Top 10 Kindle USA bestsellers jump almost $3

March 27, 2015

Top 10 Kindle USA bestsellers jump almost $3

Well.

The last time I did an analysis of the USA Kindle store top ten bestsellers (on January 9th of this year), they averaged $4.10.

Today, that’s jumped almost $3 to $7.09.

That’s an increase of about 72%…in under three months.

There may be a seasonal impact there…prices are often low in January, I think, because there is a lot of competition for gift card/returns money.

However, I think there may be another contributing factor here.

Here’s my analysis:

Title Price Publisher KU? TTS? X-Ray? Word Wise? Lending? WSV Stars Reviews
The Girl on the Train $6.99 Penguin No Yes Yes Yes No Yes 4.1 9,685
The Stranger $10.99 Penguin No Yes No No No Yes 4.4 41
The Six Wives of Henry VIII $1.59 Grove No Yes Yes Yes No No 4.7 377
Maude $1.99 Indie Yes Yes Yes Yes No No 4.4 5,507
Younger $4.99 Amazon No Yes Yes No No Yes 4.0 484
All the Light We Cannot See $12.99 S&S No No Yes Yes No Yes 4.6 9,873
Dead Wake $12.99 Random No Yes Yes No No No 4.6 223
NYPD Red 3 $9.99 Hachette No Yes Yes No No No 4.7 107
The Longest Ride $5.39 Hachette No Yes Yes Yes No Yes 4.6 4,658
Ready Player One $2.99 Random No Yes Yes Yes No Yes 4.6 5,085
Average/% Yes $7.09 90% 90% 90% 60% 100% 60% 4.47 3,604

Last time, fewer than half of the books were from the Big 5 largest USA trade publishers (trade books are the kind you buy in bookstores, as opposed to textbooks and such).

This time, it’s seven of them (Grove isn’t one of the Big 5, although it is a traditional publisher which has been around for a long time).

My guess?

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

may have something to do with that.

None of the Big 5 are participating in Amazon’s subser (subscription service), where you pay $9.99 a month and you can read as many books as you want…well, perhaps that should be “as you can”. ;) You are limited to having ten books out at a time, but hey, if you can read three and a half books a day (that’s my personal best for novels), you can read your roughly 108 books that month at no additional cost.

Many of the non-Big 5 books are in KU.

That may mean that non-Big 5 books are not being purchased as much, since so many of them (including books like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and The Life of Pi) can be borrowed.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the actual number of sales of e–books at Amazon is going down…if the bestselling books aren’t selling as many as they used to do.

That rise in price is due partly to tradpubs (traditional publishers) tending to price their books higher than indies (independent publishers). More tradpub representation typically means higher prices (although that’s a great price for Ready Player One…we just found out that Steven Spielberg is going to direct the movie adaptation for Warner Brothers).

We may also start to see a rise in tradpub prices…if buying a book (as opposed to having access to it) is seen as a luxury, people may be willing to pay more for it.

We may head back to the pre-paperback days, when books were largely owned by the better off, and seen as a sign of status.

That would be owned by, in the future situation: not read by.

Certainly, KU has been around for a while now, and the economics of publishing may (at to some degree) start to shift because of it.

The only KU book in the bunch, Maude, was also a bestseller back in January.

It’s now been designated with a new badge at Amazon: it’s one of the

Kindle Unlilmited All-Star Books and Authors (at AmazonSmile*)

That’s an interesting new feature!

Amazon describes it this way:

“Kindle Unlimited All-Stars are the most popular titles and authors in KDP Select. Each month we determine the most popular by adding up the number of books sold, borrows from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and the number of books read in Kindle Unlimited.”

That’s a fascinating set of parameters. Presumably, the bestseller list only counts sales, not borrows. I can understand that…but it intrigues me that they also count books which were read (a KU author doesn’t get paid until you’ve read 10% of the book).

What if someone borrows a book in January, but doesn’t read it until February? I’ve waited that long.

Does it count twice…once for the borrow, once for the read?

Does reading it count more?

If this is a KU thing, why are sales included at all?

Looking at their lists (they do it be different genres), I’m not seeing the well-known books which are part of KU.

I’ve tried to tell you about those from time to time…former New York Times bestsellers in KU, for example.

For me, that’s definitely part of the selling point. I’m always thrilled to see a book or an author I have in paper in KU…I’m excited that other people can read those books as part of KU.

My guess is that people who have become KU members are, for the most part, staying KU members.

At this point, it seems to get better every month…so if it was worth it the first month, why isn’t it worth the second month, and so on?

I also don’t think KU members tend to stop buying books…they probably do both (again, the majority of people is my guess), but they might buy fewer books.

I expect to hear some very laudatory things said about KU in a future Amazon financials report…perhaps without giving numbers, though. ;)

What do you think? Is KU making it so that fewer indies are top sellers at Amazon? Is that a bad thing? Do you think the publishers might be compensated more by KU (we’ve heard reports both ways)? Will we develop two tiers: people who buy tradpubs, and people who use subsers? Will any of the Big 5 join KU this year (in my look ahead to 2015, I thought that was a possibility)? 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!

* 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.

On listening to text-to-speech in 2015

March 26, 2015

On listening to text-to-speech in 2015

Starting with the Kindle 2, Amazon provided text-to-speech with their EBRs (E-Book Readers).

Text-to-speech is software which reads a book out loud to you.

It’s very different from an audiobook, which has been recorded.

That matters, because creating an audiobook clearly falls under the rights of the rightsholder of the book (initially, the author), while text-to-speech is more like increasing the font size…it’s just a way to access the material, without creating another copy (since TTS is “streaming”, ephemeral).

Ever since the K2, I have listened to TTS typically for hours a week in the car.

