If you have never read the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, you may want to skip the indented section.
So the Scarecrow followed him and was admitted into the great Throne Room, where he saw, sitting in the emerald throne, a most lovely Lady. She was dressed in green silk gauze and wore upon her flowing green locks a crown of jewels. Growing from her shoulders were wings, gorgeous in color and so light that they fluttered if the slightest breath of air reached them.
When the Scarecrow had bowed, as prettily as his straw stuffing would let him, before this beautiful creature, she looked upon him sweetly, and said:
“I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?”
—The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (free from the Kindle store)
That’s what the Scarecrow saw when he first encountered the Wizard. For him, it was a simple (although awesome) experience…like reading on a Kindle. 🙂 Behind the scenes, though, there was a tremendous amount of work going on to manage this stage illusion (and the ones the other friends saw). We are about to go “behind the curtain” where you can manage your own Kindle experience.
END OF SPOILER
In the archetypical Kindle experience, you won’t have to go there. You would buy books wirelessly through the Kindle, and do everything through your device.
However, there are times when you may want (or need–whoops, really benefit from) 😉 going to the Manage Your Kindle page.
You’ll be asked to log in to it, and that’s an important point for those of you with Kindle Book Clubs , or anybody sharing an account. What we are going to talk about next can be done by someone who has the password. If you have a device registered to the account, but not the password, you have different options.
I’m going to go through the sections on the page, although they are subject to change, of course.
This is the first thing you’ll probably notice. For each Kindle on the account, it lists:
- The Kindle’s name (also visible on your Kindle’s home page, and how you tell Amazon where to send Kindle content
- The Kindle’s e-mail address (this is where you send information to have it delivered wirelessly to your Kindle, where available. You can modify this address by putting “free.” after the @ sign. For example, by Kindle’s regular address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my free address is email@example.com. You might be surprised I am mentioning that, but I’ll explain why a bit later. For more detail on putting documents on your device, see this earlier post)
- Warranty information
- A link to edit the information (the Kindle’s name and e-mail address)
- A link to degerister the device
Then there’s a link to register a new Kindle. If you are doing it this way, you need the 16 digit serial number from the back of the device. If you register directly from a Kindle, you need the username and password.
Your Computer and Other Mobile Device(s)
You’ll see a similar table to what you saw on the Kindles…without the Warranty column, of course. These would be iPhones, iPod touches, and PCs…as I write this. Macs and Blackberrys are expected “soon”.
You’ll also have a link to register a new device.
Continuing down the page, we get to…
Your Kindle Approved E-mail List
This is a really key section. This where you authorize e-mail addresses that can send personal documents to your Kindle. That’s why I can give you my Kindle’s e-mail address above: you can’t send things to it anyway unless you use an e-mail in this section. All e-mails in this section can send documents to any Kindle on the account. Note that you can authorize an entire company. If you wanted everybody at Amazon to be able to send things to your Kindle, you could authorize @amazon.com. Then, Jeff Bezos and Drew Herdener could both send you documents. 🙂
There is a box where you enter the address, and then you click Add Address. While you can leave off the name as I indicated above, don’t forget to include the @suchandsuch.com part…whatever is right for the full address.
Your Default 1-Click Payment Method
1-Click is how you pay for things you get for your Kindle and other devices from the Kindle store. This is where you specify what that payment method is (typically, a credit card). If you apply gift certificates/cards to the account, that balance will automatically be used before the payment method here is used. Editing the card may require you to log in again. You can change the method whenever you want…before each purchase, if you want to do that.
Note that subscription items do not change future billings if you change this. If you subscribed to the I Love My Kindle blog on your Visa, and change 1-click to your Mastercard, your Visa will continue to be charged…unless you change it below.
Amazon guesses your country based on your address and credit card and such (I don’t know exactly what they use). You can change it manually here…according to Amazon, if “you’re moving”. I’ve asked them if I can change it at will just to look at other countries’ selections, but don’t have an answer yet.
