Archive for December, 2014

The Year in E-Books 2014

December 31, 2014

The Year in E-Books 2014

Every year, I look both backward and forward. This is my annual post, looking at what happened this year. If you want to see the details, please see the ever-expanding ILMK E-Books Timeline. For posts in this series for previous years, see The Year in E-Books category. For a more numerical comparison between 2014 and previous years, I’ll be doing my Annual Snapshot tomorrow.

The Hachazon War

Unfortunately, the biggest e-book story of the year wasn’t about stories.

It was a dispute between Amazon, a retailer, and Hachette, a publisher. It clearly seemed to be about e-book pricing, and it took months before they came to an agreement.

During that time, I wrote more than ten posts relating to it:

Hachazon War category

Quite simply, I wasn’t happy with Amazon’s tactics. I can understand that their motive may have been to keep prices lower for their customers, but they took active steps to make it harder to get e-books.

This story did cross over into the mainstream. In part, that was because of famous authors stepping into the fray…books may get nowhere near the coverage that movies and TV do, but Stephen King still gets attention.

The story even made Entertainment Weekly’s “The Bullseye” feature. A Kindle was shown about as far off the mark as possible, with the line

“Amazon vs. Hachette: literally making it difficult to read since 2014”

I think this may have given Amazon its biggest public relations hit since they remove an unauthorized version of George Orwell’s 1984 from people’s Kindles in 2009.

While some authors publicly supported Amazon, and readers continued to buy, I think we may see continued efforts at damage control.

The Rise of the Subsers

Without a major hardware upgrade to Kindles/Fires and other EBRs (E-Book Readers) and tablets, I think the thing that will have the biggest impact on the future of how we read was the subsers (subscription services).

That’s where you pay a set amount (per month, per year) and gain access to books, rather than paying for them on a title by title basis.

Oyster, Scribd (the app became available on the Kindle Fire in February of 2014), and Entitle (which is more like a book club, where you own the books…Ellen Degeneres has promoted it) all may have increased their public profiles, but there may have been a bit of a Bambi Meets Godzilla moment when Amazon stepped in with

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

in July.

True, they didn’t have any of the Big Five publishers onboard, but they had a lot of good books and the selection has been growing.

Paying a set amount for access to hundreds of thousands of books is going to appeal to a lot of people…especially people who are in relationships (including legal guardians and children) where they are trying to support a serious reader. 🙂 Now that you can gift KU (that came late in the year), we’ll see it even more.

I think this is a significant enough development to affect publishing to some extent, and even how we read (shorter books may become the norm).

Some authors didn’t like, but others may find it to their advantage.

I don’t think a lot of people are going to pay for multiple services, although some will (just as they may have Netflix, Hulu, and use Prime video).

Amazon Tries the High End

When the Kindle was first introduced in 2007, it wasn’t cheap…it was $399, and there were less expensive EBRs (E-Book Readers) on the market.

Later on , though, and especially with the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s hardware tended to be less expensive than established competitors.

This year, Amazon introduced the

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

which $199…one of the highest priced EBRs in the market. They actually raised the price of the lowest priced Kindle (while adding in a touchscreen), and the Fire Phone was introduced at $199 with a contract…not a budget price.

We have to see yet how that worked. The Fire Phone was clearly a liability when Amazon put out financials…but the Voyage seemed to be pretty well accepted, and I don’t think the extra $10 hurt the “Mindle Touch” (as I call it).

New Kindle/Fire Features/Services

  • Gift cards can be applied to e-book purchases
  • Bulk actions come to the Manage Your Kindle page
  • #AmazonCart (get a Kindle book sample from a tweet)
  • Find My Kindle feature added to some Fires
  • Whispersync for Voice added to some reader apps
  • Indie books published through Kindle Direct Publishing can be pre-ordered
  • KDP Kids and Kindle Kids Book Creator
  • Set a default device for Kindle e-book delivery
  • Family Library (share books across accounts)
  • Word Wise (in situ definitions of “difficult words”)
  • Kindle book samples are stored in the Cloud

A number of these have been requested for years (Family Library, storing samples, Find My Kindle, default device), although the implementations may not be exactly as everyone wanted.

Apple Appeals

Apple is still fighting the decision against it in the case brought by the United States Department of Justice. Late in the year, it started to look like they might win on appeal, but we won’t find out until next at least 2015.

It feels to me a bit like we have moved out of the “frontier years”. Everybody recognizes now that the e-book market is a real thing…and that has pluses and minuses for readers.

On the plus side, lots of the backlist books are becoming available.

On the negative, there will be legal fights and more public disagreements.

Established companies will begin to solidify their positions, and there will be fewer opportunities for newcomers.

However, I also think the cat is out of the bag as far as new distribution methods, and the democratization of publishing. There will be more new authors finding readers…but they may be doing it through a finite number of primary channels.

Join over a thousand readers and 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.

Literally hundreds of books in today’s Kindle Daily Deal

December 31, 2014

Literally hundreds of books in today’s Kindle Daily Deal

It used to be that there would only be maybe four books in Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal.

Well, they’ve been doing a lot more than that recently, and today

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

there are literally hundreds!

