Round up #252: new Star Wars novels, losing out on magazine access?

Round up #252: new Star Wars novels, losing out on magazine access?

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later. editor, Jeopardy champ…bookstore owner

When I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore, I had a publisher’s rep who would come into the store who was a five-time (that’s as far as you could go back then) Jeopardy champ.

We’d have some fun with trivia…I could certainly hold my own.

When I was watching an episode recently, I missed one question…the entire game. 🙂

People often ask why I don’t go on Jeopardy myself. Well, I know enough to know that a lot of us has to do with the buzzer. There are many times when all three people appear to know the answer…but one person rules the buzzer and wins the game.

There’s not good way to judge your buzzer skill before spending your own money to do the audition process (which might entail multiple trips, at a cost of thousands of dollars).

Do I think I’d be good on the buzzer? Well, I’m a former conga drummer, and I’ve been tested at typing in the 90s (words per minute), so my guess is I’d be pretty good.

However, I also always say you could run into somebody who is a Jeopardy playing mutant (like Ken Jennings). Clearly, I’m joking, but the suggestion is that you might have an opponent who is exceptionally good at Jeopardy…and perhaps flawed at others of life’s  endeavors. 😉

One thing I would guess is true of all substantial Jeopardy champions, though.

I would bet they are all readers.

That’s why it’s not too much of a surprise to me that this article by Zak Burns

reports that Tom Nissley is buying a bookstore, partially with Jeopardy winnings.

Running and/or owning a bookstore isn’t easy. Many years ago, someone we knew asked me to speak with their adult kid who was planning to open a bookstore…you know, share my sage advice. 🙂

By the time I’d gotten done explain the realities of the business, including the ten percent “shrinkage” (damage/employee theft/shoplifting) factor, my listener decided not to do it.

I think that might have surprised the parents…they just expected some sort of pep talk, I think, and a few tips.

I never felt like I “crushed the dream”…I just told about the reality. Dreams and realities can co-exist…as long as they both realize they are living in the same house. 😉

Did the name “Tom Nissley” sound familiar? Another interesting part of this is that Tom Nissley was a books editor at Amazon for ten years, and started their Omnivoracious books blog.

Add up the add-ons

Marge Holz, one of my readers, pointed something out to me about add-on items and Amazon.

According to Marge, and confirmed by this

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

you can do an order entirely of add-on items. A lot of people haven’t liked add-ons, because it seemed odd that you couldn’t just buy it if you wanted to do that.

According to the page:

“Include the Add-on Item in an order that includes $25 or more of items shipped by (including items sold by other sellers and shipped by Amazon). This order can include a mix of Add-on Items and other items shipped by Amazon, or be entirely made up of Add-on Items.

That does make it a lot easier to get them.

While I’m not seeing a place at Amazon that has only add-on items, I did try this search through Google:

=== “This item is available because of the Add-on program”


That seemed to work pretty well…you could add a more specific name to the search, like “battery”, and find them that way. I’m sure there are tons of  false positive (search results that really don’t match up), but it still might be helpful.

Thanks, Marge!

Managing your Amazon Instant Video lists centrally

One thing I really like about my

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

is that you can remove items from “Recently Watched”, similar to removing them from the Carousel on a Kindle Fire, like my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

Well, after I had removed some things from the Fire, I was a bit surprised to see them still on the Recent list on our Roku!

I’m noticing some of that: you manage the Fire on the Fire, again a bit similar to managing a Kindle…it doesn’t necessarily affect the central storage.

So, I chatted with Amazon support…and got a great answer!

You can go to this page:

Amazon Instant Video Lists (at AmazonSmile*)

and remove things from history!

Who knew?

You can also see a list of “what’s up next”…those appear to be the next episodes/season of TV series you’ve watched, and movies you haven’t finished. I assume that’s what informs the Fire’s ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) feature. That’s what lets a video start with no buffering.

You can also remove things from there, if you want.

I don’t think you can remove from the recently watched on Netflix.

This, by the way, is an example to me of one of those great features Amazon has…but they don’t promote it or let you know about it very well. I see the same questions over and over again in the Amazon Kindle forums, in part because Amazon just doesn’t communicate to consumers as well as they could (in my opinion).

Access to Kindle edition of some magazines ending on KF1s?

There are understandably some upset Amazon customers in this

Amazon Kindle forum thread (at AmazonSmile)

What’s being reported (and my intuition is that this is accurate) is that people who were getting a Kindle edition of a magazine to which they had a print subscription are no longer able to access it…on Kindle Fire 1st generations.

That would certainly feel like a takeaway!

I had a subscription like that on my KF1. We subscribed to the paper edition of Entertainment Weekly. We were then able to get the Kindle edition for free. We eventually got them to stop sending the paper edition.

Not too long ago, on March 21st, I wrote about how the magazine app had been converted to a newsstand subscription…and how that was better.

However, it appears that the newsstand edition we’re receiving may not be compatible with first gen Kindle Fires (I read it on a Kindle Fire HDX).

I don’t quite get that, though. I checked, and I’m not finding the EW app in the Amazon Appstore any more.

However, the subscription is available…and it says it is compatible with:

  • Kindle Fire Tablets
  • Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″
  • Kindle Fire HDX
  • Kindle Fire HD(2nd Generation)
  • Kindle Fire HD(1st Generation)
  • Kindle Fire(2nd Generation)
  • Kindle Fire(1st Generation)

If they simply eliminated the app, why can’t people get the newsstand subscription on the KF1s, if it actually is compatible?

There was debate on the thread about whose fault is was…Amazon’s or the publisher’s.

It seems to me that what may have happened is that a publisher which was giving a free Kindle edition (through an app) now requires you to pay for both the paper edition and the digital if you want both. We’ve only been paying for digital, which would be why we were converted. If you’d been paying for paper and getting the digital as a perk, that may have stopped.

Hopefully, we’ll get something more official than my speculation above.

New Star Wars novels coming

Today is Star Wars Day (“May the Fourth be with you.”). I wrote a piece about it in another blog of mine, The Measured Circle:

Happy Star Wars Day: the original trilogy is less than 10% of Star Wars

Since Disney bought the property, some things have been up in the air. One issue was Star Wars novels, which tend to get on the New York Times bestseller lists…and having sold 100 million of them would not be an unreasonable guess.

It’s just been announced, as reported in this

Publishers Weekly article

that Disney and Del Rey are doing a new series of adult Star Wars novels. The first of them can be pre-ordered now, for delivery on September 2, 2014:

A New Dawn: Star Wars (at AmazonSmile)

It’s by John Jackson Miller (who has written in the Star Wars universe before). Text-to-speech is not blocked…but I have to say, at $13.99, it’s on the expensive side…

What do you think? Would you buy and open a bookstore in this day and age? Are you affected by the magazine thing…if so, what (if anything) are you going to do about it? Do you buy add-ons? Do you agree with me that Amazon should do a better job of helping customers understand what benefits are available to them through Amazon? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

New! 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.


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