were not widely available (even to someone like me who collected a lot of “Forteana”). Thanks, e-books!

THE ROAD TO LOCH NESS (The Kodiak Books) (at AmazonSmile*)
by Lee Murphy
5 stars out of 5, three customer reviews
not yet started

While this book is available through Kindle Unlimited, I got it when it was recently free (and I flipped that information into the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard, so I’m guessing some of my readers did as well). Murphy writes a series of novels involving cryptids (reported animals not recognized by science, like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster), starring George Kodiak. I’ve read one of them…not burning to read another one, but I probably will eventually. :)

Batman Eternal (2014- ) #1 (at AmazonSmile*)
by Scott Snyder, James Tunion IV, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Tim Seeley, Jason Fabok
4.1 stars, 68 customer reviews
gotten as a freebie
7%

I don’t read many comics nowadays, although I used to read them a lot. I had told you about this freebie when San Diego Comic Con was starting this year, so I assume some of you got it as well.

Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less (at AmazonSmile*)
by S.J. Scott
3.9 stars, 212 customer reviews
borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
completed

This is one of those books I borrowed to be reading something that ties into work (I actually report that regularly to my boss, as part of “personal/professional development”). It’s not bad: very bite size, and the structure of how to build habits is more significant than the habits themselves…which is important.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (the one I have isn’t available any more, so no linking)
by Lewis Carroll
4.2 stars, 1672 reviews
gotten as a freebie
51% right now, but I’ve finished it

I keep this one on my Kindles to demo stuff for people. It’s in the public domain, so there aren’t any copyright concerns (if you used text-to-speech in a public setting with a book under copyright protection, for example, you could be infringing on the public performance right). Since I’m not really reading it currently, I don’t care if they leave it in a different place in the book, so it works well to just let somebody play with it. :)

The Rise of the Humans: How to outsmart the digital deluge (at AmazonSmile*)
by Dave Coplin
2.7 stars, 3 customer reviews
not yet started
gotten as a freebie

This is another one I got to read as a “work book”. Haven’t started it yet. The low ratings aren’t encouraging me, but I’ll likely try it eventually.

To be continued…

Bonus deal

My apologies that this is so late: I know some of you may miss it. On the other hand, that’s always true, since I have readers around the world…even if the deal is good in their countries (which is often not the case), the timezones would cause problems as to when the deal was available.

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deals is five Sookie Stackhouse novels (including the first one) for $1.99 each. You can buy as many as you want of the five, paying $1.99 for each one. This is clearly a tie-in to the finale of the True Blood series, which is based on these books (but the story lines really diverged).

I would have gotten it out sooner, but my Significant Other is an Insurance Claims Manager, and had to go into the office to deal with the earthquake in Napa, which through off the timing. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area (although not that near Napa), and really felt it this morning, but there wasn’t any damage here.

Hopefully, some of you can take advantage of this.

These books are not currently available through Kindle Unlimited or the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Enjoy!

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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.

KDD: Hugo winners/nominees for $1.99 each

August 18, 2014

KDD: Hugo winners/nominees for $1.99 each

One of science fiction and fantasy’s most prestigious awards, the Hugo Awards, had their winners announced last night:

The Hugo Awards

The winner for novel was

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
by Ann Leckie
4.3 stars out of 5, 347 customer reviews

Interestingly, the book is published by Hachette in the USA…and is available without impediment from Amazon.com.

I was thinking of listing some other Hugo winners available through the Kindle store, but Amazon beat me to it (at least in one way).

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deals (at AmazonSmile*) is twelve Hugo winners and nominees for $1.99 each.

Their selection is dominated by Harlan Ellison (seven out of the twelve), but that’s not a bad choice. ;) The books in the deal are:

  • Bloodchild: And Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler
  • I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison
  • Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy
  • A Fire in the Sun by George Alec Effinger
  • Strange Wine by Harlan Ellison
  • Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison
  • The City on the Edge of Forever (I plan to read that one soon…it will tie in nicely to These Are The Voyages, TOS, Season One ( Season One Book 1) (at AmazonSmile) which I am just about to finish. It will give another side to the controversy over Ellison’s script which became an acclaimed Star Trek episode) by Harlan Ellison
  • The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World by Harlan Ellison
  • Selected Stories by Theodore Sturgeon
  • Slippage: Previously Uncollected, Perilously Poised Stories by Harlan Ellison
  • Harlan Ellison’s Watching by Harlan Ellison
  • The Whole Man by John Brunner

It’s not a very wide set of choices, though.

Amazon has a special section for

Hugo Award Winners in the Kindle store (at AmazonSmile*)

and there are 36 titles there, from Robert A. Heinlein to Neil Gaiman to Orson Scott Card.

Why not pick those for the deal?

Well, certainly, part of might have to do with deals with the publishers. Since the Agency Model was largely dismantled (but may be coming back) by the Department of Justice’s actions, Amazon can discount anything as much as they want. If they could get cooperation from the publisher, though, they might lose less money in doing so.

There was something interesting that tied the selected twelve together.

They are all available through Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*).

For people on their free month, or who are paying $9.99 a month (for people who joined right away, perhaps on July 18th, that’s just starting to happen), they can read them at no additional cost.

