Today’s KDD: “20 New York Times best sellers are up to 80% off”

June 25, 2016

Today’s KDD: “20 New York Times best sellers are up to 80% off”

Today’s

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

has some well-known books and well-known authors at really great prices!

When people think of discounted e-books, I sometimes see them complaining that they are only from indies (independent publishers). First, let me say that many indies are great books!

Second, well, it just isn’t always true. Today’s list will make that point…and a simple refutation to someone would be to say five words: “The Hunt for Red October” which is $1.99 in this sale.

As always, check the price before you click or tap that Buy button. The prices may not apply in your country, and it’s possible you’ll be reading this post after the sale has ended.

These can also make great gifts! Remember that you can buy the book at the sale price and delay the delivery until the proper gift-giving  occasion…these can make great small gifts, or a way to celebrate a vacation.

Books  in the sale include:

  • The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy | $1.99
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett | $1.99 | 4.7 stars out of 5 | 9,472 customer reviews
  • The Big Short by Michael Lewis
  • Memory Man by David Baldacci
  • The Murder House by James Patterson
  • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  • The Stranger by Harlan Coben
  • Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • Daring Greatly by Brenet Brown
  • The Witness by Sandra Brown
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Winer by Marisa Meyer
  • Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (this one created quite a buzz when the e-book was first released at, as I recall, $19.99…in this sale, it is $1.99)
  • Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Housseni
  • George Washington’s Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade
  • The Big Burn by Timothy Egan

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Barnes & Noble financials: NOOK sales continue to tank, so the stock…

June 24, 2016

Barnes & Noble financials: NOOK sales continue to tank, so the stock…

I freely say that I’m no expert on stocks. How the investors react to financials is often a mystery to me.

I can humbly say that I have more expertise on bookstores and book sales. I’m the former manager of a brick-and-mortar bookstore, and I’ve been covering the world of e-books in this blog for close to seven years, averaging more than a post a day and more than 1,000 words a post, I believe.

Barnes & Noble, the largest remaining physical bookstore chain in the USA, reported their financials for the fiscal year:

press release

None of it was a reason to celebrate, and the NOOK sales (both devices and content) continued their freefall…dropping 27.4% year over year. The press release helpfully explains that it is due “…primarily to lower device and content sales.”

Yep.

Now, that doesn’t automatically mean that Amazon is crushing them. I think that in devices, the NOOK is simply an anchor for them right now. Amazon’s devices continue to sell well, from what we can see. My intuition is that Kobo is doing reasonably well. People are reading on phones and tablets, and  I suspect that audiobooks and text-to-speech use is going to spike  in the next few years, with them becoming one of the colors in people’s audio palette. People who rarely sight read books may listen to books more, increasing their exposure to literature.

In terms of NOOK content: that is largely traditional published e-books, and that part of the market is likely dropping over all. A much larger part of Amazon’s e-book sales than NOOK book sales comes from indies (independent publishers…often just the author) and from the company’s own publishing.

However, if NOOK hardware becomes largely a legacy thing (no new development), that will drag down NOOK book sales, even though you can read them on other devices. Serious readers are likely to want the option for an EBR (E-Book Reader)…I think Amazon’s newer version of its least expensive model, which has Bluetooth so you can listen to audio, is going to do quite well. I wrote about it yesterday:

New Kindle EBR with text-to-speech via Bluetooth!

Without that option for NOOK books, and since you can’t read NOOK books on a Kindle EBR, that’s going to be a problem.

Overall, the B&N bookstores, not counting the impact of the NOOK on them, actually slightly increased.

Barnes & Noble stock, as you can see in this

Money/CNN graph

dropped on the 22nd, the day of the announcement, but more than recovered on the 23rd.

Just about everything will drop today, because of reaction to the Brexit (British Exit from the European Union) referendum vote. The UK voted to leave the EU. This will have a big impact, at least in the short term.

