Archive for August, 2015

My favorite Kindle sale: hundreds of books for students up to 90% off each

August 31, 2015

My favorite Kindle sale: hundreds of books for students up to 90% off each

Amazon has lots of ways to save us money on ebooks…I even listed

10 ways Amazon saves us money on e-books

back in 2013.

One of my favorites, though, is one they do from time to time…huge savings on books putatively for students, but there is likely to be something there just about anybody would want (student or not)

It’s today’s

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

That means that these are special prices for today (expect these books to cost more tomorrow)…and they may not apply in your country. As always, check the price before you click or tap that Buy button.

Also, this is a great opportunity to buy gifts! You can buy them now at these prices, and delay delivery until the appropriate gift giving occasion. E-books can be terrific small gifts…and big ones too, of course. 🙂

If you average five seconds per book (for some, you’ll skim over it…for others, you might look much more than five seconds making a decision), it would take you close to twenty minutes to look at this list. I’ll do it for you. 😉

Just kidding: I’m not going to list every book here, just the ones that caught my eye. I will go through the list myself…that’s going to be more for gifts than for me. As a happy

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

I’m less inclined to make an impulse buy of a book than I was in the past. I always have things I really want to read.

However, while you can gift Kindle Unlimited memberships, you obviously can’t gift books you borrow from KU (you borrow them, you don’t own them).

Here we go:

  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (also KU)
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me:Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
  • On Writing Well (30th Anniversary Edition) by William Zinsser
  • Brain Rules by John Medina
  • Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide by Alex Reinhart
  • Ignorance: How It Drives Science by Stuart Firestein
  • Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters
  • Cybersecurity and Cyberwar by P. W. Singer and Allan Friedman
  • Stay the Rising Sun by Phil Keith
  • Hacking: The Art of Exploitation by Jon Erickson
  • Lean UX by John Gothell and Josh Seiden
  • Why Geography Matters More Than Ever by Harm de Blij
  • Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth by Mika Brzesinski
  • American History by Paul S. Boyer
  • Be a People Person by John C. Maxwell
  • The Hot Sea: The Startup CEO Guidebook by Dan Shapiro
  • Dealing with People You Can’t Stand by Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner
  • Emotional Vampires by Albert Bernstein
  • Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates by Ross Guberman
  • The Ultimate French Review and Practice by David Stillman
  • Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False by Thomas Nagel
  • Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class by Ian Haney Lopez
  • The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia
  • APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch (KU)
  • Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know by Julia E. Sweig
  • Perfect Phrases for Conflict Resolution by Lawrence Polsky and Antoine Gerschel
  • Saigon Has Fallen by Peter Arnett (KU)
  • Thirteen: The Apollo Flight That Failed by Henry F.S. Cooper (KU)
  • Korean for Beginners by Henry J. Amen IV and Kyubong Park
  • Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth
  • The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkum
  • The 1910 Slocum Massacre by E.R. Billis
  • If the Universe is Teeming with Aliens…Where is Everybody? by Stephen Webb
  • Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music by Angela Myles Beeching
  • The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media by Jose Van Dijck
  • The Language hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language by John H. McWhorter
  • Mad Madame Lalaurie by Victoria Cosne Love and  Loelei Shannon
  • Think Better by Tim Hurson
  • Think: Why You Should Question Everything by Guy P. Harrison
  • Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
  • Grammar Girl’s 101 Words to Sound Smart by Mignon Fogarty
  • The Plot Thickens: 8 Way to Bring Fiction to Life by Noah Lukeman
  • Turing: Pioneer of the Information Age by B. Jack Copeland
  • Vanishing Seattle by Clark Humphrey
  • They Say in Harlan County by Harlan Portelli
  • Los Angeles Television by Joel Tator
  • First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama by Betty Caroli
  • The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair by Bill Cotter and Bill Young
  • What to If a Bird Flies in the House and 72 Other Things You Ought to Know by Now by Elizabeth Nix and Elizabeth Hurchalla

Enjoy!

Join thousands of 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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Oliver Sacks has reportedly died

August 31, 2015

Oliver Sacks has reportedly died

I love reading non-fiction.

What I particularly enjoy is when something gives me a new take on the normal.

