50 Kindle books for $2 each

July 14, 2014

50 Kindle books for $2 each

It’s possible to become jaded to sales in the Kindle store…there are so many of them, and the prices are often quite low even when books aren’t on sale.

Right now, there are more than half a million books in the USA Kindle store that are two dollars or less, for example.

This sale:

50 Kindle books for $2 each (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

though, has some interesting elements to it.

First, they all look to me to be traditionally published by Amazon.

When I say “traditionally published”, I mean that Amazon chose the book…the publisher didn’t just put the book in the store without it being editorially evaluated, which is what happens when books go through Kindle Direct Publishing.

In my experience with Amazon’s traditionally published books, they’ve felt professionally done: not a lot of typos, for example.

Tradpubbed by Amazon also means that they will generally have the extra features: they’ll be available in the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library); they’ll have text-t0-speech available; they’ll be lending enabled; and they may have X-Ray and Whispersync for Voice.

So, this sale is a good opportunity to get professionally produced books with the extras for a low price.

Second…I’ve read some of them. :)

I do read some pretty obscure books, but it’s possible that you will also have heard of some of these.

Here are a few of them which caught my eye:

How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain (at AmazonSmile)
by Gregory Berns
4.2 stars out of 5, 323 customer reviews
non-fiction, neuroscience

I read this one and enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s not a technical book…there is quite a bit about how they were able to get the experiment approved and get conscious dogs to stay still in an MRI (it can be hard to get people to do that).

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End (at AmazonSmile)
by Manuel Loureiro
4.2 stars, 2182 reviews
fiction-horror

I read this one, too: my mini-review is in this post:

Round up #185: royal librarian, B&N CEO steps down

I said, in part:

“Overall, I found it an engaging, fast read. It will be too violent for some, but it isn’t just gore for gore’s sake. It’s much more about how the character reacts than it is about that. I always like to let people know about the use of the “F word”, and that’s here, but not really out of place. I have a lot more trouble with books that just indicate everybody is horrible, and that isn’t the case here. I like that.”

Two other books in the series are also available as part of the sale: Dark Days; and The Wrath of the Just

That means that for $6, you could get yourself (or somebody else…you can delay a Kindle gift being delivered until an appropriate gift giving occasion) three novels in a series, all rated four stars or above.

The Boy from Reactor 4 (The Nadia Tesla Series, Book One) (at AmazonSmile)
by Orest Stelmach
4.0 stars, 750 reviews
mysteries, thrillers, and suspense – espionage

The Boy Who Stole from the Dead, the second book of the series, is also available as part of this sale for $2.

The Palace Job (at AmazonSmile)
by Patricia Weekes
4.0 stars, 169 reviews
mystery, thrillers, and suspense – science fiction & fantasy

A heist caper…with elves!

Midnight Train to Paris (at AmazonSmile)
by Julliette Sobanet
3.9 stars, 233 reviews
romance – time travel (yes, that’s a category)

Starship Grifters (A Rex Nihilo Adventure) (at AmazonSmile)
by Robert Kroese
4.5 stars, 60 reviews
science fiction – space opera

I’m tempted by this one! I do like humorous science fiction, such as Bill, the Galactic Hero. :) The reviews make it sound like it might be fun.

Blood Makes Noise (at AmazonSmile)
by Gregory Widen
4.0 stars, 232 reviews
historical fiction – mystery, thriller, and suspense

I wouldn’t say the title or cover engaged me, but the author and premise both do. Gregory Widen is a screenwriter, known in my kind of geek circles for Highlander (“In the end, there can be only one.”). The story is based on true events surrounding the body of Eva Peron…and the CIA’s involvement with it.

The Hiccupotamus (at AmazonSmile)
by Aaron Zenz
4.3 stars, 323 reviews
children’s, mammals

An illustrated children’s book…with text-to-speech enabled…and well-reviewed…for $2!

The Basement (at AmazonSmile)
by Stephen Leather
3.7 stars, 210 reviews
mystery, thriller, and suspense – hard boiled – serial killers

I’ve read another book by Stephen Leather. I wasn’t crazy about it, but it was worth reading.

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.

Better than the book? Planet of the Apes

July 12, 2014

Better than the book? Planet of the Apes

I’m about to head out with my Significant Other to see

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

the second movie in the second reboot of the movie series (there have also been a live action TV series and an animated series).

Am I a Planet of the Apes (PotA) fan?

Does watching all five movies of the first series in a row in a movie theatre count? ;) Let me take that one step further…I did that…in an ape suit (with a Don Post mask).

I started writing a script (completely unsolicited) for the live action series, although it was canceled before I was finished. My script focused on a stereotype-busting intellectual gorilla…

However, it all started with a French novel:

Planet of the Apes (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The novel was published in 1963, and was followed five years later by the Roddy McDowell/Charlton Heston version which was most Americans first encounter with it (at least back then):

Planet Of The Apes (at AmazonSmile)

That version, by the way, is available at no additional cost as Prime streaming…along with its four direct sequels! Good way to have a good binge watch. ;)

Generally, people tend to think that a book is better than the adaptation of it, and that’s often the case. Part of it just has to do with the nature of the two media: you can put a lot more into a book than you can into a movie, and the special effects are largely unlimited. ;)

This is the rare one, though, where I would submit that the movie (the 1968 version) is better.