Don’t forget to check the price before you click or tap that “Buy button”…you may see this after the sale is over, and it may not apply to your country (in the 2014 stats for this blog, I had readers from over 200 countries). Let’s take a look…

How about 139 (!) Boxcar Children’s books for $1.99 each?

That’s actually not all of them (the first one is $3.21 at time of writing), but it is many in this popular series (begun in 1924 by Gertrude Chandler Warner, and continuing on into graphic novels).

Oh, and these are available through Kindle Unlimited

So, some of you are guessing, okay, one series with a bunch of books pushes it over one hundred…did they do one each of the other categories?

Nope!

They have 295 “do it yourself” books on sale…and 151 are in Kindle Unlimited.

They subtitled the sale as “Crafting, Cooking, and Compost”. 🙂

Now how much would you pay…but wait, there’s more!

The four books in Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey (2001) series are $1.99 each…and again, in KU!

More of a romance reader? They have ten “steamy” ones of those!

Okay, okay, you say…enough with the genre stuff.

You got it: eighteen “Award-Winning and Top-Rated” fiction books for $2.99 or less each.

That includes:

  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (a Man Booker winner)
  • The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
  • The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
  • We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Enjoy!

Join over a thousand readers and 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.

Amazon Echo: on general sale on January 10?

December 30, 2014

Amazon Echo: on general sale on January 10?

I have been seeing that more invitations have been going out for the Amazon Echo, Amazon’s ambient computing device. Currently, that is the only way to get one: you have to be a Prime member and request an invitation and then receive one. Well, technically, the buy button may become available for you a day or so before you receive the invitation, but an invitation needs to be at least in the works for you.

That has been confusing for some people who could see a “get it by” date, but could not actually order it.

Today, when I went to check, instead of saying that you could get it by a specific date, it said it would be in stock on January 10, 2015.

Since the listing is different, that suggests that there may be an actual change. It could go on general sale on January 10. I was seeing that when I was not logged in to Amazon, by the way.

I think this may be one of the big stories of 2015, so I am excited to see the possibility that it is going to go on sale. No invitation for me yet…I suspect that tech writers may be the last people to get invitations, so the device is as mature as possible before we see it. 🙂

This post by Bufo calvin originally appeared in the I love my kindle blog

ILMK’s WordPress stats for 2014

December 30, 2014

ILMK’s WordPress stats for 2014

Thank you all again for a wonderful year (which still has a couple of days left)!

I’ll be doing my year in e-books soon, but WordPress did send me the annual report for the I Love My Kindle blog. They do a fun job with that, and I wanted to go ahead and share some of the facts with you. You should be able to see the report here:

https://ilmk.wordpress.com/2014/annual-report/

although I’m going to use the site’s private stats to go deeper.

ILMK was visited about 430,000 times in 2014. I added on average of more than a post a day (392), bringing the total to 2,643. I try to average 1,000 words a day, and I think that might be an underestimate. If that was the case, and using the old standard of 250 per pages, that would be the equivalent of a 1,568 page book in 2014.

The top five viewed posts in 2014 were:

  1. Got a new Kindle? Here’s the most important thing to know (from 2011)
  2. The reading experience: Paperwhite vs. Kindle Fire HDX
  3. You can now reset your Kindle password yourself (from 2011)
  4. Parental controls and your Kindle (from 2012)
  5. Why I don’t use Amazon’s Silk browser (from 2013)

While the posts are certainly the bulk of the blog, I want to acknowledge everyone who has taken the time and made the effort to comment. I always appreciate the kind words, thoughtful insights, field reports, and especially, respectful disagreements! 🙂 The commenters who participated the most were:

  1. Lady Galaxy
  2. Edward Boyhan
  3. Tom Semple
  4. Zebras
  5. Harold Delk

Thanks, commenters! The blog wouldn’t be the same without  you.

This next one is one of my favorite stats: how many visitors I had from different countries…although I do have to say, it doesn’t look like I can copy and paste this year, so over 200 (!) countries is going to be a lot of typing! Here we go:

