Archive for April, 2017

Today’s KDD: “Select Kindle nonfiction best sellers, $1.49 & up”

April 30, 2017

Today’s KDD: “Select Kindle nonfiction best sellers, $1.49 & up”

Today’s

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

is a great selection of non-fiction!

If you are what I call a “piece buyer”, where you generally pay for books one at a time (as opposed to borrowing books, for example), I think you are likely to see something interesting. If not, remember that you can buy these books at the discount, and then either delay delivery until the appropriate gift-giving occasion, or even send it to yourself to print out and give whenever you want (you can wrap it, if you want).

As always, check the price before you click/tap/eye gaze (the last in virtual/augmented reality) before you buy: the prices may not apply in your country, and it’s possible the book will move out of the sale before you see this.

Titles include:

  • The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
  • D Day Through German Eyes by Holger Eckhertz
  • Carrier Pilot by Norman Hanson
  • The Telomere Effect by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn
  • Novice to Expert by S.J. Scott
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • The Brave Ones by Michael J. MacLeod
  • The Reporter Who Knew Too Much by Mark Shaw
  • Tribe by Sebastian Junger
  • I’ll Be Damned by Eric Braeden
  • Everything That Remains by Joshua Fields Milbur
  • The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
  • The Daily Show (The Book) as told to Chris Smith
  • Always Hungry? by David Ludwig
  • The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard
  • The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
  • Adulting by Kellly Williams Brown
  • The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
  • The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth
  • The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
  • Where You’ll Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni
  • So Sad Today by Melissa Broder
  • Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
  • The President’s Book of Secrets by The Untold Story
  • Area 51 by Anne Jacobsen
  • Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heligman
  • Home is Burning by Dan Marshall
  • We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler
  • Operation Nemesis by Eric Bogosian
  • It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw
  • The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison
  • The Trip to Echo Spring by Olivia Laing
  • The Birth of Korean Cool by Euny Hong
  • Hanna Arendt: A Life in Dark Times by Anne C. Heller
  • Get Big Fast and Do More Good by Ido Leffler

Enjoy!


My current Amazon Giveaways:

Yesterday marked the ending of one Giveaway for

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

and there were 184 entrants! I’m doing a new one for the same book:

1 winner

Requirements for participation:

  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Kris Calvin on Amazon (you’ll be notified when future books are added to Amazon…I think that’s the only contact you get, although I’m not positive)

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ffab73bbd6512571 

Start:Apr 30, 2017 9:46 AM PDT
End:May 7, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature by Loren Coleman (at AmazonSmile*)

Note: this is the paperback. For some reason, I couldn’t make the Kindle book for this one public (like I could with Kris’ book). I really wanted this one to be public, because the whole goal is to promote Loren Coleman’s medical expense fund GoFundMe campaign. I’ve never met Loren personally, and we have no shared business interests, although we have had some correspondence. I’ve read Loren’s books for decades, and admire how the cryptozoologist/Fortean helps others, including being the Director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine (although in so many smaller ways, too). It’s sad to me that someone who has done so much is having trouble dealing with medical expense (due to multiple operations). That doesn’t stop Loren from going to the Bigfoot festival in Willow Creek, California tomorrow, but for people who have enjoyed and benefited from Loren’s work, the medical expenses fund is an opportunity to do a thank you. Almost 500 (477) people have entered in about three days, and they’ve all tweeted (as a requirement to entry) a link to the fund’s page. I do not ask people to endorse the fund or to ask other people to contribute (or for them to contribute themselves)…I’m just hoping to raise the profile so people who might want to contribute and don’t know about it get the word.

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
  • Requirements for participation:
    • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
    • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
    • Tweet a message

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/303e4f5c496116a2

Start:Apr 27, 2017 9:45 AM PDT
End:May 4, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

 * 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 #157: Subscribe with Amazon, Echo Look, declining e-book sales?

April 30, 2017

Round up #157: Subscribe with Amazon, Echo Look, declining e-book sales?

Oh, clever, clever Amazon!

Some people are afraid of artificial intelligence, and what it will be able to do in the future. Even famous, tech-savvy people have expressed concerns.

I write about robots in one of my other blogs,

The Measured Circle

I define them there this way:

robot is something created by humans (directly or indirectly) that performs tasks (autonomously or not) done by humans (or, more broadly, by other animals…a robot dog, for example, would perform work done by living dogs, including providing companionship). 

The word may conjure up an image of a mechanical man, perhaps clunky and made of metal. The way we use the term at The Measured Circle, it would include software performing human tasks, and non-anthropomorphic devices like an answering machine or a calculator.

On the Robot Beat presents news about our creations that are, even in small ways, replacing us.


Artificial intelligence is definitely part of that…eventually, of course, it will be finding new areas, not replacing what we’ve been doing, but complementing our abilities.

The advances are happening quickly. It includes the way Virtual/Augmented/Mixed/Merged (VAMM) Reality works, and it includes self-driving cars. By the way, I have sent notes to newspeople who used to use the term “driverless cars”. That is really a misrepresentation, and is certainly scary. A self-driving car has a driver…it’s just not a human driver. No one would want a car that had nothing driving it at all! I’ve been noticing that I’m hearing “driverless cars” less lately, which I think is a good thing.

There is, though, a big barrier to artificially intelligent robots helping us (even more than they do now) in our daily lives.

It’s not technological: those issues are being solved.

It’s social.

Humans have to accept these AIbots.

Now, I’m used to dealing with that in my “day job”. I’m a trainer, and I train medical people on their software (I do more, but that’s the really relevant point right now).

The hardest part is to get people to want to use it.

I’ve always defined training based on that: changing behavior. Education is part of it (you can’t do something if you don’t know how to do it), but training is much more merely giving people facts.

