So, that worked: how Kindle Worlds got me to watch The 100

July 23, 2016

So, that worked: how Kindle Worlds got me to watch The 100

A lot of people wondered why mainstream rightsholders would license properties to Amazon’s

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

This innovative programsees Amazon act effectively as the bridge between people who own the rights to intellectually property (like a movie, TV show, or book series) and writers who would like to create new stories in those worlds.

The rightsholder gets a cut, the author gets a cut, and Amazon gets a cut.

The rightsholder is able to put up guidelines, but they don’t approve the individual works.

Certainly, you can see how there could be some risk there. There’s nothing that prevents an author from writing a poor story, or one that is distinctly non-canonical (creating a romance between two characters when there isn’t one in the real series, or killing major characters). It’s possible a reader will encounter a KW version first, and then decide not to read the others.

I think that’s not very likely, though. I think most people will understand that KW is not official…still, the risk isn’t zero.

For Disney, a company famously (some would say overzealously) protective of their characters, I don’t think they’ll tend to take that risk. That’s why, even though the Marvel Universe and Star Wars are amongst the most requested properties, my best guess is that we aren’t going to get those.

Some companies, though, perhaps with younger-skewing audiences, seem to believe that “fanfic” (fan fiction) and other forms of fan engagement can be beneficial to a brand. This isn’t traditional fanfic, but it’s in the same neighborhood, even if not living on the same street.😉

That additional engagement can have a synergistic effect. Someone who reads a KW work may buy the main series…or another form of licensed content.

That happened with me recently…actually, I didn’t even read the KW books, I just noticed they existed.

That upped my awareness of

The 100 by Kass Morgan (at AmazonSmile*)

It’s a young adult, post-apocalyptic science fiction series.

It’s also a show on the CW.

I had an afternoon where I was going to work on some things in the house, and I wanted something to “background binge”…a TV series that will go from episode to episode for me, and not one where I want to necessarily pay attention to every word. I can write, exercise, and do some household chores with the TV on like that…in fact, I do them better.:)

So, I saw on Netflix on my

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

that they had The 100 (from the first episode).

It was worth a try.:)

It is a bit soapy, and has a cast with a lot of young, traditionally attractive people (in other words, it’s a CW show)😉, but I’ve found that it’s worth watching. There have been some good set pieces, and it has a complex (but not convoluted or overly mythologized) plot. It’s also well designed for binging, with one episode flowing nicely into the next.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have started watching it if I didn’t know it was in KW, which gave it a certain amount of legitimacy.

I had also added it to

 The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project

and when I did that, I could see there was some significant fandom. I typically add links to streaming and public library searches for non-public domain works like this, a link to a Twitter search, Google news search, and so on. Some have a lot; some don’t. I certainly put things in TMCGTT that don’t have much: those are fun, too!

Now, the obvious question: did this get me to read the Kass Morgan books?

If they had been in

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

I would have. 😉

In an exception for books published by Amazon, even the KW books aren’t in Kindle Unlimited…probably, that would complicate things with the rightsholders.

Regardless, it worked: KW got me to view the TV series…and somebody got paid for that.

That’s why I still think we may see some older properties that are harder to monetize: The Addams Family, Get Smart, Lost in Space…I might write in any of those, among many others. Maybe with the new Doc Savage movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, we’ll get that…but they might be too protective and there is a currently licensed book series happening already.

I think it helps a fictional property to be open to new ideas. Superman wouldn’t fly if it wasn’t that the Fleischers requested it, to make it easier to animate in an old cartoon series (when Supes could “leap tall buildings in a single bound”, they had to show take-off and landing, and, well, it’s more dramatic if Superman can hover and change directions).

What do you think? Are you reading Kindle Worlds? Has that inspired you to read/view the original property…or discouraged you from doing 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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Book highlights at San Diego Comic-Con 2016

July 21, 2016

Book highlights at San Diego Comic-Con 2016

We are now officially into

San Diego Comic-Con International 2016

While it is putatively about comic books, and most of the press coverage will be about movies and TV, the annual “extravaFANza” (so to speak) also has events specific to books.

I’m not going to be there (I’ve never been to an SDCC, although I’ve been to other cons), but I thought I’d list a few of the book-related highlights for people who are…or who are just interested.