That could have been Amazon’s specific intent: to advertise KU with higher profile books by putting them on sale.

It could also just be a side effect of all of these being published by the same publisher: Open Road Media. Again, what could happen is that Amazon strikes a deal with Open Road to take a lower percentage while the books are on sale…as if they were list priced (the pricing set by the publisher) at a lower price than normal.

Regardless, if you are someone who is still buying books (as opposed to paying for access to them), this is a good deal. ;)

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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.

The Big Deal: over 400 books up to 85% off through August 24th

August 12, 2014

The Big Deal: over 400 books up to 85% off through August 24th

One of my favorite things that Amazon does is the “Big Deal”, which will discount hundreds of books, generally a large amount, for a limited time.

This time:

The Big Deal (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

there are 424 at time of writing. As always, check the price before you click that Buy button. It’s possible that books will move in and out of the deal, and it may not apply in your country.

Here are some that caught my eye:

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Legacy: Legacy Premiere v. 1 (at AmazonSmile)
by Dan Abnett (Author), Andy Lanning (Author), Paul Pelletier (Illustrator)
4.4 out of 5 stars, 38 customer reviews
graphic novels
$3.99 at time of writing

I’ve been a bit concerned about saying publicly that I didn’t really like the movie. The characters just didn’t connect for me, and I didn’t buy the dialog. I predicted a pretty big drop off for the movie at the box office privately…I’m just not sure what you could say about it that could get somebody to see it who otherwise wouldn’t see a movie where two of the main characters are a raccoon and a tree (person). That’s different from, say, Raiders of the Lost Ark or Star Wars. When we came out of it, I said I thought it might do $175 million to $200 million…which is still huge, but might be a lot less than the opening weekend would suggest. I was probably under on that, but we’ll see. This is available for both the tablets (and, interestingly, its first suggestion was to send it to my Fire Phone…wouldn’t it be tiny there?) and the non-Fire Kindles. I know in the past people would use comics as a gateway to reading for kids: they liked the movie/TV show, let’s get them to read the comics to get them to read books. I don’t know of the appropriateness of this for kids…haven’t read them. Note: text-to-speech is not available on this title. If a publisher blocks the access, that precludes me from linking to it, but this will be a case where the issue is that the text is part of the image, and can’t be parsed by the TTS software.

Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse (The Midwife Trilogy Book 2) (at AmazonSmile)
by Jennifer Worth
4.6 stars, 654 reviews
biographies & memoirs
$1.99

In a bit of a twist, books two and three are in this sale…but book one isn’t. I still think that could work: people might be inspired to buy book one at a higher price if the later ones in the series are on sale…provided they already know they have interest. When a book is the basis for a TV show like this, that could certainly be the case.

True Detective (Nathan Heller Novels) (at AmazonSmile)
by Max Allan Collins
4.3 stars, 113 reviews
mystery, thriller and suspense – hard-boiled
$1.99
Available as part of Kindle Unlimited

Note: this is not connected to the recent TV series.

Some others:

  • Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914 (General Military) by Prit Buttar
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot series Book 5) by Agatha Christie
  • The Long War (Long Earth Book 2) by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
  • The God Complex: A Thriller by Murray McDonald
  • Locked Doors (Andrew Z. Thomas/Luther Kite Series Book 2) by Blake Crouch
  • The Wicked Wallflower (Wallflower Trilogy Book 1) by Maya Rodale
  • A Burnable Book: A Novel by Bruce Holsinger
  • The Complete Wardstone Trilogy by M. R. Mathias
  • The Case of the Sulky Girl (Perry Mason Series Book 2) by Erle Stanley Gardner (available through Kindle Unlimited)
  • Murder Strikes a Pose (A Downward Dog Mystery) by Tracy Weber
  • Sextant: A Young Man’s Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who Mapped the World’s Oceans by David Barrie
  • Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian by Bob Saget
  • Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free by John Ferling
  • Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order by Noam Chomsky
  • The Queen’s Man: A John Shakespeare Mystery by Rory Clements
  • More Stories from the Twilight Zone by Rod Serling and Anne Serling (available through Kindle Unlimited) I read the first of these…I’ll plan to borrow it through KU
  • Back in Society (The Poor Relation Series Book 6) by M. C. Beaton (available through Kindle Unlimited)
  • Earthlight (Arthur C. Clarke Collection) by Arthur C. Clarke
  • A Season to Remember by Carson Tinker
  • Amy, My Daughter by Mitch Winehouse
  • Unnatural Acts (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI) by Kevin J Anderson
  • Supernatural: John Winchester’s Journal by Alex Irvine (yes, tied into the TV series)
  • Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People: Over 325 Ready-To-Use Words and Phrases For Working With Challenging… by Renèe Evenson
  • The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life by Luc Ferry
  • Night Gallery by Rod Serling, Jim Benson and Scott Skelton (available through Kindle Unlimited)
  • Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide by Gillian Butler and Tony Hope
  • After Auschwitz: A Love Story by Brenda Webster
  • Von Ryan’s Express (RosettaBooks Into Film Book 22) by David Westheimer
  • The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce Hood
  • Flintlock by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone
  • The Boer War (Winston Churchill Early Works Collection) by Winston Churchill
  • Samurai – The World of the Warrior by Stephen Turnbull
  • The Man by Irving Wallace, David Wallechinsky and James Earl Jones
  • My Gun Has Bullets (Charlie Willis Book 1) by Lee Goldberg (available through Kindle Unlimited)
  • The Wild Girls (Outspoken Authors) by Ursula K. Le Guin (available through Kindle Unlimited)
  • A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki
  • Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite
  • Foul Ball (RosettaBooks Sports Classics) by Jim Bouton
  • The Twenty-four Hour Mind: The Role of Sleep and Dreaming in Our Emotional Lives by Rosalind Cartwright (I was a lucid dreamer and would also make a (largely successful) effort to remember my dreams upon waking…keeping a diary. Later, the hypothesis came to me that dreaming was like “defragging the disk” on a computer. It enabled you to run programs you wouldn’t typically use in real life ((but that you might need at some time)), to organize your day thoughts, and to clean things up. I stopped trying to remember my dreams, and I think I can say my memory is pretty good. :) Of course, it might have been anyway…
  • The Excellent Doctor Blackwell: The Life of the First Woman Physician by Julia Boyd
  • The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World by Nancy Jo Sales
  • Stuff Every American Should Know by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese
  • Television Fast Forward: Sequels & Remakes of Cancelled Series by Lee Goldberg (available through Kindle Unlimited)