It’s my preferred audio in the car…I like it a lot better than talk radio, or music. I’m also not a fan of audiobooks, unless I’ve already read the book. I don’t like the reader (be it the author or an actor) interpreting the characters for me.

TTS has improved a lot since the K2!

I created a thread in the Amazon Kindle forum (six years ago today!) pointing out some of the

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

That’s what I called the quirky things about the voice, which was then known as “Tom”.

Almost all of those are fixed now.

Ivona, which we have now, has inflection. For example, it uses the appropriate rising inflection to indicate a question.

You can read more about the process of how it’s done in this

An ILMK interview with September Day, the voice of the Kindle Fire HD

It almost always pronounces things correctly, now.

One problem it still has is with homographs (words that are spelled the same but mean different things). For example, I was listening today, and a character left the room with a bow. You know that should rhyme with “now”, but the TTS read it as rhyming like “know”. In other words, it sounded like the person left with a package decoration, rather than inclining at the waist.

I find it also misses on “wind”. A road might be “winding”, not rhyming with “finding”, but sounding like it is blowing a breath.

One more I hear quite a bit: it makes the wrong choice on “wound”. It generally pronounces it like the injury, rather than rhyming it with “found”. So, saying that a scarf was wrapped around someone may make it sound like it took a bite out of them. ;)

One other odd one: it pronounces “lower” to rhyme with “flower”, not “grower”. Of course, try to explain to a non-English speaker how we pronounce “flower grower”, and make English sound logical!

However, it’s generally very impressive.

In a book I’m reading now, for example, it correctly pronounced Edinburgh…not ending like Pittsburgh, but ending in two syllables,  sort of like a New York borough, but softer.

This book is

The Winter Sea (at AmazonSmile*)

which was recommended to me by one of my regular readers and commenters, Lady Galaxy.

It’s part of

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

and I was ready to start another book, so I’m reading it now. :)

I am typically reading several books at the same time, which is true in this case, but I also usually have a main one for the commute…and I moved this one up in the list.

One interesting point is that there is a lot of dialect in the book, as Lady Galaxy pointed out to me.

I don’t at all know if it’s accurate, but it’s intended to represent a particular Scotch dialect.

For example, here are a couple of lines:

“It winna dee ye ony good, it disna ring. The salt fae the sea ruins the wiring, fast as I fix it.”

Without that dialect (and it refers to a doorbell), it would read, “It wouldn’t do you any good, it doesn’t ring. The salt from the sea ruins the wiring…”

How did TTS handle it?

About the same way most people would, I’d say. I didn’t have any more trouble understanding TTS speaking it than I would have sight reading it, I believe.

That also impresses me.

However, in

Spinster’s Gambit (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

it was quite baffled by a person’s name, “Jacoline”. English speaking people would read that as very much like Jacqueline, or Jacklyn…it read it more like it, “Jack OH lyn”, something like that.

Generally, though, I think most people are surprised at how good it is.

Our devices are becoming much more conversational, both in how they speak and how they listen.

I am disappointed, honestly, that the currently available non-Fire EBRs from Amazon don’t have sound at all…which means they don’t do TTS (or music or audiobooks).

I’m guessing it makes them cheaper and more reliable, and perhaps lighter. It’s possible that some people even told Amazon they preferred it, because they found music a distraction…don’t know about that.

I’m listening to TTS on my

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile*)

which is also why it can use the text-to-speech software it uses.

Eventually, I think we will get a non-backlit EBR with TTS again.

After all, everything may start speaking. It may be like the toaster on Red Dwarf, or the talking bomb in the now obscure John Carpenter movie,

Dark Star (at AmazonSmile*)

It seems unlikely to me that my toothbrush will talk to me, but my books won’t. ;)

What do you think? Do you use TTS? How do you feel about the Voyage, for example, not having it? Does it throw you off when it mispronounces something, or are you able to let it go? Does it affect your understanding? My guess is that I’m unusually well able to cope with the mispronunciations, but I haven’t seen studies. 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!

* 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.

April 2015 Kindle book releases

March 24, 2015

April 2015 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 started to return to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances…I’ll have to dig into that effect.

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 5,727 (at time of writing) April releases in the USA Kindle store:

April 2015 USA Kindle store releases (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**.

One interesting thing before I get into some individual titles: the first four (sorted by new and popular) are the

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks for this month!

Since Prime members can already be reading two of these (even though they aren’t officially released until April) at no additional cost, you can see how that would drive up their popularity as compared to actual pre-orders. The top four being Kindle First was also true the last time I did one of these.

The other thing is that there are some

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

titles 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.

Okay…books!

  • Never Too Late by Robyn Carr
  • The Dead Play On (Cafferty & Quinn Novels Book 3) by Heather Graham
  • Virtuous (Quantum Trilogy Book 1) by M.S. Force
  • The Clash. Photographs by Bob Gruen
  • The Outlander Series 4-Book Bundle: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
  • Make ‘em Laugh! American Humorists of the 20th and 21st Centuries by Zeke Jarvis
  • A Shade of Vampire 12: A Shade of Doubt by Bella Forrest (KU)
  • Masculinity and the Paradox of Violence in American Fiction, 1950-75 by Maggie McKinley
  • The Liar by Nora Roberts
  • Companion Piece: Women Celebrate the Aliens, Humans and Tin Dogs of Doctor Who by Nina Allan and Seanan McGuire
  • Perfect Match by Fern Michaels
  • Gathering Prey (The Prey Series Book 26) by John Sandford
  • The Divine Spark: A Graham Hancock Reader: Psychedelics, Consciousness, and the Birth of Civilization by Graham Hancock
  • My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair
  • Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets by Steve Kettmann
  • The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Set of 33 volumes (Macarthur New Testament Commentary Series) by John MacArthur (nearly $500)
  • Prison of Hope (The Hellequin Chronicles) by Steve McHugh (KU)
  • Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
  • The Cambridge World History: Volume 1, Introducing World History, to 10,000 BCE by David Christian
  • Woof by Spencer Quinn
  • The Hemingway Log: A Chronology of His Life and Timesby Brewster Chamberlin
  • The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter
  • Avengers: The Vibranium Collection by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas

Well, again…quite the mix!

