Archive for October, 2015

3-day sale on Kindle EBRs (except Voyage): $20 off

October 20, 2015

3-day sale on Kindle EBRs (except Voyage): $20 off

While I do read on my Kindle Fire HDX (a now discontinued model) more, I still read on a Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader) every day.

The frontlit Kindles, the Paperwhite and the Voyage, give me the most comfortable reading experience I’ve ever had…including paper.

Why are they better than paper for me?

I’m pretty sensitive to bright lights. I have superior night vision, which may be related to some color vision  deficiency I have. When going to sleep, I read on a frontlit EBR, with the brightness turned down just about all the way. That’s bright enough for me to read, but it doesn’t disturb me at all.

As a side note, I’ve automated a couple of the lights in our house…because I was experimenting with our

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

I can turn lights on and off by simply telling our Echo to do it…but in setting that up, I also put an app on my Fire tablet and my Fire Phone (also discontinued).

I now turn the lights on in the family room while I am still in the bathroom in our bedroom in the morning. That’s so much more pleasant! My eyes can adjust as I walk towards the family room, rather than literally pressing my arm against my eyes while I turn on a light standing right next to it.

But I digress. 😉

Having the dimly but sufficiently lit EBR in bed is much more comfortable than having a light on a nightstand (even though I used to literally just use a 15 watt red lightbulb for that purpose). Also, the light goes out when I close the cover of the EBR…I don’t have to find a switch.

I think many people have both: a tablet and an EBR. Why have the tablet? I do use it for internet and more sophisticated processing (including PowerPoint presentations), but the biggest thing for me is text-to-speech, where software reads a book out loud to me. I typically use that for hours every week on commutes. None of the current Kindle EBRs have sound at all, so they don’t do TTS.

The other big advantage of an EBR is the battery charge life. I charge my tablet every day. I charge my EBR maybe once every couple of weeks. Sure, I use the tablet a lot more, but there is a substantial difference regardless (different technologies take different amounts of power).

Interestingly, the regular price of Amazon’s least expensive Fire tablet

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) $49.99

costs less than the least expensive EBR…even with this considerable $20 discount.

That means you pay for the additional comfort and battery charge life.

That makes the EBR a luxury item: you are willing to pay more for a superior experience.

Oh, one other big argument for an EBR: it’s the precise fact that it doesn’t do as many different things (it doesn’t have as much “width”) while doing basically one thing better (“depth”). That can be attractive for legal guardians to get for their kids, as well as anyone who finds it easier to concentrate with fewer distractions.

Amazon’s three day sale (probably just in the USA) is on these models:

Kindle, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) $59.99 (down from $79.99) | 4.2 stars out of 5 | 12,244 customer reviews

The $20 off also means you could get it without the Special Offers ($79.99, down from $99.99) for the same price you would normally pay for an ad-supported model.

This is the entry level model, and it’s a good one. Here are some of the differences between this and the Paperwhite (which I’ll link below):

  • No frontlighting, so you read it like you would a p-book
  • Fewer pixels per inch (167 versus 300), so the image isn’t as sharp (but I would say sharp enough for most casual reading…you might notice it with images, like graphs)
  • Available only in wi-fi…no wi-fi and 3G option (for more money)
  • A bit less heavy, a bit thicker

Kindle for Kids Bundle with the latest Kindle, 2-Year Accident Protection, Kid-Friendly Blue Cover (at AmazonSmile*) $79.99 (down from $99.99) | 4.0 stars | 61 reviews

This is like the above, but includes a ruggedized cover and an extended warranty…since each of those costs $20, this is a big savings, even without the discount.

Certainly something to consider for a gift.

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile*) $99.99 (down from $119.99) | 4.5 stars | 7,313 reviews

The Paperwhite (this is the latest generation) is a great model Kindle! I’d say it may be my favorite (price and everything taken into account), with the Kindle 3 (Kindle Keyboard) being second…well, wait, lack of TTS makes that a tighter battle. For sight-reading, it’s my favorite. 🙂

Why would you literally pay $100 more (right now) for a top of the line

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

?

You do get a few more things:

  • Adaptive light sensor
  • Page press buttons (in addition to touchscreen…these all have touchscreen)
  • Quite a bit less heavy and a tad smaller

Will there be more sales before the holidays?

Sure, that’s likely, although we are getting closer. In fact, I’d be surprised if there weren’t more sales. I would also think there may be shortages, though…this is a sure thing right now.

People always wonder if a sale means changes to the line-up. It usually doesn’t. They only recently introduced this model of Paperwhite, so I wouldn’t expect another Paperwhite this year. A 2nd gen Voyage seems more possible to me…but that’s not part of this sale anyway.

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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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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Round up #310: Amazon sues over false reviews, membaca lebih banyak buku

October 19, 2015

Round up #310: Amazon sues over false reviews, membaca lebih banyak buku

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

Follow up to a recent post on translations

I recently wrote

Found in translation
about Amazon’s commitment to their AmazonCrossing imprint, which translates works.