It’s not just a question of the translation (I thought the translation I read was quite good).

There are a lot of similarities between the movie and the book…it’s clearly based on it, even with some of the same characters (down to their names).

As regular readers know, I’m very careful about spoilers…and spoiling the 1968 PotA movies is one of the great offenses in that area, in my opinion (along with Psycho, The Sixth Sense…I would argue, even the 1939 Wizard of Oz).

I was not happy recently when a journalist did just that: spoiled PotA, and unnecessarily, in my opinion. They could have left five words out of their piece, and been fine.

The key thing here is that the book and the movie are…different in their ideas (and in their tones). The book is far more philosophical: it’s not intended to read as reality.

The movie is gritty. We are supposed to think it could be happening (given the willing suspension of disbelief about the premise)…that it could be real.

I’ll recommend the book to you: I do think it is worth reading, and it’s only $5.43 at time of writing.

However, I’m also going to recommend the 1968 movie to you…and I feel more confident that most people will enjoy the latter.

One reason for that may be that Rod Serling, of the original Twilight Zone series, co-wrote the script.

As to the other movies in the first series? Well, there’s a whole through story that’s quite interesting, and there are some notable scenes in all of them (one, in particular, has something to say about celebrity culture). Roddy McDowell is brilliant in all of them. :)

I think, though, they do belong squarely in the geek zone (which is where I live)…non-geeks are just not going to enjoy them as much. ;)

What do you think? Are you a PotA fan? What was your first exposure to it? Was it the Tim Burton version? Are there other movies which you think were better than their source material? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post…but no spoilers, please. :)

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.

Heads up! 1TB Portable Hard Drive for $25: 5:00 PM Pacific!

July 11, 2014

Heads up! 1TB Portable Hard Drive for $25: 5:00 PM Pacific!

These are going to sell out quickly at $25!

It’s a one terabyte portable hard drive for $25…74% off the $94.99 normal price.

They are only doing 10,000 of these.

Buy this for yourself, or for a gift…

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.

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.

One more thing: I’ve had a couple of readers say that they never even saw the offer. As far as I know, these go out to every eligible Kindle Fire in the USA. A few possibilities occur to me:

  • They either bought a Kindle Fire without Special Offers, or bought out of the offers later. You have to be subscribed to those in order to get these deals
  • They weren’t connected to wireless in time for it to update
  • They didn’t check the Offers tab (I don’t always see it on the sleep screen)

It might not have been any of those, but those three would have done it.

===

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.

The reading experience: Paperwhite vs. Kindle Fire HDX

July 10, 2014

The reading experience: Paperwhite vs. Kindle Fire HDX

I very often see people in the Kindle forums asking what they should get: a

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

or a

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile)

I have to admit: I always find that a somewhat odd question.

It suggests that there is either one correct answer, or that complete strangers on an online forum know you well enough to know what’s better in your situation. :)

People are often helpful on the forum. One of the first comments you’ll typically see is, “If you want it mostly for reading,  you should get the Paperwhite.”

Is that true, though?

Like a lot of people, I have both an HDX and a Paperwhite. I actively use them both…and yes, I actively read on them both.

My Fire is what goes with me when I leave the house…I need its other capabilities (like viewing and doing light editing of Excel files), and an important one I’ll mention a bit later in the article.

I read my Paperwhite in bed before going to sleep.

I don’t think it’s a matter of a simple black and white answer (and I’m not talking about the grayscale of the Paperwhite). ;) The Paperwhite is better for me for some reading tasks, the Fire is better for others.

In this post, I’m going to compare the two.

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: the screen technology.

The Kindle Fire has a “backlit” screen. You read what is on it by a light coming from behind the image: the text is between you and the light source.

That’s how a lot of technology works: laptops, desktops, TVs, SmartPhones (at least, all the popular ones at this point).

You read what is on a Paperwhite by light bouncing off the screen from the front: the same way you read a p-book (paperbook).

Before the Paperwhite, you needed an external light source to read a non-Fire Kindle.

The Paperwhite has a built-in light…and that light is in front of the screen, not behind it: it’s “frontlit”. It’s on the same side of the screen that you are (like a booklight would be that you clip on to a book).

Some people don’t like reading backlit screens for long periods…they say it tires their eyes (or gives them headaches…I’ve heard both). That’s understandable: if you stared at a flashlight or a lit lamp for a while, that would tire you, too.

I don’t think the Fire is as harsh as a lot of devices: you can change the brightness, and have different text backgrounds…so I don’t find that it bothers me.