I have that right now with

Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

When I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore, there was a particular non-fiction book that became were actively seeking. It wasn’t just the typical feeling of someone just being intrigued…it felt more like they were looking for insight.

That book was

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (at AmazonSmile*)

by the neurologist Oliver Sacks.

I’ve always been fascinated by how people think: I’m a trainer (which requires a strong understanding of that), a writer, and have been working in the medical field (not as a clinician) for quite some time.

Oddly, though, I’ve never actually read the book.

Not too long ago, I happily downloaded it to my

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

as part of our membership in

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

That’s right: a book which was a bestseller, and which I’ve thought about reading since before the Kindle existed, was available for me at no additional cost.

I was saddened, then, to have the book as yet unread on my device when I heard about Oliver Sacks passing.

It wasn’t a surprise: I knew that the author had cancer about a decade ago, and that it had taken a serious turn for the worse earlier this year.

There is the consolation that Oliver Sacks will  continue to have a presence in the world and to influence people’s lives through the books.

While “Hat” (4.3 stars out of 5 with 420 reviews) is the only one available through KU, there are fourteen Oliver Sacks books in the USA Kindle store:

Oliver Sack’s Amazon Author Central page (at AmazonSmile*)

Having “Hat” in KU is a good strategy: people reading that one certainly might want to read some of the others, which include:

  • Musicophilia
  • Awakenings (which became an Oscar and Golden Globe nominated movie with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro
  • An Anthropologist on Mars (which is unavailable in p-book…paperbook…right now)
  • The Island of the Colorblind
  • Hallucinations
  • Seeing Voices
  • A Leg to Stand On

While we can mourn his loss, we can be thankful that we can still connect with Oliver Sacks through the books of someone who was both a great thinker and a feeling individual…and with the rare gift of being able to communicate both perspectives.

Join thousands of 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.

The Land of 10,000 Reviews

August 29, 2015

The Land of 10,000 Reviews

We’ve probably all gotten a request from a writer to do a review.

Clearly, people believe that reviews equal sales…you know, unless they just genuinely want the criticism. 😉

However, when we look at the books with the most reviews at Amazon (I figured out and reported on a way to sort search results by most reviews here: New search tip: sort by Most Reviews), you’ll find that they don’t match up with Amazon’s

USA Kindle Store E-book Bestsellers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The reason for that is pretty simple.

Reviews are forever. 😉

Well, not quite forever….sometimes, rarely, a review is removed from a Kindle book.

Amazon may do that if they suspect a financial or other inappropriate connection between the reviewer and the publisher/author.

Amazon completely has the right to do that, of course…contrary to what you might hear, that has nothing to do with free speech.

Free speech has to do with what the government can restrict…not what a business decides to do.

A store doesn’t have to carry your book; Amazon doesn’t have to run your review.

That said, Amazon tends to be pretty unfiltered in terms of reviews, from what I’ve seen. If they were eliminating them to boost sales (getting rid of negative ones), or because of writing quality (don’t get me started), you wouldn’t see a lot of what you see now.

I do use Amazon reviews, but not necessarily at face value.

I’m getting some home automation for the first time, to get the experience of that with our

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

and a reviews said that one outlet had such a bright “ready light” that the reviewer wouldn’t put it in a bedroom. I have extra good night vision (possibly related to my color vision deficiency), and that would likely bother me, so I got something else.

That was useful. 🙂

No, reviews don’t tend to be removed…so if you have over 10,000 reviews at Amazon (which is true of fewer than 100 books in the USA Kindle store), you also need longevity.

I say “also” because you need both: engagement and longevity.

So, the books in the 10,000 plus club include Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and 50 Shades of Grey…all of which were on the bestseller list for some time, and all of which are still selling.