I remember somebody wondering why I was tired at the end of teaching an eight hour class. “All you do is talk,” they said.

I said, “Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to find ten people…just the next ten people you see. I want you to get them all on the next bus which is coming. Some of them don’t want to get on that bus, and some of them don’t want to get on a bus at all. That’s what I do all day: get people on the next bus that’s coming.” 🙂

Amazon has the same problem. They are building some great buses…hey, some of them may even fly! However, the average person may not want to get on a flying bus that pilots itself. 😉

The

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

was a great success, but there was a lot of…discomfort from some folks about having it in the house. They didn’t like a device which could listen to them, and which communicated with Amazon in the cloud. When our adult child visited, we unplugged the Echo.

Listening is one thing, but one rapidly expanding area is computers sensing the world.

That used to be one of the big  labor divisions between humans and computers. Computers couldn’t see (or hear/smell/taste/touch) the world, so that was sometimes our role…data entry into an Excel spreadsheet, for example.

Alexa (the “parse-onality” of the Echo) can already hear us.

Can you imagine how creeped out some people would be if Alexa could see us?

The idea of a computer eye watching you in your home is classic science fiction dystopia stuff.

No question that Amazon would like their AIbots to be able to see you in your house…and eventually, to smell/taste/touch, too.

It can be done…our phones see us often, and some of have computers that do, as well (that’s how facial recognition works, for one thing, but when a phone’s camera autofocuses, it is using a type of vision).

How are they going to get customers to accept an “all-seeing eye” in their homes? How can they not be reminded of HAL 9000…or Sauron? 😉

You make the eye seem innocuous, even silly. You market it to people who are the most comfortable with their tech looking at them.

In short, you have it take selfies. 😉

That’s exactly how Amazon is introducing the

Echo Look

Amazon calls the Echo Look a “Hand-Free Camera and Style Assistant”.

See? It’s just a camera. It’s just an assistant. Nothing to worry about here, folks.

I don’t believe that Amazon has spent all this time and money building a device with depth-sensing cameras and clearly some AI just to have it tell you which is the better outfit of two you already own. Oh, sure, it does what a regular Echo does, too, but so do so many other things now.

They make the point that it’s going to keep learning.

Absolutely.

Let me speculate

It will eventually recognize you…won’t that be nice?

Third parties will develop skills. It could recognize when someone comes in the house it doesn’t know…and take a picture and send it to you. It could yell at the dog  (by name) when it tries to get on the table.

It could inventory items in your home…you know, for insurance purposes.

When you’ve gone shopping and come home, it could say, “Hey, did you have any luck? Show me what you got!”

Robots are rapidly learning to understand our expressions. I fully expect that the Echo Look (or its descendants) will know if you are happy or sad or angry.

Let me be clear: I’m not afraid of this. I want my robots to fully understand me. I’m looking forward to computers that seemingly know what I’m thinking and feeling, and know when to help me and when not to help me.

I get, though, why that makes people uneasy…and based on the introduction of the Echo Look, Amazon does, too.

One more thing: this roll-out is like the Echo was originally: it’s only for

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

and you have to request an invitation. It will be $199.99…once available.

Maybe Amazon should hire Gloria Gaynor to sing the jingle, “I Will Subscribe” 😉

Subscriptions are already a big part of the Amazon retail model.

We have many in my family, from books with Kindle Unlimited to movies and music through Amazon Prime, magazines and blogs, to everything from dog food to floss through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save programs.

Now, Amazon is opening up offering subscriptions to other people:

https://www.subscribewithamazon.com/

I suspect this may lead to some really bizarre things that no one actually uses…and that should be fun! “It’s the Snail of the Month club!” “Subscribe to Random Word!” “Unlimited Vowels (up to six at a time)”. “One American Coin Each Month…only $49.99!” 😉

More seriously, this and Echo Look show how Amazon innovates…oh, and I suspect there may be some sort of VAMM subscriptions, too. 🙂

Um…CNN? E-books are real books

Sigh.

I’ve always had a problem with people referring to physical books as “real books” versus e-books. The book is what the writer writes (and the editor edits), not the container in which it is purchased.

This

CNN post by Ivana Kottasova

has this provocative title: “Real books are back. E-book sales plunge nearly 20%”.

Really? How did you measure the sales, since so many of them now are done by individuals, often through Amazon (but not always), which doesn’t report sales numbers?

Oh, I see…the publishers’ associations (in the UK, literally the “Publishers Association”, in the USA, the Association of American Publishers). I’ve published books in the Kindle store…and the AAP doesn’t know about my sales. 😉

Another argument in the article is that the sales of EBR (E-Book Readers) are down…again, Amazon doesn’t report those numbers precisely, but even so, e-books are not just read on EBRs. They are read on tablets, on phones, even on laptops and desktops. I’d want data to show that, if, in fact, EBR sales are down, that means e-book purchases are down.

My intuition (and I don’t have the data) is that more e-books are being read than were being read three years ago…counting free ones, of course.

I do have to say, though…decent clickbait headline. 😉 It made me want to read the article…

Gosh, that all sounded too negative for me! I’m going to recommend you read the article…maybe you’ll find it more convincing than I did.

Update: here’s another article, which I think may have a more…informed perspective:

Publishers Weekly article by Jim Milliot: “With E-books Down, E-tailers Are Still Far From Out”

Perhaps read them both, and then you can decide.

If you have an opinion on it, feel free to let me and my readers know what you think about that, or Echo Look, or Subscribe with Amazon, by commenting on this post.