It was interesting to me how many books there were by a single author or in the same series: the Perry Mason books, M.C. Beaton, and so on. I’m also intrigued to find books in KU listed here. On the one hand, people might think that Amazon wouldn’t want to promote books during a sale that many people don’t have to buy…but it’s sort of the opposite. They are promoting KU by putting the books in where people are shopping. Somebody might see those books, and think, “You know, I could spend $1.99 each and get five Perry Masons…or maybe I should just try KU.” Right now, you could read all five of those during your first free month…and then decide from there about the future of KU for you. Those books won’t cost that next month: they’ll be more expensive. So, joining KU, you are likely to compare your savings to the more expensive price, not the sale price, which is reasonable…you don’t want to have to wait for a sale.

Enjoy!

Any others in the group to which you want to alert me and/or my readers? Feel free to comment on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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.

 

Update 3.5.1 rolling out for the Fire Phone

August 8, 2014

Update 3.5.1 rolling out for the Fire Phone

 

I’m on the road today (well, right now I’m in a hotel), so my time is a tad limited  (having a three and a half hour commute will do that to you). ;)

I did respond to comments, and I was getting ready to write something, when my

Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

updated (it asked me first) to 3.5.1.

Yes, that’s right…we got new features two weeks after the phone was released.

That has happened with other Amazon devices, too…quick updates.

I  looked online, but there wasn’t information or a manual update yet…so I used the Mayday feature on the phone to talk to a live rep within seconds.

To me, that’s clearly one of the advantages of the Fire Phone over other SmartPhones: Mayday is one the best innovations in Customer Service in the past ten years, I’d say.

The Mayday rep was able to tell me what was in it…and to help me test them.

They may make a manual update available, but the rep told me that nothing was on the website yet because it had just started to roll  out…some of the Mayday reps had it on their own phones, some didn’t. :)

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Quick switch: this is nice! You can “double push” the home button, and you get quick access to some apps. The rep was suggesting that this was so you could close open apps, although it appears to me that these are recently used apps
  • App folders: I was told that you could put your apps into folders…not Cloud folders, and not other things than apps. We didn’t test that on the call, and I can’t find a way to do it now. :( If I do, I’ll let you know.
  • Delete e-mails from Carousel: while the Carousel may at first look busy, it’s actually quite useful. For example, below the icon for the e-mail app,  I see my recent e-mails…and I can slide them up to see more. Well, the new thing is that I can delete them right from there as well. Swipe a given e-mail to your left, and you’ll see the garbage can icon
  • Lenticular photos: you can now have up to nine of these. This is sort of a weird thing. You tap the settings button in the camera (which you activate with a physical button on the phone, and other ways). You can choose “lenticular” or panorama. Set on lenticular, you take multiple images. When you done, you tap the next arrow. What you’ll have is what vlooks like one image…but as you tilt the phone, you’ll see the other images.
  • Video sharing: the rep said that videos shared with me would look better…I haven’t been able to test it
  • Pin things to the front of the Carousel. If you long press (hold your finger or stylus on it for about a second) an item on the Carousel (the maps, for example…I’ll need that driving back), it will stay in the front, even when you open other apps. That’s a really nice  feature!
  • Photo locket: this one is a good idea, but it’s going to confuse people. On the lock screen, you can swipe to your left, and you’ll get a choice to add a photo. The photos then become available from the lock screen…they don’t become the lock screen, by the way, but they are easily accessible. What’s potentially confusing is that it doesn’t work with pictures that are in the Cloud (through the Amazon photo app). It looks like you can add  them, but they don’t display. When you go to add a photo, I couldn’t tell which were in the Cloud and which were on the device…sort of trial and error

There is a lot more  to come in the future for the Fire Phone!

Bonus deal: I wanted to make sure I included something not Fire Phone related (I’m guessing not a lot of my readers have them, so…

50 Kindle books for $2 each (at AmazonSmile)

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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.