Amazon, by the way, is a much more international company than Barnes & Noble, and is therefore safer when any market is affected…I would say, honestly, even when all markets are affected.  It’s a bit like having a robust gene  pool versus a narrow one. Purebred dogs tend to have more and more serious health problems than those with a robust background.

I know I have NOOK users amongst my readers. My guess is that your prior purchases will continue to be available to you…that someone will buy and service the accounts if B&N were to stop doing NOOKs and NOOK books. I think the NOOK hardware is nearly dead. B&N as a company can survive, although they will become decreasingly focused on books…we already see them looking more intently at food and beverage sales, and they do toys, games, shirts, that sort of thing.

How does this affect publishing overall?

One key change is that publishers are decreasingly getting pre-sale money. With an e-book, the publisher does not get paid until the book is purchased…and it’s often some time after that. With a p-book (paperbook), we would pay them for the books before we sold them. If they didn’t sell, we could generally return them for future purchase credit.

That’s  a very different economic model, and it will create a different strategy.

If you knew you had a blockbuster bestseller coming, like the new Harry Potter book, you could count on using the money from that to invest in prestige books which would have a smaller market. Pre-sales means that the money comes in over a longer period of time…it has the sales period, plus the pre-sales period.

With e-books, by the way, when you pre-order them Amazon and the publisher don’t get the money until the book is sent to you…not on the day you order it.

Paper publishers will become more risk averse. They will do fewer prestige books, try fewer new authors…unless the latter prove they have a market through independent publishing first.

On the other hand, that will increase indie publishing of new author and prestige books, with less competition.

One remedy to the loss of pre-sales from brick-and-mortar sales can be crowdfunding. While some crowdfunding waits to  collect the money until the product is released, much of it is intended to create development capital.

I’ve had great times in brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble bookstores (although I didn’t get good customer service online). I love bookstores: I used to spend at least five days a week in one.😉 I have to say, though, that even though I love books more than I love bookstores, I think the bookstore experience is not at risk. I think indie bookstores, and destination/experience stores, can do very well in the next five years.

What do you think? Will B&N survive? If so, how much will paperbooks play into their strategy? How does Brexit affect publishing and what we read? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

 

 

New Kindle EBR with text-to-speech via Bluetooth!

June 23, 2016

New Kindle EBR with text-to-speech via Bluetooth!

Big, big news!

Amazon has introduced a new EBR (E-Book Reader…not a backlit tablet) which can do TTS (text-to-speech) via Bluetooth!

All-New Kindle E-reader – Black, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This is extraordinarily good news, as far as I am concerned.

Text-to-speech (software which reads a book out loud to you) has been a big part of my life since it was introduced to the Kindle line with the Kindle 2. I typically listen to it for hours in a week in the car. I actually prefer it to audiobooks (recorded versions of a book, usually read by an actor or the author)…I don’t like the narrator interpreting the characters for me, unless I’ve already read the book, in which case it is like seeing a movie.

This is the new “entry level” Kindle: $79.99 with Special Offers, $99.99 without them.

Yes, you’ll need a Bluetooth speaker of some kind to hear the audio (which also includes navigation audio), but I have plenty of those…even in the car.

It’s a game changer.

Well, honestly, I’ll probably still be using my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX in the car…I use it for other things, and I don’t want to carry an EBR and a tablet with me to work (although I do bring my Amazon Tap Echo device in my laptop case).

Other stats are also good on this: it’s thinner, lighter, and comes in black or white.

It does not have the frontlighting of the Paperwhite, Voyage, or Oasis.

The screen sharpness isn’t as good as those other models either, but this is a good workhorse: great for a guest Kindle, for example.

I would have bought an Oasis, but Amazon will not sell it without an animal leather cover (at least, that was the case the last time I asked them), and I don’t use leather.

It’s possible this Bluetooth TTS will come to the Oasis, by the way.

I think this will be a popular model, although if you don’t care about the text-to-speech, I wouldn’t say that you need to upgrade from the previous version.

