Archive for the ‘News’ Category

June 2018 Kindle book releases

May 29, 2018

June 2018 Kindle book releases

While I don’t generally pre-order Kindle store books myself, I know many of you do.

I understand the fun of just having the book show up, but I figure I’ll order when I want it…since I could have it within a minute, usually.…

However, it’s worth noting that pre-ordering at a low price will tend to preserve that price. Back when the Agency Model was solidly in place, Amazon couldn’t guarantee that books sold by the publishers using that structure wouldn’t go up in price after you pre-ordered them. It wasn’t likely, it was just that Amazon couldn’t control it. We have largely returned to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances

These aren’t necessarily the most popular of the pre-orders…I’m just going to list ones that catch my eye. Since we might not agree on that, here’s a link to the “over 8000” (all numbers at time of writing) titles listed as being released in the USA Kindle Store in June 2018 (more than last month, but I can’t say exactly how much more):

June 2018 USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, “over 1,000” (don’t like these imprecise numbers…I ran them in two different browsers) are in

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

As usual, I won’t be deliberately linking to books which block text-to-speech access blocked…but I think that may have stopped, or at least substantially reduced from major publishers:

We’ve gone back and forth recently on whether the top four were

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks . Amazon doesn’t do these by popularity any more, they do them by featured…and this month, they are on top. I’ve alerted Amazon that people are confused: they think they are pre-ordering a KU borrow, when they are actually pre-ordering a purchase. In other words, they may be thinking they’ll get the book at no additional cost, and actually be charged for it. Amazon has confirmed for me: you can not pre-order a borrow from KU.

Okay, books!

  • The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton
  • Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality by Dawson Church and Dr. Joe Dispenza
  • When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
  • The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right: American Life in Columns by Michael A. Smerconish
  • Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton
  • Turbulence (A Stone Barrington Novel) by Stuart Woods
  • Dreams of Falling by Karen White
  • Brief Cases (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher
  • Fade to Black (Krewe of Hunters) by Heather Graham
  • The Pharaoh Key (Gideon Crew series) by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • Nine Lives: My time as the West’s top spy inside al-Qaeda by Aimen Dean and Paul Cruickshank
  • A Steep Price (The Tracy Crosswhite Series Book 6) by Robert Dugoni
  • The Woman in the Woods: A Thriller (Charlie Parker Book 16) by John Connolly
  • A Merciful Silence (Mercy Kilpatrick Book 4) by Kendra Elliot
  • Tom Clancy Line of Sight (A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel) by Mike Maden
  • A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
  • Before the Storm (World of Warcraft) by Christie Golden
  • The Body by Stephen King
  • Truth or Dare (The Men Of The Sisterhood Book 4) by Fern Michaels
  • Florida by Lauren Groff
  • Island of the Mad: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King
  • Trump’s America: The Truth about Our Nation’s Great Comeback by Newt Gingrich
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • The Skaar Invasion (The Fall of Shannara) by Terry Brooks
  • Liar, Liar by Lisa Jackson

That’s only a small fraction, and just ones that caught my eye. If you have other books being released to the USA Kindle store in June 2018 to suggest for me and my readers, you can do so by commenting on this post. If you are directly connected to the book (the author, the publisher) that’s okay…just identify yourself as such and make your comment in your own words (not as an ad).

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! :) 

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books.

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.

Advertisements

The Segmentation Temptation: how narrow vision underestimates Amazon

March 18, 2018

The Segmentation Temptation: how narrow vision underestimates Amazon

When I first read about this “leaked” information

Reuters article by Jeffrey Dastin

about Amazon’s Prime Video originals and how they convert people to being

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

members, I noticed right away how shows based on books tended to be towards the top of the list in terms of efficiency (except for The Grand Tour, which was at the very top of the list).

I also noticed that coverage of this alleged internal document didn’t mention that the sales of those books had increased considerably in conjunction with the shows.

That didn’t surprise me too much. Although Amazon started as a bookstore, it’s rarely covered that way any more. It’s seen much more as a tech company, and many tech writers just aren’t that into the book business (at least, they don’t write about it much).

As a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, and a long-time techie (going back to the punchcard days), it seems to me that many reporters and writers tend to analyze things in isolation.

I understand that. It makes sense to write about what you know best, topics where you have the expertise and context to provide significant insight to your readers.

However, there is a tendency to then extend what you see in one area to Amazon as a whole…like the old parable about the blind people and the elephant, each person coming to a different conclusion about what an elephant is like based on what part they encounter.

The graph Reuters shows looks at the cost of ten Prime Originals versus people who stream that show first when they sign up for Prime.

The implication is this:

Let’s say a show cost $1,000,000 to produce and initially market. If 10,000 people joined Prime (which costs $99 a year usually) because of that show (which is suggested by them watching it first), that’s pretty close to break even. If only 5,000 people joined Prime, the show was too expensive. If 20,000 joined Prime, it was a good investment.

While I have no doubt that Amazon takes that figure into account as part of its calculations, I’m equally certain that it is just one small part of the puzzle. A doctor doesn’t just listen to your chest and ignore your purple leg or high cholesterol. They are all parts of the puzzle.