  • USA 306,927
  • UK 49,598
  • Australia 8,880
  • Canada 8,418
  • India 4,662
  • Germany 4,382
  • Ireland 3,702
  • Singapore 2,324
  • Spain 2,002
  • France 1,968
  • New Zealand 1,834
  • Italy 1,809
  • Poland 1,673
  • Brazil 1,652
  • South Africa 1,645
  • Japan 1,356
  • Philippines 1,217
  • Romania 1,085
  • Mexico 1,062
  • Hong Kong 965
  • Netherlands 925
  • Hungary 909
  • Czech Republic 908
  • Switzerland 851
  • Israel 815
  • Slovakia 808
  • Russian Federation 799
  • Turkey 688
  • Norway 651
  • El Salvador 630
  • Austria 612
  • Malaysia 583
  • Viet Nam 572
  • Belgium 546
  • Republic of Korea 545
  • Thailand 532
  • Sweden 518
  • Argentina 515
  • Bulgaria 490
  • Taiwan 481
  • Greece 450
  • Denmark 440
  • Portugal 439
  • United Arab Emirates 439
  • Ukraine 405
  • Finland 349
  • Trinidad and Tobago 347
  • Colombia 328
  • Pakistan 314
  • Indonesia 308
  • Chile 292
  • Puerto Rico 267
  • Jamaica 249
  • Croatia 236
  • Slovenia 217
  • Saudi Arabia 215
  • Costa Rica 212
  • Serbia 209
  • Egypt 183
  • Dominican Republic 175
  • Peru 170
  • Lithuania 169
  • Barbados 151
  • Bangladesh 142
  • Nigeria 138
  • Kenya 135
  • Ecuador 129
  • Venezuela 119
  • Bahamas 119
  • Estonia 117
  • Cyprus 117
  • Iceland 116
  • Georgia 113
  • Malta 108
  • Morocco 105
  • Sri Lanka 103
  • Qatar 103
  • Luxembourg 100
  • Moldova 97
  • Kuwait 96
  • Belarus 90
  • Latvia 86
  • Jersey 84
  • Ghana 82
  • Uruguay 82
  • Guatemala 81
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 80
  • United Republic of Tanzania 72
  • Kazakhstan 72
  • Nepal 72
  • Panama 66
  • Isle of Man 66
  • Lebanon 64
  • Cambodia 63
  • Uganda 57
  • Zimbabwe 56
  • Honduras 55
  • China 54
  • Guernsey 53
  • Guam 51
  • Nicaragua 50
  • Oman 49
  • Armenia 49
  • Bahrain 47
  • Ethiopia 46
  • Algeria 46
  • Bermuda 44
  • Albania 44
  • Belize 42
  • Azerbaijan 42
  • Bolivia 41
  • Jordan 41
  • Antigua and Barbuda 41
  • Virgin Islands 39
  • British Virgin Islands 39
  • Guyana 38
  • Tunisia 36
  • Mongolia 35
  • Saint Lucia 34
  • Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic 34
  • Zambia 32
  • Namibia 30
  • Iraq 29
  • Myanmar 39
  • Mauritius 28
  • Gibraltar 37
  • Macao 26
  • Paraguay 25
  • Cayman Islands 24
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic 23
  • Rwanda 23
  • Palestine, State of 22
  • Uzbekistan 21
  • Brunei Darussalam 20
  • Afghanistan 20
  • Dominica 18
  • Grenada 17
  • Haiti 16
  • Kyrgyzstan 16
  • Montenegro 16
  • Aruba  15
  • Botswana 15
  • Malawi 14
  • Fiji 14
  • Saint  Kitts and Nevis 13
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 13
  • Suriname 13
  • Turks and Calicos Islands 12
  • Cuba 12
  • Djibouti 11
  • Maldives 11
  • Yemen 11
  • Libya 10
  • Madagascar 10
  • Cameroon 9
  • Cape Verde 8
  • Mozambique 8
  • Papua New Guinea 8
  • Sierra Leone 8
  • Togo 7
  • Cook Islands 7
  • Guadeloupe 7
  • Sudan 7
  • Seychelles 6
  • Marshall Islands 6
  • Tajikistan 6
  • Northern Mariana Islands 6
  • Senegal 6
  • Cote d’Ivoire 6
  • New Caldedonia 6
  • Vanuatu 5
  • Anguilla 5
  • Saint Martin 5
  • Tonga 5
  • Reunion 4
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo 4
  • French Polynesia 4
  • Monaco 4
  • Faroe Islands 4
  • Niger 4
  • Syrian Arab Republic 4
  • Andorra 4
  • Timor-Leste 3
  • Swaziland 3
  • Micronesia, Federated States of 3
  • Angola 3
  • Bhutan 3
  • Palau 3
  • Martinique 3
  • Burkina Faso 3
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas) 3
  • Gambia 2
  • Somalia 2
  • American Samoa 2
  • Mali 2
  • Congo 2
  •  Guinea 1
  • Solomon Islands 1
  • Mauritania 1
  • Benin 1
  • Liberia 1
  • Saint Helena 1
  • Lesotho 1
  • Chad 1
  • Aland Islands 1
  • Gabon 1

Thanks, world! 🙂 I think it’s especially cool that I get views from countries to which Kindles and Kindle content can’t even be shipped. That might be people traveling, I guess, or just interested parties, maybe hoping for the day everything gets worked out and they can get Kindle books where they live.

One last stat of a different kind: my customers’ purchases appear to have resulted in over a thousand dollars in donations through AmazonSmile* in 2014! Doesn’t it feel great to have helped out ike that? 🙂

Join over a thousand readers and 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.

Round up #280: great Kindle Daily Deals, end of the golden indie era?

December 28, 2014

Round up #280: great Kindle Daily Deals, end of the golden indie era?

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

An Amazon night

Well, it certainly felt like an Amazon night on the 24th!

Our now adult kid was flying in from the Boston area to see us here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I mirrored my

Kindle Fire HDX 7 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

screen on our TV, using a

Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile*)

That meant that anything that was on the Fire screen appeared on the TV.

I was running the free

FlightView Free (at AmazonSmile*)

which I’d gotten from the Amazon Appstore, to show the progress of the flight.

Oh, and we were listening to the Holiday Classics Prime radio station (which was also coming through the TV, since I was mirroring the Fire).

All I would have needed was an Amazon TV (they don’t exist…yet) 😉 for it to be complete!

