Archive for February, 2016

Just published! The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip!

February 29, 2016

Just published! The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip

This is one of the very rare cases where I’m publishing basically the same post here and in another blog of mine, The Measured Circle. I thought it was worth putting both places, and I thought you’d be interested. One of the things in this project is linking to books (or Goodreads and other pages). I’m thinking you’ll notice one difference right away in my writing below…I use the editorial “we”). ūüėČ I don’t know why I started that at TMC: I don’t do it here in ILMK…

We are very excited to announce the publication today (Leap Day) of a new project,

The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip

at The History Project!

You’ll be able to learn about (and in many cases, read/watch/listen to) geek friendly content.

To introduce it, I’m going to do what I call a “splinterview”: I’m going to interview myself about the project. As with all of my splinterviews, I haven’t thought about what I’m going to say ahead of time, and won’t substantively edit it afterwards (if I catch typos, I’ll correct those…just like I would with an interview with someone else).

Let’s get started!

Q. Your new project, The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip was published. What is it? A book, a blog…?

A. Well, it’s something different. It’s really more of a timeline, but much more interactive than that usually means.

Q. What do you mean by interactive?

A. When people use it, they’ll often be able to click on a link to watch a movie or TV show, read a book, listen to a radio show, that sort of thing.

Q. Will they pay for that?

A. Not me [laughs]. In many cases, I’m linking to public domain sources where there is no charge at all, but it’s possible they’ll see ads there. In others, I may link to a place that helps them find something where they might be paying. For example, for in-copyright movies & TV shows, I typically link to JustWatch.com, which is a search engine for streaming services. It might show them that they can watch the movie at Amazon Prime or Netflix or Hulu, for example. The user may be paying a monthly fee for that, but they won’t pay more for watching this specific movie.

Q. What about books? Are you only linking to subscription services there?

A. I generally link to Goodreads, which does have links where you can buy books. I’m not opposed to people buying things, even if that has become increasingly unpopular. What I don’t want to do is only link people to a single place to buy something. I don’t want it to feel like an ad, like I’m trying to sell them something.

Q. So, you aren’t making money on the Geek Time Trip?

A. Not directly. I did get permission from The History Project to link to my The Measured Circle blog, for example. It’s possible somebody will go from TMCGTT to The Measured Circle, and then do something there which might result in me getting some money.

Q. TMCGTT?

A. The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip.

Q. You mentioned getting permission from The History Project. Describe your relationship with them, and what they are.

A. Well, “getting permission” sounds too strong, really. I think everybody has that permission [to link to their websites]…I just asked them and they let me know it was okay. I’m not really connected with them, I’ve just had some correspondence with them as a user. What happened was that I’d heard about them…they’ve gotten some mainstream publicity. I think I first saw it in a Flipboard story. Anyway, I made a timeline for a relative as a birthday present. They happened to contact me for user feedback, and I said quite a bit [laughs]. I had a couple of conversations with them, mostly by e-mail. While they do seem like a startup, although a solid one, it seemed like a good place to do something public, and that they would (knock wood) be around for a while.

Q. What makes them seem like a startup?

A. Oh, there are some interface things, for example, that I expect to mature over time. I also see them making incremental improvements. I can feel the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment that can go with being a startup.

Q. Why do you think they’ll be a lasting company?

A. I mentioned the mainstream publicity…Forbes, CNN, to name two. I can tell that they know what they are doing from the website. Getting that coverage and having something that works technically is a good combination…it suggests both funding and some expertise, and at least some popular resonance for the idea.

Q. That’s probably enough background; let’s talk about what people will see when they go to The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip.

A. Sorry, one more thing first. There was a hiccup early on…I asked a question through the website, and didn’t get an answer. I’m big on Customer Service, and that made me hesitant even to do the birthday present. I could see that some big people were using it, like Jewel, so I decided to go ahead. When I brought that up in my user feedback, which I think was just a random thing, I got a personal and very strong and satisfying response. They apologized, and explained what happened, and made it right. Nobody gets everything right all the time…what matters is how you deal with your errors.

Q. And you were satisfied?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. So, what will be the experience for someone going to the Geek Time Trip?

A. It’s a timeline, first. They’ll see events on a chronological line.

Q. What sort of events?

A. Oh, when an actor or author is born, when a movie was released, when a book was published…something specific that happened. They can then click on that event, and that’s where I would say this starts getting really useful and fun. Visitors will find links to the content, but also to references…Wikia entries, YouTube and Google news searches, lots of things.

Q. Wikipedia?

A. Wikia…although I did Wikipedia sometimes, too. Wikia is really a fan-based site, with many wikis for different ¬†properties.

Q. Were you always able to find links to the content?

A. No. I link when I can, but I don’t want to exclude something just because I can’t link to an online option.

Q. How do you choose what to put into The Geek Time Trip?

A. In this early stage, it’s a bit random. I could literally list thousands of items I’d like to have in TMCGTT offhand,with no research. I think that having the content is a good thing, one of the attractions. So, I’ve been going through some sites that have content, getting things there, and then rotating in other things I want to mention.

Q. Do you mind saying what sites?

A. Not at all! I name them in TMCGTT. I want them to get credit for the hard work they’ve done, and I want to drive people to the sites. For example, I use The Digital Comic Museum. That’s a great site! You can read or download public domain comics there, often obscure.

Q. How do you know they are public domain, not in copyright?

A. That’s a great question! I can’t know for sure…in many cases, it’s hard to research a copyright. What I do is get a sense of whether or not I think the site make a good faith effort to protect people’s rights. I do know something about copyright, as a layperson. I write about it fairly often in my most popular blog, I Love My Kindle. ¬†I care a lot about copyright, so I’ll do what I can to get that right.

Q. How long does it take you to create an entry?

A. That’s one of the things. It takes a few minutes, I’d say. I do some research, put in the links…I’ll look for an unusual site. I would have loved to have thousands of entries on go live day, but there just wasn’t time.

Q. You are busy, right? Two blogs, books, and you have a full time job?

A. Three blogs, actually, but who’s counting? [laughs]

Q. I Love My Kindle, The Measured Circle, and?

A. 221B Blog Street. That doesn’t take me much time, though…I just republish the original public domain Sherlock Holmes material, either a chapter or a short story a day, in order. I just like having serialized literature available, which is the way many things we now consider classics were published…and Holmes is great!

