Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Heads up! LTO on LCD writing board at 315 PM Pacific

April 16, 2014

Heads up! LTO on LCD writing board at 315 PM Pacific

Amazon: Upcoming Limited-Time Special Offer on Kindle Fire: LCD Writing Board for $5. Deal starts at 6:15 PM ET/3:15 PM PT.

Check your Kindle Fire. ..

More later…

Update: sorry I had to be really brief on this one! Not only was I on my phone, but I was in a place where I couldn’t speak out loud…so I couldn’t use speech-to-text! That really limited my ability to input the information.

These are special limited time offers, which are only available to Kindle Fire owners.

What happens is you can get a text to alert you to an upcoming deal (details in the links below). You don’t get much warning…maybe an hour (about half an hour in this case).

The deal also appears on the sleep screen of your Fire, and you can find it under Offers on the homescreen (all the way at the end).

Then, you say you want to “learn more”. You’ll get to a screen with a countdown clock. As soon as the clock gets to zero, you need to click to have a chance to get it.

They have typically been selling out in seconds. In this case, I wasn’t in a place where I had a wi-fi connection…although this is one I would have liked to have gotten to have to give as a gift at the holidays.

Here is information on the program:

As I’ve written before, I look at these LTOs (Limited Time Offers) sort of like buying a lottery ticket: I don’t expect to get one (win), but its exciting if I do! Of course, the “ticket” doesn’t cost me anything.

These LTOs are one of the best arguments for having Special Offers…and yes, a good argument for having a  Fire (at AmazonSmile)!

Did you get one? Do you have any other comment on this? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

===

* 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.

Kindle Fires are on sale today

April 15, 2014

Kindle Fires are on sale today

Note: see the update below: Prime members are getting an extra ten percent off the prices listed in the first part of this post!

This is a “limited time” offer, but not one of those that disappears in seconds. No way to know how long it will last, but I guess it will be good for today. Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button.

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That’s my personally most-used device.

It’s $199 for the configuration I have: 16 GB, special offers, wi-fi only.

That’s $30 off the normal $299 price.

It appears to be $30 off any of the possible configurations.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ (at AmazonSmile)

is $40 off, again, that appears to be all the configurations (including 4G).

That brings the cheapest version down to $339.

In addition to the larger screen, you also get a rear-facing camera with that one, in addition to the front-facing camera (for videocalls, mostly) you get on the 7″.

Kindle Fire HD (2nd generation) 7″ (at AmazonSmile)

No cameras, no Mayday…but $20 off the 8GB makes it as low as $119. 16GB? $40 off.

For comparison’s sake, $119 makes it the same price as the

Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ 2nd generation, wi-fi only, with Special Offers (at AmazonSmile)

Update: thanks to reader Glenn Starrett for the heads-up on this one!

I missed this at first, and I think a lot of people did.

For the first time, Prime members are getting an additional discount on Kindles…and it can be combined with the above.

We don’t know if it will last very long, but the extra 10% is an interesting move (and a way to give us more as they raise the prices. Here are the details:

Prime Members Save 10% on Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile)

Bonus tip: I’ve written before about pricing strategies. Pricing something with a price ending in .99 makes it seem like you are getting a bargain, like you are saving money.

Pricing something ending in .00 makes it seem like it is a quality product.  When I managed a gamestore (I also managed a bookstore), we couldn’t have sold a $499 chess set…but we could sell a $500 one. Someone spending that much doesn’t want a “bargain”, they want “the best”.

Oddly, sort of the same thing goes with Kindle books. A stand-out book may be priced at an even $5, instead of $4.99:

$5 books in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile)

Some of the books there:

  • Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  • Lean In by Sheryl Strandberg
  • I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

Those were all buzzy books. That doesn’t mean that books priced at $4.99 aren’t as good, and certainly not that they aren’t as popular. It’s just that if you sort things only by price, you may miss some really good backlist books at what are now bargain prices.

Enjoy!

* 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.

Heads up! Limited Time Special Offer on truffles at 2:00 PM Pacific

April 11, 2014

Heads up! Limited Time Special Offer on truffles at 2:00 PM Pacific

If you have a Kindle Fire check the special offers for a deal that starts at 2:00 PM Pacific on a Lindt Spring Truffle Box for $5 (72% off the $18 normal Amazon price).

Update: this sale will end at 3:00 PM Pacific. They have sometimes run out in seconds, or had a certain number of units available…this one is time-based.

These are special limited time offers, which are only available to Kindle Fire owners.