Here’s the

User Guide

You can pre-order now for July 7th delivery (I have).:)

Nice to see Amazon still innovating on EBRs! They are also answering a concern people have had who want a non-backlit reading device and TTS: thanks, Amazon!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

July 2016 Kindle book releases

June 23, 2016

July 2016 Kindle book releases

While I don’t generally pre-order Kindle store books myself, I know many of you do.

I understand the fun of just having the book show up, but I figure I’ll order when I want it…since I could have it within a minute, usually.…

However, it’s worth noting that pre-ordering at a low price will tend to preserve that price. Back when the Agency Model was solidly in place, Amazon couldn’t guarantee that books sold by the publishers using that structure wouldn’t go up in price after you pre-ordered them. It wasn’t likely, it was just that Amazon couldn’t control it. We have largely returned to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances.

These aren’t necessarily the most popular of the pre-orders…I’m just going to list ones that catch my eye. Since we might not agree on that, here’s a link to the 5,463 (at time of writing…an even steeper drop than last month’s 733, with 863 fewer titles. This is the second month in a row with the better part of a 1,000 fewer titles):

June USA Kindle book releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 1,021 (25 fewer than last month) are in

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

As usual, I won’t be deliberately linking to books which block text-to-speech access blocked**.

We’ve gone back and forth recently on whether the top four were the

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks for this month.

Amazon no longer does the “New and Popular” search as a default, but does “Featured”. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way…and the list is clearly not the same.  This month, in a change, Kindle First books aren’t dominating the top slots..

The other thing is that some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list. I’m concerned (and I’ve alerted Amazon about it) that people are confused: they think they are pre-ordering a KU borrow, when they are actually pre-ordering a purchase. In other words, they may be thinking they’ll get the book at no additional cost, and actually be charged for it. Amazon has confirmed for me: you can not pre-order a borrow from KU.

June is a big release month for books (not unlike movies)…summer vacation is here, and books for “grads and Dads” are also big.

Okay, books!

  • The Arrangement 22 (The Ferro Family) Jul 25, 2016 by H.M. Ward
  • The Black Widow Jul 12, 2016 by Daniel Silva
  • Night and Day: An Eve Duncan Novel July 19, 2016 by Iris Johansen
  • Getting started with Tambour Embroidery (Haute Couture Embroidery Series Book 1) Jul 10, 2016 by Saskia ter Welle
  • A Shade of Vampire 30: A Game of Risk Jul 14, 2016 by Bella Forrest
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Special Rehearsal Edition): The Official Script Book of…Jul 31, 2016 by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne
  • Ultimate Physics Jul 11, 2016 by Scientific American Editors
  • The Trial: A BookShot: A Women’s Murder Club Story (BookShots) Jul 5, 2016 by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey Jul 12, 2016 by Chris Colfer
  • Why Politics Sucks: With Just A Few Modest Proposals That Might Make It All Suck A Little Less (Why Everything…Jul 4, 2016 by Steven Womack
  • The Last Woman Standing: A Novel Jul 1, 2016 by Thelma Adams
  • Lowcountry Book Club (A Liz Talbot Mystery 5) Jul 5, 2016 by Susan M. Boyer
  • Murder on the Einstein Express and Other Stories (Science and Fiction) Jul 16, 2016 by Šiljak, Harun
  • Children’s Book of Experiments: 30 Incredible Experiments For Young Scientists Jul 7, 2016 by Jaroslaw Wasilewski
  • We are Big Data: The Future of the Information Society Jul 23, 2016 by Sander Klous and Nart Wielaard
  • 1000 Terrible Ideas for Another Star Wars Movie Jul 9, 2016 by Francisco Cutter and Jeff Rose
  • I’ve Got Sand In All the Wrong Places Jul 12, 2016 by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
  • The High Ground: Imperials 1Jul 5, 2016 | Kindle eBook
    by Melinda Snodgrass

Feel free to suggest other books being released in July in the USA Kindle store. If you are the author, or are otherwise connected with the production or publishing of the book, I’d appreciate you saying so. That won’t stop me from publishing the comment, but it should be in your own words and not an ad.