Let’s start out with the obvious.

Prime tends to be “sticky”. What that means is that most people who sign up for Prime stay with Prime. Not everybody every time, but most people most of the time. If the 5,000 people I mentioned above pay for Prime twice (they renew for a second year), that then equals the 10,000 paying once.

That is only one small thing.

I mentioned those books…for example,

The Man in the High Castle (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is currently #2,129 paid in the USA Kindle store. That’s for a book with only 3.5 stars out of 5 as an average of 2,628 customer reviews at time of writing. The book was first published in 1962…approximately 56 years ago. That’s a remarkably good performance when there are more than six million titles in the Kindle store.

Amazon probably doesn’t make much directly on the sale of that book (especially for the e-book). E-book sales are relatively low cost (especially compared with p-books…physical/paper books), but they aren’t entirely cost free. The current list price for the Kindle edition is $9.99**. Let’s say Amazon makes $3 per sale. 10,000 “copies” (licenses) is probably enough to get it to this level. That’s $30,000…a drop in the bucket for a million dollar expenditure. Double it, triple it…it’s noticeable, but still not a big percentage.

If people buying those books, then go on to buy Philip K. Dick’s other books…let’s see, what’s $30,000 times a gazillion? 😉

It could even be that someone who never read science fiction/alternative history before gets into it because they watched The Man in the High Castle and then read the book…but let’s just cut to the quick on this one: the books aren’t enough to pay for producing the series.

That’s certainly going to be true with Amazon’s new Tolkien series, which is going to be quite expensive.

No, the big thing is that people who become Prime members spend more money on higher profit margin physical items…what I call “diapers and windshield wipers”.

It’s not about that $99 they spend in a year on the membership, it’s about all those other things they buy.

It’s a reason why it’s hard for people to compete with Amazon. It’s not even just the retail part…a lot of Amazon’s business now is services and what I call the “Infrastructure of the Internet”, especially web services. Amazon doesn’t need to make money on any given thing they do…okay, yes, they didn’t make a profit at all for years, but they are now. 😉 It’s about the population of sales, not the individual sale.

When I managed the bookstore, we sold TV Guide. At that time, it costs us more money to sell than we made on it. It was quite inexpensive, and by the time you calculate the labor costs and the rent cost, we lost money.

Why sell it?

Some people came in every week to buy it, and from time to time, they bought something else. At the holidays, we were one of the places they shopped for gifts. Those “inspired sales” were what made it worthwhile to lose money on the TV Guide.

That’s also why Amazon can do something that irritates some people. 🙂 If you please more people than you irritate, or if you irritate people but they still shop with you, it’s worth losing a few sales.

Very few people are like My Significant and me. Years ago, we had a bad customer service experience at a very famous department store. Even though we had regularly shopped at that chain before, we never did again. There are people who stop using Amazon, but I would guess they are few and far between.

Amazon customers tend to be loyal, or at least, that’s my guess. I think that’s especially true of Kindleers, and that’s a good thing. If people who use Kindles also become Prime Members (which I would also expect), Kindles could lose money on a per unit basis, and it could be worth it to Amazon to keep those loyal customers.

I will say, Prime Video is not what keeps us Prime members. We use Prime every week…I listen to Prime Music a lot, and we take advantage of the Prime shipping. Out of Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, the one I use the least is Prime Video.

There are two main reasons for that.

The first one is discovery. I just find it hard to, well, find things. We watch on a Fire TV, and it’s far easier for me to find things to watch on Netflix or Hulu…or even YouTube (using the Firefox app). I’m not quite sure what it is, but it just doesn’t surface shows that appeal to me.

The other one is probably not an issue for most of you, but it may increasingly become so in the future: there’s no Prime Video “experience” for Virtual Reality.

I watch Netflix and Hulu in what I call VAM (Virtual/Augments/Mixed/Merged) space quite often…I watch it at lunch while I do my “floor work” (which helps with my chronic condition, for one thing). It looks and sounds (even just on ear buds) much better than a TV across the room.

That’s the “killer app” for VAM space for me for now…I do other things, but I’m really hoping Amazon gets on board this year! I don’t know when I’m going to see the second half of the first season of the new version of The Tick without it…

Now you know…if you ever wonder how Amazon can afford to do something, know that it’s because it helps them make money on something else at some time over the course of the future. 🙂

What do you think? Do you use Prime Video? Is it the reason you have Prime? If not, what is the reason? Is there anything you would like Prime to include which it doesn’t? On a side note, I was talking to some people who said they’d lost quite a bit of affection for Amazon post-Whole Foods; my impression is that they also loved Whole Foods and felt that the experience there had deteriorated because of Amazon…has that happened for you? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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! :) 

** It’s also available as part of Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) at no additional cost to members, but that’s another whole story

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.

February 2018 Kindle book releases

January 31, 2018

February 2018 Kindle book releases

While I don’t generally pre-order Kindle store books myself, I know many of you do.