Your Active Kindle subscriptions
This is where you’ll see your magazines, newspapers, and blogs. For each one, you’ll see:
- Status (such as Active since 7/5/2008)
- Billing amount (with a link to see more billing details, such as when each charge was deducted and from which payment method)
- Payment (where you can change the method for future payments, regardless of what your 1-click default is)
- Deliver future editions to… (that’s where you could send your future editions to a new Kindle if you wanted. That’s important…if you lose a Kindle or have one stolen, they’ll keep delivering to it unless you tell them not to do that)
- Cancel subscription
Next to each title, you’ll see a plus box. If you click that, you’ll see a cover image, and have the ability to get back issues. With magazines, for example, you’ll see six back issues. That’s how many are stored for you, unless you choose to “keep an issue”. You can download the back issue to your computer and then transfer it to your Kindle’s documents folder with your USB cord. If you do that, you’ll avoid any charges when traveling abroad. You can also choose to have it sent to your Kindle wirelessly (but additional charges may apply if you are outside your home country).
If you have any open orders, they show here.
You’ll see books you’ve gotten from the Kindle store, as well as single issues of periodicals (not your subscriptions, and not samples). They have a search box (you can enter an author or a title or part of either), which is really nice. You can also filter down to Books, Magazines, Newspapers…or choose to see all your items (the default). Then, for each title, you’ll see:
- Order date
The default sort (the one you get unless you do anything else) is “descending by order date”…the most recent ones will show first, at the top. To change that, just click on one of the “column headers”. For example, if you click on Title, it will sort by title ascending (1-10, A-z, numbers before letters) first. Click the same column header again, and it will reverse the sort (10-1, Z-A).
Each entry will have that Title, Author, Order Date, and a choice to send it wirelessly to one of your device, or transfer it via computer. The box says, “Deliver to…”. Click the down chevron (it looks like a letter V) to see the choices. If you choose to transfer it via computer, you’ll still need to specify a device. That lets Amazon key it for that device, which helps comply with the Digital Rights Management (DRM). You may also see an indicator next to the title (for example, if you get a book that is optimized for a larger screen, it will show that to you).
To your left of each title, you’ll see one of those plus boxes again, like we saw on subscriptions. In computers, those always mean that “there is what you are seeing now, plus there’s more.” Click that one, and you’ll see some more interesting options.
- A cover image
- There will be a link to the title in the Kindle store. That’s kind of cool, because you can go there and read reviews or the synopsis…and rate and review the book yourself (something I suggest you do on independent titles, especially if you like them)
- The order date and the price you paid for it
- A link to View All Order Details (that shows you the order number, how you paid for it, and so on)
- The download options (wireless or transfer via computer)
- Delete this title (this one is new)
Delete this title will permanently delete it. If you want to get it again, you’ll have to order and pay for it again (although you might pay zero if it’s a freebie). This is a great new option. Here’s an example: you bought a book, but it was later significantly updated…enough so you’d be willing to pay for it again to get the new version. You can now delete it yourself, and then buy it again.
Your individual charges
This is where you’ll see the charges for using the Whispernet to deliver an item to your computer, if any apply. For example, if US customers send a personal document wirelessly to the Kindle in the US, they pay fifteen cents a megabyte, rounded up. This is where you’ll see the tracking on that. If you click the plus box, you’ll see the name of the file, the origin e-mail address for personal items, the file size, and the charge.
Manage synchronization between devices
This is a link that takes you to a place to turn synchronization between devices on and off. If you read the same book on more than one device, it makes sense for this to be turned on. If two people are reading the same book on different devices, it makes sense to turn this one off.
Moving over to your righthand column…
Shortcuts on this page
This is just a quick way to jump to specific sections.
Delivery status for:
There’s a dropdown here so you can pick a specific device. It will show you the status (Success, which means it was sent wirelessly to your device or Pending, which means it couldn’t be delivered yet), the Title, and the Delivery Date. It doesn’t seem to go back very far, but I don’t know what the time period is.
In the future
Since this is the place you can do more sophisticated things, I’m thinking that there are some good options here for the future. This is just speculation on my part, but if there is ever a password option, this where I think you would set it. A person who just reads recreationally would never have to come here and worry about it. But someone like me, who uses it for business documents and would like to have confidential information on it (I don’t now) could come here and create a password that would need to be entered when using the Kindle. Similarly, parental controls could be set here: you could specify under a title which devices are allowed to even see it. You could also give an option to prohibit certain devices from ordering or using the web browser. I could also see being able to set it up so different devices use a different payment method. I’m just speculating, though. 🙂
So, now, you have the power! Doesn’t mean you need to use it, though… 😉
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.