Archive for the ‘Giveaways’ Category

Ends Saturday: up to $105 in paid apps for free

April 18, 2015

Ends Saturday: up to $105 in paid apps for free

In celebration of spring, Amazon is giving away apps for which you  would normally pay:

Up to $105 in Apps and Games Free (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (Pacific) on Saturday, April 18th.

There are some with thousands of reviews here…one of the highest rated is

Plants vs. Zombies

with a 4.4 rating out of 5 stars, and 4,188 customer reviews.

Another stand-out is the Oxford Spanish Dictionary, which normally costs $19.99. 4.5 stars, although only six reviews. It looks like it is a pretty sophisticated app. I don’t believe it can be used as the look-up dictionary, but it does let you favorite word, and has a “fuzzy filter”, so you don’t need to spell things correctly. This is a bilingual dictionary, by the way, designed in part for learning.

Other titles:

  • Virtua Tennis Challenge
  • Unmechanical
  • RRDP Pro Client
  • Amazing Alex Premium
  • Osmos HD
  • Pudding Monsters HD
  • Table Top Racing
  • LectureNotes
  • Fun English Course
  • Wolfram Alpha
  • Chess and Mate
  • Adventure Time Game Wizard
  • Songster Guitar Tabs & Chords
  • F18 Carrier Landing II Pro
  • Flightradar 24 Pro
  • MeteoEarth
  • Splashtop Whiteboard
  • Prince of Persia Classic
  • Mobile Doc Scanner
  • TouchDraw

As always, check the price before you hit that Buy button…this may not apply in your country.

Enjoy!

Bonus deal: you know I always like to do something with books, right? :)

Goodreads (owned by Amazon) has a group where publishers/authors can post that they are giving away books:

Free Book Giveaway Goodreads group

Not every book being given away is in the Kindle store, and some of them are a chance to “win” one…there may be only one or two copies available.

However, you are also likely to find ones that are available free for a limited time through the Kindle store.

It’s worth checking, and I may let you know about some of them as well, from time to time.

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

* 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.

3 Derek Swannson books free this weekend

April 11, 2015

3 Derek Swannson books free this weekend

Well, this is a case where I am happy I checked Goodreads. :)

I happened to see in my update feed that three of Derek Swannson’s books are free to own from Amazon this weekend:

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

Now, before we go any further let me be clear: there are people out there who would hate these books. These are not for everybody. I think I explain that pretty clearly in my

review of Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg

which is the first book.

I also need to say that after that review of the first book, Derek (who I do not otherwise know) asked me to read the draft and offer editorial comments on Revelations from Big Sur, which I did (I am in the acknowledgements).

I do not, though, have any financial connection with the books.

I also want to say that they are all available through

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

so if you are a KU member (I am, and I’m quite happy with it), you can read them without paying anything additional for them.

Gee, I wonder why Derek didn’t e-mail me to tell me these were free…I’m doing such a good job of making you want them. ;)

Okay, I’m done giving you reasons not to get them for free. :)

The writing is really quite good, and I didn’t want you to miss out on this giveaway…if you think it would appeal to you after you read my review, perhaps.

According to Goodreads, these three will be free in the USA Kindle store on April 11th and 12th:

  • Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg: 4.1 stars out of 5, 39 customer reviews
  • Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur: 4.4 stars, 42 reviews
  • The Snowden Avalanche (yes, that’s as in Edward Snowden):  4.4 stars, 14 reviews

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

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.

 

 

 

Round up #289: $25K Amazon sweepstakes, Amazon forgets something…

March 11, 2015

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:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/2989706-barnes-and-noble-bks-michael-p-huseby-on-q3-2015-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

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…

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

* 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.

Limited time: Free App of the Day “Bundle”

February 14, 2015

Limited time: Free App of the Day “Bundle”

Amazon’s doing another one of their Free App of the Day “bundles”. I put the “bundle” in quotation marks because it isn’t really a bundle…that would mean you could get all of them with one click or tap, and you have to click or tap each one you want.

As usual, there are some good ones here!

