Archive for the ‘newspapers’ Category

Amazon reorgs Newsstand, combining newspapers and magazines, moves blogs

March 1, 2017

Amazon reorgs Newsstand, combining newspapers and magazines, moves blogs 

I was working on my monthly Snapshot


this morning, and when I went to check the number of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, I couldn’t get the numbers the way I usually do.

In the past, those three categories have been listed separately under

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

This time, magazines and newspapers appear to have been combined into one category…and at first, I couldn’t find blogs at all.

The number for magazines and newspapers was 2,007.

Magazines on February 1st were 1,732, and newspapers were 158. Together, that’s 1,890…and magazines that month had andincrease of 354 (which was unusually high), so 2,007 seems reasonable.

Blogs were 15,593 on February 1st, so clearly, they weren’t part of this number.

I checked this blog in the Kindle store

I Love My Kindle blog (at AmazonSmile*)

and from there, could get to the blog bestsellers…which at least showed that blogs still were for sale in the Kindle store…whew! 🙂

My subscribers (thanks, subscribers!) are my most reliable source of writing income, so they are empowering the writing I do. I especially appreciate them sticking with it when delivery has been unreliable of late. Perhaps that was connected to this change? I’m guessing it wasn’t, that it’s just wishful thinking on my part. 🙂

If the blogs had actually been gone from sale in the Kindle store, that would require some re-thinking. I don’t think this blog would stop, but I might look into Patreon or other means of generating income from it (I really like that I don’t do regular-type ads in this blog, and would want to continue that).

It’s interesting to combine newspapers and magazines…I suppose that they really are a continuum, if you take away the physical component. The biggest thing is the periodicity, I guess…typically daily for newspapers, typically monthly for magazines. Magazines have better pictures, and I would think of newspapers as being more current events…but I don’t see a clear line. Time often reports on current events, and some newspapers do nice longer-focus stories.

Blogs do feel like they belong more in the same category of periodicals than they do with books…they are often even more frequent than newspapers, and can definitely be even more stream of consciousness style.

I’m okay with this change…but I am curious about what it may mean in the future. Should there be a separation between magazines and books, for example? Those feel different, but some book series come out monthly…and a pulp like Doc Savage definitely seems like a series of books.

What do you think? Does this change make any difference to you? Would you find it odd to see no separation between your hometown newspaper and People Magazine when you were searching? What do you see as the role of blogs in the USA Kindle store? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


Round up #222: Mark Grist, Paperwhite update

November 19, 2013

Round up #222: Mark Grist, Paperwhite update

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

Major Paperwhite update

Yesterday, I wrote about a major Kindle Fire update.

Today, Amazon announced a big update to the new Kindle Paperwhite (new Kindle Paperwhite at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit by shopping) in this

press release

There are three main features:

  • Goodreads integration
  • Kindle FreeTime
  • Cloud Collections

Goodreads and Cloud Collections were part of the update to the new generation Kindle Fires yesterday, and they already had Kindle FreeTime.

I do have a Kindle Paperwhite expected to arrive today (I was able to get it for $19 in a recent promotion…it replaces one for me which was recently stolen during a home break-in). I’ll be able to look at these more carefully after I get it.  If you want to get it right away and install it yourself, you can go to

Kindle Software Updates page

Here is part of the press release Amazon sent me:


Goodreads Integration

Goodreads on Kindle Paperwhite brings together the world’s largest e-reading community and the world’s largest community of book lovers. Join more than 20 million other readers on Goodreads to discover great books and have discussions about what you’re reading. Features of the new Goodreads integration, available exclusively from Amazon, include:

– Share favorite passages with your Goodreads friends without leaving the book.

– See what your friends are reading, read their reviews and discover new books to read.

– When you finish a book, immediately rate it without putting down your Kindle.

– Keep track of all your reading activity—update your “Currently Reading”, “Read”, and “Want to Read” shelves directly from your Kindle. Easily add your Amazon book purchases, print and digital, to your Goodreads account.

Kindle FreeTime

Built-in parental controls have been extended to give parents a simple way to encourage kids to spend more time reading. Parents can set daily reading goals for their kids, hand-select books for their kids to read, and track progress against goals. Children earn achievement badges for hitting reading milestones—for example, reaching and exceeding their daily reading goal, and passing big milestones like “Read 1000 pages”. A progress report keeps parents updated on total time spent reading, number of words looked up, badges earned and books finished.

Cloud Collections

Organize your books, newspapers, and magazines in customized collections for easy reference, and Amazon’s Whispersync technology synchronizes the collections across your Kindle devices and reading apps so they’re available on all of your devices.


“I Like a Girl Who Reads”

There is a great video linked in this

Huffington Post article by Sarah Barness

It’s a poem by Mark Grist, and it has to do with what’s attractive…and that isn’t always the physical.

I will warn you that it is NSFW (Not Safe for Work), although you could probably hear it performed on network TV.

Although I’m not a fan of calling adults by words meant for children, I think that the poet is trying to make the point that someone who uses the common vernacular can also be drawn to the intellectual…and that’s important to express.

“How to Open a New Book”



reproduces a quaint, illustrated explanation from a bookbinder about how to open a new hardback properly.