What happens is you can get a text to alert you to an upcoming deal (details in the links below). You don’t get much warning…maybe an hour (about half an hour in this case).

The deal also appears on the sleep screen of your Fire, and you can find it under Offers on the homescreen (all the way at the end).

Then, you say you want to “learn more”. You’ll get to a screen with a countdown clock. As soon as the clock gets to zero, you need to click to have a chance to get it.

They have typically been selling out in seconds. In this case, I wasn’t in a place where I had a wi-fi connection…although this is one I would have liked to have gotten to have to give as a gift at the holidays.

Here is information on the program:

As I’ve written before, I look at these LTOs (Limited Time Offers) sort of like buying a lottery ticket: I don’t expect to get one (win), but its exciting if I do! Of course, the “ticket” doesn’t cost me anything.

These LTOs are one of the best arguments for having Special Offers…and yes, a good argument for having a  Fire (at AmazonSmile)!

Did you get one? Do you have any other comment on this? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

===

* 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.

Kindle Monthly Deals for $3.99 or less each: April 2014

April 2, 2014

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or less each: April 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 113 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 (1,223,790 of 2,513,735). Still, these are on sale, and that’s worth something. :)

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.

Timebound (The Chronos Files) (at AmazonSmile)
by Rysa Walker
4.4 out of 5 stars, 1981 customer reviews
science fiction, young adult, time travel
$1.99 at time of writing

This is clearly one of Amazon’s successes from their traditional publishing (Skyscape imprint, in this case). The customer reviews are plentiful and a 4.4 is a great score with nearly 2,000 reviews. It was also a winner of an Amazon Breakthrough Novel award.

Interestingly, they also have a good classroom guide for it, with lesson prompts tied to the Common Core Standards. Students also have a chance to win a Kindle Fire! You can see information on that here:

Timebound Classroom Guide pdf

Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (at AmazonSmile)
by Louise Penny
4.3 stars, 798 reviews
mystery, British detectives, police procedurals
$2.99

Pecan Pie and Deadly Lies (An Adams Grove Novel) (at AmazonSmile)
by Nancy Naigle
4.5 stars, 210 reviews
romance, mystery
$1.99

Another Amazon tradpubbed book…this one from their Montlake imprint. Several of the books in this month’s group are from Amazon publishing…those have the advantage of having Amazon’s features generally enabled, including being able to be borrowed from the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library).

The Hangman’s Daughter series (4 individual books) (at AmazonSmile)
by Oliver Pötzsch
None of the books in the series is under 4 stars: collectively, more than 5,000 reviews
$1.99 each
mystery, historical, German

It’s nice to be able to link to a page for a series! This is not a bundle, it’s each of the books. Again, from Amazon…AmazonCrossing, in this case, which brings us literature from outside the USA.

Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies (at AmazonSmile)
by J.B. West, Mary Lynn Kotz
4.6 stars, 50 reviews
history, United States, biographies & memoirs
$1.99

West was the “Chief Usher” at the White House: might be a nice little gift for a celebrity politician watcher. :)

Lost Cat (at AmazonSmile)
by Caroline Paul, illustrated by Wendy McNaughton
4.4 stars, 115 reviews
animal care & pets, cats
$1.99

I’ve recently written some about our two dogs (now nicknamed, as a pair, as “Butterscotch Chaos”…I think it would make a great name for a band, and may make up fake t-shirts for us), and I suspect some readers may think I’m a “dog person”. I’m actually an “animal person” (that includes the species Homo sapiens, of course). I’ve often had cats and dogs together (the big trick: feed the cats first. It’s a big way that dogs establish hierarchy, by who gets fed first. You should eat before you feed them, for example…particularly important when a new person comes into a house), and I’ve had exotics (which I don’t recommend…when your tree shrew gets sick, nobody in the world really knows what to do. If you want a pet that can be treated if it gets ill, get a rat: science knows a huge amount about what affects rats’ health). I mention that because this is marketed as a book for cat lovers, although not just them, of course. We had a cat that did this “walkabout” thing, too (that’s what happens in this non-fiction book…a cat leaves, then returns). This cat didn’t like a dog we got, and basically left. When dogs stray, they may run for miles and not know where they are when they are done. Cats typically stay on the same block…somewhere. We later found “Leo” (Leonardo DiCatrio: our now adult kid named the cat around the time of Titanic) being fed by a neighbor across the street. I eventually got Leo to move back in with us, but it was really always a bond for us with that neighbor. Cats build bridges…but they won’t always use the ones you build for them. ;)

What Doesn’t Kill You (at AmazonSmile)
by Iris Johansen
4.1 stars, 197 reviews
thrillers
$2.99

It looks to me like you could read this one even if you haven’t read the other “Eve Duncan and friends” books…sounds more like a universe than a series.