Free App of the Day bundle (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This is likely to around only a day or two, so if you want any of them, don’t hesitate too long. Remember that with apps, you can also buy them and have them go straight to your Cloud…you don’t need to put them on a device until (and if) you want to use them. I’m going to list the list prices, just so you know how much you are saving, but these are all free (at time of writing in the USA):

  • OfficeSuite Professional 8 (this has been my Office app of choice…I can use it to read and do light editing of Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. I use this for work in addition to home) | 4.0 stars out of 5 | 2,622 customer reviews | list price: $19.99
  • Battery HD Pro 4.8 stars | 1,008 reviews | $3.91
  • Relax Melodies Premium 4.7 stars | 2,454 reviews | $2.99
  • Trivia Crack (Ad Free) | 4.4 stars | 893 reviews | $2.99
  • Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English | 4.5 stars | 75 reviews | $29.99
  • Cut the Rope: Experiments | 4.3 stars | 601 reviews | $-.99
  • 80 Days | 3.7 stars | 61 reviews | $5
  • Sleep as Android Unlock | 4.3 stars | 26 reviews | $4.45
  • Sorcery 2 | 4.6 stars | 30 reviews | $5
  • Doodle Jump | 4.4 stars | 226 reviews | $0.99
  • Shazam Encore | 3.4 stars | 451 reviews | $4.99
  • Runtastic PRO GPS | 3.2 stars | 158 reviews | $4.99
  • Guitar PRO | 3.2 stars | 21 reviews | $6.59
  • DoggCatcher Podcast Player | 3.9 stars | 54 reviews | $2.99
  • Listure | 3.5 stars | 11 reviews | $1.99
  • MeteoEarth | 2.9 stars | 17 reviews | $4.99
  • Pocket Yoga | 4.1 stars | 158 reviews | $2.99
  • Food Substitutes | 4.2 stars | 32 reviews | $0.99
  • Caveman Feast | 4.5 stars | 20 reviews | $2.99
  • Buy Me a Pie Grocery List Pro| 4.2 stars | 8 reviews | $2.99
  • A Scientific and Financial RPN Calculator | 3.9 stars | 113 reviews | $2.30
  • Back to Bed (I’ve played this one on our Fire TV) | 3.0 stars | 198 reviews | $4.00
  • Stellarium Mobile Sky Map | 4.1 stars | 364 reviews | $2.58
  • Glow Hockey 2 Pro | 4.1 stars | 364 reviews | $0.99
  • Ski Safari: Adventure Time | 3.5 stars | 166 reviews | $0.99
  • Sworkit Pro – Personal Trainer | 4.4 stars | 282 reviews | $0.99
  • Tunable | 3.8 stars | 86 reviews | $1.95
  • Hidden Object: Be My Valentine | 3.9 stars | 16 reviews | $1.99
  • Speed Reading Trainer | 4.1 stars | 96 reviews | $1.99
  • Travel Interpreter | 3.7 stars | 122 reviews | $9.99
  • Smooth Sync for Cloud Calendar | 4.6 stars | 31 reviews | $2.65
  • Monsters Ate My Condo | 3.9 stars | 91 reviews | $0.99 (from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim)
  • Simple Camera | 3.8 stars | 32 reviews | $0.99
  • Delicious: Emily’s True Love | 4.0 stars | 4 reviews | $4.99
  • Smart RAM Booster | 3.5 stars | 169 reviews | $2.58
  • mSecure Password Manager and Secure Digital Wallet | 3.7 stars | 307 reviews | $9.99
  • Bag It! | 4.5 stars | 1,375 reviews | $1.99

Remember, I’ve only listed the prices for comparison’s sake…these are all free while the sale is on. Note: check the price before you click or tap that Buy button…the price may not apply in your country, or the sale might have ended.

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

*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 my birthday, 2015!

February 12, 2015

Happy my birthday, 2015!

February 12th is my birthday, and continuing a tradition, I’m giving you presents!

This is to thank you for making another year of my life richer. I have a lot of fun writing this blog, and I sometimes get to help people…and what could be better than that?

Part of KDP Select (the program through which users of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing make books available for eligible Prime members to borrow through the KOLL…Kindle Owners’ Lending Library) is the ability to make books free for five days (they need not be consecutive) in a ninety-day period.

Please check that a title is free for you before buying it.

I have asked Amazon to make them free on February 12, but I can’t say exactly when it will happen. I think they may also only be free to customers in the USA.