I understand the fun of just having the book show up, but I figure I’ll order when I want it…since I could have it within a minute, usually.…

However, it’s worth noting that pre-ordering at a low price will tend to preserve that price. Back when the Agency Model was solidly in place, Amazon couldn’t guarantee that books sold by the publishers using that structure wouldn’t go up in price after you pre-ordered them. It wasn’t likely, it was just that Amazon couldn’t control it. We have largely returned to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances

These aren’t necessarily the most popular of the pre-orders…I’m just going to list ones that catch my eye. Since we might not agree on that, here’s a link to the “over 8000” (all numbers at time of writing) titles listed as being released in the USA Kindle Store in January 2017 (more than last month, but I can’t say exactly how much more):

February 2018 USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, “over 1,000” (don’t like these imprecise numbers…I ran them in two different browsers) are in

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

As usual, I won’t be deliberately linking to books which block text-to-speech access blocked…but I think that may have stopped, or at least substantially reduced from major publishers:

We’ve gone back and forth recently on whether the top four were

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks . Amazon doesn’t do these by popularity any more, they do them by featured…and this month, they are on top again…marking five months in a row. I’ve alerted Amazon about it) that people are confused: they think they are pre-ordering a KU borrow, when they are actually pre-ordering a purchase. In other words, they may be thinking they’ll get the book at no additional cost, and actually be charged for it. Amazon has confirmed for me: you can not pre-order a borrow from KU.

Okay, books!

  •  Out of the Darkness by Heather Graham
  • The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim and Kevin Behr
  • One Child by Torey Hayden
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One 1929-1964: The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of All Time Chosen by the Members of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SF Hall of Fame) by Robert Silverberg
  • Confessions of an Adoptive Parent: Hope and Help from the Trenches of Foster Care and Adoption by Mike Berry
  • “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman and Ralph Leighton
  • Merton’s Palace of Nowhere by James Finley and Henri J. M. Nouwen
  • Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ (Revised Edition) by Giulia Enders and Jill Enders
  • The Pride of Jared MacKade by Nora Roberts
  • Murder on a Midsummer Night (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Book 17) by Kerry Greenwood
  • What the Valley Knows by Heather Christie (KU)
  • Murder on the Brewster Flats: A Gus LeGarde Mystery (LeGarde Mysteries Book 12) by Aaron Paul Lazar (KU)
  • Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class by Michelle Tea
  • I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski: 20th Anniversary by Ben Peskoe and Bill Green (foreword by Jeff Bridges)
  • A Study in Scarlet (AmazonClassics Edition) by Arthur Conan Doyle (this is worth noting because the AmazonClassics imprint now lists over 100 titles…it’s the new version of Amazon’s free public domain titles, although these editions may have new copyrights because of additional material…not sure about that)
  • Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann
  • Maze: The Waking of Grey Grimm by Tony Bertauski
  • Table for Five by Susan Wiggs
  • The Man Within (Feline Breeds Book 2) by Lora Leigh
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Illustrated edition by J.K. Rowling and Newt Scamander
  • Travel as a Political Act (Rick Steves) by Rick Steves
  • Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
  • Same Time, Next Year (The Manning Family) by Debbie Macomber
  • Lightning Strikes: Timeless Lessons in Creativity from the Life and Work of Nikola Tesla by John F. Wasik
  • The Autism Job Club: The Neurodiverse Workforce in the New Normal of Employment by Michael Bernick and Richard Holden
  • Words That Built a Nation: Voices of Democracy that Have Shaped America’s History by Marilyn Miller and Ellen Scordato
  • The Boggart Fights Back by Susan Cooper

That’s only a small fraction, and just ones that caught my eye. If you have other books being released to the USA Kindle store in February 2018 to suggest for me and my readers, you can do so by commenting on this post. If you are directly connected to the book (the author, the publisher) that’s okay…just identify yourself as such and make your comment in your own words (not as an ad).

Enjoy!


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


 

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! :) 

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books.

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.

Pay $50 for a hardback and get it in a week…or $14.99 for the e-book and get it in seconds

January 9, 2018

Pay $50 for a hardback and get it in a week…or $14.99 for the e-book and get it in seconds

It’s unusual that a book gets the amount of public attention that

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is getting.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about the content of the book or why it’s the #1 bestseller at Amazon right now. 😉

My point is this: one of the stories I’ve seen repeatedly is how the book is “sold out”.

Well, yes: if you want the hardback.

If you buy it from Amazon, it’s currently listed at $18.00…with delivery in 2 to 4 weeks.

Other sellers have listed from $65 (arriving as early as January 16) to $12 (arriving as early as February 2nd), plus shipping ($3.99 on the non-Amazon vendors).

On the other hand, you could get the Kindle version right now…and for less money.

You don’t need a Kindle: you could read it on a phone, a tablet, a desktop…

Amazon does prominently put that on the book’s product page: “Usually ships within 2 to 4 weeks. 
Why wait? Try the Kindle Edition instead and start reading now.”

