Archive for the ‘News’ Category

May 2016 Kindle book releases

April 27, 2016

May 2016 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 7,059 (at time of writing…a significant 846 more than last monh):

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

Of those, by the way, 1,119 (168 more than last month) 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 no longer does the “New and Popular” search as a default, but does “Featured”. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way…and the list is clearly not the same.  This month, again, Kindle First titles dominate.

The other thing is that some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list. I’m concerned (and 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!

  • Blood Defense (Samantha Brinkman Book 1) by Marcia Clark
  • Freedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon
  • Don’t Believe a Word by Patricia MacDonald
  • The Thief’s Daughter (The Kingfountain Series Book 2) by Jeff Wheeler (KU)
  • 15th Affair by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson
  • Blood Flag: A Paul Madriani Novel by Steve Martini
  • 100 Years: Wisdom From Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life by Joshua Prager and Milton Glaser
  • The Cthulhu Wars: The United States’ Battles Against the Mythos (Dark Osprey) by Kenneth Hite and Kennon Bauman
  • Kitten Kaboodle (Zoe Donovan Mystery Book 20) by Kathi Daley
  • Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Patriots by David Fisher
  • Murder Frames the Scene: A Hawai’i Mystery by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl
  • Lisa Murphy on Play: The Foundation of Children’s Learning by Lisa Murphy
  • The Emperor’s Revenge (The Oregon Files)by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison
  • The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • D-Day (Time Patrol)May by Bob Mayer (KU)
  • LaRose by Louise Erdrich
  • Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency by Charles Rappleye
  • Turner Classic Movies: The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter by Jeremy Arnold and Robert Osborne
  • Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky
  • The Sorcerer’s Daughter: The Defenders of Shannara by Terry Brooks
  • The Brooklyn Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Neighborhoods & Noshes, Culture & the Cutting Edge by Ellen Freudenheim and Steve Hindy
  • The Strength of Sensitivity: Understanding Empathy for a Life of Emotional Peace & Balance by Kyra Mesich
  • Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport and Julia Kirby
  • J.J. Abrams: A Study in Genius: The Unofficial Biography by Neil Daniels
  • The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
  • The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb
  • The Drowned Detective by Neil Jordan
  • Workplace Research: Conducting small-scale research in organizations by Zina O’Leary and Jennifer S. Hunt
  • In Praise of Simple Physics: The Science and Mathematics behind Everyday Questions by Paul J. Nahin
  • Stranger in the Mirror: The Scientific Search for the Self by Robert V. Levine
  • Steampunk Soldiers: The American Frontier (Open Book) by Philip Smith and Joseph A. McCullough
  • The Apartment by Danielle Steel
  • Archie 1000 Page Comics 75th Anniversary Bash (Archie 1000 Page Digests) by Archie Superstars
  • Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnes Martin-Lugand
  • Holy Heroes: The Gospel According to DC & Marvel by Scott Bayles
  • The Fireman by Joe Hill

Feel free to suggest other books being released in May in the USA Kindle store. If you are the author, or are otherwise connected with the production or publishing of the book, I’d appreciate you saying so. That won’t stop me from publishing the comment, but it should be in your own words and not an ad.

Enjoy!

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

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

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :)

** A Kindle/Fire 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.

April 2016 Kindle book releases

March 22, 2016

April 2016 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 6,213 (at time of writing…eight more than last month):

April releases in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of you choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 951 (27 more than last month) 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 no longer does the “New and Popular” search as a default, but does “Featured”. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way…and the list is clearly not the same.  This month, again, Kindle First titles dominate.

The other thing is that some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list. I’m concerned (and 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!

  • Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo
  • Chains of Command (Frontlines Book 4) by Marko Kloos (KU)
  • Now That I’ve Found You (New York Sullivans #1) (The Sullivans Book 15) by Bella Andre
  • Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age by Jo Ann Jenkins
  • The Kasari Nexus (Rho Agenda Assimilation Book 1) by Richard Phillips
  • Aztec by Gary Jennings
  • They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age by Didier Ghez and Pete Docter
  • It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein
  • The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
  • The Big Fear (Hollow City Series) by Andrew Case
  • Freshwater Road by Denise Nicholas
  • Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee: From Scout to Go Set a Watchman by Charles J. Shields
  • Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance by Leonard Peltier and Harvey Arden
  • The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh (and lots of other Wambaugh books)
  • Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  • Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
  • The New Space Opera by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan
  • The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner: Stories by Alan Sillitoe
  • Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill
  • Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family by Stephen H. Segal and Valya Dudycz Lupescu
  • More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture by Dayton Moore and Matt Fulks
  • The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin
  • Aimee & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943 by Erica Fischer
  • Mom Candy: 1,000 Quotes of Inspiration for Mothers by Jena Pincott
  • Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama by Sam Leith
  • Inventing The Middle Ages by Norman F. Cantor
  • Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
  • The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
  • Sister Light, Sister Dark (The Great Alta Saga) by Jane Yolen

Feel free to suggest other books being released in April in the USA Kindle store in March. If you are the author, or are otherwise connected with the production or publishing of the book, I’d appreciate you saying so. That won’t stop me from publishing the comment, but it should be in your own words and not an ad.