Backlighting takes up a lot more battery charge life than the Paperwhite’s frontlighting. A backlit screen requires a constant application of energy to maintain the image. With the technology in the Paperwhite, it “draws the page”…and doesn’t need more energy to maintain the image. The Paperwhite is like an Etch-a-Sketch in that way. It takes energy to draw a house on an Etch-a-Sketch, but if you don’t shake it, the image will stay there with no more effort.

A backlit device is like a garden hose: the Paperwhite is like a puddle.

It’s a huge difference. I charge my Fire every day. I charge my Paperwhite every couple of weeks (reading on it every day…although not for more than a half an hour or so).

The last thing on this screen technology is reading in bright light. A backlit device (the Fire) has to compete with light hitting the screen from the front…and it’s not going to win against the sun. :) More light makes a Paperwhite easier to read, and because it has that frontlit screen, it’s also easy to read in a dark room. The Paperwhite is the most comfortable reading experience I’ve had…including paper.

I’m always able to read on my Fire outside, but it’s not as easy. Crank the brightness up all the way, and keep the device between you and the sun. If it feels like you are shading your eyes with your Fire, you are in a good position. For example, you might be leaning back, holding the Fire above chin level, with the bottom of it farther away from you than the top. Of course, don’t set it up where you might slip and end up looking directly into the sun!

Okay, let’s say you’ve got the lighting where it works for you. What about options when you read?

Fonts

  • Kindle Fire HDX: 7
  • Paperwhite (I’m using the latest edition): 6

Font Sizes

  • Kindle Fire HDX: 11
  • Paperwhite: 9

Font/Background Combination Options

  • Kindle Fire HDX: 4 (including white on black)
  • Paperwhite: 1

Margins

  • Kindle Fire HDX: 3
  • Paperwhite: 3

Line Spacing

  • Kindle Fire HDX: 3
  • Paperwhite: 3

The Fire wins on three of these, and it’s a tie on the two others.

Text-to-speech

  • Kindle Fire HDX: yes
  • Paperwhite: no

The Paperwhite doesn’t have any audio capabilities. My guess is that they did that to make it cost less, and to reduce battery drain. This is the thing I said I was going to mention later. :) I use TTS (software which reads the book aloud to you) pretty much every workday for an hour or more a day in the car. I love this! I like to say that driving is no longer wasted “non-reading time”. ;)  The TTS on the KFHDX is much superior to what we had on the Kindle 2 (it sounds more natural, makes fewer errors, and there are more choices), and it’s better than what we had on later non-Fire Kindles with TTS.

The Fire wins this one…hands down.

Oh, and that also means no immersion reading for the Paperwhite (where you can hear a voice and see the words at the same time), which the Fire has.

X-Ray (gives you information about the book)

  • Kindle Fire HDX: yes
  • Paperwhite: yes

It’s a tie.

Annotations: Notes, Highlights, Bookmarks

  • Kindle Fire HDX: yes
  • Paperwhite: yes

I like the experience of Notes better on the Fire. It’s one tap to get to the Notes icon, and it’s two on the Paperwhite. You have multiple color highlights on the Fire. The interface with the notes and highlights seems easier on the Fire: long press (hold your finger or stylus on it for about a second) and you can view, edit, or delete. On the Fire, Bookmarks are labeled as Bookmarks…not on the Paperwhite.

I’m going to give this to the Fire.

Look-up

  • Kindle Fire HDX: X-Ray (including a Shelfari link), Dictionary, Wikipedia, Translation, in the book, and on the web
  • Paperwhite: Dictionary, X-Ray, Wikipedia, This Book, All Text, Kindle Store

The Fire seems to do this faster, and has more information (Shelfari has some great stuff), but I do like being able to search the Kindle Store on the Paperwhite. Still, I’d give this to the Fire.

Color, embedded or linked video or audio

  • Kindle Fire HDX: yes
  • Paperwhite: no

You might not use this much. Still, it’s nice if you are reading about Martin Luther King and can actually jump to the dream speech. This one goes to the Fire, although again, you might not care about it.

Sharing

  • Kindle Fire HDX: Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook
  • Paperwhite: Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook

It’s a tie.

Report a Content Error

  • Kindle Fire HDX: no (if you know of a way, please let me know!)
  • Paperwhite: yes

This one goes to the Paperwhite.

Overall? I’m actually surprised that the Fire wins in so many categories. That doesn’t mean that I don’t recommend the Paperwhite: the more comfortable reading experience and the long battery charge life are strong pluses. Also, a lot of people like the lack of distractions (although the Fire does have a “Quiet Time” setting.

What do you think? I’m sure some of you want to leap to the defense of the Paperwhite, and I understand that. :) Have I missed any advantages? I suppose I should have said that the Paperwhite is smaller, although the weight isn’t all that different…the KFHDX wi-fi only is 10.7 oz (303 grams), and the Paperwhite wi-fi only is 7.3 ounces (206 grams). I’ve heard that ten US pennies weight about an ounce, if that helps. ;) The Paperwhite is cheaper ($119 vs $199 in their cheapest configurations at time of writing), but I don’t know if I’d consider that part of the reading experience. ;) Are there other advantages you see with one or the other? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post. You can also let me know if you have other comparison questions about them that way.