Hey, Amazon! Sell me MORE stuff

August 5, 2014

Hey, Amazon! Sell me MORE stuff

One of the criticisms I often see leveled at Amazon is that their devices are just selling machines for Amazon.

If that’s the case, they are more like mechanical looms than SmartPhones. ;)

I would looove an easy, seamless, 1-step process to buying things when I’m using my Amazon devices, but it just isn’t there yet.

On a daily basis, I use:

What may happen in all of these cases is that I’m reading/watching something, and it references something else…and I might want it.

Let me give you an example.

Right now, I’m reading (and enjoying very much)

These Are The Voyages, TOS, Season One ( Season One Book 1) (at AmazonSmile)
by Marc Cushman
4.8 stars out of 5, 84 customer reviews

It’s sort of an authorized “biography” of the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series. The author had official access to materials (and people). At times, we actually get a day by day description of what was happening…and why.

It’s priced at $9.95: but I’m reading it as a

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

loan, covered byour free month (and it would have been part of my $9.99 a month after that).

The author says:

“In the latter half of Day 4 and for the first half of Day 5 the action moved to sickbay, where the world gets its first glimpse of an ebook (as Gary Mitchell reads from a video screen)…”

While I might quibble with that statement (I pointed out a reference to a “pocket reading machine” in 1945 in Flash! Kindles foretold in 1945), I did want to go back and see that scene, to see just how close it was to how e-books are today**.

That episode

Where No Man has Gone Before (at AmazonSmile)

is available for me to watch as part of Prime video at no additional cost. We are Prime members, and one of the benefits of that is being able to watch a lot of videos which are covered by our annual fee.

I did do that…but I had to go to one of my devices and look up the episode.

What would be really cool is if I could highlight the name of the episode in the e-book, and it just automatically took me to the Amazon Instant Video product page, where I could watch it. Having to go look for it is a barrier.

Now, I realize that some of you may think that my title for this post doesn’t apply, here because: I’m only borrowing the video, not buying it; and I’m not paying anything additional for it.

I think the same concept applies. I’m doing a “secondary buy”. Amazon wants me to “buy” Prime (they really, really want that…they are spending tons of money getting people to do that), and to remain a Prime member. Having me enjoy Prime is part of that, and getting me easily to a video I want to watch is a way to get me to enjoy it.

I’d also like to see them tell me how much money I saved…like I get at the end of my Safeway grocery receipt.

They don’t have to show me a running total (which could conceivably disappoint some people), but popping something up that says I saved $2.99 by watching this as part of my Prime (as opposed to buying it) would be nice and a validation for me to be in the program. The same thing should happen when I order a physical object with Prime…let me know what the two-day shipping would have been.

Oh, and even the highlighting could be easier. If I press one word in a title, there could be logic to look to see if that is part of an italicized phrase, in quotations, or part of a group of words in “Title Case” (all major words capitalized). It might have to offer the full selection (in case you were trying to look up one word in a quotation in a book), but I think it’s entirely doable.

The key thing here is that Amazon needs a search from within content for things it can sell you or secondarily sell you.

If one book mentions another book, let me jump to it with the option to borrow/read it.

If a book mentions a person, let me jump from that name to a store at Amazon…and a complete store, not just one kind of content.

These Are the Voyages mentions

George Takei (at AmazonSmile)

If you click that link, it takes you to Amazon’s author page for Takei, which has a bio, a picture, latest tweet, blogposts…but no links to videos, games, clothing, and so on featuring the actor.

Absolutely, give me a way to filter to just books if I want (and they do let you filter by book format now), but give me a hub to everything Takei.

This should even work for non-brand names.

If I’m reading about somebody eating trail mix, I should be able to highlight that and be taken to a search at Amazon for trail mix.

Here’s another idea.

If a book mentions “…great movies of the 1930s”, and I choose to pursue that, first check for books or content with that phrase in the title. Then, do a search (using Silk) on the web. Here’s the kicker: give me a choice to filter to Amazon results.

So, the search finds The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

The “Amazon results” search then reenters those names into the content search at Amazon…and bam! I can get them there.

That would make Silk useful for me. ;)

Even though I wrote about

Why I don’t use Amazon’s Silk browser

I have started to use it more on my Fire Phone.

That’s because they have a nice feature that works there…and doesn’t work in other browsers (I have Maxthon, my browser of choice) added to the phone.

When you are on a website, you can tip the phone back to scroll. The steeper the tip, the faster the scroll. It’s surprisingly nice to be able to scroll without touching the screen. The Fire Phone specializes in “no touch navigation”…which really does keep the screen considerably cleaner.

That’s a feature that is getting me to use Silk…having Amazon search results, reached intuitively and conveniently from my content would be another…and would result in more sales and borrows (and thus, enhanced loyalty) from Amazon.

These sorts of things should also happen when I’m watching video. See a TV character wearing a piece of clothing you want? I’d love to be able to ask my device to note it, and maybe find it for me later on Amazon. On a touchscreen device, it might be a question of tapping the clothing. When you wanted, it would ask you if you wanted more information on the actor, on what they were wearing, on the profession the person represented, on the character…lots of possibilities.

Is any of this easy?

No, and I understand that.

Would it make me even more bonded to Amazon? Without a doubt.