Enjoy!

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

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

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :)

** A Kindle/Fire 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.

March 2016 Kindle book releases

February 21, 2016

March 2016 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 6,205 (at time of writing) February releases in the USA Kindle store:

March 2016 USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 924 (more than 100 more than last month) 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 no longer does the “New and Popular” search as a default, but does “Featured”. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way…and the list is clearly not the same.  This month, again, Kindle First titles dominate.

The other thing is that some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list. I’m concerned (and 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!

  • Crossing the Kingdom: Portraits of Saudi Arabia by Loring M. Danforth
  • Property of a Noblewoman by Danielle Steel
  • Wonder Woman: War of the Gods by George Pérez and Jill Thompson
  • Predator: A Crossbow Novel by Wilbur Smith
  • Healthy Woman, Healthy Life: A Woman’s Book of Healing by Gary Null and Amy McDonald
  • The Old Republic Series: Star Wars 4-Book Bundle: Fatal Alliance, Deceived, Revan, Annihilation by Sean Williams and Paul S. Kemp
  • Dead as a Dinosaur (The Mr. and Mrs. North Mysteries) by Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge
  • A Murderous Mind: A Naomi Blake British Mystery (A Naomi Blake Mystery) by Jane A. Adams
  • Making Out in the Mainstream: GLAAD and the Politics of Respectability by Vincent Doyle
  • Quarry’s Vote (Hardcase Crime) by Max Allan Collins
  • Ruling Russia: Authoritarianism from the Revolution to Putin by William Zimmerman
  • Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better by Sara Moulton
  • Magic: An Occult Primier (sic) by David Conway
  • The Gangster (Isaac Bell Series Book 9) by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
  • Bitcoin Essentials by Albert Szmigielski
  • The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac
  • And Then There Were Nuns: League of Literary Ladies by Kylie Logan
  • Mrs. Jeffries Wins the Prize: A Victorian Mystery by Emily Brightwell
  • Ringworld’s Children and Fleet of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner
  • Learning Zulu: A Secret History of Language in South Africa (Translation/Transnation) by Mark Sanders
  • In Defense of the Princess: How Plastic Tiaras and Fairytale Dreams Can Inspire Smart, Strong Women by Jerramy Fine
  • Hard-Boiled Anxiety: The Freudian Desires of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Their Detectives by Karen Karydes
  • And the Sun Stood Still by Dava Sobel
  • London’s Glory: The Lost Cases of Bryant & May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit by Christopher Fowler
  • The Ninth Life: A new cat mystery series (A Blackie and Care Cat Mystery) by Clea Simon
  • The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television by Tricia Jenkins
  • Tales of the Dying Earth: Including ‘The Dying Earth,’ ‘The Eyes of the Overworld,’ ‘Cugel’s Saga,’ and ‘Rhialto…by Jack Vance
  • After Strange Texts: The Role of Theory in the Study of Literature by Gregory S. Jay and David L. Miller
  • The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters by Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray
  • What If the Queen Should Die? by John-Paul Flintoff
  • Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation (Postmillennial Pop) by Elizabeth Ellcessor
  • The Mayans Among Us: Migrant Women and Meatpacking on the Great Plains by Ann L. Sittig and Martha Florinda González
  • Lesson Plan: An Agenda for Change in American Higher Education by William G. Bowen and Michael S. McPherson
  • Guns of Special Forces 2001 – 2015 by Leigh Neville
  • Wisdom’s Workshop: The Rise of the Modern University by James Axtell
  • A Bun in the Oven: How the Food and Birth Movements Resist Industrialization by Barbara Katz Rothman
  • Sexual Politics by Kate Millett and Catharine A. MacKinnon
  • The Will and the Deed by Ellis Peters
  • Fragile Elite: The Dilemmas of China’s Top University Students (Anthropology of Policy) by Susanne Bregnbaek
  • A Fatal Inheritance: A Celtic historical mystery set in 16th century Ireland (A Burren Mystery) by Cora Harrison
  • Baseball’s Power Shift: How the Players Union, the Fans, and the Media Changed American Sports Culture by Krister Swanson
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center (Images of Modern America) by Mark A. Chambers and Michael Curie
  • The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television by Tricia Jenkins
  • In Pursuit of Wild Edibles: A Forager’s Tour by Jeffrey Greene
  • Real Love, No Drama: The Music of Mary J. Blige (American Music) by Danny Alexander
  • Theatre, Performance and Cognition: Languages, Bodies and Ecologies (Performance and Science: Interdisciplinary…by Rhonda Blair and Amy Cook
  • Presidential Power: Theories and Dilemmas by John P. Burke
  • Next of Kin: A Sarah Quinn police procedural (A Sarah Quinn Mystery) by Maureen Carter
  • The Rarest Bird in the World: The Search for the Nechisar Nightjar by Vernon R L Head
  • A Murderous Mind: A Naomi Blake British Mystery (A Naomi Blake Mystery) by Jane A. Adams
  • New Korean Wave: Transnational Cultural Power in the Age of Social Media by Dal Yong Jin
  • World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 by BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT
  • The Playdate: Parents, Children and the New Expectations of Play by Tamara R. Mose
  • Ctrl + Z: The Right to Be Forgotten by Meg Leta Jones
  • Three Years in Wonderland: The Disney Brothers, C. V. Wood, and the Making of the Great American Theme Park by Todd James Pierce
  • The Misfit Mission: How to Change the World with Surprises, Interruptions, and All the Wrong People by Scott Chrostek
  • Becoming Nature: Learning the Language of Wild Animals and Plants by Tamarack Song
  • Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter by Tim Hanley
  • The War on Leakers: National Security and American Democracy, from Eugene V. Debs to Edward Snowden by Lloyd C. Gardner
  • The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation by Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker
  • American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good by Colin Woodard
  • The Steel Kiss (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel) by Jeffery Deaver
  • Private Paris by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
  • Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English by Rebecca Gowers
  • The Killing Game: Martyrdom, Murder, and the Lure of ISIS by Mark Bourrie
  • The President’s Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America’s Presidents from Kennedy…by David Priess and George H. W. Bush
  • The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built by Jack Viertel
  • They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age by Didier Ghez and Pete Docter