Following that, Amazon sent me this, which does not appear in their normal press release archive:

AmazonCrossing Announces Spotlight on Indonesian Literature 

Amazon Publishing commits to publish Indonesian authors beginning in 2016

Spotlight part of $10 million investment to increase publication of international books into English

SEATTLE—October 15, 2015—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—AmazonCrossing, the literary translation imprint of Amazon Publishing, today announced a commitment to publish exceptional works of literature from Indonesian authors translated into English beginning in early 2016. The announcement coincides with Indonesia’s participation as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week.

Indonesian titles planned for publication include:

  • Nirzona, a love story by Abidah El Khalieqy, set against the backdrop of the Aceh tsunami, a rare moment in recent history when the world’s eyes turned to Indonesia
  • English-language originals The Oddfits and The More Known World, the first two titles in the Oddfits series from Indonesia-born Tiffany Tsao, a translator and past Indonesia editor at large forAsymptote Journal
  • Paper Boats, a new adult love story written in glittering, quotable prose from popular novelist, actress, and singer Dee Lestari
  • A new edition of Laksmi Pamuntjak’s acclaimed A Question of Red and her latest, Aruna and Her Palate, which follows a food writer’s travels through Indonesia
  • Hummingbird, a stunning work of magical realism from Nukila Amal

“AmazonCrossing is committed to bringing great authors and stories to a global audience, and our spotlight programs have offered an opportunity to focus attention on a range of books from specific countries—something we plan to do more of as part of our continued commitment to the translation imprint’s expansion,” said Sarah Jane Gunter, Publisher of AmazonCrossing and General Manager of International Publishing, referring to previous programs showcasing literature from Iceland, Brazil, and Finland. “Indonesia’s contributions to world literature are not often available to English-language readers and this spotlight reiterates AmazonCrossing’s commitment to bringing stories into English from languages less frequently seen in translation.”

“I feel like my writing and I are difficult to categorize,” says author Tiffany Tsao. “The Oddfits resists classification in many respects. And as someone affiliated with multiple cultures and places, I don’t fit easily into ready-made boxes either. I’m so incredibly happy to be working with a publisher adventurous enough to give oddness a chance.”

The Indonesia spotlight program follows similar AmazonCrossing programs in past years featuring literature from Finland, Iceland and Brazil. The Finnish spotlight program included Katri Lipson’s European Union Prize for Literature-winning literary thriller The Ice Cream Man, as well as books by Leena Lehtolainen, Jari Järvelä, Marko Hautala, and Risto Isomäki. The Brazilian spotlight program launched in 2013 and has included the release of a dozen books of full-length fiction and short stories from Brazilian authors including Luiz Ruffato, Cristovão Tezza, Josy Stoque, and Eliane Brum. In 2012, the Iceland spotlight program included ten Icelandic books, three of which—The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning by Hallgrimur Helgason, The Flatey Enigma by Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson, and House of Evidence by Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson—became Kindle Top Ten best sellers.

The AmazonCrossing editorial team is accepting submissions in mystery, thriller, women’s fiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, memoir, science fiction and fantasy categories. Please visit translation.amazon.com/submissions for more information and to propose titles for translation.

Amazon Publishing is a brand used by Amazon Content Services LLC and Amazon Media EU Sarl.

About Amazon Publishing

Amazon Publishing is the publishing arm of Amazon.com. The Amazon Publishing family has 14 imprints: 47North, AmazonCrossing, AmazonEncore, Amazon Publishing, Grand Harbor Press, Jet City Comics, Lake Union, Little A, Montlake Romance, Skyscape, StoryFront, Thomas & Mercer, Two Lions, and Waterfall Press.

About Amazon
Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

_____________________

Amazon also did this press release (which is in the public archive):

Amazon Announces Winner of the Second Indie Literary Contest for Spanish-Language

The winner was Myriam Millán, with her title

La Hija del Dragón: Ganadora del Concurso de autores indie 2015 (Spanish Edition) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It’s available for $0.99, and at no additional cost for members of

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

I’ve been a happy member since it started. 🙂 It’s been worth the $9.99 a month for my family.

I’m very happy to see Amazon not only working on globalization, but also embracing multiple languages.

Amazon sues over 1,000 fake reviewers

In a way, this is another follow up.

I recently wrote

The Sunday Times investigation shows bought reviews on Amazon

Well, now it turns out Amazon is suing 1,114 fake reviewers, according to this

Forbes article by Cheryl Connor

and other sources.
.
As explained in this

Seattle Times article by Jay Greene

this is Amazon’s second suit this year over false reviews.

Lawsuits are probably the right tool here. As I wrote before, it’s not clear that writing a false review for money is a criminal act, but a lawsuit could work, since Amazon could show damage. I’m not a lawyer, but that’s my understanding of it.

New Amazon Echo/Alexa round up

I alert my ILMK readers when I write new articles in another blog of mine, The Measured Circle, about the Amazon Echo and Amazon’s Alexa voice services.

This is my latest:

Alexa/Echo Round up #3: sports update, Alexa enabled phone calls on first 3rd party Alexa-enabled device

What do you think? Should Amazon be suing people who make $5 for a false review? What, if anything, should they do about false reviews? Do customer reviews actually make sense? Are you familiar with any Indonesian literature? Is there another culture you’d like to see get a focus from Amazon? 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Google wins appeal

October 17, 2015

Google wins appeal

It’s been almost two years since I last wrote about legal challenges to Google’s book scanning activities…and I started writing about it more than four years before that.