Bonus deal:Amazon had a deal yesterday with $20 off lots of “flavors” of the Paperwhite. Today, there is a one day deal with a much bigger savings: $130 off this specific model of

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 32 GB – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile)

That’s just for the 32 GB version (with or without Special Offers).That brings it down to $299 (from $429) with Special Offers for this 8.9″ screen version of the latest Kindle Fire.

It also oddly makes the 32GB less expensive than the 16GB right now.

Check the price before you click that Buy button: this may not apply in your country, or you may see this after today’s sale has ended.

What do you think? How could Amazon be further integrated into your life…and should it be? Would “smart link shopping” be an attractive thing to you? Do you think you would buy more things from Amazon if it was even easier? Would you want to see a “you saved” statement? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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! :) 

** There’s no arguing that Mitchell is reading e-books…and yes, that includes classics. The mechanism isn’t like a Kindle…it’s more like the Kindle for PC app, reading them on a pretty large screen. Each book appears to come on a separate “tape”, and they do have a reference to page numbers. It doesn’t appear that the Enterprise has all that many books. Mitchell reads “half the library”, in what is clearly a fast time, but not super fast…and we see how quickly the “esper” can turn pages. 

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.

1-day sale: Paperwhite for $99

August 5, 2014

1-day sale: Paperwhite for $99

Update: my apologies, especially to those on the East Coast. I thought this had gone out hours ago, but apparently it hadn’t. Hopefully, those of you who are interested still see it in time.

The

Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is on sale today (in what Amazon is saying is “today only”) for $20 off…which makes the least expensive configuration (the one that includes Special Offers) $99…under $100.

If you don’t want advertisers to help subsidize your purchase price (in exchange for you seeing ads on the lockscreen), you can get it for $119.

The $20 off is also available (again, reportedly today only) on models with 3G and wi-fi:

Kindle Paperwhite 3G, 6″ High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile)

That gives you a second way to connect to wireless (for downloading books and such). If you are in a situation where wi-fi is not available (many people have it in their homes, and a lot of busineses offer it), the 3G can allow that (at no additional cost after the initial purchase of the device).

With Special Offers, the 3G drops to $169…still $70 more than wi-fi only, but it will be worth it to some people.

Is the Paperwhite a good device?

Yes!

I use one every day, although not as much as I use my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That’s not because the reading experience is better or even precisely equivalent on the HDX. It’s because the HDX does more (by design), and I need that additional functionality when I’m out and about. I just don’t want to carry another device when I can read on the HDX.

One of the main reasons I use the HDX is for text-to-speech in the car. That’s software that reads the book out loud to you. The Paperwhite, in what I consider to be its biggest drawback, does not have TTS…or audio of any kind.

However, when you do just want to sight read, I haven’t experienced a better way to do it than the Kindle Paperwhite. It’s the most comfortable reading experience I’ve ever had…including paper.

Part of that has to do with the way it is lit. It’s not lit from behind the words (“backlit”), which is the case with a Fire, a computer, or a SmartPhone. That can be uncomfortable for some people (it’s like somebody shining a flashlight into your eyes consistently), and it takes a lot of battery charge.

I charge my HDX daily…my Paperwhite literally goes for weeks without me charging it (although I really only read it in bed before going to sleep, so I don’t read on it for that long in a day).

Some other advantages the Paperwhite has over paper:

  • Increasable font size (that makes a big difference for me)
  • It’s lighter to hold the Paperwhite than most books
  • The ability to have several books easily accessible…that’s a lot neater than a stack of books next to the bed
  • Built-in dictionary look up
  • It automatically remembers where I stopped reading…even in several books (no need to look for a scrap of paper to use as a bookmark)
  • The books don’t degrade when you read them (very hard to avoid with a paperbook)
  • You can sync your location in the book with other devices on the account

Those are a few things. :)

People always ask, “Does this portend a new model being released soon?” I’d say no…that could happen, but a discount like this has happened pretty often without it accompanying a new release.

It’s not too soon to be thinking about presents…a very merry unbirthday to you! ;)

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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.

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 for less each: August 2014

August 3, 2014

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 for less each: August 2014

Amazon does the Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), which discounts (usually) four books a day (often general fiction, a romance, a science fiction/fantasy book, and a kids’ book).

They’ve also been doing Monthly Kindle Book Deals for $3.99 or less each) (at AmazonSmile). That’s a rebranding: they used to say it was “100 Books”, but that’s also gotten to be more…there are 126 for this month at the time of writing.

Those prices only apply to the USA, and one weird thing is that some of the books seem to sell out at that price sometimes (or become unavailable for some other reason).

It’s also interesting…about 49% of the books in the USA Kindle store are $3.99 or less (1,335,022 of 2,728,188). Still, these are on sale, and that’s worth something. :)

Another new thing is that many of these books may be part of

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Amazon lists that information prominently. If they are, then you need to consider whether it is worth buying them…even at these low prices. While they are in KU, you can, if you are a subscriber (and there’s a free month available right now), read them at no additional cost. There are, of course, advantages to owning books, especially if you want to re-read them. A book could move out of KU at any time. Even if you think you want to own it, if you are a KU member, you could always read it first to make sure. ;)

I’m going to list some of the $3.99 or lower ones that caught my eye…I’m not necessarily recommending them, but I do think they are interesting.