Enjoy!

Join thousands 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.

Is Amazon testing a content advisory system for books?

March 23, 2015

Is Amazon testing a content advisory system for books?

I’ve written before about how people sometimes want a rating system for books like there are for movies, TV, and videogames.

They want to know if a book is “X-rated” before they buy it.

Well, as I’ve explained, all three of the content types above which do have it are industry created. I think some people believe the government puts those ratings on movies, and that’s just not the case.

The movie studios may have been motivated to do it in part by fear of prosecution (for corrupting a minor and/or distributing pornography).

The TV ratings were…um, “suggested” by the government in 1996, but are implemented by the industry.

In both cases, the audiences are tiered…the ratings don’t tell you specifically about what is in the works, but about who should watch it.

It would be much more complicated to get that sort of thing to happen with books.

It’s not just that there is a lot more reluctance to regulate the written word, although that is part of it. There are also issues of how the industry is organized.

However…

Many people do want some kind of guidance about the content of works.

They don’t want to be told what they can and can’t read, for the most part, but there are people who would like to make their reading choices informed in part by language, sexual content, violent content, and more.

That desire has created independent review boards, and even a new buzzed about app, Clean Reader:

Huffington Post post by Claire Fallon

Clean Reader (not available from the Amazon Appstore at this point) sells you books…and then has a filtering system that will cover-up different levels of profanity for you. It doesn’t actually remove the words, just prevents you from seeing them (although you can reveal them if you choose, I believe). You can see a demo Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.inktera.cleanreader

and it is listed at 1Mobile.com, so you could get it for your Kindle Fire if you choose (although with all 3rd party apps, you take responsibility for what it might do to your device…only reasonable, since it won’t have been vetted by Amazon’s team).

Well, Amazon is apparently experimenting with something new…which I think could be effective.

I wrote yesterday about a book I recently read

Spinster’s Gambit (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

where my appreciation of the book was reduced a bit by a “love scene”.

I doubt, by the way, that Clean Reader would have done much with that…I don’t remember any likely trigger words.

However, when I wrote the review of the book on Amazon, I saw something new that I thought was worth mentioning in another post.

You may not see it when you review a book…Amazon is big into “A/B testing”, meaning not everybody sees the same thing at the same time, so they can evaluate the impact.

When I wrote the review (and, full disclosure, the author is a friend of our now adult kid, although I don’t know the author personally and am not otherwise connected to the book except as a reader…I bought our copy from Amazon, just as you would), I was given some dropdown lists from which to make choices.

Alexis Radcliff’s Lexirad

blog post

has screenshots of at least some of the choices (I didn’t capture them at the time). Those match what I saw.

Two of the have to do with content.

You could say, for example, if there was violence, with “no violence”, “some violence”, or “graphic violence”.

Obviously, those choice are subjective. What defines graphic violence, for example? Does cartoon-style violence count? Does it have to do with the amount of description? For example, what if a work simply said someone was “stabbed” and the person dies of the wound, versus a passage that explains in minute detail someone who has an ear cut off? Are either of those “some violence”, “graphic violence”, or neither?

It was also interesting that I could choose the “mood” of the book. The mood choices hardly seemed all inclusive, and I wouldn’t say they were there for a content advisory in the way that sex and violence are…unless some people would return a book because it was “light-hearted” or “nostalgic”. ;)

I looked to see if there was any evidence of my choices or other people’s choices on the product page…I don’t see anything.

This can be used in a few different ways.

One would be to have it visible on the product page. Amazon would not be “censoring” the books, or putting an “age appropriate” label on them…it would be sharing crowd sourced assessments. They could either show the most popular choice, or always show all of them.

However, there is another way they could use it where it would not be visible on the product page.

They could use this to give you more targeted recommendations.

If you always ranked a book with graphic violence as 1 star (or as 5 star) that would be guidance to perhaps improve Amazon’s recommendations for you.

The third thing I see is that it could be used to aid discovery, in a way similar to

AllReaders.com search for a book by element

which I’ve also written about before.

That could also tie into something like Amazon’s Echo (mine is “not yet shipped” still, although my estimated delivery date runs from this Wednesday through April 9th). You could ask the Echo to recommend a light-hearted book, or simply to just recommend a book (if it already knew your preferences, based on your reviews).

To be fair, I want to point out that Radcliffe saw (and wrote first about) these same ideas. This is a case of us thinking alike, although I would say we approach this from different backgrounds.

I think Amazon asking these sorts of questions is an important way for them to improve their “context awareness”. We will increasingly want that…we want our devices to understand us, and not show us things which we feel are irrelevant to our personal preferences.

There is a risk in that, of course. I hope that I never feel like I know what I wouldn’t want to read…before I even read it! While some may want to search by “no violence”, if they did so, they might miss out on Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, and…wait, what books don’t have any violence? ;)

I do think that knowing ahead of time if a book has a graphic sex scene would be helpful for me, though. I use text-to-speech quite a bit, and more than once, my phone has included part of a book in a text I was dictating to my Significant Other. That might be confusing… ;)

What do you think? Have you seen those questions when reviewing a book on Amazon? Did you see different options? Would you filter searches based on the “mood” of the book? 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!

* 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.

 

Don’t judge a book by its genre

March 22, 2015

Don’t judge a book by its genre

I think of myself as an eclectic reader.