I must say, I didn’t do it that way. I generally didn’t open the book all the way, the way it is shown here. I sort of peeked into the middle, tilting the book back and forth for each side, so that I didn’t break the spine. I was going to say “never”, but I did open them fully for some things like coffee table books. Novels, though? Not usually…

Bookstore sales buck general retail trend…by going down

For the third month in a row, according to this

Publishers Weekly article

U.S. bookstore sales were down..a lot. 4.5% year over year…we are also down for the whole year so far.

Overall, retail is up…this is particularly a brick-and-mortar (I’m a former manager) bookstore issue.

I do think this may be the last holiday season that we see Barnes & Noble in its current configuration. Amazon is doing more and more for us, and there are independent bookstores that are growing…I just don’t see investors looking at this holiday for B&N thinking that it’s worth keeping up the support.

That could mean that the chain gets sold to someone…or even that we know it will largely close. If the latter is the case, I think we would see one more holiday season out of them, but knowing that it was going.

I have given some ideas earlier about How to save large bookstores, and it’s possible Barnes & Noble will pull a phoenix on this…but you don’t see a lot of phoenixes around. 😉

The Onion goes all digital

I remember seeing a stack of copies of The Onion in a bookstore, just like any other newspaper.

Now, after 25 years, according to this

USA Today story by Roger Yu

it’s going to stop publishing on paper. It’s only been doing that in three cities recently, but this is another example of a major print publication dropping that format to go for all digital.

I also remember the day this blog passed The Onion in the Kindle store! That was exciting for me, and I wish them the best in the future.

“Apple Seeks to Knock Out E-book Class Action Suit”

Legal issues have been part of publishing for a very long time, and there is not indication they are going away any time soon.

They certainly go back more than a century, when the Supreme Court ruled that a store could discount books without the publisher’s permission (creating the “First Sale Doctrine”) in 1908. There was a battle that lasted more than a decade over whether or not Captain Marvel infringed on Superman, which meant the “Big Red Cheese” was off the stands for a long time.

In this

Publishers Weekly article by Andrew Albanese

we learn that Apple is basically arguing that the “class” in class action suits against it for e-book pricing is…I guess, ill-defined is a good way to put it.

My intuition is that they won’t prevail in getting the case dismissed, and that (if they don’t settle…they didn’t in the Department of Justice case, but did in the European Union) will have a trial in maybe May of 2014.

What do you think? Will Barnes & Noble exist, largely as we know it today, into 2015? How much does whether or not a person read affect how you feel about them…both as a friend and a potential partner? Stating a more simple (and narrow) version of that, is reading sexy? Did you try to keep a book in the same condition it was when you bought it, or did you curl the cover under, dogmark pages, and make marginalia? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

* 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. I recently polled my readers about my linking to AmazonSmile, and while more than two-thirds of the respondents said they would like it or didn’t mind (and about 15% didn’t know), there were enough people who wouldn’t like it that I’m not going to just jump into it and do it for everything. I’m going to try doing both links in this post, and see how hard and/or confusing that is for people. You can let me know how you feel about having both links by commenting on this post.

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.

Jeff Bezos to buy the Washington Post

August 5, 2013

Jeff Bezos to buy the Washington Post

Thanks to a couple of readers who alerted me to this in private e-mails.

Jeff Bezos is buying the Washington Post (and some affiliated papers, including the important El Tiempo Latino Spanish-language newspaper) for $250 million.

Now, it’s important to note that Amazon isn’t buying this: it’s coming out of the CEO’s own pocket.

Needless to say, this is a surprise to a lot of people.

Jeff Bezos hasn’t owned a newspaper, to my knowledge…and I’m not sure that I would think now is the time to buy one. However, the CEO’s willingness to lose money at Amazon may be a useful skill at a newspaper in the 21st Century. 😉

I went to a reliable news source (The Washington Post) 😉 and they have a lengthy article with a lot of details and personal reaction:

Washington Post article

I have to admit some concern on hearing this news…not so much fear for the paper. Amazon has often had a light hand after making acquisitions, and I wouldn’t expect Jeff Bezos to tromp in there and start changing a lot of things.

No, I was more concerned about the time and energy it would mean that the guiding light of Amazon would have to take away from that company.

Bezos addresses that in the article:

“Bezos said he would maintain his home in Seattle and would delegate the paper’s daily operations to its existing management. “I have a fantastic day job that I love,” he said.”

Alright, Jeff…but remember, if you buy it, you are going to have to feed it and clean up after it. 😉

No top-level personnel changes at the paper are expected right now, and the family seems happy with the decision (although giving up family control after close to a century isn’t easy, of course).

How big a deal is this for Bezos? Well, at an estimated personal wealth of $23.2 billion, you could say it’s very roughly like somebody with a personal wealth of $1,000,000 (let’s say they have a $750,000 house and $250,000 in other assets, like retirement accounts and such) spending $10,775…it’s not a small amount, but you could make a mistake at that level and be okay.

This news comes shortly after the news that The Boston Globe, another venerable newspaper, was being sold to the owner the Boston Red Sox, John W. Henry.

Do I think Bezos will take the newspaper all digital right away? Nope…but certainly, increasing digital involvement may be important. Do I think Jeff Bezos will make The Washington Post unavailable at other digital retailers? Nope…Bezos will, in my opinion, want to keep the integrity of the paper’s reputation. Remember, too, that Amazon doesn’t own the paper…so it doesn’t even mean that we’ll get a deal in the Kindle store on it.

All in all, this is another sign of the transitional phase taking place in written word media.

What do you think? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Update: thanks to reader Harold for a comment that improved this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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