Hmm…I have to say, my choices this time feel non-fiction heavy! Feel free to suggest other books being released in March in the USA Kindle store in March. If you are the author, or are otherwise connected with the production or publishing of the book, I’d appreciate you saying so. That won’t stop me from publishing the comment, but it should be in your own words and not an ad.

Enjoy!

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! :) 

** A Kindle/Fire 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.

n 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.

Harper Lee has reportedly died

February 19, 2016

Harper Lee has reportedly died

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

was, in my opinion (and many other people’s), one of the great novels.

I was even more impressed with it recently when I re-read it, and then read the “recently discovered” early draft

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

I was amazed at author Harper Lee’s ability to take what was a cynical and somewhat dark world view, based on the author’s own experiences, and then rework it from the more optimistic viewpoint of a life lived many years earlier.

To me, that’s astounding!

When most people are soured on something, they can’t go back and ever see it as they saw it before.

Reading GSaW improved my already considerable admiration for Harper Lee, and gave me perhaps a better understanding as to why the topic of the book might have been a sore spot for decades.

None of that takes away from the value of TKaM, which will always stand as a superior work of literature.

My condolences go out to the family and friends. I will be forever grateful for having had To Kill a Mockingbird in my life.

In case you are interested, this is my review of Go Set a Watchman on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1362361030

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.

February 2016 Kindle book releases

January 22, 2016

February 2016 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 5,405 (at time of writing) February releases in the USA Kindle store:

2016 February USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 837 are in

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

That’s a higher percentage…there are 317 fewer books overall, but 90 more KU.

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 no longer does the “New and Popular” search as a default, but does “Featured”. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way…and the list is clearly not the same. This time, we are back to them dominating the top…although Identical Disaster by C.M.  Owens breaks the streak by being the third one listed.

The other thing is that some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list. I’m concerned (and 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!