Update: thanks to reader burmmom for a comment which improved 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.

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.

 

Amazon offers Hachette authors 100% royalty

July 10, 2014

Amazon offers Hachette authors 100% royalty

I’ve previously said this:

“Hachette (a publisher) and Amazon (a retailer) are in the midst of a turbulent negotiation. It’s like Godzilla battling Mothra…and unfortunately, in that scenario,we readers are Tokyo.”

Well, there is another group that might be considered collateral damage…authors.

Those aren’t the only ones affected, but let’s focus on that for a minute.

Essentially, fewer Hachette books are probably being sold right now, because they are not as available through Amazon.

Authors traditionally get paid a percentage (called a “royalty”) when a book sells.

It could be a percentage of the purchase price, or a percentage of the list price of the book.

How much of a percentage?

That varies.

In p-books (paperbooks), a brand name author (Stephen King, Anne Rice) might get 25%, more authors might get 10 to 12%, and it can go down from there.

For e-books, the royalty tends to be higher. Independent authors who go through Amazon get 35% or 70%…the latter if they follow certain guidelines, including the price of the book and participating in Amazon’s special features (like text-to-speech).

In my last post on this:

Hachazon War: the Battle of Petition Hill

I wrote about some authors condemning Amazon, and some supporting them.

Well, according to this

New York Times article by David Streitfeld

Amazon is offering authors a higher royalty while this dispute continues.

Are they going to give these traditionally published authors the same royalty as the indies…35%?

Nope, higher.

70%?

Nope, higher.

Try 100%.

O N E  H U N D R E D !

That’s right…Amazon is offering to give the authors every single penny the retailer gets when it sells one of their e-books (published by Hachette).

What’s that dull thumping sound I hear?

Oh, it’s Amazon investors…fainting. ;)

There are costs of sale for Amazon, so they would clearly be losing money on each of those e-books. They have to pay something for maintaining the infrastructure, the administrative cost of collecting sales tax (where they do that), other accounting, providing Customer Service, and so on.

This is getting heated, and public.

This

Mashable post by Jason Abbruzzese

has Hachette’s response to the offer (it’s not favorable).

Amazon’s response to that?

I quote in part:

“We call baloney.”

The company that sells

close to a thousand thesauruses (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

went with a schoolyard epithet. ;)

What do authors think about the offer?

In that same article,

Douglas Preston (at AmazonSmile)

is quoted as saying,

“To take that money would really violate my moral and ethical principle.”

Preston mentions wanting to pay back advances before the author would take any of the millions of dollars this might mean.

Let me explain that part.

One of the big arguments for tradpubs (traditional publishers) is that they pay authors advances.

What that means is that, if they are reasonably sure your book will sell (because you have a solid track record, or are perhaps a celebrity, or they like your topic), they will pay you the royalties first…often before the book is even done being written.

That’s an “advance” on the royalties.

That’s often what enables an author to complete a book.

Let’s say you are a brand name author…you are likely to earn millions in royalties from next book (and the publisher is going to make many times that).

They could give you $100,000 for you to live on for a year to write the book…but you would have to pay them back out of the first sales of the book.

My understanding is that authors are almost never asked to give back an advance even if a book doesn’t sell…but that has happened.

When you publish a book yourself, you don’t get an advance from a publisher.

One new technique is crowdfunding, though.

People pay indie authors in advance for a book…they buy it before it is published.

In exchange, they often get something extra: e-mails from the author, or maybe a special additional short story. There might be a “meet the author” party.

Those early buyers may even pay considerably more than the general public eventually will.

That’s one of the threats to tradpubs.

One thing about which I’m not quite clear.

It sounds like Amazon is proposing that Hachette also give up their part of the book sale in some of the articles I’ve seen…in others, it makes it sound like it is Amazon unilaterally giving up their part.

Obviously, that makes a difference. :)

If the book is list priced at $10, we’ll say that Hachette would get $7 of it.

Amazon sells it for $8.

Amazon sends that $8 to the author (under the new proposal).

Do they also send $7 to Hachette?

If they don’t, clearly, Hachette would have to agree…and this letter would put the ball in Hachette’s court.

If they do send the money to Hachette, Amazon directly loses $15 instead of making $1.

Yep…an expensive proposal.

I think there is a lot at stake here.

This could change the landscape.

It might drive authors to do much more independent publishing.

It could cost Amazon a lot of goodwill with the public (although not, apparently, with my readers, based on a poll I did not too long ago).

It could cost Hachette marketshare.

However, on that last point, it’s worth noting that Amazon is going to have to negotiate with the others of the Big 5 publishers. Right now, I’m guessing they may be trying to wait to see what happens with this one. Contracts expire at some point, regardless, so it’s going to happen.

I do find this all quite interesting…but I am looking forward to writing about something else tomorrow! :)

What do you think? How will this change the literary landscape…or is it just a bump in the road? 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! :) 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.

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.

“Back to School” Kindle Fire sale…in July?