I assume next year I’ll just be asking an Amazon Echo what the flight status is…and within a couple of years, the Echo will just volunteer information if the flight is delayed or ahead of time. 🙂

 Today’s Kindle Daily Deals: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Walking Dead, Jeffrey Archer, Rosemary’s Baby…and Sophie’s Choice

Amazon is continuing the great post-holiday deals on books! People who just got their first Kindles/Fires are likely getting sucked into the universe but fast!

Ooh, wait…I need to get myself back on track after the use of that idiom…shouldn’t that be “but quickly?” Okay, okay…geek out over. 😉

There are also a lot more than four titles…it’s much closer to forty!

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

Some of the titles (check the price before you click or tap that Buy button…you might be seeing this after it is over, or it might apply in your country, and I do have readers around the world):

  • The first four prose (not graphic) novels in The Walking Dead series ($1.99 each). Again, these are not the comics, but highly rated novels by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. The first one, for example, is 4.3 stars out of five with 740 customer reviews. I gave one as a small gift to someone
  • The first eight ($1.99 each) in the super popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney (some are also in Kindle Unlimited…KU)
  • Sand Omnibus by Hugh Howey
  • The Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer
  • Solo by Jack Higgins
  • Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  • Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
  • Three books ($1.99 each) in Jasinda Wilder’s Into You romance series

Those are just some of the Kindle Daily Deals today, which are just a tiny fraction of the bargains at Amazon. Check out

Kindle Book Deals (at AmazonSmile*)

for more.

Interesting! I didn’t see this listed there, and it disappeared from the KDD page (it wasn’t one of the KDDs…just appeared there) after I saw it.

They are having a big sale on graphic novels right now, although they don’t all actually fit that category. For example, they have the reprints of Creepy and Eerie, two 1960s horror comic mags.

I did do a search that seems to be turning up the ones on sale:

Graphic Novels for $3.99 (at AmazonSmile*)

These are good uses for gift cards you got, or gift items you exchanged for credit…and you could actually start getting gifts for next year now! 🙂 You can delay them for the appropriate date, or send them to yourself and print them out. When you do the latter, you don’t even need an e-mail address for them, or really, to specify who will get it. There is a gift claim code, which is all the recipient really needs besides the website which is

http://www.amazon.com/acceptgift

H.M. Ward says Kindle Unlimited cut income by 75%

This is an interesting

New York Times article by David Streitfeld

The article is talking more generally about how independent authors are upset with Amazon. That’s a bit different from the recent side-taking in the Hachazon War (what I call the dispute between the publisher Hachette and the retailer Amazon, which is now resolved). In that case, it tended to be tradpubbed (traditionally published) authors siding with the publisher, and indies perhaps siding with Amazon.

One concern that is mentioned is with

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

which I’ve written about a couple of times recently.

That’s Amazon’s “subser” (that’s what I call a subscription service). For $9.99 a month (you can generally get the first month free), customers can read books from a set group (which is over 800,000 titles at the time of writing).

The author/publisher is paid out of a pool when a book is borrowed and at least ten percent of it is read.

The article lists $1.39 per borrow in November.

Indie authors using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing can get 70% of their cover price (although the books need to be priced between $2.99 and $9.99 to get that).

Even a $2.99 book would get over $2 in royalties…higher than you get with KU.

However, it’s worth noting that a $0.99 book would have gotten about twice as much in November.

I think subsers are here to stay and will grow. Just as tradpubs have had to adjust to the digital world, indies may need to adjust to the subser world.

One strategy suggested in the article: shorter books. Instead of one 1,000 page book, ten 100 page books might get a lot more income. In the case of a subser, people may not be upset to read a short book…not necessarily a novel (although that could work), but I can certainly see it in non-fiction.

Instead of writing a comprehensive book on 1960s science fiction TV shows, you write one for each show.

For novels, you do a chunk of the book…and have a link at the end of it to take you to where you borrow (or buy) the next in the series, so it’s pretty fluid. KU members can borrow up to ten books at a time (and an unlimited number per month). They could borrow your five books which make up one story at one time, making it simple enough to read, even without wi-fi or 4G access.

Technology and culture have shaped the format of books before…I think we could see some influence from this.

I suppose the question is: is the indie author bubble over?

I think not, but I’ll be interested in your comments.

Amazon’s holiday shopping stats

I always love these annual press releases from Amazon!

press release

They not only give us some actual numbers about what happened during the holiday shopping season, they do it with whimsical statistics. 🙂

The stand-out number is that “…more than 10 million new members worldwide tried Prime for the first time.”

Prime members spend more more often, and I believe they also are more likely to buy the higher profit physical items (“diapers and windshield wipers”).

That’s why Amazon is spending so much on making Prime more attractive and more “sticky” (so people are more likely to stay with it).

