Kindle Monthly Deals for $3.99 or less each: April 2014

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or less each: April 2014

Amazon does the Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), which discounts (usually) four books a day (often general fiction, a romance, a science fiction/fantasy book, and a kids’ book).

They’ve also been doing Monthly Kindle Book Deals for $3.99 or less each) (at AmazonSmile). That’s a rebranding: they used to say it was “100 Books”, but that’s also gotten to be more…there are 113 for this month at the time of writing.

Those prices only apply to the USA, and one weird thing is that some of the books seem to sell out at that price sometimes (or become unavailable for some other reason).

It’s also interesting…about 49% of the books in the USA Kindle store are $3.99 or less (1,223,790 of 2,513,735). Still, these are on sale, and that’s worth something. :)

I’m going to list some of the $3.99 or lower ones that caught my eye…I’m not necessarily recommending them, but I do think they are interesting.

The ones I list also don’t block text-to-speech access**…but I think blocking it is becoming rarer.

Timebound (The Chronos Files) (at AmazonSmile)
by Rysa Walker
4.4 out of 5 stars, 1981 customer reviews
science fiction, young adult, time travel
$1.99 at time of writing

This is clearly one of Amazon’s successes from their traditional publishing (Skyscape imprint, in this case). The customer reviews are plentiful and a 4.4 is a great score with nearly 2,000 reviews. It was also a winner of an Amazon Breakthrough Novel award.

Interestingly, they also have a good classroom guide for it, with lesson prompts tied to the Common Core Standards. Students also have a chance to win a Kindle Fire! You can see information on that here:

Timebound Classroom Guide pdf

Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (at AmazonSmile)
by Louise Penny
4.3 stars, 798 reviews
mystery, British detectives, police procedurals

Pecan Pie and Deadly Lies (An Adams Grove Novel) (at AmazonSmile)
by Nancy Naigle
4.5 stars, 210 reviews
romance, mystery

Another Amazon tradpubbed book…this one from their Montlake imprint. Several of the books in this month’s group are from Amazon publishing…those have the advantage of having Amazon’s features generally enabled, including being able to be borrowed from the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library).

The Hangman’s Daughter series (4 individual books) (at AmazonSmile)
by Oliver Pötzsch
None of the books in the series is under 4 stars: collectively, more than 5,000 reviews
$1.99 each
mystery, historical, German

It’s nice to be able to link to a page for a series! This is not a bundle, it’s each of the books. Again, from Amazon…AmazonCrossing, in this case, which brings us literature from outside the USA.

Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies (at AmazonSmile)
by J.B. West, Mary Lynn Kotz
4.6 stars, 50 reviews
history, United States, biographies & memoirs

West was the “Chief Usher” at the White House: might be a nice little gift for a celebrity politician watcher. 🙂

Lost Cat (at AmazonSmile)
by Caroline Paul, illustrated by Wendy McNaughton
4.4 stars, 115 reviews
animal care & pets, cats

I’ve recently written some about our two dogs (now nicknamed, as a pair, as “Butterscotch Chaos”…I think it would make a great name for a band, and may make up fake t-shirts for us), and I suspect some readers may think I’m a “dog person”. I’m actually an “animal person” (that includes the species Homo sapiens, of course). I’ve often had cats and dogs together (the big trick: feed the cats first. It’s a big way that dogs establish hierarchy, by who gets fed first. You should eat before you feed them, for example…particularly important when a new person comes into a house), and I’ve had exotics (which I don’t recommend…when your tree shrew gets sick, nobody in the world really knows what to do. If you want a pet that can be treated if it gets ill, get a rat: science knows a huge amount about what affects rats’ health). I mention that because this is marketed as a book for cat lovers, although not just them, of course. We had a cat that did this “walkabout” thing, too (that’s what happens in this non-fiction book…a cat leaves, then returns). This cat didn’t like a dog we got, and basically left. When dogs stray, they may run for miles and not know where they are when they are done. Cats typically stay on the same block…somewhere. We later found “Leo” (Leonardo DiCatrio: our now adult kid named the cat around the time of Titanic) being fed by a neighbor across the street. I eventually got Leo to move back in with us, but it was really always a bond for us with that neighbor. Cats build bridges…but they won’t always use the ones you build for them. 😉

What Doesn’t Kill You (at AmazonSmile)
by Iris Johansen
4.1 stars, 197 reviews

It looks to me like you could read this one even if you haven’t read the other “Eve Duncan and friends” books…sounds more like a universe than a series.