This is somewhat similar to what happened with 1984 last year, although that one was available to Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) members at no additional cost:

1984 is sold out in hardback & paperback at Amazon…but Kindleers can read it for free

There are already 1,407 customer reviews at time of writing (with an average of 4.6 stars out of 5). The listed release date was January 5th…so that would be close to 500 reviews a day. A lot of people are going to try to sway what you’ll think of the book, and in different ways…if you are going to read it at all, that week or more could make a difference in how you approach the book.

I wonder if scarcity events like this will convert more people to reading e-books more often…


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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! :) 

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.

Prime the pump…er, pump up the Prime! Amazon announces Best of Prime 2017

January 3, 2018

Prime the pump…er, pump up the Prime! Amazon announces Best of Prime 2017

While Amazon doesn’t disclose a whole lot of numbers, the data they do give us can be fascinating!

In this

press release

they say that more than five billion items shipped (worldwide) with

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

in 2017.

To put that in perspective, there were roughly between five and six billion people on the entire planet when Amazon started. 🙂 I know Jeff Bezos is famously forward-looking, but I’ll doubt the Amazon CEO was anticipating that from the beginning…

That global perspective is important. In 2017, the following countries joined the Prime community:

  • Mexico
  • The Netherlands
  • Luxembourg
  • Singapore

Mexico City alone has a bigger population than New York City!

So, no surprise that “… more new paid members joined Prime worldwide this year than any previous year.”

While some may guess that Prime members tend to be more affluent (in order to afford the yearly charge, and to spend enough to get more out of the savings on shipping), and that may be true, they do embrace the “low end models”. The two bestselling items for Prime members in 2017 were the

Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile*)

and the

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

That doesn’t mean, though, that they don’t also own the top of the line! In our household, we own and use two Fire TV family devices, and three Echoes (plus I have an Echo Spot ((at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping)) at work, and I adore having it there…and we have an Echo Tap). I’m guessing many of those purchases were additional devices, and I’m very confident that many of them were gifts.

As to books, the two most borrowed titles in

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

were

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood) (at AmazonSmile*)

and

1984 by George Orwell (at AmazonSmile*)

Both are dystopian fiction (no comment) 😉 , and the former was buoyed by a critically acclaimed TV version on Hulu.

I think the book most gifted by Prime members might surprise you:

Instant Pot Cookbook (at AmazonSmile*)

The

Instant Pot (at AmazonSmile*)

itself is a giant success! It’s being treated as a new innovation…sort of like when the microwave became affordable and commonplace. I got my Significant Other one…and my SO’s best friend also got one. 🙂 We aren’t going to use that cookbook, though…there were 226 vegetarian Instant Pot cookbooks in Kindle Unlimited, so my SO will start with one of those.

That’s just a bit of the press release…it’s worth checking for other Prime related facts.

Prime makes people happy, in my experience…and I like to say that happy customers are Amazon’s most important product. Of course, some people say it’s web services, but potato, potahto. 😉

We are on vacation today with our dogs, celebrating a big anniversary…my SO stepped out of the hotel room, and we’ve worn the dogs out with three walking trips…just today.

Oh, by the way: I bought the

Juvo Products Premium Cane Tip with Extra Wide Base (at AmazonSmile*)

really to have it for the trip, and I love it so much I bought two more for my other canes! It’s been great in the sand at the beach and on rough terrain…and it lets my cane stand up by itself. I’ve started taking pictures of my cane standing places, showing where it travels. 😉 I’ll share one after we get back. Shipped, it’s under $10, which is a great deal. I don’t know how durable it is yet, but it seems reasonably tough.

Hope you are enjoying the new year! I’m still working on some retrospectives (one for this blog) for 2017, but should have them done before Monday.

Oh, one last thing: I was a little disappointed that I only had three authors in today’s Bookish Birthdays, but I figured that Isaac Asimov (Foundation) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) counts as at least ten ordinary authors. 😉


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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! :) 

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.

January 2018 Kindle book releases

January 1, 2018

January 2018 Kindle book releases

While I don’t generally pre-order Kindle store books myself, I know many of you do.

I understand the fun of just having the book show up, but I figure I’ll order when I want it…since I could have it within a minute, usually.…

However, it’s worth noting that pre-ordering at a low price will tend to preserve that price. Back when the Agency Model was solidly in place, Amazon couldn’t guarantee that books sold by the publishers using that structure wouldn’t go up in price after you pre-ordered them. It wasn’t likely, it was just that Amazon couldn’t control it. We have largely returned to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances

These aren’t necessarily the most popular of the pre-orders…I’m just going to list ones that catch my eye. Since we might not agree on that, here’s a link to the 7,532 (all numbers at time of writing) titles listed as being released in the USA Kindle Store in January 2017 (that’s 516 more than last month):

January 2018 USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 1,671 (340 fewer than last time) are in

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

As usual, I won’t be deliberately linking to books which block text-to-speech access blocked…but I think that may have stopped:

We’ve gone back and forth recently on whether the top four were the

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks for this month. Amazon doesn’t do these by popularity any more, they do them by featured…and this month, they are on top again…marking four months in a row. I’ve alerted Amazon about it) that people are confused: they think they are pre-ordering a KU borrow, when they are actually pre-ordering a purchase. In other words, they may be thinking they’ll get the book at no additional cost, and actually be charged for it. Amazon has confirmed for me: you can not pre-order a borrow from KU.

