Round up #307: B&N stock drops, Siri can run your Apple TV

Round up #307:  B&N stock drops, Siri can run your Apple TV

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


Amazon expands Kindle Scout worldwide

Amazon sent me this

press release

which announces that the

Kindle Scout program

is expanding to other geographical territories. Amazon says it’s “…Europe, Canada,Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, India and more”.

Authors submit never before published novels.

Readers read excerpts, and recommend which ones get traditionally published by Amazon. You can have up to three nominations at a time.

If one of your current nominations gets published, you get a free copy.

That’s all good for customers.

I also think it’s a good deal for authors.

Has it been successful?

Amazon says, “Kindle Press books have an average Amazon Customer Review of 4.48 stars across 2,709 reviews.”

That sounds pretty good!

For more insight on the program, see

An ILMK interview with The Behrg, author of the Kindle Scout winner Housebroken

Apple TV adds Siri…come on, Alexa!

The Apple announcement today had several interesting things, but the one that most impressed me was the voice control of Apple TV with Siri. I’ve seen it said that it’s not that big deal, it’s similar to what already exists in Voice Search in

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

It seems quite different to me: it doesn’t only find things (and in much more natural language than Fire TV’s current search), it actually does things…it’s voice control, not just voice search.

I’ve been saying I expect Alexa control of the Fire TV this year.

Well, here’s something interesting:

The Fire TV (linked above) is “currently unavailable”.

Will they release a new version with integrated Alexa, the voice service currently only available on

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


If they do, will there be a downloadable app (or simply an update) for current Fire TVs?

I suspect the answer is likely to be both…but I certainly expect the capability to arrive…and likely to be announced before the end of this month.

The good news for Barnes & Noble…they sold more toys…

Barnes & Noble announced financials…and it wasn’t good, and many investors dumped the stock.

Here is the

Seeking Alpha transcript of the call

and here is Barnes & Nobles’

press release

In terms of the NOOK and NOOK books…well, it continues to be bad. B&N says

“…NOOK sales decreased 22.4% to 54 million for the quarter. Digital content sales declined 28% to 37 million on lower unit volume…”

Close to a quarter of sales is bad, period.

Core comparable bookstore sales (that excludes NOOKs and such) did rise 1%, but that wasn’t enough to stop a more than 25% loss in the stock’s value.

Bottom line…it just doesn’t look good for B&N.

What do you think? Is B&N doomed? If it survives, what will it look like? Would you want voice controls for e-reading (“Open Alice in Wonderland”, “Open something funny…)? What stood out to in the announcement from Apple? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

Thanks to regular reader Joe Bower for a comment which improved 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.

11 Responses to “Round up #307: B&N stock drops, Siri can run your Apple TV”

  1. Phink Says:

    I love the new apple TV. Apple TV is the device that drove me to digital movies just like the Kindle drove me to digital books. I now never, ever buy a dead tree book or a physical DVD. I actually had the 1st Gen Apple TV, with the 160 GB hard drive. I still prefer downloading to streaming but it’s a streaming world I guess.

    I left Apple after 2 or 3 years or so because I realized when my Apple TV tore up just how limited my options were. If I wanted to watch the movies and TV shows I purchased I must purchase another Apple device. The ROKU would not work for me. I stopped buying from Apple and have never looked back. I still have an Apple TV (streaming box) that has not been hooked up for months. Apple really, really needs to open up a little bit. I’d still be buying from them if they were more open. But I buy from VUDU now because I do believe they are the best digital provider out there. Yes, I like them better than Amazon when it comes to buying non book digital content. Not streaming for a membership fee but actually buying it. Streaming it’s Netflix and then Amazon in my opinion. I happen to have both as I’m sure many do.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      We have Netflix, Hulu, and Prime…and we pay for a basic cable service. We only get the last one because we like Comcast’s high speed internet, and they don’t really give you a logical way to buy the internet without cable. Hulu just massively improved since they gave us the no commercial option (for a few dollars more a month).

      Prime Video is good for binging. 🙂 We watched all of Ghost Whisperer, for example…not all at once, though!

      Netflix? Recently watched their original series Daredevil (well, most of it…not quite done yet).

      I’m a little confused, though: you said you stopped buying from Apple, but you love the new Apple TV?

      • Phink Says:

        I meant I love the features the new Apple TV has. I did watch a video about it SIRI voice and such. It is really nice that you can tell it “go to the 7 minute mark” and it’ll go there. I can’t imagine needing that option unless the syncing did not take last time. It is rare but on occasion with Netflix and VUDU both (could be my ROKU) I will watch say 10 minutes of a show and exit out. I’ll go back later and it starts where I left off before I watched that 10 minutes. I know the minutes and seconds I stopped some times and if not I have a good idea of it so I could use the SIRI voice in those very rare situations.

        The reason I usually know where I left off is because I like to stop at certain numbers. It’s rare that I watch a lot at a time. I seriously sometimes watch a 2 hour movie over the course of a week or two in 10-20 minute segments. I like my numbers to be the same, or sequential. So, I’ll stop at say 11:11 into the movie or TV show, or with 100 minutes (1hour 40 minutes) into it or to go till the end. Or I might stop with 12:34 left. (sequential). I know that’s strange but I’ll watch 6-12 movies at a time. I go in order (usually chronological) watching a few minutes of each one. Some nights I’ll watch 2 and some nights I”ll watch all 6-12. It’s always an even number. Same with TV shows. Anyway, I didn’t mean to ramble but took the long way around to block to explain whey SIRI voice could be nice with telling it to go to X minutes into the show.

        Apple makes a nice product but are just too closed for me. I did buy a streaming box even after I decided I was not going to buy movies, TV shows, or music from them any longer. The reason is because I had too much content to just give up. I needed a way to stream them if I wanted to. I still use every day the best MP3 player in human history. The iTunes Classic.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        Oh, got it!

        I like the Apple TV features as well…and don’t expect to get one. Partially that’s because I’m so deep into the Amazon ecosystem…and I still haven’t forgiven them for what they did with e-book pricing. 🙂 I love that idea of backing up for the subtitles!

        Stopping at numerically significant times: I can understand that. 🙂 My Significant Other and I like to round up any cashback we get to an even number…if the total is $12.78, I might ask for $7.22 back. Some people do look at you funny, like you are a witch or something. It’s just math, folks.. 😉

        The Amazon system is actually pretty open (except for them and Google not being able to work out the Play store thing. Fortunately, there is 1Mobile…

  2. Joe Bowers Says:

    Hello, Bufo,
    I am wondering if, at the end of the post, you mean “the announcement from Apple”? You ask what stood out in the “announcement from Amazon.”

    • Joe Bowers Says:

      Perhaps you mean the announcement re Kindle Scout. I missed that possibility. Never mind!

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Joe!

        Nope, you were right the first time. 🙂 The keyboard on this Lenovo is really unresponsive, so it’s creating some typos…but substitution errors are probably my most common mistake.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Joe!

      You are right…I fixed it and credited you. 🙂

  3. Phyllis Simpson Says:

    Do you think Alexa will ever be able to read our Kindle books on command like it does our music? It would really be nice if you when are laying down to be able to request Alexa to read you the book of your choice. My Alexa plays music all day long and I really enjoy it. I don’t know what I did before Alexa.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phyllis!

      At this point, Alexa can play your audiobooks, and it can stream (but not control) via Bluetooth from, say, a Fire tablet.

      I do think it will eventually do text-to-speech, where the publishers haven’t blocked the access.

  4. Round up #308: | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] I recently wrote about Barnes & Nobles’ most recent financial report day before yesterday, the largest […]

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