What’s changed in those two years?

Not much…and that’s important.

According to this

Associated Press article by Larry Neumeister, reproduced in CBC News

and other sources, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Judge Denny Chin’s decision that the way Google is scanning and distributing books falls under Fair Use, meaning that it does not infringe on the rightsholders’ rights.

Here is the actual

decision

rendered today, October 16th, in the Authors Guild vs. Google, Inc.

Here’s the sum up:

“The Court of Appeals concludes that the defendant’s copying is transformative within the meaning of Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 578-585 (1994), does not offer the public a meaningful substitute for matter protected by the plaintiffs’ copyrights, and satisfies § 107’s test for fair use.”

This short excerpt, however is where I at least emotionally am in a different place than the court:

“Thus, while authors are undoubtedly important intended beneficiaries of copyright, the ultimate, primary intended beneficiary is the public, whose access to knowledge copyright seeks to advance by providing rewards for authorship.”

It brings up the basic  dichotomy.

We use the term “copyright protection”, and that’s how I think of it…as protection for the authors’ intellectual property from unfair exploitation.

The other side of it is that copyright law is intended to benefit the public…and that could be at the expense of the individual.

How does enabling an author to get compensation help the public?

It does it by encouraging the creation of more works.

It also, very specifically, sets a limited time for the author to benefit from that work…and then it becomes owned by the public (it becomes part of the “public domain”).

Now, I am a reader and a writer, so I think to some extent I can see both sides.

Do I take advantage of the public domain and Fair Use?

Absolutely.

I love being able to read free public domain “classics” for free.

However…

I play within the rules. I like rules. I used to manage a gamestore, and rules are what make games fun.

That doesn’t mean, though, that I wouldn’t be interested in having the rules change.

More than five years ago, I wrote one of the posts that got me the most pushback:

Should copyright be permanent?

It explores the idea that copyright should be permanent, in exchange for more Fair Use.

Over this half decade, I’ve started to like the idea more.

Schools would be able to use current, copyrighted works for educational purposes without paying for them.

A hundred years from now, though, the movie of The Martian could still generate money for a rightsholder.

One immediate response to that people make: it would be a corporation making the money, not the author or the author’s descendants, in most cases.

That assumes the older model: the creator sells the rights to a publisher/distributor.

That may be less true over time with authors independently publishing, and keeping those rights for their descendants.

Regardless, my feeling is that the public doesn’t have an inherent right to a “shared culture” without recompense.

It just doesn’t feel right to me that eventually, Shakespeare belongs to everybody.

I’m sure many of my readers will disagree with that, and that’s fine with me.

I’m not saying I’m right and other people are wrong…I’m just trying to communicate how I feel about it.

It’s also important to note that this decision doesn’t say that Google can copy authors’ books and distribute them in full without the authors’ permission.

It does say they can copy them…even give a digital copy to a library.

They seem to be arguing that it is distributionright, not copyright. 🙂

They (it’s a three judge panel, with the decision written by Judge Pierre N. Leval) make it clear that a profit motive is not a barrier to Fair Use.

That’s also something that should be said unequivocally. When you see Saturday Night Live doing a parody, they are certainly doing it with a profit motive. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t also driven by a creative impulse, but there is nothing wrong with making a profit off Fair Use.

Could the Authors Guild appeal this to the Supreme Court?

Sure…they promote themselves as an advocatory agency, and one place advocation happens is in court. Fighting in court helps demonstrate their worth to their members.

My guess is that this won’t be the last time I write about this. 🙂

So,  what does this mean for you?

It means you can search using Google Books and see a “snippet” of a book under copyright protection without the author’s permission.

It may also increase the likelihood that books survive, because the digital copies Google makes and gives to libraries (the specific library that loaned them the book) is something the library might not have been able to do. Google uses special technology, and can put a lot of money into it.

I want books to survive, of course…but for me, I would rather have a book disappear forever than have it made available to the public against the author’s wishes.

Ooh, it hurts to say that…practically (and selfishly, as a reader), that sounds bad, but for me, ethically, it feels right.

I’m very interesting in hearing what you think. I have intelligent, compassionate readers who may be able to argue for the other side very effectively. Ideally, that’s what I want for my readers…to hear multiple viewpoints ably presented.

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

Update: thanks to reader Barbara Barry, whose comment helped improve 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

NASA: Mars mission astronauts to have Prime Music, Alexa

October 16, 2015

NASA: Mars mission astronauts to have Prime Music, Alexa

October 16, 2015 (AFD News)

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced today that they have entered into a contract with Amazon (AMZN) to  provide a wide variety of music to astronauts on the planned 2035 mission to Mars.

Mission Project Manager Dr. James Kelloway explained that the space agency did not want to limit any stranded astronauts to “1970s disco music”, an obvious reference to The Martian (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)  and the current #1 movie in the world, The Martianstarring Matt Damon.