The Group (at AmazonSmile)
by Mary McCarthy
3.8 stars, 83 reviews
literary fiction

This was really a “buzz book” when it became a New York Times bestseller…more than fifty (!) years ago. It is properly one of Open Roads “Iconic EBooks”.

Ball Four (at AmazonSmile)
by Jim Bouton
4.4 stars, 194 reviews
baseball, memoirs

One of the great non-fiction baseball books…

This post is getting quite long, so here are more quick listings…it’s nice to have so many interesting choices in the list that I can’t do full listings for all of them if I’m ever going to get this post out to you: 😉

  • Berlin Diary by William Shirer
  • Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman (due to it being a graphic novel, text-to-speech shows as not enable…but that does not mean it was blocked, just that the “text” is part of the image)
  • Their Finest Hour by Winston Churchill
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen
  • King City by Lee Goldberg
  • The Other Queen by Phillippa Gregory
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth-Grahame Smith
  • Butter by Erin Jade Lange

I have to commend Amazon on a lot of terrific choices this month!


* 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.

** A Kindle 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.


5 Responses to “Kindle Monthly Deals for $3.99 or less each: April 2014”

  1. Zebras Says:

    Its a relief to find out we aren’t the only couple with a fictional band! Ours is That Fathead Spencer (a General Hospital quote my husband picked up on). Its lead singer is Frisky Forest (a partial cat reference). I love that you say you are an animal person. We are very much “animal people,” also, but have decided that the best fit for us is to be “pet humans” to two cats. Dogs require a much greater commitment, and it wouldn’t be fair to them if we couldn’t live up to that.

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    Just a side note. The daily and monthly deals go online at 3:00 AM in my time zone, and since I’m a night owl, I usually check right away. When I checked the monthly deals, the books were listed at their full Amazon price. I was interested in the one about the White House, but it was listed at $9.99. The one about cats was listed at $10 and some odd number of cents that I don’t recall right now. Eventually, they got the sale prices listed, but what I found interesting is that the “digital price” listed for both books is higher that the price at which they had been offered by Amazon prior to the monthly deal. I suppose if I checked all digital sellers I might find those higher prices, but I’m thinking Amazon just wants to make the deals look even better than they already are. Amazon doesn’t really need to resort to tactics like that. Nevertheless, I bought both books at the monthly deal price! Now, I just wish I had a tablet so I could enjoy the pictures in the cat book. Why can’t the Kindle for Mac have the same color capabilities as the Kindle for iPad?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      It just sounds to me like Amazon is discounting a lot of the time…which is ethical and what they tell us they do.

      The digital list price, like all list prices, are a “suggestion” from the publisher. You might also know the term “MSRP”, or “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price”, perhaps in conjunction with cars.

      There is no necessity that anybody ever sell the product for that price…it’s just what the product producer recommends.

      That list price does typically affect what the retailer pays for it, and it tends to standardize the prices.

      Let’s say a book is released with a list price of $19.99. Nothing wrong with Amazon selling it for $14.99…and the same is true for Barnes & Noble and everybody else.

      If a book was published with no list price, the store prices would be all over the place…and how would the retailer know how much to pay for it?

      Unless Amazon published it, they can’t change the digital list price…so this isn’t a tactic of Amazon’s. What you see for the savings is based on the list price…not on Amazon’s sale price.

      So, on March 31, let’s say the DLP (Digital List Price) was $19.99, and Amazon was selling it for $14.99 (and advertising that as a 25% savings). On April 1st, it moves into the deal zone, and drops to $1.99. Amazon would advertise that as 90% off (the DLP), not 87% off (the discounted price).

      I would guess, although I don’t know it, that a Mac doesn’t have the color capabilities of an iPad…for anything. 🙂

  3. Susan Cassidy Says:

    I assume that the tags you show for the books are Amazon’s. I don’t know why they’d tag Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel as British detective, when Inspector Gamache is Canadian, not British. Perhaps they don’t know the difference?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Susan!

      Yes, I take them from the book’s product page (although I sometimes shorten them a bit). Those categories are chosen by the publishers (at least, I know that’s true for independently published books, and I’d be quite surprised if it wasn’t true for traditionally published ones).

      Publishers make those choices for marketing reasons, not for geographic accuracy. 😉 Presumably, that publisher thinks the book will sell more if someone discovers it thinking of Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple, rather than Barry Gilbert. 😉

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