I’d say there are a few other factors:

  • Books with media tie-ins, especially movies, tend to have more reviews
  • Books aimed at younger readers (not children necessarily, but Millenials and younger) also get more…I think that group has more online social engagement
  • The books tend to be newer…even if you love a book you read twenty years ago, you aren’t likely to write a review at Amazon

I may add to this post later today with more specifics, but I did want to share this awareness now. 🙂

Update:

These are the ten most reviewed:

Title Rating Reviews Release Days in Release Reviews per Day Most Recent Review
Gone Girl 3.9 41,448 6/5/2012 1180 36.13 8/29/2015
The Fault in Our Stars 4.7 36,553 1/10/2012 1327 28.55 8/29/2015
Fifty Shades of Grey 3.5 32,852 5/25/2011 1557 22.10 8/29/2015
The Girl on the Train 4.0 31,162 1/13/2015 228 137.68 8/29/2015
Unbroken 4.8 25,418 11/16/2010 1747 15.55 8/29/2015
The Hunger Games 4.6 24,024 2/7/2012 1299 19.49 8/28/2015
The Goldfinch 3.7 22,432 10/22/2013 676 34.18 8/29/2015
Divergent 4.5 20,939 10/21/2014 312 68.11 8/28/2015
Mockingjay 4.3 19,593 9/30/2014 333 59.84 8/29/2015
Inferno 4.0 18,554 5/14/2013 837 23.17 8/29/2015

Bestsellers:

Title Rating Reviews Release Days in Release Reviews per Day Most Recent Review
The Martian 4.6 15,161 2/11/2014 564 26.88 8/29/2015
The Girl on the Train 4.0 31,162 1/13/2015 228 137.68 8/29/2015
The Good Neighbor 3.7 1,336 8/1/2015 28 47.71 8/29/2015
The Girl from Krakow 4.1 422 8/1/2015 28 15.07 8/29/2015
The Girl in the Spider’s Web 3.3 6 8/1/2015 28 0.21 8/28/2015
About That Fling 4.2 330 8/1/2015 28 11.79 8/29/2015
City of Echoes 4.2 508 8/1/2015 28 18.14 8/29/2015
Small Wars 4.4 246 8/13/2015 16 15.38 8/29/2015
Hawk 4.3 61 8/17/2015 12 5.08 8/29/2015
Trail of Broken Wings 4.4 2,799 5/1/2015 120 23.33 8/29/2015

Join thousands of 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.

What’s in a name? An EBR by any other name would read as sweet

August 28, 2015

What’s in a name? An EBR by any other name would read as sweet

Amazon is good at a lot of things.

Naming items isn’t one of them. 😉

Okay, those are both my opinion…but they are opinions that have been expressed by many people.

Even the name “Kindle”, with its association with fire, seemed an odd choice if you were arguing that you are a champion of books…and especially if you were doing something that some people were going to fear would hurt paper books. Of course, it wasn’t as bad as Barnes & Nobles’ choice of “Nook” for their e-book reader…as I reported that Kindle forum member J. Taylor pointed out way back in 2009:

Flash! Barnes & Noble’s “nook” named after…

That’s a matter of taste, which is important in terms of marketing.

More concerning is when naming has a direct practical impact on customers.

That’s been the case with the least expensive model of the Kindle.

There have been seven generations of Kindles to date…different capabilities, different morphologies…and Amazon almost always refers to that low end model as simply the “Kindle”.

Clearly, that causes a problem for people buying covers, for one thing.

A cover that would fit the Kindle 1 (the 2007 model…we actually got a free cover with that device) won’t fit the current gen(eration).

If, perhaps, Amazon at least put the generation number clearly on the device somehow, that would help.

It’s also a real challenge for people providing support to other Kindle users, like the Kindle Forum Pros (I’m one of those). As the menus change, the step by step help that many people want (and by which they are greatly benefited) becomes difficult if you don’t know which model they have (and they often don’t know, either).

So, and I would say inevitably, the community has adopted its own nicknames for different gens of the lowest priced Kindles.

Since nicknames are unofficial, they have various degrees of adoption…and they strike people different ways.

When the fourth generation of the Kindle was introduced in late 2011, I nicknamed that one the “Mindle” (for “minimum Kindle”…other people said later it was for “Mini Kindle”, which is fine with me). Amazon had referred to the first gen as just a “Kindle” (logical) and the second gen as a “Kindle 2” (that name was actually used in press releases). The third generation went back to just being the “Kindle”, but the community called it the “Kindle 3”. Amazon later renamed that one the “Kindle Keyboard”.

The fourth gen was announced at the same time as the Kindle Touch, and that was when that “Kindle Keyboard” rebranding happened.

There were now three versions of the “Kindle” currently on sale at Amazon.

I nicknamed the lowest cost one the “Mindle” partially to give a short way to differentiate it from the other Kindles.