Now, some stats:

  • More than a billion photos have been uploaded to Prime Photos for free storage…and that just launched in November! At that rate, there will be more pictures stored there than there are people on the planet by about mid-year! That’s a lot of cats in sweaters…
  • Amazon shipped to 185 countries this holiday…gee, I wonder which 11 countries didn’t get a smiley cardboard box? 😉
  • Prime Now, which is going to expand beyond Manhattan next year, still sounds amazing! I’m going to quote this one in full: “The last Prime Now order that was delivered in time for Christmas included 3 different 12-packs of Bai5, 5 calorie, 100% Natural, Antioxidant Infused Beverage, 18-ounce bottles. Flavor varieties included Costa Rica Clementine, Limu Lemon and Molokai Coconut. The order was placed on December 24 at 10:24pm and was delivered at11:06pm.”
  • The discounts paid off! You thought non-Fire Kindles might be in danger of extinction? I don’t think so…”Fire tablet sales on Amazon.com were up over three times year over year this Black Friday; Kindle e-reader sales on Black Friday grew nearly four times year over year”
  • The most gifted Kindle book was Unbroken by Laura Hillebrand
  • AmazonSmile* is rapidly growing, with millions of dollars having been donated
  • “Amazon customers purchased enough wiper blades for every driver in Mobile, Alabama, the rainiest city in the US.”
  • “The total length of Duck Brand Disney Frozen duct tape purchased by Amazon customers this holiday season could stretch to the top of Disneyland’s Matterhorn more than 729 times”
  • The bestselling tablets were the Fire HD 7, Fire HD 6, and the Fire HDX 7 (the model I use every day)
  • The bestselling Kindle books were: The Burning Room by Michael Connelly; Gray Mountain by John Grisham; and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

What do you think? How much did Amazon power your holiday? Are indie authors going to do fine in the future? Is it only certain ones that are going to benefit? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.

Join over a thousand readers and 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.

Why pay for Kindle Unlimited when the library is free? I’ll tell you

December 27, 2014

Why pay for Kindle Unlimited when the library is free? I’ll tell you

When I recently wrote

31 “read-sons” to love Kindle Unlimited

one of my readers, Karen, expressed mystification as to why someone would choose to pay for

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

as I do, when you can get e-books from the public library for free.

It’s a great question, and one that I’ve seen asked many times in the Kindle forums. Well, it isn’t always posed as a question…sometimes, it’s more of a condemnatory opinion. 😉

I’m thankful to Karen for having posed it in a respectful way, and thus inspiring me to write this post. I didn’t want to make Karen wait, so I gave three quick answers there, but I’m going to considerably expand them here.

Let me say first, though, that my goal isn’t to discourage people from using the public library. 🙂 I love libraries: I’ve said in the past that if the choice was between closing public libraries and closing schools (a hypothetical lose/lose situation if ever there was one), I would put literacy instruction in libraries and close the schools. I’m a trainer myself and understand the difference that a skilled teacher can make…I just very, very highly value free access to ideas and how that can lead to self learning and perspective.

I just think that KU is a good choice for some people, and would like to explain why that’s the case.

Selection

Karen mentioned their public library having thousands of books and “all of the bestsellers”.

While it has gotten much better, public libraries can’t just freely get e-books from publishers, and that has restricted availability.

However, that’s not to suggest that KU has unlimited availability! The biggest publishers are generally not participating in KU, and that will cut down on the bestseller title choice.

KU (in the USA) does have 816,492 titles at the time of writing. That’s considerably more than “thousands”, as most people would use the term.

I think the best bet is for me to compare it to a specific library. I figured I’d use the New York Public Library, which I think is likely to have one of the larger collections.

It appears to me that they have 75,161 e-book titles…less than a tenth of the number that KU has.

Reasonably, the question might be whether they have more of the titles which you want to read. KU certainly has a lot of independently published titles, which you might or might not consider to be a good thing.

Before I start looking at specific titles, let me point something out about availability. We are about to enter the fourth dimension…time.

Public libraries have a limited number of licenses for a given e-book (at least, for one still under copyright protection). In other words, it’s like copies of a p-book (paperbook). If they have ten licenses for Gone Girl, and ten patrons have borrowed it at the same time, the eleventh person has to wait for one of the ten to “return it”.

In the past, I have commonly seen waits of weeks or even months to get very popular books. I do consider that to be an availability issue…while the book may be in the catalog, it isn’t available right now.

Okay, let’s take a look.

Here are the ten most popular e-books at time of writing at the NYPL site, whether or not they are on KU, and their availability. For the last point, we’ll take the number of people on the wait list, divide it by the number of licenses, and multiply two weeks by that (I’m guessing two weeks is a common lending period).

In other words, let’s say that the library had twenty people waiting to read X book, and the library had five licenses. 20/5*2 weeks=8 weeks before you would get it.

Now, that could be an overestimation: it assumes that the people who have it now just got it, when they may be nearing the end of their lending period…but it’s a reasonably simple formula which will give us an idea.

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (not in KU): 554 on wait list / 283 copies…about 3.91 weeks (a month, roughly), before you can get it
  2. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (not in KU): 199 on wait list / 67 copies about 5.9 weeks
  3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (not in KU): 70 on  wait  list / 52 copies about 2.7 weeks
  4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman (not in KU): 132 on wait list / 64 copies about 4.1 weeks
  5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (not in KU): 309 on wait list / 228 copies about 2.7 weeks

So, yes, so far, the most popular books at the NYPL aren’t in KU…but you can’t get them right away from the library, either.

Moving down to find the first books available without a hold at the NYPL, we get

  • Sycamore Row by John Grisham (not in KU): #12 at NYPL
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (KU)
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James (not in KU)
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (not in KU)
  • Fifty Shades Darker by E L James (not in KU): #21 at NYPL

No question, if you want what I call People Magazine books (books which would be reviewed in that publication), the public library has more of them, especially if you are willing to wait.