In both the book and movie, astronaut Mark Watney is accidentally stranded on the red planet. Humor is mined from the only music available to him being the captain’s collection of 1970s music, including the Swedish group ABBA and “Queen of Disco” Donna Summer (LaDonna Gaines).

“Prime Music is proud to have something for everyone,” said Steve Boom, VP of Digital Music at Amazon. “From the latest chart-topping hits to classical music, multicultural selections, and even sound effects, the Mars Mission crew will have whatever they need to stay focused and keep up their morale during what we are sure will be a successful scientific adventure.”

“This is so cool!” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

In addition to the music, Amazon will provide their Alexa Voice Service, currently available on the

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

and the second generation

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*)

and

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*)

Greg Hart, Amazon’s VP for the Amazon Echo, said: “While readers loved the science in Andy Weir’s book, many of them and some bloggers questioned the lack of conversational software. The isolation that Mark Watney felt would have been alleviated to some extent by having someone to talk to. Hearing jokes, playing games, and asking pop culture questions would have had a positive psychological effect.”

In a short Q&A afterwards, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the music would not actually be streamed but would be downloaded and that two-day delivery to the Mars habitat would not be available, refuting an earlier story reported on several tech blogs.

Note: this post is humor. AFD News is short for “April Fool’s Day News” which I normally use on April 1st. I thought it was appropriate here. This parody weaves in some real facts, but none of the quotations are real. 500 trivia points to you if you recognized the name James Kelloway!

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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Surviving “The End”: advice for literary characters (part 1)

October 15, 2015

Surviving “The End”: advice for literary characters (part 1)

“Welcome to this afternoon’s lecture at Fictional Character University. Just to make sure you are all in the right session, everyone here is appearing in their first novels, right?”

“Do short stories count?”

“No. While short stories are an excellent medium, it’s really not the same as a novel. How many of you have appeared in a short story? More than one story? Look like about 25%…I’ll make sure to address those differences, then. If you have any additional questions, you can e-mail me after class.

Let’s go ahead and get started. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Thackeray Carlson, but I’m usually called ‘Tack Carlson’. I’ve been featured in twenty-three novels, one hundred and four short stories, a comic book, movies, and a TV series that I guarantee you none of you saw.

I’m the son of a freed Caribbean slave and a disgraced British diplomat.

My nickname comes from two things.

One is my expertise in caring for horses. I’m guessing some of you haven’t spent much time around a barn…’tack’ is what we call the equipment we use with our horses…saddles, bridles, reins, or as my horse Seafounder would call it, ‘The original wearable technology.’

The other one is that it’s short for ‘Tactic’. While I’ve done my share of fighting in my adventures, both hand to hand and with weapons, it really comes from legal tactics. Yep, I’m a lawyer. Oh, that’s another name you might know: I’m called the ‘Courtroom Cowboy’, even though the closest I usually get to an actual cow is on a supper plate.

My first publication was as a minor character in a Dusty Ambush short story in Thrilling Western. My author is Buck Tooson…or to use her given name, Mary Prydudd.

That was in 1936.

After a bunch of short stories and a couple of anthologies, I hit the big time with The Courtroom Cowboy #1: The Sagefire Case.

Now, if I’d been like most characters, that would have been it. No reason to expect I’d survive that first novel and get on to a next.

But I did.

Then I did it again…and again…and again.

Eventually, I even outlived Mary…uh, Buck.

Yep, some of  you might be worried about what will happen when your author dies, but that doesn’t have be the end of it. I’ve had six different authors over the years…and that’s just talking about the books.

The odds are, you are going to meet your end way before your author does.

Now, I’m not trying to scare you…just being realistic.

There are things you can do to give you a better shot at book number two…and that’s why we’re here today.

Plenty of folks have made it over the years, of course: Sherlock Holmes; Dracula; Nancy Drew…heck, even H.G. Wells’ Time Traveler has been in more than one book, and if you’ve read the first one, that might be a surprise.

Let’s get started

Rule #1: You have to accept change.

That’s one of those differences between a novel and a short story. All you short story vets out there: it’s possible you are exactly the same as you were in the first one. You come in and solve the case, or get the guy, or whatever. You are completely comfortable and predictable.

In a novel, it can’t be the same. I’m assuming here that you are the star of it, not just a background character. You’ve got too be different at the end of the book than you were at the beginning.”

“Professor Carlson?”

“Tack is fine…of course, if you want to call me ‘esteemed counsel’ or ‘pardnuh’, I’m okay with either.”

“Yes, sir. I never thought Sherlock Holmes changed much…that was one of the things I admired about the character. He knew who he was from the beginning.”

“Holmes is a great example of my point. What happens in the first book…if we leave out the case itself? Holmes moves in with Watson. That is an absolutely life changing event for Holmes. Part of the joy of the book is seeing Holmes and to a lesser extent, Watson, adjusting to that situation, and each other.”

“Tack, what about Dracula?”

“Another great example. Don’t get confused by the movies, where they act like the evil count has been around since the beginning. It’s pretty clear Dracula hasn’t been revived for all that long in the first book, but let me ask you: what’s the other big change?”