I’ll admit it: I like making up neologisms. 🙂

Some of them get used by other people, although that’s not necessarily the point. I do it partially because it is fun for me, and partially specifically for my readers.

Some of them do catch on to some extent. I’ve seen other people use EBR (E-Book Reader) and “tradpub” (traditional publisher). Sometimes, there is a parallel evolution (that’s not that uncommon when doing something creative): I’m certainly not the only person to make up “phablet” to combine “phone” and “tablet” for the larger-screened phones).

I polled my readers, about three years ago, in

Poll Party #1

about their use of terms I’d coined. EBR was by far the most popular.

However…

I’m sure some people detest some of the terms I’ve proposed.

One of my regular readers and commenters, Susan Cassidy, who I respect, recently asked me to stop using the term “Mindle”. Susan reported a psychogenic reaction to it, calling it “…disgustingly cutesy”.

Susan also thought it hadn’t “caught on”. I did check, and it has been used hundreds of times in the Amazon Kindle forum…and very few of those will have been by me. It’s also likely that other people independently came up with the term.

While I will ultimately determine my future use of it, I like to get a sense of what my readers think as well. If many people feel the way Susan does, that would certainly influence my decision.

So, I decided to ask you. 🙂

A somewhat different question is what you would like me to call the current generation least expensive Kindle, this one:

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

Thanks for giving my your opinion…and that “thanks” goes especially to you, Susan!

If you have another suggestion for a name, or if you think the whole question is silly 😉 feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of 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 #305: Amazon Underground, BAMM

August 28, 2015

Round up #305: Amazon Underground, BAMM

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

Books-A-Million revenues down slightly, loss nearly doubles

According to their

press release

Books-A-Million, the second largest chain bookstore in the USA (after Barnes & Noble) had comparable store sales down .3% compared to the same period in the previous year. That’s not a large amount…they blame it on megahit books the previous year.

However, their net loss went down a lot more:

“Net loss attributable to Books-A-Million for the second quarter was $5.8 million, or $0.41 per diluted
share, compared with a net loss of $3.0 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, in the year earlier period.”

If their revenue was down .3 percent, and their loss was down nearly twice as much, it could be that their costs have  risen.

It’s also important to note that their book sales were probably down more than the .3%: as CEO Terrance G. Finley said, “…this quarter we saw strong performances in our cafés and in our general merchandise departments.”

Kindle  Fire HDX update

My

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

updated this evening to 4.5.5.

No new no major features that  I can see…it says it has “general improvements and performance enhancements”. We see that statement when Amazon does  a bug fix. If I notice anything new, I’ll let you know.

No more Free Apps of the Day (FAOTD)? Welcome Amazon Underground

I was surprised not to see a free app of the day yesterday. Well, today I know why. It’s probably due to

Amazon Underground (at AmazonSmile*)

which is Amazon’s new Android shopping app.

This is another huge benefit for Amazon customers, and another striking innovation from Amazon.

Apps for which you would normally pay are free…actually free…to you.

Amazon pays the app publisher on a “play per minute” basis, somewhat similar to the way Kindle Unlimited works now, where they pay based on page read.

You don’t need to download the app, though…there are lots of “actually free” apps as part of AU (Amazon Underground) at the Amazon Appstore, where we would normally have seen the free app of the day:

Amazon Appstore (at Amazon Smile*)

Check it out! There are a lot of interesting apps!

The 471 Underground apps include

OfficeSuite Professional 8, which I use frequently for work. It’s normally $9.99…but you get it free, and even in-app purchases are free!

I’m going to have to check it out more…feel free to share any ones you find that you think are especially cool.

Enjoy!

Join thousands of 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 reportedly lays off hardware developers at Lab126

August 27, 2015

Amazon reportedly lays off hardware developers at Lab126

According to this Wall Street Journal article by Greg Bensinger (if the link is behind the paywall for you, requiring you to register to read it, try searching for the title in a search engine):

Amazon Curtails Development of Consumer Devices

Amazon is laying off “Dozens of engineers…”

The thrust of the piece is that, due to the disappointment of the

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

(that is the SmartPhone I use every day, but even I liked my Galaxy better), Amazon is moving away from consumer hardware development, at least in some areas.