The ones I list also don’t block text-to-speech access**…but I think blocking it is becoming rarer.

The Eternal Wonder (at AmazonSmile)
by Pearl S. Buck
literature
3.9 stars, 312 reviews
$1.99
Yes, this is Kindle Unlimited

This book made a big splash when it was fairly recently published…a “lost novel” by the other of The Good Earth.

The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam (at AmazonSmile)
by Andrew Wiest
history – military
4.8 out of 5 stars, 137 customer reviews
$1.99 at time of writing
not in KU

Very well-reviewed book…could be a good gift (you can delay a gift for a date you choose) for someone interested in Vietnam War history.

The Line (Witching Savannah Book 1) (at AmazonSmile) 4.3 stars, 2319 reviews
The Source (Witching Savannah Book 2) (at AmazonSmile) 4.5 stars, 417 reviews
by J.D. Horn
fantasy, horror
$1.99 EACH
in KU, with Whispersync for Voice

Not Young, Still Restless: A Memoir (at AmazonSmile)
by Jeanne Cooper
biographies
4.7 stars, 540 reviews
$1.99
not in KU

Cooper played Katherine Chancellor on the Young and Restless for almost forty years…good rating on this one. Again, might be a good gift.

The Wolfe (at AmazonSmile)
by Kathryn Le Veque
romance – historical – medieval
$1.99
Kindle Unlimited

Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul: Stories of Canine Companionship, Comedy and Courage (Chicken Soup for the Soul) (at AmazonSmile)
by Marty Becker
spirituality, pets & animal care
4.6 stars, 130 reviews
$1.99
KU, WSV

The 39 Clues Book 1: The Maze of Bones (at AmazonSmile)
by Rick Riordan
children’s – mysteries & detectives
4.5 stars, 271 reviews
$2.99 at time of writing
not in KU

Riordan is the super popular author of the Percy Jackson series. This is the first in an eleven book series…

Dead Man’s Folly: Hercule Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot series Book 31) (at Amazon Smile)
by Agatha Christie
mysteries
4.2 stars, 44 reviews
$1.99
not in KU

Anathem (at AmazonSmile)
by Neal Stephenson
science fiction
3.9 stars, 567 reviews
$1.99
not in KU

Stephenson is a big name and award-winning author whose works in include Cryptonomicon and Snow crash.

Others include:

  • UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record by Leslie Kean $3.99 (not in KU) 4.4 stars, 226 reviews
  • Not Taco Bell Material by Adam Carolla  $3.99 (not in KU) 4.4 stars, 436 reviews
  • Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard $2.51 (not in KU) 4.8 stars, 28 reviews
  • The Beast: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels Book 21) by Faye Kellerman $1.99 (not in KU) 4.1 stars, 315 reviews
  • Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi (continuing the work of H. Beam Piper) $2.99 (not in KU) 4.0 stars, 244 reviews
  • Spellbound by Silvia Day $1.99 (not in KU) 3.5 stars, 120 reviews
  • Amusement Parks (Shire USA) by Jim Hillman $1.99 (not in KU) 5.0 stars, 1 review
  • Palo Alto: Stories by James Franco (yes,that James Franco) ;) $1.99 (not in KU) 3.3 stars, 127 reviews
  • The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman $1.99 (not in KU) 3.9 stars, 314 reviews

If there were others you’d like to mention for me and my readers, please comment on this post.

 Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books. 

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.

KDD: The Hunger Games for $1.99

July 29, 2014

KDD: The Hunger Games for $1.99

One of today’s

Kindle Daily Deals (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is Suzanne Collins’

The Hunger Games (at AmazonSmile)

for $1.99.

As always, check the price before you click or tap that Buy button…the price may not apply in your country (I have readers all over the world), or you may be seeing this after the sale has ended (it is a Kindle Daily Deal, after all).

This is a book beloved by many. In the more than five (!) years since its initial release (someone who was thirteen and read it when it first came out could be voting by now), it has remained popular. The third movie based on the series (there are two more books in The Hunger Games trilogy) will likely be one of the biggest movies this year, and was a buzzy property at the just ended San Diego Comic Con.

I wrote my own review of it in this blog more than two and a half years ago:

Review: The Hunger Games

Outside the value of the book as a book, it’s an important example of something else.

Its publisher, Scholastic, is not one of the Big Five…but it is a large publisher with major bestsellers.

They don’t fall in line with the Big Five, often giving customers benefits that the Big Five tend not to do.

They weren’t part of the Department of Justice legal action against publishers and Apple for price-fixing: they didn’t do the Agency Model.

Programs in which they participate in the Kindle Store (and specifically on The Hunger Games):

  • Text-to-speech access is not blocked…you can listen to being read to you by software
  • X-ray is enabled, meaning you can get information about the characters and other elements
  • It has “real page numbers”
  • Lending is enabled: you can loan the book (once, for fourteen days) to someone not on your account
  • Eligible Prime members can borrow the book as part of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
  • You can read the book at no additional cost as part of Kindle Unlimited
  • It has Whispersync for Voice (which also means you can listen to an audiobook version at no additional cost as part of KU)

Scholastic (in business since 1920) doing all of this (and participating in community programs), while keeping customers and (as far as I know) authors happy puts the big challenge to the Big Five…why can’t they do it, too?