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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! :)

** A Kindle/Fire 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.

Start looking for your Apple e-book settlement payout

June 21, 2016

Start looking for your Apple e-book settlement payout

Some, perhaps many, of the readers of this blog are going to start seeing payouts from the Department of Justice’s action against Apple for e-book pricing tactics.

This is in addition to a payout you may have received previously. There was more than one legal action (many of the states’ Attorneys General also settled with publishers). The DoJ originally went after 5 of the then Big 6 publishers (not Random House, who initially didn’t go along with the “Agency Model”)…there are only 5 of them left after Penguin and Random House combined (not, unfortunately, using my suggested name of “Random Penguin”).😉 The publishers settled; Apple fought it and eventually did not prevail (and that might have been affected by the absence on the US Supreme Court).

I’m not seeing anything on Amazon’s site yet, at least about this new payout (the previous payout is on a Help page).  I would expect that we will get e-mails about it.

Here’s the

press release

from Hagens Berman the “…consumer-rights class-action law firm” which worked with the DoJ and Attorneys General in this case.

If you took the payout last time, you should just automatically get it this time (if you are entitled to one).

How much you get depends on what you bought, when you bought it, and where. It could be pretty substantial, though. It’s $6.93 for a qualifying New York Times bestseller and $1.57 for other e-books.

My understanding is that how you use the credit will not be mandated…you won’t have to spend it on e-books, although many of you will.:)

I’ll be curious: I’d appreciate it if you comment on this post to let me and my readers know when you get an Amazon e-mail about this.

Oh, and for my readers outside the USA (I have readers all around the world), this doesn’t impact you, since it was a legal action inside the USA.

Enjoy your settlement money! So many options! The Big 5 will probably get a short term benefit from this…but it would be interesting if consumers chose to buy books from other companies, or perhaps they can use the money for

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

and read and discovered a lot of non-Big 5 authors. ;) Not sure it will even be an option, but that might be a good way to test out KU (if you are comfortable with how authors get paid…I’m sure not all of my readers are).

Update: I’ve gotten my e-mail…I’m pleased with just over $40! Amazon chose to indicate that the e-mail was copyrighted, so I won’t reproduce it for you (if an e-mail is not indicated as private or otherwise protected, my understanding is that the recipient can reproduced it without permission…again, just my understanding of it). The key things are that it shows up as a credit in your account, and although they direct you to the Kindle store, it does appear that it would work for things that a gift card would generally do (not periodicals, but most things). You have one year to use, according to the e-mail, by order of the court. By the time I looked at it, it was gone.:) A Subscribe & Save order (we love that…we “subscribe” to physical items we get regularly, like dog food and toothpaste, and get a 15% discount) and another order took it. So, it did behave like a regular gift card.

Several of my readers have reported their amounts (see the comments)…thanks, readers! They’ve ranged from $1.57 to close to $200.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

 

eReader IQ loses Amazon funding

June 19, 2016

eReader IQ loses Amazon funding

I have many times in this blog written that I think

eReaderIQ

is the most valuable resource on the web for Kindleers.

I’ve gotten great use out of it myself (and I am not associated it with it except as a customer, although we have had some correspondence), and it has saved me a lot of money.

The free services include:

  • An advanced search for Kindle books (which is much more sophisticated than Amazon’s own search)
  • Notification when a book becomes available in Kindle format
  • Price tracking, and notification when a book drops an amount you specify
  • Author tracking

How has it been able to do all of these things for free for Kindle users…and to improve the service several times in significant ways?

One reason is that the site has been an Amazon Affiliate. That means that when a customer follows a link from the site and purchases something at Amazon (not necessarily that item), eReaderIQ gets a cut…an advertising fee. That does nt raise the price for the customer, or negatively impact the customer at all.