July 9, 2014

“Back to School” Kindle Fire sale…in July?

I don’t even think that if they mean summer school that makes sense. ;)

Still, it’s a good sale, even if I don’t understand the way Amazon labeled the sale. They actually have that label in more than one place…maybe people are shopping now for the fall year? Maybe it’s for modular schedules? Oh, well…

Back to School store (at AmazonSmile)

You can get $50 off some Kindle tablets (and $30 off some) and 20% off some accessories:

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

From that page, you can choose the configuration you want:

  • 8 GB, with or without Special Offers, $20 off (as low as $119)
  • 16 GB, with or without Special Offers, $40 off (as low as $129)

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile)

  • 16 or 32 GB, with or without Special Offers, with or without 4G, $30 off (as low as $199)
  • 64 GB, with or without Special Offers, with or without 4G, $50 off (as low as $259)

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ (at AmazonSmile)

  • Any configuration $40 off (as low as $339)

What do I have? The Kindle Fire HDX 7″ with 16GB and Special Offers without 4G, but different people will have different use cases.

I don’t put a lot of movies and such on my device at a time, so the memory has never been an issue for me.

I tried using 4G for a year…it wasn’t worth it for me (you have to pay for a data plan for that). There’s just too much wi-fi in my area to make it a big issue.

I like having the Special Offers…and that’s especially true on the Fire. They do these Limited Time Offers (often, they sell out in seconds…and you get maybe an hour’s warning that it’s going to start)…we’ve literally saved hundreds of dollars that way.

I prefer the HDX over the HD for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Mayday, the live onscreen help option.

I’ve had a Kindle Fire with a bigger screen…I didn’t find that the extra weight and awkwardness of carrying it was worth it for me. I do have the

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

so it’s easy to throw it on a big screen if I want to do that.

Weirdly, I can’t easily find which accessories are 20% off. There would normally be a link or a section promoted on the main accessories page.

This is advertised as a limited time sale, and may not apply in your country. As always, check before you click or tap that Buy button.

To Kill a Mockingbird (at AmazonSmile) is now for sale legally as an e-book…and at time of writing, it’s only $3.95!

Definitely think about this one as a gift (the price will likely go back up…this is probably a result of price competition at launch)…you can delay the delivery to a date you choose. It’s also a good one for your guest Kindle.

Right now, it’s number 113 paid in the Kindle store. I’ve said I think it may be one of the bestselling e-books of the year, and I’m sticking with that. I think it will have legs (keep selling for a long time), and again, should see an upsurge at gift-giving times.

There was a time when a lot of people were surprised by how expensive older books could be for the Kindle, but I’d say there are some bargains out there now.

I ran a search for literature classics prices from $0.99 to $3.99, and tried to filter out public domain titles:

Under $4 classics (at AmazonSmile)

I did this using

eReaderIQ

which I consider the most valuable resource on the web for Kindleers (I am not associated with that site except as a user, although we have had some correspondence).

Some titles standing out to me in the search:

  • Marathon Man by William Goldman for $2.51 (I wouldn’t consider this a classic, but the publishers get to define the categories for marketing reasons)
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck for $3.50
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston for $1.99
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck for $2.50
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath for $2.99
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner for $2.50
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (that was one of the most wanted on Kindle for a while) for $2.99

If you’d pay that much for a new book and you haven’t read one of these (or you want to re-read it…or give it a gift), why not pay for one that has stood the test of time?

I can tell that, at least in this case, excluding public domain didn’t work very well. :) Many of the books in the search results are in the public domain (not under copyright protection). You can often find those free: but it can be nice to have, say, 10 books in a series in a single volume. That kind of thing is showing up a lot.

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! :) 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.

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.

Keepers

July 8, 2014

Keepers

Yesterday, I mentioned the book

 Alas, Babylon (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Hopefully, some of you bought it then…you could have saved $7 over today’s price. :)

One of my regular readers and commenters, Lady Galaxy, mentioned that a former student still had the copy they had used in Lady Galaxy’s classroom…close to forty years ago.

That got me thinking…

I have some p-books (paperbooks) where I have held on to the specific copies for years.

Of course, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve held on to all of my p-books (unless I bought them to give them away), but still…these are different. :)

For example, I have one copy of Tarzan of the Apes which I’ve had for longer than Lady Galaxy’s student has had Alas, Babylon.

I have lots of other copies, but this one is special to me (even though it is falling apart).

Clearly, it’s intended to be a copy for kids…and I got it when it was age appropriate for me.

It does have something special in it.

It has an English-Mangani dictionary.

The Mangani are the “apes” that raised Tarzan. I put “apes” in quotation marks, because, if you read the books, they clearly aren’t any of the ape species that we know…and are most likely to be a different species of human (than Homo sapiens…that’s us).

There were rumors of “hairy bipeds” in Africa (as there are in the USA with Bigfoot or Indonesia with the Orang Pendek), and I’d be surprised if Burroughs didn’t intend them to be genus Homo rather than being pongids.

For one thing, they have a language.