I’ll admit, it’s something I’ve cultivated to some degree.

I used to read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, and certain types of non-fiction…and I still do.

However, I also read other things…lots of other things.

When I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore, I think one of the best things I did was encourage (not require) my employees to read at least one book from every section in the store (I did that myself).

I had them ask a regular for a recommendation.

When it came to romance, I read a Jude Deveraux and a monthly Harlequin (I don’t remember which one).

Since then, I’ve read quite a few romances, although I wouldn’t say that’s my first choice.

Certainly, since getting a Kindle, my reading has become even more varied. Part of that is because of all the free and low cost books, and now because of

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

That also seems true of my readers. When I polled them back in 2010 in this post:

Are genres irrelevant?

I got these responses:

  • Since I’ve gotten my Kindle (or other EBR**) I…
    * Read the same genres I always have 12.87%
    * Read a wider variety of books than I used to read 87.13%
    * Read a narrower variety of books than I used to read 0%

I mention all this because, well, just as there are people who won’t read science fiction, I’m guessing that some of you don’t read romances. ;)

I’ve just finished reading a book which I think could change your mind.

Spinster’s Gambit (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Full disclosure first: this book was written by a friend of my now adult kid’s. I don’t believe I’ve met the author socially, and have no other connection to the book except as a reader. I purchased mine from Amazon, in the same way that you would.

That said…

I think it would stand for me with most books labeled as “literary fiction”. I’d go so far as to say that it has some of the best character writing that I’ve seen in a recently-written novel.

The plot was good. As regular readers know, my favorite thing in entertainment is to be surprised, and this book did that…something you might not expect if you think of a romance as formulaic.

The characters were relatable, and I felt like it approached a particular topic in a great way.

If you want to read my review of the book, you can do so here:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1232395668

I’ve posted the same review on Amazon, but we’ll see if they reject it because of my (peripheral) connection. They do that at times. Amazon, of course, is under no obligation to post any review, so they tend to err on the side of caution.

On the other hand, they don’t want to annoy customers by not posting their reviews…I think you can “appeal” if they do reject your review. I suspect that, sometimes, a third party tells them that someone is connected (for a variety of reasons), and that might not always be true…at least, not to the level of disqualification.

I bring this up here because I had one particular problem with the book (even though my experience was overwhelmingly positive).

It had a “love scene”.

Now that, in and of itself, doesn’t make me not like a book. I get accused of being prudish, and I  understand how people get that impression. I do think readers should be informed of sexual content, language, violence, and prejudicial portrayals…but then it is up to the readers to read that or not.

I don’t advocate censorship..but I think being informed is reasonable.

I also want to be clear: in this case, the scene also had good characterization…and it was organic to the plot.

It was just that…I had really enjoyed the book up to location 3179 in Chapter Thirteen. I thought it could have ended well there, and again, stood as literary fiction.

Then came the scene which felt like it was perhaps obligatory to the genre.

Now, I now people feel the same way about some science fiction and fantasy…that it would have been a great novel, if it didn’t have those pesky robots or vampires. ;)

Maybe an NSFW (Not Safe For Work) scene like this is necessary for the genre. It may fit the expectations, even be a defining factor. We used to joke about that with the Bill Bixby TV series of The Incredible Hulk…that they were contractually obligated to have at least one “Hulk out” in every episode. ;)

I guess my question is, should I judge the book by something which makes it true to its genre? The book was labeled as a “Regency romance”: it wasn’t like they were hiding its nature.

I like 19th Century literature, so I was familiar with quite a few of the other elements of the book…I didn’t have to look up what a “phaeton” was, for example, or understand why someone might get cold in the roofless carriage. I’ll admit that I didn’t recognize the term “the ton” right away, meaning the high society people who might judge your behavior. You might still know the term “tony” for something which is luxurious.

Up until the “love scene”, I could largely have believed it was 19th Century literature, so I found that somewhat jarring.

Many of you (I’m guessing most of you) won’t have that feeling, though…and if you are afraid you will, you can stop at the break (the book uses this ~~//~~) at about 93%. :)

What do you think? Is even mentioning sexual content/language/ violence in a book a form of censorship? Do you like to know ahead of time? What books have you read which for you transcended genre? Are there genres you feel like you just won’t like…even before you’ve read the book in question? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands 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! :) 

**EBR is a term (E-Book Reader) I use for a purpose built e-book reading device, as opposed to a broadly multi-purpose device, like a tablet. There is some flexibility (earlier models of Kindles could play music unrelated to books, for example), but generally, for Kindles, it’s the ones which are not Fires). Other examples which include the Kobo and the non-tablet NOOKs

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.

Bargains! FAOTD bundle, $5/yr magazines…

March 21, 2015

Bargains! FAOTD bundle, $5/yr magazines…

It’s Spring, and bargains are bursting out all over!

Well, actually, there are bargains every day from Amazon…but that means there are some now too, right? ;)

Let’s start out with this one:

Kindle edition magazines $5 for a year each (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

You might need to read that one again.

These are well-known magazines, for $5 for a whole year…not per month or per issue. Well, you can get the single current issue of some of them for $4.99…but why not get the whole year for a penny more?

As always, check the price before you click the Buy button…it may not apply in your country, and the sale might be over before you get to it.

Oh, and check the link that says, “Available on these devices,” to make sure it is compatible with the device you use. The first couple I checked were only available on Fire tablets (including the earlier Kindle Fire tablets), and the Fire Phone.