“Van Helsing’s arrival?”

“Sure, having an enemy can be a good thing…readers love a good bad guy! I was thinking of something different, though. We see the book through Jonathan Harker’s eyes, at least originally. Anybody know what he does for a living?”

“He’s a lawyer, right?”

“Good enough. He’s there to help with a real estate transaction…the Count is moving. What’s more stressful than moving? For Dracula,, it’s a fate worse than death…literally.

That’s something to think about. Stress makes you an interesting character. The best way for readers to see who you are is when you are pushed out of your comfort zone. They also have their own challenges, and they’ll be sympathetic to you. If you get through it, they’ll admire you.

Nobody wants to read about somebody whose life is perfect and static.

Do any of you know the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory? No? This link will be in your reference materials:

http://www.stress.org/holmes-rahe-stress-inventory/

 It doesn’t have a connection to Sherlock, as far as I know, but it’s a list of the most stressful life events.

This slide has the top ten:

1. Death of spouse
2. Divorce
3. Marital separation from mate
4. Detention in jail or other institution
5. Death of a close family member
6. Major personal injury or illness
7. Marriage
8. Being fired at work
9. Marital reconciliation with mate
10. Retirement from work

Think about the long lasting characters. How many of them had one of these thing happen to them in their first novels, or just before the novel, but driving the events?

Now, you might think I should be talking to the authors about this, but you have to embrace the idea of this. We all know: authors can’t make us do anything we don’t want to do…at least, good authors can’t. It’s a whole lot harder to make your author go somewhere they weren’t planning to go…but you can dig in your feet and refuse to go where they plotted. It’s a little like being a bratty three-year old: you can’t get the adults to try a new restaurant, but you sure as heck can make them give up going to that sushi place!

We’re just about out of time for today, so let me ask you all: how many of you have a major change in that first novel? Looks like most of you. How many of you have something from that top ten list? Okay. For those of you who raised your hands, you’ve got a leg up on those who didn’t. If you don’t have that change, think about what you can do. Your author wants you to smile and hold hands with your Significant Other while you walk down the beach on the perfect family vacation? Refuse to do it. Just don’t take that hand…let your author figure out what that means. None of your books are finished yet, or you wouldn’t be here. If you wanted to be around longer than that, you’ve got to be smart.

Alright, that’s our time. Next time, I’m going to talk about what might seem like a contradiction based on what I’ve just told you. Rule #2: Be the same.”

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Found in translation

October 14, 2015

Found in translation

I’ve never read Jules Verne, Miguel de Cervantes, or Karel Čapek.

Oh, I’ve read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Don Quixote, and War with the Newts, of course.

I just haven’t read them in their original languages (French, Spanish, and Czech).

Even though our adult kid is a linguist, I’m simply not fluent enough (if at all). I can blunder through an article in Spanish, and I did three years of Russian in high school. On the latter, I wanted to be able to read some research being done in the then Soviet Union…but I didn’t really become conversational.

I did learn all of Mangani, the language the “apes” speak in the Tarzan books, but that’s not the same thing. 😉

So many of the classics so many of us have read are translations!

I’ll admit, I don’t generally pay much attention to who the translator is of a book. I probably should pay more attention to that. Translated books often seem…stilted to me. I think they tend to use the “correct” language in English, when  the author is being slangy in their own.

I knew someone who was a translator. Out of curiosity, this person put “hit the road” (an American English idiom meaning to get on your way) into an online translator (this was more than a decade ago) and had it translate it to French…and then translated it back from French to English using the same software.

The result was “pummel the avenue”. 🙂

I just tried the same experiment with Google translate…and the retranslation was rendered properly as “hit the road”.

Amazon’s traditional publishing wing has had an imprint devoted to translating works into English for some time:

AmazonCrossing
AmazonCrossing homepage in the Kindle store (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit by shopping*)

It has been very successful for them…one of their biggest successes has been

The Hangman’s Daughter (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) by Oliver Pötzsch

and its sequels.

The first book, nearly five years on, is still in the #250 paid bestsellers in the USA Kindle store.

There are 809 books published by AmazonCrossing in the USA Kindle store:

AmazonCrossing books in the USA Kindle Store (at AmazonSmile*)

Generally, they seem to be well-reviewed (there are exceptions), and there are some with thousands of reviews.

I just recently read one I got as one of the

Kindle First books (at AmazonSmile*)

Prime members can generally get one a month (sometimes it’s two) for free to own.

The one I read was

The Capital of Latecomers (at AmazonSmile*) by Nena Nenova (and translated by Vladimir Poleganov)

I would say the translation was pretty good…I wasn’t thrilled with the book itself, although there were some interesting elements.

Clearly, Amazon also thinks AmazonCrossing is working.

They sent me this

Press Release

announcing a fresh $10 million investment “… over the next five years to increase the number and diversity of its books in translation”.

Interestingly, they now have a website where authors/publishers can submit books for the program. You can do that here:

https://translation.amazon.com/submissions

They are looking for books in these categories:

  • Fantasy
  • Historical Fiction
  • Literary Fiction
  • Memoir
  • Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Women’s Fiction
  • Young Adult Fiction

Looks to me like they have around fifty languages from which they will translate (if the book is selected).