Fortunately for us, as far as I can tell, the syntax is pretty much like English. ;)

There are quite a few words in the books…enough so that I’ve been able to translate things into Mangani.

I’ve also in the past made up new compound words. For example, I used “unk-dan-sopu” for a car. “Unk” is Mangani for “go”, and “dan-sopu” is a nut (from “dan” for “rock” and “sopu” for “fruit”). A car reminds me of a nut with a shell (and many cars do have a nut in them…at least, based on the way they are driven). ;) and it goes, so…

So, even though you can find interesting Mangani-English dictionaries on line:

English-Mangani/Mangani-English Dictionary by Peter Coogan

from

Philip Jose Farmer’s Wold Newton site

I still want to hang on to that particular copy.

Yes, despite having several other editions of Tarzan of the Apes.

Part of me feels like that is wrong. That book might have the same impact on a child today that it had on me…am I denying the book to someone else because of my sentimentality?

However, there are two mitigating factors for me.

One is that the book is not in good shape…it would likely fall apart if read enthusiastically while hanging upside down from a tree limb…or while skateboarding through a concrete jungle. ;)

The other is that Tarzan is readily available free as an e-book…legally.

So, I feel like my copy wouldn’t be worth that much to a child, and that the book is widely accessible. You can get e-books free online and through public libraries.

I did give away a Kindle earlier this year

Give a Kid a Kindle

and I may do that again (maybe in the last quarter of the year). There didn’t seem to be much interest in it, though…I didn’t do it just to engage an audience, it felt good to do. However, if the opportunity to get the Kindle isn’t reaching very many kids, it reduces the chances that a kid who could change the world because of having had that vast free library gets it.

I don’t have a lot of copies like that…in most cases, if I could replace the books with e-books, I would. I might even (breathe! breathe! Inhale…exhale…inhale…exhale) donate my books if I could do that.

I’m not quite there, yet, emotionally.

Looking at that, though, it’s interesting that I’m okay with only owning e-book versions of the new books I get. Why shouldn’t it be that once I have an e-book of a p-book I own, I’m okay with getting rid of the p-book?

Maybe some day. :)

What about you?

Are there particular copies of books that you want to keep forever (or pass down to  descendants)? If so, what is it about them that makes them keepers? Is it who owned them, or gave them to you? Is it your specific memories of where you read them? What’s the longest that you’ve owned a specific copy of a book? Do you have any that you “inherited”? Feel free to tell me and my readers 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! :) 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.

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: “Summer Reads” $1.99 each

July 6, 2014

KDD: “Summer Reads” $1.99 each

One of today’s

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

is what Amazon is calling “Summer Reads”…50 (!) books for $1.99 each.

Every once in a while, the KDD pulls out the stops like this, and gives a great big selection…woo hoo! ;)

They may call these summer reads, but there is very likely to be something here that you want to read…and something that you want to give as a gift. Remember that you can delay the arrival of a gift to a date you choose: this is a nice way to add in a little extra something on a birthday or other occasion.

Check the price before you click or tap that “Buy button”. These prices may not apply in your country (I have readers around the world), and it’s possible for a book to move in and out of the list. Also, this is a Daily Deal. Come Monday, these prices will likely be higher again.

I’m just going to point some that caught my eye:

  • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
  • Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
  • The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
  • The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
  • The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
  • The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  • Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
  • The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
  • A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living by Luc Perry
  • Dust Tracks on the Road by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood by Jane Leavy
  • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • The Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau
  • The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho
  • The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume by Tilar J. Mazzeo
  • The Templars by Michael Haag
  • Everything Is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong by Jason Mulgrew

Again, that’s only a partial listing. :)

While I could write about several of these, I’ll just call out Alas, Babylon (at AmazonSmile) in particular. 4.5 stars out of 5, 733 customer reviews at the time of writing…that’s a very good score, and indicates contemporary interest in it.

Why do I mention the latter?

The book is about fifty-five years old, having been first published in 1959.

While certainly informed by its period, it still affects modern readers with its post-nuclear war setting.

It’s also been said that it impacted John Lennon’s anti-war stance.

I’m not quite sure why it would be more appropriate in summer than in winter, though. :) Many people actually have read it as school reading over the years.

That’s an interesting question for me: do you look for different things to read in the summer? Traditionally, that’s a time for lighter fare, for “popcorn books” and “beach reads”.

I think the idea goes back to having been in school. Supposedly, during the school year, your mind is focused on heavy studies…and then it needs a “vacation” during the summer.

That never quite worked for me: I read recreationally during the school year, too, and might actually read more intellectual books during the summer. The books that were assigned weren’t always stretching my mind, so I might find more challenging ones on my own…and when I wasn’t as tied up with other school obligations.

Oh, I suppose there might have been some desire to have some lighter books that were easier to pack. ;) However, I generally traveled with one suitcase just for books, and taking hardbacks was certainly something I did.

How freeing e-books are for that! I can easily take a hundred books, and ones that are a thousand pages long, without worrying about baggage overweight charges. ;)

Anyway, take a look at the full list of these books today…

Enjoy!