  • The God’s Eye View by Barry Eisler (KU)
  • The Billionaire’s Touch (The Sinclairs Book 3) by J. S. Scott (KU)
  • Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg
  • Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’ve Got Henchmen by Richard Roberts (KU)
  • Lightning Lingers (Lightning Strikes Book 2) by Barbara Freethy
  • Over You (A Mr. Darcy Valentine’s Romance Novel) by H.M. Ward and L.G. Castillo
  • The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
  • A Shade of Vampire 23: A Flight of Souls by Bella Forrest KU
  • Will’s True Wish (True Gentlemen) by Grace Burrowes
  • My New Teacher and Me! by (“Weird”) Al Yankovic and Wes Hargis
  • The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice
  • The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross
  • Social Media Made Me Rich: Here’s How it Can do the Same for You by Matthew Loop
  • Gladstone’s Games to Go: Verbal Volleys, Coin Contests, Dot Deuls, and Other Games for Boredom-Free Days by Jim Gladstone
  • Brotherhood in Death: In Death by J. D. Robb
  • The Book of the Beast (The Secret Books of Paradys) by Tanith Lee
  • The Urban Monk: Eastern Wisdom and Modern Hacks to Stop Time and Find Success, Happiness, and Peace by Pedram Shojai
  • The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers by Joseph Hickman and Jesse Ventura
  • Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: A Life In Music by Dave Stewart and Mick Jagger
  • Cometh the Hour (Clifton Chronicles) by Jeffrey Archer
  • Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka by John Gimlette
  • Jane and the Waterloo Map (Being a Jane Austen Mystery) by Stephanie Barron
  • How To Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life by Ruth Goodman
  • Land of Shadows: A Medieval Mystery (Medieval Mysteries Book 12) by Priscilla Royal
  • Baseball Prospectus 2016 by Sam Miller and Jason Wojciechowski
  • Calamity (The Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson
  • Starflight by Melissa Landers
  • Dining at The Ravens: Over 150 Nourishing Vegan Recipes from the Stanford Inn by the Sea by Jeff Stanford and Joan Stanford
  • Breakdown: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman
  • Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner and David Fisher
  • Blood In Her Veins: Nineteen Stories From the World of Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter
  • The Worry Trick: How Your Brain Tricks You into Expecting the Worst and What You Can Do About It by David A Carbonell and Sally M. Winston

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! :) 

** A Kindle/Fire 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.

n 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.

January 2016 Kindle book releases

December 26, 2015

January 2016 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 5,722 (at time of writing) January releases in the USA Kindle store:

January 2016 USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 747 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 no longer does the “New and Popular” search as a default, but does “Featured”. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way…and the list is clearly not the same. This time, the top four are Kindle First picks…when last time they weren’t.

The other thing is that some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list. I’m concerned (and 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!