I’m going to give you first a more detailed listing for today (since you might not have much time to plan if you are there), then just list some topics.

Thursday

  • Comic-Con How-To: Plot Structure: The Philosophy Behind Story Creation (Maxwell Alexander Drake) | Thursday 10:00 AM Room 2
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Mycroft (Kareen Abdul-Jabbar) | Thursday 12:00 PM Room 5AB (while this is a graphic novel, I thought I’d mention it because of the Sherlock Holmes connection)
  • New Authors Making a Splash in the Literary Pool (Alwyn Hamilton, Keira Drake, Sylvain Neuvel, Bob Proehl, Todd Lockwood, K.S. Merbeth: moderator Maryelizabeth Yturralde) | Thursday 12:00 P Room 32AB
  • The Smitten Word: Romancing the Reader (Sylvia Day, Nalini Singh, Chloe Neil, Tessa Dare: moderator HelenKay Dimon) | Thursday 12:00 PM Horton Grand Theatre
  • CBLDF: Navigating the Powers & Perils of Banned Books | Thursday 12:00 PM Room 30CDE
  • Hey, You Got Science In My Fiction (Patricia Black, Blake Crouch, Christopher Farnsworth, Patrick Hemstreet, Leah Thomas, Andy Weir ((The Martian)): moderator Brendan Reichs) | Thursday 1:00 PM Room 32AB
  • Nerd Trivia Challenge: Author Edition (Patrick Rothfuss, Pierce Brown, Romina Russell, Cuck Wendig, Sam Sykes, Cecil Castellucci, V.E Schwab, Camila D’Errico, Duane Swierczynski: moderator Brandon T. Snider) | Thursday 1:30 PM Horton Grand Theatre (authors compete in trivia)
  • Making the Leap to Creator Owned Properties: Tales from the IP Jungle (Frank Cho, Terry Dodson, Mark Schultz, Wendy and Richard Pini: moderator: John Fleskes) | Thursday 3:00 PM Room 28DE
  • Retellings & Remixes (Marissa Meyer, Renee Ahdieh, Colleen Houck, Anna Todd, Jodi Meadows, Colleen Oakes: moderator: Sam Maggs) | Thursday 4:00 PM Room 32AB
  • The Enduring Allure of Grimm’s Fairy Tales: Live Reading and Discussion (Kirby Heyborne, Jayne Entwistle, Scott Brick: moderated by Dan Zitt) | Thursday 4:30 PM Horton Grand Theatre
  • Swipe Right with Simon & Schuster (Matt Pantaliano, Jodie Hockensmith, Nicholas Elliott, Catherine Hayden, Liesa Abrams: moderator Jon Anderson) | Thursday 6:30 PM Room 4

Friday

  • Love in the time of YA
  • Queer Representation in All-Ages and Youth Media
  • Star Wars Publishing
  • Tarzan on Screen and Page
  • Shatner Singularity Universe
  • It’s the End of the…YA Series
  • Sweet Dreams Aren’t Made of These: Horror and Thriller Authors Bring Your Nightmares to Life
  • Ask-an-Agent
  • The World of Mouse Guard
  • Tolkien Fandom The Road Goes Ever On
  • The Annual International Association of Media and Tie-in Writers Award Panel
  • The Writer’s Journey: Maximizing Your Exposure in the Marketplace
  • How Old is Young Adult in Europe and the USA?
  • What’s Up with Penguin
  • 11 Secrets to Publishing Your E-Book
  • Romance in Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror

Saturday

  • I Read It Before (And After) It Was a Movie
  • Spotlight on William Gibson
  • Reading Without Walls
  • A World After Harry: The Changing Genre of YA Fantasy
  • CBLDF: Banned Books Week
  • Capturing the Imagination of Middle Grade Readers
  • What’s New from Del Rey Books
  • Stories of Imagination: Harper Voyager and Epic Reads

Sunday

  • Spotlight on Marissa Meyer
  • Fantastic Fans and Where to Find Them
  • How to Create Your Own novel: From First Idea to Publishing and What You Need to Sell  Your Work to TV and Film
  • Knock, Knock: Bestselling Kid’s Book Authors Bring the Funny
  • Creating Diverse Worlds and Cultures
  • The Secret Origin of Good Readers Break-Out Session
  • Leigh Bardugo and Gene Luen Yang in Conversation
  • KidLit Literary Agents
  • Assassin’s Creed Last Descendants Author Matthew J. Kirbyy
  • Bisexuality and Beyond: New Frontiers in Popular Culture
  • What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction

Two four letter words with double vowels and ending in “K”? Book and geek!