Some might be fun to give as a little Valentine’s Day present…you can buy it today as a gift, and schedule delivery for the 14th.

So, you can click on the titles before, but please make sure it is free when you click the 1-click buy button.

The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

When this one was first published in December of 2012, it was the number one bestselling book of quotations at Amazon…including paper! That didn’t last long, but it was fun while it did. :)

Love Your First Generation Kindle Fire: The ILMK Guide to Amazon’s Entertablet (at AmazonSmile)

This one has been a bestseller. It was written before the Kindle Fire HDs and HDXs, so it doesn’t match up exactly with those. If you do have the first generation Fire, though, I think you’ll find it useful.

The Kindle Kollection: Three Early Books about the Kindle (at AmazonSmile)

This one combines the three below into one volume:

* ILMK! (I Love My Kindle): Being an Appreciation of Amazon’s E-Book Reader, with Tips, Explanations, and Humor
* Free Books for Your Kindle
* Frequently Asked Kindle Questions

ILMK! (I Love My Kindle!): Being an Appreciation of Amazon’s E-Book Reader, with Tips, Explanations, and Humor (Revised Edition)(at AmazonSmile)

This has some fun stuff…and other things that are out of date. If you want The Happy Little Bookworm, this one has it. :)

The Collected I Love My Kindle Blog Volume 1 (at AmazonSmile)

This is the first 101 posts in this blog. :) I did 101 posts so I wouldn’t cut off Doctor Watson’s Blog: A Kindle Abandoned (which is a four-part story). I’m coming up on the five year anniversary of the blog, and I’m considering doing a “best of” book. I’d include the posts that are less time-dependent, I think…if you have any opinions on ones that you remember, feel free to let me know.

Remember, double-check that they are  free to make sure before buying.

Happy birthday! ;)

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

*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.

Washington Post free on Kindle Fire

November 21, 2014

Washington Post free on Kindle Fire

When Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer) bought the Washington Post, most of the talk was about how that might (presumably negatively) impact the venerable newspaper.

Less discussed (but not entirely absent) was how it might benefit it, and consumers.

Well, Kindle Fire owners can now get the Washington Post on their tablets for free for six months.

You just need to download this app:

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

I’ve been exploring it this morning on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

and it seems like an easy yes.

There is no obligation to continue with the subscription.

You don’t need to have any other relationship with the WaPo.

Even if you do decide to continue (and you’ll be asked…it’s not an automatic opt-in), the next six months are $1 (I think for the full six months, not $1 per month). Following that, it would be an opt out to avoid continuing at $3.99 per month.

It’s a carefully thought out app, with easy navigation.

There is a lot of content. This morning, for example, there are

  • Top Stories: 12 stories
  • Around the World: 9 stories
  • Politics & Power: 12 stories
  • Business & Tech: 8 stories
  • Ideas & Controversy: 9 stories
  •  Sports: 15 stories
  • Life & Entertainment: 11 stories

They have a “Most Read & Don’t Miss” category as well, and a section called “Backstory”.

You can also save stories.

I was pleased to see that they had easy sharing options, including (since I have it installed), Flipboard. For example, I flipped a story called “How Disney Turned ‘Frozen’ into a $1B Hit” into my

The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

this morning.

If you missed reading a newspaper, or, as may be pretty likely for some people, are curious about what it was like ;) , this is a great opportunity.

However, it’s worth noting that you don’t have the resources you do when reading a Kindle book. You can’t pull up a definition of a word or go to Wikipedia for more detail on it.

I’ve written to them about this next one. No text-to-speech access.

It’s possible in these sorts of apps: I have it in my National Geographic app, for example.

While I don’t want to take away from the time I spend with books, this would be a wonderful option in the car with TTS. I could jump into a particular article with a deeper background than I got from a 24 hour news channel (or the Watchup (at AmazonSmile*) app) and get the benefit of in-depth journalism while driving.

This is currently a Fire tablet exclusive.

However, it’s worth noting that a twenty-week subscription to seven day home delivery of the WaPo is $39.80…so, for about the cost of a year’s worth of it (which would come out to around $100), you could get one of the current generation of (low end) Fire tablets.