Personally, I doubt that means the

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

or, and probably most importantly for readers of this blog, Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) or Fire tablets.

I think it’s more that they’ll consolidate their existing lines for now, rather than trying new things.

That could be better for us as consumers.

Concentrate on what works:  the EBRs (although they probably don’t need both the Voyage and the Paperwhite, honestly), the tablets, the Echo, the Dash buttons…I’m thinking they may expand into home automation more, tied into the Echo. However, they don’t necessarily need Amazon branded hardware for  that…they can let other people make the hardware, and concentrate on making deals for compatibility.

Other things, like a super stylus, might not make sense. I don’t know that we particularly want Amazon to pioneer hardware lines…making their own  versions of existing lines, especially cheaper ones, is a good way to go. Amazon has not been able to position itself as a premium hardware maker.

Give us things that are less expensive, that tie into the existing Amazon services…that’s a good idea.

I think it’s also important to note that some of the development has moved elsewhere. My understanding is that quite a bit of the Echo “parse-onality” development (the Alexa Voice Service) is happening in the Boston area, for example.

Amazon Phase 2 (which is where I suspect we are now) does want to make a profit. Embarking on wildly speculative ventures is not a way to do that. Consolidating what you have and improving it…that can be.

I don’t want people to lose their jobs, of course…that said, I would be fine with Amazon focusing on improving things like the website itself…searching the forums, for example, is still not very robust. We could use much better content management, in the Cloud, on our devices, and at

http://www.amazon.com/myk

It’s going to be very interesting to see where this goes…and I’m champing at the bit for announcements which are likely coming in September!

What do you think? What where would you like Amazon to focus its hardware development? Should they develop new lines? What improvements should they make to the existing lines? Is it important at all that Amazon be seen as a cutting edge hardware developer? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of 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.

 

225 Kindle books for $1.99 or less each, through September 20th

August 26, 2015

225 Kindle books for $1.99 or less each, through September 20th

It’s hard to keep up with all of the Amazon sales!

How about this one?

225 Kindle books for $1.99 or less each (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Now, these aren’t what I call “People Magazine” books…they aren’t current frontlist titles from traditional publishers.

Still, there are some good books in this group.

I’ll list a few that caught my eye:

  • The Brainrush series by Richard Bard (3 books, $1.99 each). The first book in the series has 4.3 stars out of 5 with 1,434 customer reviews.  They are also all available to read at no additional cost through Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) (as are 203 of the books in this sale)
  • The Immortalist by Kyle Mills
  • Killer’s Payoff (87th Precinct Mysteries) by Ed McBain (hugely popular lengthy series, now published in e-book by Amazon) (they also have some of McBain’s Matthew Hope books)
  • Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti
  • Gulliver Takes Manhattan by Justin Luke Zirilli
  • The Salt Maiden by Colleen Thompson
  • The Saint versus Scotland Yard (The Saint Series) by Leslie Charteris
  • Next Year I’ll be Perfect by Laura Kilmartin
  • Happy Stories!: Real-Life Inspirational Stories from Around the World That Will Raise Your Happiness Level by Will Bowen
  • Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects by Mark Frauenfelder
  • Veronica Mars – the TV series: Venus and Mars (Kindle Worlds) by MLP (and some other Kindle Worlds book)
  • Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens
  • Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much (Icons)Mar 24, 2015 | Kindle eBook
    by Michael Wood
  • Dorn of the Mountains by Zane Grey (one of the most popular writers of all time…known for Westerns like this)

Enjoy!

Join thousands of 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 Hugo voters picked “No Award” in two major literature categories

August 25, 2015

Why Hugo voters picked “No Award” in two major literature categories

The Hugo Awards are arguably the most prestige award in science fiction literature (they also cover other media).

They’ve been around for well over fifty years, and many a geek like me has used the awards as a discovery tool. Winning a Hugo certainly helped your career, and upped your geek cred.

There was a considerable controversy this year, as I’ve mentioned before.

As explained in this

Wired article by Holly Andres

a group of authors tried to guide the nominations (and awards) to go to books not based solely on their intrinsic value, but on the nature of their content.

As I understand it, their argument would be that they are preserving the historic style of science fiction.

Many fans (or “fen”, to use the geeky terminology) felt that the campaign was unreasonably non-inclusive.