  • Feverborn: A Fever Novel by Karen Marie Moning
  • Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time omnibus by Scott and David Tipton (and others)
  • The Great Train Massacre: Matt Jensen The Last Mountain Man by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone
  • We Need Silence to Find Out What We Think: Selected Essays by Shirley Hazzard
  • Pulitzer’s Gold: A Century of Public Service Journalism by Roy J. Harris
  • Building a Recommendation Engine with Scala by Ansari, Saleem A.
  • Scandalous Behavior (A Stone Barrington Novel) by Stuart Woods
  • The Chicken and the Quetzal: Incommensurate Ontologies and Portable Values in Guatemala’s Cloud Forest by Paul Kockelman
  • Batman: Gotham City’s Guardian (Backstories) by Matthew Manning
  • The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing by Roy Peter Clark
  • Perry Rhodan Lemuria 4: The First Immortal by Leo Lukas
  • The Dust Rose Like Smoke: The Subjugation of the Zulu and the Sioux, Second Edition by James O. Gump
  • L.A. Math: Romance, Crime, and Mathematics in the City of Angels by James D. Stein
  • The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Manga in America: Transnational Book Publishing and the Domestication of Japanese Comics by Casey Brienza
  • The Power Of Soft: How to get what you want without being a **** by Hilary Gallo
  • Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin
  • The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics (Postmillennial Pop) by Ramzi Fawaz
  • Missing Woman (The Albert Samson Mysteries) by Michael Z. Lewin
  • Innovation the Cleveland Clinic Way: Powering Transformation by Putting Ideas to Work by Thomas Graham
  • A Pocket Full of Lies (Star Trek: Voyager) by Kirsten Beyer
  • Blood and Steel: Throne of the Caesars: Book II by Harry Sidebottom
  • The Movie Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) by DK
  • NFL Confidential: True Confessions from the Gutter of Football by Johnny Anonymous
  • Cheech Wizard’s Book of Me by Vaughn Bode
  • Dog Soldiers: Love, loyalty and sacrifice on the front line by Isabel George
  • Mindful Tech: How to Bring Balance to Our Digital Lives by David M. Levy
  • Keeper of the Stars (A King’s Meadow Romance Book 3) by Robin Lee Hatcher
  • How To Be Great: From Cleopatra to Churchill – Lessons from History’s Greatest Leaders by James Adonis
  • What Is a World?: On Postcolonial Literature as World Literature by Pheng Cheah
  • Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World by Al Pittampalli
  • Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics by Rick Shenkman
  • Scarlet Widow by Graham Masterton
  • DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal: A Harvest of Memories from the Fan Who Knew Him Best by Kristine Smith
  • Spice Yourself Slim: Harness the power of spices for health, wellbeing and weight-loss by Kalpna Woolf
  • National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States, 8th edition by National Geographic and Phil Schermeister
  • Paddington at Large by Michael Bond and Peggy Fortnum
  • My Time With The Kings: A Reporter’s Recollections of Martin, Coretta and the Civil Rights Movement by Kathryn Johnson
  • Warriors of the Storm: A Novel (Saxon Tales) by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Case of the Fickle Mermaid: A Brothers Grimm Mystery (Brothers Grimm Mysteries) by P. J. Brackston
  • Sage’s Eyes (Forbidden) by V.C. Andrews
  • The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Book Publishers, Their Editors, and Authors by Al Silverman
  • Pugs of the Frozen North (A Not-So-Impossible Tale) by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
  • Lanny Budd novels by Upton Sinclair
  • Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye by Michael Shermer
  • The Gilded Age of Sport: 1945-1960 by Herbert Warren Wind
  • The Bands of Mourning: A Mistborn Novel by Brandon Sanderson
  • Why We Snap: Understanding the Rage Circuit in Your Brain by Douglas Fields
  • A Geek in Thailand: Discovering the Land of Golden Buddhas, Pad Thai and Kickboxing by Kenneth Barrett
  • Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
  • Doom of the Dragon (Dragonships of Vindras) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  • UFO Hunters Book Two by William J. Birnes
  • The Regulators by Stephen King (and a bunch of others by King, including Cujo, Firestarter…even Thinner)
  • Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson
  • Be You. Do Good.: Having the Guts to Pursue What Makes You Come AliveJan 12, 2016 | Kindle eBook
    by Jonathan David Golden and Bob Goffe You. Do Good.: Having the Guts to Pursue What Makes You Come Alive by Jonathan David Golden and Bob Goff
  • Warriors 1 by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin
  • The Big Bucket List Book: 133 Experiences of a Lifetime by Gin Sander
  • NeuroLogic: The Brain’s Hidden Rationale Behind Our Irrational Behavior by Eliezer Sternberg
  • NYPD Red 4 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
  • John J. Nance novels
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George and John Schoenherr
  • Stephen Becker novels
  • Next Generation Paper Airplanes: (Downloadable Material Included) by Sam Ita
  • The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz (basis for the 1977 movie)
  • Max Shulman novels (including Dobie Gillis)
  • Ringo Starr And The Beatles Beat (Part Two) by Alex Cain and Terry McCusker
  • Once a Crooked Man by David McCallum (yes, that David McCallum, the actor)
  • The Book of the Month: Sixty Years of Books in American Life by Al Silverman
  • When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain: History’s Unknown Chapters by Giles Milton
  • Teen Frankenstein: High School Horror by Chandler Baker
  • Harlequin Heartwarming January 2016 Box Set: When Love Matters Most\A Boy to Remember\The Missing Twin\Under the…by Kate James and Cynthia Thomason
  • What Decade Do You Belong In? (Best Quiz Ever) by Brooke Rowe
  • Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author by Herman Wouk
  • The World’s Your Stage: How Performing Artists Can Make a Living While Still Doing What They Love by William Baker and Warren C. Gibson
  • Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science by John Gribbin and Michael White
  • This Census-Taker by China Mieville
  • Why We Write About Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature by Meredith Maran
  • Better Call Saul: The World According to Saul Goodman by David Stubbs
  • Hollow City: The Graphic Novel by Ransom Riggs
  • Radioactive!: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World by Winifred Conkling
  • Trouble’s Child by Mildred Pitts Walter
  • The Mammoth Book of Kaiju by Sean Wallace
  • Barbie Spy Squad Big Golden Book (Barbie Spy Squad) by Mary Tillworth
  • All the Conspirators by Christopher Isherwood
  • Geek Girl: Picture Perfect by Holly Smale
  • Does the Yeti Exist? (Top Secret!) by Nick Hunter
  • Kingdom Come: An Elizabeth Harris Mystery by Jane Jensen
  • Study Hall of Justice (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #1) by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen
  • The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny by Justin Hill and Wang Dulu
  • The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
  • Pawn’s Gambit: And Other Stratagems by Timothy Zahn
  • The Jack Reacher Field Manual: An Unofficial Companion to Lee Child’s Reacher Novels by George Beahm
  • Sherlock Holmes, The Missing Years: Timbuktu: The Missing Years by Vasudev Murthy
  • Earnest by Kristin Von Kreisler
  • Choose Your Own Misery: The Office Adventure by Mike MacDonald and Jilly Gagnon

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! :) 

** A Kindle/Fire 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.

n 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.

Delivery by Amazon

December 5, 2015

Delivery by Amazon

Amazon continues to expand its investment in being the infrastructure of the internet…which includes how things ordered on the internet get around in the real world.

According to this

Business Insider story by Jillian D’Onfro

and other sources, Amazon is buying thousands of trailers…the big part of the trucks you see on the freeway that attach to the “tractor”.

That means you are going to see that familiar Amazon smile on the road with you (and, in the picture in that BI story, something that cleverly looks like the tape they put on packages). Yep, the new speed limit might be 65 smiles per hour.😉

Now, these trucks probably aren’t going to be delivering directly to your house (they are too big for that)…they are likely to be taking things to and from the fulfillment centers.