Amazon has been a leader on globalizing its e-book devices (they dominated the NOOK on that). They have also been an important way for authors/publishers to reach readers, both as a platform (Kindle Direct Publishing) and as a traditional publisher.

This combines those two strengths.

Amazon could certainly publishes books in the original languages…and in several other languages eventually.

They don’t list the terms on the submission site: that may be negotiated on an individual basis.

I think this is important.

It’s a great goodwill thing for Amazon’s relationships with other countries…even if books aren’t a huge part of their revenue stream.

What do you think? Do you like reading translated books? Do you seek out individual translators? Do you know someone who has had a book published and translated? If so, what was their experience like? 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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 Sunday Times investigation shows bought reviews on Amazon

October 13, 2015

The Sunday Times investigation shows bought reviews on Amazon

If I say “sock puppet” to you and your first thought is Shari Lewis, I’m happy you are here.

If your response to what I just said is, “What does Shari and her friends, a talking lamb and dog, have to do with puppets?” I’m ecstatic! 😉

For many of us nowadays, we think of sock puppets as fake identities that publishers and authors use to publish positive reviews of their own books.

Another term you may hear is “astroturfing”, although that’s more associated with apparent social movements. You see, instead of something genuinely being a “grass roots” movement, it has been faked by people with an agenda…Astroturf is fake grass.

While we have often suspected that reviews like that are present on Amazon, and some people have had their legitimate reviews removed by Amazon suspecting they are fake (Amazon can remove any review they want….they have no obligation to publish your reviews, although they don’t seem to do it just because a review is bad), there hasn’t been a lot of proof.

Well, a British newspaper, The Sunday Times, decided to test it…as reported in this

The Sunday Times article by Robin Henry

What they did was pretty clever. They wrote a terrible book (on purpose), and then bought 5-star reviews for it…at a price equivalent of about five U.S. dollars.

Personally, I think they overpaid. 😉 I doubt most 5-star reviews are going to generate $5 in revenues…but I’m sure it does make some difference, and it would be more effective if the book was more expensive.

I don’t see that the book (Everything Bonsai!) is still for sale on the British Amazon site, but they claim it went to number one in its category.

It’s worth noting that it doesn’t take all that many sales to briefly get to number one: my book of quotations, was the #1 book of quotations in any format on Amazon when it first was released

The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

but that didn’t last long. It was just an initial bolus of sales…oh, and with no fake reviews to my knowledge! It’s only gotten four reviews in the three years it has been out…and only one of them was 5-star. 🙂

I think a more disturbing part of this investigation is that the review faker used real people’s identities, which they “harvested from social media”…and that includes children.

I’m assuming that may be criminal (writing good reviews for money probably isn’t), since it’s identity theft, but I don’t know what the laws are in the UK on that…and I’m not even sure if it would be actionable here.

Now, someone paying someone to create fake reviews in order to boost the sales of a book may be committing a crime…fraud. I would guess that the person writing the review would not be guilty of a crime (if they used their own identity, at least), but I’m not a lawyer.

It’s nice to see that this was done, though. It’s the kind of thing many people are quite sure happens, but  not where investigative journalists tend to turn their focus.

It reminds me of when I was managing a bookstore a long time ago, and a big booksellers’ convention was coming to town. The police decided to go after used bookstores buying stolen books prior to the convention (I’m not saying there was a connection between the two, but…).

For example, they would have undercover people in the bookstores (one bookstore in particular). Reportedly, the bookstore bought boxes of books which still had shipping labels for other stores on them (as if the seller had stolen them from in front of the store). I remember there being something like the store owner just yelling out in the store, “I need ten copies of the new Stephen King: anybody want to steal them for me?”

Used bookstores were supposed to ID people when they bought books, but I think that was rare in practice.

Shoplifting was a big problem in my store, as it was in all bookstores. My goal for “shrinkage” (shoplifting,, employee theft, and loss due to damage) was 8%. If almost one in ten of my books simply disappeared, unaccounted for, I was pretty close to the goal.

Anyway…

What do you think? Is this going to change anything at Amazon? Should it? How do you take fake reviews into account when looking at a book? Feel free to tell me and my readers 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Has Kindle e-book development stagnated?

October 13, 2015

Has Kindle e-book development stagnated?

Thanks to a reader (if you’d like to be credited in the blog, just let me know) who alerted me in a private e-mail to this intriguing essay in Aeon:

Digital books stagnate in closed, dull systems, while printed books are shareable, lovely and enduring. What comes next? by Craig Mod

It’s well written, and both deeply researched in some areas and based on personal experience. I recommend reading it.

That said, I don’t have the same assessment of the situation that the author does.

The basic premise is this:

” As our hardware has grown more powerful and our screens more capable, our book-reading software has largely stagnated.”

One explanation given:

“It seems as though Amazon has been disincentivised to stake out bold explorations by effectively winning a monopoly (deservedly, in many ways) on the market.”