Q. How do you have time to add another big project like The Geek Time Trip? Won’t your other projects suffer?

A. I can’t say there will be absolutely no impact, but things have changed. I haven’t really worked intently on a book for some time…ILMK takes up the vast majority of my writing time and energy, and that will continue to be the case. In the past couple of years, I’ve had another change which is helping…I only sleep about four and a half to five and half hours a night. That was a weird big change: I went suddenly from going to sleep by nine and waking up at five, which is eight hours, to waking up between 1:30 and 2:30 AM.

Q. That’s very early!

A. Yes, and somehow, it takes me six hours to get ready for work in the morning! [laughs] Not really, but I do exercise and get writing done. My baseline for exercise is ninety minutes a day, although I generally do more.

Q. Aren’t people supposed to get eight hours sleep?

A. I’ve actually checked with my doctor on it…twice. My doctor thinks it is okay…different people need different amounts of sleep. I don’t fall asleep during the day, and in my job, if I had cognitive decline, I’d know it.

Q. What is your job?

A. I’m a trainer. I work with medical people, so I’m pretty in tune with what’s risky behavior. I wouldn’t mind getting more sleep, but I don’t miss it and seem to be doing fine.

Q. Let’s get back to the Time Trip. When you pick events, what kind of impact do you want them to have on people?

A. I want different reactions. I want to waken lost memories…have somebody say, “I remember that!” I want people to be surprised when they encounter something they had no idea existed…and to hopefully enjoy it, of course. I’d also like it to be useful…I can see someone looking something up on it, and returning to the same event to check the Google news search link.

Q. How often will you add things?

A. I figure I’ll add a few things a week, and then have some binges sometimes where I do more.

Q. Do you have any help?

A. I wouldn’t mind that in the future. Right now, the moderation tools at The History Project aren’t robust enough for me to just open it up to everybody. I need to be able to review something, to make sure it isn’t just advertising, wildly inaccurate, or inconsistent with what else is there. Some of what I’m doing could be done pretty easily, at least basically adding an event…those public domain comics at DCM ¬†don’t take a whole lot of decision making, outside of picking the comics. For now, it’s going to be just me. That doesn’t mean I don’t want suggestions or corrections, though! I’ve set up a page where people can comment to do just that,¬†The Measured Circle‚Äôs Geek Time¬†Trip. Even at go live, I had Samurai Pizza Cats, which was suggested to me by someone in the family.

Q. How will you measure the success of The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip?

A. If I have fun doing it and have the time, I’ll probably keep it going. I’d be encouraged if I hear from people that they like it. I would love for it to get mentioned in more mainstream sources…I’ve been a subscriber to Entertainment Weekly for many years, and appearing there would be fun. Getting mentioned in The Mary Sue would also be a measure of success for me. If it brings more people to my other works, great. The main thing, though, is people getting something out of it…that’s what makes me the happiest.

Q. Anything else you want to say?

A. Just that I’ve been having fun with it! There has definitely been some trial and error, and I found some techniques and style which helped. I’ve done a little bit of writing in it, but I’ve been keeping my opinions out of the entries. I just hope it’s a trip people find worth taking.

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! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Today’s KDD: up to 80% off Oscar Movie Tie-ins

February 27, 2016

Today’s KDD: up to 80% off Oscar Movie Tie-ins

Today’s

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

is up to 80% off each of eighteen books which were the basis of Oscar-nominated movies.

There are some great books in this group!

  • Argo by Antonio Mendez: won Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing. Also nominated for Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin), Score, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing | $1.99 at time of writing | 4.3 stars out of 5 | 380 customer reviews
  • The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman: won Best Actor Adrien Brody, Best Director, Adapted Screenplay. Also nominated for Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing | $2.99 | 4.8 stars | 279 reviews
  • 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup: won Best Picture, Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o), Adapted Screenplay. Also nominated for Lead Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor),¬†Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender), Directing, Film Editing, Costume Design, Production Design | $1.99 | 4.6 stars |3,423 reviews
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel: won Directing, Score, Visual Effects, Score. Also nominated for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Song, Production Design | $2.99 | 4.3 stars | 6,377 reviews
  • Trumbo by Bruce Cook: nominated for Lead Actor (Bryan Cranston) | $2.99 | 4.4 stars | 19 reviews
  • The Hateful Eight by Quentin Tarantino: nominated for Supporting Actress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Cinematography, Score | $2.99 | 3.7 stars | 19 reviews
  • The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick: won for Lead Actress (Jennifer Lawrence). Also nominated for Best Picture, Lead Actor (Bradley Cooper), Supporting Actor (Robert DeNiro), Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver), Directing, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing | $2.99 | 4.4 stars | 3,290 reviews
  • Oil! (There Will Be Blood) by Upton Sinclair: Lead Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Cinematography. Also nominated for Best Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Art Direction | $1.99 | 4.0 stars | 87 customer reviews
  • All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren: won (for the 1949 version…the 2006 version was not nominated for an Oscar) Best Picture, Lead Actor (Broderick Crawford), Supporting Actress (Mercedes McCambridge). Also nominated for Supporting Actor (John Ireland), Director, Screenplay, Film Editing | $2.99 | 4.3 stars | 390 reviews
  • Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers. Won Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Film Editing, Visual Effects, Original Song (Chim Chim Cher-ee), Original Score. Also nominated for Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography (Color), Art Direction (Color), Costume Design (Color),¬†Score | 4.4 stars | 597 reviews
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: the 2013 version won for Costume Design. Also nominated for Cinematography, Score, Production Design | $1.99 | 4.5 stars | 162 reviews
  • The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris: won Best Picture, Lead¬†Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Lead Actress (Jodie Foster), Director, Adapted Screenplay. Also nominated for Sound, Film Editing | $2.99 | 4.7 stars | 605 reviews
  • Betrayal (basis of Spotlight) by The Boston Globe: nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Supporting Actress (Rachel McAdams), Directing, Original Screenplay, Film Editing | $2.99 | 4.4 stars | 45 reviews
  • Philomena by Martin Sixsmith: nominated for Best Picture, Lead Actress (Judi Dench), Score, Adapted Screenplay | $1.99 | 4.0 stars | 1, 402 reviews
  • The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort: nominated for Best Picture, Lead Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), Director, Adapted Screenplay | $1.99 | 3.8 stars | 1,081 reviews
  • Room by Emma Donoghue: nominated for Best Picture, Lead Actress (Brie Larson), Directing, Adapted Screenplay (by the book’s ¬†author)
  • Sideways by Rex Pickett: won Adapted Screenplay. Also nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Thomas Haden Church), Supporting Actress (Virginia Madsen), Directing | $2.99 | 4.0 stars | 172 reviews
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham: won Best Actress (Nicole Kidman). Also nominated for Best Picture Supporting Actor (Ed Harris), Best Actress (Julianne Moore). Also nominated for Best Director, Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design, Film Editing, Score | $2.99 | 4.0 stars | 653 reviews

Definitely some excellent reads, and some books here that would make good gifts (you can delay a Kindle store book gift’s delivery date for the appropriate gift-giving¬†occasion.