Well, I was concerned when one of my readers, Vince, alerted me to this

announcement at the eReaderIQ site

It says, in part:

“…my Amazon.com affiliate account has been shut down. I depended on Amazon’s affiliate program to monetize this site. The affiliate revenue was enough to allow me to leave my 9 to 5 job a few years ago and devote my time to maintaining this site and to my wife and kids. <snip>…

I will spend this summer trying to find other ways to monetize this site. If my attempts over the next few months do not work, then, and only then, will I look into making eReaderIQ a subscription-based service.

If it does come to that, the site will remain free to browse, and a free tier will be offered for light-duty users with small Watch Lists.”

Clearly, this is a big blow, and the site, which is really a one-person operation as I understand it, is going to do everything it can to continue its excellent service.

Just recently, eRI alerted me to a book that was on sale…and that led me to discover a

McFarland books for $3.99 (at AmazonSmile*)

sale, which I shared with you. I bought books I might not have bought otherwise, certainly, but I probably saved something like $100.

I know many of my readers use eReaderIQ.

What can you do?

I have donated to their site through PayPal…there a link on the page I linked above for the announcement: announcement at the eReaderIQ site

Next, I’m going to wait to see what happens. I would consider a paid subscription, although I’d probably be more likely to do donations from time to time.

Totally up to you what you do…I did want to give you a heads up on it, though.

Now, some of you are undoubtedly wondering what happened.

I don’t know, and I think it’s reasonable that they don’t say exactly.

I’ve always been a little concerned that they might be linking to too many free books for Amazon’s taste. There was a point where Amazon…discouraged that, but it was some time back. A lot of us changed what were doing then so we didn’t exceed Amazon’s guidelines. I don’t know that that is the case here, but it’s a guess.

There are many people and individuals (including non-profits) which earn quite a bit of their money, sometimes their existential income, as Amazon Affiliates. That’s separate from money which comes through AmazonSmile, which makes donations from Amazon to non-profits you designate, based on what you purchase).

I wish eReaderIQ all the best, and hope they can come up with a way to monetize the site and to continue their service to the Kindle community.

Do you have comments about how eReaderIQ has helped you? I think they read this blog.  Hearing those good stories, could  help, even if you don’t donate. Feel free to let me, my readers, and possibly them know by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Should Amazon do “On Deck” for books?

June 18, 2016

Should Amazon do “On Deck” for books?

Have you found yourself unexpectedly on a trip and realize you didn’t download a book to read to your Kindle?

Nah, probably not…if you are like most people, you probably have more than 100 on there.😉

However, you might not have one you particularly want to read.

Amazon recognizes that need for videos, and in a recent

software update for 5th generation Fire tablets (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

those devices got a feature called “On Deck”. The Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*) and the original Fire TV have already had something like it.

It downloads a video for you…something it thinks you might want to watch, like the next episode in a series you are watching.

I think this might work very well for books…after all, we read lots of series of books, too.:)

The obvious place to do it would be with

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

Based on what you are reading now, Amazon could download another book to your device before you finish, so it’s ready to go. The next book in a series is obvious, but it could also do one based on the same author or the same topic.

You wouldn’t be charged for it…if I was Amazon, I’d make an “On Deck” book not count against your ten borrows at a time you can have from KU.

You’d get one book at a time…if you chose not to read it (indicated by you starting another book), it could be replaced…again, automatically.

You could “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” the choices, but that’s not really necessary…if you read it, it’s a sign they made a good choice.

It also wouldn’t need to cost Amazon much at all. With KU books, the publisher doesn’t get paid the whole royalty just because it is downloaded…it’s based on what you read.

Yep, I think this could be great for many people, including publishers!

Naturally, I would want you to have the option to opt out of it. There are some people who really load up their Kindles, and others where connecting to the network can be an issue.

For people who don’t have KU, it’s trickier.

Amazon could still do it…downloading a free book for you based on what you are reading. However, that could have royalty implications.

No, it’s probably best as an inducement to get people to do KU…at least initially.