What about you? Do you read differently during the summer? Do you want something lighter or heavier? Which book(s) on this list would you recommend? Are you buying any of them for gifts for people? I always suggest that, and I do it myself, but I wonder how many people actually buy something in July to arrive in, say, December? 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! :) 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.

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 th

Kindle’s 10 most wanted: July 5, 2014

July 6, 2014

Kindle’s 10 most wanted: July 5, 2014

When I last wrote about this, back in August of 2010, the situation on “backlist titles” being in the Kindle store was quite different.

The backlist books are typically books that are at least a year old, although that’s a bit of a fluid definition. I’m a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager. We would get catalogs (yes, on paper) of books from publishers.

The front of the catalog would be the new titles…often with the splashiest ones first. A new Stephen King, for example, would be in the very front.

The older titles (which still sold) would be in the back of the catalog…they were the “backlist”.

Four years ago, there were about 650,000 titles in the USA Kindle store: now there are 2,663,833.

The books that I listed as being most discussed as wanted (based on my impressions of what I saw in the forums?

So, all three of those are available.

Here are the ones I listed as most wanted back then, based on the list at

eReaderIQ

which I consider the most valuable resource on the web for Kindleers:

  • Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina by Robert Graves: available
  • And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmeyer: not available
  • The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny: while that particular omnibus is not available, several Zelazny Amber books are
  • Sarum: The Novel of England by Edward Rutheford: available
  • Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart: not available
  • Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters: available
  • Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman: available
  • Crimes Against Liberty by David Limbaugh: available
  • When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman: available
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: not available

As you can see, great progress has been made. Only three out of those ten are really not available (legally through the USA Kindle store), and then we have the Zelazny Amber situation…which I think we can consider to be unavailable, since I don’t think the ones available are the ones in that omnibus.

What are the top ten most wanted now?

#10: The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende

#9: Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (repeat from above)

#8: The Belgariad, Volume 1 by David Eddings: the first one of the three books in this series is available…and can be borrowed through the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library). The other two are not

#7: Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey: a number of other Pern books are available

#6: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.

#5: The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye

#4: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKindley

#3: Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy: these books were available (under the title “Legacy” at one point, but don’t appear to me now)

#2: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

#1: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (hasn’t dropped in rank since I checked in 2010)

Some of you may be thinking that some of these are “classics” and should be out of copyright protection. That’s not the case. If they were, you can bet that there would be versions legally available in the Kindle store. When something is in “the public domain”, the public owns it: anybody can publish it without getting permission.

Eventually, all books (under the current rules) will fall into the public domain, but it could be a while. That’s especially true for authors who are still living…the current basic term is Life+70 years, at least for books first published in the USA since March 1, 1989. That can be stretched back to 1978, provided that the book had a proper copyright notice (I think we may be the only country with copyright rules which are this convoluted).

The Crystal Cave, for example, was published in 1970…if it followed all the rules (and it will have), it would fall into the public domain on January 1st of 2066, I think.

That doesn’t mean we will have to wait that long, though. :)

As you can see from the number which have been Kindleized since the 2010 list, deals do get made.

That’s the key thing.

Authors retain rights which they haven’t licensed.

If they haven’t explicitly licensed the e-book rights to somebody, no one can legally publish the book as an e-book (except the author)…even if they have licensed other rights.

That’s why you’ll see audiobooks of some of the “missing” title above…the audiobooks were negotiated, the e-books were not.

Prior to about 2005, it wasn’t common to license e-book rights. In the case of The Crystal Cave, it would have been very unlikely for anyone to license the rights back in 1970 for a medium which didn’t really exist yet. :)

In that case, a publisher would need to go to the author (or the author’s estate) and negotiate the rights…and often, negotiate them separately for different markets (although I do believe that global rights sales are becoming more common).

As you can imagine, that can be complex.

Under the current situation, we’ll get a bunch of books falling into the public domain in 2019 (books published in 1923…earlier books are already in the public domain).

However, you can count on there being a push to extend copyrights again.

Now that there is a market for older works (that really wasn’t true until we had media which could both store those works and make retrieval commercially viable), the rightsholders will want to be able to keep control of them.

Copyright terms have only gotten longer over the years…again, in part, I think, because of the improvements in technology.

Works published fifty years ago (1964) have a lot of commercial value still (think of a number of the Beatles’ songs, for example).

In 1964, how much commercial value was there for works published in 1914? Some, but the percentage of popular works from 1914 in 1964 is much lower than the popularity of 1964 works now in 2014.

In one of my most controversial posts, I explored the idea of making copyright permanent, in exchange for a considerable expansion of Fair Use rights:

Should copyright be permanent?

Non-commercial uses, such as academic use in a classroom, would become much easier, while commercial rights would tend to stay out of the public domain.

I have to say, I think many of my readers hated the idea. ;)

Back to the list of the books that are the “most wanted” (to be Kindleized).

