Round up #277: $3.75 book sale, 75% of parents are gifting e-books to their kids this holiday season
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Digital Book World: 45 Percent of All Parents Plan to Purchase a New Device for Their Child to Read Ebooks [this holiday season]
Thanks to EBOOK FRIENDLY for the heads up on this!
Digital Book World has released their latest survey, and purchasing both of devices on to which to read e-books and e-books themselves appears to be up this year, based on their survey.
DBW Survey Highlights
It’s not unreasonable to question how objective a site called “Digital Book World” would be on this, but it’s worth noting that they partnered with PlayCollective.
According to the summary, 45% of parents (not legal guardians?) of children aged 2 to 13 plan to buy an e-book reading device (an EBR…E-Book Reader or a tablet, but the latter with the intent of reading books) this holiday season.
That’s up from last year by 4%.
I’ll note two other things, and then encourage you to read that summary…I don’t want to take too much away from it.
First, the most popular device for this is a Kindle (they didn’t break down which kind) at 26%.
Second, a full 75% plan to buy e-books for their kids this year, up 2% from last year.
As they say, “our children are the future”. If kids grow up reading e-books, they’ll very likely want to read them as adults.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that p-books (paperbooks) simply disappear…I expect them to stay around, as vinyl records have.
40 free apps of the day today
Finishing up today is a special Black Friday promotion with 40 apps which normally cost something being available for free today:
40 Free Apps of the Day today (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*
There are some good choices here, and as usual, I’ve gotten them all. I have them delivered only to the Cloud, unless it’s something I want to start using soon. I figure, why not? Our guest who is here, currently using our
Fire HD 6, 6″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*) (on sale right now for $79, normally $99)
has a lot of choices!
I figure, why not get them? If they are stored in the Cloud, they aren’t taking up any room on our devices unless we choose to use one.
A few highlights of the offerings:
- Bike Race Pro (normally $0.99): 4.6 out of 5 stars, 2761 customer reviews
- Mind Games Pro ($4.99): 4.4 stars, 1011 reviews
- Angry Birds Seasons HD ($2.99): 4.3 stars, 304 reviews
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition for Android ($24.00!) 4.4 stars, 29 reviews
- Shredder Chess ($7.99): 4.7 stars, 14 reviews…supposedly, it plays chess somewhat like a human, making mistakes appropriate to the level you choose for it
- Perfectly Clear ($2.99): 3.9 stars, 455 reivews…I’ve used this one to improve pictures I’ve previously taken. I find it works quite well
Price drops from price matching
This weekend (certainly through Cyber Monday), look for big price drops on some popular books…which won’t last.
I recommend (at any time, not this time of year) listing books at
They will give you a free e-mail notification when a book you specify drops an amount you specify.
I often tell people eReaderIQ is the most valuable resource for Kindleers on the web…this is just one of their free services.
Some drops I’ve noticed this weekend…note that they could change any time. Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button.
- Field of Prey by John Sanford: dropped to $3.75 from $8.99
- The Collector by Nora Roberts: dropped to $3.75 from $10.49
- Skin Game: a Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher: $3.75 from $11.99
I could keep going!
Hmm…clearly, $3.75 is a price point right now! Here’s a search for books that cost $3.75 in the USA Kindle store right now, sorted by most reviewed:
$3.75 books in the USA Kindle store by most reviewed (at AmazonSmile*)
Yep, that did it!
Don’t wait on these, and don’t forget that they can make great gifts! You can delay a gift book to be delivered at the date of your choosing, and the recipient does not need a Kindle to read them (there are a lot of free Kindle reading apps). If they already have the book, they can get a gift card for the value instead, so there is really no risk.
Some of the ones I see: The Invention of Wings; Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander); Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King; The Silk Worm (J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith…this is the new one)…you want new popular books on sale, time’s a’wastin’!😉
The Echo is learning
Some people who have gotten the Amazon Echo (no invitation for me yet) seem to be judging it as though it was as good as it was ever going to get. I even saw somebody say that “like most technology”, it was going to be obsolete as soon as you got it.
The Echo (ILMK Echo posts category) is not a self-enclosed device. When you bought a videogame console years ago, and you bought games for it, well, that was about it…no updates, it was what it was. To get a better experience, you would eventually have to buy another machine.
Kindles, on the other hand, are update pretty often (until they are out of the “front list” of current ones being sold, at least). Those are operating system upgrades, and they may bring us new features and better performance.
The Echo, though, can grow in a way different from either of those.
Most of what happens on the Echo happens in the Cloud…not in your house.
Right now, the Echo “hive mind” is learning from what someone is doing with the device.
I’ve seen anecdotal reports already of something not working at first, then reporting it, and then having it work. One example was a band with a quirky spelling to the name (two words smashed together…and I think there was a number in there, too). Two people reported Echo not understanding it…then, it did!
Another example is that, according to the help pages, you ask it for a “Flash Briefing” to get the local weather and the news. Now, apparently, you can get the same thing just by saying, “Alexa, news”.
Oh, “Alexa”, by the way, is the name of a company Amazon bought about 15 years ago. You can currently change the “listening prompt” to “Amazon”, and they are working are more prompts. Eventually, you may be able to choose your own.
My point about this updating that’s happening is that it happens in the Cloud…not on your device.
If you have an Echo, please keep reporting how it works. I’ve been told you can say, “Alexa, that was wrong” to flag the question and response for review.
It also appears to be getting a lot of joke responses as people say things like, “Alexa, beam me up” or “Open the pod bay doors”. My intuition here is those are also being improved regularly.
Essentially, Alexa is what used to be called a “dumb terminal” for the most part. Its music playing hardware is one thing, but the conversational skills are handled at Amazon…so those can be updated on the hardware you have.
Eventually, there will be newer models with more capabilities, including perhaps faster response times (although it seems pretty fast now), but I wouldn’t worry about yours becoming quickly out of date.
Both my Significant Other and my now adult kid are creeped about by the idea of the Echo, and my kid doesn’t even want to be in the same house as one. I said that was going to be inevitable, but hopefully, I get an invitation and get one after this visit is over, so we don’t have that issue. Otherwise, I suppose I can unplug it while my kid is in the house.
My Fire TV Stick is here!
While I was writing this, my
Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
arrived! I took a quick break to set it up…that was basically plugging it into the power and the HDMI outlet on our TV (we just bought a new TV today…we had one that was at least ten years old as our main TV. I would have waited until the holidays, but we saw an Element ((that’s a brand I like)) at a great price at Target: under $150 for 32″).
I just had to give it our network password, and it’s downloading the latest updates now!
I’ll write a review of it soon. With our kid here, my writing time has been a bit curtailed (family first), but hopefully, in the next few days.
I want to get this out now, so people don’t miss the $3.75 price on the books and the free apps!
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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! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.