There is still time if you want to participate in

2016 BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness)

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.

Round up #138: an easier way to KU, hearing voices

February 27, 2016

Round up #138: an easier way to KU, hearing voices

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

Presidential frontrunner respects Jeff Bezos, but “…they’re gonna have such problems”

re/code post by Dawn Chmielewski (with 27 second video clip)

 Hearing voices when you read

“But a man’s mind is so alone, shut up inside the bones of the skull.”
–Lew Alton
The Sword of Aldones
written by Marion Zimmer Bradley
collected in The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This

Mysterious Universe post by Paul Seaburn

referenced (and linked) a study by Ruvanee Vilhauer, published in Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches.

The study (although I would consider it more of an analysis) looked at online conversation about hearing voices when you read.

I think I’ve told this story before, but it’s specifically relevant, so it probably bears repeating.

I was reading a book which my Significant Other had already read. My SO mentioned having a problem with the book, because when reading it, my SO heard a character in the voice of the actor Darren McGavin.

I said something like, “What do you mean?”

My SO said that was the voice that they heard.

Me: “You hear voices when you read?”
My SO: “You DON’T hear voices when you read?”

ūüėČ

We both thought the other one was…um…unusual.

I had no idea people actually heard voices when they read.

In my work as a trainer, I was able to ask a lot of people…and it was about 15% of the people who were like me.

Well, that was unscientific…and honestly, so is this “study”, but it’s very interesting anecdotally.

I assumed that people heard character voices, based on my SO, but apparently, some people hear their own voices (and others hear other things).

I should be clear that, despite the nature of the publication, it is not suggested that hearing (or not hearing) voices is pathological. ūüôā

Fascinating stuff! I recommend it.

HuffPo: “When a Publishing Expert Opens a Bookstore”

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run a bookstore?

I’ve done it myself (as a manager, but not an owner, of a brick-and-mortar).

As you can probably guess, it was fun. ūüôā

However, there is a lot more to it than just the fun part of helping connect people to books.

Before I was a manager, I (perhaps not surprisingly) worked for managers. ūüôā

I liked my first one, but I wouldn’t say that person was extraordinarily good. We did fine, I just don’t think that was the ultimate role for that person. I will say, though, I liked my job interview:

Manager: “Hi, I’ve looked at your resum√©. Do you like The Three Stooges?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “You’re hired.”

ūüôā

That’s paraphrased, but pretty much the way it went…just that one question.

I assume what I’d written showed that I had the minimum level of competency, and that there wasn’t much more of a concern (except perhaps team culture, which might have been connected to the Stooges question).

I think my second boss, though, was one of the best bosses I have ever had (still).

One of my favorite things was when another employee complained about having to straighten up an “end cap”.

The end cap goes, logically enough, on the end of the bookshelves which form an aisle. They are usually carefully “merchandised” (displayed), with a lot of books “faced” (with their covers showing, rather than their spines).

They get messed up easily…some people are not at all careful about how they put books back on the shelf in a store, sometimes even just laying them down horizontally.

My co-worker said something about not liking doing the end caps.

Our boss said (approximately), “That’s why we call it ‘work’. If you liked doing everything, we’d call it ‘fun’, and I wouldn’t have to pay you to be here.” ūüôā

Merchandising does take some time…so does inventory, receiving, returning, balancing the drawer, and so on. The most challenging thing, perhaps, is the high amount of shoplifting in book (since it is so easy to sell a stolen book). That can discourage people.

This

Huffington Post interview by Fauzia Burke with Lynn Rosen

shows that even someone very familiar with the publishing industry can be surprised by the actual frontline experience.

“Can you use ‘Kindle’ in a sentence?”

I was listening to Len Edgerly’s

The Kindle Chronicles

on our

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

“Alexa, play The Kindle Chronicles on TuneIn.”

and heard the host talk about Amazon’s Kindle sponsoring this year’s Scripps Spelling Bee (thanks for the heads-up, Len!).

Here’s the

press release

I think this is a big deal, so I was surprised that Amazon didn’t send me a press release, and that they don’t have one yet on Amazon.com (this PR is from Scripps).

This spelling bee gets national media coverage…so tying in the Kindle to that is prestigious.

It also gives, perhaps, an imprimatur from the literati. ūüėČ

According to the press release, it won’t be like just slapping your name on a stadium…the Kindle will be an active part of the contest. They say:

“Kindle offers technology that will be used by the Scripps National Spelling Bee in building its word lists for school-level study materials. Vocabulary Builder compiles an easy-to-access list from words readers explore through the dictionary option. Readers can use these lists to quiz themselves with flashcards and instantly see words in context until they have mastered them. With Word Wise, short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words to help readers take on more challenging books. These enhancements provide for an improved reading experience that leads to greater comprehension, a stronger vocabulary and a better, uninterrupted reading experience for young readers.”

“View My Kindle Unlimited Books”

This was super nice when I was recently in the Kindle store on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX 7!

When I went to the

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

part of the store, there was a banner at the top that said, “View My Kindle Unlimited Books”

Tapping on that, it explained the system (that we can have ten out at a time), told me how many we had (9), and listed them…with a “Return this book” link.

That’s a lot simpler than how it was before, where we didn’t see them until we went to borrow one, and there were a couple of steps to it.

I haven’t seen that on the website on my laptop yet (that’s how I usually look for KU books), but it’s a nice improvement on the tablet.

What do you think? Do you watch the Scripps Spelling Bee? What do you think of Amazon sponsoring it? Do you hear a voice when you read? The character’s, yours, or someone else’s? Have you ever wondered about running a bookstore? Have any questions about that? 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’s 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime

February 25, 2016

Amazon’s 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime¬†

Amazon sent me an e-mail that they have¬†added their latest “100 books” list:

Amazon’s 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This list really intrigued me!