However, it’s not a choice of just one or the other. If you have KU, that doesn’t mean you can’t use the public library for bestsellers as well.

The real question is, does KU have books the NYPL doesn’t have, which you would want to read? Obviously, it has more books…more than 700,000 more.

Let’s look at the top five “New and Popular” listed in KU:

  •  My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni (not at NYPL)
  • Departure by A.G. Riddle (not at NYPL)
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (at NYPL: 84 on wait list / 30 copies = about 5.6 weeks)
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1 on wait list / 50 copies = about .04 weeks, or about six hours. 😉 )
  • Forever with Me by Kristen Proby (not at NYPL)

Two of the top books in KU were available through the NYPL, and one probably pretty quickly.

It’s worth noting that these top five are not necessarily the most borrowed books…I assume these are the most popular counting purchases. That matters because two of them are part of Kindle First, and they were being given away pre-publication to Prime members (each Prime account can get one per month from a special list). That will tend to drive up their overall popularity, but doesn’t mean that they will be borrowed more (although both of these have been released at this point, so they can be borrowed.

Let’s also take a look at some of the ones I listed in my “31 read-sons”:

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (just looking at the first book for this comparison) (available at NYPL): 48 on the wait list / 23 copies about 4.2 weeks (1 month)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (again, just the first book, although they are all available in KU) (available at NYPL): 5 on the wait list / 56 copies about 28 hours
  • James Bond books by Ian Fleming (not available at NYPL as e-books)
  • Janet Dailey: at least some are available, apparently without hold
  • Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke (not available at NYPL)

It doesn’t surprise me that some major backlist (not the new and hottest books) aren’t available at the library, but are through KU. Libraries have to choose: more licenses for The Hunger Games, or buy licenses for a fifty year old James Bond novel.

My point on this first one is that the selection at KU is at least complementary to that of a public library. I also need to emphasize that I’m looking at a major public library…quite a few public libraries won’t have that many titles, they certainly won’t have that many licenses (although they probably don’t have the same demand, either), and some won’t have any at all.

Convenience

This is simple. If you already have an Amazon account, it’s a lot easier to borrow a book through Kindle Unlimited than it is to borrow it from your public library. The latter would necessitate using a different process…and two processes are always less convenient.

Once you are signed up for KU, borrowing a book is not much harder than buying a book in the Kindle store.

You don’t have to have a library card, typically proving residence (or paying an out-of-towner fee); you don’t have to go to a different app or website; you can send it to multiple devices on your account…it’s just more familiar for Kindleers.

A Sense of Social  Responsibility

The library is there for every person in the community, and you certainly have the right to use it.

However, due to those limited licenses that the library buys, every time you borrow a book, it potentially makes someone else wait longer for it.

Since I can afford KU, I feel like I’m not keeping a book out of the hands of someone who can’t afford it.

It’s like…when a homeless gives away a meal, or gives out free socks. A person of comfortable means could hypothetically go get those socks, but they can also buy their own. They run out of socks: I’ve seen that firsthand. Again, for me, I feel like it’s more socially responsible for me to use KU than it is to use the public library, at least for books I can easily get.

Another thing is that I’m pretty sure that an author tends to get a lot more money when a book is borrowed through KU than when it is licensed by the library. I want to support the authors.

Finally, I feel like this is an innovative model for the future…and I do want to support that, as well.

There you go! I don’t expect this to convert people to getting KU who don’t see a value in it, and that’s not the goal…I just hope to help them see why it has a value for other people.

What do you think? Are you a KU subscriber and have found it valuable? If so, why? If you aren’t a KU subscriber, have you tried the free month? If not, why not? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join over a thousand readers and 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.

Kindle Daily Deal: 125 books for “kids of all ages” for $1.99 each

December 26, 2014

Kindle Daily Deal: 125 books for “kids of all ages” for $1.99 each

Today’s

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

are a great introduction to those daily bargains for those who might just be starting their Kindle journey (or perhaps I should say “Voyage”) ;), and present veteran Kindleers with some cool options.

As one of my regular readers and commenters, Lady Galaxy, put it:

“…Lots of great selections to start out a library for kids who got Kindles for Christmas.”

That’s true…but I have to say, that lots of adults read the books that are classified as “children’s books” as well. My tendency is to think of children’s books as ones which include that younger group, but don’t exclude the older one.

You should never be ashamed of what you read…assuming it’s legal and such. 🙂

Please check the price before you click or tap that “Buy” button. These prices may not apply in your country (I have readers all over the world), and they are only good today. Books can also go in and out of deals like this, although with the KDD (Kindle Daily Deal), that’s unlikely, from what I’ve seen.

Before I get to the ones they have listed as for “children of all ages”, let me point out a few others:

  • The original Ian Fleming James Bond books (now published as e-books by Amazon) are $1.99 each…not for children 😉
  • They have 43 (at time of writing) “top-rated romances” on sale. Top-rated doesn’t necessarily mean “best known”, but they can be a good opportunity to expand your horizons and discover new authors

I think it’s also worth noting that all of the above are part of

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

meaning that members (and you may have just started a free month) can read them at no additional cost.