You can go to eReaderIQ and start a “watch list”. They’ll send you a free e-mail letting you know if a book you have listed has been Kindleized. There is no charge for that.

I’m not connected to that site except as a user, although we have had some correspondence…

What do you think? Are there any books you are particularly waiting to see Kindleized? Feel free to let me and my readers know 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! :) 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.

Hachazon War: the Battle of Petition Hill

July 4, 2014

Hachazon War: the Battle of Petition Hill

Amazon and the publisher Hachette have had a very public dispute over terms, which I refer to as the “Hachazon War”.

Rather than calming down, I’d say that the coverage, at least, has been escalating.

In a recent

Wall Street Journal article by Jeffrey Trachtenberg (who I think is the best mainstream reporter covering these issues)

Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s top Kindle content person, said that this is in the best long-term interest of Amazon customers, even if it hurts Amazon’s reputation in the short run.

That reputation is important.

Amazon’s ability to launch something like their new

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

(which I have ordered) depends, in my opinion, in large part on the average consumer (not the super techie) being comfortable with Amazon…feeling safe with them.

They may not be reading the details of this dispute, but like an argument overheard through the thin walls of an apartment complex, they can get the gist of it. ;)

Not surprisingly, one battlefield in this conflict is the internet.

Douglas Preston (at AmazonSmile)

a very successful author, has started an open letter to readers, explaining one view of the situation, and asking those readers to e-mail Amazon’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Jeff Bezos, at

jeff@amazon.com

to express their opinions.

It’s an interesting letter, pointing out how authors supported Amazon, and helped it become what it is today.

The part that many casual observers will hear is the list of authors who have signed the letter (and that is growing).

Even someone who just reads a few books in a year has heard of Stephen King. If all they hear is that Stephen King signed a letter “against Amazon”, it will influence many of them to have a lower opinion of Amazon…it’s sort of like name recognition getting incumbent politicians elected.

It’s an astonishing list of names, including at least one who has been published by Amazon’s own traditional publishing imprints. Here are just a few of the long list:

  • David Baldacci
  • Greg Bear
  • Philip Caputo
  • Robert A. Caro
  • Susan Cheever
  • Clive Cussler
  • John Grisham
  • Barbara Kingsolver
  • Donna Tartt
  • Jane Yolen

That letter has gotten a lot of coverage.

On the other side is this online petition

To Thank Our Readers (on Change.org)

It’s description is much longer than the Preston letter, and it is largely independent writers supporting Amazon (with a particular focus on this dispute).

The petition suggests that this is a fight between the tradpubs (traditional publishers) who have, in the past, controlled publishing, and Amazon, which disrupted that model and enables indie (independent) authors to make a living when they wouldn’nt have been able to do so through tradpubs.

As disclosure, I am an author who benefited through the use of Amazon’s indie publishing platform (now called Kindle Direct Publishing). None of my titles would have been published by one of the Big Five (used to be Big Six) publishers.

However, I don’t think that makes me prejudiced in favor of Amazon. In fact, my sense was that many of my readers were surprised when I first wrote about the Hachazon War, and I indicated that I didn’t like some of the things Amazon was doing.

I would guess that both sides are contributing to the conflict. Conflicts are surprisingly weak organisms: if you don’t constantly feed them, they tend to die pretty quickly. ;)

We now have heard a bit more about what the disagreement.

Grandinetti flat our said it was about e-book pricing (even though p-books…paperbooks…are casualties).

I’ve heard that Amazon may want a bigger cut: 50% rather than 30%, but I don’t know that that is true.

If it was, what would it mean for readers?

Let’s say that a publisher prices an e-book at $10, and Amazon pays them 70% for it. The publisher gets $7, and Amazon gets $3. That’s not all profit, of course…there are costs of sale and of production. Amazon is also likely to discount it, but let’s leave that for now.

Now, let’s say that the split changes to Amazon paying them 50% instead of 70%.

Let’s further say that the publisher’s model is based on getting $7 for that book.

For the publisher to get $7, they have to raise the digital list price to $14.

That is the price you might pay at other retailers.

What does Amazon have to charge the customer to get the same $3 they were getting?

The same $10 they were charging before!

A bigger cut for Amazon means that they can discount more…and at a rate that other retailers might have a hard time matching. As I’ve written before, Amazon doesn’t need to make money on e-book sales (although they’d like to do that)…if the e-book sales inspire other more profitable sales, Amazon does fine.

The way I’ve laid it out above, the readers would pay the same for the book at Amazon, but likely more for it at other places.

This dispute may also encourage more authors to publish independently…like

Hugh Howey (at AmazonSmile)

and other authors who are mentioned on the Change.org petition.

Indie publishing right now is likely to include Amazon, which also benefits the e-tailer.

It’s possible that indies may eventually be able to dispense with retailers at all (selling directly to readers), but we aren’t there yet for most people.

I generally see both sides to an issue, and that is the case here…but I’ll stay with my not liking some of Amazon’s tactics.

What about you? What’s your opinion?

Have more to say to me and my readers about this? Feel free to do so 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! :) 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.

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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