While I consider myself an eclectic reader, books about understanding your own behavior (and that of other human beings), especially in business situations, are amongst my favorites.

This is a sort of fuzzy categorization…you don’t usually see a section for “Leadership & Success” in a brick-and-mortar bookstore (I’m a former manager of one), and they make the point in their e-mail to me that there are “surprise adds” ¬†in this list.

They were nice enough to send me a version I can copy and paste (although I tweaked the formatting):

Title Author
1 #GIRLBOSS Sophia Amoruso
2 A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61) Eckhart Tolle
3 Andrew Carnegie David Nasaw
4 Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! Tony Robbins
5 Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Elizabeth Gilbert
6 Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street John Brooks
7 Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Revised and Expanded): The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems Daniel G. Amen M.D.
8 Chicken Soup for the Soul 20th Anniversary Edition: All Your Favorite Original Stories Plus 20 Bonus Stories for the Next 20 Years Jack Canfield
9 Choose Yourself! James Altucher
10 Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion Gary Vaynerchuk
11 Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck Jon Acuff
12 Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Daniel H. Pink
13 Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time Brian Tracy
14 Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Ashlee Vance
15 Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ Daniel Goleman
16 Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less Greg McKeown
17 Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done Larry Bossidy
18 Find a Way Diana Nyad
19 First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently Marcus Buckingham
20 Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
21 Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success Thomas J. DeLong
22 Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Steven D. Levitt
23 Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life Stuart Diamond
24 Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity David Allen
25 Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In Roger Fisher
26 Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success Adam M. Grant
27 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t Jim Collins
28 How to Win Friends & Influence People Dale Carnegie
29 How Will You Measure Your Life? Clayton M. Christensen
30 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition Robert B. Cialdini
31 Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading Martin Linsky
32 Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead Sheryl Sandberg
33 Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Chip Heath
34 Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl
35 Meditations (Dover Thrift Editions) Marcus Aurelius
36 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Carol Dweck
37 Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics Richard H. Thaler
38 Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss
39 Outliers: The Story of Success Malcolm Gladwell
40 Personal History Katharine Graham
41 Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions Dan Ariely
42 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking Susan Cain
43 It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership Colin Powell
44 Siddhartha Hermann Hesse
45 Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action Simon Sinek
46 Steve Jobs Walter Isaacson
47 StrengthsFinder 2.0 Tom Rath
48 Stumbling on Happiness Daniel Gilbert
49 Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction Philip E. Tetlock
50 Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else Geoff Colvin
51 The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing:  Violate Them at Your Own Risk! Al Ries
52 The 48 Laws of Power Robert Greene
53 The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich Timothy Ferriss
54 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Stephen R. Covey
55 The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
56 The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World (Art of Happiness Book) Dalai Lama
57 The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere (TED Books) Pico Iyer
58 The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life Avinash K. Dixit
59 The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything Guy Kawasaki
60 The Art Of War Sun Tzu
61 The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Michael Lewis
62 The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility” (Incerto) Nassim Nicholas Taleb
63 The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism Olivia Fox Cabane
64 The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right Atul Gawande
65 The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know Katty Kay
66 The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials) Peter F. Drucker
67 The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Third Edition Warren E. Buffett
68 The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded Michael D. Watkins
69 The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt T.J. Stiles
70 The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable Patrick Lencioni
71 The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) Don Miguel Ruiz
72 The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are Brene Brown
73 The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work Shawn Achor
74 The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun Gretchen Rubin
75 The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers Ben Horowitz
76 The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business Clayton M. Christensen
77 The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) (Collins Business Essentials) Benjamin Graham
78 The Last Lecture Randy Pausch
79 The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses Eric Ries
80 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Marie Kondo
81 The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) Hal Elrod
82 The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play Neil Fiore
83 The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Charles Duhigg
84 The Prince (Dover Thrift Editions) Niccolò Machiavelli
85 The Prophet (A Borzoi Book) Kahlil Gibran
86 The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth M. Scott Peck
87 The Road to Character David Brooks
88 The Secret Rhonda Byrne
89 The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams Deepak Chopra
90 Thinking, Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman
91 Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. Ron Chernow
92 Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be Marshall Goldsmith
93 Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson Mitch Albom
94 Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders L. David Marquet
95 Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance Jonathan Fields
96 Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives Dan Millman
97 What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful Marshall Goldsmith
98 Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength Roy F. Baumeister
99 Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person Shonda Rhimes
100 Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future Peter Thiel

I’ve actually written about a few of these before…here’s one instance:

A book I’m reading now: Thinking, Fast and Slow

Let’s see…of these, I’ve read:

  • Freakonomics
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People
  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • Predictably Irrational (I highly recommend this one)
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • The Art of War
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (worth reading)
  • The Last Lecture
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow

There are a few others about which I’m not sure. ūüôā

Off the top of my head, I’d also recommend

  • Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales
  • The Man Who Lied to His Laptop by Clifford Nass
  • Brain Rules by John Medina

Interestingly, I would guess I was more influenced by fiction than by any of these. ūüôā I still look at the Doc Savage oath from time to time, which says in part:¬†“Let me strive, every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right, and lend my assistance to those who need it with no regard for anything but justice…”

What do you think of the list? Are there others you would recommend? 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.

 

Public domain makes strange bookfellows

February 24, 2016

Public domain makes strange bookfellows**

Copyright matters.

It affects what you read, and it affects what people write.

We’ve had a lot of discussions (with my readers commenting on my posts, and me responding) in this blog about copyright. I’ve explored the idea of permanent copyright, and have really appreciated the thoughtful and respectful arguments against that idea, and in some cases for even shortening current copyright terms.

In this post, I want to look at an effect of having copyright terms at all…published works which later fall into the public domain, and are then used by other authors in new works.

Under current US copyright law (and as stated in the Constitution), copyright is for a limited time. How long that time is has gotten longer over time since the original fourteen years (renewable once) to the current Life+70 years (in most circumstances).

After that, the work is owned by the public…it is in the public domain. From that point, anybody can publish and sell the book…and authors can use the characters and settings of that book however they want.

This can lead to some great and imaginative combinations…as well as some bizarre and arguably less successful ones.

At it’s best, for me, the new work pays respect to the older work, but brings something fresh and exciting, and often fun.

I also like it when someone brings together two (or more) disparate characters and/or settings.

Before I list a few examples, I want to define it a bit more.