LAST HOURS TO ENTER

I recently concluded a giveaway for

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

and there were ten winners. I’m doing a new one for the same book:

1 winner

Requirements for participation:

  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Kris Calvin on Amazon (you’ll be notified when future books are added to Amazon…I think that’s the only contact you get, although I’m not positive)

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/c2fb235f3cf97ced 

Start:Apr 24, 2017 6:06 AM PDT
End:Apr 29, 2017 11:59 PM PD

Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature by Loren Coleman (at AmazonSmile*)

Note: this is the paperback. For some reason, I couldn’t make the Kindle book for this one public (like I could with Kris’ book). I really wanted this one to be public, because the whole goal is to promote Loren Coleman’s medical expense fund GoFundMe campaign. I’ve never met Loren personally, and we have no shared business interests, although we have had some correspondence. I’ve read Loren’s books for decades, and admire how the cryptozoologist/Fortean helps others, including being the Director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine (although in so many smaller ways, too). It’s sad to me that someone who has done so much is having trouble dealing with medical expense (due to multiple operations). That doesn’t stop Loren from going to the Bigfoot festival in Willow Creek, California tomorrow, but for people who have enjoyed and benefited from Loren’s work, the medical expenses fund is an opportunity to do a thank you. Literally over 300 people have entered in about a day, and they’ve all tweeted (as a requirement to entry) a link to the fund’s page. I do not ask people to endorse the fund or to ask other people to contribute (or for them to contribute themselves)…I’m just hoping to raise the profile so people who might want to contribute and don’t know about it get the word.

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
  • Requirements for participation:
    • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
    • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
    • Tweet a message

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/303e4f5c496116a2

Start:Apr 27, 2017 9:45 AM PDT
End:May 4, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

 * 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 Q1 financials: investors like this one

April 28, 2017

Amazon’s Q1 financials: investors like this one

As an Amazon customer (and not an employee, just to be clear), I usually like Amazon’s financial statements. They have shown innovation and investment in making their customers happy. In fact, I often refer to Amazon’s happy customers as their most important “product”. 😉 Carefully curated access to customers (providing access to services they actually want, for example) is a big part of Amazon’s future…whether that’s through more traditional ads or simply through a “carrier” strategy, with Amazon being what I call the infrastructure of the internet. On that latter one, one way that would work would be Amazon charging a free music service to be available through Echo products. No ads there, but the access can reasonably be monetized (not with the customer paying, but with the producer paying).

Investors, though, haven’t always liked Amazon’s financial reports. They didn’t make a profit for a long time (that’s been changing recently). Rapidly improving sales are good for customers (they demonstrate engagement), investment in licensing/producing) content (movies/TV shows and more) is good for customers, but those aren’t directly short-term good for investors.

Amazon’s

Webcast (and associated materials)

yesterday has gotten quite a bit of positive buzz, and the stock is up 3% based on this

CNN/Money graph

In the

press release

gives you the highlights. Having an increase in sales (23%) compared to the same period last year and net income up (41%) while maintaining the #1 ranking in corporate reputation is a rare combination and makes everybody happy.

The press release calls out (from of Amazon CEO…Chief Executive Officer…Jeff Bezos) the strength of Amazon in India. That’s key: customers in the USA might wonder how much more growth Amazon can have here (actually, they can still have a lot), but I have readers around the world…and Amazon increasingly has customers around the world. They are finally going to be able to make a real move in much of the Middle East, and they’ve got a lot of growth potential in Latin America (just to name two areas).

My favorite part of these calls is the question and answer part. As you can read in the

Seeking Alpha transcript

this one didn’t disappoint.

I want to first commend Brian T. Olsavsky, Amazon’s CFO (Chief Financial Officer). Amazon has a reputation for being reticent to share details, but I thought Olsavsky came across as having a much more casual, less scripted conversation (although, of course, there were still things questions weren’t answered in detail).

You might also expect a CFO to be all about the money, but this quotation from the transcript (in accordance with Seeking Alpha’s quotation policy) is not that:

“There’s now over 12,000 Alexa skills. So we think that’s all foundational. The monetization, as you might call it, is a theme of your questions.

That’s not our primary issue right now. It’s about building great products and delighting customers. We think as engagement – as we pick up engagement with the devices, it helps the engagement with Amazon as a whole. So whether someone is ordering off their Alexa device or whether they’re going to their phone, or going to their computer, it all has the same effect for us.”

When they did talk money, I thought that was good for customers, too. They broke things out differently, including a category for subscriptions services (subsers) like

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

which I think is going to be a strategy people will choose (although there will still be a place for “piece buyers” who buy one book at a time to own).

They mentioned artificial intelligence, but they did not talk about development in virtual/augmented reality…which I could argue is an indicator that my prediction that they become significantly publicly involved in VAMM (Virtual/Augmented/Mixed/Merged) space is likely to come true. I think they want that to be a surprise, to be a big news story…otherwise, why not mention it even a little? If the two choices are that they are not working on it at all, despite all of the growth this year and the industry being in the launch phase, or that they are working on it and don’t want to talk about it yet, I go with the latter. 😉

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


My current Amazon Giveaways:

LAST TWO DAYS TO ENTER

I recently concluded a giveaway for

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

and there were ten winners. I’m doing a new one for the same book:

1 winner

Requirements for participation:

  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Kris Calvin on Amazon (you’ll be notified when future books are added to Amazon…I think that’s the only contact you get, although I’m not positive)

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/c2fb235f3cf97ced 

Start:Apr 24, 2017 6:06 AM PDT
End:Apr 29, 2017 11:59 PM PD

Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature by Loren Coleman (at AmazonSmile*)

Note: this is the paperback. For some reason, I couldn’t make the Kindle book for this one public (like I could with Kris’ book). I really wanted this one to be public, because the whole goal is to promote Loren Coleman’s medical expense fund GoFundMe campaign. I’ve never met Loren personally, and we have no shared business interests, although we have had some correspondence. I’ve read Loren’s books for decades, and admire how the cryptozoologist/Fortean helps others, including being the Director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine (although in so many smaller ways, too). It’s sad to me that someone who has done so much is having trouble dealing with medical expense (due to multiple operations). That doesn’t stop Loren from going to the Bigfoot festival in Willow Creek, California tomorrow, but for people who have enjoyed and benefited from Loren’s work, the medical expenses fund is an opportunity to do a thank you. Literally over 300 people have entered in about a day, and they’ve all tweeted (as a requirement to entry) a link to the fund’s page. I do not ask people to endorse the fund or to ask other people to contribute (or for them to contribute themselves)…I’m just hoping to raise the profile so people who might want to contribute and don’t know about it get the word.

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
  • Requirements for participation:
    • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
    • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
    • Tweet a message

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/303e4f5c496116a2

Start:Apr 27, 2017 9:45 AM PDT
End:May 4, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017 part 2: see what books are on your devices

April 27, 2017

Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017 part 2: see what books are on your devices

In my last post,

Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017: resend gifts to a different address!

I wrote about the new feature on the “Your Content” tab of

MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices), formerly MYK (Manage Your Kindle) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which is Amazon’s centralized spot to manage your Kindle account.

I knew there was more for me to examine when I took this latest look at MYCD, and one of my regular readers and commenters, Tom Semple, brought up something about the “Your Devices” tab.

When you click or tap (or eye gaze in virtual/augmented reality…the latest Oculus/Samsung Gear update has a native browser, and Amazon is one of the default choices. You can’t do everything there, but you can do a lot: in the ellipsis (…) for a given device, you have these choices:

  • Deregister
  • Set as default device
  • Remote Alarm (this is cool…it makes your device beep so you can find it)
  • Find Your Tablet (this locates it)
  • Remote Lock
  • Remote Factory Reset
  • View device content

Note that the above listing is for my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX7. You can’t make a Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader) beep, for example. You’ll see the appropriate choices for that device (you won’t see a lot for an Echo device, although you can manage voice recordings).

The big revelation for most people, and something I think Amazon should have promoted, is the ability to “View device content”.

When you select that, you’ll get a new page with all of the content on your device listed!

Right away, you can see a count, which is nice.

Checking, though, I’m seeing Kindle store books and samples. I’m not seeing blogs, for example.

If you click the ellipsis (…) for a book, you get a choice to deliver it to the Default Device, or to “Others”. Others is a plural: you can select multiple other devices.

There is also a checkbox to the left of the ellipsis. After you check that, two new buttons appear: one to Deliver, and one to Deselect All.

What that means is that you could select several books and deliver them to several other devices.

One major limitation is that you can only select up to ten…which means that if you are trying to transfer hundreds of books, it’s going to be some work.

We can go from a book and see the Collections of which it is a part. We can go to a device and see what books are in it.

The one big direction we can’t do is go from a book and see which devices have downloaded it.

Why does that matter?

Books from the Kindle store have a designated number of “Simultaneous Device Licenses” (SDLs). Unless it says otherwise on the Amazon product page, that number is six. Some books have fewer (I’ve seen as few as one); some (especially those in the public domain) are unlimited.

If you’ve downloaded a given book with 6 SDLs on six devices, and then try to download it on a seventh (without deleting it from one of the others), it won’t let you do it.

It would be very helpful to know which devices have that book, so we could choose where to delete it.

Still, MYCD is getting important new capabilities, and I appreciate that.

It would also be nice to be able to delete a book from a device through MYCD…hopefully that’s in the works for the future.

This strengthens the role of what I refer to the Manager, which is anyone who has the password for the account (as opposed to users, who just use the account and control what is on their individual devices).

I suspect some users will be surprised that the Manager will be able to see what’s on their devices!

I’ll check out MYCD a bit more, and see if there is anything else standing out to me.

Thanks again to Andrys Basten, Edward Boyhan, and Tom Semple!

===

My Amazon Giveaways: 

I recently concluded a giveaway for

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

and there were ten winners. I’m doing a new one for the same book:

1 winner

Requirements for participation:

  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Kris Calvin on Amazon (you’ll be notified when future books are added to Amazon…I think that’s the only contact you get, although I’m not positive)

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/c2fb235f3cf97ced 

Start:Apr 24, 2017 6:06 AM PDT
End:Apr 29, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

LAST HOURS TO ENTER! There have been about 1,000 entrants at time of writing

CelebriDucks Rocky Horror Picture Show Dr Frank-N-Furter RUBBER DUCK Tim Curry (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/10d9d8f4121e9918

Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
18+ years of age (or legal age)
Tweet a message: “Happy birthday, @timothycurry! Tim Curry born April 19 1946 https://www.thehistoryproject.com/projects/view/1433/timeline?eventId=31535 https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ #giveaway”

Start:Apr 19, 2017 7:04 AM PDT
End:Apr 26, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

 

Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017: resend gifts to a different address!

April 25, 2017

Checking in on MYCD (formerly MYK) April 2017: resend gifts to a different address!

What should hypothetically be one of the most important parts of our Kindle experiences is

MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices), formerly MYK (Manage Your Kindle) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That is the centralized place to manage what is happening on your account. Since that’s where our Amazon Kindle purchases live, you would think people would be in there every week. After all, do you spend more time in your house or in your car?

Actually, that may be an apt parallel: I would say most people care more about, and have a more intimate relationship with, their cars than their homes. Not true for everybody, of course, but cars are what we use, and that’s true of our devices versus MYCD, too. It’s also possible that the relatively short lifespan of a car/device versus the home/account makes us care about them more.

That said, I would think that someone like me, who loves to alphabetize** and play with databases, would be constantly checking in on MYCD to see what’s new.

That’s just not the case. For so long, we had relatively little we could do there that, well, I think I just got out of the habit. I have to have some conscious prompt to go look, typically, and this time, in came in the form of a private e-mail.