For now, other companies will be providing the tractors…but I would certainly think that Amazon is looking at doing it all, warehouse to home, in the not too distant future. Once self-driving cars are fully licensed in the USA (which I think, unfortunately, may be some time after some other parts of the world have reaped the benefits of safer, more efficient transportation), I would absolutely expect Amazon to be one of the companies investigating that fully.

That puts Amazon on the roads.

I also think Amazon is going to be on the sidewalks.:)

I’ve been seeing stories recently about delivery robots, including the Starship:

Wired UK story by James Temperton

The story asserts that the last mile of delivery is the most expensive, which makes some sense. It’s a bit like landing a plane: that’s the hard part. There are things to avoid, and a lot more starts and stops.

The idea is that a truck gets your package close, then a little robot rolls out (sort of like the Chariot on Lost in Space leaving the Jupiter II), and brings the package to your door.

Is that less expensive than a human being doing it?

Probably…a human being has a lot of expenses outside of that block or two…sick pay, vacation pay, and so on.

Even if the robot was marginally more expensive, they would have a big cool factor…and that’s important in this scenario.

Then, of course, there is the air…and Amazon’s proposed drone program.

The biggest thing holding that up (besides propellers)😉 , clearly, is regulation.

This is an interesting

Forbes story by Ryan Mac

about Amazon’s patent for their “sense and avoid” system for drones.

While people could presumably still shoot them down (that has happened with other drones), they might be able to avoid birds, which could be a real issue. Now that is a demo video I would want to see! Picture a big raptor, like an eagle, diving after an Amazon drone while it autonomously avoids the attack!

Step aside, Millenium Falcon!😉

Oh, and while we are talking about videos, Amazon released this

YouTube video

The performance that they show for their drone is so advanced that they have the words “ACTUAL FLIGHT FOOTAGE NOT SIMULATED” on the screen for most of the flight footage.

Let’s see…land, air, and Jeff Bezos is sending rockets to space…the only thing we’re missing is Maritime Prime!😉

Gee, would that mean that one day Amazon would have to worry about pirates of the non-digital kind?

Let me just wrap this up by pointing out that Amazon already does a lot of fulfillment for third party vendors. If I was at FedEx of UPS, I’d be worried about Amazon getting on the road and in the air…but I’m guessing they’ve been worried about that for some time.

Eventually, we may see Target’s packages delivered by Amazon…

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.

Scientific study compares bedtime reading risk from iPad, iPhone, PW1

November 17, 2015

Scientific study compares bedtime reading risk from iPad, iPhone, PW1

Oh, I’m very interested in your feedback on this one!

I’ve written many times about the difference between how a

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile*)

or other frontlit device (the Voyage, and some other EBRs…E-Book Readers) versus how a backlit tablet, like the

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black(at AmazonSmile*)

or other backlit devices (the other Fires, a SmartPhone, a computer, a TV, and so on)

work, in terms of lighting.

On a backlit device, the lighting is behind the screen: what you see is between your eye and the light source.

On a frontlit device, the light is on the same side of the screen that you are. A light is pointed at the screen and bounces off…the same way that you can read when using a desk lamp, or the sun.

I find the Paperwhite and Voyage to be the most comfortable reading experience I’ve had…including paper.

A lot of people are concerned about how reading on a screen may be affecting their sleep habits. They have heard about “blue light” keeping them up at night, by messing with your biological system (perhaps they have heard that melatonin is involved).

I’ve always believed that the Paperwhite was not as bad…that reading on my Fire in bed would be more likely to keep me awake than reading on my Voyage.

Well, there’s now been a scientific study which produces some interesting and specific data…but I’m not sure I follow or agree with their conclusions:

Bigger, Brighter, Bluer-Better? Current light-emitting devices – adverse sleep properties and preventative strategies by Paul Gringras, Benita Middleton, Debra J. Skene, and Victoria L. Revell in Frontiers of Public Health

They tested the light emissions from an iPad, an iPhone, and a Paperwhite first gen. You can read the specifics of the models…I want to encourage you to look at the original report.

Here is a sort excerpt from the results:

“All the LE devices shared very similar enhanced short-wavelength peaks when displaying text. This included the output from the backlit Kindle Paperwhite device.”

That’s right: they found that the Paperwhite and the iPad had similar outputs in a measurement they suggested would negatively impact your sleep.

Many of the measurements they did were quite different for the iPad and the Paperwhite…about an order of magnitude (ten times) different. However, I guess those aren’t the wavelengths they consider impactful.

They also tested two remediation strategies: one hardware, one software.

The hardware one was for the user to wear goggles that filtered light.

The software one was to have the device go into a “sleep mode”, and shift the colors of the output.