How did the votes go?

You can see the results in this

Official Site

None of the campaign’s promoted works won. If there was a category that only had campaign nominated-works, the voters chose instead “No Award”…sort of like “none of the above”.

The winners in literature were:

Best Novel: The Three-Body Problem (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit by shopping*)
by Cixen Liu (translated by Ken Liu)

Best Novella: No Award

Best Novellette: “The Day the World Turned Upside Down”
by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (translated by Lia Belt)

Best Short Story: No Award

Best Editor (short form, long form): No Awards

I’ll just say, I’m not happy that no awards were given out in some of these categories…although I appreciate a principled stand.

I also feel sorry for all of the authors: this is going to be seen as an “asterisk” year, where it was simply being the best writer that won the category (of course, is that ever true?).

People who were nominated by the campaign may also suffer from that…even if they didn’t agree with the campaign’s position.

I don’t quite know what you do about this in the future…I don’t think any rules were broken. You could change the rules, but how  would you do that?

What do you think? Do the Hugo awards matter to you? Is it possible to have a “fan nominated” process which can not be corrupted? If you were a Hugo voter, what would have done?

Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of 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 device bestsellers: two things more popular than Kindles

August 24, 2015

Amazon device bestsellers: two things more popular than Kindles

Well, this was interesting!

Amazon has lists of the top 100 bestsellers in a lot of categories.

I’ve never noticed this before, but they have a category specifically for

Amazon Devices Top 100 Bestsellers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Are there 100 pieces of Amazon-built hardware?

Absolutely!

There are a lot of varieties of Kindles and Fire tablets, for one thing…but that’s not the only thing.

In fact, the highest rated Kindle or Fire tablet is only number three right now.

Before I reveal which one that is, and where some of the other devices rank, let me just point out…eight years ago, there were no Amazon devices!

Prior to the first Kindle’s release in 2007 (on November 19), there was a lot of skepticism about Amazon introducing any hardware at all.

Amazon was a retailer: not a gadget maker.

The Kindle succeeded, and transformed the then tiny e-book market.

I would guess that now, many people would think of the Kindle as one of the first things that comes to mind when you say “Amazon”.

I was curious as to what was ranked where…and surprised to see two items ranked higher than any Kindle or Fire:

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

#2 Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The Fire TV Stick is an inexpensive streaming gadget: we use it in one of the rooms in our house…and we use the full-powered

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

in the other.

We’re watching the latter right now.

Which Kindle is the top-selling?

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I find the ranking fascinating:

  1. Fire TV Stick
  2. Amazon Echo (a relatively expensive nascent technology)
  3. Kindle Paperwhite 3 with Special Offers (the latest Kindle introduced)
  4. Mindle Touch (that’s what I call the 7th generation entry level Kindle…no lighting on this one)
  5. Fire HD 6″ (the least expensive Fire tablet)
  6. Fire HD 7″ with Special Offers
  7. Kindle Paperwhite 3 without Special Offers (the latest Kindle introduced)
  8. Amazon Fire Phone 32GB unlocked
  9. Fire HD 7″ without Special Offers
  10. Certified Refurbished Fire TV Stick

Where’s the top of the line EBR (E-Book Reader), the

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

?

#15.

That’s right: the

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

is selling better than the Voyage!

That doesn’t mean the Voyage is selling poorly…#15 is still pretty good.

They had a recent deal on the Fire Phone, which might have bumped it up…but it supports what I have been suggesting…that the Fire Phone isn’t done yet. 🙂

I’m still thinking they might find a way to tie especially into the Amazon Echo…although when the Alexa Voice Service starts showing up on other devices (which will happen soon, I believe), it might be harder to make that a selling point.

It’s interesting: there are a bunch of Dash buttons in the top 100. I wouldn’t have thought those were doing much at this point.

None of this suggests any weakness for the Kindle EBRs or for the Fire tablets, in my opinion. It’s just a paradigm shift for me to think of that as not the whole of Amazon’s hardware business…and not even the leading component it of it (based on bestseller rank…more EBRs are sold overall, I’m sure, since there are so many models).

It’s very likely that we’ll see a refresh of the EBR/Fire tablet line announced soon…maybe in September, so not far away.