Another option would be to let you pre-authorize purchases. You could agree to purchase the next book in a series whenever it is released, or the next book from an author. I think that’s riskier, though…especially the author one. Authors sometimes write books which don’t really match up with the other books…and they might choose to follow a super successful book with a riskier one.

Still, I hope Amazon considers the idea! It helps Amazon and the publishers with discovery and predictability. It helps readers, again with discovery and with convenience.

What do you think? Does it sound like a good idea? Am I missing some reason you wouldn’t like it? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

 

Lois Duncan has reportedly died

June 16, 2016

Lois Duncan has reportedly died

There is something very special about the books you read as a teenager.

No question that you can love and be affected by books you read at any age, but often, teenagers are reading in a way which expresses independence. They may be making their own choices of what to read…independently finding them at the school library, or buying them with their own money (especially, nowadays, at Amazon).

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

wrote popular books which fit that age perfectly. They were too edgy for most young kids, and visceral and exciting.

Perhaps the most famous one was I Know What You Did Last Summer from 1973…it was adapted for a movie almost a quarter of a century later, which starred Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ryan Philippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Duncan wrote many books, though, including other suspenseful books for young adults, picture books, and an autobiography.

The author was the recipient of the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards award, for lasting contribution to young adult literature.

Lois Duncan’s official site

shows a thoughtful and engaged writer, with suggestions for readers, classroom guides, and more.

The books live on.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*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.

 

 

Amazon has made wonderful Kindle ads…for India

June 14, 2016

Amazon has made wonderful Kindle ads…for India

I haven’t always been completely satisfied with Amazon’s advertising for the Kindle.

I’ve written in this blog before about how I felt the commercials didn’t have enough age diversity…they tended to use young, “hip” people. It was marketed like a tech gadget, not like something for readers. Later on, they did add some more diversity to their ads, but it had been really noticeable.

There was also the famous “pool ad”, where the point of the ad was to criticize the iPad as a reading device (this was before Amazon had their own backlit tablet, the “Kindle Fire”). I didn’t like it because I’d rather have them tell me positive things about their own device (and there were so many!) than tell me what was bad about somebody else’s.

Another campaign was the “Kindle couple”: these ads were witty, but they were also snarky.

There was quite a bit of discussion about an ad which featured a same sex couple: there were people who boycotted Amazon over that (or at least said they were going to do so).

None of the ads, though, captured what I loved about the Kindle.

It’s the advantages to readers:  the increasable text size; the convenience of having hundreds of books with you; the ability to buy another book on the fly; the way they are perfect for kids, for readers of classics, and so much more!

Well, I’ve now seen a series of Kindle ads that I love!

They do exactly what I want.

There are moving moments, funny moments, and they exemplify the joy of reading…#readingshouldneverstop, #WeAreTheReaders.

They are made for Amazon Kindle India.

Fortunately, you can see them on YouTube.

I rarely subscribe to YouTube channels, but I’ve subscribed to this one:

https://www.youtube.com/user/KindleIndia

I “binge watched” a bunch of them today. Sometimes, there are multiple versions of the same ad (different lengths, for example), but there were many good ones here.

I feel somewhat capable of judging ads.

My Significant Other studied advertising (although doesn’t work it), and we used to regularly go see the Clio Award winners when they would come to San Francisco. That’s sort of like the Oscars for ads…we wouldn’t be where the awards were given to the winners, we were just watching the winners…but yes, we would spend a couple of hours watching commercials.:)

These Kindle India ads have kids, seniors, authors…I don’t want to spoil the ads. Hm, I’ll say that there is a creative way to share a book, and a clever way to interact with the touch screen. You may not know who the authors are, but you’ll still love their stories.

I know people make serious efforts to avoid ads, but I think you might enjoy these!

Bonus deal:

Today’s

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

is 14 of Cara Black’s Aimée Leduc mystery series for $1.99 each! Great deal!

Oh, and the

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

is $109.99 right now, $20 off.

That’s the portable version of the Amazon Echo: I’ll be leaving for work shortly (with a smile on my face after watching the Amazon Kindle India ads), and I bring that with me. You could use it to read you a book at lunch…Audible or text-to-speech, or to listed to Len Edgerly’s The Kindle Chronicles podcast!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*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.

LitHub’s Book Marks: aggregating book reviews

June 13, 2016

LitHub’s Book Marks: aggregating book reviews

With literally millions of e-books available to us, and on average more than a thousand books a day added to the USA Kindle store, the biggest challenging facing many of us as Kindleers is deciding which books to read.

There have been a lot of attempts to help people with that (I even have a category for Discovery on this blog), and Literary Hub (LitHub) has just introduced a new one called “Book Marks”.

LitHub’s Book Marks

In this

press release

they analogize it to the very popular movie/TV review site

RottenTomatoes

…so, Rotten “Tome-matoes”, perhaps?😉

I don’t tend to use RottenTomatoes, although I think it’s a good site and I’m usually aware of scores. I’m probably more influenced by the simple summary on Fandango (I tend to use that to check movie times).

Both RottenTomatoes and Fandango give two scores: an aggregate of “professional” reviews and an aggregate of viewer scores.

When I’m picking a movie to see with my Significant Other, I’m probably more influenced by the viewer score. If critics say, “Must go!” and viewers say, “So-so”, my guess tends to be that it is perhaps more technically interesting than viscerally interesting, which may not be as successful for us.

I also like the less well-known

MRQE (Movie Review Query Engine)

I mention all that to show that I have some perspective on review aggregating sites.

I’ve looked at Book Marks.

At this point, it generally wouldn’t be helpful for me.

That may change…but there seem to be very few books, and they appear only to be the current “frontlist” (recently issue popular mainstream titles). The fantasy category, for example, appears to have four titles:

  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  • Arcadia by Iain Pears
  • The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery
  • Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick Dewitt

Their grades range from B to A+.

I’d love to compare what I thought about the book to their average…but I haven’t found a book at the site yet that I’ve read.

I checked their A rated one, A Gathering of Shadows.

There were excerpts from reviews (including Entertainment Weekly…I’ve been a subscriber for years). That was nice.

You could comment on the book, which will start getting some reader impressions eventually.

There were links to the reviews, so you could read the whole thing…again, that’s a nice feature.

However, their A grade was based on a total of…four reviews.

Now, it’s understandable that there aren’t very many books when they’ve only been live for about a week.

That shouldn’t, though, affect the number of reviews. The book came out in February, I believe…those professional reviewers should have done reviews by now (if they were going to do that).

That’s not a very big data set.

Searching produced a lot of false negatives. Putting in “Mary Roach”, for example, did find me Grunt…but also 17 books not by that author.

The categories were interesting, and did indicate a “literati” mindset…no category, for “science fiction”, but one for “speculative”. That likely would mean that some more casual readers wouldn’t find it.

There were categories for New Books and Hottest Books.

I didn’t see much way to work with the results… wanted to sort them by the lowest to highest grade, and didn’t see a way to do that. I only saw a couple lower than a B- (and C was as low as I saw).

The site looked reasonably professional in terms of graphic design.

The biggest negative for me was not having older books. I think, like a lot of serious readers, I’m not always (or even primarily) reading frontlist books.

I’d suggest you go ahead and take a look at it and see what you think. You may find it more useful (perhaps especially for gifts, but maybe not). I plan to check back in on it in maybe a month to see how it’s grown.

What I would prefer, rather than a RottenTomatoes, is a site like IMDb.com (owned by Amazon). I want stats about books…I want to do know when it was released, who the editor was, who the cover artist was, and so on. Amazon also owns GoodReads, and they come close to that…but they recently shutdown Shelfari (if you try to go there, it redirects you to Good Reads), which was even more valuable to me in that it included elements of the book (like characters and places).

I do applaud LitHub for trying something new!

If you do go and want to tell me and my readers what you think, feel free to do so by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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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