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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

August 2016 Kindle book releases

July 21, 2016

August 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 5,799 (at time of writing an increase of 336…reversing what was a somewhat concerning trend of significantly fewer books the past two months):

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

Of those, by the way, 873 (143 fewer than last month…that seems worth noting, since there are also more books overall) 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, continuing last month’s trend, 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!

  • Six Scary Stories by Stephen King
  • Random Acts: A Joanna Brady and Ali Reynolds Novella (Kindle Single) by J. A. Jance
  • A Great Reckoning: A Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel) by Louise Penny
  • Doubt (Caroline Auden Book 1) by C. E. Tobisman
  • Sweet Tomorrows: A Rose Harbor Novel by Debbie Macomber
  • Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by Larry Correia and John Ringo
  • Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory
  • Living for Change: An Autobiography by Grace Lee Boggs
  • Damaged: A Novel (A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel) by Lisa Scottoline
  • Curious Minds: A Knight and Moon Novel by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton
  • The Daughter of Union County by Francine Thomas Howard
  • The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
  • A Time of Torment: A Charlie Parker Thriller by John Connolly
  • Pokemon Go: Hack Your Way To The Top (Unofficial Pokemon Go Guide Book Book 1) by Level Thirty and Pokemon Go
  • Bullseye by James Patterson
  • The Jealous Kind: A Novel (A Holland Family Novel) by James Lee Burke
  • Batman Noir: The Killing Joke (Batman: The Killing Joke)Aug 9, 2016
    by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
  • Travels in Alaska by John Muir
  • The Swarm: The Second Formic War (Volume 1)Aug 2, 2016 | Kindle eBook
    by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston
  • Rocket Raccoon and Groot Vol. 1: Tricks of the Trade (Rocket Raccoon and Groot (2016-)) by Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade
  • A-Z of Curious Suffolk by Sarah Doig
  • Life Behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment Memoirs of a Hawaii Issei by Yasutaro Soga and Tetsuden Kashima
  • A Is for Atom: A Midcentury Alphabet by Greg Paprocki
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Politics: Transmedia World-Building Beyond Capitalism (Radical Cultural Studies by Dan Hassler-Forest
  • Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Rise of Alpha Flight (Captain Marvel (2016-)) by Michele Fazekis and Tara Butters
  • Literary London by Eloise Millar and Sam Jordison
  • The Word Collector by Alexandria Nolan

Feel free to suggest other books being released in August 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.

New Kindle Unlimited benefit (available to others to purchase): Singles Classics

July 19, 2016

New Kindle Unlimited benefit (available to others to purchase): Singles Classics

One of my favorite things I own is a rustic “magazinecase”. It holds a lot of my old issues of magazines. As I recall, I bought it for $5 from some place going out of business decades ago.

20160719_063332

As you can see, it isn’t fancy…but it’s a place for me to organize my magazines.

That’s a problem with magazines: organization.

Some times, I just want to find one particular story I remember reading a long time ago. There was a great interview with David Bowie that I recall. I don’t even remember which magazine it was in for sure.

It’s even a thing in the cryptozoology world. Many of us who are interested in that subject, including me, remember seeing a 19th Century (?) photo of a dead thunderbird (basically, a giant raptor)…but no one can find it. It’s possible it didn’t exist and we are remembering something else. I thought I was going to solve that mystery by going through my old Argosy magazines…literally flipping through them page by page.  I didn’t find it.:)

There are books that collect old magazine stories and articles…and it’s like archaeologists uncovering a lost tomb.

I include links (so you can read them) to some public domain magazines in

 The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project

and I’m trying to tag them in such a way that people can find stories…but that’s going to be imperfect.