Here are the 19 at time of writing:

  • Real Simple
  • People Stylewatch
  • Health
  • InStyle
  • Southern Living
  • Cooking Light
  • This Old House
  • All You
  • Food & Wine
  • Essence
  • Money
  • Sunset
  • Coastal Living
  • New York
  • Fortune
  • Travel & Leisure
  • Time for Kids
  • Working Mother
  • Boating

I should mention that the general situation with magazines through the Kindle store has gotten much better over time.

You can now read the same subscription on multiple compatible devices on the account for the same price.

You also have access to the back issues for as far back as you’ve been a subscriber…at least, I know that’s usually true.

Next, let’s go with the

Free App of the Day “Bundle” (at AmazonSmile*)

Even those these are really good deals, I do wish Amazon would stop calling them “bundles”. They aren’t. If it was a bundle, you could get them all with one click. You have to get each one of these at a time.

That said, you can really save some money on popular apps!

When you buy an app, by the way, you can have it stored in your cloud only…you don’t need to put it on one of your devices until you want it there.

I think that’s because an app can take up a whole more memory on your device than an e-book will. You can have e-books sent to your Cloud Reader (I do that), but I would prefer if I could just say “cloud only” for the e-books as well.

Here are the titles:

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 2
  • Cut the Rope (just to point out the popularity, this one has a 4.4 star rating out of 5, and 3227 customer reviews)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon (yep, the Marvel characters)
  • World of Goo
  • Simple Planes
  • Super Why! (from PBS Kids)
  • G-Stomper Studio
  • Slingshot Racing
  • Cross DJ Pro
  • FolderSync
  • Elements of  Photography  Pro
  • Deep Under the Sky
  • Atomus HD
  • EasyTether
  • Reading Trainer (it’s not specifically a speed reading app, but suggests it can double your reading in days…and has training for comprehension)
  • Unpossible
  • Servers Ultimate Pro
  • NeoCal Advanced Calculator
  • Monkey Preschool Explorers
  • The Hidden World
  • Kingdom Rush Origins
  • Repix – Full Version
  • Chimpact 2Family Tree
  • Pumped BMX 2
  • Bank Escape Pro
  • Ruzzle
  • Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer
  • Alphabet Aquarium Vol 1: Animated Puzzle Games with Letters and Animals
  • Adventure Beyond Time
  • Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek
  • HanDBase Database
  • Business Calendar
  • OpenDocument Reader
  • Amelia and Terror of the Night – Story Book for Kids

I must say…this seems like a particularly good selection! The ratings are all over four stars, and there are two here for the Fire TV (and on for the Fire TV stick). A number of these also appear to me to be free for the first time. I say that because there were some interesting ones I didn’t have yet…and my default with free apps is to get them and store the in the Cloud.

I’ll amend that a bit…I don’t go into the Appstore and start “buying” their thousands of free apps! I do get the FAOTD (Free App of the Day) pretty much every day.

Oh, and if you’d prefer to pay a little something to get ad-free versions of the apps, there is a Rovio Spring Sale happening. Some Angry Birds games which are usually $2.99 are $0.99 right now. You can find them on this Rovio page (along with the free, ad-supported versions):

Rovio in the Amazon Appstore (at AmazonSmile*)

Okay, enough with the Fires! ;)

Time for books!

As always, you can go to the

Kindle Book Deals (at AmazonSmile*)

and find links for 100s of books.

Here are the features right now:

  • Kindle Daily Deals
  • The Big Deal, Up to 85% Off
  • Monthly Deals, $3.99 or Less
  • 50 Kindle Books for $2 Each
  • Kindle Countdown Deals
  • 175 Kindle Books for $1.99 Each
  • 25 Kids’ Books for $1.99
  • What Everyone Needs to Know, $4.99
  • Kindle MatchBook

I think I’ll feature that “What Everyone Needs to Know” promotion.

That one goes through March 30th, and this is a series of books from Oxford University Press.

They are sort of background briefings on topics of current interest…and I see some well-known authorities listed as authors. For example, Allan Friedman is the co-author of a book on cybersecurity and cyberwar, and Andrew Finkel contributes a book on Turkey.

There are some very controversial subjects covered here, and if these are done in a neutral (or at least, non-advocatory) style that will give you real information, I could see them being quite valuable (and possibly good gifts).

One more thing: I’m going to point out a few individual books on sale. Note that the price can change any time, so again, check before you buy.

  • The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville | 4.2 stars | 275 reviews | $1.99 | 86% off
  • Going Postal (Discworld 33) by Terry Pratchett | 4.7 stars | 260 reviews | $1.99 | 75% off
  • Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho  4.3 stars | 237 reviews | $3.99 | 73% off
  • Tracks: One Woman’s Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson | 4.2 stars | 233 reviews | $2.99 | about 80% off, also available through Kindle Unlimited (I’m adding it to the wish list I use to keep track of KU books)

There you go!

Bargainjoy!

Um…I usually say “Enjoy” on something like this, but I wanted to indicate the bargains…so I combined the two words. A portmanteau for you! ;)

Join thousands 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.

Happy 80th birthday, Monopoly! The Kindle connection

March 20, 2015

Happy 80th birthday, Monopoly! The Kindle connection

March 19th marks the official eightieth “birthday” of the boardgame Monopoly.

I have found memories of playing it with my siblings and a grandparent (I only ever knew one grandparent).

Like many people, we made up our own version of the rules…although, we do that with a lot of things (and then scrupulously stick by them).

We said that if you landed on Free Parking, you got money…lots of people do that, but it isn’t part of the official rules.

How much money?

We primed it with $2,000, so it could never have less than that.

Then, penalties that you would pay to the bank (like luxury tax) would go into the pot instead.

This would tend to lengthen our games…as all of our rules were designed to do (we might play the same game for weeks).

There was no limit to the number of houses and hotels you could put on a property…if you could afford it, people might have to pay you quintuple rent.

We could also loan each other money…which we would tend to do.