I will say, this won’t replace

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

for me as a news source. I like seeing many, many stories with snippet previews, as I do in Flipboard. What I want to know (and I don’t always know I want to know before I see it) is never going to be a solid match for the WaPo…even though I do want to know about most Washington Post covered topics, too.

What do you think? If you’ve tried the app, do you have an opinion? Do you agree with the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon? What would still make the physical experience better for you, if that’s the case? Would this get you to buy a Fire, if you haven’t? If you don’t have a Fire, are you disappointed you can’t get this deal? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

* 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.

Round up #276: PRH on subsers, Boehner blocks

November 15, 2014

Round up #276: PRH on subsers, Boehner blocks

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

No Active Content for the Voyage?

This question had come up before, but according to this

post in The Digital Reader by Nate Hoffelder

Amazon is not planning to add Active Content for the

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

their flagship model.

Hoffelder reports having been told by Amazon that their “…focus is on building the best purpose-built reading devices.”

I suppose I can understand as a goal, but Active Content is one of those really non-intrusive things. If you don’t want to use it, you don’t. Games have been on the Kindles since the very first one in 2007 (although the games on that one were hidden…I played Minesweeper on mine, though). It’s an interesting decision.

There are over 1,500 customer reviews for

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

in the USA Kindle store, with an average rating of 4.3 stars (out of 5). There have been ten reviews at time of writing in November 2014…and almost all of them were five stars.

It’s currently ranked #2,397 free in the Kindle store…out of 64,497, making it in the top 4% of sellers.

My guess is that this really has more to do with associated expenses (adapting the Amazon published ones for new models, customer service) than it really has to do with what customers say. However, I have had e-mail exchanges with the person listed by Hoffelder, and that person has always seemed nice and knowledgeable to me…so I’m sure there is some evidence for what the rep says.

$80 worth of apps free through Saturday 11/15

While I probably do more reading on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

than I do anything else (counting text-to-speech as reading…which I do), it certainly isn’t a “purpose-built reading device”.

I’m sure some people would argue that Amazon is turning away from Active Content to encourage people to buy Fires…but I think they’d be happiest if people had both. ;)

For those of you who do use a Fire and want apps, Amazon has a promotion going on through today (Saturday) with $80 worth of apps being given away. They are calling it an

App Toolbox (at AmazonSmile*)

Note that not all of these will work on a Fire tablet (the ones that don’t may work on the Fire Phone, if you are one of the rarities like me who owns one). ;)

Titles include:

  • Office Calculator Pro: 4.4 stars, 172 reviews
  • MathsApp Graphing Calculator: 4.4 stars, 63 reviews
  • EasyTether: 4.3 stars, 861 reviews
  • Open Document Reader: 5.0 stars, 3 reviews
  • Oxford Dictionary of English: 3.5 stars, 8 reviews…normally $24.99

and twelve more.

Amazon and others advocate for Equal Collection Legislation

It’s been a while since I’ve written about this issue, but it’s back in the news.

Congress is considering a bill which would mean that sales tax would be collected on online purchases in a way similar to how it is collected now in brick and mortar stores.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble both support the current legislation, along with many other entities.

The

National Retail Federation

has sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, urging passage. Unfortunately, every link on their website to that letter is failing for me…they may be overwhelmed because of the coverage.

Why does this matter now?

If the current bill isn’t passed before the new Congress takes over in January of 2015, it’s dead…and they have to start all over (again).

It might surprise you that Amazon and B&N are on the same side on this.

Amazon has argued for it before. They don’t want there to be lots of different rules about how this happens all over the country: they want one clear sales tax collection policy (not rate, policy) at the national level.

This (and previous bills) bill is not about people owing more taxes, but it would certainly mean that many people pay more.

Check the sales tax category (linked at the end of this post) for more information, but essentially, what happens now is that many people are supposed to pay tax on things they buy on the internet…and they don’t. Every year, my family adds more when we pay our State taxes for those uncollected taxes…it would be far easier if they just collected them at the time of purchase.

Can you imagine what it would be like if you had to track your in-store purchases yourself to figure out what sales tax you owed?

Amazon has repeatedly said that when they are in situations where sales tax is collected on their purchases, it doesn’t hurt their market share.

