Archive for the ‘Ultimo round-up’ Category

Ultimo Round-up #1 (for February 2018)

March 2, 2018

Ultimo Round-up #1 (for February 2018)

This is my first attempt at a replacement for my


series of posts, which I had done monthly for close to eight years. I’m not doing them in part because Amazon changed its search results, and honestly, while I enjoyed doing all the math and thought I got useful insights out of it, my sense was that many of my regular readers just found it a wall of words. 😉

What I’m going to try to do instead is look at what happened in the preceding month (“ultimo” basically means in the previous month). As an experiment, I’ll be interested even more than usual in your feedback, which you can give me and my readers by commenting on this post.

Amazon Press Releases in February 2018

Amazon press release archive

  • Amazon kicked off the month with a great financial report, which saw the stock price soar upwards, hitting $1,500 a share. That certainly wasn’t following the broader trend of the market
  • Whole Foods, in particular how it interacts with Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), was featured in a couple of press releases. Prime members can get 5% off when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card, and customers in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach (at least some areas of those cities) could get Prime Now delivery of some Whole Foods items…which meant free two-hour delivery of qualified items with a $35 minimum order
  • The Bosch TV series, based on the books by Micheal Connelly ( at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) was greenlit for its fifth season
  • Amazon also announced a new series based on Iain M. Banks’ Consider Phlebas (at AmazonSmile*), the first book in the Culture series
  • In a specifically book announcement, Amazon has a new imprint, TOPPLE Books, helmed by Jill Soloway (who led Amazon’s breakout series, Transparent). According to the press release, it will “…spotlight the voices of women of color, gender non-conforming, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer writers”. It’s listed at the Amazon Publishing site, but the link isn’t live yet

Outside of official press releases, there is always buzz about Amazon in the news…here are some things from February 2018:

  • Amazon is going to sell UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) bouts (pay per view) through Amazon Video
  • A survey suggested more than half of Amazon customers would use an Amazon cryptocurrency (although it isn’t clear to me that they realized that “Amazon Coins” already exist…at least for videogame purchases (CNBC article)
  • Amazon’s healthcare initiative continue to make news (as a reminder, I’m not commenting on that because my “day job” is in that industry and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to do so publicly)
  • Amazon layoffs in Seattle made the news, although there was a tendency to tie that into automation (including the Amazon Go “just walk out” store concept). This Money article does point out that Amazon employs over half a million people, has thousands of job openings, and reportedly hired more than 100,000 people in 2017. They are also reportedly going to bring 2,000 jobs to the Boston area
  • Amazon may have spent a billion dollars buying Ring, which makes video doorbells. Amazon already has a home vidcam (tied into the ability to have Amazon deliver your packages inside your house), but that one is really for in the house (pointed at the door). I think this is a good match (I don’t know that’s it’s a good buy)…tying your video doorbell into your Echo Show or Echo Spot, so you could see who was at the door easily, makes a lot of sense to me

Some other miscellany:

  • Today (March 2nd…Dr. Seuss’ birthday) is Read Across America Day (Official Site)
  • Author Penny Vincenzi reportedly died on February 25
  • Author Cynthia Heimel reportedly died on February 25
  • Dolly Parton donated her 100 millionth book (and we applaud the singer!)
  • Harper Lee’s will was unsealed…and some readers of it were unsettled
  • Prime Music launched in India
  • Author Terry Goodkind caused a bit of a flap commenting on the cover of the fantasy author’s own book

There are over 6,000,000 titles in the USA Kindle store…

I’m interested in your opinion of this to shape how (and if) I do something similar at the beginning of next month. Are there things you would like to see covered more or less extensively? Please let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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* 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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