Now, on to those 125 “children’s books”! These are some of the stand-outs to me:

  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin: a fantasy classic, 4.1 stars out of 5, 624 customer reviews…first in a series. Also in Kindle Unlimited (KU)
  • Lois Lowry books: Number the Stars (KU), Gossamer (KU)
  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (Newberry winner)
  • Farewell to Manzanar (KU) by James D. Houston and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston: a non-fiction treasure which has been widely lauded about the Japanese internment camps in the USA…or rather, one person’s experience in one
  • Sleep Like a Tiger (KU) by Mary Logue, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski: Caldecott Medal picture book (note: text-to-speech is not enabled on this title, but I assume that it is due to the text being part of the image and therefore inaccessible to the software, not because the access was blocked by the publisher)
  • Catherine, Called Birdy (KU) by Karen Cushman
  • An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (KU) by Jim Murphy (Newbery honoree)
  • Sing Down the Moon (KU) by Scott O’Dell
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virgina Lee Burton (some of us may remember being read this by Captain Kangaroo)
  • Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen
  • Curious George by H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey: a part of childhood
  • The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (KU) by Barry Lyga
  • Yes, She Can! Women’s Sports Pioneers by Glenn Stout
  • Mary Poppins in the Park (KU) by P.L. Travers and Mary Shepard…not the first of the series about the magical nanny, but part of it

Enjoy!

Join over a thousand readers and 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.

 

31 “read-sons” to love Kindle Unlimited

December 26, 2014

31 “read-sons” to love Kindle Unlimited

Like a lot of people, you may be brand new to

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

You may have gotten a free month when you bought (or were given) an Amazon reader or tablet, or maybe you were given a gift of KU:

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

If you are a reader, this is a wonderful thing!

Of course, you’ll run into naysayers who want to dismiss it…they may tell you how the biggest publishers aren’t participating, and how you won’t see the bestsellers in there.

Well, the part about the publishers is true (at least at the time of writing), but there are some recent bestsellers and a lot of great books that may not be topping the charts this week!

I decided to list 31 “read-sons” (reasons, but specifically things to read) to love having KU, but before I do, let me explain how it works.

For $9.99 a month, you can read certain Kindle books. The amount you can read in a month of those books is unlimited, although you can only have up to ten at a time. If you go to borrow an eleventh book, it will suggest you return the one you’ve had the longest, but it’s up to you.

You don’t own the books, but you can keep them as long as you are a KU member. It is possible for books to go in and out of KU, though.

More than one person can read the same book on your account at the same time…that still counts as only having borrowed one book. For example, if you borrow Water for Elephants, two people can both read it on your account.

For more information (both on how to use it and book recommendations, see the

Kindle Unlimited category of posts on this blog

Okay, here are 31 read-sons! I picked thirty-one so there would be one reason for each day in the longest month, since so many people are getting one month free. You don’t have to borrow only one book a day, though: again, you can have up to ten out at a time.

  1. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins! Yes, you can read (or re-read) all three of the Hunger Games books at no additional cost!
  2. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling! All seven of the books at your convenience…vide libri! Another cool feature: they have these books in different languages. If you’ve read them in English and are learning Japanese, it might really help you to read a book with which you are familiar in that language
  3. Bond…James Bond by Ian Fleming!
  4. More than 300 million copies of books by romance writer Janet Dailey have reportedly been sold…there are over fifty titles by hers in KU!
  5. Childhood’s End, Rendezvous with Rama, and more by science fiction master Arthur C. Clarke!
  6. 27 (at time of writing) of the Perry Mason books by Erle Stanley Gardner
  7. Good grief! You’re on Kindle Unlimited, Charlie Brown! The Complete Peanuts Collections (the comic strips) are available in KU…and they are $14.99 each at time of writing
  8. Cookbooks! Ever bought a cookbook, or browsed through a bunch in a store, just looking for a recipe to cook one dish? With KU, you don’t need to buy them…just borrow them! Have a vegetarian coming over for the holidays? You can borrow Holiday Vegan Entrees
  9. Travel books! That’s another example of something you might want to use, but don’t want to keep. Going to Australia for the holidays, so you can enjoy them on the beach? There are close to 200 Australia travel books in KU, including the Lonely Planet series
  10. Read the movie! Life of Pi, 12 Years a Slave, From Here to Eternity…
  11. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson: this 1962 book really launched the environmental movement in the USA
  12. Have a laugh with Erma Bombeck! One of the most popular American humorists and newspaper columnists, you can read If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?, Motherhood, and The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank and more!
  13. Lord of the Rings…and the Hobbit!
  14. All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot!
  15. KU AudioBooks (at AmazonSmile*) There are close to 10,000 audiobooks at time of writing available through Kindle Unlimited
  16. The Wayward Pines books…recent books soon to be a TV series on Fox!
  17. George Orwell books, including 1984 and Animal Farm: not in the public domain in the USA, but available to read at no additional cost on KU!
  18. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks: super popular non-fiction book from 1985!
  19. The Heirloom Collection series, illustrated by Jaqui Oakley: Complete Sherlock Holmes (the original Arthur Conan Doyle Works) or the complete novels of Jane Austen, published at $99.99 in hardback, highly rated, new four color illustrations…sure, you could find Homes and Austen for free outside of KU, but these are relatively high quality editions!
  20. Capital in the 21st Century…a number one New York Times bestseller in 2014!
  21. Hundreds of books on Minecraft! Would you really pay for them? Maybe…but you are probably a lot more likely to read them
  22. The Princess Bride by William Goldman!
  23. Pat Conroy! The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini…
  24. John Jakes! North and South, The Kent Family Chronicles…
  25. The 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain
  26. The Wool series (popular recent science fiction) by Hugh Howey!
  27. Umberto Eco! The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum…
  28. Thousands of joke books! Honestly, who reads a joke book twice?
  29. David Halberstam’s The Fifties!
  30. The “For Dummies” series! That’s another example of one where, once you’ve read it and learned it, you probably don’t want to own it
  31. The Best American Short Stories series (not 2014 at the time of writing, but early volumes)