Parody is something different. In the USA (but not everywhere in the world), you can use in-copyright characters without permission, providing that you are doing it as a form of criticism of the original work. Mad magazine, Saturday Night Live, Marlon Wayons, even porn parodies, are legal if they are commenting on the original.

Rightsholders may also do “crossovers”. L. Frank Baum, who to me was pioneering in so many ways, did crossovers…less popular characters from other books/series would appear in the super popular Oz books (arguably, to help boost their profiles…Baum tried to stop writing the Oz books, but those were what the readers wanted). A deal can even be worked out between different rightsholders: in 1976, Superman and Spider-Man “fought” each other in a comic book…despite being owned by two very different and competitive companies (DC and Marvel, respectively).

Fan fiction (“fanfic”) is prose of a different color. ūüėČ It typically takes in-copyright characters and writes new stories not for profit. It can be a bit of a gray area, but some rightsholders openly support it within certain parameters (J.K. Rowling, for one)

Okay, let’s talk about a few of these works which used public domain elements in new commercial works:

Silverlock (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
by John Myers Myers
4.2 stars out of 5 | 92 customer reviews

First published in 1949, Silverlock brings together all sorts of characters, both historical figures and fictional. It’s considered somewhat of a classic in its own right. Serious readers can treat it as almost a puzzle, trying to recognize all of the references. ūüôā Everybody can have fun with Robin Hood and Don Quixote, among many others. This one is available through

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

or you can purchase it for $2.88 at the time of writing. Note that there is more than one version of Silverlock in the USA Kindle store (but differentiated by additional material, from what I’ve seen).

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most adapted characters of all time, and certainly, the public domain status of most of the original works has made for some odd adventures for Sherlock. I loved

An East Wind Coming (at AmazonSmile*)
by Arthur Byron Cover
4.0 stars | 2 customer reviews

I am very excited to see that this work is not only newly Kindleized (with text-to-speech access) but also part of Kindle Unlimited!

Like Silverlock, it brings together a wide variety of characters…which arguably include (sort of) Sherlock Holmes pursuing a possible Jack the Ripper. This is all complicated by being set in the future where humans can assume the identities (and abilities) of fictional characters…a type of¬†super-powered cosplay. ūüėČ It comes after Autumn Angels (at AmazonSmile*) (also KU, and been available for more than a year), although that one is a bit different (featuring a character, for example, who is clearly Ham Brooks, one of Doc Savage’s in-copyright associates…without explicitly being Ham). You don’t need to read them in order.

There have been other version of Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper (which makes sense, given their similar timeframes), but I was curious, so I searched for ¬†“Sherlock Holmes in space” and ¬†got

The Adventure of the Skittering Shadow: Sherlock Holmes in Space (Nerio Book 1) (at AmazonSmile*)
by Sam Gamble
5.0 stars | 1 customer review

Several authors (even well-known ones, including Fred Saberhagen and Loren D. Estleman) have pitted the Consulting Detective against the Immortal Count…Dracula.

Dracula is another character whose versions are legion, from more than one comic book superhero version to Blacula in the movies.

The Land of Oz (I mentioned Baum earlier) has seen not only visitors from Baum’s other books (oh, and Santa Claus came to Ozma’s birthday party once…but Baum also wrote a Santa Claus book), but probably hundreds of other interactions since it fell into the public domain.

I thought a particularly interesting take, although unfortunately not available in the Kindle store, was¬†Philip Jos√© Farmer’s A Barnstormer in Oz. The original books had Oz interacting with the rest of the world (although in a limited manner…and it becomes concerning enough that they use magic to cut themselves off, which fails at being an absolute separation. This book (as Farmer would do in other works) asked what would happen if Oz actually existed.

There are many other examples. Tarzan is (mostly) in the public domain…and encounters¬†Frankenstein (also in the public domain) in Owen Leonard’s Frankenstein Meets the Ape-Man: Tarzan (at AmazonSmile*)…KU or $0.99. I’ve read Doc Savage in an adventure on King Kong’s Skull Island

Of course, there was

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (at AmazonSmile*) by Seth Grahame Smith ($10.99, not KU)

which has a movie adaptation in the theatres right now (not breaking any box office records, though).

Is all of this an argument in favor of public domain?

I’d say yes.

I recognize the value of PD, both in making books available for free, and in making legal these sorts of innovative storytelling.

I think there is considerable room for improvement in copyright, and am thinking about different possibilities…

What do you think? Do you have a favorite book with public domain characters or settings in a new work you would recommend? What’s the weirdest crossover/mash-up/adaptation you’ve read? I left off so many (I hear some of you shouting out A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen written by Alan Moore)! 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 is take on Charles Dudley Warner’s famous line, “Politics makes strange bedfellows”…while Shakespeare used the phrase “…strange bedfellows” in the Tempest

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.

 

50% off Fire tablet accessories, a sale on Kids’ edition…and then there were 4

February 23, 2016

50% off Fire tablet accessories, a sale on Kids’ edition…and then there were 4

The

Fire HD 6, 6‚Ä≥ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB ‚Äď Includes Special Offers, Black¬†(at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

has been a hit for Amazon. It’s the number one bestseller in electronics for the e-tailer.

Interestingly, though, Amazon now only shows four models of Fire tablet in the “family stripe” at the top of the page.

It makes some sense to me that they are consolidating the line.

An obvious question: could this mean new models are coming?

Perhaps… ūüėČ

These are the three others which are left:

Speaking of that kids’ edition, you can get $50 off a “two pack” with the code, KIDS2PACK. It says that’s for a limited time, but clicking on the link to “learn more” really didn’t tell me much. ūüėČ

Now, you might think they are just temporarily out of stock on, say, the 8.9″ HDX…but they are also having¬†a big

50% off sale on Fire tablet accessories (at AmazonSmile*)

There are lots of great deals in there, especially on covers.

I really like the Origami cover on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (I’ll be sad when mine¬†needs to be replaced…it’s been a great device for a long time, in gadget years!). They do have that one.

I don’t know how long that sale will last, but my intuition is that they are clearing out stock. That doesn’t mean that Amazon actually stores all these, but they may be wanting to take covers for those models off the main Amazon storefront, and they’ll move to the third-party vendor mode.

Enjoy!

Bonus deal: I didn’t want to do something just for Fire owners so here are

50 Kindle books for $2 each (at AmazonSmile*)

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.