That’s why I’m really excited about a new Amazon feature announced in this

press release

about

www.amazon.com/singlesclassics (Single Classics) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I never much got into Kindle Singles, which were sort  of meant to parallel music 45s from the old days…shorter, self-contained content. I just couldn’t see paying ninety-nine cents for one, most of the time, when that

can get you a full-sized book so easily.

Well, with this new Single Classics, it brings us two things.

One is that it is resurrecting older articles…and making them easy to find. Some categories include:

  • TIME Magazine Classic Coverage
  • The Playboy Interviews
  • Classics by Popular and Best-Selling Authors

I recognize some of the articles.

These are going to be great when you are waiting for something, or at lunch, or with text-to-speech in the car (I checked, and what I checked was not blocked…of course, you might miss some pictures that way).

The other thing is that although these are generally ninety-nine cents to purchase, they are included in

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

at no additional cost.

Yay!

That’s  yet another reason to consider KU, Amazon’s subser (subscription service). You can read books (including well-known ones), listen to audiobooks, and now read these articles and stories.

I don’t know what Amazon is paying for this, but it’s also going to help them by providing that enticement for KU (which I think will make people more loyal Amazon customers…if that’s possible)😉 and will count as the ten you can have out at a time. It may mean that Amazon pays less in royalties, while customers still feel they are getting a benefit.

I’m also not surprised that rightsholders got on board! It’s a new revenue stream for something which I’m sure is hard to monetize.

What do you think? Does this interest you at all? Will you pay ninety-nine cents for one of these? Would you use it to write school papers? Is it going to get you to try the free trial of KU? How much of your reading is short form which didn’t originate on the internet? 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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Free Fire tablet with 6 month subscription to Texture

July 18, 2016

 Free Fire tablet with 6 month subscription to Texture

Way back in 2007 when the Kindle was first released (at a price of about $400), people were wondering if Amazon would give away a Kindle with some kind of purchase of books.

Well, this current promotion is a bit similar, although there have been significant changes since. This limited time offer gets you a

free Fire tablet with 6 month subscription to Texture

What’s Texture?

It’s primarily an all you can read magazine service, with over 175 magazines, including many of the best known ones (People, Entertainment Weekly, Forbes, Essence, Rolling Stone, Vegetarian Times…).

These are not going to work on a Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader), but would work on the Fire tablet you would get with it.

Six months is $89.95…if you don’t cancel, there will be an automatic renewal.

Seems like a nice thing to have around…even if you aren’t supplying a doctor’s waiting room.😉

Here’s Amazon’s top level summary of the deal:

To receive the Buy Texture Premium Subscription, Get One Free Fire 7” Tablet with Special Offers (8 GB or 16 GB) offer, follow the instructions below:

  • Purchase and activate a qualifying 6-month subscription to Texture Premium on Amazon.com.
  • If you do not cancel your 6-month Texture Premium subscription in the 7 day period following your purchase, you will receive a promotional code via email directly from Texture approximately 8 days after your purchase. Customers who cancel their subscriptions within 7 days of purchase are not eligible to receive the promotional code. Important: You must have activated your subscription to receive your promotional code.
  • Add a Fire 7″ tablet with Special Offers (either 8 GB or 16 GB) to your order by selecting “1” in the “Qty” dropdown on the product information page when adding to your Shopping Cart. Select options on the configuration page and click “Add to Cart.” Add your promotional code at checkout and a discount in the amount of one free Fire tablet with Special Offers will be applied.

This is while supplies last, and I don’t know how long the deal will be available. I’m guessing this is USA only.

Interestingly, Amazon isn’t doing the deal, Texture is. So, this doesn’t suggest a free Kindle with a

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

six month subscription…but if it does well, it might inspire Amazon.:)

If you’ve thought about trying a tablet or e-Magazines, this is an opportunity for you. If you just want another tablet, maybe for a family member, this works for that, too. 😉

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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2016

July 18, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2016

This is one in a series of posts which I write about once a year. I do this primarily to give my readers some ideas they might use to get more out of their devices. I also think it’s interesting to go back and look at the previous ones, to see how much things have changed…last year, it wasn’t that much,  but this year there are a lot of changes. In part, that’s because of the Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)…actually the whole family of Echo devices. I didn’t have one last time I wrote one of these…I now use three typically every weekday. Also, my Fire Phone (now discontinued) died…I replaced it with a Galaxy s7 Edge. That didn’t just affect my phone use…having the Play Store has meant that I’m not using the Amazon Appstore as much. Okay, let’s start a typical weekday in the Life of a Kindleer.