There! If that “naysayer” still says there isn’t anything good to read in Kindle Unlimited…well, you’ll know better. 😉

Enjoy!

Update: thanks to reader Allie D. for a comment which helped improve this post!

Join over a thousand readers and 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.

40 free apps through Friday

December 24, 2014

40 free apps through Friday

They’re here!

As I mentioned recently in this post:

Big Kindle book sale coming December 25th

Amazon is doing a lot of digital content deals in the next few days.

That will include a big Kindle book sale starting tomorrow, but their free app deal starts today:

Free App of the Day Bundle (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Now, I’ve tried to learn from our (now adult) kid, who is a linguist, that as long as people are getting the message across, language isn’t “wrong”. It’s made me more tolerant of misplaced apostrophes and such.

In this case, though, I do think it’s confusing to call this a “bundle”.

It seems to me that by definition, a bundle is a group of objects joined together into a single object, while still maintaining their individual existences.

Take a bunch of sticks and tie them together with string. You can pick that up as if it is one thing: it’s a bundle of sticks. If you still have to pick up each stick one at a time, it isn’t a bundle…it’s still a bunch of sticks. 🙂

You can’t “pick up” these games and apps with one click or tap: you have to order each one separately.

Of course, that might be a good thing. You don’t necessarily want all forty of them, and you might want some of them on one device and some of them on another.

Also, in my case, we already have several…so that might be confusing if it was truly a bundle.

Regardless, there are some interesting titles here. If somebody in your family is getting a Fire tablet or a Fire phone as a gift, these could certainly enhance its value. Update: some of these, like the very popular Terraria (4.4 stars | 2,239 reviews at time of writing) also work on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

They are ones for which you would normally pay, by the way…Amazon also does an FAOTD (Free App of the Day) every day (which would also be one that would normally cost you something**), and there are thousands of free apps beyond that.

In the case of regularly free apps, though, they are often ad-supported…whereas paid apps (even when gotten free like this) generally aren’t.

One disadvantage of ad-supported apps is that many of them need to connect to the internet from time to time to download new ads. That can be a problem if you are somewhere without a wireless connection, you want to play the game or use the app, and it won’t launch.

That shouldn’t be the case with the apps in this collection.

Here’s a list:

  • Five Nights at Freddys
  • Plex
  • Terrarria
  • Sonc the Hedgehog 2
  • Farming Simulator 4
  • My Alarm Clock
  • Angry Birds Space (they have it twice…I think one is HD, one isn’t, as far as their designators go)
  • Construction Simulator
  • Fleksy Keyboard
  • Wolfram/Alpha
  • Worms 3
  • Tetris
  • Age of Zombies: Season 2
  • Photo Transfer App
  • Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro
  • Root Explorer
  • To-Fu Fury
  • Ultimate Guitar Tabs
  • iReal Pro- Music Book & Play Along
  • Tunein Radio Pro
  • PicShop – Photo Editor
  • Mirroring 360
  • djay 2
  • Just 6 Weeks
  • Quell Reflect
  • Splashtop Remote Desktop
  • Calculator Pro
  • Jump Desktop
  • InstaWeather Pro
  • Color Splash FX
  • Cogs
  • ElectroDroid Pro
  • Insta Place
  • Anomaly Warzone
  • Paper Train Reloaded
  • The Muscular System Manual

I tend to get all the free apps, and just store them in the Cloud (that’s an option). That way, if a guest ever wants to use one, they can. 🙂

Enjoy!

Bonus deal: I don’t like to do something which is just apps…this blog is more book focused, especially for a lot of our readers. I did do an app only yesterday, but that was a quickie so people could get a freebie before it disappeared. I’m also reposting A Kindle Carol today (and yesterday and tomorrow), so that’s something bookish. 😉 Since we’re talking about free apps, I’ll go with free e-books. This list is updated hourly:

Top 100 Free Kindle eBooks in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile*)

Join over a thousand readers and 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.

** Today’s free app is

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! – Dr. Seuss (at AmazonSmile*)

That one is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with 38 reviews, and has several reading modes, including reading it yourself or having it read to you…might be especially nice for a developing reader.

 

Free App of the Day today (Tuesday 12/23): A Charlie Brown Christmas

December 24, 2014

Free App of the Day today (Tuesday 12/23): A Charlie Brown Christmas

Normally $4.99, today’s FAOTD (Free App of the Day) is

A Charlie Brown Christmas (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It has the original voices from the TV special, you can read it, and it has interactive elements…definitely something fun on a new Fire tablet (it works on the Fire Phone, too).

Enjoy!

Join over a thousand readers and 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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