Okay, books!

  •  Fast-Track Triathlete: Balancing a Big Life with Big Performance in Long-Course Triathlon by Dixon Matt
  • The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2018 by Sarah Janssen
  • Curlee Girlee by Atara Twersky and Karen Wolcott
  • The Demon Crown: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Novels) by James Rollins
  • Dawning Ascent (The Pearson Prophecy Book 1) by Jen L. Grey
  • Curious George Makes a Valentine (CGTV) by H. A. Rey
  • When the Servant Becomes the Master: A Comprehensive Addiction Guide by Jason Z.W. Powers
  • Year One: Chronicles of the One, Book 1 by Nora Roberts
  • Moonlight Over Manhattan (From Manhattan with Love) by Sarah Morgan
  • Natural Disaster by Ginger Zee
  • The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger M.D. and Gene Stone
  • Persepolis Rising (The Expanse) by James S. A. Corey
  • Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace by Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Death at Nuremberg (A Clandestine Operations Novel) by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth
  • No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin and Karen Joy Fowler
  • Beau Death (A Detective Peter Diamond Mystery) by Peter Lovesey
  • The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
  • Bryant & May: Wild Chamber: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler
  • The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
  • Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak
  • Spy of the First Person by Sam Shepard
  • Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
  • A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

That’s only a small fraction, and just ones that caught my eye. If you have other books being released to the USA Kindle store in January 2017 to suggest for me and my readers, you can do so by commenting on this post. If you are directly connected to the book (the author, the publisher) that’s okay…just identify yourself as such and make your comment in your own words (not as an ad).

Enjoy!


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


 

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! :) 

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books.

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.

The book(store) thief: when people stole from my bookstore

December 17, 2017

The book(store) thief: when people stole from my bookstore

During my morning Flipboard read, in part looking for articles to flip into the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard, I was intrigued by this

ELECTRIC LIT post by Jo Lou

The premise is that the author interviewed indie bookstores (well, presumably, people in them) 😉 about which books were most stolen. The author then says, “…with authority that there are three types of book burglars”.

I’m a former bookstore manager, and for me, the basic premise of the article doesn’t match my experience.

They start out by saying that it wasn’t like stealing gummy bears, and that which books people stole would tell you something about the “literary tastes” of the thief.

This makes a very big presumption that the person stealing is doing it for personal consumption.

While I’ll write about some instances which do suggest that was the case, I’m confident that the vast majority of the book theft in my store (I actually had more than one store…I didn’t own them, I managed them) was for simple resale for cash.

One disclosure first: my managing days were a long time ago. It’s possible that human nature and American economics have completely changed in the intervening years. 😉

So, how can I deduce that people were stealing for resale rather than to read them themselves?

Let me give you two examples of why I think so…you can draw your own conclusions.

Poacher Piles

We would find stacks of expensive (photo books, art books) laying on a shelf…maybe ten of them. I referred to those as “poacher piles” to my team. What would happen is that someone would surreptitiously pile the books up like that…then they would wait until the coast was clear between that shelf and the front door, and then take them and leave.

The books were not really thematically grouped…it was more about being expensive hardbacks.

What could they do with them?

Back then, you could get maybe 25% of the list price for a new, likely to sell hardback, from an unscrupulous used bookstore (which could sell them for 50%). For a $50 book, you could get $12.50. For ten of them, you could get $125…not a bad sort of theft.

We know that some used bookstores bought without checking that the sale had a proper provenance. While I was managing, we were having a major book convention coming to San Francisco (I was just south of there). The local police ran a sting on a used bookstore ahead of time, partially, I would say, to show they were making an effort.

They would sell the bookstore boxes of books…with the shipping labels on them for a different bookstore. Clearly stolen (although this was a sting, again).

As I recall, the owner actually just yelled out in the store: “I need ten copies of the new Stephen King book…somebody want to steal them for me?” Something like that.

Used bookstores were supposed to ID sellers…that one didn’t. Let me be clear, many used bookstores were undoubtedly ethical, but the ones which would buy stolen books weren’t hard to find.

One interesting stratagem which resulted in poacher piles. A person would come in, looking destitute. They would ask something like, “Where are your expensive books?” If a clerk went to help them and show them where they were (we wanted to help everybody), there would be another person in the store…in a three-piece suit. The second person was the actual thief.

The Purloining Professor

We had a regular customer, who we would see every few weeks. This customer was a professor at a local university. It would always be a sale of a variety of books…something which would make sense for a professor to buy (at least, in the popular imagination).

The professor would pay for them: no problem there.

We then saw a news story. The police had caught this same professor at the San Jose Flea Market (a big venue…lots of sellers) selling multiple copies of the same books. Again,  clearly stolen…and clearly being stolen to sell for cash.

How did the professor do it?