I usually wake up between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM. That’s not with an alarm or anything…it’s just when I naturally wake up. I usually try to be asleep at 9:00 PM (although tonight it will be a bit later, due to writing this). That means I get five to six hours sleep a night. I’ve talked to my doctor about it twice (it’s been going on for more than a year), but based on the fact that I haven’t really seen a decrease in how well I function and I’m not falling asleep during the day, we’re not worried about it.

I no longer use my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX as my nightstand clock: I use my Galaxy S7, which can display a clock while the phone is asleep, and that takes very little power…usually about 3% of the battery charge lasting my whole sleep cycle. It also gets dim in a smart way, which works for me.

I go in the bathroom and open the

CNN Breaking US & World News (at AmazonSmile)

on KHDX. I want to be clear, my KFHDX is still a great device for me! I’ve bought the current generation of Fire tablet as well, but I like my KFHDX better…partially, that’s the interface.

I can “flip stories” from CNN into my

free Flipboard magazines

and e-mail them to people I know. I do that quite often.

I usually get through the Home section before I’m going to move into the family room.

I turn off the lights in the bathroom (I see quite well in the dark, apparently related to my color vision deficiency…colorblindness) and head out. Oh, and I’ve already turned on the light in the family room using the Wink app. I have it on my Fire, but I use the Galaxy S7…that’s easier, so I don’t have to leave the CNN app.

One of our dogs will have still been in the bed, as is my Significant Other (who doesn’t get up as early as I do). That dog will follow me.

The other dog, and we don’t know why, has decided to sleep in the family room rather than in bed with us. We think maybe Patty is protecting the house out there…or maybe Elf claimed the bed somehow. They get along very well, but I could see that happening. We  are always amused when Patty is sleeping on a blanket on the couch, and Elf comes up and very deliberately pulls the blanket out from under her.:)

Once I get out there, I take the dogs outside with me for a bit (only Elf usually comes with me…Patty wakes up more slowly). They get a snack, and I get a bag of almonds. I’ll switch to reading the KGO News App on my phone…for some reason, it’s stopped working on my Fire. I’ll play around with that, but given that the Fire is a discontinued model, I might not get it going again.

Then, exercise…and I can read on my Fire while I do quite a bit of it (by setting the device on a shelf at eye level). I exercise, on average, over two hours a day, including walking…it’s a baseline of ninety minutes of my own routine, sort of like calisthenics. I have a chronic condition which affects what I can do, but I seem to have a pretty effective fitness routine. I used to use the

Review: MyFitnessPal

as I’ve reported here, and I lost about 40 pounds…but I don’t use it any more. It seems to have taught me what I need to know. I’m not perfect on fitness, but in pretty good shape at this point…and have been for a couple of years.

When I do exercise where I can’t read CNN or

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

any more, I fire up (so to speak) the

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

in the family room, and listen on Bluetooth headphones while I do exercise which takes up more room. That’s typically CBSN, the CBS news app.

Flipboard, CNN, and the Fire TV will have gotten me through exercise and breakfast…and my SO will be waking up.

We still use Comcast, so I’ll switch to CNN on cable. I like that better than the news app, which will eventually run out of stories.

Next, our

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

in the family room is part of the plan for the day. I’m typically asking for the weather, although I may do other things, too.

Back in the bedroom/bathroom, I use our

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*)

and our

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

I usually watch the Popular on YouTube feature on the YouTube app (I like to stay up to date on pop culture).

I take our

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

to work. The first time I did it, it was sort of an experiment…but I ended up using it a lot. I may listen to music, or something like the Kindle Chronicles podcast. I also use it to set alarms, among other things.

In the car, I listen to text-to-speech on my KFHDX, through my car’s audio system.

On a break or at lunch, I may sight read a book on my KFHDX.

 I use the Tap and my tablet throughout the workday.

Once I’m home, I also use the Echo to turn and off lights.