The Group (at AmazonSmile)
by Mary McCarthy
3.8 stars, 83 reviews
literary fiction
$2.51

This was really a “buzz book” when it became a New York Times bestseller…more than fifty (!) years ago. It is properly one of Open Roads “Iconic EBooks”.

Ball Four (at AmazonSmile)
by Jim Bouton
4.4 stars, 194 reviews
baseball, memoirs
$1.99

One of the great non-fiction baseball books…

This post is getting quite long, so here are more quick listings…it’s nice to have so many interesting choices in the list that I can’t do full listings for all of them if I’m ever going to get this post out to you: ;)

  • Berlin Diary by William Shirer
  • Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman (due to it being a graphic novel, text-to-speech shows as not enable…but that does not mean it was blocked, just that the “text” is part of the image)
  • Their Finest Hour by Winston Churchill
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen
  • King City by Lee Goldberg
  • The Other Queen by Phillippa Gregory
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth-Grahame Smith
  • Butter by Erin Jade Lange

I have to commend Amazon on a lot of terrific choices this month!

Enjoy!

* 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: Agatha Christie

March 30, 2014

KDD: Agatha Christie

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deal‘s (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is any of five Agatha Christie books for $1.99 each.

The books are:

  • Death on the Nile (I would consider this one of the best known books…it’s a Hercule Poirot, and was adapted with Peter Ustinov): 4.5 out of 5 stars, 133 customer reviews
  • The Body in the Library (Miss Marple): 4.3 stars, 181 reviews
  • Cards on the Table (another Poirot): 4.4 stars, 80 reviews
  • The Man in the Brown Suit: 4.3 stars, 82 reviews
  • 4:50 from Paddington (Miss Marple) 4.4 stars, 188 reviews

Enjoy!

===

Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. Last weekend to recommend one of the current nominees to get the 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.

Kindle Big Deal: more than 500 books, up to 85% off

March 29, 2014

Kindle Big Deal: more than 500 books, up to 85% off

This deal just goes through Sunday (tomorrow, March 30th). As always, check the price before you click that Buy button…these prices may not be valid in your country, and books go on and off the sale.

I’m going to highlight some of the books that caught my eye, but here’s the complete list:

The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End (at AmazonSmile)
by Jennifer Worth
4.7 out of 5 stars, 295 customer reviews
women’s studies, biographies & memoirs
$1.99 at time of writing

This is the book in the popular trilogy which is the basis for the TV series.

Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority (at AmazonSmile)
by Tom Burrell
4.7 stars, 120 reviews
political and social studies, race relations
$2.99

Sounds like an interesting book to get people to reconsider their paradigms…the author is described as an “advertising visionary”.

Magnificent Devices 4-Book Bundle (at AmazonSmile)
by Shelley Adina
4.7 stars, 89 reviews
steampunk
$1.99 at time of writing

Yep…four novels in a well-reviewed steampunk series for $1.99! This might be a good indie to buy, so you don’t give your refund money (from the recent settlement) back to one of the publishers who overcharged you!

Manning: A Father, His Sons and a Football Legacy (at AmazonSmile)
by Archie & Patton Manning, with John Underwood
4.7 stars, 83 reviews
football
$2.99 at time of writing

Believe it or not, there are people who love football more than books. ;) However, a lot of football fans also read..and this might make a good gift. Remember that you can delay the delivery of a Kindle book gift until an appropriate occasion.

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy (at AmazonSmile)
by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel
4.6 stars, 219 reviews
business and management
$1.99

This sounds like it might be an important book, and I just bought it. It takes a look at how tech in the future might affect business…and that, of course, affects everyone.

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (at AmazonSmile)
by Loung Ung
4.5 stars, 279 reviews
history, biographies and memoirs
$2.99

Among the Shrouded (at AmazonSmile)
by Amalie Jahn
4.7 stars, 47 reviews
mystery, paranormal

Sounds like an interesting premise, and the reviews are good.

A Dog Named Boo: The Underdog with a Heart of Gold (at AmazonSmile)
by Lisa J. Edwards
4.6 stars, 103 reviews
pets & animal care, essays
$1.99

From Harlequin Nonfiction…not one of the settling publishers, by the way.

Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey (at AmazonSmile)
by Betty DeGeneres
4.6 stars, 67 reviews
family relationships, parent & adult child
$1.99 at time of writing

Betty is Ellen’s parent…and we don’t make journeys alone. Might be a good gift for a fan of the show.

Prime Suspect (at AmazonSmile)
by Laura La Plante
4.4 stars, 25 reviews
mystery, British detectives
$1.99

The inspiration for the TV series…

SuperSense (at AmazonSmile)
by Bruce M. Hood
4.2 stars, 32 reviews
psychology and counseling, parapsychology
$3.79

This book purports to show the science behind why people believe in the “unbelievable”…I’d be interested in the author’s take on it.

Believe me…that’s just the tip of the bookberg! ;)  If others stand out to you (from Spider-Man to history and more), feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Enjoy!

===

Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. (Last weekend before recommendations close!)

===

* 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.

Heads up! Limited time deal on video game at 1 o’clock Pacific

March 27, 2014

Heads up! Limited time deal on videogame at 1 o’clock Pacific

I am on my phone so I need to be brief. If you have a Kindle Fire check the special offers for a deal that starts at 1 o’clock p.m. Pacific on a soccer videogame.

Update:

This one was the XBOX 360 version (I think) of the FIFA 14 videogame…currently sold by Amazon for $39.96 (but list priced at $59.99), it was $14…about 77% off (if I have the right figures).

These are special limited time offers, which are only available to Kindle Fire owners.

What happens is you can get a text to alert you to an upcoming deal (details in the links below). You don’t get much warning…maybe an hour (about half an hour in this case).

The deal also appears on the sleep screen of your Fire, and you can find it under Offers on the homescreen (all the way at the end).

Then, you say you want to “learn more”. You’ll get to a screen with a countdown clock. As soon as the clock gets to zero, you need to click to have a chance to get it.

They have typically been selling out in seconds. In this case, I wasn’t in a place where I had a wi-fi connection…although this is one I would have liked to have gotten to have to give as a gift at the holidays.

Here is information on the program:

As I’ve written before, I look at these LTOs (Limited Time Offers) sort of like buying a lottery ticket: I don’t expect to get one (win), but its exciting if I do! Of course, the “ticket” doesn’t cost me anything.

These LTOs are one of the best arguments for having Special Offers…and yes, a good argument for having a  Fire (at AmazonSmile)!

Did you get one? Do you have any other comment on this? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

===

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.

Free App of the Day: OfficeSuite Professional 7

March 25, 2014

Free App of the Day: OfficeSuite Professional 7

I’m hoping some of you still see this…this is the Free App of the Day for today, March 24th. I believe it will still be available until midnight Pacific time.

This is one that I use myself, quite often:

OfficeSuite Professional 7 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It’s normally $14.99, and today’s it’s free…quite a savings!

What is it?

It’s what I use on my

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

to read (and make small changes to) Microsoft Office files.

It’s compatible with at least some other models of the Fire as well.

My biggest uses?

One is to show people PowerPoints. I’m often doing “over the shoulder” help, and this is the simplest way to show them.

I’ve also edited Excel files on it…just filling in cells. It can do a fair amount of things, but it’s not the full Excel.

The specs include:

“The program supports Microsoft Office 97 to 2010 text documents – DOC and DOCX (open , edit, and save), Microsoft Office 97 to 2010 spreadsheets – XLS and XLSX (open , edit, and save), opening PPT, PPTX, PPS, and PPSX presentations, PDF files viewing, and integration with Google Docs.”

I’ve tried some other Office programs, but this is the one I like the best.

Do check that it is free for you before you click that Buy button…it might not be free in your country, and you may (unfortunately) get to this after it is available for free.

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.

KDD: Series starter sale

March 22, 2014

KDD: Series starter sale

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deal‘s (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is any of twenty first books in a series for $1.99 each.

Series include (ratings shown on for the book being offered, not the entire series):

  • Lost Love by Karen Kingsbury (4.4 stars, 87 customer reviews)
  • Moonlighters by Terri Blackstock (4.7 stars, 277 reviews)
  • The End by Tim LaHaye (Left Behind) and Craig Parshall (3.9 stars, 166 reviews)
  • Hope Beach by Colleen Coble (4.4 stars, 397 reviews)
  • Mia Quinn mysteries by Lis Wiehl (4.4 stars, 212 reviews)
  • Shipshewana Amish by Vannetta Chapman (4.7 stars, 130 reviews)

These series have some things in common: all the ones I checked were from faith-based imprints (Thomas Nelson, Zondervan) of HarperCollins.