Obviously, asking people to wear goggles to bed would not be an easy cultural  shift. If we could get people to do that sort of thing, they’d be wearing helmets when driving their cars…that would save a lot of lives, from what I’ve heard.:)

The software fix makes more sense to me.

I love that the “nightstand” clock on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX 7″ has red numerals!

I have superior night vision, which may be connected to my color vision deficiency  (“partial colorblindness”). When my Significant Other first met me, the light on my nightstand was a 25 watt red lightbulb…that was plenty for me.

So, I know I’m not typical.:)

I know, though, that a color shift could matter to even me as to how bright a light seems.

I have to say, my Voyage does not seem like it is keeping me up at all. I read a few “pages” in bed, and I’m ready for sleep…well, there is a big nighttime routine before that that is about half an hour, but the Voyage doesn’t seem to keep me up any more than a p-book (paperbook) did…less, I’d say.

My guess is that we may see a mode like this in the future, touted by the device manufacturers. There are all some things that do this, some settings on some computers, some apps.

My sense of the study is that their methodology for gathering the technical data was reasonable, for a small sample.

I’m not sure that that data does, though, cause the problems they suggest. I’d like to see studies with people actually using a frontlit device versus a backlit device and how it affected their sleep.

Oh, that’s one other thing: the study refers to something some of you already noticed…they say the Paperwhite is a backlit device, and it’s not. That doesn’t make me doubt their measurements, but does show a certain…lack of precision.

What do you think? Have you noticed any difference if you switched from a backlit device to a frontlit one when reading before going to sleep? How does it compare to reading with a nightstand light? If you do read the journal article, feel free to tell me and my readers what you think about it by commenting on this post.

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.

The Sunday Times investigation shows bought reviews on Amazon

October 13, 2015

The Sunday Times investigation shows bought reviews on Amazon

If I say “sock puppet” to you and your first thought is Shari Lewis, I’m happy you are here.

If your response to what I just said is, “What does Shari and her friends, a talking lamb and dog, have to do with puppets?” I’m ecstatic!😉

For many of us nowadays, we think of sock puppets as fake identities that publishers and authors use to publish positive reviews of their own books.

Another term you may hear is “astroturfing”, although that’s more associated with apparent social movements. You see, instead of something genuinely being a “grass roots” movement, it has been faked by people with an agenda…Astroturf is fake grass.

While we have often suspected that reviews like that are present on Amazon, and some people have had their legitimate reviews removed by Amazon suspecting they are fake (Amazon can remove any review they want….they have no obligation to publish your reviews, although they don’t seem to do it just because a review is bad), there hasn’t been a lot of proof.

Well, a British newspaper, The Sunday Times, decided to test it…as reported in this

The Sunday Times article by Robin Henry

What they did was pretty clever. They wrote a terrible book (on purpose), and then bought 5-star reviews for it…at a price equivalent of about five U.S. dollars.

Personally, I think they overpaid.😉 I doubt most 5-star reviews are going to generate $5 in revenues…but I’m sure it does make some difference, and it would be more effective if the book was more expensive.

I don’t see that the book (Everything Bonsai!) is still for sale on the British Amazon site, but they claim it went to number one in its category.

It’s worth noting that it doesn’t take all that many sales to briefly get to number one: my book of quotations, was the #1 book of quotations in any format on Amazon when it first was released

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

but that didn’t last long. It was just an initial bolus of sales…oh, and with no fake reviews to my knowledge! It’s only gotten four reviews in the three years it has been out…and only one of them was 5-star.:)

I think a more disturbing part of this investigation is that the review faker used real people’s identities, which they “harvested from social media”…and that includes children.

I’m assuming that may be criminal (writing good reviews for money probably isn’t), since it’s identity theft, but I don’t know what the laws are in the UK on that…and I’m not even sure if it would be actionable here.

Now, someone paying someone to create fake reviews in order to boost the sales of a book may be committing a crime…fraud. I would guess that the person writing the review would not be guilty of a crime (if they used their own identity, at least), but I’m not a lawyer.

It’s nice to see that this was done, though. It’s the kind of thing many people are quite sure happens, but  not where investigative journalists tend to turn their focus.

It reminds me of when I was managing a bookstore a long time ago, and a big booksellers’ convention was coming to town. The police decided to go after used bookstores buying stolen books prior to the convention (I’m not saying there was a connection between the two, but…).

For example, they would have undercover people in the bookstores (one bookstore in particular). Reportedly, the bookstore bought boxes of books which still had shipping labels for other stores on them (as if the seller had stolen them from in front of the store). I remember there being something like the store owner just yelling out in the store, “I need ten copies of the new Stephen King: anybody want to steal them for me?”

Used bookstores were supposed to ID people when they bought books, but I think that was rare in practice.