At home, I sight read on two devices: a

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

and a

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

I read the latter in bed before going to sleep. I’m loop reading the original 14 Oz books on that device. By that mean I read it until I finish it, then start over. I’m trying to go to sleep, so it doesn’t hurt to read something familiar.:)

So, I’d say the Echo family is a big change since last year. They have become a significant part of my day.

I think those are the key things. I also may

  • use the shopping list feature on the Echos
  • read Entertainment Weekly on my Fire
  • read The Fortean Times in the 3rd party Zinio app on my Fie tablet
  • use some other apps

Well, I hope that helps! If you have any questions, or want  to share your Amazon device day with me and my readers, 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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Do readers have to worry about a war on porn?

July 16, 2016

Do readers have to worry about a war on porn?

Reading is freedom.

You can go anywhere, be anyone, do anything…if you have a book.

In a grey area, I will tend to be on the side of greater freedom of expression.

I want people to be able to march and speak in support of ideas I find absolutely antithetical to my personal morality…there are things I support that would have gotten people thrown into prison or tortured for supporting a century or more ago.

When there was a concerted effort to suppress comic books, as well documented in

The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

there were people who thought it served public morality to keep comics away from children. There were literally public bonfires to burn them. It’s one reason why some older comics are so valuable today.

Certainly, there were people who classified them the way that some people classify pornography today.

I’m talking, at this point, about legal, consensual, adults only participating explicitly sexual material. Not coerced, not children, nothing like that.

That’s why it is chilling to me when I see efforts to suppress pornography.

Lately, there have been stepped up efforts in that area.

One of the political parties recently said that pornography was a public health crisis. During a public health crisis of certain kinds, people can be involuntarily quarantined. It’s a powerful terminology, not just a literary review.

Starbucks and McDonalds are talking about blocking pornography on their Wi-Fi networks that customers use in the stores.

Now, understand: that doesn’t mean that I want a child being able to see porn on someone’s tablet. You should have to keep it not visible (or audible) to other patrons…and I think that’s true regardless of what you are watching. A lot of parents don’t want their kids watching violent content. The same could be said for some political material. There are privacy screens you can put on a monitor, which makes it virtually invisible to people not directly behind it…we used that in medical areas where I work to protect patients’ medical information.

That’s where some people might right away see a divide. Pornography doesn’t typically refer to the written word, it usually means something visual. However, there is no reason why it can’t, and books have been banned or restricted because of their words.

I know some people probably think I’m a prude. I don’t write the word d*mn in this blog without the asterisk…and I don’t use language like that in my real life either. I don’t have a problem quoting someone else who has used it. I don’t have a problem with reading sexually explicit content, although I like to know it will be in the book. That’s why I warn people…it should be up to you if you read it.

Not up to a store or a political party.

That’s my opinion, but what do you think? 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!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Imagine sharing a book with 829 other…children

July 14, 2016

Imagine sharing a book with 829 other…children

When I was a child, I was fortunate in that I had books which were my own.

In fact, although it was true for some things like encyclopedias, I don’t remember sharing books with my three siblings, unless we specifically “loaned” one of our books to someone else.

I feel like I always had books that were mine in my room. I still have some of those self same copies in our library.

I’m guessing some of my readers had that same situation.

Having books was empowering.

Now, picture living in a poor neighborhood.

Your  parents want you to be able to read books. Through a lucky break, you have $5 to spend. Let’s say you won a writing contest at school.

Your parents would take you to your neighborhood bookstore…but there isn’t one.

Your local food market, not really a grocery store, doesn’t carry books.

There is exactly one place you can get books…the dollar store.

They are mostly cheap reprints of public domain books that will likely fall apart in a year (or “remaindered books” that didn’t sell).

You remember seeing a copy of Treasure Island there last time your family bought a box of cereal.

When you get there, though, it’s gone.

There isn’t a single children’s book available.

A recent study by New York University, reported in this

New York University article

found that in Anacostia,, a poorer area of Washington D.C. there was one children’s book available to purchase per 830 children.

The study also found that even “borderline” poverty communities had many more books than those with high poverty rates…and middle class neighborhoods had many, many more books.

As a former brick-and-mortar bookstore owner, I can tell you that books are expensive to sell…especially cheap versions. You are paying rent for the space under that book, and it isn’t a small amount of space.