I believe that. Oh, that’s not to say that some people might buy very expensive items from Amazon to avoid having sales tax collected. Of course, they might be quite surprised if they ever get audited…not having paid that will not get you invited to the IRS offices for tea. ;) It might get you invited somewhere else less pleasant, though…

According to this

The Hill article by Bernie Becker

Speaker Boehner is blocking the bill, despite some significant bipartisan support.

It’s worth noting that not every state would collect sales tax on e-books anyway (California doesn’t, when they are delivered electronically…at least, that’s how it was last time I looked), but this still could affect Kindleers.

PRH C.E.O. doesn’t like subsers

Generally, I’ve found Random House to be pretty forward thinking…but this

The Bookseller article by Benedicte Page

makes me question that.

C.E.O. (Chief Executive Officer) Tom Weldon of Penguin Random House makes several statements.

One of them has to do with keeping e-book royalty rates the same, but the headline item is really about not believing in subsers (subscription services), like Amazon’s

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

In this short excerpt, Weldon is quoted as saying:

“We are not convinced it is what readers want. ‘Eat everything you can’ isn’t a reader’s mindset. In music or film you might want 10,000 songs or films, but I don’t think you want 10,000 books.”

Well, as someone with something like 10,000 paperbooks on my shelves, I beg to differ. ;)

Certainly, it usually takes longer to read a book than it does to listen to a song or watch a movie, so you might think you need access to fewer…but you still need to make the choices as to which ones to consume.

While I think there is a lot future in curation (people, and perhaps software, picking books that you are likely to like), having a variety is important now.

Let’s say you like 1% of the books that are published each year. 10,000 gives you one to enjoy every three days. That’s a pretty good pace.

I think subsers are a big part (but not the only part) of the book market in the next few years, and I suspect Random House may come on board with it. Weldon didn’t rule it out, although the CEO thought they were more likely to succeed in emerging markets. If they did there, that might encourage them to join in more developed markets.

I recommend the article: see what Weldon has to say about PRH selling directly to consumers…I think what’s said there is wise.

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

* 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.

 

Kindle and Fire Generations

October 12, 2014

Kindle and Fire Generations

Many people have complained about how Amazon names their devices…it’s been confusing.

The least expensive Kindle has generally just been officially called a “Kindle”, for example.

That might be okay, but the problem really happens when you are trying to buy

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

A cover for one model won’t necessarily fit another model.

It also gets very confusing when we try to help people on the Amazon Kindle forums. You might think a question like, “Can I stream my Kindle Fire to my TV?” would be easy to answer, but it’s different for different years. We frequently have to ask people to identify their devices before we can help them, or give them multiple answers (which can be confusing).

Well, recently, Amazon has started identifying Kindles and Fires (which used to be called “Kindle Fires”…another confusing factor) by generations.

The upcoming

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

and

the new

7th generation entry level Kindle: “Mindle Touch” (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

are both being identified now as “7th Generation”.

Let’s work our way back through the non-Fire generations first:

  • 7th generation (announced September 2014): Kindle Voyage, “Mindle Touch” (the $79 least expensive Kindle)
  • 6th generation (September 2013): Kindle Paperwhite 2 (now just called the Kindle Paperwhite)
  • 5th generation (September 2012): Kindle Paperwhite 1
  • 4th generation (September 2011): Kindle Touch, Mindle (my name for the entry level Kindle…”Minimum Kindle”)
  • 3rd generation (August 2010): Kindle Keyboard
  • 2nd generation (February 2009; May 2009): Kindle 2 and Kindle DX
  • 1st generation (November 2007): Kindle 1

The recently announced Fires (formerly Kindle Fires) are the 4th generation of those:

  • 4th generation (September 2014): versions of the Fire HD, Fire HDX, and a kids’ version
  • 3rd generation (September 2013): introduces HDX, new HDs
  • 2nd generation (September 2012): Kindle Fire 2nd gen, Kindle Fire HDs introduced
  • 1st generation (September 2011): Kindle Fire

How can you tell which one you have?

Here are the Amazon help pages:

It would be nice if they’d start actually putting the numbers on the devices, but I don’t think that will happen (they want the brand identification to be “Kindle” or “Amazon”, not “Kindle 7″…at least, that’s my guess).