Shoplifting was a big problem in my store, as it was in all bookstores. My goal for “shrinkage” (shoplifting,, employee theft, and loss due to damage) was 8%. If almost one in ten of my books simply disappeared, unaccounted for, I was pretty close to the goal.

Anyway…

What do you think? Is this going to change anything at Amazon? Should it? How do you take fake reviews into account when looking at a book? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.

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.

Has Kindle e-book development stagnated?

October 13, 2015

Has Kindle e-book development stagnated?

Thanks to a reader (if you’d like to be credited in the blog, just let me know) who alerted me in a private e-mail to this intriguing essay in Aeon:

Digital books stagnate in closed, dull systems, while printed books are shareable, lovely and enduring. What comes next? by Craig Mod

It’s well written, and both deeply researched in some areas and based on personal experience. I recommend reading it.

That said, I don’t have the same assessment of the situation that the author does.

The basic premise is this:

” As our hardware has grown more powerful and our screens more capable, our book-reading software has largely stagnated.”

One explanation given:

“It seems as though Amazon has been disincentivised to stake out bold explorations by effectively winning a monopoly (deservedly, in many ways) on the market.”

I think the first question we have to ask is if this is limited just to EBRs (E-Book Readers)…that is, not tablets like the Fire. We are continuing to see development on the tablets, including Amazon’s new Word Runner featured. That’s even available on the

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) $49.99

It shows you a book one word at a time, in the middle of the screen. There’s a lot more to it than that, but it should greatly increase your reading speed. You can read more about that here:

The new feature I most want to try on Fire tablets

That’s a recent innovation which Amazon arguably didn’t have to do…and it certainly isn’t stagnant.

It was, perhaps, to respond to the competition of Spritz, which does a similar thing.

The fact that there is competition, though, tends to refute the premise of Mod’s essay.

What about those EBRs? Does there continue to be development there? I do want to say that I assume the author is only talking about EBRs. The article mentions “backlit” Kindles, but I think that may be confusion with the Paperwhite’s (and later the Voyage’s) frontlighting…many people confuse those two.

We’ve gotten some typography changes recently, and we got Page Flip (a way to look ahead in the book without losing your place) not that long ago.

Those don’t feel as amazing as some of the earlier things we got…but should we expect that?

One reason why some people consider paper books one of the greatest technological innovations is how little they have had to change since our basic form factor came into being.

Sure, paperbacks were a change, starting in the 1930s…but they weren’t radically different from hardbacks. They certainly weren’t more different from hardbacks than the Voyage is from the first generation (2007) model.

For more on the history of books, see the

ILMK E-books Timeline

Maybe Kindle books have changed that much in the past few years…because they already do pretty much what we want them to do.

That’s not to say that the system can’t be improved!

We continue to make progress…but I do think, for example, that we could still have much better management of the books on the Amazon website. It would be nice to be able to see which books are on which devices, for example.

The author of the essay has a couple of suggestions, and I do think they are intriguing.

However, I also suspect the author’s desires aren’t the same as those of the majority readers.

Look, I’m weird…and I know it.😉

My Significant Other got me one of my favorite t-shirts. It says, “Nobody’s Target Market”.

I’m not sure, though, that Craig Mod has quite that same sense of self awareness.

Mod is very into book design. So into it that a great story in the article is about Mod buying a travel guidebook because of the way it was constructed…even with no intent to use it.

I don’t think most people care that much.

That doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate a great design, but my guess is that the majority of people are happy to be able to get right into the text of a book…they don’t need the sensual experience of drawing a beautifully crafted volume being drawn from an equally painstakingly designed slipcase.

Now, would I rather have my Kindle books start at the cover, rather than Chapter 1? Yes, I’d like that option.

I don’t miss the physicality of a p-book (paperbook), though.

I love owning 100 year old books, sure…I have several of those. I feel like I am in a special presence when I see a vintage book.

For my day to day reading? Give me an invulnerable digital file with increasable text, please.

I was a bit amused to be reading the article through the medium of text-to-speech in my car, after using the “Send to Kindle” extension for Google Chrome (which then let me use my Kindle Fire HDX 7).

That’s a big improvement for me.

Do I think that e-books wipeout p-books?

Nope…vinyl is still around for records, despite its relative inefficiency.

My best guess is that it is not an unreasonable model for the future for publishing: the vast majority of reading being done on e-books, with p-books being what they were before mass manufacturing: luxury items.

We aren’t close to that, yet.

Craig Mod and I have different ideas about what people tend to value in books, and what the future will bring.

That’s a good thing.:)

Again, I recommend the piece as evocative, thoughtful, and well-written.

Thanks again to my reader for the heads-up!

What do you think? Has Amazon diverted resources from Kindle book development to other things? If they have, is that an opening for someone else to take part of the market? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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.


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