Round up #228: Silk fix, what did Melville make?
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Coming in 2014: Give a Kid a Kindle
I’m going to give away a Kindle to a child in 2014 (I hope to do it every quarter), and you’ll be able to help.
You can nominate a child that you know, by commenting on this page:
which I have just made public this morning.
Nominating comments can be made now (see that page for more information), and I will begin displaying those nominations (which may be edited) on the page in January.
Readers will be able to recommend a child for the Kindle in March of 2014, by using a poll which will be on that page.
There is no charitable organization involved in this, and there won’t be any tax write-offs associated with it…it’s just something that I want to do personally (and I’ve discussed with my Significant Other, of course).
I’ve tried to keep this simple. I just want to do something nice. 🙂
I think reading is important, and that readers can (but don’t have to) change the world.
I’d appreciate any comments or suggestions you have for this. I can certainly see some challenges in doing it…
Amazon promises Silk “accordion” fix
It has seemed pretty obvious lately that Amazon needs to do more testing before they release updates.
Don’t get me wrong, I love getting free updates with new functionality! It’s just that you don’t want them to make things worse. That’s clearly how some people are feeling about Amazon’s updates…I know of people saying that they are afraid to turn on the wireless, because they don’t want to get a new update.
- A Kindle Fire update appears to have made wireless connections unstable…I have to frequently toggle the wireless on and off now
- The introduction of Cloud Collections to the Kindle Paperwhite in a recent update has been widely criticized as confusing and unwieldy
- An update to the Silk browser caused pages to “accordion” as you scrolled, making it impossible to read them
As to the last one, Amazon had now addressed it in this:
They’ve said that a fix has been released, and that the Fire should automatically update within the next few days.
I really appreciate that Amazon employees will go into a public forum and make a statement like that…but it would be better if the problems were discovered pre-release, and fixed.
I’m guessing that when Amazon gets a little distance on all this after the holiday season, they’ll re-evaluate their quality control and testing for updates. That might mean we get them farther apart, but I think that would be worth it.
Hugh Howey writing in the world of Kurt Vonnegut
My feeling is that Kindle Worlds has been a bit slow getting off the ground. This is Amazon’s bold venture to mainstream fanfic (“fan fiction”), in a sense, by licensing properties from the rightsholders and then letting anyone write within those worlds (within certain guidelines), and splitting the royalties.
I’ve been following the forum at the
and after some initial activity, it’s been quite slow.
The bestselling Kindle Worlds books tend not to break the top 10,000 in the Kindle store. That doesn’t mean that can’t be profitable and popular, but my intuition is that Amazon would like more out of the program.
Part of this is chicken or the egg: they may need hits to get people interested in the program, and people need to be interested in the program to write those hit titles.
Well, this title should help.
Hugh Howey (at AmazonSmile) is a best-selling (New York Times and USA Today) science fiction author. I’m reading Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 – 5) (Silo Saga) (at AmazonSmile) myself, although it’s not first in line for me (I’m reading a galley copy of something right now, as part a “beta reader”, and then there is always the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library book to finish). My guess is that I’ll finish the five books in the next few months.
Howey is writing a Kindle Worlds’ title in the world of Kurt Vonnegut:
It can be pre-ordered now, for delivery on January 14, 2014.
Howey’s books are well-reviewed on Amazon, and this announcement has gotten some media play. It’s an interesting mix of inspiration (Slaughterhouse-Five (at AmazonSmile)) (which is only $2.50 at time of writing) and author. Howey had a personal experience with the September 11th World Trade Center attacks, which may certainly inform this piece.
Janet Dailey reported dead
Reportedly, the author’s books sold something like 300 million copies, certainly making the romance novelist one of the best-selling novelists of any kind.
Amazon lists over 100 Janet Dailey titles in the Kindle store, including at least some of the Americana series (Dailey wrote a novel for each state).
Dailey began writing in the 1970s, and the latest book from the author was published this year.
Herman Melville’s Lifetime Literary Earnings
Bibliokept has this nice
which shows you how much Herman Melville got paid for writing. While not complete, let’s just say that the figures might be surprising…you do have to remember that we aren’t talking about constant dollars, though. Money went further back then. Still, being an author is rarely one of the best paid occupations.
* 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.