However you’d like to get the book, be it purchasing it or borrowing it, enjoy!

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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.

Comic Con inspired bargains

July 23, 2014

Comic Con inspired bargains

Tonight is the preview night for

San Diego Comic Con (SDCC)

which is one of the biggest pop culture events of the year.

In fact, it’s big enough that companies tie into it with merchandise/content sales…and not just on comics.

The con itself certainly goes beyond comic books/graphic novels. Some old timers complain that it has become too much about movies and TV…even ones that aren’t even especially geeky (and I use that adjective as a proud geek).

Authors of text-based books (you know…what many people just call “books”) ;) also appear: Diana Gabaldon, Robin Hobb, Jim Butcher, and more. Even the publishers (Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House) have panels.

So, through this weekend, we’ll be able to find bargains…even if they don’t specifically say they are there because of Comic Con, that may be the case.

For example, one of today’s Kindle Daily Deals is

Batman Day graphic novels sale (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This is Batman’s 75th anniversary year..the Dark Knight (or Caped Crusader…depends a bit on your perspective) debuted in what is sometimes considered the best pop culture year, 1939.

Batman (along with Superman) certainly seems to have taken some inspiration from Doc Savage (Doc was a wealthy crimefighter with specialized vehicles and equipment…including a “utility vest”, which arguably became Batman’s utility belt), but that’s another story. :)

There have been some Batman graphic novels that are really considered classic by Batman fans…and yes, they are included here for $2.99 each.

That includes:

  • Batman: The Dark Knight by Frank Miller
  • Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore

If you’ve never read a graphic novel, I’d recommend The Dark Knight…and warn you ahead of time, those two in particular are not written for children.

Amazon is also giving us

Batman Eternal #1 (at AmazonSmile)

for free!

You need to enter a promotional code (BATMAN75) first…you can see all the details here:

Batman Eternal #1 promo detail page (at AmazonSmile)

I suspect we’ll see more related specials over the next few days in the

Kindle Daily Deals (at AmazonSmile)

Another place at Amazon where we’ll see savings through the weekend, and these may be explicitly SDCC deals, is

The Geek Boutique (at AmazonSmile)

One more thing before I leave Amazon. Here’s a link for

Prime Video Comic-Con Favorites (at AmazonSmile)

If you are an eligible Prime member, you can watch these at no additional cost…and there are 227 results at time of writing.

Let’s move off of Amazon for a minute to go to Marvel.

Marvel has “Marvel Unlimited”, which you can think of as similar to Kindle Unlimited…just for digital Marvel comics.

Normally, that’s $9.99 a month. It includes a lot of comics…typically, you can expect that when a Marvel comic is six months past its publication date, it may appear here.

As a special tie-in to SDCC, though, you can get the first month for $0.99!

You can have 12 comics out at a time (KU allows ten titles).

You can get more information on it here:

http://marvel.com/mu?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=AcquisitionEmail&utm_content=072314EMSubscribeNow&utm_campaign=SDCC14

The necessary app isn’t in the Amazon Appstore, but you could get it at

1Mobile

Amazon allows us to install apps from “unknown sources” on our Kindle Fires, but you have to make the call. Since the app won’t have been reviewed by Amazon to make sure it is safe and that it works on the KFire, you take responsibility for that.

This is one where I would feel comfortable getting it, and I have gotten things for my KFire from 1Mobile before.

You can count on bargains from other geeky sites, too, like

ThinkGeek.com

and

SuperHeroStuff.com

Enjoy!

Bonus story:

In a

press release

today, Amazon announced that it has added hundreds of thousands of songs to Prime Music (at AmazonSmile)…and hundreds of playlists.

That’s the no additional cost streaming music for eligible Amazon Prime members.

In my recent post

A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2014

I didn’t talk about using Prime Music, but I have used it sporadically…I sometimes write with it on, for example.

It looks like Prime Music has been quite successful. Adding hundreds of thousands of songs to it is great! I haven’t been terribly impressed with their playlists, although it is nice to have fifty songs of one genre play with one selection. I’m just not sure that I’m seeing genuine creativity n how songs are grouped together in the playlists. I some cases, they seem a bit more like…search results, rather than curated music lists.

For example, the press release mentions one called “Fire for Your Fire”, and describes it as “Odes to all things fire make perfect listening on your Fire Phone or Kindle Fire”. I’m guessing that it’s just a bunch of songs with “fire” in the title, although I’m not seeing it yet on the site.

Curation seems to be better at Songza, but this is new for Amazon. One thing they could do is let customers share playlists, then have people “like” them…and with enough likes, a playlist moves up into a better discovery spot. That would create social engagement, and probably result in better playlists.

New! Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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.

Round up #261: Shannara to the screen, $85 PW2 refurb

July 15, 2014

Round up #261: Shannara to the screen, $85 PW2 refurb

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

Refurb PW2 for $85 (today only)

I know that many of my readers prefer the non-Fire Kindles, so it’s always nice to be able to write about a deal for them. ;)

Gold Box Deal of the Day: KPW2 refurb for $85 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That’s the current generation Kindle Paperwhite, which is normally priced (this is all the USA store…this deal may not be available in your country) for $109.