We had several stores in the area (I worked for a chain…note that the article interviewed indies, which can be chains, but I again disclose that my store may have been seen as different from a “mom and pop” or fan-owned store). The professor would visit one of them in the morning and buy books. The professor would take the books out of the bag. Then the professor would visit another one of our stores, with the empty bag and the receipt (probably hidden on entry).

The professor would then steal the same books from each of the other stores in the area. If stopped or questioned, the professor had a receipt for those books…hard to argue with that.

Also, it’s important to note: this professor was also a con artist. The “con” in “con artist” is short for “confidence”. We were confident that this was a “good person”…chatted with us, reliably paid us for books. We didn’t have a particular reason to suspect them of crime.

I think it’s hard to argue that those cases tell us very much about the literary tastes of the person stealing. It’s also sort of a business, meaning that they were a disproportionate percentage of the books stolen from us (our goal was 8% “shrinkage”…shoplifting, employee theft, and damage combined…I had heard that at the time, bookstores were the most shoplifted type of store, because of the easy sale).

One case of an attempted theft of something which appeared to me to be for personal use may be instructive here.

I noticed a young person with a magazine under their shirt.

I stopped them, and had them produce it.

It was a magazine with gay sexually explicit images. Very unlikely that was for resale: magazines weren’t worth much in a used bookstore, especially not current issues. The person stealing was terrified, my inference was that if people found out, it could be dangerous. I just had them give it back…I didn’t call the police.

Calling the police, by the way, would have been futile in that case anyway.

A shoplifter had not committed a crime until they left the store with their (actually our) items. That made it quite difficult. We could catch somebody with books under their clothes like this, and all we could do was ask them to put it back. We could tell them they were never welcome in the store again (if they came back, it was trespassing, and we could call the police), but it would have been a real logistical challenge to keep a list like that.

Now, it is different if they brought in tools…that makes it burglary. When the author of the ELECTRIC LIT piece used the term “burglar”, I think that was a loose use of the term. In the case of the Purloining Professor, that was burglary, because the bag is a tool.

Another one that made me think it was probably for personal use?

Someone would come up to the counter to return a book. The new bestseller they bought was actually a different book inside the dust cover. Perhaps it was a $2.99 “remainder” inside a $25 top selling novel dust cover.

What would have likely happened there is that someone swapped the dust covers to buy the bestseller…they perhaps couldn’t afford the new book. We would unknowingly ring up the book as the remainder.

It was also likely that some people stole books for the game of it, not because they couldn’t afford it. My speculation is that they assumed we had insurance that would replace it, so being “clever” wasn’t “hurting anyone”.

All of this is about p-books (paperbooks). In the early days of popular e-books (after the release of the Kindle ten years ago), there was a lot of pirating going on. There still is some, of course, but I don’t think it’s as big as it was (just my intuition). Generally, when those books were made available on the internet, the releaser didn’t charge for them. That might tell us more about what they think is important to make freely available. In some cases, those free books were to entice people to a site where they either saw advertising or paid for other things, but they were often just out there.

In summation, I don’t think which books are being stolen tell us which books the person stealing is reading or likes to read.

One more note: I didn’t use the term “thief” throughout this piece, except in the title (where it is a play on The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak | at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*. I try to be careful not to define people as “things”. A person isn’t a thief…a person is a person who steals. We have that policy at work: we don’t refer to people as “the disabled”, we refer to them as “people with disabilities” (and there may be other terms as well, but they aren’t nouns). Referring to someone as a noun suggests that they just are that thing, and can’t be changed. That’s going to seem ridiculous to some people, but when you define something, you imbue it with a lot of power. It not only has its own characteristics, it gains the characteristics of an entire class.

Bonus deal: what a great Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)! If you are a piece buyer (buying books one at a time, as opposed to having a subscription service, basically), there are really good prices, and great for gifts today. They are “Top fiction reads for $3.99 or less”.  I’ll particularly point out that you can get each of the three books in the Lord of the Rings trilogy for $2.99…under $10 for all three. Yes, you could pay that for a month Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) and read them and lots and lots of other books…but we all know people who wouldn’t complete the trilogy in a month.


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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! :) 

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 Charts: 2017 This Year in Books

December 16, 2017

Amazon Charts: 2017 This Year in Books

Note: this post was originally mistakenly posted in my The Measured Circle blog. I wanted to make sure my readers here got to see it.

This is another great example of something which has happened “Because of the Kindle” (I’m writing a book by that name…you can still share your opinions for possible inclusion): Amazon has much better analysis of what readers are actually, you know, reading. 😉

While undeniably, some people find this creepy, your Kindle can save how far you are in a book. By looking at that in the aggregate (not how much did so-and-so read how quickly, but the whole group of people), Amazon can give us an accurate sense of what people read as opposed to what they buy (“bestsellers”).

There are a number of reasons why that information is interesting. It doesn’t just have to do with people buying books they never read: I would say more importantly is what people re-read.

Many people re-read books…a lot. It may also be current events (both in their lives and more globally) that make them want to re-visit a book.