The suggestion was that there were new features. The first thing I did was check the

Manage Your Kindle category at ILMK

and it’s actually only been since October that I last wrote about it.

By the way, another part of that discussion was you would think that Amazon would alert us in some way if there were improvements, and tell us what they were and how to use them.

That’s definitely something I would change about how most cutting edge technology companies do things. They’ll work really hard on creating a new feature…and then not spend any time creating real instructions for it. 🙂

I see that all the time in VAMM (Virtual/Augmented/Mixed/Merged) Reality space. Hulu, Netflix, Oculus…they’ve all had interesting experiences for me there, but they were really trial and error for me to figure out how to use them.

I know writing user-friendly instructions takes a bit of work…maybe they could crowd source that?

Anyway…

On the content page, these are the choices in the first “Show” dropdown:

  • Books (books you buy from the Kindle store)
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Blogs
  • Audiobooks
  • Music (with a jump link)
  • Apps
  • Instant Video
  • Docs (personal documents you’ve uploaded, which could include books from non-Amazon sites, like Project Gutenberg)
  • Active Content (apps and games for non-Fire Kindles)
  • Dictionaries & User Guides
  • — (dividing line)
  • Collections
  • Kindle Unlimited (you might not have that if you aren’t a member)
  • Prime Reading
  • Gifts
  • Pending Deliveries

The last time I listed that was about two years ago, and the sub-dividing part is pretty different.

The second dropdown, which starts as “All”, has

  • All
  • Purchases
  • Samples
  • Rentals
  • Loans
  • Borrows

It was a big deal when we got “Samples” management, but that’s not new. It used to be that when you downloaded a sample, there was no record for you of that, which made things confusing at times…especially if you were only part way through a sample. If you sample a giant omnibus edition, it’s possible the sample contains an entire book (or more), so not being able to move it from one device to another was an issue. Another thing is that some people use samples as a “to buy” list…and if your device died, you lost that record before it was added to MYCD.

Clicking the ellipsis (…) to the left of a book title gave me information about the book and my purchase of it, and then these choices:

  • Deliver to Default Device (or) Others (the latter did let me select multiple devices to which to download it at once)
  • Delete
  • Download & transfer via USB (that’s how you get books when you don’t have a wireless connection)
  • Clear furthest page read
  • Read Now
  • Manage Family Library
  • Add to Collections

At the end of the book’s record, it had a column for Collections…it showed me a linked number and a dropdown (down caret). If the book was in zero Collections, it offered a link for me to add it to one. If the book was in one or more Collections, there was a link where I could go right to the Collection to manage it.

I was hoping something would tell me to which devices the book had been downloaded…people really want that. I understand that it would be difficult for it to tell you if a book is actually on a device, since someone could delete a book from a device without having the wireless on, and your MYCD would have no way of knowing that.

There was a banner at the top of the page:

“Have you sent digital gifts to your friends and loved ones? Now you can view and manage them from Manage your content and devices page. ”

That’s a different banner from last time (which talked about Cloud management of Collections).

Switching to Gifts, that did look new!

The second dropdown now gave me a choice between pending gifts and redeemed gifts. The pending gifts showed a delivery date.At first, I thought I had many more that were pending than have been redeemed, but it just took a while for the redeemed ones to all populate. I download every Kindle gift book I’m given, and generally love reading those! I really appreciate them from my family.

Gifts of

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

show, but not

My Amazon Giveaways

which is good. I don’t get any information about people who enter to win through my Giveaways, except the name they chose to enter, and that’s only if they win. I debated about sharing that, and went with first names only…I do think it makes it seem more real to people to show a winner, but I want to protect your privacy. In one case, the name was two people, which I thought was too revealing, so I just used initials.

The ellipsis on a pending book gift has a great new choice: you can send it to a different e-mail address! You can also resend it to the same one, but this is a significant improvement. I gifted a couple of my books to Jeff Bezos more than five years ago…it’s possible the Amazon CEO (Chief Executive Officer) just hasn’t gotten around to them yet 😉 but I could give up and gift them to someone different.

There are also ones I sent to myself, and then printed out and gave to people to redeem. Knowing that they haven’t been redeemed is useful…I could resend them to their own e-mail addresses, in case they lost them, or assume they aren’t really wanting to redeem them…which might make me rethink my gifting. 🙂

For redeemed books, you obviously don’t get those resend choices.

It’s exciting to find this new capability! This post is long enough for now, but double-check the Collections management and look at the other tabs in the next week or so, and let you know if there is anything new and interesting there.

Thanks to my reader, Edward Boyhan, and blogger Andrys Basten of A Kindle World for the discussion (I’ll look more at your specifics).

Questions? Thoughts? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

===

My Amazon Giveaways: 

New!

I recently concluded a giveaway for

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

and there were ten winners. I’m doing a new one for the same book:

1 winner

Requirements for participation:

  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Kris Calvin on Amazon (you’ll be notified when future books are added to Amazon…I think that’s the only contact you get, although I’m not positive)

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/c2fb235f3cf97ced 

Start:Apr 24, 2017 6:06 AM PDT
End:Apr 29, 2017 11:59 PM PDT
I’m sharing you the experiences of running these Amazon Giveaways, which I really like! It’s new to me, though, so I’m experimenting with the options…and I made a mistake on the first ten giveaway of OMM which meant that it didn’t appear in Amazon’s public list. That clearly really dampened down participation…I had about 60 participants for that, and I’m already over twice that in about a day on the new one.