A bit thing for us was including “immunities” in a property deal. For example, let’s say you had two of the green ones, and another player had the third. You each had one of the cheaper purple ones. We might make the deal, giving the player who had the one green card maybe two “immunities”…if they landed on a green property, they didn’t owe anything the first two times it happened. That would be in addition to the purple card…and maybe cash, depending on the cash situation.

Clearly, we weren’t the only people to value Monopoly. :)

After all, it’s still going strong after eighty years…and has come out in an amazing number of specialized editions. In addition to managing a brick and mortar bookstore, I managed a game (not gaming) store…we had a lot of boardgames, chess, yes we had fantasy gaming stuff, darts, go, mahjong, Balderdash, and so on. We had some specialized Monopoly sets, I believe.

The Kindle store has not been immune to the allure. :)

This search

Kindle Store : Kindle eBooks : Humor & Entertainment : Puzzles & Games : Board Games : monopoly (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

has twenty results at the time of writing.

The first result is the game itself…and it’s the active content version (not for Fire tablets, but for non-Fire Kindles).

It’s available for the following devices:

  • Kindle e-Readers
  • Kindle (5th Generation)
  • Kindle Keyboard
  • Kindle DX
  • Kindle (2nd Generation)

It’s interesting to run across that, because Amazon isn’t promoting  Active Content much any more…when the Voyage was released, it didn’t do it at all. I believe that’s still the case, but I probably should check.

I bought that version over four years ago. :)

After that, there are a couple of main categories of books.

One is strategy guides…how to win. Gee, but if somebody wins, isn’t the game over? That doesn’t sound like fun… ;)

Some of those guides are available through

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

Amazon’s $9.99 a month subser (subscription service)…you wouldn’t pay anything additional for them, over your monthly fee.

That sounds like a great use of KU. After you read a book like that once, you probably aren’t going to want to re-read it…you’ll get the tips, take them to heart, and that’s about it.

Of course, you can buy them if you want to make sure you have them in the future (books can go in and out of KU at any time).

Another category is actually one series of books on Monopoly “House Rules”.

I was curious about that, so I got a sample of the “Weird Science” one…they also have Zombie Attack!, Dungeon Adventure, Wild West, and more.

The sample, though, told me very little…which means it’s a very short work! The first page of the introduction was 70% into the book!

What was there didn’t make me especially excited to read it…for one thing, the introduction said the regular game “…seems to go on forever and becomes very boring.” Never got boring for me! I used to say to our now adult kid, “How can you be bored? You’re here.” ;)

Oh well, maybe I’ll try one of these as a KU borrow eventually.

If you are looking for something which is more substantial, perhaps as a gift for a Monopoly enthusiast, there is

The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game (The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game) by Mary Pilon
4.2 stars out of 5 | 27 customer reviews
published by Bloomsbury

This is the story of the game…and the perhaps twisted origin story. I’d be interested in that one…if it was in KU, it would go on my wishlist for that. Instead, it will go on the wishlist for me that my family uses on gift giving occasions. I’m in no hurry for it, but would like to read it…just not at $9.99.

Happy birthday, Monopoly!

Do you have any Monopoly memories? Do you read strategy guides for games? Feel free to share with me and my readers by commenting on this post.

Join thousands 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.

Poll Party #6

March 19, 2015

Poll Party #6

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I threw the last “Poll Party”!

My regular readers know that I really like to hear your opinion. I often ask for it at the end of posts (and I try to give you conversation starters), and I love reading (and responding to) the comments.

I know not everybody wants to, or has the time and energy to, write something like that.

That’s one reason I love the polls we do here. It gives people another way to be heard. Even though we certainly aren’t a scientific sample of the mainstream, I find it interesting to see what we are saying. I suspect we might even be predictive as a group, as far as e-books are concerned, but I don’t really know that.

I like to find a theme for these (although I may throw in some “odd ducks” that don’t really fit).

This time, I wanted to explore the two sides of the Kindle for my readers. No, no, not the screen and the back. ;)

The Kindle is tech and the Kindle is about reading and books.

Those two work for me. I’m really a booklover, and I’ve worked with tech for a long time…although I’m not as much of a hardware person as a lot of people might think.

Yes, I was a Microsoft Certified Professional…I even still have the card I got. That makes me a card-carrying geek…and guarantees me a seat by the kitchen in restaurants. ;)

However, my part of that was more software (including programming) than getting out a…what are those called? Oh, yeah, screwdrivers. Actually, and this is true, I literally have a screwdriver scar from trying to use one of those things, slipping, and digging out enough of a chunk of my hand so that it literally “left a mark” (as in “that’s gonna…”).

I mean, it shouldn’t be that hard! I had a blue and gold macaw for quite a while.

When I first got the macaw, I was reading a book (naturally) on training them. It said that if you pressed a dowel gently against their chests, they had to step up on it, and you could start training them to get used to being carried around, and eventually, used to being on you.

Well, my macaw (“Perry”) was in a large cage at that point…maybe four feet high, with a small door. I reached in, pressed the dowel…and Perry proceeded to run up my arm on to my head! Yes, passing through the little door.

You can’t grab a macaw and force them to do something. First, they can easily break a finger of yours if they want…they can crack Brazil nuts, after all.

Second, they are birds…inherently fragile.

There was simply no way to make Perry go back through the door…the large bird would have to duck, and if it wasn’t voluntary, it wasn’t going to happen.

I got a relative to use the dowel to scoop Perry off my head and on to the top of the cage.

Then, I figured I could take the top off the cage. I unscrewed a couple of screws…and that wore me out. :)

So, I stepped out for a minute.

When I came back, Perry had unscrewed another screw…and was working on an additional one when I saw it!

Yep…holding the screwdriver with one foot, and turning it by mouth.

I know: I’m not as mechanically oriented as a bird…

We say, “How many software people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, we don’t do that…it’s a hardware problem.” :)

A lot of what happens with a Kindle or a Fire tablet (or the Fire TV, or the Fire Phone, or the Amazon Echo) is about software. Not very many people are taking theirs apart (although some do).

For me, that tech element is part of the fun…as, clearly, is the element of books.

I’m curious about you…

On this first one, note that you can make more than one choice…so picking the first two is fine, if that fits you.

I’d pick both of them.

Now, let me ask you a book quantity question:

My answer on that one? More than 10,000. We have one room dedicated as a floor to ceiling library, and the books are on shelves horizontally, vertically, two deep…there are a lot. :)

A quantity question on the techie side…think about your typical day. How many tech gadgets do you use? I would include:

  • A SmartPhone
  • A Kindle
  • A tablet
  • The Amazon Echo
  • A Fire TV (or other TV device)
  • A wearable (including a fitness tracker)
  • A gaming console
  • A desktop computer
  • A laptop computer

and so on…you get the idea. If you use two different ones of the same category, count it as two.

For instance, for me…let’s see.

I use my Fire tablet, my Paperwhite, my personal Fire Phone, an iPhone for work, a Fire TV, a Fire TV stick (two different rooms), a Tivo, a laptop computer, a desktop computer, and a two-in-one (a convertible computer that can become a tablet or works like a laptop)…I think I’d say that’s it on a pretty much daily basis. I know you may have to make some guesses as to what counts: that’s up to you. I’m interested in your own impressions of what you do as well as objective reality.

Here’s something which some people might think would help define someone who is “serious” about books.

For me, it’s more than 100 years old. I have some of the original Oz books, for one thing, and I have one volume of the Britannica which is a 19th century edition.

Now, let’s get a sense of your computer history. With this one, I’d like it to be something that was on the computer in its time…not that you used it in a computer museum, or something like that. It should be something that you used practically.

Interesting…I’ve used all of these except one. I never had or regularly worked with a computer which used tape reels…punch cards, the floppies, an optical drive…sure. Some of you might assume everybody has worked with a computer which had an optical drive…it will be intriguing to see what the poll says.

This next one is actually making me nervous just writing it…

I used to joke about being “web blind”, and saying my hands would start shaking. ;) I mentioned that today, but noted that we are almost never web blind (without internet connection) for long at all these days.

I’d hate that I’m going to say this, but I think I’d have to go without the reading. Aarrgghh!

Why do I say that?

With the internet, my writing would proliferate like beetle species during the Triassic period!

On the other hand, I could write and just not publish it for a day. That way, I could read books and write…using a computer, but not connected!

Yep, I change my mind…I’m going without the internet, and submerging into a day of reading and writing…but I do want them both.

Okay, one just for fun:

I think it’s better that I don’t reveal my answers on this one. I will say that I can legitimately say four of these…and often more than once.

Looking forward to what you have to say! If you can’t find answers that fit, feel free to comment on this post…I never seem to be able to design polls where the questions satisfy everybody, and the reasons people give me for that help me make better polls in the future.

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

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.

Omnivoracious: the Amazon Book Review…and an update on Kindle Scout

March 18, 2015

Omnivoracious: the Amazon Book Review…and an update on Kindle Scout

Amazon has quite a number of free

Amazon e-mail subscriptions (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’ve mentioned those before, and I do subscribe to a bunch…looking at that page (in my top right corner), it’s twenty-nine! You can also unsubscribe at the link I gave you above.

For example, there are 19 in the Kindle section…you can subscribe to find out about the Kindle First books, books for kids of different age ranges, science fiction and fantasy: it’s a wide variety of choices.

I do, of course, list the Kindle First books in this blog, too, if you don’t want to get more e-mail. ;)

One of the nicer ones which Kindle readers might enjoy isn’t in the Kindle category, though.

In fact, it’s not even in the “Books” category (which was the second place I tried, after Kindle).

It’s under blogs (those are blogs created by Amazon). It’s called Omnivoracious, and it’s their “Amazon Book Review”.

Well, what prompted this post was finding that they’ve done quite a nice looking website for that blog, too!

http://www.omnivoracious.com/

Recent articles included:

  • The Polls are Open: Children’s Choice Book Awards
  • Sarah Says: I’m Format Agnostic…And Maybe You Should Be Too. I particularly enjoyed that piece, talking about how you can like p-books (paperbooks) and e-books
  • Indie Titles Perfect for the Big Screen
  • YA Wednesday: If You Were a Superhero…

You can just browse through the articles in reverse chronological order (most recent first), if you want.

However, the menu has a lot of great ways to get to what you want…and I suspect some people won’t even realize that those three colorful horizontal lines are a menu! They sort of look like a logo.

Anyway, if you click or tap that, in addition to being able to search (by title, author, or “other”…any search will search all of them), you get these choices:

  • LISTS + REVIEWS
  • Best Books
  • Literature + Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Kids + Young Adult
  • Mystery, Thriller + Suspense
  • Science Fiction + Fantasy
  • Comics + Graphic Novels
  • Romance
  • Eating + Drinking
  • AUTHORS
  • Interviews
  • Guest Essays
  • NEWS + FEATURES
  • News
  • Features
  • EDITORS
  • Sara Nelson
  • Neal Thompson
  • Erin Kodicek
  • Chris Schluep
  • Seira Wilson
  • Jon Foro
  • OMNIVORACIOUS, THE AMAZON BOOK REVIEW
  • Subscribe
  • Feeds
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Hey, I’m going to make this easier for you…well, for some of you…on the other hand you might just want to make your own choices and…

What I was going to say is I see a way to flip the articles I especially like into my free

ILMK magazine at Flipboard

If you read that, you’ll get the ones that really catch my eye. I do it in the

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

app, which I read every morning on my

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile*)

but they’ve also recently improved the browser interface.