We can see that in this new “article” from Amazon:

Amazon Charts: 2017 This Year in Books (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The top ten most read books are really dominated by the “backlist”, not recently published…some are decades old. #1 is The Handmaid’s Tale and #2 is Stephen King’s It (both driven by media adaptations). “A Game of Thrones” (that’s the title on the cover) is on the top ten…as are four Harry Potter books. Origin by Dan Brown is a recent title…at #9.

I’m guessing that the Harry Potter books and It are being heavily re-read, as opposed to first time readers.

They also give us a breakdown by area of the United States (states/territories). There are some fascinating data there, although it’s a little unclear to me as to when they are measuring reading and when they are measuring sales. I’ll point out that Utah was one of the Top 10 Reading Spots (Kindle reads per capita, it looks like)…but was one of only four where The Handmaid’s Tale wasn’t the top seller (Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer ((at AmazonSmile*)) beat it out there…but Sanderson does have a Utah connection. The book was also a NYT bestseller, and one of the fastest read, according to another section of this article). Two of the other locations where Margaret Atw0od’s book doesn’t top the list are Guam and Puerto Rico. I think what I available through Hulu is different in those territories (not individual programs, but types of services), so that might affect adoption of the app there.

There is a lot more information on that page! I may expand this later…it’s definitely worth checking out!

Let me and my readers know what stands out to you by commenting on this post!

Thanks, Amazon!


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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! :) 

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.

December 2017 Kindle book releases

December 1, 2017

December 2017 Kindle book releases

While I don’t generally pre-order Kindle store books myself, I know many of you do.

I understand the fun of just having the book show up, but I figure I’ll order when I want it…since I could have it within a minute, usually.…

However, it’s worth noting that pre-ordering at a low price will tend to preserve that price. Back when the Agency Model was solidly in place, Amazon couldn’t guarantee that books sold by the publishers using that structure wouldn’t go up in price after you pre-ordered them. It wasn’t likely, it was just that Amazon couldn’t control it. We have largely returned to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances

These aren’t necessarily the most popular of the pre-orders…I’m just going to list ones that catch my eye. Since we might not agree on that, here’s a link to the 7,532 titles listed as being released in the USA Kindle Store in December 2017 (that’s 333 more than last month):

December 2017 USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 1,671(339 more than last time) are in

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

As usual, I won’t be deliberately linking to books which block text-to-speech access blocked**.

We’ve gone back and forth recently on whether the top four were the

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks for this month. Amazon doesn’t do these by popularity any more, they do them by featured…and this month, they are on top again…marking four months in a row. I’ve alerted Amazon about it) that people are confused: they think they are pre-ordering a KU borrow, when they are actually pre-ordering a purchase. In other words, they may be thinking they’ll get the book at no additional cost, and actually be charged for it. Amazon has confirmed for me: you can not pre-order a borrow from KU.

December is also a big month for “brand name authors”. People buy books as gifts, even people who don’t read much themselves. If someone is not very familiar with books, they often want something they can recognize. Some of the very bestsellers of the year will be released in December.

Okay, books!

  •  Fast-Track Triathlete: Balancing a Big Life with Big Performance in Long-Course Triathlon by Dixon Matt
  • The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2018 by Sarah Janssen
  • Curlee Girlee by Atara Twersky and Karen Wolcott
  • The Demon Crown: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Novels) by James Rollins
  • Dawning Ascent (The Pearson Prophecy Book 1) by Jen L. Grey
  • Curious George Makes a Valentine (CGTV) by H. A. Rey
  • When the Servant Becomes the Master: A Comprehensive Addiction Guide by Jason Z.W. Powers
  • Year One: Chronicles of the One, Book 1 by Nora Roberts
  • Moonlight Over Manhattan (From Manhattan with Love) by Sarah Morgan
  • Natural Disaster by Ginger Zee
  • The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger M.D. and Gene Stone
  • Persepolis Rising (The Expanse) by James S. A. Corey
  • Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace by Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Death at Nuremberg (A Clandestine Operations Novel) by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth
  • No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin and Karen Joy Fowler
  • Beau Death (A Detective Peter Diamond Mystery) by Peter Lovesey
  • The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
  • Bryant & May: Wild Chamber: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler
  • The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
  • Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak
  • Spy of the First Person by Sam Shepard
  • Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
  • A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

That’s only a small fraction, and just ones that caught my eye. If you have other books being released to the USA Kindle store in December 2017 to suggest for me and my readers, you can do so by commenting on this post. If you are directly connected to the book (the author, the publisher) that’s okay…just identify yourself as such and make your comment in your own words (not as an ad).

Enjoy!


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


 

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! :) 

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books.

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.

Hello, future! So many Amazon announcements!

October 25, 2017

Hello, future! So many Amazon announcements!

Every once in a while, Amazon just has a flurry of press releases, a proliferation of innovation, a multiplication of celebration and exuberation! 😉

Just this week, Amazon has announced a number of updates and new directions.

I’m going to include links to older press releases in my next book, Because of the Kindle. I’m really hoping to get your opinions on that for inclusion:

You can be part of my new book, “Because of the Kindle”

I also looked at

Kindle press releases “through the ages”

back in 2011…but rarely have we seen so many initiatives touted in so short a period of time.