===

LAST TWO DAYS TO ENTER! There have been about 1,000 entrants at time of writing

CelebriDucks Rocky Horror Picture Show Dr Frank-N-Furter RUBBER DUCK Tim Curry (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/10d9d8f4121e9918

Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
18+ years of age (or legal age)
Tweet a message: “Happy birthday, @timothycurry! Tim Curry born April 19 1946 https://www.thehistoryproject.com/projects/view/1433/timeline?eventId=31535 https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ #giveaway”

Start:Apr 19, 2017 7:04 AM PDT
End:Apr 26, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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! :) 

** Me and alphabetizing and databases…I had once been in a videostore (remember those?) for anout an hour when an employee tentatively approached me and asked me what I was doing. “I’m alphabetizing the movies.” Employee: “They are already alphabetized.” Me: “Well, the ‘As’ are in the As and the ‘Bs’ are in the Bs, but they aren’t alphabetical within the letter.” The employee walked away slowly. 🙂 Another time, I was teaching a database class and said something like, “Remember those little plastic file boxes you played with as a kid? You’d have 3×5 cards, and write things on them and sort them into categories?” Needless to say, crickets. 😉 I guess I was the only person in the room who had fun doing that as a child…

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 is World Book Day: imagine a bookless world

April 23, 2017

Today is World Book Day: imagine a bookless world

Today (April 23rd) is World Book Day, observed since 1995 by many countries around the world. In addition to a good

official site

Amazon has been promoting it for several days, and also has its own

Amazon World Book Day page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping* ((and Amazon recommends three book related ones on that page)))

There are so many positive things about books for society (in addition to us as individuals), and that got me thinking.

Imagine that a wand was waved, and all of the good effects from books disappeared.

In this thought experiment, it’s not that books (or the written language, for that matter) never developed.

It’s a takeaway. Good effects which had happened are simply subtracted from the equation.

What would change?

I need to make a quick working definition of a “book” before I go ahead.

“A book is a substantial set of verbal statements which are preserved in a way that they can be consumed by someone independent of their creator.”

Yes, that will work for me for now. 🙂 I wouldn’t consider a single five line poem a book, but I would consider an audiobook a book…verbal can mean spoken or written. The odd part, I suppose, would be separating this definition of a book from, say, an album.

So, let’s look at some effects of a bookless world:

Social Movements

Many years ago, I was working on a show called Freedom From Fear TV (or F3TV), which was a mix of comedy and surrealism. Well, working is perhaps misleading, because it was a public access show (meaning we didn’t get paid). 😉 One sketch I wrote was about the President declaring a “War on Books” and explaining why to the country. At one point, the President help up Uncle Tom’s Cabin and said something like, “It was a book which started the Civil War…” That’s hyperbole for comedic effect, but it certainly influenced the timing and heightened abolitionist feeling.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson similarly sparked the environmental movement.

The list would be long: for one, Upton Sinclair’s 1906 exposure of the meatpacking industry, The Jungle, brought about big changes.

Politics

This might seem similar to social movements, but one thing that occurred to me was the people who have been elected President who had significantly selling books before they won. The last three Presidents all fit that category. Many Presidents have written books after leaving office, but there are indications that being an author (even years before entering the race) helped them win.

Books about politicians have also shaped the public’s impression of them…sometimes for good, sometimes for ill.

Science

Great science communicators have been able to affect…the very direction of society. A book is very different from a lecture, or a movie. The self-paced consumption means that people of different aptitudes can all understand a book in a way different from everything else. If the ideas expressed in Charles Darwins’ Origin of Species had been done in any other known way (and some elements had been floating around), could they possibly have changed the perception of the place of humans in the world for so many the way that the book did?

Religion

This one is obvious…”The Bible” even means “The Book” or “The Books”, and that’s just one of the guiding books for major religions.

Movies

Without books, I think many people would think of movies as what would have stood in their place (although TV is perhaps gaining, and music also is a mass medium). Many of our most popular movies are based on books: The Lord of the Rings; The Hunger Games; Gone with the Wind; and so on. In today’s Hollywood, we rarely see original works at the top of the box office (outside of animation, where originals still often top the charts).

Relationships

Whether it’s romantic relationships, familial ones, or even business, books have greatly influenced how humans interact: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie; Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray; Baby and Child Care by Dr. (Benjamin) Spock; and so many more!


A couple of the books I’ve listed so far are fiction, but I would be remiss not to bring up how fiction also impacts people. Science fiction has inspired many, and in some cases, led them into impactful careers in science. Many readers have taken inspiration from the actions of characters, or sought to avoid their failings.

Books are both powerful transferrers of information and invokers of emotion. They multiply the impact of a single individual in ways that shape the world…

I was curious what Amazon would do with today’s

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

being that it is World Book Day, but they also had such a good sale yesterday!

They decided to do “highly rated” Kindle books, and again, there are some great titles! There are books from: David Baldacci (4.6 stars on a scale 1 to 5 with over 2,500 customer reviews); Faye Kellerman; One Second After by William Fortschen (4.5 stars, over 7,000 reviews); The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver; Joyce Carol Oates, Nelson DeMille, Jade Chang..and Abandon by Blake Crouch (the Crouch book is also available t no additional cost to members of Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)).

Enjoy!


My Amazon Giveaways: 

ENDS TODAY!

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

Ten winners

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e39ec1bca3592757

Start:Apr 8, 2017 12:05 PM PDT
End:Apr 23, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

CelebriDucks Rocky Horror Picture Show Dr Frank-N-Furter RUBBER DUCK Tim Curry (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/10d9d8f4121e9918

Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
18+ years of age (or legal age)
Tweet a message: “Happy birthday, @timothycurry! Tim Curry born April 19 1946 https://www.thehistoryproject.com/projects/view/1433/timeline?eventId=31535 https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ #giveaway”

Start:Apr 19, 2017 7:04 AM PDT
End:Apr 26, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

* 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.

 

May 2017 Kindle book releases

April 21, 2017

May 2017 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 6,713 titles listed as being released in the USA Kindle Store in March 2017 (nearly 900 more than last month):

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

Of those, by the way, 984 (169 fewer than last time…and that’s with a lot more titles) 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 doesn’t do these by popularity any more, they do them by featured…and this month, those aren’t Kindle First books.