The Paperwhite is a great reader. It’s only big lack is in not having sound, so it can’t do text-to-speech (or audiobooks or music), but otherwise, I like it a lot.

“Refurbed” is short for “refurbished”. I’d never hesitate to buy a refurb from Amazon: they have the same warranty as a new one, and they’ve been inspected perhaps more carefully.

I would guess that new items have been inspected outside Amazon (by the actual manufacturer), and refurbs are inspected at Amazon, although I don’t know that for sure.

This is a Deal of the Day, so although it may go on sale again at some point in the future, it won’t be the price tomorrow.

If you’ve been debating getting a newer model non-Fire Kindle, this is something to consider. I’d say that there are people who prefer some of the earlier models (both for the sound, as I mentioned, and for a physical keyboard), but they won’t last forever…

The Hachazon War and the rhetoric of class warfare

This

Gigaom article by Laura Hazard Owen

is one of the most interesting takes I’ve seen on what I call the Hachazon War (the dispute between retailer Amazon and publisher Hachette) to date.

The lengthy piece points out how Amazon is positioning itself as being the populist entity, and the publishers are the establishment.

Well, yes.

Despite Amazon being a huge corporation, in this case, they have very much empowered small indies (independent publishers, which can be individual authors) and disrupted the status quo.

Which authors have tended to come out in favor of the big publishers?

Brand name authors who have benefited from the tradpubs’ (traditional publishers’) prior dominance.

Which authors have tended to come out in favor of Amazon?

Indies, even if some of them make enough money now to be in the same league as many tradpubbed authors.

When being published and widely distributed required a huge infrastructure, tradpubs ruled.

E-books don’t require that same structure. Accurately, we can say that Amazon provides that infrastructure…to pretty much everyone.

Amazon also pays more royalties (the percentage authors get of each sale) that the tradpubs.

I do think tradpubs bring legitimate value to the process…but theirs is no longer the only process.

Owen does a great job of pointing out how even their corporate language differs, with Hachette tending to be formal, and Amazon tending to be informal.

I highly recommend that article.

On the other hand, there is this

Huffington Post article by Maddie Crum

It’s about how to “quit Amazon” as a customer, and is written in a humorous fashion.

I don’t put this one on the “other hand” because it is anti-Amazon…while I like Amazon, I haven’t liked some of their tactics in the Hachazon War, and have said so.

There was one particular statement, though, that pulled me up short:

“How does one stop purchasing books, and also many other things, from a company that has been repeatedly accused of price fixing…”

Um…I’m not sure if Crum realized that accusations of price-fixing against Amazon came from publishers…who accused them of fixing the prices too low! Publishers complained about Amazon selling bestsellers (apparently often at a loss) at $9.99, which led to the agreements with Apple to raise those prices that eventually brought in action by the Department of Justice (DoJ).

Amazon has been accused of a lot of things by a lot of people (including pressuring publishers, including academic publishers, to take a smaller cut), but artificially raising prices and locking them in at a higher price hasn’t commonly been one of them.

In an article supposedly explaining why it is…perhaps inappropriate to keep shopping at Amazon as a customer, pointing out that they have low prices may be ineffective. ;)

A bestseller…and more than fifty years old

I’ve been watching the sales ranking of

To Kill a Mockingbird (at AmazonSmile)

It’s been in the top 100 in the USA Kindle store.

That matches my prediction that it could be one of bestselling e-books of the year, although we have a ways to go yet.

I think we may see a considerable jump in its sales when the school year has started (as the book gets assigned), and I think it may also be a popular holiday gift.

Due to the former reason, I think it will have solid sales for quite some time.

E-books have a much longer sales cycle than p-books (paperbooks). The economics are very different. You don’t have to predict how many to print and order and store, so you don’t have to tie your promotional efforts into that time when the paper copies are available.

With p-books, you typically get huge sales in the beginning, and a rapid dwindling.

With e-books, they are around (with no supply challenges) for a long time. It may be that they sell almost nothing at first, and then spike, then taper a bit, then sell at a lower level, then spike again, and so on.

Very different strategies, just based on the medium.

Terry Brooks’ Shannara coming to MTV

No, this is not Game of Thrones. ;)

A popular fantasy series is being adapted for television:

Shannara series (at AmazonSmile)

The feel of the two is very different…this should be a whole lot lighter.

According to this

The Hollywood Reporter article by Lesley Goldberg

and other sources, the series has solid geek cred in the production department: Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville).

This is another case where you might want to read the books first. The series will reportedly be based on The Elfstones of Shannara. Text-to-speech access is blocked in the single edition, but not in

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (at AmazonSmile)

omnibus (three novels in one).

There are more than two dozen books in the series, with more on the way…

What do you think? Do you buy refurbs? Even though I think they are fine, I don’t usually do that. One reason? Since I’m going to write about them, I want them on release day. When do you buy a new model Kindle for yourself? Only when an old one fails? When a new one is released because, you know, that’s cool? When they are on sale? Is Amazon the champion of the “little guy”? Think back to when you were in high school (assuming you no longer are)…what media did you love that was fifty years old at that point? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,299 other followers

%d bloggers like this: