Round up #242: Prime prices to rise in the UK, Gold Box deal on Kindle books
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Gold Box Kindle book sale, today only
Gold Box Deals can be all kinds of things, but sometimes they are on e-books. That’s the case today:
Gold Box Deal of the Day: 50 Top-Rated Kindle Fiction Books, $1.99 Each (at AmazonSmile*)
There are some well-known books in there (top-rated doesn’t always equal well-known), including books by Louis L’Amour. There’s a pretty good variety: I’d recommend you take a look.
Updates for both generations of Kindle Fire happening?
While they aren’t available for manual download yet, from what I can see, and they haven’t been announced, I’m seeing people on the Amazon Kindle Forums talk about new updates for Kindle Fires…and it may be for all generations and models.
They wouldn’t be the same updates for the different gens, and they wouldn’t have the same features, most likely.
What I really want is a bug fix for my
Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
When I first got it, the wi-fi connection was great.
After an update that brought more enterprise network capability to it (I’m not saying that was the cause, but it might be), I usually have to toggle wireless on and off…many times a day. I’ve never counted, but I would guess I’ve done it ten times today already…and that’s with having taken the dog to the dog park for a couple of hours. ;)
I’ll keep you informed: if you’ve been updated recently, I’d like to hear about it.
When they are available for manual download, they will be at
http://www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates (at AmazonSmile)
Amazon set-top box coming in March of this year?
I’ve written before about how I think a TV gadget of some kind may be coming from Amazon this year, and this
Re/code (formerly AllThingsD) article by Peter Kafka
has created a buzzstorm.
Many people are reporting it, even though there is nothing official.
I do think this is likely…and that it may include both video content and games.
There are a couple of related stories which strengthen it.
Amazon has been pinning down more exclusive streaming video deals, and that’s going to be a big point for sales.
they announce that Amazon is going to be the “…exclusive online-only subscription home for streaming all past seasons and episodes of the popular MTV series Teen Wolf”.
Teen Wolf has quite a following, and I have watched it. It’s an interesting, very differently-toned adaptation of what was first the comedic Michael J. Fox movie. Don’t worry, though…Styles is still funny. ;)
It surprised me that Amazon would be able to pin that down, taking it away from other services.
I suppose it shouldn’t have, though. The same press release says,
“Prime Instant Video is the exclusive online-only subscription home for PBS series Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, FX drama The Americans, CBS summer blockbuster series Under the Dome and later this summer, Extant. Other hit TV series exclusives include Veronica Mars, Justified, Falling Skies, Grimm, Workaholics, Suits and Covert Affairs. Prime Instant Video also offers an exclusive collection of kids shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. that customers won’t find on any other online-only subscription service, including favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, Blue’s Clues, and The Bubble Guppies. “
I’d say the odds are pretty good that most TV consumers have at least heard of some of those.
Pumping up the content exclusives (and the content generally) would be an important thing to do before launching a service/device.
In the UK and Germany, Amazon just announced a merging of Lovefilm (roughly equivalent to Netflix…Amazon bought it a while back) and Prime, according to this
24/7 Wall St. article by Paul Ausick, via Yahoo! Finance
and other sources.
The price is taking a big jump: in the UK, it’s going up the equivalent of roughly fifty dollars a year, from a close to USA equivalent of about $81 to an equivalent of about $131.
However, people will be able to make some choices about what services they get, affecting the price. The $131 equivalent will be the full platter. You could order just the Prime Instant Video “side dish” for $10 equivalent a month. However, that works out to only $11 less for the year…so, if they could give you installment payments for Prime, who wouldn’t go for the shipping benefits, too?
Will something like this happen in the USA?
Well, we already have Prime Instant Video as part of our Prime price, but yes, Amazon said it might raise prices on Prime in the USA…and I think they will (I’m guessing $20).
This could also clearly tie into a set-top box or other TV gadget.
It’s also worth noting that Amazon is in the midst of its “pilot season” for original works.
Viewer feedback helps determine which pilots become original series on Amazon.
The only one that was interesting to us so far (and much more to me than to my Significant Other) was Chris Carter’s (The X-Files) The After. It was an interesting cast with some intriguing concepts and imagery, although it did feel unfinished, which is often the case with a pilot. Full disclosure: my Significant Other knows a parent of the editor of that episode, and yes, that’s why my SO even watched. ;) I probably would have watched anyway…
Amazon Pilot Season (at AmazonSmile)
Speaking of visual media, I am doing my annual BOPmadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) again. You are all invited to play. :) It’s all free, and the more people we have, the better we usually do as a group. I’m doing it technically a different way this time, using SurveyMonkey, rather than sending out Excel spreadsheets. You can get the information and the links here:
2014 BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness)
Oh, and something else that may tie into a possible Prime price hike for the USA…one of my readers sent me a heads-up (thanks, reader!) in a private e-mail to this
Wall Street Journal article by Greg Bensinger
It suggests that Amazon is looking to make deals with other major retailers. The retailers products would be listed at Amazon, and buyers could use their Amazon accounts and Prime benefits to get them. The other retailer would then pay Amazon.
That would be huge for Amazon! They would really be becoming the “everything store”, and they would know so much more about you. As a consumer, I would think it would be great. It doesn’t quash competition on prices…other retailers could still undercut Amazon’s prices. It just makes it much easier logistically.
That’s putting more and more power in Amazon’s hands, though, and some people won’t like that. If Amazon got hacked, it would expose a lot more data.
Still, overall, I think shoppers will love this…and competitors will submit to it.
Bookstores: more in the USA, fewer in the UK
I suspect some of this has to do with definitions, but this
The Guardian article by Sarah Butler
talks about independent bookstores in the UK dropping to under 1,000…they say
“The number of independent bookshops gracing British high streets has fallen below 1,000 – a third fewer than nine years ago, amid cut-throat competition from supermarkets, Amazon and ebooks.”
At the same time, the ABA (American Booksellers Association), in this
American Bookselling article
lists (with contact information…addresses and websites) 44 stores which were added to the ABA in 2013.
That’s a good sign of vitality in the USA.
Some of these are additional branches of existing stores, but many are not. They also listed a number of stores which changed hands…another reasonably good sign. That means that someone thought the business was worth buying, rather than it just going under.
Check out the list…you might find someone in your neighborhood. ;)
Which books would you add to the “classics” category?
I’ve written before about how I feel about classics…and been a bit challenged on it, too. ;)
This is a fascinating list from Jason Diamond at Flavorwire:
The New Classics: 21 Writers Tell Us Which Books They’d Add to the Canon
My guess is that you’ll see something there that intrigues you…I recommend that you check it out.
Maybe it’s from my years as a brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, but I do tend to think that a true classic needs to be in the public domain. :) That’s one thing many people expect when they look for classics…that they aren’t under copyright protection any more (although they pay for copies in a store, of course).
Update on Give a Kid A Kindle
We are about a week a way from when you will be able to recommend nominated children to be the one to get the Kindle which I plan to give away. I’m hoping that once the recommendation process happens, I’ll get more nominees…just because I want more stories exposed (I think that’s good for people to see).
I do have one nominee so far, so at least I know I’ll be giving away a Kindle…
What do you think? What defines a classic book? Would you buy a set-top box from Amazon? Why haven’t more people nominated kids for a free Kindle? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle.
* 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.