Some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list (eight of the top ten). 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!

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? / Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿qué ves ahí? (Bilingual board book – Spanish edition) by Bill Martin, Jr., and Eric Carle
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan | This is a Kindle First book, and I don’t always include those in these posts…but this one has 4.9 stars out of 5 with 507 customer reviews…impressive!
  • Atlas Obscura (Spanish Edition) by Joshua Foer and Dylan Thuras | Atlas Obscura is a fun website with unusual places to visit (or just to enjoy as stories)
  • Anne of Green Gables (Macmillan Collector’s Library Book 126) by L. M. Montgomery | $1.20 (this series is inexpensive…and you have to be willing to pay something for a book you can get for free, at least in the ones I’ve seen. That means they are counting on production value, at least in part)
  • Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto and Zachary Slayback
  • The Other Side of the Sun by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Swayed: How to Communicate for Impact by Christina Harbridge
  • Murder in the Dark (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Book 16) by Kerry Greenwood
  • Dalton’s Undoing (The Cowboys of Cold Creek) by RaeAnne Thayne
  • Deep in the Valley (A Grace Valley Novel) by Robyn Carr
  • The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry by Paul Starr
  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth: Inside the Creation of a Modern Fairy Tale by Guillermo Del Toro and Nick Nunziata
  • A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America: Second Edition by Jeffrey Glassberg
  • The Best Gift (Sisters & Brides #1) by Irene Hannon
  • 23 Minutes in H*ll: One Man’s Story About What He Saw, Heard, and Felt in That Place of Torment by Bill Wiese
  • Along Came Trouble: A Romance Novel (A Trinity Harbor Novel) by Sherryl Woods
  • DK Readers L3: Star Wars: Star Pilot by Laura Buller and Tori Kosara
  • Literary Yarns: Crochet Projects Inspired by Classic Books by Cindy Wang
  • The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine by Serhii Plokhy
  • The Sense of Wonder: A Celebration of Nature for Parents and Children by Rachel Carson

That’s only a small fraction, and just ones that caught my eye. If you have other books being released to the USA Kindle store in May 2017 to suggest for me and my readers, you can do so by commenting on this post. If you are directly connected to the book (the author, the publisher) that’s okay…just identify yourself as such and make your comment in your own words (not as an ad).

Enjoy!

My current Amazon Giveaways:

LAST DAY TO ENTER!

Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet (Life, the Internet and Everything Book 1) (at AmazonSmile*)

by George Takei (in honor of the actor’s 80th birthday on April 20, 2017)

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0a55a7230ccfd4aa

Start:Apr 11, 2017 3:56 PM PDT
End:Apr 21, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

ENDS SUNDAY!

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

Ten winners

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e39ec1bca3592757

Start:Apr 8, 2017 12:05 PM PDT
End:Apr 23, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

CelebriDucks Rocky Horror Picture Show Dr Frank-N-Furter RUBBER DUCK Tim Curry (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/10d9d8f4121e9918

Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
18+ years of age (or legal age)
Tweet a message: “Happy birthday, @timothycurry! Tim Curry born April 19 1946 https://www.thehistoryproject.com/projects/view/1433/timeline?eventId=31535 https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ #giveaway”

Start:Apr 19, 2017 7:04 AM PDT
End:Apr 26, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

 

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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

Today’s KDD: a great selection!

April 20, 2017

Today’s KDD: a great selection!

You gotta love the

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

!

Even if you aren’t what I call a “piece buyer” and pay for books one at a time to own, you probably give them as gifts. 🙂 At least, I figure that’s the case with a large chunk of my readers.

Today’s KDD is a great selection of books, which Amazon has been doing this year. There have been really amazing deals, and today has many well-known authors.

Remember that you can buy the book at this discounted price and either delay the delivery for the appropriate gift-giving occasion, or even print out a gift code you can (wrap if you want, and) give whenever you want.

Check the price before you click, tap, or eye gaze (the last in virtual/augmented reality) that Buy button…the prices may not apply in your country, and it’s possible you’ll see this after the sale has ended.

Titles include:

  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  • Paper Princess by Erin Watt
  • The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
  • Cinda by Marissa Meyer
  • Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross #1) by James Patterson
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
  • For One More Day by Mitch Albom
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Infinity Gauntlet (Marvel Comics) Jim Starlin, George Perez
  • Hidden Secrets by Carolyn Brown
  • Sleep Tight by Anne Frasier
  • Charming (Pax Arcana #1) by Elliott James
  • Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Enjoy!


 

My current Amazon Giveaways:

CLOSING TOMORROW!

Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet (Life, the Internet and Everything Book 1) (at AmazonSmile*)

by George Takei (in honor of the actor’s 80th birthday on April 20, 2017)

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0a55a7230ccfd4aa

Start:Apr 11, 2017 3:56 PM PDT
End:Apr 21, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

Ten winners

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e39ec1bca3592757

Start:Apr 8, 2017 12:05 PM PDT
End:Apr 23, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

CelebriDucks Rocky Horror Picture Show Dr Frank-N-Furter RUBBER DUCK Tim Curry (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/10d9d8f4121e9918

Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
18+ years of age (or legal age)
Tweet a message: “Happy birthday, @timothycurry! Tim Curry born April 19 1946 https://www.thehistoryproject.com/projects/view/1433/timeline?eventId=31535 https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ #giveaway”

Start:Apr 11, 2017 3:56 PM PDT
End:Apr 21, 2017 11:59 PM PDT


 

* 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.

Jeff Bezos: defining Day 2

April 18, 2017

Jeff Bezos: defining Day 2

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer) has released the 2016 (this year) letter to shareholders.

