Round up #289: $25K Amazon sweepstakes, Amazon forgets something…
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Enter to win a $25,000 Amazon shopping spree
Amazon really wants you to use their shopping app to download apps…even free ones!
To that end, they are doing a
$25,000 Amazon shopping spree sweepstakes (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
You fill out an entry form (it’s simple: just your full name and a phone number, and they already had my e-mail address filled in), meet eligibility requirements (at least 18 years old, only in the USA…), and download an app using the Amazon app.
That’s pretty much it.
You have to do it by April 15th, and it’s one entry per person…so I assume that multiple app purchases won’t increase your odds.
$25,000 at Amazon would be nice, right? :) Here are the
Official Rules (at AmazonSmile*)
Let me know if you win! :)
Um…Amazon? You forgot a SmartPhone…your own ;)
Amazon recently sent me an e-mail to do a survey to help them “improve Amazon devices”.
There were some interesting points to the survey: for one thing, they kept identifying EBRs (E-Book Readers) emphatically as “black and white”. Does that mean that they aren’t considering color non-backlit devices? Nah, this is a current state question. Now, I could get pedantic at point that Amazon doesn’t have any black and white devices…grayscale, yes, but not black and white. ;)
When they asked me to rank how I use my tablet (I have a Kindle Fire HDX 7″ ((at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping)), the only place they listed “books” was under audio, which audiobooks to me. One of the main things for which I use my tablet is reading books…intriguing.
The most amusing one, to me, was this one:
“Smartphone – (i.e. iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry) Has all the functions of basic and feature phones and also has the ability to download applications (also known as apps), play videos, navigation, etc.”
That was funny to me, because it didn’t list my
Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
Now, yes, I’m probably one of a tiny minority that has Amazon’s SmartPhone, and it is technically a forked version of Android…but it would have been nice to be able to declare that I had an Amazon device in an Amazon survey.
They also used “i.e.” (id est…an explanation) as opposed to “e.g.” (exempli gratia…a set of examples). That suggests that they weren’t just naming a few of them, but defining the term…and they left the Fire Phone out of the definition of Smartphone.
I don’t think they are done with the Fire Phone…I’ve said before that they may tie it into the Amazon Echo (my Echo, according to the estimated delivery date, could be as little as two weeks away).
Of course, if the Fire Phone does succeed, they might have call the new model the “Phoenix”. ;)
Meanwhile, at Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble recently did a webcast to report their Q3 (third quarter 2015…financial years don’t start in January for most companies) earnings. You can read a Seeking Alpha transcript here:
Even though it was arguably good news, with the speed of their slide slowing, investors did not react well, as reported in this
The Motley Fool article by Alex Planes
and other places. It could bounce back pretty quickly…we’ll see.
Better, perhaps, but apparently not good enough.
I like having B&N around as a competitor for Amazon (competition breeds innovation), but they are becoming less of that over time, I think.
One place where they arguably still compete with Amazon is in the EBR market (Kobo may be a more viable…or at least more interesting opponent at this point).
How bad was it for the NOOK this time?
Device sales were down 50.6%!
That’s a slowing of the decline, but losing more than half…what kind of career did Bud Abbott have after Abbott and Costello broke up? ;)
Now, you might be hearing that their retail comparable store sales were up 1.7%, and yes, that’s a good thing.
Don’t count on that meaning that p-books (paperbooks) are making a comeback, though…they accomplished that in part by carrying more non-book items, like games.
Overall, the retail business was down, but hey guys, that’s not our fault: we had fewer stores. ;)
The shining light of the college business, which they are going to separate?
Comp (comparative) sales were down 1%, although they may be flat overall for the year.
Overall? Not looking good for B&N, at least as we knew it as a bookstore.
The Wildside Press Megapack series
Wildside Press was founded in 1989 by author John Betancourt and Kim Betancourt.
It’s a respected publishing company…which, honestly, you may not realize at first when you run across one of their “Megapacks” in the Kindle store:
Wildside Press Megapack series (at AmazonSmile*)
After all, the titles are ninety-nine cents, and public domain works are clearly involved.
However, while some independently published books may leave something to desire in terms of design or production quality, I would say that what I’ve seen of the Megapacks is up to traditional publishing standards in that regard.
One of the fun things with curated collections like these is to see what choices they make, how they group them together.
That’s an area where the Megapacks have some stand-out themes!
There are 185 (!) results for “Wildside Press Megapack” in the USA Kindle store, and certainly, there are things you might expect like The Golden Age of Science Fiction and Noir Mysteries.
However, it’s the more unusual themes I find intriguing, whether they are individual (often somewhat obscure to modern audiences) authors, or themes. For example:
- Victorian Rogues
- Katherine Mansfield
- Lady Sleuths
- Jack London Science Fiction (and fantasy)
- Mad Scientist
- Plague, Pestilence & Apocalypse
- Penny Dreadfuls
- Occult Detectives
- Zanthodon (by Lin Carter)
- Bobbsey Twins
- Classic Humor
- Girl Detective
- Frederick Douglass
- Selma Lagerlof
I’m not going to pretend that these are luxury editions (there won’t tend to be lengthy forewords or context articles), but if you want something which is affordable and respects the material, this is a good series.
Housebroken now available
Some of you may remember my interview with The Behrg, who had a novel selected by Kindle Scout:
An ILMK interview with The Behrg, author of the Kindle Scout winner Housebroken
That was back on January 2nd, and the book hadn’t been published yet…now it has been:
Housebroken (at AmazonSmile*)
It’s $3.99, also available as part of Kindle Unlimited.
I have no connection with the author, except for the interview we did and some slight correspondence (The Behrg let me know about the book’s release, for example).
What price story?
Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun relating to the movie(s) and play, What Price Glory? ;)
I was speaking with someone about pricing for e-books recently, and thought I’d throw something out to you.
If you see an e-book which is $7.99 in the Kindle store, what do you think about it? How about $4.99? $12.99? What if it was $10.00? You may think the price point doesn’t influence you at all in your pre-opinion of the book, but you would certainly be unusual if that was the case. Does one price make you think the book is likely to be of a higher quality? Traditionally published or independently published? Of course, you get more information after you look at it, but the price is often a first impression. Do you ever search by price? I’d appreciate your feedback.
What do you think? Will Barnes & Noble survive as booksellers? Who was/is your favorite anthology editor? Did you get an e-mail for that Amazon survey? Is there a “micro market” genre you particularly like? I really enjoyed an anthology (Apeman, Spaceman) of anthropological stories years ago…not available for the Kindle (at least legally through Amazon), unfortunately…
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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.