This deal brings up some interesting things in my mind.

First, I want to mention that we’ve had discussion here before about whether or not I should identify something as faith-based. For some people, that’s clearly a plus. For others, it’s clearly a negative.

You don’t have to be of the specific religion featured to prefer faith-based fiction. Some people like them simply because they tend to be less graphic, both in terms of violence and sexuality (although the former isn’t always true). They may also be less likely to use profanity, although it can be a bit nuanced: there are some faith-based thrillers that can be pretty shocking.

Other people want to know because they want to avoid them. Some folks feel like they are proselytizing in disguise (although it isn’t much a disguise…generally, it would be like my wearing a “Hello, My Name is Bufo” name tag on top of a Halloween costume). ;) Others think that they may not be as well-written, both because of the constraints placed by writing for a specific audience, and because writing for an audience like that means you are a fish in a smaller pond, where the competition isn’t as fierce.

The same charges, of course, could be leveled at a number of genres: romance; science fiction; mystery; and so on. When something is categorized by the publisher as a “Christian mystery”, does that double the possible effects?

The second thing that came to me is series starters generally.

It used to be that publishing a first novel in a series was a considerable risk, as was publishing any novel (back in the paperbook days). While the cost differential between producing a p-book and an e-book may not be that high for a tradpub (traditional publisher), there was certainly a question of limited shelf space in the stores.

That limited space (and I’m a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager) meant that book had to justify itself with continuing sales, and had to do it quickly. Why? We were paying rent on the space under that book: every day it sat there meant less money we would make on the eventual sale of it.

Shelf space is not an issue with e-books.

E-books also have a much shorter production cycle than p-books. There are authors who crank out an e-book every couple of months (some a lot faster), when in the p-book world, publishers tend to limit you to one a year (that happened to Stephen King, which is why he published under a pseudonym that even the publisher didn’t know, as I understand the Richard Bachman story).

So, if

Dune (at AmazonSmile)

hadn’t been popular, we wouldn’t have gotten the sequels.

Now, though, a publisher might have ten books ready to go when the first one is released.

Some even release them all at once, allowing for “binge reading” (and beating out Netflix to the model).

If you want to make a sale to a tradpub for a young adult book, for example, you may do a lot better if you already have a trilogy you can deliver.

The old larger economic risk model also explains to some extent why a first book may be quite different from the rest of the series, and why the first one may vary from the later ones on whether or not is available in e-book form.

The author, unless already a brand name, doesn’t have much negotiating power with the first book.

If that book becomes a success, the author can then negotiate with more people, get an experienced editor (which can be a big plus)…you know, get more resources provided for a “proven property”.

People find it odd, but the first book in L. Frank Baum’s Oz series (the original Wizard of Oz books) is probably my least favorite.

It’s a lot harsher (there are a whole lot of deaths ((or at least bodily destructions)) in the book…more than 100).

In later books, it is impossible to kill someone in Oz (definitely impossible to kill someone who belongs to Oz…there are sometimes debates about whether or not visitors also get that immunity). The books become more fun, sillier…and for me, a lot more enjoyable. They are also more consistent.

If the first book hadn’t been a smash, though, there probably never would have been a second (and on up to a fourteenth).

What do you think? Is there a series where you like the first book the least? Has e-publishing changed the dynamics on series? Are you more willing to get a novel if you know it is part of a series? Would you ever start a series not at the first book (I do not like to do that, unless they are clearly stand-alones)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

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* 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.

GBD: 8.9″ KFHD refurb for $129, 7″ prev gen KFHD refurb for $89

March 19, 2014

GBD: 8.9″ KFHD refurb for $129, 7″ prev gen KFHD refurb for $89

Don’t wait!

While I’m writing this, I’m seeing the percentage claimed go up on the lightning deal on the 7″. You must get this from this page:

Gold Box Deals (at AmazonSmile)

In fact, I’m going to get this out quickly to lessen the chances you miss it.

These are refurbs (same warranty as new), and $89 for a tablet is great! This is the previous generation on the 7″…which has the HDMI out that a lot of people like.

It does not have Mayday, or the ability to download Prime videos, among some other things, but it’s a good tablet.

I’d appreciate hearing about it if you get one…or if the lightning deal had run out (so I can see about when that was).

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.


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