This is a tradition at Amazon, and honestly, I think this is one of the most valuable ones yet.

You can read it here:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9NjY2MjA1fENoaWxkSUQ9Mzc0MDUyfFR5cGU9MQ==&t=1

and you can read previous ones here:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&p=irol-reportsannual

along with annual reports and proxy statements.

What makes it valuable?

It’s really about philosophy, and that’s what gives me confidence (reasonable confidence, I would say) in Amazon’s long-term success.

I have a lot invested in Amazon being here and going strong fifty years from now.

It’s possible I’ll still be around and using their services in 2067 (you never know). Even if I’m not, though, the odds are pretty good that people both in my family and in the general public will be affected by things I’ve done by and through Amazon (including writing).

Bufo Calvin Amazon Author Central page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Amazon is sometimes seen as a cult of personality around Jeff Bezos…will that driving and guiding force still be actively present in 2067? Again, that’s possible: Bezos would be turning 103.

What can certainly still be active is the philosophy of Amazon.

That, however, is not inevitable…and that’s the entire point of this year’s shareholders’ letter.

Jeff Bezos likes to say that Amazon is in “Day 1”: still in the beginning.

That’s always an uncertain, dynamic time. I work in a company where there are many smaller “units”, which we can think of as geographically defined. Let’s think of them as states in the United States.

When we are going to make a change that affects the entire company, we like to pilot it in one or two of these “states” first.

I like to tell the people there that there are big advantages and disadvantages.

The disadvantage is that whatever it is won’t work as well in the first state as it will in the fiftieth.

We will have identified problems and solved most of them.

We will have had a lot of input from the frontline people who depend on it.

The advantage?

Impact.

The earlier you are in an in situ development process, the more power you have.

When you get to the twentieth state to “go live”, you simply can’t change things that affect the first nineteen without a lot of effort.

Day 1 is chaos…and power.

The letter says:

“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”

The stasis part is key. You want to always be changing, because the world is always changing. Just because you are at the top of the heap right now doesn’t mean that there isn’t going to be a bigger heap growing next door.

As I recall (and this is just from memory), Yul Brynner responded to the question of what should be on the actor’s tombstone this way: “I would like it to say, ‘I Have Arrived’..because when you believe you’ve arrived, you’re dead.”

I’ve always liked that. It goes along with the Doc Savage (one of my literary heroes, and soon to be played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a major movie) oath: “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.”

Never stop getting better, never believe you are done.

I had a director, Ross Graham, who said years ago, “When you stop being a student, you stop being an artist.”

That’s a lot of what this year’s letter discusses. Keep evolving, and know you are never finished.

This last short excerpt I’ll give you (and encourage you strongly to read the letter, even if you have no involvement with Amazon), ties that ever evolving concept with being a “customer focused” company:

“There are many advantages to a customer-centric approach, but here’s the big one: customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report being happy and business is great. Even when they don’t yet know it, customers want something better, and your desire to delight customers will drive you to invent on their behalf.”

That’s a philosophy, and one that won’t be irrelevant fifty years from now.

I observed myself quite some time ago that the way that customer-served companies lose their leadership position isn’t by underestimating their competitors, as is commonly assumed, but my overestimating their customers’ loyalty.

It happens when a company figures that customers won’t leave them for an upstart because, you know, “we are the company for this”.

In terms of what the letter might portend, Jeff Bezos talks about embracing external trends, and specifically mentions artificial intelligence and machine learning. No question, that’s important, and could change just about everything else.

It’s good because it’s conceptual. It’s not a specific product. You could get to artificial intelligence a lot of ways, and it may not be the way we are trying now.

I do think that augmented (more than virtual, but virtual, too) is a big part of Amazon’s future this year. However, that is a more specific, narrow thing than AI, so I think it’s good Bezos didn’t mention it in the letter.

Something that’s also nice: this year’s letter, as is traditional, also reproduces the 1997 letter, where JB talks about Day 1 (although it’s in reference to the internet and specifically to Amazon, not just Amazon).

This is why I have confidence in Amazon. It won’t be easy to stay in Day 1 for fifty more years…but they will try to do that.

Do you have thoughts about the letter, or in general, about Amazon’s future? 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!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!


My current Amazon Giveaways:

===

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

Ten winners

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e39ec1bca3592757

Start:Apr 8, 2017 12:05 PM PDT
End:Apr 23, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet (Life, the Internet and Everything Book 1) (at AmazonSmile*)

by George Takei (in honor of the actor’s 80th birthday on April 20, 2017)

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0a55a7230ccfd4aa

Start:Apr 11, 2017 3:56 PM PDT
End:Apr 21, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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

 

Today’s KDD: any of the first 7 Harry Bosch novels for $2.99 each

April 17, 2017

Today’s KDD: any of the first 7 Harry Bosch novels for $2.99 each

Today’s

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

is the first seven Harry Bosch novels by Michael Connelly for $2.99 each.

Amazon is doing this to tie  into the TV series.

This is an example of something that might be a good gift…you could buy all seven of them for about $21, and give them someone as a gift. That’s not a bad price for a “boxed set” of these New York Times bestsellers.

Since this is late in the day for some of my readers, I’ll keep this short.

I’ll just throw in some Amazon Giveaways (my current ones are listed at the end of this post). These are all current at the time of writing. Most of them are Kindle books

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!


My current Amazon Giveaways:

 

===

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

Ten winners

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e39ec1bca3592757

Start:Apr 8, 2017 12:05 PM PDT
End:Apr 23, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet (Life, the Internet and Everything Book 1) (at AmazonSmile*)

by George Takei (in honor of the actor’s 80th birthday on April 20, 2017)

1 winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0a55a7230ccfd4aa

Start:Apr 11, 2017 3:56 PM PDT
End:Apr 21, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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


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