Of course, with all of this Amazon hardware, we may start seeing an Apple style announcement of lines. We could even start seeing some sort of developer meeting…even a Disney-style D23 type of event. Actually, that could really work!

Amazon could host something in Seattle. They could show off new hardware, have Amazon KDP authors there, have developers of Amazon apps and Alexa Skills, do some international things, maybe show off the Prime Air drones…even Prime Now riders. 🙂 Wow, people would really talk about that! It could also counter some bad publicity, by letting people get behind the curtain a bit, and showing happy employees.

I would totally want to go!

What do you think? Surprised by the rankings? Do you think of the Kindle when you think of Amazon? Would you want to go to an Amazon Expo? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of 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.

 

 

September 2015 Kindle book releases

August 23, 2015

September 2015 Kindle book releases

While I don’t generally pre-order Kindle store books myself, I know many of you do.

I understand the fun of just having the book show up, but I figure I’ll order when I want it…since I could have it within a minute, usually.…

However, it’s worth noting that pre-ordering at a low price will tend to preserve that price. Back when the Agency Model was solidly in place, Amazon couldn’t guarantee that books sold by the publishers using that structure wouldn’t go up in price after you pre-ordered them. It wasn’t likely, it was just that Amazon couldn’t control it. We have started to return to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances.

These aren’t necessarily the most popular of the pre-orders…I’m just going to list ones that catch my eye. Since we might not agree on that, here’s a link to the 6,916 (at time of writing…1,932 more than last month. That makes sense, though…September is getting into the holiday season as far as book releases go) September releases in the USA Kindle store:

September 2015 USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 1,067 (279 more than last month) are in

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

about 15% (about 1% fewer than last month).

As usual, I won’t be deliberately linking to books which block text-to-speech access blocked**.

In the past several  months, the top four had been the

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks for this month.

Amazon no longer does the “New and Popular” search as a default, but does “Featured”. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way…and the list is clearly not the same. Last month, the top four weren’t Kindle First…this time, they are (again). There’s also a link that identifies them as Kindle First books, and will take you to that page. It’s an interesting choice, on Amazon’s part. I like curation, generally, but I think of Amazon’s book search results based on impartial data, but that’s not the case any more.

The other thing is that some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list. I’m concerned (and I’ve alerted Amazon about it) that people are confused: they think they are pre-ordering a KU borrow, when they are actually pre-ordering a purchase. In other words, they may be thinking they’ll get the book at no additional cost, and actually be charged for it. Amazon has confirmed for me: you can not pre-order a borrow from KU.

Okay…books!

  • The Keeper (Vega Jane, Book 2) by David Baldacci
  • Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Driving Heat (Nikki Heat Book 7) by Richard Castle
  • Archmage (Homecoming) by R. A. Salvatore
  • Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller
  • Big Nate: Welcome to My World (AMP! Comics for Kids) by Lincoln Peirce
  • The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney and Jo Beverley
  • Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
  • Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray and Phil Noto
  • The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan by Ian Buruma
  • Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas by Edward Klein
  • Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle: How to Break Free of Negativity and Drama by Doreen Virtue
  • Batman Vol. 7: Endgame by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
  • Sweet Caress by William Boyd
  • Purity: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen
  • Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design by Perry Marshall
  • The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series by David Lagercrantz
  • You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C’s to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Lifeby Jon Gordon and Mike Smith
  • The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David A. Goodman
  • Wildest Dreams (Thunder Point series) by Robyn Carr
  • Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
  • The Bark Before Christmas (A Melanie Travis Mystery Book 18) by Laurien Berenson
  • Cook County ICU: 30 Years of Unforgettable Patients and Odd Cases by Cory Franklin, MD
  • The White Ghost (Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Book 10) by James R. Benn
  • Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner
  • The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes by Lawrence Block
  • Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years by Thomas Mallon
  • The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange
  • The Gifted Puppy Program: 40 Games, Activities, and Exercises to Raise a Brilliant, Happy Dog by Laurie Leach
  • Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
  • Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Marie Brown
  • Undercover by Danielle Steel
  • The Neanderthals Rediscovered: How Modern Science Is Rewriting Their Story by Dimitra Papagianni and Michael A. Morse
  • The Quotable Feynman by Richard P. Feynman and Michelle Feynman

Enjoy!

Join thousands of 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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