Books can also be service intensive (which also costs money). When you are buying a  jar of pickles, you have a pretty good idea what you are getting. You don’t need a clerk’s help.

Books are different. It can easily take ten minutes to sell one book.

Now, there are three things that might be alternatives to having books for sale in your neighborhood.

One is your public library. That can work…but there aren’t a lot of public libraries in poor neighborhoods, and they have limited number of books…you might be on a waiting list. You may also need an address in order to check out books, and not everybody has one. You might be able to get books from your public school library, but again, it might not have many copies. As part of an educational project, I spent some of my childhood school days in a public school in Ocean Hill-Brownsville in New York, which is a poor neighborhood. There weren’t a lot of books available for kids there.

Another is buying over the internet…but you probably need a credit card (or debit card) for that, you need that address…and you need a safe place to receive mail.

The third one? E-books.

Yes, you need something on which to read them…a phone, and EBR (E-Book Reader), a tablet, a computer.

Access to those may be more available than you think.

You might be reading public domain e-books on a computer in a public library, but it’s somewhat of an option.

Non-public domain e-books can usually only be checked out by a limited number of patrons at a time.

E-books are of the better options…but I have to say, the study was discouraging.

I gave away a Kindle through this blog a while back (with readers helping select a child to get it), and I’ve donated one, and both of those felt great! However, that doesn’t make much of a difference.

Hm…maybe I’ll do a giveaway of a subscription to

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

That would let a child read books like Harry Potter…and I could certainly do a month of that pretty easily (although they would need an e-mail address). I’ll think about that one.

Shopping using AmazonSmile and designated a children’s literacy promoting organization as the beneficiary of the half a percent of the money you spend donation from Amazon.

Still, we have to be grateful for the opportunities we’ve had. The divide of book availability based on income levels appears to be widening, at least in terms of physical books. I do think e-books can help…but I can’t help being sad about it and wanting to do what I can to help.

What do you think? Did you have your own books as a child? Do you have a favorite charity that gives books to underprivileged children? Do you think my giving KU subscriptions makes sense? Feel free to let me and my readers know 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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

How to save almost $100 on Kindle Unlimited today…and it’s not obvious

July 12, 2016

How to save almost $100 on Kindle Unlimited today…and it’s not obvious

Hello,

Here’s a copy of the chat transcript you requested:

Initial Question: How do I get the 40% off on Kindle Unlimited as part of Prime Day (being a Prime member)?

10:15 AM PDT Chinmay(Amazon): Hello, my name is Chinmay. I’m here to help you today.
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for being a Prime member.

10:16 AM PDT Chinmay: As I understand that you want to purchase the kindle unlimited subscription with discount. Right?
<snip>
10:18 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Correct.
<snip>
10:19 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Yes, that’s right. An Amazon press release said KU would be 40% for Prime members today, but I’m not seeing that reflected online.
Sorry, for 40% off, not 40%.:)
10:21 AM PDT Chinmay: Thanks for waiting.
10:21 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Sure!
10:22 AM PDT Chinmay: Please click on the link below to purchase the subscription with discount https://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/ku/gift_landing (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) [NOTE: I’m using a different link than they sent me]
10:23 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: That doesn’t show the discount, though…24 months shows as $239.76, which is still $9.99 per month.
10:23 AM PDT Chinmay: The discount will automatically get applied to 24 months of subscription.
10:24 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Oh…that will show up at checkout? May I share that link with other people? Is that good for all day today (through midnight Pacific)?
10:24 AM PDT Chinmay: Yes, sure.
it will apply to check out.
10:24 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Perfect, thanks!
10:24 AM PDT Chinmay: You’re welcome. Is there anything else I can do for you?

10:25 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Nope, that’s it!
10:25 AM PDT Chinmay: My pleasure helping you today. We are always here to help you.

To close this window, please click the “end chat” link.

Have a great day!!
10:25 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Love Amazon, Prime, and the customer service!:)
10:25 AM PDT Chinmay: Please do not forget to click on END CHAT.
Bye!!
Thank you.

Note that this was set up as buying it as a gift, but I put in the e-mail address under which we currently are KU members, and it worked just fine.

The discount did not show until the very final step, just before payment. It had offered me another discount before that with a new credit card, but that was irrelevant and I ignored it.