Let’s take a look (I’ll comment on the ones most relevant to this blog):

Monday, 10/23/2017

Your One-Stop Shop for Handcrafted Gifts: Amazon Handmade Launches the Handmade Gift Shop

Amazon’s Fall 2017 Half-Hour Pilot Season Premieres on November 10 on Amazon Prime Video

This certainly has some direct impact on Fire tablet users, among others. Unfortunately, the biggest news around Amazon Video lately has been the number of executives leaving. That, in itself, can be seen as a sign of innovation, or at least, reinvention. We don’t know yet what it will mean in the long run, but Amazon is certainly always willing to make changes.

Tuesday, 10/24/2017

Amazon Announces All-New Kindle App—Easier Than Ever to Read and Connect with Friends

The

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

have been a big part of the Kindleer community for a long time now (the Kindle apps for the iPhone and iPod touch were announced on March 4, 2009). It wouldn’t surprise me if more e-books are read in the apps (if we include tablets, certainly) than on Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers).

This update is largely focused on social elements…but only if you have an Apple device (for now). Those features are coming to Android as well.

Amazon is really, really trying to socialize their business…they do quite well with business to business, and with consumers. Nowadays, though, you also need to be part of your customers’ lives even when they aren’t shopping or consuming content. Alexa has done a lot of that: I interact with Amazon devices throughout the day, when I’m not shopping.

I haven’t had time to explore it much yet, but I will say, the recommendations seem much better. they listed Fritz Leiber, Robert Silverberg, and John Brunner books I didn’t know were in

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile*)

for example.

This is far from Amazon’s first attempt at socialization; will this be the one that really catches on? We’ll see, but it is always good to see Amazon making an effort.

Amazon Celebrates 10 Years in Arizona; Employs 6,000 People in the Copper State

Amazon Business Launches Business Prime Shipping in the United States and Germany

Basically, this is Amazon Prime in bulk for businesses. It can be a huge savings: Up to 100 users are $1,299 dollars a year…that’s only $12.99 per person, potentially. There is a $499 level for up to 10 people, and $10,099 for more than 100.

I think this is a very smart move, and will really make Amazon an indispensable part of the infrastructure for many mid to large size businesses.

Qualifying businesses can get a thirty-day free trial at

Business Prime Shipping (at AmazonSmile*)

AWS Announces General Availability for Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL

Wednesday, 10/25/2017

Introducing Amazon Key, a New Level of Delivery Convenience for Prime Members

We had buzzing about this…I wrote a short fiction incorporating the idea ten days ago in this post:

Regular Delivery

The actual implementation is quite fascinating!

Amazon Key (at AmazonSmile*)

It’s only available to Amazon Prime members, first off.

You buy a kit which has a SmartLock and a camera. If you are handy (we aren’t) you can install it yourself, or you can schedule free installation.

It’s a lot more robust than just a simple lockbox and key. You can watch deliveries (live or recorded). You can unlock it remotely to let guests enter. “Happiness” is guaranteed.

There are some limitations as to what can be delivered (fifty pound limit, for one).

It’s initially available in these areas (although you can check your zip code on the page:

Eligible for in-home delivery*

Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Baltimore, MD
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Jacksonville, FL
Kansas City, KS
Los Angeles and Orange County, CA
Louisville, KY
Miami, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN
Nashville, TN
Newark, NJ
Orlando, FL
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Portland, OR
Richmond, VA
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Francisco Bay area, CA
Sarasota, FL
Seattle and Eastside, WA
St. Louis, MO
Tampa, FL
Washington, DC metro area
*In-home delivery is currently only available in select areas, requires an Amazon Key In-Home Kit, and is exclusive to Prime members.

We definitely want this (we’ve had Amazon items stolen), but it is a lot of money in our current circumstances. We’ll think about it. The Amazon Locker isn’t far away from where we work or live…although this is more convenient, and has those other advantages.

There will be a lot of questions…our now adult kid brought up hackability…but I can’t imagine it’s easier to hack this than to kick in a door (which we’ve had happen…well, we don’t know if it was a kick, but a door on the side of the house was broken to gain entry). Still, this is a big deal! I also wonder if law enforcement and first responders will have access…that could be literally lifesaving, but many might object depending on the parameters.

Introducing Amazon Cloud Cam—An Intelligent Security Camera that Works with Alexa for Only $119.99

This is about buying the Amazon Cloud Cam separately from Amazon Key (it’s included, otherwise).

Well, that’s a lot of future in one week! 🙂 Worth mentioning that it isn’t even 8:00 in the morning yet in Seattle…maybe more to come! I also expect more from Amazon this year…

What do you think? I’m sure I’ll write more about these topics going forward, but feel free to ask/tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.



You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


My current Amazon giveaway:

Beyond Curie: Four women in physics and their remarkable discoveries 1903 to 1963 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Giveaway:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b139e577ee333624

  • 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
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Scott Calvin on Amazon

Start:Sep 25, 2017 5:46 AM PDT

End:Oct 25, 2017 11:59 PM PDT


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! :) 

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.


%d bloggers like this: