Archive for the ‘Giveaways’ Category

New Amazon Giveaway! We Can Do It!

August 19, 2017

New Amazon Giveaway! We Can Do It!

I’m doing a giveaway for my sibling Scott’s book,

We Can Do It!: A Problem Solving Graphic Novel Guide for General Physics (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’m giving two winners one Kindle version each. At time of writing,  it’s $7 in this edition, 4.8 stars with eight customer reviews.

You can enter the giveaway here:

We Can Do It! giveaway

If you just want to read it (curiosity about physics, which is really about how everything works 😉  , would be a good reason) , it is also available at no additional cost through

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

Since some of my readers are authors, or have other things they want to promote, I like to give you an idea about hw things like this can affect a book. This is what the stats were before I started the giveaway:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,494 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

#2849 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Science > Physics
#15527 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels
#19877 in Books > Science & Math > Physics
@terrance_can followers: 6

Here are the details on the giveaway itself:

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 2 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 (“I’ve got a chance to win a copy of We Can Do It!, which teaches college physics using cartoon dinosaurs!”)
  • Start:Aug 18, 2017 5:41 AM PDT
  • End:Sep 2, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

At time of writing, there are almost 100 entrants already! Good luck!

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

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

*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 you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! 🙂 

It’s National Book Lovers Day: five ways to share the love (and a giveaway)

August 9, 2017

It’s National Book Lovers Day: five ways to share the love (and a giveaway)

August 9th is National Book Lovers Day!

A bit of research hasn’t told me exactly why, though. 🙂 I didn’t see any special birthdays or anniversaries that would relate right offhand.

I think one of the best things about being a book lover is sharing your love of books (both generally and specifically) with others. I’ve been doing that for a very long time. Back in high school, I was the “librarian” for our science fiction club. We were actually given the use of a very small room for it, and people could check out books. I’ve also been the Education Director for a non-profit, which included digitizing public domain books to give away online. I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore. I’m coming up on eight (!) years of writing this blog.

I used to buy pretty much every used paperback of the first Doc Savage novel I saw, so I would have copies to give people to get them started with Doc (even though that first one is atypical, it’s part of Doc’s development and important to understanding what one of my fictional heroes becomes).

Amazon gives us several ways to share our love of (Kindle) books with others, and I thought I’d list five.

  1. Give someone the book! Barnes & Noble had gifting of e-books before Amazon, and people talked about that a lot. It was something people definitely wanted to do, and I’ve given many books to people over the years…it’s definitely one of my favorite things to do. Since we got that ability on November 19, 2010 (three years to the day after the Kindle was released), the ability to do it has expanded. There are still (understandably, in my mind) some limitations (geographical, primarily), but it’s really quite easy. You can gift a book from the book’s Amazon product page, but a fairly recent and welcome addition is the ability to do it from the MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices), formerly MYK (Manage Your Kindle) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) page. Yep, find the book there, click/tap/eye gaze (although I haven’t actually tried this specific thing in Virtual Reality, I know I can buy books from Amazon there) the Actions ellipsis (…) and you’ll see a choice to “Gift Now”. You can also now delay the delivery of  gift, or print it out to give whenever you want…that lets you take advantage of the constant sales at Amazon to get something at a discount
  2. Loan someone the book…this is quite limited, and up to the publishers. Not all books can be loaned, and when they are loaned, it is only for fourteen days (and you can only loan any given book once…ever. Not once to two different people)
  3. Review/rate the book: you can do this on the book’s Amazon product page, at the Amazon-owned Goodreads, or even from within the book itself when you are finishing it. This is an extremely powerful way to aid a book’s audience growth. It’s so powerful that people cheat, and they get caught at it. I used to write some reviews in this blog, but after polling my readers, I’ve largely stopped doing that. I do review books at Goodreads, but quite inconsistently. I read several books at once, and I may finish one while I am out. I just don’t find it convenient to review every single book I finish…and honestly, I don’t always think it’s useful for me to do. When I write a review, I want it to be good writing, not just an opinion. I want it to give an insight into the book. It’s not something I just dash off without thinking, and I don’t prioritize writing them very highly, compared to other writing I’m doing. Perhaps I should…
  4. Share that you are reading/have finished/have bought a book: while you can add a comment, that’s more of just a statement of fact. 🙂 It does, though, really encourage other people. When we are eventually shopping in virtual bookstores, it will still have a very big impact on people to see others’ avatars buying a book. One new way Amazon has made that available is through Amazon Spark: Amazon Spark: a new social network (and product discovery) for iOS. It’s sort of like Instagram for Amazon products. I’ve dabbled, but it’s too limited for me to use it much at this point
  5. Amazon Giveaways: this is different from giving a gift to a particular person…it’s more like having a lottery, although there are several ways to structure it: Amazon Giveaways: so fun I’m running four (update: 5!) right now 🙂. I was doing these a lot and enjoying it. Personal circumstances have me not doing it the same way right now, but I highly recommend it if you can and you want to promote (that doesn’t have to mean for financial gain) a book. Just make sure to make the giveaway public, so people can discover it

Even though that’s already five, I’ll also mention Amazon Gift Cards. That lets you share your love of books (as would gifting Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)) in a more general way. 🙂 What I’m going to do next is an example of a way to use gift cards.

I’m going to give a $5 Amazon gift card to someone who comments on this post today (by 11:59 PM Eastern time)…I’d like you to mention the title of a book, but I won’t require that. If you don’t want the gift card, please mention that. I’ll randomly select someone (not including people who say they don’t want it) from commenters on this post during that period. I will use the e-mail address you use to post, which won’t be public to anyone else…don’t include your e-mail address in your comment. 🙂 Just my way of sharing the love of books with book lovers.

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

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

*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 you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! 🙂 

Alexa Voice Shopping for Prime Day…and a chance to win $5000

July 6, 2017

Alexa Voice Shopping for Prime Day…and a chance to win $5000

This year’s Amazon

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

is July 11th, but it starts on July 10th at 6:00 PM Pacific…unless you are voice shopping on an Alexa device, in which case you’ll be able to start at 4:00 PM Pacific!

Actually, there are Alexa deals right now…and today (July 5th) a sweepstakes starts where you can win $5,000 from Amazon.

The easiest way to enter, if you have an Alexa device (I’ll list them), all you have to do between today and July 19th is say to your device, “Alexa, what are your deals?” You can only enter once, but it’s worth checking the deals more than that. 🙂

If you don’t have one, you can go to the

Sweepstakes Entry Page (at AmazonSmile*)

The official rules are there, too.

If you’ve never done Alexa voice shopping before, you can also get $10 off. The details on that one are on the page with the

list of Alexa deals (at AmazonSmile*)

I have to say, they do have some interesting things! Some of them tie directly into the Alexa, like security cameras and wi-fi extenders…but you can also get a dog toy, dog treats, a sewing machine, and the noise-making

Chewbacca Mask (at AmazonSmile*)

as seen in the viral

Chewbacca Mom video

The available items will change…

Here is

press release

The Alexa deals are available on the

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

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

Echo Show (at AmazonSmile*)

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*)

Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile*) (I assume…it doesn’t explicitly say it)

and Alexa-enabled

Fire tablets (at AmazonSmile*)

I do want to mention that the Echo Show has now become part of our lives. 🙂 I wasn’t sure how it would, but we like doing the videocalls, it hears us very well, and I do like the “headlines” that it displays. For example, our dogs get their monthly medications today. It was the best reminder to just see it on the screen when I came out in the morning (I’m not really a morning person), rather than having to respond to something on my phone or tablet. Their trending topics are also often entertaining.

Right now, only two other people in my contacts have Alexa calling enabled for me, but I know that’s sort of a “chicken and the egg” thing…it will be more useful when more people have it, and more people will get it when it’s more useful. 🙂

I’m expecting this Prime Day to be Amazon’s biggest sales day to date!

Enjoy!

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

All aboard 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! :) 

Goodreads Giveaways

June 20, 2017

Goodreads Giveaways

How would you like a $14.99 Scott Turow novel for free?

Well, you can enter for a chance to win one at the Goodreads Giveaways:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway?filter=kindle&page=1&sort=ending_soon&utf8=%E2%9C%93

They’ve made entering these giveaways very easy, similar to entering

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

Once you are logged into Goodreads (Amazon’s social reading site…they bought into it a while back), you just click a button to enter into the giveaway, and then acknowledge the terms.

There are thirty-five titles available right now.

I like that they tell you how many people have entered so far. There are 100 “copies” available of each title being given away, and the number of entrants at time of writing ranged from under 200 to at least 1,500.

If you already have an account, I’m not seeing a lot of reasons not to enter. 🙂

Good luck!

All aboard 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! :) 

Happy Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you!) KDD and a new Amazon Giveaway!

May 4, 2017

Happy Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you!) KDD and a new Amazon Giveaway!

Today is

Star Wars Day

which really just came about from the pun, “May the Fourth be with you” (because today is May 4th…).

There are lots of things tying into it, including charitable events…and sales.

The

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

includes a number of Star Wars items…mostly comics, but other things as well.

I wanted to celebrate…so I’m doing a new Amazon Giveaway!

Star Wars Day through 40 years of Star Wars!
Giveaway by Bufo Calvin
  • 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
    • Follow @TMCGTT on twitter
    • 18+ years of age (or legal age)

Giveaway:
https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0ce7b24b32a4a670

Start:May 4, 2017 6:32 AM PDT
End:Jun 3, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

It’s going on that long in part so that it covers the actual 40th anniversary of Star Wars (of the release in the USA) on May 25th 2017. Also, this book, which has good reviews and is new, is $14.99 in the Kindle edition…which is a lot for me for a giveaway. 🙂

Good luck, and may the Force be with you!

My other current Amazon Giveaways:

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

by my sibling, Kris Calvin

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

LAST DAY TO ENTER!

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 didn’t stop Loren from going to the Bigfoot festival in Willow Creek, California recently, but for people who have enjoyed and benefited from Loren’s work, the medical expenses fund is an opportunity to do a thank you. Over 500 people have entered 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. Unfortunately, no one has donated yet as a result of this, but it could still happen…

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
  • Requirements for participation:

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

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

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.

Happy 101st birthday, Beverly Cleary! (and a giveaway)

April 12, 2017

Happy 101st birthday, Beverly Cleary! (and a giveaway)

Arguably, the most important books you read are the ones you read when you are a child.

No question that a book can change you at any point in your life, but children are by definition in a formative phase. I would say that they are also arguably more likely to be able to imagine things and to emphasize with book characters more completely than most adults.

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

is one of those literary alchemists, finding the essential elements in their readers and reinforcing and evolving them to transmute and preserve them at the same time.

Beloved and multiply awarded, Cleary is in that group with Dr. Seuss and Hans Christian Andersen as someone who will be part of growing up for decades to come.

It’s nice to see on April 12th 2017, the author’s 101st birthday, that people still “Drop Everything And Read” (DEAR) on Beverly Cleary’s birthday.

It’s also good to see a robust official website:

http://beverlycleary.com/

A quick listing of just some of Beverly Cleary’s most famous works will make the point:

  • Henry Huggins
  • The Ramona Quimby series
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle (also a series)
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw

In honor of the occasion, I’m giving away one of the Kindle version of The Mouse and the Motorcycle! This will be a short giveaway, just three days, and I am having people tweet Happy Birthday to Beverly Cleary to enter. 🙂

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/faa812fd9e443f3f

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary!

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 other current Amazon Giveaways:

The Fourth Transformation (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Two winners

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b079fbab9711319a

Start: Apr 8, 2017 11:39 AM PDT
End: Apr 16, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

Blitzwolf VR Headset (at AmazonSmile*)

in honor of “Virtually Mike & Nora”

One winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0ab8bc9943c50e4f

Start:Apr 8, 2017 1:25 PM PDT
End:Apr 15, 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

===

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.

 

Amazon Giveaways: so fun I’m running four (update: 5!) right now :)

April 12, 2017

Amazon Giveaways: so fun I’m running four (update: 5!) right now 🙂

It’s been a bit over two years since Amazon introduced

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

The idea is simple. You can give something away through Amazon. Amazon handles everything…determining the winner (according to your choice of method), taking the payment, and delivering the prize(s). If you already buy things from Amazon, it’s pretty painless…in fact, I’ve just done my first real ones and I’m finding it really fun!

Why would you give something away to a stranger?

Mostly, it’s going to be for marketing purposes. However, think of marketing very loosely…you could just be supporting a cause, or even celebrating a birthday (it’s up to you whether or not Amazon lists the giveaway publicly…you could have it be just for people to whom you give a link).

My guess is that quite a few of you would also enjoy doing this…especially authors who might be marketing their own books, but it could be anything. I’m going to give you some information on it first, then I’ll list the four I’m running now.

Amazon “how it works” page for Giveaways (at AmazonSmile*)

Amazon Giveaways FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) (at AmazonSmile*)

So, breaking this down…

You go to the Amazon product page of something you want to giveaway. It seems like most things are eligible: I’m doing e-books, but I’m also doing an electronics item. I think it probably parallels what you can give as gifts for specific people: that would mean no apps or subscription items, which is what I find when I check.

There will be a link at the bottom of the page to set up a giveaway…you can search on the page for “giveaway”. 😉

Then, there will be some decisions to make:

How many of the item do you want to giveaway? You can do from one up to fifty (although that may be affected by the type of item). Remember that you’ll be charged for each one. With e-books, you won’t get a refund if they aren’t all claimed. You can either continue the sweepstakes (if that’s what you choose), or gift certificate you can giveaway.

Then you choose a giveaway type:

  • Sweepstakes (at the end of the sweepstakes)
  • Random Instant Win (3 in 9, for example)
  • Lucky Number Instant Win (every third, for example)
  • First-come, First-served

You don’t have to make a requirement for people to enter, but if you do…

  • Follow author on Amazon
  • Follow you (or someone) on Twitter
  • Tweet a message you specify
  • Watch a Video Short (hosted at Amazon)
  • Watch a YouTube Video (can enter after watching for two minutes)
  • Answer a poll

You can see the possibilities here.

I’ve done two follow the authors, one watch a YouTube video, and one follow me on Twitter. 🙂

Then you’ll pick a duration…that is clearly impacted by the item. I’ve seen different durations, I think from up to fifteen days to up to thirty.

The last big choice is whether you want it to be public or not…whether you want Amazon to list it for anybody.

Why wouldn’t you do that?

You could do the giveaway for a party, or for an incentive for people at your work. In that case, you don’t want somebody not involved to get it.

After that, you need to write an intro message, a “thanks for entering” message, and a winner’s message…I think you are required to do all three, although I’m not sure. You also name the giveaway, but in your name (I’ve seen organizational names there), and you can put up an image.

Those parts are creative, so they can be some work.

Once you are finished, it takes a little while for it to go live (oh, and you need to pay for it, of course). The e-books happened quite quickly, the electronics item took a bit longer.

Amazon sends you a link you can share, and it will appear on the

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

page if you said it could be public. Amazon may also alert people through an e-mail to which people can subscribe.

I’ve been astonished at how well it has worked! One of them has been averaging about 500 entries a day!

Here are the ones I’m running right now. I think I’m going to start listing them at the end of all my posts I’m not sure yet if I’m going to do giveaways all the time…they do cost money. I’ll have a better sense if they are justified or not after these first few finish.

The Fourth Transformation (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Two winners

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b079fbab9711319a

Start: Apr 8, 2017 11:39 AM PDT
End: Apr 16, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

  • Requirements for participation:
    • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
    • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
    • Follow Robert Scoble on Amazon

Entrants at time of writing: 163


Blitzwolf VR Headset (at AmazonSmile*)

in honor of “Virtually Mike & Nora”

One winner

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0ab8bc9943c50e4f

Start:Apr 8, 2017 1:25 PM PDT
End:Apr 15, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

  • Requirements for participation:
  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • Watch a YouTube video (on the giveaway page)
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)

Entrants at time of writing: 163


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

  • 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 (I like that it is Amazon and not Twitter…probably less intrusive for most people)

Entrants at time of writing: 1


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

Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
Follow @TMCGTT on twitter (that’s the Twitter account for my  The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project
18+ years of age (or legal age)

Entrants at time of writing: 64

===

Update: I’m also giving away Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle in honor of the beloved children’s author’s 101st birthday 4/12/2017!

Happy 101st birthday, Beverly Cleary! (and a giveaway)


If you enter, good luck! I figure I won’t be told who wins, but if you do, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to promote them…and if you are doing a giveaway that relates to the topics of this blog (e-books, Amazon media devices…I’ll make the call), you can mention it in a comment on this post. If you have other thoughts or questions, you can also do that with a comment. 🙂

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.

Most Fire tablets are on sale right now

April 9, 2017

Most Fire tablets are on sale right now

Just a quick note on this one:

Most

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

are on sale right now for a “limited time”.

  • The Fire (the least expensive one) is $39.99 instead of $49.99 ($10 off)
  • The Fire HD8 is $69.99 instead of $89.99 ($20 off)
  • The Fire Kids Edition is $79.99 instead of $99.99 ($20 off)
  • The Fire HDX 8.9 is $429.99 instead of $529.99 ($100 off)

Not on sale? The Fire HD 10 at $229.99.

Could this sale indicate new models? Not necessarily, but I think that could be the case this time. We are coming up to Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and graduation, and those are big gift-giving occasions. Not when Amazon usually does a big model line introduction, but they may have other plans for the holidays…


I have three giveaways going on through Amazon right now:

The Fourth Transformation (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b079fbab9711319a

===

Blitzwolf VR Headset (at AmazonSmile*)

in honor of

“Virtually Mike & Nora”

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0ab8bc9943c50e4f

===

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

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

===

Good luck!

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.

My interview about (and IN) VR with Len Edgerly…and giveaways!

April 8, 2017

My interview about (and IN) VR with Len Edgerly…and giveaways!

It’s here…and the word “here” may soon have a new meaning. 🙂

I did an interview with popular podcaster Len Edgerly of

The Kindle Chronicles

about Virtual/Augmented Reality…and at my suggestion, we actually did the interview in VR.

Now, I’m not an expert on VR…I’m a consumer of it. This is different from when I started my

I Love My Kindle

blog back in August of 2009. In that case, I really could bring special expertise. I had been a manager of a brick-and-mortar bookstore, and I was a techie from way back, so I had a special insight on electronic books (e-books).

In the case of what I call VAMM (Virtual/Augmented/Mixed/Merged Reality), I’m coming at it from the point of view of an observer of and commenter on popular culture. I do think that there is a significant Amazon/book element coming to VAMM, and coming fairly soon.

However, in one of my other blogs,

The Measured Circle

I write about movies, TV shows, games (I also managed a brick-and-mortar gamestore), tech…a very wide array.

I think I’m pretty good at understanding pop culture. One year, I called eight of the last nine eliminations on American Idol in order, before any of them happened. My Oscar Prediction contest produces results which tend to be more than 90% accurate (and I do quite well myself). I called (not publicly) the successes of Jim Carrey (based on one interview on TV where he did “facial impressions”), Darryl Hannah (after seeing Bladerunner), Big Brother (before it aired one episode in the USA), and more.

Not that I’m always right…but I’m not always wrong, either, which is saying something. 😉

I’ve been on the Kindle Chronicles several times before and it’s always been a great experience. Len is a former professional journalist, and we shared an enthusiasm for the Kindle.

I noticed Len had been broadcasting in 360, and I knew he was at least dabbling in VAMM. So, a couple of months ago, I suggested that we actually do an interview in VAMM space.

I wasn’t sure at that point how we would do it, but I suggested using

vTime

One reason for that was that I knew you could record VAMM sessions there, which would mean that our audiences could see and hear us later.

Unfortunately, when the time came, that feature (vCast) had been taken offline for improvements.

That created some technical challenges. We both happened to be using Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phones and the Samsung Gear VR headset (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*). That has the built-in ability to take screenshots and record video…but not to record audio

We ended up each recording our audio separately, and then Len put them together. I had a good microphone, and tried a few apps before setting on the free version of

NowSmart

I played around with the settings, and found something I liked.

Apparently, sometimes while I was talking, I had my mouth too far away from the microphone…with the headset on, I wasn’t aware of that, but again, Len was able to boost the sound.

I loved doing the interview!

Avatar with a blue jacket sitting on a rock in a wilderness river

That’s a screenshot of my avatar sitting on a rock in a wilderness river…we were talking about how interacting in VAMM space compared to doing videocalls.

I should mention that my avatar is randomized: hair color, skin color, body type (including gender), and so on. I could have made an avatar that looked very much like me (in fact, I did that at one point), but my regular readers know that I don’t like to identify inherent characteristics…I like people to be known (online) for what they think and feel and how they express it.

My thought is that I’ll randomize a different appearance many times. That was a lot of work: I think it took perhaps half an hour. I can automate that process outside of vTime (by generating random numbers in a spreadsheet, although it would be great if they would just let people pick an entirely random avatar.

I think one error I made was making a choice in every category. I figured that “facial hair” would include a “none” choice, but I don’t think it did. That means my avatar has a hat and glasses, but I need to include a “no glasses” option (for example).

I’ll summarize some of my thoughts on what we discussed, but if you would like to listen (it’s audio only…no special equipment needed) to the whole thing (before or after), it’s here:

TKC 453: Bufo Calvin in Virtual Reality

I’d say the biggest takeaway is that I expect Amazon to get into VAMM significantly before the holidays at the end of this year.