March 2016 Kindle book releases

February 21, 2016

March 2016 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 largely returned 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 6,205 (at time of writing) February releases in the USA Kindle store:

March 2016 USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 924 (more than 100 more than last month) are in

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

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

We’ve gone back and forth recently on whether the top four were the

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks for this month.

Amazon no longer does the ‚ÄúNew and Popular‚ÄĚ search as a default, but does ‚ÄúFeatured‚ÄĚ. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way‚Ķand the list is clearly not the same. ¬†This month, again, Kindle First titles dominate.

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!

  • Crossing the Kingdom: Portraits of Saudi Arabia¬†by Loring M. Danforth
  • Property of a Noblewoman¬†by Danielle Steel
  • Wonder Woman: War of the Gods¬†by George P√©rez and¬†Jill Thompson
  • Predator: A Crossbow Novel¬†by Wilbur Smith
  • Healthy Woman, Healthy Life: A Woman’s Book of Healing¬†by Gary Null and Amy McDonald
  • The Old Republic Series: Star Wars 4-Book Bundle: Fatal Alliance, Deceived, Revan, Annihilation¬†by Sean Williams and Paul S. Kemp
  • Dead as a Dinosaur (The Mr. and Mrs. North Mysteries)¬†by Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge
  • A Murderous Mind: A Naomi Blake British Mystery (A Naomi Blake Mystery)¬†by Jane A. Adams
  • Making Out in the Mainstream: GLAAD and the Politics of Respectability¬†by Vincent Doyle
  • Quarry’s Vote (Hardcase Crime)¬†by Max Allan Collins
  • Ruling Russia: Authoritarianism from the Revolution to Putin¬†by William Zimmerman
  • Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better¬†by Sara Moulton
  • Magic: An Occult Primier (sic)¬†by David Conway
  • The Gangster (Isaac Bell Series Book 9)¬†by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
  • Bitcoin Essentials¬†by Albert Szmigielski
  • The Town and the City¬†by Jack Kerouac
  • And Then There Were Nuns: League of Literary Ladies¬†by Kylie Logan
  • Mrs. Jeffries Wins the Prize: A Victorian Mystery¬†by Emily Brightwell
  • Ringworld’s Children and Fleet of Worlds¬†by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner
  • Learning Zulu: A Secret History of Language in South Africa (Translation/Transnation)¬†by Mark Sanders
  • In Defense of the Princess: How Plastic Tiaras and Fairytale Dreams Can Inspire Smart, Strong Women¬†by Jerramy Fine
  • Hard-Boiled Anxiety: The Freudian Desires of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Their Detectives¬†by Karen Karydes
  • And the Sun Stood Still¬†by Dava Sobel
  • London’s Glory: The Lost Cases of Bryant & May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit¬†by Christopher Fowler
  • The Ninth Life: A new cat mystery series (A Blackie and Care Cat Mystery)¬†by Clea Simon
  • The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television¬†by Tricia Jenkins
  • Tales of the Dying Earth: Including ‘The Dying Earth,’ ‘The Eyes of the Overworld,’ ‘Cugel’s Saga,’ and ‘Rhialto…by Jack Vance
  • After Strange Texts: The Role of Theory in the Study of Literature¬†by Gregory S. Jay and David L. Miller
  • The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters¬†by Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray
  • What If the Queen Should Die?¬†by John-Paul Flintoff
  • Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation (Postmillennial Pop)¬†by Elizabeth Ellcessor
  • The Mayans Among Us: Migrant Women and Meatpacking on the Great Plains¬†by Ann L. Sittig and Martha Florinda Gonz√°lez
  • Lesson Plan: An Agenda for Change in American Higher Education¬†by William G. Bowen and Michael S. McPherson
  • Guns of Special Forces 2001 – 2015¬†by Leigh Neville
  • Wisdom’s Workshop: The Rise of the Modern University¬†by James Axtell
  • A Bun in the Oven: How the Food and Birth Movements Resist Industrialization¬†by Barbara Katz Rothman
  • Sexual Politics¬†by Kate Millett and Catharine A. MacKinnon
  • The Will and the Deed¬†by Ellis Peters
  • Fragile Elite: The Dilemmas of China’s Top University Students (Anthropology of Policy)¬†by Susanne Bregnbaek
  • A Fatal Inheritance: A Celtic historical mystery set in 16th century Ireland (A Burren Mystery)¬†by Cora Harrison
  • Baseball’s Power Shift: How the Players Union, the Fans, and the Media Changed American Sports Culture¬†by Krister Swanson
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center (Images of Modern America)¬†by Mark A. Chambers and Michael Curie
  • The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television¬†by Tricia Jenkins
  • In Pursuit of Wild Edibles: A Forager’s Tour¬†by Jeffrey Greene
  • Real Love, No Drama: The Music of Mary J. Blige (American Music)¬†by Danny Alexander
  • Theatre, Performance and Cognition: Languages, Bodies and Ecologies (Performance and Science: Interdisciplinary…by Rhonda Blair and Amy Cook
  • Presidential Power: Theories and Dilemmas¬†by John P. Burke
  • Next of Kin: A Sarah Quinn police procedural (A Sarah Quinn Mystery)¬†by Maureen Carter
  • The Rarest Bird in the World: The Search for the Nechisar Nightjar¬†by Vernon R L Head
  • A Murderous Mind: A Naomi Blake British Mystery (A Naomi Blake Mystery)¬†by Jane A. Adams
  • New Korean Wave: Transnational Cultural Power in the Age of Social Media¬†by Dal Yong Jin
  • World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1¬†by BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT
  • The Playdate: Parents, Children and the New Expectations of Play¬†by Tamara R. Mose
  • Ctrl + Z: The Right to Be Forgotten¬†by Meg Leta Jones
  • Three Years in Wonderland: The Disney Brothers, C. V. Wood, and the Making of the Great American Theme Park¬†by Todd James Pierce
  • The Misfit Mission: How to Change the World with Surprises, Interruptions, and All the Wrong People¬†by Scott Chrostek
  • Becoming Nature: Learning the Language of Wild Animals and Plants¬†by Tamarack Song
  • Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter¬†by Tim Hanley
  • The War on Leakers: National Security and American Democracy, from Eugene V. Debs to Edward Snowden¬†by Lloyd C. Gardner
  • The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation¬†by Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker
  • American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good¬†by Colin Woodard
  • The Steel Kiss (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel)¬†by Jeffery Deaver
  • Private Paris¬†by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
  • Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English¬†by Rebecca Gowers
  • The Killing Game: Martyrdom, Murder, and the Lure of ISIS¬†by Mark Bourrie
  • The President’s Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America’s Presidents from Kennedy…by David Priess and George H. W. Bush
  • The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built¬†by Jack Viertel
  • They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age¬†by Didier Ghez and Pete Docter

Hmm…I have to say, my choices this time feel non-fiction heavy! Feel free to suggest other books being released in March in the USA Kindle store in March. If you are the author, or are otherwise connected with the production or publishing of the book, I’d appreciate you saying so. That won’t stop me from publishing the comment, but it should be in your own words and not an ad.