Hopefully, this will help you buying those accessories…and those can make good gifts for the holidays for people you know who already have a device.

Bonus deal: some of the Kindle e-mail subscriptions have a deal going where you can get a free book (from a very limited set) if you are a new subscriber.

You can see the list of these free e-mails from Amazon here:

E-mail Subscriptions (at AmazonSmile*)

The free book deal is through October 18th…I know the Business & Money newsletter has one, Teen & Young Adult has one, Mystery & Thriller has one…I’d just sign up for the ones you want and see what happens. :) These are all free, by the way.

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

* 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.

Big app giveaway, FTV discount…and free books

September 25, 2014

Big app giveaway, FTV discount…and free books

There is a

Limited Time App Giveaway (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

right now in the Amazon Appstore.

It’s not a LTO (Limited Time Offer) that we get on our Kindle Fires…it will probably be there through today, and maybe another day, but they don’t  give a date, and it’s available to everyone who can use the USA Amazon Appstore. Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button.

There are some good apps here, ones that I use regularly! I know at least one of them is usually about $15.

Twenty-three of the twenty-seven are good for the Fire Phone, twenty-five are good on at least some Fire tablets, and three are good on the Fire TV.

I’m going to get all the ones I don’t already have. :) One nice thing about apps: you can send to Cloud storage only, so they don’t take up any room on your devices unless you choose to download them. I wish that was an explicit option for e-books…I usually send those to my Cloud reader, but that’s not quite the same thing.

Here are some highlights:

  • Office Suite Professional, 3.9 out of 5 stars, 2130 customer reviews. I use this one quite often…it lets you read and do some light editing of Excel, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Word files. I’ll e-mail the file to myself and then open the attachment in Office Suite Pro. This one is normally $14.99
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II, 3.7 stars, 166 reviews…Fire TV compatible
  • Riptide GP2, 4.5 stars, 475 reviews…I’ve played this on our FTV (at least a bit)
  • Sketchbook Pro, 3.9 stars, 289 reviews
  • PrinterShare Mobile, 3.8 stars, 830 reviews
  • Perfectly Clear, 3.8 stars, 260 reviews…just got this today. It improves the appearance of photos. I tried it…seemed to work well on the one overexposed image I tested
  • Another World, 3.5 stars, 16 reviews…retro gamer
  • Heroes of Steel RPG Elite, 4.9 stars, 9 reviews: great reviews on this role-paying game
  • Paper Camera, 4.1 stars, 544 reviews: one of my favorite apps for my phone…creates filters for images, and one looks like it is hand-drawn. I’ve used that one several times…classy! You can also just look through the camera and see the world that way
  • Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Pro, 4.0 stars, 8 reviews…list priced at $59.00? I like having a dictionary app on my device…this isn’t to do look-up from within books, but to use like a regular dictionary (albeit with a lot more features). I’m definitely trying this one

Also wanted to mention that the

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

is on sale for $84, which is about 15% off the normal $99 price. I use ours every day. When we buy another TV that can work with it, we might really cut the cord (stop paying for cable). This, when you mirror your Kindle Fire to it, can give you a lot to watch! It works much better than our Roku, by the way…it’s much faster.

Finally, I don’t like to write posts without giving something to the book readers. :) That’s the main focus of this blog, certainly, although I know that some people like the other content information as well.

This time, I thought I’d throw in some links to free e-books in some popular categories, sorted by popularity:

Enjoy!

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

* 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.

Free today: The Kindle Kollection

August 30, 2014

Free today: The Kindle Kollection

In honor of ILMK’s 5th anniversary on August 28th, I was giving away my books…but I couldn’t do one of them that day, due to the condition of the program that you can’t make them free on the first or last day of enrollment.

So, one of them is free today (Saturday) instead!

The Kindle Kollection: Three Early Books about the Kindle (at AmazonSmile)

This one combines the three below into one volume:

* ILMK! (I Love My Kindle): Being an Appreciation of Amazon’s E-Book Reader, with Tips, Explanations, and Humor
* Free Books for Your Kindle
* Frequently Asked Kindle Questions

Note that these are older books, and a lot of it will be obsolete…but I do think the first one, in particular, still has some fun. :)

As always, verify before you buy…check the price, because it may not be free in your country.

Enjoy!

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

* 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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