At checkout, it showed a “Prime Savings” of $95.90, making two months of KU $143.86…about $5.99 a month instead of the normal $9.99 a month. We did this during last year’s Prime Day, so  that works.:)

Check the price before you finalize the order…this may be only for the USA, and I think it’s only for 24 months.

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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

 

 

Prime Day preview…and how to find out about more

July 12, 2016

Prime Day preview…and how to find out about more

Tick…tick…tick…ka-ching!

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

is about seven and a half hours away as I write this (starting at midnight Pacific time Monday night/Tuesday morning).

We now know some of the deals, which I’ll highlight shortly.

There will also be many we don’t know about yet. You’ll be able to find out about them at that Prime Day link, but that does mean you have to go there.

If you are like I will be, you are more likely to be near your SmartPhone or tablet than near your (home) computer tomorrow.

The first thing to do is make sure that you have the free Amazon shopping app

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

which is also available through Google Play and the Apple Appstore.

Amazon recommends that you go into the settings for your app, which are usually not in the app itself, but in the Settings on your phone. On my Galaxy S7 Edge, it’s: Applications – Application Manager – tap the Amazon Shopping App – Notifications – Allow Notifications – More. Check that you have notifications turned on for Your Recommendations and for Your Watched & Waitlisted Deals.

This will give you “push” notifications to let you know when sales are happening…not all sales, not even all the sales you want, but you are likely to hear about some possible things of interest.

Amazon would also like you to set up a new Wish List and add at least one item to it…my understanding is that will also tend to inform your recommendations for those notifications. I’ve done that myself.

That’s a couple of ways to track…oh, and you might want to follow me:

Follow Bufo on Twitter

It’s going to be a lot easier for me to tweet deals I notice than to start a post here and periodically update it throughout the day. You can unfollow me afterwards, if you want.:) I’d really appreciate it if you went to Amazon to buy the item from the

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

link here, but it’s more important to me that you get the deal.😉

Okay, here are some interesting deals I expect to happen. That doesn’t mean that they’ll all be available for the full 24 hours, by the way…some of them might sell out quickly, although Amazon has been stressing that they are better prepared this year than last (when quite a few people on social media complained about that, and about the selection). As I often caution you, check the price before you click or tap that Buy button. Not all of the countries in which my readers reside get Prime Day, and for the ones that do, the prices will vary from Amazon site to Amazon site.

Oh, and remember that you need to be a Prime member to get these deals, but you can get the free 1-month trial (and then cancel, if you want, but I don’t think you’ll want to do that). You can sign up here:

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

You can also shop directly from your Echo device. You’ll be able to get the

Fire HD 10, 10.1″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*)

for $129, 43% off…and you get an additional $10 off your first eligible Amazon order on your Echo device over $20. There will be other good deals…check

http://www.amazon.com/alexadeals (at AmazonSmile*)

but then order them by asking Alexa. “Alexa, order…”

There will be lots more!

I also appreciate that they mention

http://www.amazon.com/bestfriends (at AmazonSmile*)

which I didn’t even now existed! It might be new. You can send pet supplies (from a list) to an organization, described in part this way: “Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters…” We will definitely look at that.

One of the other great deals will be on

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

You will be able to save up to 40% on this subser (subscription service). We are happy members and have given a membership as a gift. It’s an “all you can read” program, where you can have up to ten books out at a time from many more than a million titles, which includes some famous books (like the original James Bond books and the Harry Potter books).

This will likely be the biggest day of the year for Amazon.

It’s also expensive for Amazon. When I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore, we really amped up our resources for the holiday season…hiring new people, including temps, for one thing. We also needed more bags.:) Amazon will also have to ramp up resources for Prime Day, and then ramp up again for the holidays.

It’s well worth it for them, though, if people become Prime members or solidly stay Prime members. Prime members spend more, and they spend more on those bigger margin physical items (which I call “diapers and windshield wipers”).

I think it’s funny, but I’m genuinely excited about Prime Day…like the night before a holiday!

I’ll be ready to tweet.:) If you see great sales and want me and my readers to know, you can comment on this post, or . me (@bufocalvin) and I may retweet it…I’ll be at my day job, but I’ll check when I can.:)

Have a price-cut Prime Day!😉

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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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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