I think the first question we have to ask is if this is limited just to EBRs (E-Book Readers)…that is, not tablets like the Fire. We are continuing to see development on the tablets, including Amazon’s new Word Runner featured. That’s even available on the

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) $49.99

It shows you a book one word at a time, in the middle of the screen. There’s a lot more to it than that, but it should greatly increase your reading speed. You can read more about that here:

The new feature I most want to try on Fire tablets

That’s a recent innovation which Amazon arguably didn’t have to do…and it certainly isn’t stagnant.

It was, perhaps, to respond to the competition of Spritz, which does a similar thing.

The fact that there is competition, though, tends to refute the premise of Mod’s essay.

What about those EBRs? Does there continue to be development there? I do want to say that I assume the author is only talking about EBRs. The article mentions “backlit” Kindles, but I think that may be confusion with the Paperwhite’s (and later the Voyage’s) frontlighting…many people confuse those two.

We’ve gotten some typography changes recently, and we got Page Flip (a way to look ahead in the book without losing your place) not that long ago.

Those don’t feel as amazing as some of the earlier things we got…but should we expect that?

One reason why some people consider paper books one of the greatest technological innovations is how little they have had to change since our basic form factor came into being.

Sure, paperbacks were a change, starting in the 1930s…but they weren’t radically different from hardbacks. They certainly weren’t more different from hardbacks than the Voyage is from the first generation (2007) model.

For more on the history of books, see the

ILMK E-books Timeline

Maybe Kindle books have changed that much in the past few years…because they already do pretty much what we want them to do.

That’s not to say that the system can’t be improved!

We continue to make progress…but I do think, for example, that we could still have much better management of the books on the Amazon website. It would be nice to be able to see which books are on which devices, for example.

The author of the essay has a couple of suggestions, and I do think they are intriguing.

However, I also suspect the author’s desires aren’t the same as those of the majority readers.

Look, I’m weird…and I know it. 😉

My Significant Other got me one of my favorite t-shirts. It says, “Nobody’s Target Market”.

I’m not sure, though, that Craig Mod has quite that same sense of self awareness.

Mod is very into book design. So into it that a great story in the article is about Mod buying a travel guidebook because of the way it was constructed…even with no intent to use it.

I don’t think most people care that much.

That doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate a great design, but my guess is that the majority of people are happy to be able to get right into the text of a book…they don’t need the sensual experience of drawing a beautifully crafted volume being drawn from an equally painstakingly designed slipcase.

Now, would I rather have my Kindle books start at the cover, rather than Chapter 1? Yes, I’d like that option.

I don’t miss the physicality of a p-book (paperbook), though.

I love owning 100 year old books, sure…I have several of those. I feel like I am in a special presence when I see a vintage book.

For my day to day reading? Give me an invulnerable digital file with increasable text, please.

I was a bit amused to be reading the article through the medium of text-to-speech in my car, after using the “Send to Kindle” extension for Google Chrome (which then let me use my Kindle Fire HDX 7).

That’s a big improvement for me.

Do I think that e-books wipeout p-books?

Nope…vinyl is still around for records, despite its relative inefficiency.

My best guess is that it is not an unreasonable model for the future for publishing: the vast majority of reading being done on e-books, with p-books being what they were before mass manufacturing: luxury items.

We aren’t close to that, yet.

Craig Mod and I have different ideas about what people tend to value in books, and what the future will bring.

That’s a good thing. 🙂

Again, I recommend the piece as evocative, thoughtful, and well-written.

Thanks again to my reader for the heads-up!

What do you think? Has Amazon diverted resources from Kindle book development to other things? If they have, is that an opening for someone else to take part of the market? 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Todays’ KDD: 40 award-winning books for $3.99 or less each

October 11, 2015

Todays’ KDD: 40 award-winning books for $3.99 or less each

Today’s

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

is any of 40 (!) award-winning books for $3.99 or less each.

There are some titles here from well-known authors. Not every award is given to someone who is a brand name, or even broadly respected. In some cases, that seems intentional: some awards are intended to bring to recognition worthy books which would otherwise be missed.

These prices are for the USA, and may not apply in your country. As always, check the price before you click or tap that “Buy” button.

Remember that you can buy the books during the sale as a gift, and delay the delivery until the appropriate gift-giving occasion. While gifts can be a wonderful “main” gift, they also make great small gifts.

Titles in today’s sale include:

  • Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 1) by Louise Penny
  • A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought series Book 1) by Vernor Vinge
  • The Cider House Rules by John Irving
  • Bloodchild: And Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler also available in  Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein
  • 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
  • The Last Policeman: A Novel (Last Policeman Trilogy Book 1) by Ben H. Winters (and other books in the series)
  • Seventh Son: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume I by Orson Scott Card
  • The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
  • Summer of ’49 by David Halberstam KU
  • Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez KU
  • Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 by Robert Matzen KU
  • Robert Kennedy and His Times by Arthur M. Schlesinger
  • Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by David J. Garrow

That’s just a few.

Update: I realized I could filter for KU books in the sale, and well, it’s a good way to alert you to award-winning KU books. 🙂 These are the five (out of 40…12.5%):

  • Bloodchild: And Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler
  • Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler
  • Summer of ’49 by David Halberstam
  • Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez
  • Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 by Robert Matzen

If there are others in the sale you want to point out to me and my readers, feel free to comment on this post.

Update: here’s another sale, good through October 15th:

100 Kindle Romances for $1.99 each (at AmazonSmile*)

I’ll tell you how many of the are available for KU…all of them. 😉 81 of them are four stars and up. The most reviewed book in the sale  is

Wild Montana Sky (The Montana Sky Series Book 1) by Debra Holland | 4.3 stars

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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

9 of the top 20 USA Kindle store book bestsellers are in Kindle Unlimited

October 10, 2015

9 of the top 20 USA Kindle store book bestsellers are in Kindle Unlimited

I have been a happy member of

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

Amazon’s $9.99 subser (subscription service…”all you can read” option) since it started.

I don’t know that I actually save money, typically…but I am reading more expensive books. 🙂 I’ve read three of Marko Kloos’ Frontlines series recently through KU…and those are $4.99 each, so in that case, it did save me money.

Quick comment on those books: I did think the second one:

Lines of Departure (Frontlines Book 2) (at AmazonSmile*)

was a really good book, much better than the first (which was still good). The three books together make a solid read, and I suppose you should start with the first one…but hang in there. The second one has a lot more character value, where the first one is much more just situational…in my opinion. 😉

The value of KU just keeps increasing. There are well over a million books in it now, and quantity does count.

So does popularity, though.

Of the top ten USA Kindle bookstore bestsellers at time of writing, nine of them are in KU!

Now, the bestselling Kindle store books don’t match up with the New York Times bestseller…Amazon’s own traditional publishing imprints are high up on the list. Part of that is the

Kindle First books (at AmazonSmile*)

program, where Amazon Prime members can get one pre-publication books to own (not borrow) a month (that seems to be working).

I do still think we could see one of the Big 5 USA trade publishers have a significant presence in KU: not the frontlist, probably, but some of the backlist, before the end of this year.

I suppose the story here may be how Amazon needs the tradpubs (traditional publishers) less than they used to need them…at least in terms of Kindle books. Amazon doesn’t seem to be making that much progress with their own tradpubbed books in paper (at least, looking at the New York Times hardback fiction bestsellers), but in e-books? Bullseye!

KU is not for everyone, and it doesn’t serve all of the needs of many people who have it. Still, if you can gift a single month at the holidays, I think that would be super popular. I’d give it as a gift, for sure…maybe several of them!

It feels to me like Amazon is going to look at an exceptional holiday season for consumer sales!

Update: one of my regular readers and commenters, Lady Galaxy suggested that books may be at the top of the list if they have recently come off the freebie list. I thought that used to be true more than it is now, so I wanted to a bit more analysis and add it to this post.

I used

eReaderIQ.com

to look at the pricing histories of the current top 10 (those may have changed since I first published the post yesterday…the list updates every hour). I only did ten instead of twenty like yesterday…partially because the list might update before I finished it (that gets confusing), partially because it seemed representative, and well, it was easier. 😉

I consider eReaderIQ to be the most valuable resource for Kindleers on the web…I’m not associated with them, by the way, although we have had some correspondence and I’ve made some suggestions to them.

Here are my findings…I’m only detailing books not by the Big 5 publishers…those won’t have been free:

  1. Life and Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagán. Not KU, but it will be once it is officially released on November 1st. This is one of the Kindle First picks for this month. That means it is free for Prime members (they can pick usually one per month). They do own it…but does that count as a paid sale? You would think not. Amazon has a separate list for freebies. People can pre-order it…but I didn’t think pre-orders counted until the day of release (when we are billed for it). Calling this a paid bestseller seems a bit…questionable to me | 4.6 stars out of 5 | 144 customer reviews $5.99 (no price changes in the past 30 days)
  2. The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry. KU | 4.7 stars | 676 reviews (it was $0.99 in the beginning of September, has been $2.99 since)
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir $8.99
  4. The Survivor by Vince Flynn $14.99
  5. Bad Boy Daddy by Chance Carter. KU | 4.5 stars | 414 reviews $0.99 (no price tracking data…released October 3)
  6. The Mentor by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli (translated by Aaron Maines) Kindle First for November 1st (see #1) | 3.9 stars | 70 reviews $5.99…published by Amazon
  7. The Prettiest One by James Hankins KU  | 4.1 stars | 791 reviews $5.99 (price has been steadily 5.99 since August 18th…$4.99 before)
  8. The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner KU | 3.7 stars | 2,870 reviews $4.99 (price steady since August)
  9. Owned by the Bad Boy by Vanessa Waltz KU | 45 stars | 89 reviews $0.99 (price steady since September 30)
  10. Last Immortal Dragon: Dragon Shifter by T.S. Joyce KU | 4.9 stars | 106 reviews (no price history)

Fascinating! Outside of the Kindle First books (I don’t why they are on this list at all at this point), these do appear to me to be legitimate sales…

What do you think? Can Amazon do anything to replicate the digital success of its tradpubbed e-books in p-books? Is KU increasingly attractive to you? Why aren’t Big 5 books more prominent in the Kindle book bestseller lists? 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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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