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! :) 

** A Kindle/Fire with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books.

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.

n 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.

Harper Lee has reportedly died

February 19, 2016

Harper Lee has reportedly died

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

was, in my opinion (and many other people’s), one of the great novels.

I was even more impressed with it recently when I re-read it, and then read the “recently discovered” early draft

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

I was amazed at author Harper Lee’s ability to take what was a cynical and somewhat dark world view, based on the author’s¬†own experiences, and then rework it from the more optimistic viewpoint of a life lived many years earlier.

To me, that’s astounding!

When most people are soured on something, they can’t go back and ever see it as they saw it before.

Reading GSaW improved my already considerable admiration for Harper Lee, and gave me perhaps a better understanding as to why the topic of the book might have been a sore spot for decades.

None of that takes away from the value of TKaM, which will always stand as a superior work of literature.

My condolences go out to the family and friends. I will be forever grateful for having had To Kill a Mockingbird in my life.

In case you are interested, this is my review of Go Set a Watchman on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1362361030

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‚Äôll 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)‚Ķand the good feeling you‚Äôll get.¬†:)¬†Shop ‚Äôtil you help!¬†:)¬†By the way, it‚Äôs been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to ‚Äústart at AmazonSmile‚ÄĚ 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.

Still not on Kindle #1

February 19, 2016

Still not on Kindle #1

An average of almost 3,000 books a day were added to the USA Kindle store last month, and that wasn’t a fluke. I record the average in my monthly¬†Snapshots.

The vast majority of those are indies (independently published books).

A considerably smaller number are newly published by the tradpubs (traditional publishers).

Some of them, though, are books previously published by tradpubs, but appearing in the Kindle store for the first time.

When the USA Kindle store first opened, fewer than ten years ago, there were under 100,000 titles…and a lot of the discussion was about when we would get those big name “backlist” titles.

Well, we have been getting them…some of them, at any rate.

What’s the barrier to getting them all? After all, doesn’t it make sense for publishers to make the books available in multiple formats?

One big factor is the rights…you can’t just publish a book because you want to do that, if it’s still under copyright protection (not in the public domain). You have to get authorization from the rightsholder, which may be the author or the author’s estate.

Just because you paid for the license to publish a book in one format (hardback, for example) doesn’t mean you have the right to publish it as an e-book.

Prior to about 2005, e-book rights were not typically negotiated at the same time as p-book (paperbook) rights. There just really much of a market for e-books until after the Kindle was released in 2007…so for one thing, nobody knew how to price the license, even if they even knew or cared about the format.

Depending on the book and the author’s standing, the license may be for some time…even ten years.

Going back to negotiate for a new or additional right is hard work. There has to be a real value in it to make it worthwhile.

Many book contracts also have “rights reversion”, a process by which the rights return to the author…either after a certain amount of time, or if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, a contract might say that if the publisher doesn’t sell 100 copies in a year, the rights go back to the author. If the rights go back to an author who is effectively out of the business at that point, getting the license to publish an e-book version may be next to impossible.

There can also be some technical challenges. A book published in the 1950s, even a well-known and beloved one, may not have an electronic version. Digitization costs money. You also can’t just throw words on a screen and have it do well. Formatting challenges, especially for books with images, may be considerable.

If you are going to market the book, there can be costs involved with that as well, of course.

Still, it happens. ūüôā

The best resource for Kindleers on the web, eReaderIQ, maintains a list of

recently Kindleized titles

We’ve gotten lots of great titles, sometimes from Amazon itself licensing the books, as was the case with the Ian Fleming James Bond novels

James Bond series (includes non-Ian Fleming books) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Even given that, Amazon has a looooong way to go to reach their early stated goal of “every book ever published…”

I wonder if books do not get published in e-book, even if they continue to be sold in p-book, if they will start to fade in the pop culture consciousness. If a movie or TV series is not available streaming, but is available on DVD, do younger people know it? Does it get written about in blogs? Since people don’t get reinforced in their memories of it by seeing it in searches, even if they aren’t going to watch it right then, will memories of it fade?

Will that happen with some books which used to be well-known, even in certain communities?

I don’t know for sure, but I am sure that being in e-book form raises a book’s profile.

In this first “Still Not on Kindle” post (I can’t believe I haven’t done this before), here are some books which have had fame and/or fandom (and which I’ve read and value), but aren’t available currently in the USA Kindle store:

Gerald Durrell’s books

Durrell was a naturalist who “collected” wild animals (and a strong conservationist). I loved these books, and still have many in paper. I’m always careful to say that I don’t recommend this, but we did have some exotics when I as a kid (a wallaroo, for example, which is like a small kangaroo; an armadillo ((a surprisingly good pet)); tree shrews; and many reptiles and amphibians, to name a few).

These books were written with great humor, and some of them were big hits:

  • A Zoo in My Luggage
  • My Family and Other Animals (later made into a TV series)
  • Three Tickets to Adventure

The original Doc Savage adventures

I’ve written in this blog before about Doc, who is one of my fictional heroes. First published in 1933 as a pulp, there were 181 adventures which were later re-published by Bantam in paperback (which is when I first discovered them).

There are new Doc Savage books being written which are in the USA Kindle store, but the original adventures are not.

I’m hoping something happens when a long-gestating new movie is released, but nothing so far.

Herbie Popnecker comics

Herbie Popnecker (the “Fat Fury”) was not your typical superhero. The comic was wry, socially aware, and even featured appearances by well-known politicians of the day. It was adult in the way The Simpsons is adult. I firmly believe that a movie of this could do very well, and I have one of the “archives” in paper…but I would dearly love to have this in the Kindle format. It would look great on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX.

The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris

I consider this a truly significant book, in which homo sapiens is look at as a scientist would look at another species. It was made into a movie (which didn’t capture the feeling of the book much at all, in my opinion). Some other books by Morris are available, but this one is not.

Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words by Josefa Heifetz Byrne

Loved, loved, loved this book! Yes, I had read an entire unabridged dictionary as a kid, but this has a love of words, and was so much fun! There are other books about unusual words, but this one deserves an electronic existence, in my opinion.

Obviously, that just scratches the surface for me. I plan to do more in this series later…you know, until Amazon actually has every book ever published. ūüėČ

What do you think? Are there books you are waiting to be Kindleized? Feel free to share them with 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‚Äôll 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)‚Ķand the good feeling you‚Äôll get.¬†:)¬†Shop ‚Äôtil you help!¬†:)¬†By the way, it‚Äôs been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to ‚Äústart at AmazonSmile‚ÄĚ 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 future of subsers? Scribd redesigns its plan

February 17, 2016

The future of subsers? Scribd redesigns its plan

Subscription services (what I call “subsers”) have transformed consumer music and video habits.

For many people, ownership is not the primary method of interacting with content (or other things, like cars). They pay for access, but don’t end up with a physical item (or even a downloaded file) that they own (and for which they are responsible).

It seemed inevitable to me that a similar model would rise for e-books.

People began to speculate about a “Netflix for books”.

Why not call it a Spotify, Rhapsody, or Pandora for books?

Even though they aren’t the same, the use model for books is more similar to the one for than it is for music. People tend to listen to the same songs (which, after all, typically run under five minutes) repeatedly, while I’m sure that the majority of the time, most people read a book once. Oh, some people re-read frequently, but I don’t think the majority use of books is re-reading. I think more people re-watch movies than re-read books, but I suspect it’s closer to the book number than the music number.

Oyster launched as a subser in September of 2013.

Scribd, which already existed as a documents service, launched a subser a month later in October of 2013.

In my

The Year Ahead: 2014

on December 31st, 2013, I predicted that Amazon would start their own in 2014. I even suggested a name…”Kindle Unlimited”. ūüôā

It happened (with that name) on July 18th, 2014.

I’ve been a happy member of

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

since the beginning.

Amazon is notoriously tight-lipped about actual sales figures (subscriber numbers, in this case),

but this

The Digital Reader pose by Nate Hoffelder

indicates that KU quickly dominated the other services.

Google acquired Oyster, and the latter will shutdown as a subser in “early 2016”.

Scribd

posted on February 12, 2016

that they will restructure their program on March 15 (the Ides of March…really? I’m sure that whole “beware the…” is irrelevant ūüėČ ) of this year.

Paid members will be able to get up to three books (or comic books) and one audiobook a month from the “Monthly Reads” selection. That will rollover, by the way…up to nine books.

Once you have the book, you can hold on to it for the life of your membership (provided that Scribd doesn’t have to remove it for some reason).

There will also be “Scribd Selects” titles available as before…without limit. However, they rotate every month…and you can only keep them for that month, plus two weeks after that (although they say you can contact them if you are close to finishing and want to keep it a bit longer).

Sheet music, and some other types of items, will not be limited.

This is a big change, but according to the post, it doesn’t affect a lot of people.

They apparently made the same miscalculation I did in the beginning of e-books.

As I mentioned recently on Len Edgerly’s The Kindle Chronicles

TKC 392 KINDLE BLOGGER BUFO CALVIN

I thought the transition to e-books from p-books (paperbooks) would happen much more quickly than it has. That’s because I was thinking of it from the point of view of “serious readers” like myself and my circle…people who read many books in a year.

As the former manage of a brick and mortar bookstore, I should have remembered that most books are bought by people who don’t read that many books…casual readers. We read a lot more, but there are disproportionately fewer of us.

Scribd apparently underestimated the impact of those serious readers (they previously limited the number of romance books available as way to try to deal with that particularly voracious group), and realized that they were overproviding for the majority of subscribers.

For most people, three books a month is plenty.

I think it’s a reasonable move on their part.

What does it mean for the future of book subsers?

Well, it may certainly mean more people switching to KU…although some of the Scribd serious readers may be anti-Amazon, I don’t think it’s going to be all of them. ūüėČ

I still think subsers are a big part of the future of e-books.

For us, it works well as one source of books to read…not our only source.

For families, it can be very effective. It can work well for families with one or two serious readers and other casual readers.

Now, we are likely to hear from people who are (not unreasonably) concerned that this concentrates power with Amazon…and some of those people will be authors who don’t like the terms.

Amazon will likely continue to innovate for KU customers, regardless of what happens with competitors…it’s what they do. ūüėČ

I still think some sort of discount for Prime members is possible.

However, another intriguing possibility to me is that they do an “add on” model, similar to what they’ve recently done with their “Streaming Partners” program for video

Amazon unplugs cable…and recent e-book price drops

That, of course, assumes that is working for them, or that they think e-books are different enough if it doesn’t.

For example, they could do a Harlequin add-on for, oh, $2.99 a month (although that might be too low…unless it gets gifted a lot and then not used that much). It wouldn’t need to be all of their books, of course.

A company like HarperCollins might do something similar to Scribd’s monthly reads. For an extra…oh, $4.99 you can get up to three books in a month from a specific set of their frontlist (new and popular titles).

It might even work if it was just one book in a month for what would amount to half off (or more) on that book.

As I’ve said before, it could also be a great way for tradpubs (traditional publishers) to get new life out of their backlist.

Of course, as I pointed out last month, Amazon’s dependence on the Big 5 tradpubs appears to be decreasing.

None of the top 10 bestselling USA Kindle store books are from the Big 5

That could mean Amazon could get better terms.

Two other ways I could see this going.

One would be for Amazon to have a rotating group of maybe ten featured titles (that might or might not be an add on). That could be a way to get the tradpubs into it. They might be available only for a limited time….even a day, perhaps. Once you had it, you could read it. That could be attractive for publishers, Amazon, and readers.

The other thing is for tradpubs to do their own D2C (Direct to Customer) subsers…but that’s a lot of infrastructure for them to build. I don’t know how attractive that would be to people, honestly.

What do you think? Are you a Scribd premium subscriber? If so, does this change your plans for being with them? Is it a sign of weakness of subsers overall…or of the strength of KU? What part will subsers play in the future? I’ve heard from authors and their supporters about how they don’t like Amazon’s terms…do you have something to say about that? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Thanks to reader Marjorie for the first heads-up on this story!

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! :) 

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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