For people who just see Amazon as this soulless retailing machine (and those folks are out there), it’s nice to see something like this, which shows that there are actual booklovers at Amazon…and that presumably, they are valued enough to be paid (in money and time) to write about books. ;)

Bonus update: thanks to author The Behrg, who I interviewed here:

An ILMK interview with The Behrg, author of the Kindle Scout winner Housebroken

I know that there is now an Amazon “aisle” for Kindle Scout books:

Kindle Scout aisle (at AmazonSmile)

That’s Amazon’s “reader advised” program, where readers try samples of full books, and recommend which ones they would like to see Amazon publish. I’ve written about it a few times before, and it will be very interesting to see how it does…for readers, for authors, and for Amazon.

There are nineteen titles there right now…and all of them are available through

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

except the ones that are on pre-order (which you can also do now).

You can certainly buy them, but if you a KU member, this looks like a new interesting resource. I’m not sure how the authors are compensated in this case for borrows through KU…is it the same as publishers who use Kindle Direct Publishing?

Taking a look at the one at the top in the default “New and Popular” sort, they seem to be doing well!

The number one is

The Game Master (at AmazonSmile*)

by William Bernhardt.

That’s remarkably ranked #791 paid in the Kindle store…that’s very solidly in the the top 1%, since there are over three million titles!

It’s also ranked 4.7 stars out of 5, with eleven customer reviews…and none of them under three stars.

Congratulations, William Bernhardt!

Interestingly, Bernhardt is not a first time novelist, like The Behrg…far from it. According to the bio on the book’s Amazon product page, Bernhardt has published thirty books, including the Ben Kincaid novels…and NBC is developing a miniseries based on one of them.

What’s interesting to me there is that many people may assume that Kindle Scout is designed for unknown authors, but successful authors (who presumably know the business), may find the terms lucrative enough to go through this program also.

That’s got to worry the tradpubs (traditional publishers) a bit, although publishing one book through Kindle Scout doesn’t mean they don’t want to do other books through tradpubs…this is a very new system.

If this works for Amazon, it’s another reason to use KU…and I would guess they are all available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library as well, so that could be another boost for Amazon Prime…which I think is a very important strategy piece for Amazon.

I’ll keep my eye on how this develops…

What do you think? Will Kindle Scout succeed? Do you read Omnivoracious? Do the books tempt you towards KU…or reinforce your decision to be a KU member? 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!

* 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.

Irish edition books in the USA Kindle store

March 17, 2015

Irish edition books in the USA Kindle store

I pay some attention to the number books in languages other than English in the USA Kindle store.

It’s possible my  curiosity about that is enhanced because our adult kid is a linguist.:)

Still, it sometimes seems strange to me which languages have more books.

I decided to take a look at how many books said they were “Irish editions”:

Kindle Store : Kindle eBooks : Foreign Languages : Other Languages : Irish : (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Turned out there was a grand total of…16.

There are 106 “Swahili edition” books.

There are over 133,000 “Spanish edition” books.

Interesting…

I went to Amazon.co.uk (the United Kingdom store) and there were 131 results.

That brings up a question I see a lot on the Amazon Kindle forums: “Why can’t I buy books from Amazon.co.uk?” or one of the other sites.

People don’t see the reason why they shouldn’t be able to buy e-books from any of the sites…they can buy p-books (paperbooks) from the UK site, for example.

Well, it has to do with copyright…and with how digital sales are evaluated.

Most (but not quite all) countries in the world recognize in some way the ability of an author to control the use of their created works (within certain limitations).

The author traditionally then licenses the works to publishers, who sell it to the public.

Those rights are normally licensed by format and by market (which could be an individual country, but might be more).

So, it could be that Publisher A licensed the e-book rights for XYZ book in England, and Publisher B licensed the e-book rights for that same book, XYZ, for the USA.

If Publisher A crosses the territories and sells the book in the USA, they’ve violated the agreement…and could be in big trouble.

“But,” you say, “you mentioned people buying p-books intended for Britain in the USA…how does that work?”

Basically, the p-book sale is considered to have taken place where the store is. The store might need an export license, but they could send it to you.

Remember that the publisher didn’t sell the book to someone in the USA…the store did. The publisher did not sell it outside of their licensed market.

With e-books, though, the sale is generally considered to have taken place where the purchaser is.

If a publisher who is supposed to be selling to England sells an e-book to someone in the USA, they’ve crossed territories.

That’s the main difference between e-books and p-books on this.

How do they know where you live?

They might judge it on where your credit card is processed. They can do it other ways, and yes, sometimes they are wrong about it.

You can change your country setting at

http://wwww.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

under Settings.

I wouldn’t do that unless you are actually living in that other country, though. I wouldn’t want to be committing fraud by misrepresenting where I was. They could likely figure that out if nothing else matches the country in which you say you live.

Another issue can be “public domain”. Not all countries have the same copyright term. A book which is in the public domain (owned by the public…not under copyright protection) in Australia (like George Orwell’s 1984) may not be in the USA. That particular book created quite a problem for Amazon, when a version intended for Australia was accidentally made available to Americans…and then Amazon took it back from people.

I think their intentions were good, and they compensated people more than they had originally paid for it (and they promised never t do it again). There are people who are still soured on Amazon over it, though, so you can imagine what it might be like if Amazon didn’t make good faith efforts to sell the books in the proper markets.

I do think the selling of global rights is becoming much more common (even though it might cost the publisher more initially), so this may become less of an issue over time.

Bain sult as!

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 


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