Breaking it down more:

  • Prime Video: I would be shocked if this doesn’t happen…and perhaps by September. I spend more time in VAMM space watching videos (Hulu, Netflix, and others) than doing anything else. Amazon shouldn’t cede all that habit building lead to other services. When Amazon went years without making a profit, Jeff Bezos once said something like “Market share will never be cheaper than it is now”, and that’s the case for VAMM video market share, too
  • An experiences store: this seems pretty likely to me. “Experiences” is the term for VAMM apps. I think it probable that Amazon lets people get experiences through Amazon before the end of the year, but that can be a bit complicated. I would always rather have Amazon process my payments than anyone else…they already have all my info
  • VAMM book reading: I want, want, want this! 🙂 I showed Len a screenshot from the Chimera Reader VR app. It’s not a great way to read books at this point, and Amazon could do that. I wouldn’t say it’s likely, but I want to be at work and be able to read my Kindle books at lunch in a different environment with a virtual book that looks like a paperbook in my hands
  • Amazon VAMM hardware: probably not likely this year, but possible. They could make a headset (I think glasses would be a few years off for Amazon) that would be platform independent
  • Alexa in VAMM: yes! I definitely want to be able to see my calendar events, the weather from Alexa, pulled up by voice in VAMM. However, Alexa as a navigator would also be a big improvement. Getting stuff done in VAMM space, currently, is difficult. You can “eye gaze” to select things, and sometimes use voice input…but I want the latter in a lot more places. I want to be able to ask Alexa to start a specific experience and to do internet searches (I do use the Samsung VR internet browser, and it does voice input…but not as smoothly as Alexa)
  • Shopping in VR: I want a virtual Amazon store to buy things…and ideally, I’d like the option for it to be social, so I can ask other people questions and maybe have Amazon employees virtually present

Now, being in VAMM space wasn’t perfect, by any means. Len disappeared for me a few times…it seemed to me like I was able to be on consistently,  but it’s possible it looked to Len like I disappeared.

The other thing was that I couldn’t have any notes I could see…and I made two big mistakes. I’m usually good and careful about crediting people properly, but in this case, I gave the wrong title for a book and for a video series.

I want to try to make up for that for those two, even though they are properly linked on Len’s site.

What I’ve decided to do is Amazon giveaways.

The first one is for

The Fourth Transformation (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.

I mistakenly called it “The Fourth Revolution”…there is a popular book by that name, but it’s entirely different. I did identify “Scoble and Israel” as the authors.

I think this a well-written and insightful book by a couple of people with an excellent track record of predicting what will happen with technology as it relates to business. I’ve recommended it to people at my company: I think if you have a major consumer presence and aren’t starting to prepare for VAMM interactions in the next five years, you are missing an opportunity.

I made it a requirement of the giveaway that people follow one of the authors, Robert Scoble, on Amazon…and I’m giving away two (one for ILMK and one for The Measured Circle…or one for Scoble and one for Israel, however you want to see it). 😉

Here is the link for the giveaway:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b079fbab9711319a

The second one is a VR specific comedy series, and I unfortunately really butchered the name (badly enough that I don’t want to repeat it here and mislead people).

The right name is

“Virtually Mike & Nora”

and they really understand what Virtual Reality means (while being funny at the same time). They completely (and intentionally uncomfortably) bring you into the experience. It is a bit racy…maybe “edgy” is better.

Since this is a video series which is part of your Hulu subscription, I needed to find something to giveaway.

I’ve decided to give the same VR headset I gave to a relative:

Blitzwolf VR Headset (at AmazonSmile*)

This is generic, simple headset…nothing fancy, but it did work for my relative. I can’t tell you for sure that you’ll be able to watch

Hulu VR

and therefore Virtually Mike & Nora, but it should be fun even if you can’t. 🙂 It’s going to depend on your phone.

To benefit that very creative duo, I’m requiring that you watch a short YouTube video (under two minutes) from them about the show before you enter.

I’m going to give away one of those, via random draw of the entries during the period.

Here is the link for the giveaway:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0ab8bc9943c50e4f

Again, my apologies to both pairs of artists…hopefully, this will help discovery of both of these good works.

Finally, I am doing one more unrelated giveaway. I’m giving away ten Kindle versions of my sibling’s 4.6 out of 5-star (at time of writing, with over 100 customer reviews), triple Silver Falchion winning mystery

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

I am requiring that people follow Kris Calvin on Amazon to enter…I want you to know when the second Maren Kane mystery is released, and other titles Kris may do.

Here is the link for the giveaway…feel free to share:

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

Thanks again to Len for taking the VAMM adventure with me for our interview (interVR?)!

Note: feel free to connect with me in vTime. I’m listed there as Bufo Calvin.

If you have any questions or thoughts about this, you can 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!

* 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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